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35 Small Ways to Make Your Home Look Way Better, According to Designers



Your home should be your sanctuary — a place where you can unwind, entertain friends and family, and simply enjoy life. But if you’ve been putting off your design goals because they seem too difficult, you’ve got another (good) thing coming — you can elevate your living space without spending a ton of time or money. In fact, all the on-trend home products you’ll find here come recommended by interior designers, all of whom also offer practical advice on how to step up your decor.

When it comes down to it, the small adjustments you make to your home have the potential to provide just as much of an impact as the larger investments. “Accessories and details are just as important as the big pieces,” says Ali Levin, interior designer and co-founder of LABLstudio. That’s why she suggests adding unique personal touches — like this gorgeous butterfly art print — to liven up the room. (Bonus points if you place it in this versatile wooden frame.)

Jennifer Guerin, interior designer and owner of JG Color Studio, also has some great recommendations for cozying up your living space. She suggests placing these pillow covers with handwoven wool accents on your couch or bed for a rustic look, or adding some flameless LED candles to your mantle to create a warm, ambient glow.

According to these seasoned designers, the items below can instantly make your home look better without requiring a lot of money or effort on your part. Happy decorating.

This Chic Pillow Cover With A Minimalist Embroidered Design

VANNCIO Modern Throw Pillow Cover

Jennifer Guerin, interior designer and owner of JG Color Studios, recommends this minimalist throw pillow cover that adds a subtle touch of color to any room. The cotton cover features subtle woven embroidery in a tufted circle pattern — available in dusty pink or peach combined with a warm rust color. “Cute for any space!” she says.

Available colors and styles: 4

A Set Of 3 Floating Bookshelves That Create Extra Wall Storage

Umbra Conceal Floating Bookshelves (Set of 3)

No, it’s not a magic trick; these floating metal bookshelves can be mounted directly to the wall, thanks to their unique L-shaped design. Says Guerin: “Love these to hang books and it looks like they are floating in the middle of the wall.” They’re great for compact homes, since they utilize empty wall space, and they let you display your books as wall art — they’re the ultimate conversation starters.

Available colors: Silver, White

These Woven Turkish Hand Towels That Are Functional & Pretty

Madamelique Exclusive Hand Towels (Set of 2)

These absorbent cotton hand towels are great to have on hand in your kitchen or bathroom. Available in a dozen colors and styles, the woven fabric is lightweight and soft, with a cool chevron pattern and elegant tassels on the edges. “Great quality and adds texture in kitchen or bath,” says Guerin.

Available colors and styles: 12

An Ultra-Cozy Knit Blanket With Oversized Pom-Poms

MIDO HOUSE Chenille Pom-Pom Throw

Trimmed with oversized, handmade pom-poms, this soft blanket is the perfect thing to snuggle up with on a chilly evening. The chenille blanket features a diamond-shape knit design, adding a touch of texture to your space. Guerin describes this blanket as “cozy and fun for any room,” thanks to the thick, luxurious material and whimsical pom-poms.

Available colors and styles: 4

These Rustic Pillow Covers With Handwoven Wool Accents

Heavenera Decorative Throw Pillows (Set of 2)

Guerin also selected these handwoven throw pillow covers, which feature a raised geometric pattern. The cotton cases are adorned with wool accents, resulting in a rustic accent piece that complements your living room or bedroom. Just add pillow inserts and place them on your couch, bed, or chair for a farmhouse-chic look.

Available colors and styles: 3

A Set Of 9 Flameless Candles That Look Just Like The Real Thing

Antizer Flameless LED CandlesCandles (Set of 9)

With genuine wax pillar bodies and realistic flickering “flames,” these LED candles give you the same ambient glow of traditional candles — without the fire hazard. Great for use outside and in warm weather, these battery-powered candles have multiple brightness levels and a timer function for added convenience. “When it’s warm outside we love placing these inside your fireplace,” says Guerin. “And during the summer, place in lanterns outside to add ambiance.”

Available colors: Birch, Ivory

These Faux Pampas Grass Plants That Look Utterly Natural

LUXIVANCE Faux Pampas Grass Plants (3-Pack)

Eye-catching and elegant, these faux pampas grass plants can be placed in vases and added to faux floral arrangements. Each grass stem is crafted from 18 individual branches, resulting in a full, natural-looking plant. “Love these for commercial or residential projects and they don’t shed!” says Guerin. The distinct ivory cream color is perfect for livening up darker spaces.

An Unconventional Night Light For Lunar Lovers

LOGROTATE 3-D Moon Night Light

Shaped like a miniature moon, this 3-D night light is — in Guerin’s opinion — the “greatest way to add a little light to any space.” It’s super realistic-looking, and even comes with a remote that turns the light 16 different colors. You can shift between a blue moon, an orange harvest moon, and a blood moon with a simple press of a button.

The Doormat That Was Made For Beatles Fans

SSanyyL Funny Front Doormat

Quite simply, as Guerin puts it, “If you love the Beatles, you will love this.” Printed with The Beatles’ iconic Abbey Road silhouette and lyrics from their song “Hello, Goodbye”, this felt doormat is a cheeky way to invite — and bid farewell — to your houseguests. A nonslip rubber backing keeps the mat from slipping around your floor or front step.

Available sizes: 2

This Fun Paperweight That Livens Up Your Desk Space

ArtSugar Dome Paperweight

Ali Levin, interior designer and co-founder of LABLstudio in Brooklyn, loves this paperweight because it’s practical and playful. “We like to be realistic about the fact that you’ll always end up with some papers sitting on your desk, so it’s best to keep them organized and stylish with a fun paperweight,” she recommends. This one comes in a quirky rainbow sprinkle print — perfect for those with a sweet tooth — and you can also choose from options like clouds and candy hearts.

