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Roundups

Because It’s Fun And SO Interesting – The Top 25 Most Purchased Items Of 2020

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On the first Thursday of every month, I sit the team down and run them through the past month’s revenue. We start with advertising (basically how much each post was worth, the standouts, the flops, etc.) and continue on to partnerships (who’s helping us reveal more rooms!), but the REALLY fun part that we all look forward to the most is our product breakdown. (We also look forward to cheers-ing together, because the revenue meeting is also our monthly happy hour. Not to throw shade on anyone else’s meetings, but I lucked out with this time slot. We have a BLAST.)

I kind of feel like a drama teacher putting up a cast list when I reveal the month’s top sellers – each person is credited for their picks and as we go through, item by item, there are LOTS of “yays!!!” and “great pick!!!” and “you have such good taste!!!” circling in the zoom. If this sounds very tender, it’s because IT IS 🙂

But today, in the interest of transparency – and also because everyone else was writing their year-end roundup and I wanted to be included, too – I wanted to share with you the mega-ultra-list: our best sellers of ALL of 2020. As readers, you surprise me every month with your favorite pieces, and this roundup is no exception – items ranged from $3 to $2,900, so there was a BIG spread. Without further ado…here’s what you loved the most this year.

25. A Bold Kelly Wearstler Lamp

In true 2020 fashion, we’re starting off with a surprise item: these incredible statement lamps. (Stunning? Yes. One of the most expensive items on this list? Also yes.) We highlighted these in our Labor Day and Black Friday roundups – Burke Decor has awesome sales – and I am SO STOKED that some of you took advantage of the deals to bring these home for the holidays. Email us pics, please?

24. Our Go-To Graphic Rug

Where haven’t we used this rug? You may recognize this piece from a 2019 makeover in Atlanta, but did you see how Bowser styled it in her space last month? To quote Bowser: “This rug is SO FUN and versatile. The stripes aren’t too orange, and the lighter ones have a little something to them.” This piece is simultaneously graphic and neutral and it can work anywhere – WE LOVE.

23. Caitlin’s Pet Bed

I bought this bed because my cat is permanently attached to my person and while that is VERY TENDER, it is also occasionally a little biiiit cumbersome. (And sometimes, it’s a lot cumbersome.) After eschewing every pet bed in the world, this was the first to reach lap-equivalent status, so I obviously had to sing the praises in a Link Up. My mom also ended up buying one of these for her dog – in his size, of course – and there’s something to be said for the anxiety-soothing properties. (Plus, all the photos on the listing are SO. DARN. CUTE.)

22. A Timeless (Human) Bed

First, a bed for your pet. Now, a bed for you! This piece is STUNNING – it’s American-made, signed by the craftsman, and like…get a load of those turned post legs. WOWIE. You can also grab one of these with a footboard if you want to double down on the modern-sleigh feeling. It’s such a solid, keep-forever, future-family-heirloom-style piece. Y’all have good taste 🙂

21. Classic Textured Nightstands

Ooooh, these are a dream – a little classic (that shape!), a little beachy (that woven texture!) and a little glam (those brass ring pulls!). These nightstands offer closed storage without being too visually heavy and they also come in a wheat and a fog color way, so they’re a natural fit for nearly any bedroom.

20. The Tan France and Etsy Collab

2020 was the year of the Etsy collab and we LOVED IT. In case you missed it – basically, the site partnered celebrities with makers to release small capsule collections and EVERY DROP WAS SO GOOD. Tan’s collection was a standout – it did an awesome job of blending recent trends (i.e. squiggles) with grounding, traditionally “masculine” elements, like leather and stone.

19. The Tia Mowry and Etsy Collab

FOUR ORDERS. There was only a FOUR ORDER difference between Tia and Tan’s collab. Wild. Her collection – which was the brand’s first, I think! – is sold out now (it was very well-curated), but here’s to hoping you were able to scoop something special from her page.

18. Jess’ Monthly Planner

Jess linked up this small, $3 monthly planner back in February, writing, “Anyone else late to the 2020 planner game? Cool, so was Jess. She also finds that she never uses the daily section and just likes the month overview. So this year instead of spending at least $20 on a fancy planner, she went for this simple but cool monthly little fella.” If you’re still in the market, this feels very timely as we head into 2021 (!!!).

