Published on June 30, 2019

We all have that one friend we go to for great recommendations. From the best-smelling candle to the next big furniture maker, they always know best. In 10 Things, we ask our favorite creatives to share the discoveries that make them happy so you can track down fantastic daily essentials, too.

Ellen Van Dusen, the Brooklyn-based founder of cult decor and fashion label Dusen Dusen, can find inspiration in anything and everything: a game of cornhole; carb-inspired candles; her Boston terrier, Snips—nothing is off limits. Her home is a reflection of this curiosity, a permanent wonderland of vivid, graphic prints and quirky accents. (Did you know supersize flowerpot sculptures existed?) As longtime admirers of Van Dusen’s vibrant textiles, we jumped at the opportunity to learn more about what fuels the designer’s creative process—and how we might be able to channel even a sliver of her upbeat style in our homes. Here, she gives a taste of her personal playground by sharing 10 things that make her happy. 

For Sitting Pretty

“I would love to have a full set of these. I recently bought a yellow one on LiveAuctioneers, and it reminds me a lot of a duck. It’s where I sit when I have coffee in the morning.” 

For Personalized Cocktails

“I got a set of these when I was in Los Angeles a couple months ago. I love handblown glass, and there’s something very funny and charming about drinking out of a head. I use them mostly for cocktails.”

For Spooky-Sweet Bouquets

“How great is this vase? Lorien Stern does the perfect mix of sweet and dark without ever crossing into cutesy territory. I think this vase is genius.”

For Naked Floors

“I have the giant version of this rug in my living room. It’s a healthy mix of bright colors and neutrals, and it fits really well in my space. I get so many compliments on it.”

For Sun-Kissed Hair

“I dye my hair exclusively with Sun-In. Hairdressers will often ask me where I get my hair done. It works really well and it encourages me to be outside. I don’t think the packaging has changed since the ’90s.”

For Jazzed-Up Dinner Parties

The Jimmy Giuffre 3 album from 1957 is such a nice listen. It’s very palatable jazz music with just a clarinet, bass, and guitar. No drums! It’s a crowd-pleaser.”

For Summer Snoozing

“Please excuse me while I toot my own horn, but I gave myself one of these coverlet sets and I love it. It’s really soft with a nice drape and the perfect weight for summer. It feels so good that we made jackets out of it, too.”

For Leafy Greens

“I’m obsessed with these plates from Helen Levi. They are really fun but also sophisticated, a rare combination. They’re great for salad—bright vegetables really pop on these.”

For Pure Fun 

“I received this candle as a gift, and it is one of my favorite things in my house. It looks so real. I’ll never burn it.”

For Walks Around the Block

“I got this harness for my dog, Snips, and she looks so stylish in it. I had a generic red harness for so many years and, finally, I feel like my dog has the everyday flair she deserves.”

See more stories like this:
The Founder of Hem Lives for Japanese Sandals and Exfoliating Hand Soaps
From IKEA Finds to Funky Candles: The Color Factory Founder Shares 10 Things That Make Her Happy
This Up-and-Coming Designer Lives for Supreme Hats and Vintage Chairs

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