Week of requests: items to perk up your home

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“How about house refresher items that we can all order in January while we are sitting at home waiting for our turn at the vaccine?” asks a reader named Betsy. And I love this idea, of course, as I recently moved and have home decorating on my mind in a big way. What follows are items that have piqued my interest lately, including these chic amber mugs.

The confetti print on this duvet cover is fun, and nicely subtle. Also, I feel that it would camouflage stains well.

Congratulate me, please, as I have found the only attractive paper towel holder in existence. Most of them are cheesy and fabricated of white plastic or some other synthetic material, but this one is composed of wood and leather and looks just fantastic.

 

I just love the yellow of this bright planter, and think it would be a perfect home for one of my succulents.

I asked my dear friends Claire Mazur and Erica Cerulo—late of the awesome commerce site Of A Kind (check out their fantabulous newsletter here)— for a shower curtain recommendation, because that seemed like the type of thing they’d know. They directed me to several great options, including this irregularly striped number, which is in my shopping cart as I type.

One of my little luxuries of life is the big glass of fresh orange juice I make myself every morning. I’ve got a cheapo citrus juicer that is on its last legs, so I’m thinking of going for this handsome specimen from Smeg.

A really cool midcentury storage rack.

I have wanted this Fornasetti trinket tray forever, but have never been able to justify the purchase. Maybe your powers of self-persuasion are stronger than mine, though.

 

I purchased this runner for the hallway between my dining room and living room, and it’s just aces.

My new place is a duplex, with the bathroom on the top floor, which means that if I’m running out the door and want to do a quick-check of what I look like, I’ve got to go upstairs, and I’m not complaining but I go up and down those stairs many, many times over the course of the day, which is not too easy on my bum knee. So I’m looking for a mirror like this, which I believe is a dupe of this much pricier one.

It occurs to me that this glass vase looks a bit like the backside of a bong, but I still think it’s rather elegant, and for sure looks pricier than it is.

I also quite like this brass vase from Hawkins New York. It’s chic and unbreakable, and just about any arrangement will look good in it.

I have a very small collection of pieces by midcentury ceramicist Waylande Gregory—like this small bowl—and am always looking for more. Check out Etsy and eBay for more options.

In my old place, the walls were mostly all windows, and it’s been nice to display some of the pictures that languished, un-hung, during those years. But I’ve still got plenty of wall space to cover, so I’ve been checking out vintage posters like this one from Swiss brand Bally.

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31 Thoughts on Week of requests: items to perk up your home
    patty
    12 Jan 2021
    10:17am

    That brass vase!

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    Betsy Palmer
    12 Jan 2021
    9:32am

    Thanks Kim. I have now fallen down the Schoolhouse rabbit hole and may never be seen again.

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    Eloise
    12 Jan 2021
    9:54am

    And….someone bought the GW bowl. Coincidence? Me thinks not.

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    lc
    12 Jan 2021
    9:59am

    It does look like a bong. I can just imagine the displays at popular stores once wide legalization happens. Anthropologie will have an endless array of cutesy vintage-looking bongs, West Elm will have minimal styles that match their candleholders, Restoration Hardware … well, you get the idea.

    And is it my imagination, or is there an evil face peeking out the center of that lovely Wayland Gregory bowl? I think the last week in politics has completely fried my brain.

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      Eloise
      12 Jan 2021
      10:08am

      Now I think I’m glad someone grabbed the GW bowl before I could talk myself into it – can’t unsee it!

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      Viajera
      12 Jan 2021
      1:57pm

      I wondered about that too … but maybe it was just a little bump in the center of the bowl, that caught the light in a tricky camera way? Overall it’s a lovely bowl.

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    liz
    12 Jan 2021
    1:03pm

    Kim, your new place sounds perfect -beautiful street and a duplex.

    I am imagining ground level and 2nd floor with a backyard. Perfect for your dog.

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      Kim France
      12 Jan 2021
      4:04pm

      Actually, I’ve got the top two floors, so no backyard access. But it is otherwise pretty perfect, yes.

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    Jeanne
    12 Jan 2021
    1:39pm

    All the discussion about bongs is making me laugh. I could seriously use one right now. Is anyone baffled by the amount of people that truly believe the bs that Qanon is spewing? I have had people (some totally intelligent and sane) say with the utmost seriousness: Pelosi is operating a child pornography ring. Biden is operating a human trafficking organization. China created covid as an attack on the US.Trump is calling war on China next week. All the info is on a laptop and the Capitol attack was a diversion for the military to get the laptop. We are all losing cell phone, internet and power next week…..Seriously WTF

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      kimbersam
      12 Jan 2021
      5:53pm

      I just got off a call w/ a client. He inadvertently had the Webex set up to show his personal email, filled with NeoCon, White Christian Supremacist email exchanges. I know he’s a conservative, but I am truly shocked.

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        Viajera
        13 Jan 2021
        12:44pm

        I have a friend who is extremely normal who has friends who send her emails like that, even though she asks them to stop. And who knows, maybe your client argues with his friends? I’m just saying it’s *possible.* Here’s hoping. Most of the time, I still thinking talking to someone is better than not talking to them.