Available colors and styles: 4

Some Geometric Wooden Coasters That Can Be Used Together Or Separately

Areaware Table Tiles (6-Pack)

According to Levin, “Accessories and details are just as important as the big pieces, so we always include coasters in our clients’ designs.” These geometric coasters are simple and versatile, so they look great in “ultra modern to more traditional spaces.” The wooden tiles can be used individually as coasters, or grouped together for use as a trivet.

Available colors and styles: 7

A Gorgeous Art Print With Uplifting Butterflies

ArtSugar Happy Place Wall Print

Levin believes your art should make you happy, and this butterfly wall print does an excellent job of sparking joy. “Pair it with a simple wood frame (like the next pick) to finally fill that blank wall that you’ve been meaning to tackle for years,” she suggests. The paper print works nicely in any space, and you can even hang it up unframed with double-sided tape or putty.

This Simple Wooden Frame That Completes Any Piece Of Art

MCS Industries Studio Gallery Frames

With a sleek, natural woodgrain finish, this frame is intentionally simple — so your artwork remain the center of attention. Levin recommends it because it’s versatile and complements any design style. Easy-to-open turn buttons and built-in sawtooth hangers make it super easy to add your print and hang it up on the wall.

A Pair Of Absorbent Swedish Dishcloths With A Stylish Black & White Print

Now Designs Swedish Dishcloths (2-Pack)

If you haven’t heard about Swedish dishcloths yet, Levin is happy to make the introduction: “We love Swedish dishcloths because they’re super eco-friendly and a great paper towel alternative,” she says. Specifically, she recommends this simple black and white design because it can “go modern or traditional, and adds some fun to cleanups.” Made from cotton and cellulose fibers, these reusable and washable dishcloths become compostable after six months.

Available colors and styles: 27

These Peel & Stick Tiles That Don’t Require Any Grout

LONGKING Peel-and-Stick Tile (10 Sheets)

John Maxim, hands-on expert house flipper, believes in making small, temporary changes to your home decor rather than big, irreversible ones. “Don’t move walls, you won’t get your money back,” Maxim says. That’s why these peel-and-stick tiles are such a fantastic idea — they allow you to update your kitchen backsplash, bathroom, or laundry room without any tools or grout.

Available colors: 8

This Industrial-Chic Kitchen Faucet With A Built-In Spray Nozzle

WEWE Kitchen Faucet

Your kitchen faucet, according to Maxim, “makes a huge impact on aesthetic.” That’s why you want to invest in one that complements the rest of your kitchen. This faucet has an industrial-style open spout and a pull-down spray nozzle, with a wraparound spring design. Plus, it boasts a high profile that makes it easy to wash blender jars, pots, and pans. It’s available in gold, stainless steel, nickel, and matte black finishes, so you can pick one that fits your home’s style best.

Available colors: 4

A Self-Adhesive Wallpaper With A Unique Black & White Floral Print

NuWallpaper Secret Garden Wallpaper

Another one of Maxim’s picks is a self-adhesive wallpaper with a striking black and white floral design. Maxim says this wallpaper “can be a major upgrade and value add” for powder rooms and bedrooms, but it also looks stunning in your kitchen, along your stairs, or on the insides of your drawers. Just peel off the protective layer, and stick wherever you choose; if you ever want to remove it, just peel away (no sticky residue will be left behind).

The Outdoor Ground Lights That Are Solar-Powered

Vont LED Outdoor Solar Ground Lights (2-Pack)

These LED lights can be stuck directly into the ground or your plants with the heavy-duty stakes. Maxim recommends these “to light up your front yard, back yard, foliage and plants,” and perhaps the best part? They’re completely solar-powered. The weather-resistant ground lights have low and high modes, which you can toggle between by pressing a single button.

Available colors: Cool White, Warm White

An Aesthetically Pleasing Interior Design Book For Your Coffee Table

Inviting Interiors: A Fresh Take on Beautiful Rooms

When it comes to living room decor, Catherine Davin and Alexandra Davin, mother-daughter decorator team and founders of Clairrow, suggest a bright, eye-catching coffee table book. “If you need an extra hint of color in your room, find a few books with beautiful covers that complement your palette,” they say. This aesthetically pleasing book on interior design will not only give you inspiration, it’ll make for a lovely accent piece in your space.

This Luxurious Pillow Insert Filled With Goose Feather Down

Interior Linens Goose Feather Down Pillow Insert

This goose feather pillow insert is Catherine and Alexandra Davin’s top choice for filling decorative pillow covers. “We like an insert made from 10% down, 90% feather fill, which gives a nice amount of softness but it doesn’t totally collapse when someone leans against it,” they recommend. They also suggest that the insert should always be 2 inches bigger than the pillow cover itself for maximum comfiness.

These Budget-Friendly Down-Alternative Inserts With Fluffy Fiber Filling

Utopia Bedding Throw Pillows Inserts (4-Pack)

For those who are allergic to down or feathers, these fiber-filled pillow inserts offer a great alternative. Not to mention, they’re budget-friendly — you get four in a pack for a super reasonable price. They’re also great for when you have multiple matching pillow covers that need filling. Available in several sizes, these inserts are the perfect allergy-free solution that look just as good as down pillows.

