50 Products That Work Harder in Your Home

The Cleverest Awards are back! As we present to you our third iteration, the world has become a very different place. Most of us are working from home if we’re lucky (or trying to), we’re creating new hobbies and habits (that might include a lot of sourdough and banana bread), and we’re trying to stay safe and healthy (who has a new workout video obsession?).

Still, for the Cleverest Awards 2020, we were excited to corral 50 products that are getting us excited, making life feel easier and more comfortable, or just distracting us with their cool factor. It’s still our job to find innovative, beautiful, and ideally sustainable designs that will make you take a double take too. We made sure these products are new, are useful, and have some kind of edge. So whether you’re in the market for a new compact workout mirror, an ergonomic chair, or an interesting all-purpose cleaner, we found those products for you. Here they are, the the Cleverest Award Winners 2020:

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of Owl</cite>
Photo courtesy of Owl

La Pepino Lounge Chair by OWL
Do you find yourself shifting around in your favorite chair more than usual these days? Curled up, sitting up straight, and everything in between? This velvet chair allows you to move the bolsters around for putting your feet up in a variety of ways. It also really just looks like fun. $2,500, incollect.com

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of Gantri</cite>
Photo courtesy of Gantri

Signal Floor Light by Ammunition for Gantri
We’ve sung the praises of Gantri lighting before, but when you manage to create stunning pieces from a corn-based plastic substitute we pay attention. One of the latest works, designed by Ammunition, is this floor lamp composed of elegant geometric shapes that give off a lovely warm glow. $448, gantri.com

<cite class="credit">Photo by Lindsey Swedick </cite>
Photo by Lindsey Swedick

Reservoir Floor Planter by Virginia Sin
If you’re anything like us, investing in all the plant life for your home, you’re going to want some cool planters too. This ceramic piece by Virginia Sin is inspired by the Bronze Age and brilliant irrigation systems. Water flows from the stoneware funnel into a delicate little ball, which is all perched on a clever cagelike structure. $275, virginiasin.com

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of Jumbo</cite>
Photo courtesy of Jumbo

Squiggle Vessel by Jumbo
Designed to resemble an inchworm (aww), the Squiggle vessel by Jumbo can be used as a pitcher, a watering can, or a vase. The Jumbo duo created Squiggle while in quarantine as a response to the feelings of being isolated at home. This multipurpose neon object will forever be a beacon of light. Price upon request, jumbo.nyc

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of Made by Choice</cite>
Photo courtesy of Made by Choice

Fem Work Desk by Made by Choice
If you’re over your pinched nerves or not-so-great posture, you might need to switch up your work-from-home situation. Enter Made by Choice’s Fem desk, which allows you to work both sitting down and standing up. Its adjustable back panel can be used as an upper shelf for your computer or as an extra surface for workspace decor. From $236, finnishdesignshop.com

<cite class="credit">Photo by Jonpaul Douglass</cite>
Photo by Jonpaul Douglass

Reflected Mirror by Ben Tetro
Any wall mirror can make your space appear bigger and brighter by reflecting natural light. This two-in-one mirror by Los Angeles–based designer Ben Tetro does all that and swivels on two hinges for the most flexibility of any wall mirror we’ve ever known. Plus, the mirror’s squiggly silhouette proves it’s a hard-working product that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Price upon request, bentetro.com

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of TOWNEW</cite>
Photo courtesy of TOWNEW

Automatic Trash Can by TOWNEW
The Automatic Trash Can is here to make taking out the trash a less of a chore. It’s a self-changing trash can that seals full loads either at the press of a button or with an automated sensor that knows when the can is at capacity, saving you the mess and gross factor of lifting, twisting, and tying (not to mention smelling) the bag yourself. The battery-operated device is outfitted with a removable ring that refills the can 25 times before it needs to be changed. Bonus fact: It comes in white and a cheerful teal. From $100, townew.us

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of Common Seating</cite>
Photo courtesy of Common Seating

Voxel Sofa by Bjarke Ingels Group for Common Seating
We’re big fans of modular furniture, and this sofa is a perfect example of why. Designed through the concept of a building block, the sofa’s gridlike system creates a series of units that can be configured into multiple iterations, from a small one-seater to a grand sectional. From $1,664, commonseating.com

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of Dims.</cite>
Photo courtesy of Dims.

