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Nifty things to buy for your home
Photograph: Shutterstock / Time Out

28 nifty things to buy to make your home a happier place in 2021

We’re all likely to be spending a lot more time at home (again) this year. Spice it up with one of these brilliant things you can buy

Huw Oliver
Written by
Huw Oliver

We’ve all spent far too much time in our homes over the past year or so. Obviously, it’s all for the greater good – but still, we wouldn’t blame you if you were pretty fed up by now with the daily commute from your bed to your desk and back again (via the occasional foray into the kitchen).

So what you probably need is a little bit of spice to liven up your set-up for working, socialising, dining and basically everything else from home. Some light may have appeared at the end of the tunnel, but this last bit will be much more enjoyable if you actually sort out the environment where you’re spending 90 percent of the time.

At the end of 2020, we asked Time Out staff around the world for the one thing they bought last year that transformed their years from incredibly shit into… not quite so incredibly shit. Of course, retail therapy isn’t the answer to everything. But we promise that if you buy even a few of the following bits and bobs – from useful gadgets to spirit-lifting home décor and pure entertainment – the next few months at home will be a whole lot happier and more wholesome. You’re very welcome.

(Oh, and it almost goes without saying: make sure you buy all of the below from a local, independent retailer if you possibly can.)

1. ‘A fold-up ping-pong table. Heartily recommend it. Hours of fun, and it doubles as two desks.’

2. ‘We bought a projector and DVD player in February last year, and it was the best thing ever to have during lockdown. Seriously. The best.’

3. ‘A stripy deck chair.’

4. ‘I would totally recommend investing in a hanging plant like a String of Hearts. So much green for no use of floor space!’

5. ‘All new bedding – serious game-changer. Oh, and also one of those inane head scratcher things.’

6. ‘A miniature dachshund puppy. He’s cute AF. But adopt, don’t shop.’

7. ‘A SodaStream. It became indispensable for a classy glass of water or making an easy base for a cocktail.’

8. ‘A Theragun! Nothing better than a spot of percussive massage therapy between meetings.’

9. ‘Stainless steel clothes pegs. A lot of laundry was achieved during lockdown and now crumbling pegs can never plague us again.’

10. ‘Seedlings for my backyard. Gardening was incredibly cathartic.’

11. ‘A cat. His name is Harry Winks.’

12. ‘I don’t have much space to work with, but I like decorating my living room with boho quilts. It gives the space a pop of colour and comes in handy for late nights on the couch.’

13. ‘A French press. It’s helped me learn a lot more about coffee and I’m saving a ton of money every day.’

14. ‘I adore the vintage coupes I picked up at my local thrift store. They really levelled up my Martini happy hours.’

15. ‘A pair of fancy powered speakers that I impulse-bought moments after my stereo receiver crapped out for the second time during quarantine.’

16. ‘I bought some new paintings from a talented independent artist who happens to be one of my partner’s best friends. They transformed my room.’

17. ‘A fire pit! Even in my tiny, crappy back yard, outdoor socialising has never been better (or warmer).’

18. ‘Some really nice silk slippers. They make me feel like I’m living in my third husband’s mansion after his mysterious death.’

19. ‘NutriBullet. It’s a game-changer for hummus, chutneys, smoothies and other whipped-up stuff.’

20. ‘I got a steal on a used spin bike at the beginning of lockdown. While everyone waited for their Peloton to ship, I was pedalling away like crazy.’

21. ‘A really good office chair. Thank God I caved two weeks into lockdown.’

22. ‘I bought an antique hutch to act as the new home bar. Nothing says “I can handle lockdown” like having a super-swanky spot to mix drinks or peruse your wine rack.’

23. ‘A handmade rug from a small business!’

24. ‘I got my hands on an amazing work of art by Faye Hadfield, a big black ceramic vase with a golden smiley face on it. It’s awesome and I’m terrified that either I or the cat will knock it over.’

25. ‘Anything with CBD in it: drops, bath oils and skincare products.’

26. ‘A fancy AF couch (it reclines and you can even charge your phone in it) and a robot vacuum. I’m not big on housekeeping, and being stuck at home in my own filth was disgusting.’

27. ‘I bought a large crêpe pan – but I mainly use not for crêpes but for quesadillas, one of my ultimate quarantine quick meals. I’ll never be a fine French chef but I’ll be damned if I’m not making the best quesadillas I’ve ever made in my life.’

28. ‘A tree. He’s called Mick.’

More nifty lockdown tips

  • Things to do

This is our ultimate list of things to do indoors – from curated lists of the best movies and greatest podcasts to indoor fitness, online learning, games to play, amazing live-streams to tune in to, and some offbeat activities dreamed up by creative people around the world.


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