17. Sara’s Rattan Towel Ladder

You saw this piece being used as a blanket ladder when we revealed Sara’s bedroom. JUST KIDDING, loyal pals – we only used her bedroom as a staging ground to highlight Target’s new Casaluna collection. (In addition to all the beautiful product shots, including that ladder, Em also wrote an insightful piece on how she actually designs and optimizes bedrooms for sleep – worth catching up on if you missed it the first time!)

16. A Step Stool for the Kids

Boss says it the best, so I defer to her: “We’ve had this one step ladder that we bring from bathroom to kitchen back to bathroom and kitchen for both hand-washing and to help cook and it was driving me NUTS. We also didn’t have one in their bathroom and it’s time for them to start brushing their teeth at the sink, not us chasing them around and pinning them down in bed (lovingly). In LA I have one from Serena & Lily that I love, but I found one 1/3rd the price on Etsy that is equally as cute and comes in all black, white/wood, and all-natural wood. The stool schlep is over.”

15. Julie’s Cropped Pants

Not to play favorites (she said, before absolutely playing favorites), but I was OBSESSED with this incredible makeover that we revealed this year. I was even more obsessed once I learned that the yellow pants Julie wore for her portraits made it into our top-sellers of the year. Like, it’s a beautiful makeover, done with a partner we loved working with, AND you even liked the fashion. As our revenue person, this is all I’ve ever wanted and I’m still so happy with how the whole thing turned out :’)

14. The Pillow Em Travels With

This was the big seller from Em’s favorite household basics post. (There are SO many good things in there, so it’s always fun to see what the folks REALLY loved.) Em writes, “I thought that I was sleeping on a Brooklinen pillow. But before this post, I opened it up and realized it was Fieldcrest from Target. I remember thinking “yay, that’s affordable.” But then I looked up my exact make and model and realized it was $70…not so affordable. However, when you will fumble around in the middle of the night and even search your kid’s room, threatening to wake them up, just in case it was moved in there, well, then it might be worth it.” While this is currently out of stock, the Casaluna down pillows good dupes.

13. The World’s Cutest Wooden Music Boxes

These super-sweet custom music boxes were featured in Em’s Kid Gift Guide this year. They picked up steam FAST and turned into one of our best-selling pieces over the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend, which means that y’all really loved them. She ended up scooping two – one for Charlie and one for Birdie – that she personalized with each of their names and the year.

12. Ryann’s Favorite $8 T-Shirt

Ryann rocks a white t-shirt better than anyone I’ve ever met and she definitely has the whole “cool French girl” thing going for her (RYANN ARE YOU READING THIS? I LOVE YOU!), so when she recommends a go-to tee, WE LISTEN. She linked this up last month and wrote, “I am involved in a deep love affair with plain white tees. I have one for every day of the week and I am VERY particular about what constitutes a good t-shirt in my eyes. Folks, I am so thrilled to let you know that this shirt from Target is a WINNER. It is the softest shirt I have ever put on my body (no, really), it’s the perfect sleeve length and torso length, and it is only $8!!! It runs a bit large so size down for sure (I am usually a Medium and I wear a small).”

11. Caitlin’s Rainbow Shorts

I grabbed these on sale over the summer and y’all, they were a WINNER. High waisted, roomy legs, flattering, and they don’t do that thing where they ride up between your legs when you’re walking. (I have written about this phenomenon SO MANY TIMES on this site and no one has ever confirmed that this also happens to them, but like…it can’t just be me, right???) I can’t believe they’re still available (AND deeply discounted!) – highly recommend scooping for next summer.

10. The Henderson’s Indigo Face Masks

AHH WAIT I’M SO EXCITED FOR THIS STORY. These masks made their blog debut when Em wrote about Birdie’s broken arm and y’all ended up FLOODING Jessica, the maker, with orders. She was able to hire a few more local seamstresses in her area to fulfill the orders (and this was back in April/May, right as a lot of people were being hit by furloughs and layoffs). The pandemic sucks, and Birdie breaking her arm is awful, but it’s wonderful that y’all were able to create some jobs. SO MUCH LOVE FOR EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU, READERS. <3

9. An Office Chair That’s Actually Beautiful

Here we have another Black Friday/Cyber Monday pick! After 8 months of making do with your makeshift setups, it seems that a whoooole lot of you used last month’s big sale weekend to upgrade your WFH situation. This leather chair has some special details (the wrapped arms!) and it nails the comfortable:beautiful ratio.