Cleo Chair by Dims
This slender wood chair is unexpectedly stackable, and we love how architectural the design is while still being comfortable. Designed by Stine Aas, the chair uses her Norwegian sensibilities for creating a playful and sophisticated number. Plus, the color options are great (that Tobiko red!) and the materials are FSC-certified. $350, dimshome.com

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of Argot Studio</cite>
Photo courtesy of Argot Studio

Modular Sculpture by Argot Studio
An ideal work of art for the restless, this modular sculpture is made up of elements that can each stand alone or fuse together into one supercool structure. The material is made using a biodegradable and renewable biomass derived from corn. Double shout-out to cool corn products! $111, argotstudio.com

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of Dyson</cite>
Photo courtesy of Dyson

Dyson Pure Humidify + Cool by Dyson
Breathe deep. Feel the breeze. Admire your dewy skin. Thanks to the newest piece of Dyson wizardry, your air can be purified, humidified, and cooled all with the help of one very sleek gadget. $799, dyson.com

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of AnZa</cite>
Photo courtesy of AnZa

Concrete Espresso Machine, AnZa
There’s no better way to spice up your morning routine than with a new and improved coffee maker. With its uniquely handcrafted concrete exterior, this espresso machine by AnZa calls to mind bold Brutalist architecture. $1,180, anzacoffee.com

<cite class="credit">Photo by Zack DeZon</cite>
Photo by Zack DeZon

Multipurpose Cleaner by Veles
Leftovers never looked so good. This sleekly packaged, naturally derived, closed-loop cleaning product not only comes in a reusable (and oddly sexy) aluminum bottle, it’s also made from food waste that would otherwise sit in a landfill. $20, veles.com

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of Miniforms</cite>
Photo courtesy of Miniforms

Ozz lamp by Miniforms
The ultimate BOGO, this lamp is both a table and a lamp in one thoughtfully designed, delicate structure–even the lamp pull is intentionally crafted. Built to resemble a tuning fork and to reflect the rhythm of light, the Ozz comes in two heights: one perfectly suited to your bedside, the other meant for a living room space. From $1,011, rbtwelve.com

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of Kaoi</cite>
Photo courtesy of Kaoi

The Ebba Chair by Kaoi Studio
Not only is the Memphis-inspired Ebba Chair incredibly colorful and modular, you can also customize it with several canvas shades and accessories. The real draw, though, is the mix-and-match arm styles to choose from–try a wild chrome zigzag with a matte mint green slope, or pick from two more equally exciting options and pairings. Starting at $469, kaoistudio.com

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of MoMa Store</cite>
Photo courtesy of MoMa Store

Oblio Wireless Charging Station & UV Sanitizer by Lexon
In a time when cleanliness and sanitation are more talked about than ever, it makes perfect sense that Lexon would introduce a wireless charging station that not only disinfects your phone (yes, that’s a thing), but doubles as a minimalist decorative object. No more sacrificing form for function. $80, store.moma.org

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of Montana</cite>
Photo courtesy of Montana

Montana Mini by Montana
Bored with your regular degular puzzles? Try mixing up the modular storage options of the Montana Mini. Open! Closed! Shelves! Ten, yes, ten colorways. Each Mini storage box is equipped with a strong magnet on each side that allows the units to snap together for a clean and cohesive look. Create the wall-mounted storage system of your dreams. Price upon request, danishdesignstore.com

<cite class="credit">Photo by Ty Mecham/Food52</cite>
Photo by Ty Mecham/Food52

Handcrafted Cutting Board with Integrated Knife Storage by JK Adams
Handcrafted from end-grain maple wood, this cutting board is anything but basic. Its built-in slots equipped with magnets (no accidents here) make it easy to store your knives while prepping dinner. From $75, food52.com

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of West Elm</cite>
Photo courtesy of West Elm

Hemp Sheet Set by West Elm
Rest easy this summer on West Elm’s most eco-friendly bedding option yet. Hemp is one of the most durable materials on the market, and requires significantly less land, water and fertilizer than cotton does. The hemp is sourced from a Fair Trade–certified factory, and the designs are spruced up with the help of natural dyes. From $44, westelm.com

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of Delta</cite>
Photo courtesy of Delta

