8 Practical Home Tools Designed For Tasks of Necessity

08.20.18 | By
8 Practical Home Tools Designed For Tasks of Necessity

There are certain practical appliances, tools, and technologies we all keep around the house not because we necessarily love them, but because we recognize we need them – objects of a pragmatic nature that easily become eyesores because generally aesthetic considerations are deemed secondary. It’s not always possible to hide away these everyday objects, so we’ve always kept an eye out for designs elevating the mundane and functional to something worth celebrating. Here are 8 of our favorite home tools you’ll never be ashamed leaving out in the open.

OnHub Makers
Google’s 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi band emitting cylindrical router is advertised as “designed to be out in the open”, with their TP-Link edition offered in three different customized shells for the purpose of integrating home network technology with home decor. But it’s the OnHub Makers, a partnership with artists and designers from around the globe, that really illustrates the wild possibilities of turning a tech eyesore into an opportunity for creative expression.

Miele Blizzard CX1
With its sharp angularity and vents, Miele’s first bagless vacuum strikes an almost sports car profile while parked. But turn it on and the HEPA filtration rated vacuum revs alive with surprising force, with a motorized brush that practically pulls users forward to clean up dust, hair, and other debris as fast as this vacuum looks.

SK Magic Super L Air Purifier
A 2017 Red Dot Awards and 2018 IF Design Award winner, the Korean market AI-controlled air purifier is designed to blend into the home while recording indoor air quality and also purifying the room of contaminants. The minimalist front vent pairs with its small set of wooden feet, taking on a friendly presence not many consumer air purifying units of this size offer.

Every component of the SimpliSafe home security system has been redesigned, the beneficiary of a complete overhaul by way of the efforts of global design firm IDEO. The fingerprints of IDEO and SimpliSafe’s work together can still be seen in both the form and function of this multi-component DIY home security system—from its high grade of subtle modernity, to the tactile details and refreshing simplicity, fulfilling the ideals the system’s name implies.

Split Step by Frederik Roijé
As someone stricken with the compulsive need to hunt down beautiful solutions for the simplest of tasks [see: brush and dustpan], how wonderfully delighted it is to find this minimalist stepladder that easily converts into a small shelving display.

Petnet Smartfeeder
As an early backer of the Petnet pet feeder, our household quickly came to be dependent on our two Smartfeeders for their app-controlled convenience, multi-dispensing scheduling, and feed monitoring features. They’re particularly appreciated since now our cats park in front of the machines rather than bat at our heads for breakfast. The company just recently announced a version 2.0 which is even more compact, sleeker in design, outfitted with an improved portion wheel, secured with a easier to use lock top mechanism, and now even allows users to feed their feline or canine using voice commands via Alexa or Google.

Most Modest Niko
Normal people seem to be content using ugly beige and gray extension cords and power strips throughout the house out of necessity. We guess we do not fall into the category of normal, as we’re willing to pay a premium for solutions like this 3-outlet power strip accessorized stylishly in one of four knitted mesh power cables that could complement the rest of a room’s furnishings rather than detract from it.

Bluewater Spirit Water Purification System
The Bluewater Spirit was designed to easily hide away under a sink, but it’s been observably designed with an unusual level of aesthetic consideration noticeably lacking in the category of under-the-sink RO water purification systems. The reverse osmosis system may bear semblance to a modern minimalist PC desktop tower, but the inner workings of the Swedish-designed water filtration system are engineered for a devilishly high figure of filtration – up to 666 gallons per day – angelically capable of removing 99% of harmful inorganic and organic substances from water on demand, while also ridding municipal water of distasteful chlorine taste and smell.

Gregory Han is a Senior Editor at Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a profound love and curiosity for design, hiking, tide pools, and road trips, a selection of his adventures and musings can be found at