The Best Things We Bought for Our Homes This Year

A few weeks into the lockdown in Spring—after the initial feeling of it being an involuntary staycation wore off—everything began to feel wrong about my home. That is to say, little felt right. Not the color of the walls, the material of the countertop…

A few weeks into the lockdown in Spring—after the initial feeling of it being an involuntary staycation wore off—everything began to feel wrong about my home. That is to say, little felt right. Not the color of the walls, the material of the countertops, the firmness of the mattress, or the style of the cabinet pulls. As our indoors became our entire worlds, these worlds (like the one on the outside) were showing cracks.

I rushed to buy new hallway ceiling lights (too small). I spent days torn between a cold-press and centrifugal juicer (bought a second blender, instead). Found five different pasta rollers I "most definitely needed" (I didn’t). Bought doormats and pillows and an antique mirror that fell and shattered a week later. I ended up with a drawer-full of cabinet pull samples and a paper folder exploding with wallpaper swatches.

Read More >>

South Indian Filter Coffee Is Like No Coffee You’ve Had Before

In April, my stainless steel coffee filter ran dry. Which is to say, I ran out of my favorite coffee—in the midst of a lockdown, no access to my Indian grocery store, and broken supply chains (both retail and by way of visiting aunties loaded with gift…

In April, my stainless steel coffee filter ran dry. Which is to say, I ran out of my favorite coffee—in the midst of a lockdown, no access to my Indian grocery store, and broken supply chains (both retail and by way of visiting aunties loaded with gifts). Anyone whose day begins with the certainty of that one precisely made cup would understand when I say: I was sad.

In the end I substituted, managed, survived. (Okay, I may have begged a friend across town to mail me the dregs of her stash.) There were certainly far bigger worries to wade through, but its absence was felt. In a shaky world, it was the reassurance of that morning routine that I craved.

Read More >>

What Does Your Mug Type Say About You?

Ever wondered why every mug on the BYO-mug shelf at your office (remember that place?) looked so different from the others? Why your pink collapsible carry-as-you-go sat next to an enamel camping mug, which in turn rubbed rims with a hand-painted asymm…

Ever wondered why every mug on the BYO-mug shelf at your office (remember that place?) looked so different from the others? Why your pink collapsible carry-as-you-go sat next to an enamel camping mug, which in turn rubbed rims with a hand-painted asymmetrical one... and so on.

Turns out it isn’t just what’s in our mugs (a very boozy hot chocolate for me at the moment, if I'm being honest) that speaks volumes of our tastes and preferences, it’s also what holds them that’s revealing. Because, no matter where you’re from or what you sip, it’s likely you have a favorite mug type. I know I have mine—chubby (but not too chubby that I can’t cradle it between my palms), a bold handle shape, often textured, always handmade.

Read More >>

This Is IKEA’s Most Versatile Item. No, It’s Not the Billy Bookcase.

It’s no surprise to anyone who knows me that I’m obsessed with cleaning and organizing. Show me a home product that ticks both boxes at the same time, and I can barely keep it together with excitement. So, it’s no wonder that I’m about to gush a little…

It’s no surprise to anyone who knows me that I’m obsessed with cleaning and organizing. Show me a home product that ticks both boxes at the same time, and I can barely keep it together with excitement. So, it’s no wonder that I’m about to gush a little about my new favorite household helper: the IKEA Råskog utility cart.

I know what you’re thinking: a rolling cart is a rolling cart is a…, but no, even as first glances go, this one’s a looker. (Those curves. That gray-green!) I use mine to hold all my cleaning supplies (of which I have many) that used to previously overflow under the kitchen sink. The bottom shelves offer additional storage, so I can organize them according to priority. My most regularly used cleaners are up top; the second shelf is for gloves, cloths and brushes; and the third I keep for specialized cleaners (Brasso, Magic Erasers, you get it). It makes me feel very efficient to roll it around with me on cleaning day, and when I'm done, I just tuck it neatly into my entryway closet.

Read More >>

Is This the Hardiest Indoor Plant Ever?

“I need a plant,” I said. To which Jarema Osofsky—aka, Dirt Queen NYC, aka, plant-problem-solver—nodded helpfully. “Well…it’s for this weird corner that’s wedged between a large crockery cupboard and a wall. It gets no light and no air—and oh, I’m know…

“I need a plant,” I said. To which Jarema Osofsky—aka, Dirt Queen NYC, aka, plant-problem-solver—nodded helpfully. “Well…it’s for this weird corner that’s wedged between a large crockery cupboard and a wall. It gets no light and no air—and oh, I’m known to forget to water my plants from time to time.”