Available sizes: 7

The Smart Dimmer Switches That Modernize Your Home

Lutron Caseta Deluxe Smart Dimmer Switches (2-Pack)

When it comes to upgrading your home, Catherine and Alexandra Dalvin suggest Lutron’s smart dimmer switches. They allow you to adjust the brightness of your lights via switch, remote, mobile app, or Alexa device. “It not only helps to reduce your energy consumption, but allows you to have better control over your home’s lighting design and will modernize the look of your wall switches for an updated look.”

Although not specifically recommended by Catherine and Alexandra Davin, this smart dimmer switch by Kasa is a highly rated, affordable alternative.

A Smart Light Bulb That’s Color-Changing & Voice-Activated

Sengled Smart Light Bulb

Another cost-effective pick inspired by the Davins’ recommendations, this smart light bulb allows you to change the color of light in your room by using a mobile app — or even a voice command. The easy-to-install bulb has adjustable brightness levels and can create tons of different hues. Just pair it with your Amazon Alexa or Google Home device, and you’re all set.

This Multi-Tier Shelf That Utilizes Your Corner Spaces

Greenco 5-Tier Corner Shelf

David Mason, interior designer and owner of The Knobs Company, approves of this five-tier shelf that fits discreetly in the corner of your room. Great for compact spaces, this shelf creates multiple platforms for picture frames, plants, knick-knacks, and more. “With a sturdy build and sleek design, it will be a great fit in the home,” says Mason. An added bonus? “It is easy to assemble, no tools are required.”

The Fluffy Faux Sheepskin Rug That’s Soft On Your Feet

Noahas Luxury Fluffy Rugs

Piled high with luxuriously soft faux fur, this area rug adds a wonderful texture to your living room or bedroom. “The faux sheepskin rug has a high pile that is soft and fluffy on your feet and will keep your toes nice and warm,” says Mason. Not to mention, it’s an awesome pick for those who suffer from allergies, since it’s made from eco-friendly, natural materials.

Available colors: 7

A Versatile Ceramic Lamp With A Unique Pleated Shade

Korean Pleated Table Lamp

Amazon is full of affordable, unique home finds, and Cindy Ngo, design curator and founder of Ink+Porcelain, found a real gem. “My favorite Amazon ‘steal’ item is this pleated ceramic lamp. For $30 and a variety of options, it is the perfect little lamp for the office, bedroom, or nightstand,” she says. Available in more than a dozen colors, this versatile lamp has a sturdy, sleek base with a small footprint.

Available colors: 14

Some Quirky Cube-Shaped Candles Made Of Soy Wax

ACITHGL Soy Bubble Candles (2-Pack)

When it comes to quirky, unconventional pieces of home decor, “I even love these interesting-shaped bubble candles!” Ngo exclaims. It’s true, these soy wax candles are interesting. Each cube is made out of individual spheres, with a wick in the middle for even burning. They’re so cute, you might even put off burning them for awhile.

Available colors: White & Blue, White & Green

This Ceramic Bud Vase With A Matte, Textured Finish

Telawsfun Ceramic Bud Vase

Ngo also loves this round ceramic bud vase that’s perfect for elegantly showing off a stem or two. With a unique matte textured surface and a narrow neck, the streamlined vase makes a great addition to any coffee table or nightstand. Add flowers, dried herbs, or faux plants for a lovely, sophisticated piece of decor.

A Budget-Friendly Piece Of Decorative Chain Link That Makes A Statement

Peakoly Wood Chain Link Decor

Made of whitewashed pine wood, this oversized chain link decoration can be placed in a bowl or draped over a table for a striking, contemporary look. “I really love wooden links and I found a cheaper version here compared to West Elm ones,” says Ngo. This piece of chain link decor definitely makes a statement, adding a modern, abstract touch to your living space.

A Minimalist Design Guide That Looks Great In Your Home

Minimalista: Your Step-by-Step Guide to a Better Home, Wardrobe, and Life

Coffee table books should be embraced when it comes to interior decoration. “I think that coffee table books can add to any part of the home,” says Ngo. Minimalista by Shira Gill is a step-by-step guide on how to incorporate minimalist elements into your life. The design of the book itself is simply beautiful, looking right at home on your coffee table or nightstand.

This Sculptural Porcelain Vase That’s Modern & Sophisticated

XIUWOUG Ceramic Circular Vase

This donut-shaped porcelain vase is a light ivory color, with a cool frosted texture that adds a unique finishing touch. Whether you place any flowers or plants inside, or display it on its own, the unconventional piece speaks for itself. It’s no surprise Ngo was drawn to this piece — it’s interesting, refreshing, and different than most vases on the market.

Available sizes: 2

A Distinguished Match Jar Made Of Hand-Blown Glass

Atzi Hats Cloche Match Jar

Next on Ngo’s list of decor picks is this cloche match jar, which sits on your table upside down. The hand-blown glass jar is fitted with a removable cork stopper, so you can easily access the contents inside. Fill it with matches and place it by your fireplace, on your dining room table, or near your candle collection.

Available sizes: 3

The Streamlined Box That Keeps Your Cables Hidden From Sight

D-Line Cable Management Box

Marco Bizzley, interior design consultant at HouseGrail, recommends this cable management box to keep your pesky wires out of view — resulting in a decluttered, aesthetically pleasing living space. “Cables are unsightly, and with everything that needs to be plugged in, most people have a lot of them,” says Bizzley. “These cable boxes help hide them and instead look like a normal box.”

Some Budget-Friendly Self-Adhesive Paper That Looks Like Real Marble

practicalWs Marble Contact Paper

If you want to accent your kitchen or bedroom with sophisticated marble — but don’t feel like undergoing a home renovation — Bizzley suggests this self-adhesive paper with a realistic marble texture. “Marble adhesive paper is the perfect way to make your home look sleek and elegant. Unlike natural marble, this product won’t break the bank and is installed within minutes,” says Bizzley.

