The Best Bet
You don’t have to wait until spring to bring a little cheer into your home. Paperwhites are one of the easiest flowers to grow early, and bulbs are only $1.75 each at Smith & Hawken (394 W. Broadway, nr. Spring St.; 212-925-1190; www.smithandhawken.com). Half-fill a three-to-four-inch pot (no drainage holes) with pebbles, place the bulbs on top, then surround them with more pebbles. Add water to just below bulb level—but no higher, or they’ll rot—put them in a sunny room until they flower, then move them to a cool area with indirect light in order to prolong life. Don’t forget to gaze at the tiny white petals and smell that fragrant, spring-is-here scent.
A Humidifier You Don’t Need to Hide
Bionaire designed its ultrasonic small-room humidifier to look more like a stereo system, but it can moisturize a room for up to sixteen hours on one two-gallon filling ($149.99 at Bed, Bath & Beyond, 620 Sixth Ave., at 18th St.; 212-255-3550; 410 E. 61st St., at First Ave.; 646-215-4702).
Notes From a Dog’s Year
Dempsey & Carroll’s Junishi line includes ten note cards with motifs of every Chinese zodiac animal, so the horses and dragons among us need not feel left out ($42; 136 E. 57th St., at Lexington Ave.; 212-750-6055).
High-Performance Digging Partners
West County Gardener’s landscaping gloves are made of washable, breathable synthetic materials that won’t crack or peel, with padded palms, knuckle protectors, and a terry-cloth brow wipe ($25.95 at Grdn for the Urban Gardener, 103 Hoyt St., nr. Atlantic Ave., Boerum Hill, Brooklyn; 718-797-3628).
Hardware With Personality
These handmade wrought-iron door studs have a multitude of uses: nail heads for furniture, drapery tie-backs, or hooks, to name a few ($10 to $20 per set of four at Imports from Marrakesh, 88 Tenth Ave., at 15th St.; 212-675-9700).
For Midwinter Beach Escapes
Tocca’s batik-print sarong is large enough to double as a halter dress (or beach blanket), comes with a raffia bead belt, and was designed exclusively for New York Magazine readers ($145 at Intermix, 98 Prince St., nr. Mercer St.; 212-966-5303).