What to Buy

17 Father’s Day Gifts, Because It’ll Be Here Soon

I tend to be an early shopper when it comes to gifts and I love searching for the perfect present whether it’s a beautiful coffee table books or something more utilitarian like a great T-shirt or tool. As someone who’s known to have all her Christmas shopping done in October, it’s no surprise that I’m pretty punctual with other holidays, too, especially when it comes to the biggies like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. I realize that not everyone has the same chip I have in my brain that tells me I need to start shopping for my dad like, right now. But given shipping delays due to the pandemic, one month doesn’t feel like a long time at all. So whether it’s a busy schedule or you’re just overwhelmed with too many options, we’ve got the best last-minute gift ideas for your dad, grandad, or any father figure right here. Read More >> …

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7 Essentials You Need to Make Your Staycation the Best Vacation

Since I’m not traveling much these days, I’ve started thinking of my summer weekends as staycations.
My usual routine when the weekend rolls in is to laze around on my couch until guilt kicks in, then scramble to fit in a workout, run errands, and heave my many loads of laundry to the laundromat down the street. All good and worthwhile things to do, of course. But when I think of Friday evening as the kick-off to a mini two-day vacation rather than as a weekend that’s always too short, the next 48 hours feel more relaxing and longer. I’ll check out a new restaurant one night, dip into a bookstore the next morning, and even bring coffee and breakfast to the park on Sunday. I’ll also stock the fridge and freezer with summertime treats like watermelon, berries, and ice cream, and when I’m ready for a break, I’ll take an afternoon siesta. Suddenly, my weekend feels…

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I’ll Never Use a Bath Towel Again

You know that glorious feeling when you emerge from the ocean, trot back to your beach chair, and snuggle up in your towel like it’s a big ol’ blanket? Or after you’ve had a refreshing shower in a hotel bathroom, and you wrap yourself up in a fluffy white towel and flop on the bed to watch some TV, only to fall asleep in its cozy comfort? What if I told you that you could channel those experiences in your own home? Here’s how: bath sheets. Read More >> …

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6 Best Wine Openers to Use on Your Next Bottle

In Cheaper By the Dozen 2 (the biggest Oscar snub of 2005), there’s a scene in which Tom Baker, played by Steve Martin, is in the middle of an intense game of tennis against Jimmy Murtaugh, played by Eugene Levy. Tom, the fun-loving dad to the titular dozen, loses the game miserably and blames his defeat on his worn-down tennis shoes, which were covered with duct tape after a mouse chewed them apart. Jimmy responds: “A poor workman blames his tools, Tom.” I think of that scene every time I attempt to use a waiter’s corkscrew to open a bottle of wine. I insist that it’s the cheap, unfussy corkscrew that’s to blame for my broken corks and near-shattered bottles when in fact, it’s just me. The best sommeliers in the world use the pocket-sized wine opener with the ease and grace of an Olympic figure skater while I sweat profusely and hope no one at…

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Silly Sponges Are Just What Your Kitchen Needs

As a recent college grad who moved back home to New York City, I’ve been to countless apartment warming parties of friends who trickled into the Big Apple after graduation. When thinking (read: overthinking) about the right gift to bring over to their cozy (read: tiny) spaces, naturally, I came across the ubiquitous bottle of just-expensive-enough wine, a small houseplant with a questionable life expectancy, or a very-likely-to-become-a-fire-hazard candle. Well, here’s where the silly kitchen sponge comes in—it sounds a little wacky, but just hear me out. They have all the qualities the aforementioned gifts lack, but with added practicality, personality, near indestructibility, and an undeniable sense of humor. Silly, fun, and irreverent, these sponges are the perfect mix of form and function. Read More >> …

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Brooklinen’s Big Birthday Sale Has Us Adding Everything to Cart

For anyone who’s in the market for fresh sheets, towels, and robes, you’re in luck. Brooklinen is celebrating its eighth birthday and decided to give everyone a major sale—it also happens to be the brand’s biggest outside of its Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale. Now through May 4, take 20 percent off everything at Brooklinen, no minimum needed. The only exclusions are non-Brooklinen products, which is perfectly fine with us because there are plenty of soft bed sheets, thick towels, cozy robes, and dreamy candles to choose from. Read More >> …

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11 Outdoor Rugs to Instantly Transform Your Space

Outdoor rugs might sound like nice-to-have decor when compared to a table set-up for all your meals or mosquito repellent for all their meals. But we’d argue that they’re an essential part of any outdoor space. They can make your space feel infinitely cozier and more like an extension of your home—which is what we’d want our decks and patios to feel like anyway. If your outdoor space has seen better days, a good rug can hide a worn-out stain, paint chips, or mysterious food remnants. It’s also much more comfy for bare feet—my wooden deck is beautiful, but comfortable it is not. Read More >> …