8. Charlie & Birdie’s Rug

Ah, the rug from the most controversial reveal of 2020! It was technically too big for the space, but Em forged ahead and made it work for her shared kids’ room space. This lightly-textured indigo and cream rug is timeless and pretty much a neutral as it can work in SO MANY different rooms. If you brought this one home, how did you style it?

7. Malcolm’s Beveled Accent Mirror

AH, WELCOME MALCOLM! We brought Malcolm onto the team this year as a contributor and while you loved his deck reveal and his spot-on men’s gift guide, you apparently REALLY loved this mirror he included in a link up right before Black Friday. We have even more original design content coming from him in 2021 (bedroom and closet reveal, anyone?) and CAN’T WAIT to share more of his great taste with you!

6. The Armchairs That Work Everywhere

No surprise to see our go-to accent chairs here. You’ve seen them in Em’s LA home and in the Mountain House (holding its own next to that vintage teak and leather rocker – no easy feat TBH), but they were a shining star in Chandler’s living room reveal earlier this year. (For those keeping track, that’s two hits from my favorite post of the year! AM I DREAMING?) These are such a great work-anywhere piece – they’re neutral enough to blend, but the curved wooden arm makes them a little special.

5. Em’s New Favorite Scent

Em wrote about the under-$50 gifts that she bought for herself and others and boy, that post HIT – it’s such a universal scent (“My MIL was here and after she smelled it on me she basically begged for it for Christmas,” Em wrote) that we sold Nordstrom out of both the roller- and full-size perfumes. If you still want to try, they’re 20% off at one of our favorite home and decor stores right now 🙂

4. The Comforter We Never Stop Talking About

YES – here’s another one from Em’s household basics post that got an extra boost after she continued to sing its praises in Erik’s first MOTO post. While we’re open to testing out all kinds of bedding, this is *the* duvet insert we cannot do without – it’s lightweight and comfortable AND it actually stays put inside a duvet. What more could we ask for?

3. Em’s Famous Coffee Table

This is the NUMBER ONE piece we get questions about – it’s been the centerpiece of the Mountain House living room and it’s so good. Actually, Bowser said it best in this living room post, so I’ll quote her here: “I love a coffee table that’s not a rectangle. Ovals are usually the most versatile. Generally – and I mean, it depends – couches are more squared, so when you’re looking at a space, you want to think about differing your textures and differing your shapes. Here, the sofa is a rectangle, the chaise is a rectangle, the rug is a rectangle, the room is a rectangle – it just gives a different flow. So I do love this coffee table – the white top, the wood bottom, the black iron legs. It’s versatile, a good size, and a good shape. There’s a lot of styling capabilities. I get why Em picked it for her own home.”

2. Jess’ Universally-Loved Madewell Jeans

Last week, Jess wrote about her surprise post hits and misses. Today, I’m here to tell you about my biggest surprise hit: this jeans post, which blew up. HOLY LORD, Y’ALL. In all honesty, I had to amend this post to remove all the other denim because otherwise it would have been like, 9 consecutive pairs of jeans, which probably would have been a less interesting read. SO MANY PAIRS OF PANTS WERE PURCHASED. The real winner, though, was Jess’ 10″ rise skinny jean, which made our best seller list for THREE MONTHS IN A ROW. (Did you scoop any jeans from that post? Did you like the selfie format?)

1. Mallory’s Holiday Dream Dress

AND WOW. Seeing this dress surge ahead was like watching a horse sprint from behind at the Kentucky Derby. (My mom rides horses – MOM IS THIS A GOOD ANALOGY?) In any case, Mal shared this in a link up pre-Thanksgiving, citing its sweet print, flowy shape, and pockets (!!!) and I have never seen something pick up steam so fast. And not only did we sell a lot of these – it also became the highest-grossing item we’ve ever had on the site. EVER. In a matter of weeks!!! It was such an incredible way to close the year.

AND THERE YOU HAVE IT. Any surprises? Upon review, I wonder if any of you are taken back by the number of fashion and beauty items – I know those posts can be very polarizing (our comments tend to be an even split between “yes, more fashion content ASAP please” and “I never want to see you talk about clothing ever again!!!”) so it’s nice to share the actual data we’re seeing on our end to inform our editorial calendar.

