Upgrade Your Housewares and Improve Your Life - Dwell

2022-10-09 05:00:39 By : Ms. Justin Chan

When I moved into my first solo apartment—about a decade ago, at this point—I "treated myself" to a toaster oven I found on sale at a department store for $19.99. "I’ll cook everything in it," I thought, and I did—everything from grilled cheese sandwiches to cubes of sweet potato to, once, an entire tuna-noodle casserole topped with three different kinds of potato chips. 

The toaster oven has served me well, but I think it’s time to move on. (Toast and bagels come out unevenly toasted, it’s virtually impossible to get crumbs out of the bottom, and, if I’m being honest, there are some really glamorous—and likely more functional— toaster ovens on the market these days.)

Many people associate the concept of upgrading your housewares with weddings and wedding registries, and while that can be an ideal time to increase your thread-count minimums, you don’t need to be getting married to get new stuff. You also don’t need to move, or get a new job, or have a birthday—you can keep using a duvet cover pulled from the back of the linen closet at your parents house, or mismatched dishes handed down from every roommate you’ve ever had, but you don’t have to. You deserve new stuff—this stuff, to be exact!

Whether you’re making a fussy risotto with 15 different ingredients or the dead-simple Marcella Hazan tomato sauce (just tomatoes, butter, and an onion—it’s magic!), you’re going to need a big pot, and why not go with the big pot: a Le Creuset dutch oven. Anything you can think of cooking fits in this pot: Whole chickens, potatoes, all the trash from your freezer you’ve been saving to make stock "someday."

The pot, beloved by everyone from Ina Garten to Gen-Z TikTokers, first appeared in fire orange way back in 1924, and while it’s bright, it’s so classic that it practically feels like a neutral :

Leave it to Hay, purveyor of all things Scandi-chic, to make a toaster that looks like a piece of art:

An electric kettle is a surprisingly useful kitchen gadget: Use it to heat up water for pour-over coffee and steaming cups of tea, of course, but also plug it in when you’re going to make oatmeal, anything instant, or hot cocktails on cozy winter nights:

Another true story from my bachelorette days: I've hosted multiple wine and cheese parties where the cheese was served on a plastic cutting board I found in the As-Is section at the Red Hook, Brooklyn IKEA. Wouldn’t it have been nicer to use this green marble platter instead?

An earthy dinnerware set—a big plate, a small plate, a bowl, and a mug—makes fancy food feel home-y and comfort food feel elegant:

Maybe try some glasses that are mismatched on purpose instead of just mismatched:

Linen sheets keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter, and unlike traditional starchy cotton or too-soft jersey, they look best when they’re ever so slightly rumpled. (This means you don’t have to iron them, ever. A bonus!)

Nothing will make people think you have it together than serving them drinks with these sweet embroidered cocktail napkins, especially if you match the fruit on the napkin to the fruit in the drink:

Whether you’re using a hand-me-down tablecloth or no tablecloth at all, this Provence-inspired option helps make a table feel less like a home office/mail storage unit and more like… an actual dining table:

Hot sleepers, pay attention: This fan is not only much more effective than a standard box fan, it’s also got a 1950s vibe that doesn’t feel too cloyingly retro (and mine has been going strong for close to 9 years):

 And if you run cold, a sleek space heater that no one will guess is actually a space heater:

If you’re upgrading your space, you’ll obviously want to keep it clean, and this handheld vacuum is much better looking than a traditional model—and much more efficient than a dustpan and broom:

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