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Everyone (Literally Everyone) Loves This Dutch Oven

A cast iron Dutch oven is one of the most essential and versatile pieces of cookware you can own. Similar to its enameled Dutch oven cousins, these large pots are heavy with thick, high walls and a tight-fitting lid that can simmer big batches of turkey chili and pot roast, sear and brown meat to perfection, and more. But unlike ones with a shiny enamel coating, pure cast iron ovens have better heat retention, and typically come pre-seasoned, meaning they’ve been treated with cooking oil for a non-stick finish, too. From Our Shop Milo by Kana Cast Iron Classic Dutch Oven, 5.5QT $135 More Colors

Smithey Cast Iron Dutch Oven $200–$295 More Sizes

When we chatted with five pros and…

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This $9 Vegetable Peeler Is the Only One I’ll Use

A few months after I graduated college, I got a job as a prep cook at a French restaurant, where I learned that snails come in cans and if you spill a tray of 12-hour braised duck confit on the floor, it’s kind of a big deal. But one good thing came from this experience: I met the love of my life, aka the Kuhn Rikon Original Swiss Peeler. Before the fall of 2017, I was only familiar with straight swivel peelers. I never gave vegetable peelers a second thought. It was one of many essential kitchen tools in my culinary tool belt that I’d reach for to make skinless mashed potatoes, butternut squash soup, or apple pie. But it was never something that I would, say, bring to my grandparents’ house to use on Thanksgiving (eventually, I just bought them their own). From Our Shop our line!…

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The Best Food Dehydrators for Beef Jerky, Fruit Leather & More

Those wrinkly little cranberries in your trail mix, the apple “chips” you eat by the handful, even the dried orange wheel topping off your cocktail—these foods have had the moisture sucked out of them by a food dehydrator, leaving behind concentrated flavors that sing and delight our taste buds. Dehydrated food has a bed rep as tough beef jerky or dried fruit so hard it can crack a tooth, but leave it to the pros and home cooks who use a food dehydrator day in and day out to tell you all about the wonders of the countertop appliance. In fact, if you’re in the market for a dehydrator but aren’t sure where to start, we have just the list for you. Read More >> …

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The Tabletop Brand That Turns Scraps Into Your Favorite Napkins

For Atelier Saucier founders Nikki Reed and Staci Inspektor, their meet-cute more than a decade ago was basically the business version of love at first sight. From the first moment they met at a mutual friend’s party in Los Angeles, Reed says something just felt different. Inspektor adds, “We just knew from the start that we wanted to build a brand together. We’re both super hardworking, creative, and just see eye-to-eye on almost everything, so it was a great partnership from the beginning.” The duo come from two different, yet complementary backgrounds. Inspektor brings with her a formal fashion education from UC Davis and a specific interest in bespoke, small-batch design. “Ever since I was a little kid, I just loved making things and sewing,” she says. For her part, Reed married her hospitality management degree from Cornell and a seven-year stint at the Hillstone Restaurant Group. By the time she and Inspektor met, she had…

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Proof That Beautiful Soap Dishes *Do* Exist

A few years ago, I was laser-focused on ridding my life of single-use plastics. One of the changes I made was to switch from liquid soaps to bar soap. (If you haven’t come around to bar soap yet, let fellow contributor Chantal Lamers persuade you.) I quickly realized that a soap dish was in order, but when I started shopping, it was challenging to find anything that matched my aesthetics. Instead, many of them were basic, plastic designs—the very material I was trying to avoid—or they were sold as part of a matching set with bathroom accessories like tissue box or toothbrush holders that I didn’t need. I finally found a handmade ceramic one through Etsy. Fast forward to today: It seems like cool soap dishes are everywhere. Etsy is overflowing with modern soap trays (concrete, terrazzo, clay, glass!); major retailers have options beyond the basics (and with no need to purchase a matching suite of…

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4 Surprising (& Very Practical) Uses for Your Cake Stand

If you haven’t noticed yet, cake stands are ubiquitous in interiors photography. If you dropped onto Earth for an intergalactic romp and mined our spaces for anthropologic clues, you might imagine humans subsist solely on cake (well, you might not be totally wrong…). Our love for baked goods notwithstanding, our lifestyles are considerably more diverse. Yet there it is, on every still life table: a lovely mound of flour, butter, and sugar on an ornate pedestal. A cake signals a celebratory occasion, yes, but there’s a more practical explanation: cake stands look damn good. They add dimension to any flat surface, introducing new materials, shapes, and heights—a trifecta ripe for a styling slam dunk. Read More >> …