A Pair Of Luxury Showerheads That Are Easy To Install

Dream Spa 8-Setting Dual Showerhead Combo

Want a quick, affordable way to elevate your shower setup? “Dual showerheads are an inexpensive way to make your bathroom feel luxurious,” says Bizzley. This dual showerhead is super easy to install, and includes two individual showerheads: a 7-inch rainfall head and a 4-inch handheld head with multiple stream settings. Use them at the same time for the ultimate shower experience.

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Personal Care

Dionne Warwick Is Still on the Hunt for Taylor Swift’s Infamous Scarf



Swifties aren’t the only ones who remember Taylor Swift’s missing scarf all too well. Legendary singer (and now tweeter) Dionne Warwick has provided an update on her attempts to get the infamous accessory back, and her work is not yet done. Appearing on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert on Friday, Jan. 21, she laid out her plans to find the scarf fans have long suspected Jake Gyllenhaal has.

Colbert brought the case up while asking the “Queen of Twitter” about some of her past tweets, reminding viewers that Warwick had gone so far as to offer to pay for the cost of mailing the scarf back to Swift. The late-night host “couldn’t let [her] go without weighing in” in the situation, as he told her, and the “Nothing’s Impossible” singer let him know that she had heard “not one word” from either Gyllenhaal or Swift so far.

“I’m going to find out and give her a call,” Warwick said. “I am. To find out if she got her scarf.”

The five-time Grammy winner didn’t stop there. “If she didn’t, I’m going to find Jake,” she added, giving Colbert a meaningful look that turned into some serious stink eye before she ultimately broke into laughter.

The story of Swift’s missing scarf has intrigued fans since the pop star released “All Too Well” on the original version of Red in October 2012. In the song, she mentions it twice, first singing that she left it at the house of the unnamed ex’s sister and that he’s “still got it in [his] drawer even now.” Later, she adds, “But you keep my old scarf from that very first week / ’Cause it reminds you of innocence / And it smells like me / You can’t get rid of it.” And so the question of what happened to it in real life kept popping up. The suspected sister from the song, Maggie Gyllenhaal, even faced a fan question about it on What What Happens Live With Andy Cohen in 2017, and she noted that “everybody asked [her] about this scarf.” However, she had no definitive answers as to its whereabouts, and the mystery continued.

It was the release of Red (Taylor’s Version) in late 2021 that ultimately got Warwick involved. The 10-minute version of “All Too Well” reignited the internet buzz with a vengeance, especially when a placeholder scarf made multiple appearances in the song’s short film, which came out on Nov. 12. Within days, Warwick was already trying to help Swift get her winter wear back and UPS was ready to join her.

Of course, only Jake Gyllenhaal can say what happened to the scarf and he’s kept mum on the subject. Whether or not Warwick will be able to change that remains to be seen, but at the very least, the saga is still keeping us all entertained.

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Keeping Your House Nice Is Hard, but These 45 Clever Things Make It so Much Easier



Even after you’ve done all of the renovations and upgrades that you want to your house, maintaining its beauty and organization is tricky. Especially if you have a house full of kids or pets, begging to make a mess of it all. I’ve shopped around and found solutions to all of your cleaning and organization woes. Keeping your house nice is hard, but these 45 clever things make it so much easier.

Protecting your investments is a no-brainer, but you may not realize there are plenty of affordable tools that will keep your higher-priced items looking their best. Check out the covers that protect your refrigerator handles from sticky fingers, or the canvas baskets that look good while hiding a mess of toys, blankets, or crafts. Little purchases like coasters or dedicated organizers for each room can help to protect your home from future damage.

Some wear and tear is inevitable when it comes to your house, so when things start to look a little dingy, try one of the restoration products I included, such as cleaners for windows, mirrors, or metal fixtures. I also added a repair kit for wooden floors or furniture, as well as one for repairing leather. These small maintenance hacks will preserve your favorite home pieces while you enjoy them.

Staying clean and tidy is no simple task, but you can rely on these highly rated and reviewed Amazon products to help you along the way.

A Mini Desk Vacuum That’s Rechargeable

prowithlin Desktop Vacuum

If your desk is the messiest place in your home, you’ll love this adorable mini vacuum. It cleans up dust and crumbs from desktops, tables, counters, floors, and even keyboards. The rechargeable hand vacuum gets into corners and crevices, and you can clean out its filter with the push of a button. It comes with an attachable vacuum nozzle, a manual, brush, and USB charging cable.

The Covers For Your Fridge To Combat Fingerprints

OUGAR8 Refrigerator Door Handle Covers

Over time, grime inevitably builds up on your refrigerator door handles. These plush, protective sleeves keep stains, water drip, fingerprints, and smudges at bay, and they’re totally inexpensive. This pair of machine-washable covers features velcro closures, which you can adjust to fit your door’s handles. Choose from a variety of sizes and quantities so you can protect your other appliances, too.

These Furniture Leg Socks To Prevent Scratching

Sag Hom Furniture Leg Socks (16 Pack)

These stretchy furniture leg covers provide an easy way to protect your floors from scratches. They fit chair legs with diameters between two and eight inches and the set includes 16 covers that can stretch over a variety of leg shapes to keep your home looking brand new.

A DIY Wood Furniture And Flooring Repair Kit

Coconix Floor & Furniture Repair Kit

Restore any wood flooring or furniture with this repair kit that’s an Amazon bestseller. It easily fills chips, cracks, and other imperfections in wooden furniture, molding, laminate, edging, baseboard, and even decks. This set includes ten repair compounds in various colors, a spatula, an application brush, a wood putty stick, and a mixing jar.

