When you’re spending a lot of your time at home, you start to notice (and fixate) on the things that stand out and are unpleasant to look at. The dish rack, the plunger, the toilet bowl cleaner… heck, even the vacuum will start to irritate you. Luckily, there’s a fix for that in this day and age. Take a look at these swoon-worthy alternatives to the biggest eyesores in your home (and be gone with the items that are bringing you down!).
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Published January 15, 2021, Updated November 26, 2021
Modern Dish Rack
Many people forgo using a dish rack altogether because of how unsightly they can look on countertops. Since that’s not the most practical option, especially when you have a small kitchen, we’re loving this brass and pink combo. It makes washing dishes just a little bit more fun (and easy!). Brass Dish Drainer, OYOY, $48 and Silicone Dish Tray, OYOY, $58.
Wooden Door Stopper
A door stopper is another one of those things you can’t really live without, even if it’s made out of brown rubber and not the prettiest thing to look at. Luckily for us, JUNE home supply – a Winnipeg-based shop that sells quality home goods – carries this wooden masterpiece. Some might mistake it for a simple piece of art, but it’s actually an ash door wedge sourced all the way from Slovenia. Wooden Door Wedge, JUNE home supply, $12.
A Sleek Vacuum
In 2021, we’re saying goodbye to loud and clunky vacuums in favour of cordless ones that take up much less space. This ultra-sleek version by Miele is quiet, lightweight and stands on its own with ease (so you won’t have to hold it when moving things out of the way!). It also comes with a wall-mount that charges the vacuum when it’s not in use and, more importantly, keeps your floors clutter-free. Bonus: it comes in four stylish colours, ranging from lotus white to ruby red, so you can actually match your device to your home’s interior. Triflex HX1 Vacuum, Miele, $800-1,050.
Forget those neon plastic clips for the snack cupboard – these stainless steel alternatives (made from a continuous piece of wire) are so much more appealing. If you’re hoping to transition to a plastic-free household in 2021, this is a great (and easy!) place to start. Plus, you can use them for other things too like organizing your mail or holding plant stems in place. Onyx Clips (Set of 24), Food52, $24.
Leather Fly Swatter
A fly swatter is just one of those things you need to keep on hand, even though they’re typically bright orange and made of plastic. That’s not the type of thing you want hanging in a closet, let alone on display in your home. This leather and wood version solves all of that. You won’t feel bad if it’s accidentally left out when guests come over, as it’s easy on the eyes. Cauff Heavy Duty Leather Fly Swatter With Oak Handle, Amazon, $17.
Hand-Woven Laundry Hamper
Most laundry hampers don’t have lids, so they end up making your bedroom look messy when they’re filled to the brim. Enter this beautiful hamper from Mexico that’s handcrafted using soft palm fibers. It offers plenty of space to hold dirty laundry and is so simple and pretty, you won’t have to hide it in the corner of your closet. Bonus: Buying this basket supports a community of 50 families in a low-income region of Mexico (you can read more about the company here). Makaua Agave Hamper, Goodee, $149.
Beechwood Toilet Brush
Probably one of the biggest eyesores in a home is the ill-fated toilet brush. It’s usually made of plastic and dingy-looking, however, this one from JUNE home supply is anything but. Made of beechwood, it comes with a matching stand that includes a terracotta dish so it can dry between cleans. And with the proper cleaning and care, it’ll last for years which will keep plastic ones out of the landfill (and help you live more sustainably). Toilet Brush With Wooden Holder, JUNE home supply, $65.
Handmade Mango Wood Spoons
Wood spoons are one of those kitchen items that you end up using every single day. So if that’s the case, and you’re tight on space in your kitchen, why not buy ones that are as pretty as a picture and store them on your countertop? These gorgeous spoons are hand-carved in India from mango wood. Mango Wood Spoon, Anupaya, $14.
