Is there any tool more utilitarian than a dustpan? Living in a small apartment, I use the plain plastic one under my kitchen sink as much as any other cleaning tool. But I never gave much thought to it until I came across another one online that was downright beautiful.
Oiled beechwood with horsehair bristles, the modern little pan-and-brush set was made in Sweden. At $39, it wasn’t outrageously priced for a home accessory, but it was way more than I’d ever consider paying for a dustpan. (And I’d never considered buying a table brush set, which this was, at all.) And then Pinterest sent me down the rabbit hole: a persimmon-tannin-coated pan designed and made in Japan. A shiny steel dustpan with a handle of sustainably harvested German beechwood. A Finnish pan with a modern and elegant swoop of plastic.
They’re all just so pretty — and, yes, expensive. I couldn’t help but think it seemed such a waste to put so much thought and money into an item few people actually display. But as Marie Kondo might say, what matters is whether an item brings you joy. And if an artisanal dustpan can bring joy to the act of cleaning up crumbs, maybe it’s worth checking out a few.