This Playful Stain-Resistant Rug For The Kids’ Rooms

Well Woven Stain Resistant Area Rug

The best part about this playful, cozy rug is that it’s stain-resistant. The low-pile rug features a cotton fringe hem and soft woven material. It’s perfect for high-traffic areas or kid’s rooms and playrooms and it’s available in two sizes and four colors.

The Leather Cleaning And Recoloring Kit For Quick Fixes

FurnitureClinic Leather Repair Kit

Make your tired and worn leather look as good as new with this cleaner and repair kit. The first step of the kit includes cleaning your leather to remove deeply ingrained dirt and grime while prepping the surface for step two: recoloring. It restores faded leather and protects leather surfaces for the future. This kit comes in 12 colored compounds that can be mixed to match your leather.

A Motion-Activated Keyhole Light For Your Door

Deeirao Motion Sensor Keyhole Light

There is a budget-friendly solution to fumbling around in the dark, looking for your keys: this motion-activated light. The LED light comes on when you approach the door, illuminating the keyhole so you can quickly and easily unlock it. It comes with screws or an adhesive to attach to your door and has two modes: daytime or nighttime. You can also use it in cabinets or drawers for extra light on a budget.

This Cable Management Box That Conceals Cords

Chouky Cable Management Boxes (3-Pack)

How can your home look its best with messy cords and cables contributing to clutter? This cable management box set is the simple, affordable solution that conceals power strips and loose wires so you can see the room and not the accessories that make it come alive. This set includes three boxes of a variety of sizes and is available in two colors.

A Compact Drawer And Shelf Combo For The Kitchen

Joseph Joseph Cabinet Organizer

This small drawer adds usable storage space to your cluttered cabinets. The compact shelf features three tiers and a pull-out drawer. Stack spices or canned goods on the organizer so you can easily see everything at once. It easily fits in your kitchen, however, it’s versatile enough that you could use it to organize your bathroom or craft area.

These Stain-Resistant Comforters In 20 Colors

Madison Park Stain Resistant Blanket

Finding a comforter that’s luxurious yet easy to maintain can be tricky, but this microfiber blanket is stain-resistant to keep it looking brand new. This $35 find features a down-alternative fill and double-sided box quilting that looks expensive and feels cozy. It’s super soft and lightweight enough to use year-round. Whenever it does need a clean, wash it in your machine on cold and gentle cycles. Choose from 20 colors.

The Bamboo Shoe Shelf For Your Entryway

BAMFOX Entryway Shoe Rack

If your shoes and the shoes of every guest that enters your home are sprawled out all over the hallway floor, this is the attractive solution you need in your home. This sustainable bamboo entryway shelf has two tiers where you can store shoes and boots, as well as purses and a basket for umbrellas. Buy a couple and stack them on top of each other for additional storage.

This Cordless Handheld Vacuum That Does It All

KOVEBBLE Cordless Handheld Vacuum

This handheld vacuum is the perfect tool for quickly cleaning up life’s little messes. With no bags to replace, it’s simpler to maintain and it comes with three head attachments for getting hard-to-reach spots, as well as vacuuming your car. It picks up dirt and crumbs from carpet, countertops, floors, and even upholstery. The compact hand vacuum is lightweight and comes with an outlet power cord, as well as one for your car.

The Spoon Rests That Keep Counters Clean

IYOOH Spoon Rest & Lid Holder (2-Pack)

This kitchen counter gadget is a chef’s dream because it makes post-meal clean-up a breeze. The food-grade, BPA-free plastic utility rests are designed for you to set spoons, pot lids, and other utensils on to avoid making a mess. The multifunctional rest keeps utensils separate and, thanks to the high lip around the edge, catches any liquids before they drip on your counters. This pack comes with two.

These Canvas Baskets That Can Hold 25 Pounds

StorageWorks Shelf Baskets (Set of 2)

If you’re looking for versatile storage that also looks good, try these metal frame storage bins. The rectangular baskets are made of canvas and feature a heavy-duty bottom board and frame that extends to create a rigid shape that supports up to 25 pounds. Use them for spare linens, toys, or craft supplies. The faux leather handles are elegant and modern, making this a no-brainer when it comes to upgrading your storage.

This Dual Lazy Susan Made Of Stylish Bamboo

X-cosrack Bamboo Lazy Susan

This bamboo lazy Susan is convenient, sturdy, and stylish, so you can leave it out on your counters without it messing up your home’s aesthetic. It has two tiers that each spin 360 degrees with ease, with three pegs that fit into pre-drilled holes to make assembly a breeze. Each tier has a rim to keep items from sliding off. It measures 10 inches in diameter and serves as the perfect spot for storing spices, produce, or even essential oils.

The Snack Caddy You’ll Want For The Next Big Game

MyGift Sofa Snack Caddy

Get ready for the big game with this rustic wood snack caddy. It has compartments for everything you need for the big game: three remote controls, two large food dishes, and two cup holders. The serving tray has handles on the side and stainless steel bowls for snacks that can be removed when it’s time to clean them.

A Pack Of Rustic Corner Shelves For Unusable Space

Olakee Floating Corner Shelves (Set of 2)

These unique corner shelves make use of wall space in your home you’d otherwise ignore. This two-pack comes with dark rustic-looking wood shelves and four black metal brackets to secure them to the wall. The right-angle shelves fit perfectly into any corner or nook.