But all that being said…did you bring home any of these pieces this year? (And seriously…can you BELIEVE those gorgeous $700 lamps from #25 made the list? There are secret postmodernists in our midst!!!) Anyway – let’s chat, you stylish and wonderful folks. Happy last Monday of the year!!! xx

Fin Mark

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1. I find the business side of EHD fascinating as well so these roundup posts are very interesting.
2. Caitlin, I’m sorry I’ve left you hanging, the phenomenon of shorts that bunch up between the legs IS REAL and I AM WITH YOU. Is it the fit? Fabric type? The shape of our thighs??? I sew clothes sometimes but haven’t made enough shorts to figure out this mystery yet. I missed that accolade given to the rainbow shorts, hopefully they still carry it for next summer and I too can live a shorts bunch-free lifestyle.

L

Yes! The shorts-bunching is a thing! I have found it’s an issue when the shorts don’t fit my curves correctly and are too tight on the hips–they ride up to my smaller waist, the leg openings bunch, and then I’m constantly yanking them down. Running shorts are a nightmare, I was on the bike shorts trend well before everyone else simply because they stay in place!

So my options are either shorts that are slightly too big in the waist and slightly too tight in the hips, or fit at the hips and leave a GIANT gap at the waist.

Also, Ryann’s favorite t-shirt really is great, I bought it in two colors (in-store, sorry).

K

Another +1 to the shorts riding up in front phenomenon. It drives me bonkers, and I’ve found no reliable solution.

cam

the answer to the shorts problem – a tailor! buy them to fit your largest part and have the rest adjusted.

Michelle Ohle

How are Emily’s target pjs not on this list!? I have bought three pair!

Rusty

This is really interesting data!
The actual items purchased doesn’t surprise me though, because almost all of those items got me… and I’m not much of a consumer per se.
It speaks that they’re good stuff!

I’m on the scout for a good quality (I don’t like adding to landfill), wanna keep it and love it for years n years … WEIGHTED BLANKET!
I’ve been researching and it seems that even the mid-range are pricey!
I need one that’s not too hot (bamboo cover?).
It’s done my head in. I’m overwhelmed with the choice and no one I know has one! H e l p ?!?

This year’s been super stressful for me (beyond Covid) and these blankets are supposed to comfort and de-stress.
Pleeeeease do a round up of the top 10 (that are global brands?)??

Cris S.

I second this!!!! Both my kids have needed them for years but I freeze up whenever I look for them. Help!

Rusty

My best friend’s son has ADD and it’s reported to be great for reducing anxiety.
Once I know what to buy, she’s jumping on board as well.
Just sooo confusing. 🙄

Becky

I bought the YnM brand weighted blanket for my restless husband. It is bamboo and supposed to be a cooler blanket. He claims it does not feel hot. It has actually cut down on the times he jumps up in the night with leg cramps.

Rusty

Bamboo… yes! That’s where I’m headed with my research!
Thank you.

I get really hot when sleeping but I’ve quite liked the Bearaby Tree Napper. Great colors too. I had one before that had that beads/sand in it, I would NOT recommend that because when the seams got loose, we had sand all over the bed!

Rusty

Yikes! Sand? Nooooo.

Jessica

I bought my spouse the expensive Bearaby weighted blanket through West Elm (the ropey one… “Tree Napper” maybe?) and I can verify it is not hot at all – I actually have to put a throw blanket over it if it’s cold out, and I am someone who overheats easily. It was very expensive, though. No problems with beads shifting around because there are no beads. If I had it to do over, I might have gotten the slightly lighter weight one (it’s technically the right size for him but we both think it’s a bit much – I can’t use it during the day or I’ll fall asleep) and/or one with a washable cover (now that we have a very furry cat I’m afraid to break it out)… I should look into what size the smallest available duvet covers are. Twin? Honestly, you might consider getting the cheapest one you can find to start out with and then upgrading later once you’ve formed your own opinions! Then pass the first one along to help a friend who’s also unsure which one to get 🙂 I (personally) would just get the cheapest washable version if it was for a kid.… Read more »

Rusty

Great info, thanks!
I think I’ll get a bamboo one with a washable cover.
I’m trying to sort out brands now… I like the CALMING BLANKETS brand and they have a special deal on now.
Ex owes ne some money, so maybe I’ll swing this as a payment? Hhhmmm….

