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Design

Bored Of Your Ugly Hamper? Here’s Where to Buy Those Home Basics You’ll Actually Want to Look At

I’m about to air out my dirty laundry (pun very much intended). Last week, my husband and I got into a bit of a tiff over clothes (not) being put away, and hampers, and laundry baskets. I’ll spare everyone the details of who might have said something along the lines of “looks like a bomb went off over there” (it was me), and move on to the brass tacks of today’s post: hampers. BUT NOT JUST HAMPERS, good-looking hampers, for those of us who don’t have room to tuck these away into a large walk-in closet and would rather invest in something that has to sit in your bathroom or bedroom that isn’t an eye sore.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

I’m all about the caps today, clearly, but while I was scanning my bedroom the other night, glaring at my slightly collapsed and fairly ugly hamper, I caught a view of my slightly crooked (thanks toddler!) and fairly ugly floor fan, too. This got me thinking…what other basic utility items that most of us need to live with can maybe get an aesthetic upgrade? Hampers, floor and table fans…kitchen trash cans! Oh, and step stools! As I sit here, writing this, I just came up with a few more categories, but maybe that’s a subject for another post on another day.

A subject for this post, though, besides aesthetic basics (that sounded obnoxious), is the ever-present idea to make everything in our home, even things like our spray bottles and brooms, beautiful. We’re all so quick to want to hide our TVs, trash cans, hampers, and the like, but they’re things we need and use every single day. Who are we hiding them from, exactly? The trash can police? The laundry design-law enforcement? Will our tastemaker labels be stripped from us if a guest (or, gasp, an Instagram follower) were to catch a glimpse of some bulky grey basket of clothes? OF COURSE NOT.

BUT (there goes the caps lock again), if you’re anything like me, you get that little internal glow and glee when you swap something basic out in your home for a version with some design intent behind it. You delight in throwing your delicates into the hamper. Grabbing that mini food processor from the cabinet above the fridge is suddenly just incrementally more pleasurable on your beautiful step stool. It might seem inconsequential, but for us design lovers, it’s those tiny moments that all add up to having a home we feel good about; that fuel us and fill us and make us feel proud. And that, my friends, is not inconsequential in the least.

So, all that said, let’s take a look at some of the beauts I dug up from my search!

photo by kaitlin green | from: primary closet reveal! our functional and beautiful scandinavian farmhouse dream closet

Hampers Pretty Enough To Not Hamper Your Decor

First up, the inspiration for this whole post. The humble hamper. I’ve owned so many hampers in my time as a laundering adult. And honestly, I’ve hated every single one of them. The cheap plastic basket-type ones were ugly (and always hurt my hand if I had to dig around looking for something. The prettier wicker ones always broke, with shards of rattan poking me and my clothes. Anything with a liner was always a disaster because eventually, the liner always stretched out and would just end up all helter-skelter. And don’t get me started on anything without handles, especially when your laundry room is on another level from your bedrooms. I cannot stand the constant clothes shuffle between hamper and laundry basket.

When my daughter was born, I bought a fairly cheap canvas hamper bag with sturdy handles at H&M (it’s no longer available…I checked). It looked fairly decent, was roomy, and was flexible (so it’s easy to stuff into closets and corners) without being floppy. I didn’t know then how much I’d end up loving that hamper, especially because it was so easy just to thread my arms through the handles, take it to my washing machine, dump it in, and move on with my life. I hold all hampers up to that standard of hampering, tbh. I found a few that are similar below, plus a few other pretties.

1. Tava Handwoven Rattan Divided Hamper | 2. Aquanova Laundry Basket | 3. Mercado Hamper – Large | 4. Felt Double Hamper Charcoal | 5. Steele Tall Canvas Storage and Laundry Basket | 6. Laundry Bag Hamper | 7. Birch + Leather Hamper | 8. Brabantia Bo 23.7 Gallon Laundry Hamper | 9. Canvas Natural Laundry Hamper Tote

The canvas hamper from Crate & Barrel above (#5) is probably the closest to my daughter’s GOAT hamper. It also comes in a dark charcoal and I’m tempted to just get one of each color for myself and my husband. #9 is also similar but a bit taller and I’m really into the waxed paper receptacles from Uashmama (#6) because you can buy multiple in a variety of very good colors and snap them together. Great for organizing bed linens from clothing, or darks and lights, or delicates and regular cycle. The brand even shows them used for recyclables and other uses beyond clothing. I’m also very intrigued by the Brabantia one (#8) that’s hard-sided but pretty sleek-looking. There are some nice-looking trash cans below from the same brand, in case you’re brand-loyal across your home. Oh, and #1 has two compartments with a divider, which could be good for the other two people, or for all the same reasons I loved #6.