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          Viajera
          13 Jan 2021
          12:50pm

          … by which, I was not meaning to imply that you yourself were somehow in a non-talking mode. And I can understand that it would be shocking to see certain things in a friend’s inbox. I was just pointing out that I have seen IRL that just receiving cr*p in one’s email doesn’t mean that one is oneself a nutjob. One may be nutjob-adjacent. And, I hope, we all do have friends who are a little bit out there, in various ways. Otherwise, how would we keep in touch? I don’t watch Fox News, but somewhere inside I think maybe I should, every now and then, just to check in.

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      Caroline
      13 Jan 2021
      10:11am

      Yup. Although if you think about it, Trump has been holding his rally’s for years..radicalizing his base. Ugh.
      Its important to stay informed, but its so freaking stressful.

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    Stephanie
    12 Jan 2021
    3:57pm

    I’ve just had the devastating news that we are to move from a place I love to a new state far away by the end of the year. Trying very hard to focus on the positive aspects of this: new things to discover! a new house! This post helps.

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    Mary
    12 Jan 2021
    8:48am

    Love the tray! It’s special and you’ll never get rid of it.

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      Bobby
      12 Jan 2021
      1:03pm

      Get yourself the trinket tray, it’s gorgeous, life’s too short, you just went through the pandemic, a breakup and a move. It will add a little burst of joy to your lie every time you toss your keys (or whatever) onto it

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        Bobby
        12 Jan 2021
        1:09pm

        to your life, not lie, sorry!

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      Amy
      12 Jan 2021
      1:42pm

      Just here to ditto that you should get the Fornasetti tray. I feel like you have been wanting it for a very long time! Also, yes, the vase looks like a bong.

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    Eloise
    12 Jan 2021
    8:25am

    I’m with CW on the tray – investment pieces aren’t just for the closet.

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      cw
      12 Jan 2021
      11:36am

      I had that same thought, Eloise, about investment pieces!

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    Caroline
    12 Jan 2021
    8:25am

    Love this pics Kim. Those amber mugs are sorely tempting!
    As is the yellow pot, the duvet cover and the paper towel holder.
    I did however do a double take at the pretty bong.lol!!!

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    cw
    12 Jan 2021
    8:14am

    Buy the trinket tray. The Bally poster led me down a rabbit hole of Etsy vintage travel posters and now I want to cover the walls of my condo with vintage posters of all the places I want to visit after the Pandemic. (sigh)

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    AKGB
    12 Jan 2021
    11:54am

    Oh! That shower curtain! We’re almost done with a bathroom refresh/remodel and we’ve been looking for something modern and light, but not all white to balance the dark paint.

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    MeezStephanie
    12 Jan 2021
    12:01pm

    I love almost everything here. And yes, Congratulations! I hate paper towel holders but this almost persuades me to get one.

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    Monique Johnson
    12 Jan 2021
    12:08pm

    What a great collection of cool stuff. I particularly love the mugs and the planter. Thanks for introducing Amara and Schoolhouse to me. They are now in my bookmarks.

    I have a request….. Please, PLEASE help me find some mid-rise 100% cotton jeans. I am too short for high-waisted jeans. I’d love them not to cost more than $150 but I’ll take any suggestions you throw my way regardless of the price. I have searched and searched and have found very few. In fact my husband, upon learning of my distress, went on line and found a pair for me. Lee. Yes, Lee. But to be honest they were so ugly I just couldn’t (and I don’t care about brands as long as they look good on me). I did find a 99% cotton pair at Mango that I like but I’d much prefer something a bit more Nili Lotan relaxed fit, but not wide leg. Difficult…. I know. Thanks.

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    Mamavalveeta03
    12 Jan 2021
    11:47am

    Wow! That vase really does look like a bong! What gorgeous pieces, tho – they’d freshen up anyone’s “I’m so bored with staring at the same 4 walls for the last 10 months because of COVID” space. I need a shower curtain, but haven’t gotten one yet because I love my Jonathan Adler one SO much. But it’s kind of disgusting, in spite of numerous washings.

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    JB
    13 Jan 2021
    9:56am

    You won’t regret the Smeg juicer. It’s powerful, super quiet, and most of the moving parts are metal rather than plastic, which is good for cleaning.

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    A
    13 Jan 2021
    3:04am

    The Smeg brand emblazoned on things just always makes me think of a not-pleasant word that starts with the same letters.

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      Bobby
      13 Jan 2021
      11:36am

      Me too!

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    Kay
    13 Jan 2021
    12:22am

    I have that shower curtain and it makes me smile every day. I love it so much!!

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    Sarah
    13 Jan 2021
    3:56pm

    Is it weird that two things that fascinate me about American homes is how many need shower curtains (as opposed to having a shower screen) and also how a plunger is considered essential to have in the bathroom. The plunger thing was so baffling that I actually read a decent amount of articles explaining why the plumbing system makes American toilets prone to blockages! 😄 I love finding out little insights into life in other countries.

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About

Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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