I’ve had four kitchens since I moved to New York. The first two were grim: cheap sink-and-fridge sets that faced lightless, pea-size living rooms. But the third was beautiful. It had a long wall of built-in cabinets, an island, a deep sink, and a dishwasher. We hung copper pots and pans on ceiling hooks, and in the outdoor shower on the adjacent deck, we grew basil. It was like a Nancy Meyers kitchen, if Nancy Meyers would ever film in industrial East Williamsburg.
My current kitchen is small, plain, and — despite the wisteria and weeping willows outside the window — decidedly un-Nancy-like. But I did bring one little remnant when I moved: a three-tiered hanging basket held together by chains connected at the top with a hook. I stuck it on a nail and threw some onions in the bottom basket. The kitchen immediately looked prettier and felt warmer.
Tiered hanging baskets were staples in every kitchen in the 1980s, says Stella Bugbee, editor of the Cut. Bugbee rediscovered her affection for the contraption while thumbing through the new Missoni family cookbook. In it, there’s a photograph of Missoni founders Ottavio and Rosita cooking lunch at home, a tiered basket laden with garlic and lemons and oranges hanging beside them. “These hanging things are so chic and underappreciated,” she wrote on Instagram, beside the photo. “We need to bring them back as a cool interior design objet.” Her followers agreed; Bugbee received a spate of messages from nostalgic baby boomers (“My mother had that!”) and stylish friends (like Audrey Gelman, who apparently has several) expressing fondness for the tiered basket.
The timing makes sense: Hanging plant holders, macramé or otherwise, have been popular in interior design for a while. But these baskets are also utilitarian: Produce exposed to fresh air ripens more slowly. In a similar vein, Sadie Stein likes this enamel perforated bowl (“I’m convinced the ventilation is deeply wholesome for the contents”) with a mesh food cover. Bugbee also points out that fruit display isn’t relegated to these hanging contraptions, and is also a fan of woven garlic baskets and banana hooks. I plan to stick with the hanging baskets, for now: sweet potatoes on the bottom, lemons in the middle, and nothing on top. I can’t reach that high.
Wide-mouthed baskets, in copper.
Other ways to hang your fruit and veggies
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