As we all transform even more from who we were before to who we are now or will be in the future, we are realizing even more of the things that most families probably figured out earlier – we need practical things that make your life a little easier and (and simpler) while spending so much time at home, cooking, cleaning and trying to stay on top of the house. So recently I’ve been surprised (again) at how I want some things that I kinda thought were a little boring before – things that I didn’t think I would ever want or need. But I’m on the other side now, and maybe it’s because of my age, having two kids and doing hours of cooking and cleaning a day. Essentially there has been a style intervention by the growing need for daily domestic practicality, and I think we all know who is winning.
We’ve never had them before and I honestly didn’t get the appeal. Is it to protect your table? To feel fancy on a daily basis? To add more work and stuff to your life? This was the original debate and the entry into this whole conversation. Brian’s parents have always been confused why we don’t have placemats but it just seemed like another thing to buy, keep track of, clean and put away. I thought they were mostly for special occasions (in which I do like them). And then it all changed, likely because we are eating 3 meals a day at the table without the weekly cleaning help we had before. We realized the hard way that if you don’t clean up cheerios pretty quickly they will become a rock formation, stuck to your table semi-permanently. Same with oatmeal, melted ice cream, syrup, etc. I happen to have these faux leather round ones from Target that we were going to use for a shoot, in the garage, so I pulled them out and our life got easier. Now what I don’t fully understand is cloth placemats that you have to wash in the washer – at least not for every day, but maybe that’s for people who don’t have kids. For me, they need to be wipeable, easy to store, and not prone to wrinkles (I want then to look nice for as long as possible without washing). Here are six I’m into:
As I brought up my secret placemat shame, Sara chimed in and said, “well, I have a tablecloth permanently on my dining table.” Perplexed we were, again by the same notion of something that we thought was for fancy occasions is now part of our daily lives. I know that a lot of you might be snickering that we’ve just discovered these things but I think it’s kinda generational and also just generally a style choice. We aren’t the generation that felt like we needed to fully protect our furniture, UNTIL NOW. Here are a handful of tablecloths that we think are great.
1. Linen Tablecloth | 2. Handmade Block-Print Patterned Cotton Tablecloth | 3. Aden Cotton Tablecloth | 4. Mustard Yellow Linen Tablecloth | 5. Cool Breeze Tablecloth | 6. Roxy Ocean Wave Tablecloth | 7. Vining Flowers Tablecloth | 8. Lina Table Cloth | 9. Natural Linen Table Cloth
Apparently, at a certain age you start to notice your lack of “arch support,” and walking around your own home feels strangely uncomfortable. The first thing I do every morning is put on my uggs – that was not something I predicted while secretly making fun of the ugg/short skirt trend of the aughts. But now that the weather is warmer – they are too hot, especially during the day. I find myself wishing I had shoes that are lightweight but with arch support, that are easy to put on and off, and that are soft and comfortable to wear during our epic 4-hour cleaning sessions or soup making (still at it, it’s a lifestyle, not a menu). We’ve entered the “house shoes” phase of life and I want some. (I’ve just been wearing my dedicated inside sneakers which are great, but less good for the on and off I tend to just wear them outside, which breaks the whole “dedicated” part). Here are some I’m looking at…
Why do I need one now? My eyesight isn’t worse. It could be that since I don’t have my lash extensions anymore (I have like 9 hanging on for dear life) I put on mascara now and I had forgotten how after five years of extensions that mascara is messy and generally SUCKS. I would love your favorites, by the way (waterproof, please – we are swimming a lot). ANYWAY, I want a pretty makeup mirror that I can put on my vanity or extend out from the wall. Here’s are some I’m thinking about.
1. Bath Vanity Mirror | 2. Modo Modern Vanity Mirror | 3. Duck Leg Makeup/Shaving Mirror | 4. Luxe Lacquer Vanity Mirror | 5. Rouen Round Metal Table Mirror | 6. Sedgley Dual Sided Halo Traditional Lighted Magnifying Makeup/Shaving Mirror | 7. Sensor Mirror 8” Wall Mount | 8. Mini Countertop Sensor Makeup Mirror | 9. Muse Black Marble Vanity Mirror
Tissue Box Covers
This was an immediate countertop transformation that made me so happy. I will NEVER understand why tissue box designers feel the need to make them look FUN and COOL. No. quite literally just make them white, maybe with a simple light gray stripe. Solid colors with no bells and whistles (I was approached once to collaborate and I was strangely excited but it fell through probably because I was like, “just make them a solid color and let it be.” So I bought this cover from CB2 and my counters went from feeling super cluttered to clean and chic. YES.
1. Lacquered Rectangular Tissue Box Cover | 2. Graf Lantz Tissue Box Cover | 3. Small Edge Leather Tissue Cover | 4. Rubber Coated Black Tissue Box Cover | 5. Tava Tissue Cover | 6. Camarillo Marble Boutique Tissue Box Cover | 7. Magee Bamboo Top Tissue Box Cover | 8. Linen Tissue Box | 9. Sedona Honey Square Tissue Box Cover
We never had these before I think because we went to the store so frequently that we could always “run back out.” But now because of COVID and the fact that we really are more isolated up here when we forget something at the store, it’s VERY frustrating and maybe that has caused a few passive-aggressive, “but where is the celery seeds for my homemade coleslaw?” allegations. Then this genius realized that we can prevent these oversights by simply having a running list. I tried a notepad in the kitchen, but the kids kept stealing it and you might say “just use your phone” but I don’t really have my phone on me most of the day (fun fact: I’m NOT addicted to my phone, almost the opposite TBH). So I need a dedicated kitchen notepad. I bought this one because it’s just so pretty (haven’t gotten it yet) but here are a couple more that I love that are more affordable.
So there you have it. My continued journey into practical focused life. I have to say it feels pretty darn good. xx
So aside from your waterproof mascara recs, have any of you made these switches or any others? Or was I SO late to the game? AM I MISSING SOMETHING BIG? Let’s talk.
I also wanted to day that we are just as committed to the 15% pledge as the day we took it. Unfortunately, it has been difficult to achieve 15% with every design post, which we understand speaks to a larger issue of lacking equity and representation in the home decor market. Please know that we are not giving up or backing down. With every single roundup, we are being diligent in our research and learning of new vendors and makers we can include and support. And as always, please let us know of any wonderful BIPOC vendors, makers, or artists that you love.