Kitchen Novelties

I'm sure it would be interesting to see a heat map of my walking paths and where I spend most of my time standing in our apartment. At home I find I spend far less time on the couch than I should, and a lot of time in the kitchen. The kitchen is a high-traffic area anyway, because you've got to feed yourself, and I feel like when you're in the kitchen the goal of eating is one you want to meet very quickly.

That said, there's a lot more that has to happen in the kitchen – food preparation, cleaning, organizing – and as with most everything else we feature here on 31 Days of, the goal is a well-designed and thought-out product. Being cool, fun, or especially helpful are other qualifying criteria, of course. So, for our first Novelties post, we focus on a few aesthetically pleasing, useful things for your kitchen.

1. Tivoli Audio Model One

Just about everyone I know has a radio or some music radio/speaker setup in their kitchen. It keeps you company while you cook, makes guests comfortable hanging out, and generally sets a nice atmosphere for whatever you're doing. Tivoli Audio makes perhaps the most attractive set of radios and speakers available. The Model One was Henry Kloss's original Tivoli Audio product design, which is a great place to start.

Available in five finishes @ Tivoli Audio ($149.99)

2. Endless Notes Pad

I think I've been looking for something like the Endless Notes Pad my whole life. Most every day I grab some scrap piece of paper to make a short to-do list or more extensive grocery list. The short-term list has always been elusive for me, and I never really feel like documenting them in a notebook, which is why a scrap piece of paper comes in handy. This pad with paper tape roll is an ingenious design that I'm pretty sure everyone who makes lists would find useful.

@ Spartan Shop ($60)

3. Le Creuset Butter Crock

I spied this butter crock on the shelf in a friend's kitchen, and was instantly happier for knowing it exists. Butter (or margarine) is always cold when I need it, and I don't see the point of buying the spreadable kind because we use it so sparingly. A butter crock is a brilliant thing, and I'll sign on for anything Le Creuset makes because it's some of the best stuff out there.

Available in seven colors @ Le Creuset ($35)

4. Areaware Star Spangled Spatula

Leaning heavily on the novelty side of things, the Areaware Start Spangled Spatula is a very appealing thing. I can think of a lot of people I know who would get a kick out of it, it's so charming. And what more useful thing can you have in the kitchen than a spatula?

Available in red, white, blue, and black @ Areaware ($10)

5. Redecker Broom and Dust Pan

I love the Gernot Redecker's broom and dustpan above all else because I don't have to crouch down or bend over to clean up pesky crumbs and dust and other leftovers from the floor. But, even better, it's great looking and made of beechwood, steel, and natural bristles. I know that at least for me I'd be sweeping the floor several times a day with this.

@ MoMA Store ($75)