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Our Favorite Pieces From the Gap Home Collection

As a ‘90s kid who loved fashion growing up, there are few brands as iconic as Gap. I remember when its logo still incorporated a navy blue box and way before it collaborated with designers like Phillip Lim, Alexander Wang, and most recently, Ye, or the artist formerly known as Kanye. I still have a logoed sweatshirt or two, which would be considered vintage nowadays and likely to sell on Depop for more than what I paid. Gap has had a shaky couple of years, if not decades, with store closures and controversies, all of which is to be expected from such a storied brand trying to find relevancy and footing among newer, more millennial and Gen Z-forward labels and DTC startups. But the brand kept moving forward, expanding into new categories like baby clothes, workout gear, and even fragrances. Anyone remember those? The Dream scent was my jam. Read More >> …

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13 Essential Cleaning Tools Ready to Tackle Every Mess

Clean Like You Mean It shows you how to tackle the trickiest spots in your home—whether they’re just plain gross or need some elbow grease. You’ll get the cleaning secrets we’ve learned from grandma, a guide to our handiest tools and helpers, and so much more. Pull on those rubber gloves and queue up the tunes: It’s scour hour! A couple months ago, a friend reached out with a “burning question”: Was there any way to clean a window and not leave streaks? “Sure,” I said, “use crushed newspaper along with your favorite glass cleaner.” To which she responded: “But who has newspapers around anymore?” Fair point. I mean I do, because I love the tactile pleasure of a good weekend edition, but that aside, old newspapers are, and always have, been an uncompromisable part of my cleaning toolkit. Read More >> …

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8 Never-Fail Can Openers for Any Kind of Can

I have covered the home and kitchen space for nearly four years and consider myself fairly well-versed on tools and gadgets. But there’s one thing I have to admit: I own a long string of rusting, creaky can openers that can barely get the job done, purchased hastily for a new apartment or left behind by a former roommate. I mean, it’s a can opener—how good does it need to be? It has one job! Sadly, I regret that thinking every time I’m face to face with a can of San Marzano tomatoes with only a broken turn-crank opener and a prayer to reach them. That’s why we asked a handful of experts for their favorite can openers for everything from tinned fish to beans to my personal favorite pantry staple, chiles in adobo. Read More >> …

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The Unexpected Way to Clean Your Houseplants

I consider myself to be a pretty good plant parent. I’ve got about 16 plant kiddos (several of which have names), I don’t overwater them, and I’ve got my pest-control routine down to a science (diatomaceous earth, neem oil, and sticky traps FTW). But one thing I’ve realized that I hardly do? Dust my plants’ leaves. I recently watched Denver, Colorado-based plant consultant Tyler Cross (@thatplayguyty) on Instagram wiping down his monstera with a cloth and couldn’t remember the last time I dusted mine. Was it last month, or last year? I wouldn’t be able to tell you, but time also doesn’t make sense right now so, who knows? What I can tell you is that it’s been a while. And even as I write this, I’m trying to avoid looking at my monstera because I know there’s a fine layer of dust on its leaves that’s staring back at me. Read More >> …

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Everyone Needs a Good Cast Iron Skillet—Here Are Our Faves

While I have a kitchen full of gadgets and gizmos aplenty, there’s one item I reach for day after day: my cast iron skillet. It’s a workhorse in the kitchen. It’s versatile, durable, and distributes heat evenly making it the perfect vehicle for getting the perfect crispy edge on a fried egg, making a juicy roast chicken, baking an ooey-gooey cookie skillet, or getting a nice sear on a T-bone steak. Plus, leave it on your stovetop and it quickly brings in a rustic touch. And while a cast iron skillet can be used for just about anything, any time of day, many home cooks are afraid of taking theirs for a spin. I was one of them. These things need a bit of extra TLC to clean, but with proper care your cast iron pan will last a lifetime (and then some). When it comes to durability, nothing really compares to the cast iron skillet….

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Everyone Loves Their Air Fryer—But How Does it Actually Work?