These Unbreakable Cups For Your Next Party

Choary Unbreakable Cups (Set of 5)

Host a party without the fear of broken glass with these unbreakable cups. They’re eco-friendly and even made from reclaimed materials such a natural wheat straw and starch. They’re biodegradable and won’t break or chip — even if you run them through the dishwasher, microwave, or even store them in the freezer. This pack of five comes in a variety of colors so your guests can keep track of their drinks.

The Grout Pens That Make Tile Look Brand New

NADAMOO Grout Pen and Brush

Give your tile an upgrade and avoid scrubbing in the future with these grout pens. This kit comes with a foldable cleaning brush that gets tough, stuck-on grime, as well as two beige-colored grout pens that easily cover dingy grout lines. This pack includes two replacement nibs for the pens so you can revamp your whole space for less than $20.

A Quick-Drying Bath Mat That Prevents Slipping

Asvin Quick Drying Bath Mat

Keep your bathroom smelling fresh by avoiding common mold traps. Your bath mat is one of those spots, but with this textured mat, you can worry less about mildew because it dries so quickly. It’s made of PVC loofah material that secures itself to the floor without suction cups. The material is resistant to scum and can be washed in warm water.

This Unique Metal Brush That Eliminates Pet Hair

Zoreni Pet Hair Remover

Eliminate pet hair from your favorite sofa with this magic tool that should cost a lot more than $10. This metal brush features a wooden handle, which is comfortable in your hand. In addition to handling pet hair and fur, you can use this tool to gently brush your couch and trim loose strings and banish pilling.

These Crowd-Favorite, Reusable Chalk Labels

Savvy & Sorted Chalk Labels (96-Pack)

Keeping your house organized can feel like an uphill battle, but with the help of these reusable labels, now your whole family can help out. This pack includes 96 labels that stick to glass bottles, jars, or plastic containers and a chalk pen that is erasable. This pack is Amazon’s #1 bestseller of “removable labels,” earning nearly 20,000 reviews.

The Sink Mat That Fits Around Your Faucet

Ternal Faucet Absorbent Mat

Keep sitting water in your kitchen to a minimum with this sink mat. It wraps around the base of your sink and absorbs splashes or drips. The protective mesh material dries super quickly and can be machine washed and dried. It has a snap that secures the mat around your faucet and comes in three colors.

These Fun Wall Hooks That Encourage Tidying Up

Umbra Buddy Wall Hooks (Set of 3)

Looking for whimsical solutions that will get your kids to pick up their stuff (or keep you motivated as an adult)? Try these wall hooks that look like little characters scaling the wall. The “buddy” wall hooks can hold up to five pounds — ideal for jackets, lightweight bags, and towels. This pack of three includes mounting hardware and adds a fun touch to any space.

The Glass Wax That Polishes Windows and Mirrors

E.J. Wheaton Co. Glass Wax

Do your windows, mirrors, or metal fixures look tired and worn? This professional glass wax is the solution you’ve been searching for. It polishes and protects glass and metal by simply rubbing on and buffing the wax off. It goes on dark pink but dries to a chalky white so you know when it’s time to remove it. This little bottle will give your windows and mirrors a streak-free finish.

A Low-Pile Doormat That Absorbs Water Quickly

Morgantag Waterproof Doormat

A durable doormat can save your floors from sitting water, mud, and snow, but not all doormats are created equally. This heavy-duty option is waterproof, low-profile, and easy to clean. It’s made with highly absorbent polypropylene fabric in a low pile that allows doors to easily open over the mat. To clean it, you can use a vacuum or hose, and the manufacturer says it’s safe to machine wash as well.

These Door Draft Stoppers That Keep Bedrooms Warm

SAKUYV Weather Stripping Door Seal

These weather-stripping door draft stoppers fit onto your door to keep out sound and light and to regulate temperature. The transparent seal traps heat in or out, depending on the season, so you can cut electrical costs. Installing it is as easy as cutting it to size, peeling back the adhesive tape, and sticking it onto your door. You can use it anywhere to close gaps in garages, basements, beds, or even cabinets.

A Teeth-Brushing Station That Keeps Everything Clean

showgoca Toothbrush Holder

Why dispense your own toothpaste when you can pay $26 to have a machine do it for you? This toothpaste dispenser can be conveniently mounted to the wall by your bathroom sink using a double-sided adhesive. It’s also a sanitary solution: It can hold up to four toothbrushes when they’re not in use, keeping their heads covered and away from germs. Plus it features a shelf for storing other essentials, as well as two cup dispensers.

This Modern, Automatic Trash Can That Locks In Odors

Ninestars Touchless Garbage Can

This simple upgrade will make your whole house instantly cleaner: a new trash can. This one has a touchless automatic sensor that opens and closes to lock in odors when you’re not using it. The three-gallon can has a stainless steel base and plastic lid with a slow-close feature, along with a non-skid base and a removable ring liner to secure bags. It’s available in eight colors options.

A Set Of Nesting, Wooden Coasters To Protect Tables

Kamenstein Wood Coasters (Set of 4)

These wooden coasters look like expensive decor accents when they’re not in use, but function beautifully at protecting your table from ring marks. The four-piece natural acacia wood and cork coasters nest into one another when stacked and offer a sturdy lip to keep drinks from spilling. The cord bed absorbs moisture to keep your tabletops in pristine condition.

The Fabric Pins That Are Magnetic And Release Easily

Pinion Pins Magnetic Duvet Clips

These genius magnetic pins ensure you never wake up with your duvet bunched up at the foot of your duvet cover. The easy-release pins secure up to 10 pounds so you can also use them for hanging curtains, pinning comforters, or securing couch covers in place. This set comes with eight pins.

