Brooklyn-based Virginia Sin makes ceramic candlestick holders and fruit bowls (that you’ll find below).
One way to shop more consciously, as we’ve written before, is to patronize businesses owned by members of underrepresented communities. Those who’ve read our (ever-growing) guide to AAPI-owned businesses or contributor SuChin Pak’s lists of products and gifts she loves from AAPI-owned brands have probably noticed a good chunk of the companies mentioned focus on décor for the home. To give you an even better idea of what those businesses have to offer, we combed through their inventory to find pieces to zhuzh up every inch of a home, from fruit bowls for the kitchen to alarm clocks for the bedroom to magazine racks for the living room (or bathroom). We’ve also put together a separate list of wall art from Asian and Asian American artists, for anyone looking to gussy up their vertical space. Like our list of AAPI-owned businesses and gifts, this one is always growing, so we’ll be updating it with more home décor as we uncover it.
Hudson Wilder founder Conway Liao says his brand focuses on reinterpreting classic styles of dishware and drinking glasses, like this smokey handblown glass that can be used for wine or water.
Husband-and-wife team Ted Vadakan and Angie Myung founded Poketo, a lifestyle brand and boutique, in 2003. Based in Los Angeles, it stocks stationery — including planners that are beloved by teachers and productivity experts alike — and lots of stuff for the home, from stylish organizers to vases and planters to tableware, like this set of four bamboo plates in sunny stripes.
Wing On Wo & Co. is New York Chinatown’s oldest continually operating store and is primarily known for its ceramics. Still, there are lots of other items to choose from, like this silk lantern that would make any room feel a bit more ethereal.
We — and Pak — love the Brutalist, coiled ceramic creations from Brooklyn-based designer Virginia Sin. Filled with lemons and limes, this fruit bowl would make any kitchen counter or table look way more sophisticated.
You can find just about anything at New York City institution Pearl River Mart. This ceramic tea set includes a bamboo-handled teapot and four tea cups for less than $20.
For something a bit more whimsical, here’s a delightful glass teapot designed by Sophie Lou Jacobsen (one of the Strategist’s favorite handblown-glass designers) for the Qi, a tea and wellness brand started by Lisa Li.
Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor
Pak is also a fan of the frames from Society Social, a home-goods brand founded by Roxy Te that is inspired by her North Carolina and Filipino roots. “Everyone oohs and aahs over them,” promises Pak.
Designer Pat Kim works mostly in sculpture, objects, and furniture. But she also creates wood-block prints that are a bit more affordable and no less unique, like this abstract piece that comes signed by the artist.
Ilha candles are poured and made by hand with cotton wicks, natural soy wax, and toxin-free fragrances. This particular scent, according to the brand, is ”earthy, woody, with a touch of musk,” but there are a lot more to choose from.
If candlesticks or incense are more your speed, you might prefer this two-in-one, concrete-and-brass incense burner and candle holder from Light and Ladder.
Nalata Nalata is a lovely shop on a tiny side street in the East Village (fittingly called Extra Place), where husband-and-wife duo Stevenson Aung and Angelique Chmielewski curate a selection of minimalist, Japanese design objects. While it looks pleasingly analog, this wooden alarm clock by industrial designer Riki Watanabe has a built-in snooze button for late sleepers.
Pak also alerted us to San Francisco–based potter and illustrator Sam Lee, whose rustic creations feel very of the moment. This mini vase is 3.5 inches tall, 5.5 inches wide, and just waiting for a bud or two.
Brooklyn-based design studio Sun at Six is run by a mother-and-son duo who create furniture using classical Chinese joinery, a technique that allows their pieces to fit together like puzzles. For instance, this floating stand — just waiting to be filled with magazines or books — is handcrafted from solid white oak without nails or screws.
If you’re looking for furniture to sit on, you should check out the couches and smaller pieces from Sabai, a company founded by Phantila Phataraprasit and Cailtin Ellen that focuses on quality, sustainability, and durability. The Essential Ottoman is one of its less-expensive and more versatile pieces, because it can be used as extra seating or as a coffee table. You can choose from one of eight recycled or upcycled fabrics for the upholstery and two colors for its wooden legs.
Those looking for a less-expected way to brighten their homes should check out the expert-approved wall sconces from Shanghai-based studio Neri&Hu. While the piece is rather intricate — the blown-glass globe hangs from a brushed-brass ring that’s suspended from a black metal base — installation is a breeze because you just have to plug it in.
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