They’re all the rage in health-conscious circles for “frying” food without added oil, and anyone who loves all things crispy can’t get enough of theirs…but, err, what is an air fryer? It’s a question that might feel silly to ask since everyone from your grandmother to that super-popular food blogger is using one almost daily. But have no fear, plenty of “food people” have a hard time coming up with a definition. We’re de-mystifying this ultra-popular kitchen appliance below. From Our Shop Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer $349.95

our line! Five Two Silicone Oven Mitts & Pot Holders $30–$139 More Options

How Does an Air Fryer Work? In short, an air fryer is a countertop appliance that acts like a…

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8 Most Popular Products Our Community Bought in February

I learned long ago that shopping is one of my greatest joys. Not just because I genuinely love discovering new products and brands, but because I love showing them off to anyone who will listen. So is it any surprise that I’m a market editor? Nope, none whatsoever. Possibly an even greater joy? Seeing what our readers shop for each month. In February, our community of homebodies cozied up to tons of bathrobes, supportive pillows, humidifier and diffuser hybrids, bubble tea kits, and more. Read More >> …

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The 10 Best Cookware Sets From Nonstick to Stainless Steel

Whether you’ve finally decided to upgrade your inefficient, mismatched pots and pans or are picking out your first-ever set for a place of your own (and a say in what’s for dinner), a collection of cookware is a big investment that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It should, however, be fun. You are, after all, picking out the pieces that will be an integral part of your daily life for years to come. And no matter what level home chef you are, everyone deserves a quality set to help them prep their very best meals. With dozens of options out there (not to mention stainless steel, copper, enameled cast iron, non-stick), it can feel daunting to narrow it down to the one cookware set that’s best for you. Read More >> …

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15 Terrazzo Decor Pieces That Prove the Material Is Here To Stay

My affair with terrazzo began in a tile store in Paris last November. In search of flooring that had the elegance of marble but a little less cold (and generally, less expensive), a large, creamy slab of terrazzo with bright chips in sage, gold, charcoal, and terracotta caught my eye. So elementary-school chic! Color me a millennial, but I was instantly hooked. From the Italian word for “terrace,” terrazzo is a composite material made with irregular-shaped pieces of marble, quartz, granite, or glass, all combined together with a neutral binder. A sustainable option from the outset, it was created by 16th-century Venetian artisans to repurpose marble pieces leftover from the production of marble slabs. Read More >> …

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This Baby-Friendly Humidifier Fixed My Dry Skin

I am a winter baby, native New Yorker, and lover of deep, bountiful snow. My skin and sinuses, however, can’t stand super cold temperatures or my building’s dry radiator heat. That means, when the degrees start to plummet, my sensitive skin gets incredibly dry—even flaky—and the thickest, most luxurious (read: expensive) moisturizers only burn and further irritate my parched face. This, of course, is further exacerbated by the radiator’s uncontrollable heat that dries out my nose, making it difficult to breathe and sleep easily. But still, that beautiful snow… After visiting my dermatologist and allergist two months ago, they both made the same suggestion: get a humidifier. They said it would add moisture to the air in my bedroom to combat the winter elements outside and the dry heat inside, bringing relief to my skin and sinuses. They also recommended I drink more water, which, fair. After reading a ton of reviews on dozens of different…

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Goodbye Single-Use Plastic, Hello Eco-Friendly Packaging

You might be wondering what kinds of eco-friendly packaging materials there are out there—whether you’re shipping gifts, own a small business, or just brushing up on how your favorite brands are doing in the carbon footprint game—we’re here to help. As you may know, “eco-friendly” is not a scientific term, but merely a catch-all for brands, products, and practices that are generally more sustainable in nature than their traditional counterparts. For example, reusing glass storage containers is more “eco-friendly” than single-use plastic baggies, but glass requires energy to manufacture, and is difficult to recycle. This is to say: these products have manifold pros and cons, and by no means is this an exhaustive list of eco-friendly packaging products, just some of our go-tos. Read More >> …

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5 Less-Expensive Places to Get Custom Furniture

Traditional custom furniture often brings to mind chicken-scratch doodles on the backs of napkins, rounds of approvals with designers, and the nail-biting wait until your one-of-a-kind creation gets delivered to your home. Oh, and the exorbitant prices. Having the perfect couch that fits your space or the just-right shade of sage comes at a cost, and made-to-order can certainly cost you. That’s where custom direct-to-consumer furniture brands like Interior Define, Burrow, and even Anthropologie come in. They’re the more streamlined and comparatively less expensive cousin to the traditional stuff, but with the same quality, uniqueness, and in some cases, even more customizations. Read More >> …

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52 Products Our Community Loved (As Much as We Did) This Year

A big part of my job (okay, like 75 percent) involves learning about new products and brands, and sharing them with all of you. But as much as I love introducing our community to new things, I actually enjoy learning from you all much more. Whether it be through reader comments, recipe contests, holiday gift swaps, and even our FiveTwo line, we’re always looking to our readers to tell us what they like (or really don’t like), what they want to see more of, and what they might want to see less of. That’s why we’re taking a look back at the most popular products that you all bought and loved in 2021, like more than 300 sets of Brooklinen’s crisp percale sheets and 700 Scrub Daddy sponges. This year, we learned that everyone was rolling up their sleeves to give every inch of their space a deep clean, reimagining their spaces to be more functional…

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