As much as Marie Kondo would like to believe we can live in a world sans hammer, step stool, or dustpan, the reality is that there are a handful of household basics we all need to keep at home. Think about it: You wouldn't want to get stuck sans flashlight in a power outage, and sometimes you really do need that extra extension cord for the latest gadget you just bought. For better or for worse, these essentials fill up our junk drawers, pantries, and the cupboards under our sinks. They spill over in the garage and in our closets—but what if there was a better way to tackle these house essentials we so badly need—even if only on occasion?
The Swedes—and Scandinavian real estate agents particularly—have understood this dilemma all too well and came up with an easy fix: Buy household items that are actually pretty to look at and display them proudly instead of tucking them away and stockpiling unsightly essentials. If you have a good-looking bottle of dishwashing liquid, you won't feel guilty about leaving it out near the sink—and if your feather duster is stylish, you can hang it on a coat rack instead of storing it away. This method of organizing is not only aesthetically pleasing, it's also more practical when everything is within reach and within sight. So throw out your old home essentials, and upgrade to these sleek alternatives.
Think practical organization, especially when you don't have a hallway closet. Keeping everything within sight will help you keep your outerwear strictly edited.
Coat hangers are not always the most eye-catching household item, but this wall-mounted coat hanger is sculptural and doubles as a statement piece.
If the hangers in your hallway closet are a mismatched mix of dry cleaning wire hangers and felt ones, it may be time to upgrade to a new set. These faded hangers can even help with keeping order in your color-coded wardrobe.
Do you rely on calendars and memos to keep your household organized? Do it in style with this magnetic chat board.
You may be thinking How is a match striker a household essential? But if you consider that the alternative is a generic lighter, there's no denying that this substitute is unequivocally more sophisticated.
Why hide everything away when you can decorate your kitchen while making it a more practical space? Pick up these pretty countertop essentials.
This dishwashing liquid looks so good it should be proudly displayed by your sink—instant utilitarian décor statement.
This heavy-duty cleaning set is not only essential to your pots and pans, it's also eye-pleasing enough to display.
Keep sponges and brushes organized near your sink with these clever wall-mounted organizers.
Paper towels are not the prettiest item to display on your counter, but they'll blend in the décor on this marble and brass base.
Even the cooking essentials that should be stored away can have a shelf life if they're aesthetically pleasing. From kettles to knives, here are some basics you'll want to display.
Your average water filter may be a sad sight, but you won't hesitate about filling up your guests' glasses with this elevated pitcher.
Now here's a kettle you can proudly keep out and display. Keep all your hot beverage essentials on the counter, and you'll free up precious pantry space.
Forget your average peeler—this one is user-friendly, pleasant to look at, and easily hung on a utensil rack.
You'll never want to hide this cookware away in your cupboards. Leave this one on the stovetop to create an interesting décor element.
Toilet brushes, hand soaps, and trash cans… Bathrooms are full of unsightly items. Upgrade your bathroom easily by swapping the ugly for the elevated.
Hand soap is not notoriously pleasant to look at, but this hand wash and balm set will instantly elevate any bathroom.
Your guests shouldn't have to dry their hands on the same towels you dry yourself with. Invest in elegant hand towels to keep in your bathroom or powder room for guests.
Toilet brushes are notoriously unpleasant to look at, but this sleek IKEA option is barely noticeable in a white bathroom.
Whether in your bathroom or kitchen, keep your wastebaskets sleek and minimal—they'll just blend in the background.
In every closet, pantry, and even garage, house essentials are spilling over with no real place to live. Think tools, fans, and heavy-duty cleaning supplies—swap them out with items you won't want to hide away.
You may be embarrassed to keep your simple white fan in plain sight, even though it's oh so necessary—but you'll want to display this elegant heavy-duty one.
The only tools you really need are the ones you know you'll use. This hammer multi-tool also includes a six-in-one screwdriver set so you can leave storage space for items you actually use frequently.
Your average household duster has nothing on this chic feather duster. Hang it in plain sight—it's that pretty.
The average plastic step stool might not be a sight to display, but this chic retractable alternative can double as a nightstand or be hung up on the wall and save you precious closet space.
Here's an extension cord you won't want to conceal. It's the next best thing to calling an electrician in to add outlets to your wall.
This sweeper and funnel cleverly slides into itself to minimize storage space. It's also pretty enough to hang in plain sight in a pantry or laundry room.