I stopped, bracing myself for: “Get a plastic plant.” Instead, she said: “Get a snake plant.”

Read More >>

Recreating Thanksgiving in the Time of Coronavirus

Thanksgiving this year will be different. A lot different. It’s something we’ve anticipated all summer long, secretly hoping we’d be wrong. Some of us haven’t fully wrapped our heads around what the day will look like—or are avoiding thinking about it….

Thanksgiving this year will be different. A lot different. It’s something we’ve anticipated all summer long, secretly hoping we’d be wrong. Some of us haven’t fully wrapped our heads around what the day will look like—or are avoiding thinking about it. “The entire holiday season feels as upended as a tarte tatin,” says Ellen Gray, chief baker at The Able Baker in Maplewood, N.J.

For an occasion that’s rich with the ideal of togetherness, the irony is that many of us will be cut off from family and friends. So, how will we gather? Safely, for one, with each family evaluating their own risk-benefit of gathering. Our tables will likely look a lot more snug. They might be outdoors. (Friendsgiving picnic with deconstructed stuffing, anyone?) And with fewer seats taken, we might even skip the emotional tumult that is political chatter and focus on the cranberry sauce—and that’s the silver lining.

Read More >>

The Vegan Cookbook That’s Also a Call to Action

If anything, Haile Thomas’ food choices as a child were early indications. In the introduction to her new vegan cookbook, Living Lively, the food activist writes: “I despised the kids menu, and was kind of offended by it.” Instead, she adds, she picked…

If anything, Haile Thomas’ food choices as a child were early indications. In the introduction to her new vegan cookbook, Living Lively, the food activist writes: “I despised the kids menu, and was kind of offended by it.” Instead, she adds, she picked off the adult menu, watched Iron Chef on repeat, and enjoyed nothing more than cooking Jamaican meals alongside her mother.

When she was eight, the family learned that her father had type 2 diabetes. His illness, she says, led to a transformation in their attitude toward food: from seeing it as a vehicle for love to something that was life-giving and empowering. By age 10, she was speaking about the link between wellness and food at conferences like TEDx. At 12, she founded the not-for-profit HAPPY to address the need for affordable plant-based nutrition education in underserved communities. All the while, she held down her other job: school.

Read More >>

Why We Should All Be Block Printing

House of Print, by British Printmaker Molly Mahon, is just as much a love letter to block printing as it is to India. Throughout her documentation of the craft’s history—its ancient origins in China, adoption in India, and the modern-day pressures that…

House of Print, by British Printmaker Molly Mahon, is just as much a love letter to block printing as it is to India. Throughout her documentation of the craft’s history—its ancient origins in China, adoption in India, and the modern-day pressures that threaten its survival—radiates her love for Rajasthan, the home of Indian block printing to which she owes her passion for, and education in, the art.

Mahon’s storytelling is sensorial, drawing us into the rhythmic ‘thud-thud’ of the wooden block, the exuberance of color palettes, the excitement that comes with lifting the block and seeing what gets left behind—and the “magical touch” of the human hand.

Read More >>

The DIY Surface Cleaner You Can Make in 60 Seconds

When we first moved into our new apartment, I complained a lot about our black granite kitchen countertops. “They’re boring,” I’d tell anyone who’d listen. “Too safe,” I’d add. Funny how things change, because five months and a pandemic later, I am inc…

When we first moved into our new apartment, I complained a lot about our black granite kitchen countertops. "They’re boring," I’d tell anyone who’d listen. "Too safe," I’d add. Funny how things change, because five months and a pandemic later, I am incredibly thankful for them and their “safe” (read: stain-repelling) practicality.

Our kitchens have never worked this hard, and this means a lot of dirty surfaces. And dirty surfaces need efficient cleaners.

Read More >>

Our Home Editor Is Making Her New Kitchen More Sustainable—Here’s How

We’ve partnered with Lifestraw to share totally doable ways to make your home more sustainable. Here, Senior Editor Arati Menon highlights six simple ways she’s preventing waste in her new kitchen space.

Just like my family’s kitchen in my childhood…

We’ve partnered with Lifestraw to share totally doable ways to make your home more sustainable. Here, Senior Editor Arati Menon highlights six simple ways she’s preventing waste in her new kitchen space.


Just like my family's kitchen in my childhood, my kitchen now is the beating heart of my home, fostering all the joy that comes from the eating and togetherness that occurs around food. As an adult, I've also become increasingly aware of the role of my kitchen in consuming material resources and producing waste. Between the shopping, meal prep, cooking, and cleaning, there’s a lot that’s either lost or wasted in there.

Read More >>