Housewares as pretty as they are practical

Furnishing a home successfully has always been about balancing the practical with the pretty. But it’s become even more important as we live in smaller spaces. Luckily, it’s probably never been easier to find handsome things that serve a household purpose.

Even a simple floor mat can add a little bit of beauty. I ordered a Vintage Vinyl Floorcloth recently from Wills & Prior, the Stratford, Ontario design shop. The patterned mat (similar to the one shown in the pic above) will lay in front of the sink, cushioning the floor with a non-slip surface that protects it from damage and me from falls.

Since they’re suitable outdoors and can be cleaned with a microfibre cloth and diluted soap, I may order one to put in front of the woodpile, where I like to have sure footing.  

TIP: If the world ever returns to normal and you find yourself in Stratford, Ontario, do drop by Wills & Prior at 22 Wellington Street—you’ll see a store that’s deservedly a darling among well-known designers.

The practical role laundry plays in life won’t be denied.  But even dirty linen can serve a small design role if you hide it in a decorative basket (easy to find at places like HomeSense) over an ugly or unwieldy plastic tub.

Pic courtesy HomeSense

If you hate laundry, chances are ironing isn’t a hobby either. Why make it harder by hiding your de-wrinkling tools? CHI’s Professional Electronic Iron is handsome enough to leave out, its black body trimmed in burnished gold and a strip of glossy red.

The rest is all business: a titanium-infused, scratch-resistant ceramic soleplate heats quickly and adjustable steam shoots through 300 holes. I tested a sample, and liked the responsiveness and sensitivity of the temperature. I used it on everything, including cotton, linen, and silk. Using the steam function with the iron held upright, I freshened velvet drapes; a feature that also makes it an effective hand-held steamer for clothes and furniture.

Cardea AuSet’s Sea Mineral Soak is a pretty pink blend of Dead Sea and Himalayan salts that soothes tired muscles, stimulates circulation, and ups hydration.

Display-worthy cookware is being made by PEI-based Meyer, part of a global company that manufactures and distributes some of the best brands in the category.

 Meyer’s Confederation line is made on the Island from heavy-duty 18/10 stainless steel, durable handles that its makers say will not loosen or fall off, and a base that’s safe for cooktop, oven, and dishwasher.

It’s found in some of the most prestigious kitchens in the country, including the Culinary Institute of Canada and the Prime Minister’s residence. Chef Michael Smith, also based in PEI, is a big fan, and has a cookware collection with the brand.

The featured pic shows a dog enjoying the cushiony softness of a vinyl floor mat from Wills & Prior.

Vicky Sanderson

A self-confessed Opinion-ista, Vicky Sanderson has been writing and talking about décor, design and lifestyle issues for almost two decades, and has tested just about every home product known to humankind.

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