Glass Rinser by Delta
Is it just us or does cleaning glassware, well, suck? Not anymore. With this glass rinser by Delta, you’ll be able to clean every hard-to-reach spot imaginable. Never worry about accidentally breaking your glass with your intense scrubbing. This glass rinser is easy to use and blends in with pretty much any faucet. From $148, deltafaucet.com

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of AALTO+AALTO </cite>
Photo courtesy of AALTO+AALTO

Insulae by Alto
Part shelf, part cabinet, part decorative object unto itself, the Insulae display cabinets by Helsinki-based Aalto+Aalto are inspired by the aqueducts of Rome and perfect for framing and showcasing all your bits and bobs in one place. Price upon request, aaltoaalto.com

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of Spark Grills</cite>
Photo courtesy of Spark Grills

Spark Grills
Have you ever described a grill as beautiful? The Spark is a standout in an industry not particularly known for style. Its clean lines and muted colors are just the beginning of its wonders. Using a proprietary system that combines charcoal and wood, it heats up to cooking temperatures in just a few seconds with a quick ignition feature, and provides temperature control that most charcoal grills don’t. $799, sparkgrills.com

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of Nort Studio</cite>
Photo courtesy of Nort Studio

Hooked Stools by Nort Studio
There are so many things to love about these stools from the vivid colors to the genius construction. The series of six stools can be used independently or hooked together into one solid configuration—and then everything in between. Even turn them on their sides if you want! The lacquered wood pieces are just as thoughtful as they are beautiful. From $676, nortstudio-shop.com

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of Sonos</cite>
Photo courtesy of Sonos

Move Speaker by Sonos
With summer travel plans on hold, your backyard, patio, or rooftop may be the greatest escape you get this season. Thankfully, Sonos has released its first outdoor smart speaker—which is both weatherproof and drop-resistant—to fill your personal space under the sun with high-quality sound. Take the Bluetooth- and Wi-Fi-enabled device poolside, turn on some bossa nova, and pretend you’re somewhere far, far away. $399, sonos.com

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of Gus Modern</cite>
Photo courtesy of Gus Modern

Branch-1 Entry Unit by Gus Modern
The most beautiful entryway catchall in all the land, this unit is designed to meet all your needs when coming and going. Store your shoes, hang your hats, and adjust your shelves to your heart’s content. The rounded edges and useful add-ons give what could be a purely utilitarian piece a ton of laid-back style. $1,470, designpublic.com

<cite class="credit">Photo by Ty Mecham/Food52</cite>
Photo by Ty Mecham/Food52

Smart Growbar by Modern Sprout
Designed to work in dark or low-light spaces (apartments facing brick walls, anyone?) and to be flush-mounted under a cabinet or shelf, the low-energy LED light strips in the Smart Growbar produce the wavelengths needed for photosynthesis without an unpleasant glare. A daily timer, controlled by an app, makes sure your plants don’t get overexposed. From $109, food52.com

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of Matchi Matchi</cite>
Photo courtesy of Matchi Matchi

Customizable Lamp Shade by Matchi Matchi
Good lighting can be hard to find. Good lighting that also matches your aesthetic perfectly is even harder to find. Matchi Matchi offers customizable lampshades so you can pick your exact design and color scheme to ensure your new lamp is the best fit for your space. From £325, matchimatchi.com

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of Departo</cite>
Photo courtesy of Departo

Folding Cafe Table by Departo
For those of us who moved into a tiny apartment thinking we’d never spend any time at home (plot twist!), this folding table will be your new favorite companion. Use it as a desk in any corner of your space or as a dining table for all those meals you never imagined cooking. When it’s time for a home workout or Zoom dance party, fold it up and lean it against the wall to gain back that floor space. $345, departo.co

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of Lifestraw</cite>
Photo courtesy of Lifestraw

Water Filter Pitcher by LifeStraw
Perfect for home or work, this pitcher makes purification seem simple. Protecting against bacteria, parasites, microplastics, lead, and a plethora of chemicals, LifeStraw’s water filter pitcher will keep you at ease and hydrated. And if you weren’t sold already, your purchase will help support LifeStraw’s mission to help provide safe water globally. $55, lifestraw.com

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of Ferm Living</cite>
Photo courtesy of Ferm Living

Ferm Living Hourglass Planter
One of the proudest moments in any plant parent’s life is the beautiful day when your little green baby outgrows its pot and needs to find roomier digs, but it can be tough to part with a favored pot. The hourglass planter offers the best of both worlds. Two different sizes to meet your plant needs, all in the same matte black vessel. From $89, 2modern.com

