“It’s all in the details” can apply to many things. But when it comes to our living spaces, it means sourcing and carefully placing the best home products, decor, and gadgets in just the right place to make a room feel more cozy, comfortable, and welcoming.
During the pandemic, many Vogue editors took a hard look at their homes and made some improvements. Perhaps unsurprisingly, many of their home improvement needs could be satisfied on Amazon. We asked a handful of our staffers to share which of their best home products purchased have made the biggest difference in their day-to-day lives.
So far, they’re finding ways to improve their cooking habits with the help of neat kitchen gadgets or transforming small spaces like studio apartments with surprisingly chic room dividers. Others are getting some stress relief by simply freeing their countertops of masks and mess with the right storage or upgrading their home entertainment with movie projectors and Bluetooth speakers. From mood-boosting light bulbs and outdoor portable pizza ovens (hello dining al fresco!) ) to mastering the perfect cup of coffee in your very own kitchen, here are 27 Vogue-approved and tested items that will hopefully improve your space too.
Virginia Smith, Fashion Director
This time of year, being home means being outside as much as possible, and that includes cooking. I love the Ooni pizza oven!
Chioma Nnadi, Editor, Vogue.com
I’ve always been super picky about my yoga mats, and now that I practice at home pretty much exclusively, I’m even more specific about the type of mat I use. A friend of mine recommended Liforme to me shortly after we went into lockdown last March. He swears by the non-slip nature of their mats, and I would totally agree—nothing worse than slipping off your mat when you’re mid headstand! Plus, their mats come with markings on them to help encourage better alignment.
Lucie Zhang, Director, Social Media
Like most NYC apartments, we don’t have a ton of counter space, so we try to keep our kitchen devices down to a minimum. These cast iron pans are a staple in our kitchen; they’re versatile and multipurpose.
Julie Tong, Senior Commerce Editor
If you haven’t already heard me wax poetic about my game-changing Balmuda Japanese toaster, then let me just say—it’s the single most-used appliance in my home throughout last year. Say goodbye to stale-tasting bread and baked goods and hello to perfectly crisp and flaky croissants. Turn leftover pizza into a seemingly fresh slice the next day. The secret lies in Balmuda’s steam technology which seeps a bit of moisture into each item. I can honestly say I’m obsessed with this toaster.
Steff Yotka, Fashion News Editor
Replace the light in your bedside lamp with a pink bulb. It’s still bright enough to read from but makes falling asleep all the more dreamy and adds a nice level of calm.
Lilah Ramzi, Features and Shopping Editor
More time spent at home means more dirt collecting on my floors and more time for me to notice it all. After going through several vacuum cleaners that couldn’t even outlive the leases of my apartments, I decided to invest in a longer-lasting, higher-quality machine. Enter the Dyson V11 Torque drive. It’s pricey but the value is absolutely there—it’s cordless, has a battery that lasts for an uninterrupted hour, and leaves my floors bare-naked and clean. Plus, it’s one less vacuum that will end up in the hoover graveyard.
Rickie De Sole, Executive Fashion Director, Vogue.com
I like to take my time with a cup of coffee. I have my first sips as my kids are waking up and often find myself still nursing that same cup hours later as a I settle into my desk and begin the workday. The Ember cup keeps my coffee heated the entire time. It’s a total game changer and I struggle to drink coffee from anything else! I charge it overnight so it’s ready to go in the morning. I am so addicted I just ordered the travel version so I can start bringing it to the office too.
Alexis Bennett, Commerce Writer
I’m a sucker for anything that makes life easier, especially my iRobot vacuum. The fact that I don’t have to waste time sweeping is a total game-changer. Plus, watching the smart vacuum scoot around the house makes cleaning up fun.
David Vo, Senior Designer
As someone whose culinary expertise was limited to sandwich assembly and maybe a scrambled egg, I decided early on in quarantine to make more of an effort with cooking. The Ninja is my new favorite cooking appliance; it’s easy to use, non-intimidating. Even after one year, there are still functions and recipes I look forward to experimenting with.
Willow Lindley, Accessories Director
I didn’t realize just how much this iPad stand was going to change my at-home lifestyle when I bought it. From helping to create a second screen when I’m working on my laptop to being the perfect cooking companion, this is the best 20 bucks I’ve spent.
Ella Riley-Adams, Senior Living and Beauty Editor
It’s not sexy, but the thing that truly transformed my home in the last year was an order of compression bags. I divided my clothes by season and packed all the off-season items into these easy-to-use (and reusable) bags. Compressing them allowed me to fit double the amount in the drawers beneath my bed, making for more breathing room in the closet. Plus, the bags help protect my dormant clothes from potential moth attacks. Wins all around.
Mai Morsch, Associate Market Editor
I adore both the look and functionality of my JWDA table lamps, designed by Jonas Wagel for Menu. The minimalist concrete base is warmed up by the brass knob, which also acts as a dimmer. No matter the time of day, these lamps ensure just the right amount of atmospheric light.
Corey Seymour, Senior Editor
I’ve long avoided in-ear bud-style headphones for the two obvious reasons: Fit (my ears seem to be a challenge in this regard) and sound (in-ear buds just haven’t seemed to bring either the natural, booming bass or the full-spectrum soundscape I want). No longer: These just-released Sony buds pack every kind of useful-feature punch: The fit is great out of the box but also customizable; the noise-cancelling is next-level, the intuitive controls are, well… intuitive—but it’s the quality of the actual sound they put out that blows my mind. I’m literally hearing new parts of favorite songs revealed for the first time—and it’s beyond thrilling.