Kj

This is so fun and interesting! Thank you guys for sharing. Next time I’ll read in the evening with a cocktail and I can pretend I’m there with you 😉

Rusty

Hahaha 🤣

Karen T.

If you’re still in the market for the Kai perfume, the linked site is having 25% off for Boxing Day sales so the bottle is actually not much more than the roller! Obviously had to buy it! 🙂
Love this round up!

Melissa

I love getting a behind the scenes peek and that was a pretty great list. I have to say I’m a little shocked that the dress was tops. I’m thinking I “need” a pair of Julie’s cropped pants. I love, love that oval coffee table and was just looking/considering it this week. BUT, shiny and white do not work in my space. Em, do you think you can use your influencer powers to convince them to make a more toned down top? Seriously it is the perfect coffee table.

Sherry

Melissa, I love this coffee table as well. I could possibly make the white work but would love a slightly smaller size. We purchased a new sofa with a chaise lounge and now need an oval coffee table that is 35″- 45″ long. The few I have found are very expensive and not quality materials – which is what I like about this table.

Amanda

This is fun, and I love that y’all are open about the business side of the blog instead of pretending that it’s not a business.

I didn’t engage with the fashion posts mist of this year because I’ve been too pregnant, lol. But I do think they’re fun – even though I have a much more practical midwestern aesthetic than y’all. Keep them coming!

Roberta Davis

I didn’t buy any of these items, but I did buy other items I found here. And I sure as heck shop at Target a LOT these days, whereas I rarely did before I started reading EHD. As well as shopping online from a bunch of the sites to which you linked.

Those Kelly Wearstler lamps are so good! I wanted two so bad for my bedroom, but just couldn’t justify the purchase!

Cynthia

Etsy is maybe the best company ever. I have bought vintage, art, handmade toys, clothes, craft supplies, and custom items from all over the world. I love giving this opportunity to say, a grandmother in the Ukraine whose grand nephew translates for her. I have never had a bad experience in years of buying and dozens of purchases. One of the former EHDers had a column where she highlighted Etsy finds. I would love for you to bring this column back in 2021. And readers, just go to Etsy and put your heart’s desire in their search engine. I have a feeling you’ll find just what you’re looking for!

Rusty

Instead. Of. Amazon!

Karen

The shorts thing is for REAL! I hate denim shirts because it just feels like an everlasting wedgie.

Irene

Oh, good — more to come from Malcolm (#7)!

As usual for me, I was attracted to the more expensive items: #22 (bed – but in iron) and #21 (nightstand – but in fog).

Do you get any “credit” for people clicking your links if they don’t buy? I’ve never bought anything featured on EHD except for some wooden Target Christmas ornaments I picked up in the store. One of these days …

Irene

I found the answer to my question with a quick search (no credit for just clicking, a purchase needs to be made) but now I have another question. Is EHD paid for purchases we make after clicking very old links?

Yesterday I finally took the time to read a few posts from the years before I found out about your blog and saw some enticing, affordable decor. The things I like from this particular post are in the four-figure range, so I doubt I’ll be buying them soon.

Heidi

I LOVE your writing voice, Caitlin! Hilarious and relatable!

M

I totally got the jeans! They are amazing!

Angie

What weight down comforter does Emily have?

Rusty

Hey Angie… if you’re looking at buying a down product, please check that the company is cruelty free.
We can get what we’d like AND choose for the better. 😊🦆

Laura

Every time I see that darn schoolhouse blue and white blanket my heart skips a beat. Why is it in every shot, round up, house tour? I love it so much.

Brittany

my favorite one is no 13!!

Erin

Love the Etsy stool, but when I went to buy, shipping was more than the stool! (Stool – $37, shipping – $38) I’m wondering if Emily had a code for free shipping she could pass along, or if she received it as a promotional item and didn’t check the shipping price. In the post she talked about it being a third of the Serena and Lily one, but that math didn’t add up when accounting for shipping.

Unfortunately, this kind of shipping charge is what has stopped me from purchasing many Etsy items. Is there something I don’t know about that would lessen these charges? Thanks!!

Sahara

I’m late to the party on this post, but just wanted to say how much I enjoy reading Caitlin’s posts!

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