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of Reform</cite>
Photo courtesy of Reform

UP by Leander Group
The UP kitchen system by Reform is a nod to sustainable design at its best. Dedicated to recycling and the circular economy, Leander Group designed this kitchen front series meant to outfit IKEA’s Sektion products with reclaimed Douglas fir. The wood, recovered from Danish floor manufacturer Dinesen, is left over from custom flooring projects, and given a new, minimalist life with these products. From $2,570, reformcph.com

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of noho</cite>
Photo courtesy of noho

Noho Move Chair by Noho
Who knew ergonomics would become such a buzzword? Do yourself a favor and get this chair. The form-fitting support will cradle your body; the flexible motions eliminate pressure points and support your body’s circulation. Even better, the chair is made from waste plastic, sourced from reclaimed fishing nets and end-of-use carpets. $375, noho.co

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of Ago Projects</cite>
Photo courtesy of Ago Projects

Single Lady Desk by LANZA Atelier
There’s nothing inherently fun about working from home, but this quirky round desk and chair set by architecture studio LANZA Atelier sure shakes things up. The bold cobalt finish adds a jolt of energy to any room—who couldn’t use that kind of motivation to get to work? Price upon request, ago-photo.com

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of Nebia</cite>
Photo courtesy of Nebia

Nebia by Moen
Not only is the Nebia showerhead, developed in partnership with Moen, sleek and high-tech in its design, it’s crafted to use 45% less water than its competitors while delivering more water coverage. Meant to be installed DIY, it’s compatible with your existing setup and doesn’t require additional plumbing work. From $179, nebia.com

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of Benchmark</cite>
Photo courtesy of Benchmark

Muse Sofa by Space Copenhagen for Benchmark
British manufacturer Benchmark takes a sustainable approach to furniture design, employing traditional craftsmanship to create beautiful pieces you’ll want to keep forever. For its collection of seating, the company developed upholstery in collaboration with the Naturalmat Company, which uses natural, sustainable, and biodegradable materials instead of the typical plastic foam. One of our favorites is this Donald Judd–inspired sofa designed by Space Copenhagen, which has a sleek silhouette and can be customized with one or two built-in side tables. Price upon request, benchmarkfurniture.com

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of Tempo</cite>
Photo courtesy of Tempo

Tempo Studio by Tempo
With the shortage of dumbbells and little to no access to gym equipment, finding new ways to work out seems like a part-time job. Enter the Tempo Studio. This all-in-one piece of equipment sets you up for a workout fitting into a three-square-foot footprint. It’s a screen with classes, it’s a storage system with weights and a mat, and it’ll get you motivated to work up a sweat. $1,995, tempo.fit

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of CB2</cite>
Photo courtesy of CB2

Trieste Side Table by CB2
Every patio could benefit from an optical illusion, especially one that can hold drinks. This swervy, curvy pedestal table looks like marble, but is made of much tougher stuff—cement, to be specific. Perfect for outdoor glamour, each piece is unique just like real marble. $279, CB2.com

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of Kohler</cite>
Photo courtesy of Kohler

Setra Voice-Controlled Kitchen Faucet by Kohler
Measuring water just got a whole lot easier with Kohler’s voice-controlled faucet. The hands-free activation allows you to turn your faucet on or off, pour specific amounts, and fill preset measurements. Sounds like a winner to us. From $387, homedepot.com

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of Established & Sons</cite>
Photo courtesy of Established & Sons

GRID by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec
As homes become offices and offices become…TBD, why not bring the best part of the office into your home. With the Grid you get a modular, flexible “room within a room.” It starts with a steel frame, and you can add standing or sitting desks, a variety of seating options, and even acoustic upholstery on the walls if you’re into that kind of thing. Price upon request, establishedandsons.com

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of Finarte</cite>
Photo courtesy of Finarte

Dyyni rug by Saana ja Olli for Finarte
Handmade from 100% recycled cotton by skilled weavers in India, this rug designed by Finnish couple Saana ja Olli combines the local weaving heritage with a Nordic sensibility. The sustainable textile is hand-washable, and its soothing pattern makes it a great piece for under your feet or hanging on the wall. From 157,26 €, finarte.fi

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of August</cite>
Photo courtesy of August

