If It Sparks Joy…

While not everyone has spent 2020 indoors (thank you, essential workers 👏 👏 👏), many of us have lived this year between apartment walls—paper-thin as they may be. For The Good Trade team, we’ve been working from converted coffee tables since sometime last spring. (Has it really been less than a year?) And this had us thinking about how can we best care for the spaces where we rest, eat, play, and now, work.

For our team, it comes back to basics, and really the principles that The Good Trade was founded on. That is to say, we desire to create homes that are as sustainable as they are cozy. We hope to cultivate spaces that encourage rest and renewal, while also considering environmental footprint and how we invest our dollars.

With colder weather just around the corner (and by colder, we mean 60s in LA ☀️), we thought it’d be fun for our editors to share their most loved and treasured home good items—from vintage finds and family heirlooms to big-ticket investments and locally made decor.

We’d love to hear about your capsule home items, too! What sparks joy in your space, and what are the treasures you can’t live without? Share with us in the comments below!

* Header image is from Salam Hello

Danielle Partnerships Manager

My living room is the first thing I see when I enter my home; where my partner, pup, and I spend most of our time; and where our guests (when that was still a thing 😩) used to join us for drinks, dinner, and laughs. So, naturally, it’s the first place I want to feel both cozy and colorful.

An insatiable lover of music, I try to make my record player a focal point and invitation, so I’ve been eyeing wooden stands with hairpin legs that have enough storage to showcase both my $7 vinyl steals and books by musicians. At nearly every corner of the room too, you’ll find a growing plant that I’m impatiently begging to flourish, so I’m hoping a propagation station will make possible my dream of being wildly outnumbered by greenery.

All my walls are punctuated with framed works that were gifted to me, won in a raffle, or created by artists I discovered in shops while on vacation or on Instagram—like this Nina Simone print I ordered from Mexico that now hangs in my kitchen. Elsewhere in my kitchen is my favorite pan, a nonstick-steamer hybrid from Our Place that can do it all so I can focus more on cooking and less on clean-up. And when I stop being scared of splurging on a couch that’s not a neutral gray—it just goes with everything, okay?!—it will likely be a glorious mustard color, with a chaise for curling up with the aforementioned pup, of course.

The Pieces:

  1. Wicker Wood Works Turntable Station | $385

  2. Joybird Eliot Apartment Sectional | $3,579

  3. Fabiana Loschi Propagation Station Wall Decor | $49.38

  4. Our Place Always Pan | $150

  5. ‘Simone Backlash Blues’ by Victoria Villasana | Varies

Alyssa Social & Community Lead

This question is so timely given that I recently moved, and with my partner no less. (It’s not all up to me anymore!) I’m a big home person—blame it on my Cancer moon, but I love to nest! Thus far, most of the items in my home have been secondhand. I love the joy of scouring estate sales, thrift stores, garage sales, and Facebook Marketplace to find the perfect “it” item to suit my needs.

The very first thing I need to make a new space feel like home is a good candle and this one by Mar Mar reminds me of all my favorite Southern California cities. I also appreciate that they’re clean burning and poured by Light 4 Life, an amazing organization here in Los Angeles. There’s also nothing better than drinking coffee from a Mud Witch Chubby Mug and wigglin’ ya lil toes into something like THIS rug! Bury me in it. please, I beg of you.

Because entertaining and hosting are so special to me (and a big Julian family thing), I always need a fun serving situation, and this carafe from Neal Drobnis is a great conversation starter and addition to a dinner party spread. Comfortable seating is also a must! That means that no matter where I go, my Eames fiberglass stacking chairs are coming with me. They’re truly so comfortable and a classic that I know I’ll own forever.

To round out the dining area and make eating even the simplest of meals feel like a special occasion, we looove our Heath dining set. It’s sturdy, made right here in California, and preserves an ancient craft in modern times. Beyond all that good stuff, they’re so lovely to look at!

Lastly, luxurious towels are something I’ve really leaned into lately. (Is this what it means to be “adulting”?) I’m on the checkerboard train like everyone else right now, so I couldn’t resist these fun Dusen Dusen patterned towels. The soft, 100 percent terry makes settling into (and learning the ins-and-outs of) a new shower feel more comfortable!

In addition to all these littles, taking the time to source thoughtfully crafted, often vintage goods is a surefire way for me to feel at home in a new space. Building a home takes time (I need this reminder, myself), and it’s always worth the extra searching in the long run.

The Pieces:

  1. Face Vessel Carafe | $55

  2. Dusen Dusen Bath and Hand Towels | $10+

  3. Eames Fiberglass Stacking Base Chair | Vintage, price varies

  4. Heath Ceramics Rim Line | $26+

  5. Mar Mar “Other Desert Cities” Candle | $46

  6. Cold Picnic Rug | $60+

  7. Mud Witch Chubby Mug, Cantaloupe | $52

Kayti Editor

I truly don’t know how I lived for almost twenty years of my life without rugs. Besides Target bathmats, I simply never considered them, which is wild because I can’t imagine my home feeling complete without big and bright area rugs. I tend to shop on Etsy or buy them secondhand as I can generally get a nice-sized one for less than $100. But Salam Hello, a company that sells rugs directly sourced and handwoven by Morocco’s Berber women, is on my list for if/when we buy a home.

