11 Gifts for the Home

iStock
iStock

If home is where the heart is, it should reflect all the things its inhabitants love. And whether that's quirky cat prints or voice-command electronics, we have your gift-buying covered.

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1. JASS JUMBO CHALK PENCIL; $4

For the artistic friend who always has a chalkboard of doodles or inspirational quotes hanging in the entryway, this oversized chalk pencil from Switzerland will make the decorating process far less messy than the traditional options.

Find It: CW Pencil Enterprises

2. ARTIST PALETTE CHEESE TRAY; $40

This ceramic serving tray is perfect for the foodie who fancies their cheese and charcuterie spreads to be masterpieces.

Find It: Fishs Eddy

3. TILE SPORT KEY FINDER; $35

Losing your keys when you need to run out the door is a time-honored tradition, but attaching a Tile Sport helps ensure that your giftee's keys can’t hide for too long. Plus, it can be used in reverse—if they lose their phone, the Tile attached to the keys can be used to call their cell, even if the phone is on silent.

Find It: Amazon

4. FRED TAKE-OUT COMPOST BIN; $25

The EPA estimates that up to 30 percent of what we throw away could actually be composted, which would help reduce greenhouse gasses and improve soil quality. This cute carbon-filtered countertop container will hide any banana peels, coffee grounds, or—yes—late-night fried rice until you can take it out to the backyard or a local community composting program.

Find It: Amazon

5. WHITE SAGE; $9

Whether your friend appreciates the scent of natural incense or might want to cleanse their home of any bad juju before the new year, these mini bundles of dried white sage are the perfect gift to keep on hand for the hosts of any and all holiday parties.

Find It: Juniper Ridge

6. CIRCADIAN OPTICS LIGHT THERAPY LAMP; $65

The dead of winter requires some proactive steps to combat any potential seasonal sadness. This long-lasting LED bulb (good for 50,000 hours, or roughly five and half years of nonstop use) is designed to take up minimal space while still emitting a full-spectrum light that can help alleviate the December doldrums.

Find It: Amazon

7. LARGE CAT ART PRINT; $35

Called "You Asleep Yet?", this 22" x 25" print of a furtive feline by artist Laura Graves would be a welcome companion for anyone whose apartment doesn’t allow pets.

Find It: Society6

8. AMAZON ECHO, 2ND GENERATION; $80

"Alexa, change your look!" The latest Echo device comes in a variety of new looks, from chic charcoal or sandstone fabric to a walnut veneer. But, beyond the visual, the new Echo has enhanced speakers and a new, richer Dolby audio processor, making it much clearer, and Alexa now boasts more than 25,000 skills, including new game features and voice-command purchasing on Amazon Prime.

Find It: Amazon

9. WILSON KEY RING; $15

Made in Connecticut and New York, this brass wire key ring is a solid holiday (or housewarming) gift. Because almost everyone could use a minimalist upgrade, no matter how small.

Find It: Upstate Stock

10. DACHSHUND BOOKEND SET; $30

Add some doggone personality to any bookshelf—this good boy, who comes in black or white, will guard your book collection from any mailmen or squirrels. Or whatever books' major predators are.

Find It: Amazon

11. ULTIMATE EARS WONDERBOOM WATERPROOF BLUETOOTH SPEAKER; $80

With a 10-hour battery life and 360-degree sound, this petite portable speaker packs a punch. And, for the clumsy among us, the waterproof feature safely allows it to be accidentally knocked into bubble baths or splashed with cannonball water poolside without skipping a beat.

Find It: Amazon

The "World's Cleanest Garbage Can" Won't Stink Up Your Kitchen

Canbi
Canbi

Modern living has removed a lot of the sights and smells that people find unpleasant. Exhaust fans sweep away cooking odors. Toilets make waste vanish in seconds. But there's still the dreaded plume of stinking garbage that wafts up every time you open the kitchen trash can.

Enter Canbi, a sharp-looking and cleverly engineered kitchen garbage can designed to both reduce odors and improve the entire waste disposal process. The product, which is currently being funded on Kickstarter, uses an environmentally-friendly deodorizer that utilizes baking soda and activated charcoal to reduce smells coming from the can. It also features a "nesting" liner system that keeps bags from collapsing into the opening and eliminates the chore of fumbling with new bags. Pull one out for disposal, and another is already lining the can. The latex liners are also biodegradable, reducing your reliance on plastic bags that clog landfills.

The large and small sizes of the Canbi garbage can are pictured
Canbi

Canbi is designed to be flaunted, not hidden. Unlike most trash receptacles that are made to be stuffed under the sink or behind a cupboard, the sleek can, which comes in two different sizes, is made to be proudly displayed in your kitchen. The customizable accent rings come in three styles—gold, platinum, and rose gold—so that you can match your can to your favored kitchen aesthetic.

Buy it on Kickstarter. The 3-gallon can is available at the $29 donation level, while the 12-gallon version starts at $52. A 25-pack of replacement liners will be available on Canbi's website for roughly $7.49. Replacement deodorizers, which last three months, will run about $3.75. The trash cans are expected to ship in July.

This Cooling Weighted Blanket Helps You Sleep Soundly Without Overheating

Research has shown that weighted blankets, originally made for kids with anxiety and sensory processing issues, may also alleviate stress and anxiety in adults as well. But if you're someone who gets hot easily, sleeping beneath a heavy blanket at night may feel uncomfortable. The Hush Iced, a cooling version of the popular Hush blanket, is designed to change that.

One of the most common complaints Hush Blankets received from customers after releasing its original weighted blanket was that it made users too hot. So the team at Hush tweaked the outer material to make it friendlier to people who are prone to overheating while still providing the soothing deep-touch pressure of a weighted blanket.

The new Hush Iced, currently raising money on Kickstarter, comes with a special ultra-cooling cover. The thin bamboo and cotton fabric wicks away sweat and helps maintain your body temperature through the night. Inside is Hush's classic weighted blanket, with weight distribution technology that helps you feel relaxed and secure in bed. If you already have a Hush weighted blanket at home, the cooling cover is also available separately.

The Hush Iced weigh 15 to 25 pounds, and comes in standard (48-by-78-inch) and queen (60-by-80-inch) sizes. (Generally, Hush recommends choosing the weight of your blanket based on body weight—check out the Hush site for more information on selecting the right one.)

Buy it on Kickstarter starting at $128. The cooling cover is available on its own for $39.

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