Comforts of Home 2011
Fabulous functionality

Kitchen essentials: Our favorite finds for the best room in the house

News_1_Kitchen Round-up_Coffee Maker
Courtesy of Photo courtesy Neëst
News_2_Kitchen Round-up_Coffee Mug
Courtesy of Photo courtesy Terrain
News_3_Kitchen Round-up_Sugar and Creamer Pots
Courtesy of Photo courtesy Heath Ceramics
News_4_Kitchen Round-up_Cutting Board
Courtesy of Photo courtesy Crate & Barrel
News_5_Kitchen Round-up_Bread Knife
Courtesy of Photo courtesy Brook Farm General Store
News_6_Kitchen Round-up_Wooden Spoon
Courtesy of Photo courtesy Harriott Grace
News_7_Kitchen Round-up_Cannisters
Courtesy of Photo courtesy Terrain
News_8_Kitchen Round-up_Napkins
Courtesy of Photo courtesy Knife in the Water
News_9_Kitchen Round-up_Woven Bowls
Courtesy of Photo courtesy Baskets of Africa
News_10_Kitchen Round-up_Rug
Courtesy of Photo courtesy HomeTerrain

I spend a lot of my time in the kitchen (although not necessarily doing the cooking), so I want the space to be warm, inviting and attractive. I like to invest in high-quality, handcrafted pieces when possible. No reason why utility and aesthetics shouldn't merge.

The Chemex Coffee Maker ($40 for eight-cups) is as well-known for its beautiful hourglass design as for the delicious coffee it yields.

Buy locally at Buffalo Hardware or Bering's.

A good mug is big enough to handle your caffeine craving, but small enough to keep the coffee from getting cold.

I have my eye on this Spare Stripe earthenware mug ($14) from Terrain. It's simple, handmade and good to go for both the microwave and the dishwasher.

Heath Ceramics has been making tableware by hand in their Sausalito, Ca. factory for years. Their coffee and creamer capsules in Linen ($35 each) would be the perfect compliment to the coffee maker.

A wooden cutting board is the most oft-used item in my kitchen. I like to keep it on the counter for dual purposes of decoration and easy access. This one from Crate & Barrel ($24.95), made from acacia hardwood, is smooth and well-crafted.

Buying a good serrated knife will make all the difference in slicing bread, tomatoes and cheese. Opinel has been making them in France since the late 19th century. Buy online at Brook Farm General Store ($39).

Herriott Grace is a father-daughter team who carve spoons by hand from salvaged wood. Each piece is a beautiful, one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

Flimsy grocery store bulk bags just won't do for my pantry. Glass canning jars are a pretty and affordable alternative to keep goods dry and easily visible. Plus, you can use them for making your own jams and pickles, if you're so inclined.

You can find them easily at resale shops and kitchen supply stores. Buy jars online at Weck Canning (prices vary).

Cloth napkins are classy and eco-friendly. These simple graphic options are screen-printed by hand in South Korea. Buy online at Knife in the Water ($12).

Woven baskets are perfect for holding produce, bread or table linens. These are hand-woven in Uganda. Buy online at Baskets of Africa ($44.50).

You've got to keep your feet cozy in front of the kitchen sink. Knotted rugs are easy to toss in the washing machine when you spill. I love this bold, hand-woven rug. Buy online at HomeTerrain ($100).