In my house, the broom serves a dual-purpose: a standard sweeping assistant and 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'd better look good. Here, five well-made brooms that you won't be ashamed to display.
Above: From Andrée Jardin, one of our favorite broom-making studios, the Full Shovel + 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 ($98.20) from Andrée Jardin.
Above: The Laundress's attractive and easily accessible Horsehair Broom is made in Germany and sells for $60.
Above: A closer look at the trio and its variations. Go to Object Lessons: The Autumnal Broom to learn about the history of the straw broom and source more examples.
Above: Another model from Andrée Jardin, the Broom Design by Mr. & Mrs. Clynk comes in two 1970s-inspired colors, hot orange or teal blue; €41 ($50.96) at Andrée Jardin. The Dustpan and Brush are sold separately for €24 ($29.83) each.
Above: From Swedish company Iris Hantwerk, which employs visually impaired craftspeople, the Swedish Broom has a birch handle and palmyra fiber brush; £18.50 ($23) 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.
This post is an update; the original ran in February 2014 as part of our Small Space Living issue.