Captivating housewares

January 4, 2013

Over the holidays I hung out a bit in Macy’s Housewares Department, one of my very favorite places, especially in San Francisco. And I saw a few things that fascinated me.

There was a day when a small appliance this industrial-looking, this clunky and square, would never see the light of day. Designers preferred streamlined appliances, usually with curves.  And yet, this rather klugey coffemaker from Cuisinart breaks all those rules. Except that it comes in interesting colors. In the background of the orange coffeemaker, you can see the purple one.  Love or hate this square style? I can’t decide. What do you think?

I would love to have a colorful, color-coordinated kitchen in bright, cheery hues like these. I love Le Creuset, but usually buy it for far lower prices at Home Goods or TJMaxx. Alas, I have quite a storehouse of older serving pieces that aren’t as cute. Maybe it’s time to upgrade. I finally just capitulated and bought some Tupperware–I hadn’t bought any for decades. The new Tupperware is pretty neat, although it takes an engineering degree to use it. But if you’re looking for an online source for your Tupperware, let me know. I’ll send you my fellow blogger’s link.

Martha Stewart’s brand, but made in China.

This darling dish charmed me when I saw it last summer in Macy’s in Manhattan. And there it was again last month, in San Francisco. It’s a small domed dish that I think is adorable. I really, really wanted it. But to be honest, it would just clutter up my counter. It’s not like I would get a lot of use out of it.  I could see little slices of banana bread in it, or a couple of cupcakes; not things that appear in my kitchen very often.

 Have you ever been drawn to something you have no practical use for? I’ll probably buy it eventually, because it makes me happy just to look at it.

I saw goods with the Bella brand all over Macy’s last month. The first thing that caught my eye was how inexpensively the brand was priced. The second was that the slow cooker, the warmer, everything had a certain generic look.  They didn’t look like quality small appliances. Something just wasn’t…right.  So I looked more closely:  they’re knockoffs made in China. So when a price looks too good to be true, well, it probably is.

Tuvala bowls

I fell in love with these Crate and Barrel Tuvala bowls last fall, while wandering the store with a longtime friend.  Aren’t they lovely? I was crazy about them, but, I mused aloud, they aren’t cheap, I have so much stuff already…. all the things we say to ourselves when we’re trying not to over-consume. And then, I forgot about them.

Christmas Day, my girlfriend gave me a big red box.  “This isn’t a Christmas gift,” she said. “It’s just because I love you.”

And in that box were the Tuvala bowls.  Here they are in my dining room:

At some point, I’ll move these to the family room.

On New Year’s Eve, I put battery-operated candles in them and the bowls glowed, reflecting off the gold tone lining. Just gorgeous. I love them. And even more for the sentiment behind them.

So, that’s what fascinated me last month. How about you, did you see anything that caught your eye while holiday shopping? Should I buy that white domed bird piece?

5 comments on “Captivating housewares
  1. Anonymous says:

    like the square coffee maker design.
    my bff did the same for me with some gorgeous glass handmade coasters we saw in a boutique; she went back later and bought them.and mailed them to me for no reason. i was so touched. and i love them so much.she also talked me into buying an expensive glass vase for my new table; so glad i did too. its gorgeous. not something i would normally do. friends rock.beth

  2. Grace Hodgin says:

    My heart yearns for a stainless steel coffee maker with no plastic included :). I’ve really got to get back into browsing stores as it really gets my creative juices flowing. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. I love wandering through Macys housewares. And I used to yearn for many of the items I saw. Then something happened to me. I don’t quite know what. But now I can look and not yearn. In fact, I’ve begin to purge many of the items I’ve collected over the years. It’s freeing to me somehow. But that doesn’t mean I don’t still like to look!

  4. I love the idea of this column. I have been looking to do something similar in video! Not a look what I bought, but maybe a Look what I want to buy/did buy/you could buy. Very nicely done!

  5. I too love to “wander” through some of the department stores or “specialty” stores and wish I was independently wealthy so I could change things around in my house. Alas that is not the case but I can dream as I wander.

    I too love your bowls – a very special person your friend, to get you those as a surprise.

    I’m not sure I like the squareish coffee maker … but then I am a Keurig fan

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