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: inside all our (super organized) drawers & cabinets in the mountain house kitchen

Classy (Not Trashy) Kitchen Trash Cans

Trash cans are a necessary evil for most of us. While I do love the idea of having smaller trash cans tucked away in a cabinet, I also am realistic with myself that A: we don’t have the space, and B: I’m kind of nervous about open bins. Do they not attract bugs? Just all…topless like that? Anyhow, I grew up in a time when trash cans were strictly utilitarian. Stainless steel options didn’t exist, and it was just that white or black plastic thing with either a step mechanism that was always broken or that little flappy thing you pushed to throw stuff away similar to a fast-casual restaurant. And they were usually bought at the grocery store or like, The Home Depot or something.

Thankfully, we’ve come a LONG way (and yes, so have the prices…). Some of these below are downright good-looking, let alone passable. And they come in fun colors, too! If you’re going to have your trash can on display in your kitchen, it might as well bring you some joy, amiright?

1. Brabantia Bo Touch Top Can – 16 Gallons | 2. Brabantia Bo Touch Top Can – 9.5 Gallons | 3. Brabantia 8 Gallon NewIcon Step On Trash Can | 4. Beni 60 Liter/16 Gallon Kitchen Trash/Recycling Trash Can | 5. Betty Retro Steel Step On Trash Can – 8 Gallons | 6. Lacquered Metal Kitchen Trash Can | 7. Kitchen Trash Can | 8. Rectangular Step Can – 45 Liters | 9. 45L Rectangular Step Trash Can

Let’s all pause to applaud for that adorable powdery blue step can from Brabantia (#3). Same goes for #1. And I’m loving the retro vibes of #5 from Wayfair. During my research for this post, I discovered the website Happimess which is where I found #4, but they have so many others and it’s a great resource overall for storage items like dish racks, containers, and the like. I didn’t think to look for a trash can in a spot like Zara Home, but they found me, and are very cute indeed! Probably more for a smaller household or not a super high-traffic kitchen. And I’ve Ioved my Simplehuman (#8) can for the last six years, so I’m recommending a larger version since mine fills up fairly quickly.

design by arlyn hernandez | styled by emily edith bowser | photo by veronica crawford | from: arlyn’s rental kitchen reveal just might have you wishing you had brown—or even cherry— cabinets (yes, really)

Stepping Up the Basic Step Stool

By now, you may have noticed my rather cheesy subheads here, but the step stools I found are anything but. A few of them are downright works of art and worthy of side table status. Honestly. While I’m perfectly content with the cheap wood step stool I bought from Amazon in my kitchen above, I could see a toddler-free time in my life where maybe something more artistic could be thrilling. Let’s peruse.

1. Wood Kitchen Step Stool Natural – Hearth & Hand™ with Magnolia | 2. Blu Dot Jut Step Stool | 3. Design House Stockholm Step Ladder | 4. Ferm Living Up Step Stool | 5. Dajlien Step Stool | 6. Teak Step Stool | 7. 3 – Step Aluminum Step Ladder | 8. Lucano Step Stool | 9. Case Altura Step Stool

I opted to stick with step stools and step ladders here, from as short as the one from IKEA (#5) that provides just a boost to the tall, leggy wood version from Design Within Reach (#3). The stool from Target (#1) lets you fold up the bottom step for easier storage, which is nice, and the vibrant red one from Pottery Barn (#8) also tucks away. I’m very into #4 from Lumens for a happy modern family ranch vibe, and #2 and #9 are both so beautiful that I would use them as decor when I’m not using them for a leg up. And of course, the Serena & Lily one (#6) that Emily has had in her kids’ bathrooms in the past.