These Genius Cushion Supports To Revamp Sofas

Evelots Sofa Cushion Support

Over time, sofa cushions can sink and won’t always spring back to life. But these cushion supports improve the shape and feel of your furniture. The wood supports are covered in black vinyl, making them a cinch to clean. Just fold out the supports to your desired length and place them below your seat cushions for extra reinforcement. They instantly fix sagging cushions and make your pieces look so much better. Best of all, no installation is required.

The Sheer Curtains That Repel Dust And Dog Hair

Clean Window Anti-Dust Curtains

The best way to keep your curtains clean is to dedicate time to wash them properly, but let’s be real — there’s not always enough time in the day for that. That’s why reviewers love these anti-dust sheer curtain panels. They’re made of a textured material that is anti-dust, anti-allergen, and repels pet hair, so your curtains stay cleaner longer. This polyester-blend set features a slide-through curtain rod pocket. Choose from three sizes and three colors.

The Magnetic Curtain Tie-Backs That Look Stylish

Melaluxe Magnetic Curtain Tiebacks (6-Pack)

Don’t just push your curtains open, tie them back with these magnetic curtain holders that keep them in place and add a charming accent. Not only are they easy to use, but they’re also decorative with a modern spindle-shaped clasp and rope tie that’s stylish.

A Pack Of Odor-Beating Lavender Sachets For Home

Lavende Sur Terre Closet Fragrance Sachets (24-Pack)

Keep your closet smelling fresh by hanging a few of these lavender sachets over your hangers. The small bags are filled with French lavender, which has a calming fragrance that can reduce odors and boost your mood. Place one in your gym bag or by the door where everyone leaves their shoes. This set comes with 24 sachets.

The Self-Watering Pots That Hydrate Your Plants

Vanavazon Self Watering Planters (3-Pack)

These self-water planters make it easy to care for your plants, even if you don’t have the greenest thumb. The 6-inch pots feature a large, transparent basin that can hold excess water, which plants absorb through a connecting cotton rope. This set of three is available in gray and white and will water your plants for up to about a week, depending on the plant and time of year.

These Covers That Fill The Gaps On Your Countertop

HELESIN Counter Gap Cover

Cover the space between your stove and countertop to keep it free from messes with this set of stove gap fillers. The flexible silicone is easy to cut to match the depth of your appliance, and the T-shaped profile slides easily into place for a super-simple setup. Its nonslip construction won’t slide around and it provides a seamless fit.

A Slim, Sleek Rolling Cart For Extra Storage Anywhere

AOJIA Slim Storage Cart

If you need some additional storage, check out this rolling three-tier cart. It has more than 5,000 reviews, and many reviewers have raved about how easy the trolley-style cart is to move from room to room, as well as how the durable wheel brakes keep it from rolling away on its own. It’s made of plastic and stainless steel so it’s easy to wipe down, plus its narrow size is perfect for storing in your bathroom, laundry room, or kitchen.

An Easy-To-Clean Showerhead With Seven Modes

Delta Faucet 7-Spray Showerhead

This showerhead is one the whole family will love since it has seven settings to choose from. It easily attaches to your existing shower and has touch-clean spray holes that you can simply wipe clean, rather than soaking it. Choose from a full body spray, wide-body spray, massaging spray, full body with massage, drenching spray, energy-saving mode, and pause. Each mode is powerful to relieve sore muscles and wash away the dirt of the day.

These Guide Lights That Easily Install On Your Outlets

SnapPower Outlet Guide Light

Adding custom lighting to your home can be a huge investment, but these outlet guide lights are a budget-friendly solution — plus they have 11,000 reviews. This pack comes with two outlet plates that have a built-in light and don’t require batteries or wires. They snap on easily without occupying one of your outlets and they come in four colors.

A Hygienic Soap Dispenser That’s Automatic

Umbra Automatic Soap Dispenser

The area around your sink can get pretty messy. Thanks to its battery-powered design (which works when you simply place your hand under it), this soap dispenser cuts down on the drips of soap that inevitably land on countertops. This hygienic dispenser holds liquid soap and has a versatile sleek finish that’s stylish and suits any home decor.

The Decorative Outdoor Pillow Covers You’ll Love

MIULEE Waterproof Pillow Covers (Set of 4)

Create a cozy space in your backyard or step up your curb appeal by adding some of these decorative pillow covers to front porches. Don’t worry, they’re waterproof — made of canvas polyester with a PU coating. This four-pack features 18-by-18-inch covers, however, they’re available in four sizes and 21 colors. They feature a hidden zipper where you can insert the pillow (not included).

A Paper Towel Holder With Lots Of Whimsy

Umbra Buddy Paper Towel Holder

How cute is this paper towel holder? While it secures the roll of paper towels upright, it also features a little “buddy” hugging the roll, making it easier to tear off a sheet. It’s fun and functional, plus it’s easy to load when the roll is empty. It’s earned nearly 3,000 reviews, including this one: “I like the uniqueness, so had to buy it. It’s sturdy and does the job.”

This Tabletop Organizer To Keep Track Of The Remote

MyGift Wood Remote Control Caddy

Keep all your TV remotes in one place to save your sanity. This $20 fix holds three or four remotes, depending on the size. The tabletop organizer has a rustic farmhouse decor style that is a stylish alternative to your typically messy coffee table.

The Clothing Rack Dividers For Organizing Your Closet

TraGoods Closet Dividers (16-Pack)

Do you share a closet with your partner? Or do you want to make putting clothes away a bit easier? Try these clothing rack dividers. This pack of 16 comes with 60 labels that you can add to each divider to make it easier to find what you’re looking for. Use it to label colors or outfits, or just separate what is yours from what belongs to your partner. The sturdy plastic labels go over your closet pole and sit above hangers so you can clearly read them.


