Homewares are amazing and if you disagree with me I'm going to fight you. That is how serious they are for me. My dude and I were in Paris for the January sales, dutifully looked at the racks of leather jackets for five minutes, and then ran to the homewares departments, where we poked at funny French china (egg cups shaped like chicken feet!), ogled weird plates (yes, I do need one with a special circle marked out for my ketchup), and wondered who had 400 Euro to spend on a stainless steel egg beater with porcelain handles. This stuff is fascinating. It's the anthropology of the GOOPs of the world, the people who really, sincerely need four different sizes of tagine and napkins embroidered by blind nuns from France.
Let's be clear: I am all about specialist labor-saving devices. If you need a tomato press, corn stripper, shrimp de-veiner or ravioli roller, you go ahead. Do you. There are some things that it would be stupid to try and do with a blunt knife and a can-do attitude. And if you own any of the items on this list and want me to know that they are AMAZING and that your life is BEAUTIFUL NOW YOU POSSESS THEM, that's great! Enjoy your candle-snuffing in your fancy bungalows! I am not a hater!
It's the frivolous stuff that makes me happy: the things that make no sense, that could be done perfectly easily if somebody hadn't invented a good way to make them look cool. I have a giant tureen with antlers on it, and they serve no purpose at all, and it makes me laugh hysterically every time I think about it. Long live Ridiculous Homewares.
1. Jonathan Adler Devil Match Striker, $65.00
I love this. Match boxes are for plebeians. Throw them all away and store all your dangerously flammable materials in the open inside a dude's head, and then strike them on the base, presumably before lighting your cigar with one and cackling. That seems the only appropriate usage, really. Buy it here.
2. Cone of Shame Dog Lamp, $308.00
Who looks at a dog shuffling about in a cone after its Little Operation, looks at a lamp, and gets both a figurative and literal lightbulb above their head? How would you like it if somebody made a light fitting out of your appendicitis? (Actually I'd probably feel quite proud.) Buy it here.
3. Linley Rosewood Candle Snuffer, $300.00
What do you mean, you blow your candles out? Your breath is for sneezing on peasants. Get the snuffer and stop being silly. Buy it here.
4. Alessi Banana Suspender, $102.00
This is genius. I'm not even kidding. Bananas are the passive aggressive friends of the fruit world: put them in a bowl, leave them alone, and you'll come back to discover everything else is bruised, weeping and soggy, and they look resplendent and shinily annoyed. Best separate them as early as possible. Buy it here.
5. Garden Trading Egg Run, $27.00
This is the least practical thing in the history of things. You are putting a delicate egg, with a bunch of other delicate eggs, on a helter-skelter. I kind of want to take whoever invented this out to lunch and enquire gently about their life choices. Buy it here.
6. Cast-Iron Bacon Press, $15.00
It's a little piggy that presses your bacon flat! It is horrifically cute, if weirdly cruel! It is also cast iron and will work your biceps as you flatten your meat (which needs to be flattened, apparently, a memo that nobody gave me in my years of bacon-training)! I NEED ONE IMMEDIATELY. Buy it here.
7. Personalized Pet Treats Jar, $133.50
I am not even sure whether I can laugh at this. This feeling in my stomach is either wretchedness at the decadence of Western society or rising hysteria. The worst bit is that this claims to be able to give your pets a personalized monogram, but F, I, O, Q, U, X, Y and Z are unavailable. Fido and Fifi are genuinely not an option. Buy it here.
8. Brass Squirrel Shoehorn, $154.00
I have no idea what squirrels have to do with shoes. This is my main difficulty with this piece of kit: it seems so weirdly disconnected. Also it is many dollars for a thing that comes free, but I guess the free ones don't have completely irrelevant animals on them. Buy it here.
9. Staub Animal Knobs, $30.00
Speaking of irrelevant animals! Feel the need to replace the practical flat knobs on your immensely expensive Staub pots with fiddly creatures that will hurt your hand every time you hoist the lid off? Now you can. Buy it here.
10. Preserve Leather-Clad Flashlight, $56.00
Considering I use flashlights for crashing around looking for fuse boxes in dark, cobweb-covered rooms or outside in thunderstorms yelling for lost cats, leather seems highly impractical. However, I will give Blake Lively the benefit of the doubt in assuming she only uses hers in pillow forts. Done. Buy it here.
11. Umbra Cheese Grater Suitcase, $23.00
OK, this seems completely stupid, but I am totally on board with what it's doing. You grate the cheese inside it, then you open your briefcase onto your plate, and whoosh, cheesy goodness! And it absolutely saves two percent of the mess and bother of just grating the cheese in an open grater. Boom. Buy it here.
Images: Williams & Sonoma, Preserve, Amara, Staub, Jonathan Adler, Metropolitan Museum Store, Pedlars.