Cool (& Cooling) Table & Floor Fans

I’ve never had a nice-looking fan. Similar to the trash cans of my childhood, fans had one purpose and one purpose only: to blow air around a room and keep it cool. I’ve always been a fan-on person when I sleep, even in the dead of winter so a floor or table fan is always a fixture in my bedroom. That’s a lot of years with a fan I care nothing to look at. Was I cool? Yes. Was I *cool*? No! If you’re in my same predicament, you can change that now:

1. Stadler Form 3D Air Circulator | 2. The Windmill Smart Whisper | 3. Dyson Purifier Cool Formaldehyde TP09 Purifying Fan | 4. Junior Vornado Fan | 5. Rowenta Urban Cool Tower Fan | 6. Portable Fan | 7. Smart Tower Fan – Pilot Pro S | 8. Stadler Form Fan Otto | 9. Dreo Pedestal 8-Speed Fan

From retro (#4) to industrial (#8) to fun and funky (#6), there’s a lot here to work with. Most fans go the ultra-modern route, a la Dyson (#3) or Dreo (#7 and #9). The Printworks one (#6) is so cute and comes in a few other color combos that were hard to narrow down for this roundup, tbh. The tower fans from Crate & Barrel (#5) and Dreo (#7, again) aren’t necessarily anything new, but at least they have a little flair and some cool tech features. And the steely blue of #2 from Wayfair was hard to resist (plus it’s supposed to be super quiet if that’s what you’re looking for)!


Now that we’re all caught up on good-looking hampers, step stools, trash cans and fans, did you see anything you liked? I’m very much eyeing up a few of those new hampers and when my current tower fan takes one too many tumbles at the grubby hands of my tiny human, I just may have to upgrade to something on my list here.

Before signing off, just a quick reminder: It’s okay to have some ugly yet useful things in your house. It’s also okay to want those useful things to be not-so-ugly. You do you. Whatever makes you happy, even if it’s a sculptural step ladder. 🙂

Until next time, friends…

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Emily
3 days ago

Normally not a commenter BUT we have the Dreo floor fan and I have to recommend it. It looks nice, works well, and is SO QUIET (coming from someone who can’t even sleep with a wristwatch on my nightstand — all I can hear is the “tick tick tick”).

Emily
3 days ago

*to clarify, we have the Dreo pedestal fan (#9)

Brigitte
3 days ago

I think West Elm Teens also has some nice baskets that can be used as hampers. This one for example: https://www.westelm.com/products/joseph-altuzarra-moon-stars-hamper-d16651

but my fa write is this one the owl: https://www.westelm.com/products/owl-storage-basket-h7115

And I’ve always loved these colorful baskets: https://www.etsy.com/listing/1705651713/afrikaanse-mand-opbergmand-traditioneel but they may not be big enough for laundry….

PM
3 days ago

My favorite hamper is a simple wicker basket with lid.
We have three of these – the XL for the kids clothes and then two of the L size by the laundry room for colors and whites. Because our hampers aren’t tucked away some where, but in hallways, having a simple lid was important to me. My only issue is with the lining – it stays in place with small velcro tabs; in the XL size, the lining kept falling into the basket, so I sewed a new one that hangs over the edge of the basket. They are very pretty to look at – highly recommend.
https://www.basketlady.com/products/round-wicker-laundry-hamper-clothes-hamper?variant=39506072338515

Katie
3 days ago

My simplehuman trash and recycling bin is one of my favorite FB marketplace scores. It’s a dream. My ONLY complaint is that there are no handles, and the only way to move it is to literally embrace it, which is a little much, even considering how much I love it!

KD
3 days ago
Reply to  Katie

We love ours, too. It’s funny to LOVE a trash/recycling bin but we really do.

Janean
3 days ago

By all means select something that looks good when you need an item but let’s not encourage swapping out perfectly useful things due to boredom. REDUCE, reuse, recycle.

Angela
2 days ago

But the post is literally titled “Bored of your ugly hamper?”
I realize that as the writer, you probably didn’t choose that, but Janean’s comment is valid.

Elizabeth
1 day ago
Reply to  Janean

And invest in quality items so they last.

BC
3 days ago

My son used to call our hamper “the hamster” and it brought me a lot of joy! Who wouldn’t want a laundry hamster

Lexie
3 days ago

The Amara hamper doesn’t ship to the USA :'(

Robin
2 days ago

the pottery barn canvas one is my go-to for high school grads going off to college and you can monogram or put name on it.

Jill
2 days ago

Thank you for this!! I have a lovely wicker hamper w/ a hinged cover and a cotton insert held by velcro which can be removed and washed. I have had it for years and wish I remembered where I got it.
Simple Human is the only way to b go if you don’t have a cabinet w/ trash and recycling.

Tracy
2 days ago

How in the world did hampers become so expensive!

Roberta Davis
2 days ago

thanks for all the tips! I do like Target because they have great products, from a design standpoint, at great prices. I like the others, too, but I’m too stingy to spend big bucks on something like a trash can or hamper.

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