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Personal Care

Is He "The One?" I Still Don’t Know After Four Years



Q: If I don’t know after four years, does that mean my boyfriend isn’t “the one”? I ask because we’re planning to move in together next summer, and I feel like I should be sure that I want to spend the rest of my life with him. I always hear, “When you know, you know,” so I’m wondering if I don’t know yet, does that mean I never will? I’m 27, and while I’m comfortable being single at this point, I don’t want to figure out three to five years from now that he isn’t my person for life. That scares me!

I don’t want to feel like I’m settling but I also don’t know if it’s normal to feel a little unsure. I can absolutely see spending the rest of my life with him, but in a way, I also assume I’d be able to find someone else. (I definitely don’t believe there’s only one perfect person for everyone.) I guess my question boils down to: Do you always “know,” or is it normal to have some uncertainty? And if you should be sure, at what point in a relationship should you call it quits if you aren’t?

A: To answer the big question you have, yes, it’s incredibly normal to feel uncertain, to harbor lingering doubts. The truth is, you cannot know how long a relationship lasts until it’s over, which might be when one of you dies! I want to gently suggest that the length of a relationship is not what makes it good or bad, real or false, love or a poor approximation. There is no knowing that someone is going to be “the one,” the right choice forever. The question isn’t, “Will this person always make me happy?” but rather, “Is this a relationship I want to build?

There’s a misconception that most of us unconsciously hold about relationships. It’s perhaps the most pervasive myth out there when it comes to long-term love, and it’s the idea that a relationship is actually a predetermined set of life events that a specific potential partner is selling, and we choose to buy it or not.

In reality, relationships aren’t given to you fully formed; you make them together. You build your relationship with someone, your compatibility with them, brick by painstaking brick. It’s like a house you and your partner build that you never actually complete, never get to fully live in. You just keep building it, every single day, through your words and your actions, the things you overlook, and the things you blow up about. It’s a little Sisyphus-ian, really. (The silver lining here is that if Camus is to be believed, Sisyphus is happy.)

I’m not suggesting that you can change any person into a great partner, or that you can change people at all, or that that’s the goal. I’m just reminding you that what you have with your partner is created by you two — you have control!

There’s a joke in the book Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give by Ada Calhoun where she asks her mother, “How do you stay married?” and her mother answers, “You don’t get divorced.” It’s a trite joke, sure, but there’s some truth to it, too. The way to stay together is… you just do it. So if you’re worried about leaving your partner in a few years, one option would be to simply not. I know I’m massively oversimplifying things! My reductionism is off the charts here.

Your real fear is one of two things. One, that things will somehow be so bad that you’ll want to leave, which frankly seems unlikely (although certainly possible) if they haven’t been bad up until this point. Or two, and I think this is the root of the root, that things will never be so f*cking good that you will feel certain that you picked correctly. And if things aren’t That Good, shouldn’t you just leave now?

My vote, honestly? Stay. Don’t leave. Now, I am distinctly not of the belief that long-term love is a hard slog where you can’t stand to be around your partner, but it’s somehow valuable because… you did it! You made a choice and never changed your mind and now you and your partner of 47 years sleep in separate bedrooms and haven’t had sex in two decades, which is somehow an achievement because you Stuck It Out.

Let me be clear: Those are bad outcomes. I am, however, of the belief that long-term, committed love feels a lot more like sitting in a comfortable armchair than riding a roller coaster. It’s a lot more like putting on a great pair of socks than it is like going to a dance party. Obviously, there are times when that’s a little sad. I wish love were a little more like the movies sometimes, but there’s a reason rom-coms end after people get together. It’s kind of boring! Not every day. Some days are hot; some days feel like falling in love again.

Every negative train of thought in your letter is posed as a future hypothetical. The questions you ask are, “What if things get bad? What if I become bored or dissatisfied?” Not that you are currently, which I think is really telling. I believe if you were to start feeling very unhappy you would know.

Is there a guarantee those things won’t happen with your partner in a few years? No. But right now you’re giving me absolutely zero reasons to predict that it will. It’s always possible that you and your partner — whether that’s your current boyfriend or someone else — change and grow in ways that mean you two no longer fit together. It’s possible that one or both of you has a massive, unforeseen life event that breaks the relationship. It’s possible you want different things out of life down the road. It’s possible that Adam Driver knocks on your door and tells you that it’s always been you and asks you to run away with him. Are any of those a reason to leave now? No.

You’re never going to get a Hogwartsian letter in the mail that tells you who The One is. You’ll never know with absolute certainty that you made the right choice. As you pointed out, there are lots of people out there who would probably build a lovely life with you. Would it be different in some really good ways with another person? Yes! Would it also be different in some really bad ways? Also yes. No matter who you choose to spend your life with, there will be some degree of wonder about what it would be like with someone else. But if you’re 95% with someone, I don’t think that’s settling.

So if you love spending time with your partner, if being with them feels good and happy and secure now, even if not Unendingly Thrilling and Wildly Exciting, but warm and loving… well, that’s pretty d*mn good. If it doesn’t feel like that, if it feels like you’re just going through the motions, then walk away. As Marianne Moore says in one of my favorite poems, “Satisfaction is a lowly thing. How pure a thing is joy.” Find happiness and stick with it when it’s hard, but not when it’s bad.

You’ll never be able to see what’s coming down the road. The great news, however, is that you have a lot of control over what you make and with whom.

It’s A Pleasure appears here every Thursday. If you have a sex, dating, or relationship question, email Sophia at

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