Modern Alarm Clock
Design has come a long way in the past decade, so if you’re still relying on a bulky black alarm clock to wake you up, there are modern alternatives – such as this wooden alarm clock that ticks all of the boxes: it’s digital, a neutral colour, and won’t take up a lot of space on your bedside table. Raercodia Alarm Clock Wooden Digital Clock, Amazon, $30.
Lightweight Japanese Dust Pan
We didn’t even know non-plastic dust pans existed, so when we came across this beautiful Japanese option that’s handmade from paper and bamboo, we were thrilled. It’s so lovely to look at, you might have to rethink storing it in a cupboard and hang it on a hook instead. Japanese Paper Dust Pan, Ava’s Appletree, $43.
Silicone & Wood Kitchen Utensils
If you’re like most people, your kitchen utensils probably consist of a mish-mash of items ranging from a plastic spatula that’s crumbling at the edges to a dollar store pastry brush that’s seen better days. Donate them to your local reuse store and treat yourself to a good-looking kitchen tool set. They’re pretty enough to keep perched on your countertop, for easy access during mealtime. Silicone and Wood Kitchen Utensils, Amazon, $52.
Beautiful Storage Baskets
Storage for kid’s toys – who says it has to be ugly? We can’t get enough of these handmade baskets and think they’d look phenomenal in a child’s room in various sizes. Made by Ghanaian artisans, each one features an intricate wave-length design that’s difficult to master. We also love the fact that they’re made from 100 per cent grass, so you can feel good knowing your children’s toys aren’t sitting in plastic. Pakurigo Basket by Baba Tree, Goodee, $200.
Wire Frame Trash Bin
Often hidden away, out of sight, garbage bins aren’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind when we think of elegant home decor. However, this vintage-inspired design from Schoolhouse is just that – it’s so stylish and worthy of even the most sophisticated home. It also comes in a unique range of colours, ranging from toffee brown to pool blue, so you won’t have any trouble complementing your existing home decor. Wire Frame Bin, Schoolhouse, $149.
Modern Compost Bin
Compost bins are often provided by each city or municipality and as such, they’re not the most appealing items. Perhaps if we had one that looked like this sage-coloured bucket, we’d all be a little more inclined to keep our kitchen compost bins on display and more importantly, in use. Each one is extremely durable and resistant to water, mould and the sun so you don’t have to worry about the colour fading. Hachiman Omnioutil Storage Bucket, Indigo, $40.
Glass Cleaning Bottles
Are you tired of cheap plastic bottles lining your countertops and cupboards? These amber glass bottles are much easier on the eyes and a great alternative to plastic. Simply make your all-natural cleaning products, place them in these glass bottles and finish each one off with a label (so you don’t forget which is which).
Amber Glass Spray Bottles (Set of 2), Amazon, $15.
Danish Paper Towel Holder
A lot of people don’t own a paper towel holder and we can’t say we’re surprised. They’re often clunky and take up too much counter-space to bother with them. This Danish version is a different story. Comprised of natural oak and leather, its classic Nordic design is something you’ll be proud to display in your kitchen. Danish Paper Towel Holder, Schoolhouse, $68. Psst! If you’re looking to cut back on paper towels, here are the best alternatives.
Fluted Hanging Kitchen Rack
Instead of using your typical hanging kitchen utensils rack that’s clunky and takes up lots of space, why not opt for this stoneware masterpiece instead? Made in Sri Lanka, this charming vintage-inspired wall crock takes up next to no room in your kitchen yet still gets the job done – storing all of your kitchen utensils in one stylish spot. Fluted Wall Crock, JUNE home supply, $119.
A Stylish Mat for Winter Boots
After seeing our fair share of black rubber boot trays, we didn’t believe a stylish version was out there. That is until we came across this L.L.Bean boot mat – not only does it look custom-made, but according to countless 5-star reviews, it also gets the job done. It’s sophisticated, easy-to-clean, lasts forever and doesn’t budge from where it’s placed. What more could we possibly want? Everyspace Recycled Waterhog Boot Mat, L.L.Bean, starting at $39.