Another dream item? This art deco lamp. Lately, I’m having a moment with lamps, as I find they are a simple upgrade that brings texture, warmth, and an interesting element to my space. I also love that I can find them at almost any thrift store—they’re one of the easiest items to find on the cheap. While I don’t own anything close to the pictured statement piece, I did recently score a 30-inch plaster table lamp off Facebook Marketplace. It’s way too big for my tiny apartment, but I love it anyway.

For bedding, I’ve been converted to linen—and I can’t imagine myself ever going back. I’m currently sleeping on Tuft & Needles’ sheet set as it’s affordable and honestly perfect, but this olive color set from Hawkins New York is 😍.

Lastly, when it comes to the final touches around my home, it’s mostly thrifted goods or family heirlooms. My grandmother collected brass, and I’ve noticed I gravitate towards this material when investing in new (but older-looking) items. This candelabra from English Cotswold brand Nkuku is made of hand-forged iron and finished in aged brass tone. There’s something about candlesticks that makes me feel like I’m living in an old library—which, of course, is my end goal. Hence the planter bookends.

The Pieces:

  1. Vintage Plaster Floor Lamp | Varies

  2. Salam Hello Rug | $200+

  3. Nkuku Mbata Cluster Candelabra In Antique Brass | £69.95

  4. Hawkins New York Bedding | $98+

  5. Capra Designs Sol Planter Bookends | $69

Emily Managing Editor

My home is absurdly easy-going, with lots of secondhand items, homemade artwork, and (gasp) free curbside furniture I’ve happily rehomed. I’ve realized recently that my approach is less to “create the space I want” and more to “let the space evolve as it will,” and my decor reflects that. Everything in my home is either useful or delightful, or both, with a heavy emphasis on affordability, longevity, and bright colors.

The first thing I purchase in any wood-floored home is upcycled rag rugs—I have two rabbits who have a destructive side to them, so fussy investment rugs are right out. Plus, I can machine wash the rag rugs when I need! As they wear out, my plan is to continue to upcycle them into new rugs again and again.

Food and entertainment are core to my husband and my lives, even before the pandemic. We’d snag a big cast iron skillet (we use ours constantly), and while I didn’t include them in my list, Corelle plates will last a lifetime. Add a refurbished gaming console, probably a PS4, since secondhand is the way to go, and we’re set.

Scatter in some homey touches—a pothos plant, which is the only plant I’m 100% sure I can keep alive, a candle that combines lavender with an earthy scent like cedar, and linen sheets—because I’ve tried them and now I can’t go back.

I’d top it all off with pink paint. I *adore* the pink walls in my apartment and will continue the trend in any future homes I have.

The Pieces:

  1. The Sill Pothos Plant | $61

  2. Lodge Cast Iron Skillet | $20.95

  3. Refurbished Playstation 4 | $319+

  4. Red Top Ranch on Etsy Upcycled Rag Rug | $52+

  5. Lavender + Cedar Soy Candle | $34

  6. Linoto Linen Sheets | $269+

  7. Clare Pink Sky Paint | $54/gallon

Henah Staff Writer

If you looked up “homebody,” me in my living room would be the definition. And if I had to describe my home aesthetic in three words, I’d say: cozy, warm, and pet-friendly (ha!).

When my ~now-husband~ and I first moved in, we upgraded to a charcoal gray Burrow sectional via a payment plan, and it is one of the best home purchases we ever made. I fall asleep on it all the time (a feat!) and it has been nearly indestructible when it comes to our pets’ claws. Pair this with a cream chunky knit blanket (like this one from Wool Experts), and you’ll see why I spend almost every waking moment here.

I’ve tied our space together with wall prints (directly above our couch is a huge gallery wall), vintage collectibles, and candles. I’ve kept prints from the Museum of Modern Art, personalized poems, and art from a personal fave, Emily Tingey.

I also have more than two dozen candles around our apartment (oops), but a favorite is definitely the Brooklyn Candle Studio collab with Allison Kunath, as it’s women-led, locally made, and benefits gender equality initiatives (and smells gorgeous—hello, currant and fig!).

Finally, I like to collect vintage goods including an Underwood typewriter and film cameras like my dad’s treasured Canon AE-1 and an old set from eBay, which I snagged for $30.

Back to hibernating…

The Pieces:

  1. Burrow Sectional | $1,790

  2. Chunky Knit Blanket | $70+

  3. Emily Tingey Art Print | $35

  4. Vintage Camera Set | $30+

  5. Brooklyn Candle Studio x Allison Kunath Woman No. 1 | $45

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Kayti Christian (she/her) is an Editor at The Good Trade. She has a Master’s in Nonfiction Writing from the University of London and is the creator of Feelings Not Aside, a newsletter for enneagram 4s and other sensitive-identifying people. Outside of writing, she loves hiking, reading memoir, and the Oxford comma.