In my house the broom serves a dual-purpose: a standard sweeping assistant, and as a noise-canceling device (used to bang on the ceiling during our neighbors' wild parties). For the latter purpose, a wood handle is important to get the right resonance, but the real issue for me is: in a small, urban apartment where can I hide said broom? For those of us lacking a proper broom closet, utilitarian goods end up front and center. Often they're in the kitchen or hanging on a wall hook; so they better look good. Here, five brooms you won't be ashamed to put on display.
Above: From Andrée Jardin, one of our favorite broom making studios, the Complete Dustpan & Brush is designed by French bloggers Mr. & Mrs. Clynk. The set is available in Fig, Mustard, Fake Black, or Light Gray and comes with the warning, "Caution! This object can quickly become essential"; €79 from Andrée Jardin.
Above: An attractive and easily accessible broom is from US company The Laundress, the Horsehair Broom is made in Germany and sells for $60.
Above: From dip-dye specialists Lostine in Pennsylvania (remember their colorblocked cutting boards?): all-purpose household Barn Brooms made from corn husk and wood, and available in black, "tipped," or natural for $60 each.
Above: A closer look at the trio and its variations.
Above: Another model from Andrée Jardin is the Broom Design by Mr. & Mrs. Clynk, available in two 1970s-inspired colors, hot orange or teal blue; €41 at Andrée Jardin.
Above: From Swedish company Iris Hantwerk, which employs visually impaired craftspeople, the Swedish Broom has a birch handle and palmyra fiber brush; £18.50 at Objects of Use.
Read more about my noise canceling techniques in Seeking Silence: 10 Low-Tech Strategies for Coping with Urban Noise. For more display-worthy household goods, see our roundups of wooden spoons, cutting boards, and rolling pins.