Sometimes we get so focused on what we're making in our kitchens, what with all those fresh farmers market ingredients and fancy spices, that we forget about what stays in the kitchen day after day. I'm talking about all the little odds and ends that make your home kitchen a place where you actually want to hang out.
In the last year, I've become slightly (OK, more than slightly) addicted to the craft site Etsy. I love the vintage section equally, if not more, than the handmade section, and it seems that whenever I need something unique, quirky, or functional, Etsy has my answer. I've pulled together a list of some of my favorite kitchen shops for you. Now when someone asks where you scored that awesome apron or your killer napkins, you can feel superior when you say they're one of a kind.
Bone Yard Fabs: I'm a sucker for anything rustic, including log cabins, furniture, and scruffy Colin Farrell. These tables and bar stools, made from reclaimed redwoods and metal, are custom-made and built to order by request only.
Candleberry Market: The only true vintage shop on my list, this one offers a mishmash of cool old stuff from bottles and matchboxes to milk glass and silver serving platters. More random items, like a cast-iron French bulldog, aren't necessarily for the kitchen, but could be multipurpose--as in, if you can lift him over your head, he'd be great for knocking out an unknown intruder.
Designs out of the Blue: This is probably my favorite shop for a few reasons. I love good design, creativity, and simplicity. The EAT napkins and placemats have stolen my heart. Don't be surprised to see them if you come over for a dinner party.
Claudia G. Pearson: Her uncreative store name almost docked her a few points, but in the end, Claudia's prints made the cut. Cute, child-esque illustrations provide recipes for grilled peaches, plum ketchup, and sour-cherry soup. She's also got a 2011 buy-local calendar, recipe greeting cards, and a coloring book for the kiddies.
Design Dude: This dude's bacon magnets are pretty rad, but I love this "Push button, receive bacon" infographic even more. Like everyone else in the world these days, he's also got a play on the "Keep Calm and Carry On" poster, only his reads "Keep Calm and Eat a Pickle."
And for good measure, here were some weird and wacky items I stumbled upon. If you buy these, I must warn you, we might not be able to be friends anymore:
Bacon and Egg earrings: Look, bacon and eggs are yummy--I get that! Hell, I write a brunch column basically dedicated to them. But if you're using them as fashion statements, we may have a problem.
Decorative wine chain: What? I'm seriously speechless. Unless this also doubles as some type of body embellishment for after drinking fun, it's just wrong. Actually, I take that back. It's just wrong no matter what.