Madeline Fass, Fashion Market Editor
I recently moved into a studio apartment and without a doubt, this wavy wooden screen divider has been the best purchase I’ve made for my place. I really wanted my living and bedroom space to feel separate despite only having one room to work with, and it looks better than I could have even imagined. I first laid eyes on it at the then Labucq showroom and storefront in LA. When I asked Lauren Bucquet, the founder of the brand, where she found it I was shocked to learn that it was in fact from Amazon. (Sorry Lauren, if I am outing your decorating secret!).
My brother also got me this uncomplicated and easy-to-use portable Miroir projector for my birthday this year, and it has truly transformed my studio. I didn’t want to have to hang a permanent TV in my small apartment, and this plug-in projector lets me watch my shows and movies without having a giant black screen take up my precious wall space at all times. I use Chromecast to stream everything from my phone, so all I have to do is plug in, position, and it’s ready to go. Once I’m done, I unplug it and stash it away in a drawer, like it was never there. For a less-than-tech-savvy TV person, the fewer wires, the better!
Christian Allaire, Fashion and Style Writer
As someone who has no problem regularly dropping $8 on an iced oat milk latte, having my own coffee maker at home has been a real game-changer. (Mostly, for my finances.) This Nespresso machine is my new obsession—it’s so easy to use and the espresso is top-tier. Now, I can be my very own barista in the morning.
Chloe Schama, Senior Editor
Prior to the pandemic, I could barely keep a succulent alive. My mother would whisk away shriveled orchids after their blooms had dropped and return them to me 12 months later, leaves aglow. She did not pass down her green thumb. But the verdant backdrops of colleagues’ zoom setups and endless hours inside inspired me to give it another try, and so I purchased a surprisingly hardy citrus plant to stand guard by my window. It got me through the dark days of the spring. I’m counting on it to do the same this winter.
Rachel Besser, Fashion Market Editor
I don’t like cooking because it takes up so much time and energy (bad excuse, I know). That being said, I am also trying to invest in items that make cooking feel like less of a to-do. This egg cooker has given me a lot of time back on breakfasts and lunches and has gotten me to save a bit of money on ordering food.
Ciarra Lorren Zatorski, Assistant Market Editor
Though not the biggest TV watcher, moving out of a cable-equipt home to a cable-free apartment has been quite the adjustment. The Amazon Fire TV Stick has been a saving grace for my binge-watching needs over the past year and a half.
Marley Marius, Associate Features Editor
The dimensions of my Upper East Side apartment are such that a microwave seemed an unwise use of space, much less a television. So what was this mild-to-moderate cinephile with a fondness for big screens to do? Buy a streaming stick–compatible projector, as it turned out. Trained on a blank stretch of wall, the device has transformed a tiny studio into the private screening room of my dreams.
Clarissa Schmidt, Commerce Producer
In all of the four years that I’ve been living in the city, I’ve never had a coffee table—until now. My boyfriend, a large dog, and I live in a pretty small apartment, so we needed one that was both compact and multi-functional. What better solution than this lift-top table that serves as the perfect WFH desk by day and storage compartment by night?
Janelle Okwodu, Senior Fashion Writer
When all your neighbors are also spending their time at home, one of the easiest things to cause a distraction are odors. Whether it’s someone smoking in the apartment next door, the folks downstairs burning incense, or just the scent of disinfectants, it’s easy to be overwhelmed. I don’t think I would be able to be at home comfortably without the benefit of having an air purifier. It is a little luxury that makes my overly sensitive nose feel better. At current I have a no-name one from Amazon, but I’ve been seriously considering upgrading to the much stronger Dyson model.
Alexandra Gurvitch, Market Editor
At the beginning of quarantine I got into doing at home yoga and pilates, although most instructors gave creative tips like using cans of beans or thick books to replace yoga bricks, I found them to be really hard to maintain balance on. I eventually bought a pair of these cork bricks recommended by yoga instructors. Not only do I use them to get deep into my poses but they double as a laptop stand for me to work off of.
Charlotte Diamond, Assistant Market Editor
I recently upgraded my WFH setup and am now the lucky owner of two computer monitors. My Apple Magic Mouse makes it easier than I could have ever imagined to toggle between both screens. An added bonus: it is a chic, sleek addition to my desk.
Fernando Dias de Souza, Global Design Director, Vogue
I live in an old New York City walkup building, it’s very charming and all that, but it has nearly zero amenities. The size is also not exactly Versailles. I recently discovered the Black & Decker portable clothes washer—it’s small enough that you can literally carry it over to the kitchen sink and connect it to the faucet each time you use it (just make sure to properly secure the hose), then store it away. It’s had a very positive impact on my daily life; I can now do my laundry at home—and avoid walking up flights of stairs.
Earlier this year, I was able to secure this console, which has been harder than finding a Telfar bag. I grew up playing video games and kind of stopped for a very long time, until the pandemic hit and the PS5 came out. Video games and tennis, and even an actual tennis video game, have played a very big role in keeping me healthy and sane during this time.
Daisy Shaw-Ellis, Jewelry Director
I converted from buying ground coffee to whole bean a few years ago and after a coffee machine with a built-in grinder died an unceremonious death, this coffee bean grinder came to the rescue. It’s fast, so much quieter than other grinders, and the freshly ground beans give my morning necessity an added umph (without waking up the whole house).