August Wifi Smart Lock
The August Wifi Smart Lock connects to your Wi-Fi, allowing you to lock or open your door with ease. Better yet, it’ll lock for you if you forget to do it yourself, and you can control the functionality with a voice assistant, monitor the safety of your home remotely, and install it easily. Plus it’s got a sleek and simple design by Yves Behar that’ll blend right in. From $250 at august.com

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of Granby Workshop</cite>
Photo courtesy of Granby Workshop

Granbyware Dinnerware by Granby Workshop
Through extensive material investigations, Liverpool-based Granby Workshop developed a line of 100% recycled dinnerware made from ceramic, glass, and stone waste. The plates, bowls, and mugs, which come in a soothing range of blues, greens and neutral tones, were so popular they sold out, but hop on the email list to be notified of the next production run, and commit to a more sustainable home. From £20, granbyworkshop.co.uk

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of Ex.t</cite>
Photo courtesy of Ex.t

FRIEZE by Ex.t
Designed in collaboration with Italian interior design firm Marcante Testa, the Lichtenstein-inspired FRIEZE bathroom collection embodies the pop artist with gridlike etchings, graphic shapes, and mod colors. The basins can be mounted to a strip that anchors sink fixtures, soap dispensers, small shelves, and hooks for a seamless bathroom design. Basins start at $1,795, ex-t.com

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of MoMa Store</cite>
Photo courtesy of MoMa Store

Hanami Bud Vases
Tickle two of your senses with one simple and beautiful object. These bud vases do double duty as incense holders, so you can have your flowers and smell something entirely different too. From $28, store.moma.org

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of Ligne Roset</cite>
Photo courtesy of Ligne Roset

Ugao Hanging Rack by Simon Morasi Piperčić for Ligne Roset
Corners often go unused. But this creative hanging rack fits perfectly into any corner, and opens up a world of possibilities. Use it in an entryway to hang jackets and tote bags, or in the bedroom for robes and loungewear, or in a tiny guest room as a makeshift closet. Price upon request, ligne-roset.com

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of Forgo</cite>
Photo courtesy of Forgo

Forgo by Form Us With Love
Swedish design studio Form Us With Love has long been at the forefront of Scandinavian design, with partnerships ranging from IKEA to Muuto and Cappellini. With FORGO, it’s aiming to solve the problem that plagues personal care items: waste. The streamlined, reusable glass bottle is meant to be filled (and refilled) with a cruelty-free hand-wash powder (just add water!) that foams with use and ships plastic-free. From $49, forgo.se

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of AYTM</cite>
Photo courtesy of AYTM

HIATUS Pedestal Table by AYTM
Whether you need a handy side table that hosts flowers and coffee table books or a not-so-typical entryway table, the HAITUS three-piece pedestal table will work for your display and storage needs. The sleek form barely takes up any space, and all of your items get more shine when they’re raised high above the floor. $326, byflou.com

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of Crate & Barrel</cite>
Photo courtesy of Crate & Barrel

Batten Bed by Crate & Barrel
If an uncluttered space is the key to an uncluttered mind, then keeping your bedside neat and tidy must be the secret to a good night’s sleep. This bed not only comes with built-in nightstands to store your evening essentials, but it also features a spacious slatted back panel that can hang a variety of Crate & Barrel’s shelves from the same collection. Decorate your headboard with books, ceramics, or your favorite sleep-enhancing houseplant. From $2,342, crateandbarrel.com

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of Cat Person</cite>
Photo courtesy of Cat Person

Canopy Bed by Cat Person
We’ve actually tested this to the preference of one of our Clever cat-mates and he loves it. This three-in-one bed can be adjusted to your cat’s preferences whether they prefer a cozy nook or a more open and cushy situation. Bonus: The cover can be tossed in a washing machine. $80, catperson.com

<cite class="credit">Photo courtesy of IKEA</cite>
Photo courtesy of IKEA

GUNRID Air Purifying Curtains by IKEA
We never expected the humble curtain to do anything for our home beyond blocking light and keeping things cool. But these new window coverings from IKEA have a mineral-based photocatalyst coating that, when activated by daylight, actually breaks down common air pollutants inside the home. The self-cleaning fabric is also made from recycled PET bottles, so you can feel good about putting old plastic to use and keeping the air in your home clean. $29, ikea.com

Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest

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