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The small things get an upgrade to make the everyday exceptional
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The small things get an upgrade to make the everyday exceptional

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Fredericks and Mae's rainbow-hued matches come in a cork-topped glass tube with a strike pad on the bottom.

Fredericks and Mae's rainbow-hued matches come in a cork-topped glass tube with a strike pad on the bottom. (Fredericks and Mae/TNS)

Design matters when it comes to the big stuff like a house, a car or even a pair of eyeglasses, but when that same attention to detail is placed on the small, utilitarian objects that we live with, it can transform our homes and show us how the small things that surround us can make the daily grind a little nicer.

Danish design brand HAY has become known for tweaking everyday objects and turning them into happy, attention-grabbing focal points for the home. Take the brand’s colorful folded Paper Paper Bins with their swirling design and pops of color that transform the humble wastebasket into a small object of beauty.

Chicago’s CB2 is another brand known for shining a spotlight on the small stuff, and the brand’s collaborations with outside design stars have resulted in some of the best examples of putting a spin on the everyday. In their hands, even a simple deck of playing cards is elevated to the exceptional.

The Guggenheim Store’ s metallic gold deck adds some much-needed pizazz to your game.

The Guggenheim Store's metallic gold deck adds some much-needed pizazz to your game. (Courtesy Neo-Utility/TNS)

Here are five great examples where form collides with function to upgrade the everyday.

Start cooking in style

The Sarpaneva cast iron pot was designed in 1960 and has become a design classic that goes from oven to table. The oven-safe casserole has a white enamel interior and a detachable wooden handle used to open the lid. The elegant design has earned it a spot in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art. $256, finnishdesignshop.com

Strike a match that scents the room

Brighten things up with Fredericks and Mae’s rainbow-hued matches. The wooden matches come in a cork-topped glass tube with a strike pad on the bottom. $30, fredericksandmae.com. Trudon scented matches are delicately perfumed with intoxicating fragrances like incense and lily of the valley, or green leaves, eucalyptus and orange. If the box is left slightly open, the matches will scent a drawer or room. $15, trudon.com

Look for form and function

Afteroom’s painted black zinc alloy and brass hooks play with simple geometrical shapes. Use them for coats, clothes, bags or hats, or just enjoy their graphic, sculptural shape. $53.30, finnishdesignshop.com

Add pops of color throughout the house

Danish design brand HAY’s colorful two-tone paper Paper Paper waste bins are made from folded recycled paper with a protective coating. $25, us.hay.com

Up your game

The humble deck of cards gets a fashionable spin with black and metallic gold designs. CB2's sleek black-on-black deck replaces the classic face cards with futuristic villains. The Guggenheim Store’s metallic gold deck adds some much-needed pizazz to your game. $9.95, cb2.com, $19, guggenheimstore.org

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