With its quintessential castles and twee towns, Funen—birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen—appears to have been lifted from the pages of his stories.

For those unable to get out to an orchard this fall, Carr's Ciderhouse has captured and bottled the essence of the harvest in their Apple Cider Syrup. The Massachusetts-based small-batch cider maker presses its own and other local orchards' apples—a blend of New England varieties such as McIntosh and Macoun—and then reduces their juice to a syrup for a concentrated hit of the fruit's flavor with a hint of tang. Stir a spoonful into seltzer for an autumnal pick-me-up; add gin to make it a cocktail. Brush some onto scallops or chicken and pan-fry for a caramelized sear. Drizzle over ice cream or roasted veggies, or whisk a little into a vinaigrette. Basically, try it wherever you might use maple syrup for a brighter, fruitier taste. Carr's Ciderhouse Apple Cider Syrup, $21 for 12.7 ounces, oakandsalt.com —Kelly Michèle Guerotto

Trade up from that trusty-but-pedestrian puffer to a luxe shearling jacket—from labels like Coach, Tom Ford and Hermès—the guy's-guy way to wear fur.

Neutral shades tend to fill our wardrobes as the weather cools down. Add a little color to your outfits with Larkspur & Hawk's new Bella Mini Rivière necklace (four variations shown above). Each strand features a line of 44 tiny white-quartz stones backed with colored metallic foils—a Georgian-era technique that designer Emily Satloff fell in love with during her days as an antique jewelry dealer. It also holds nostalgic appeal. "I used to play with candy wrappers to see how the color changes when the light moves," she said. Subtle yet swoon-worthy, the necklaces pair nicely with a gray crew-neck sweater or a little black dress for a seamless day-to-night transition. Larkspur & Hawk Bella Mini Rivière necklaces, $1,950 each, Neiman Marcus, 310-550-5900 —Seunghee Suh

No one knows better than travelers that the world is not black and white—knowledge they can play with at home thanks to the (surprisingly persistent) grown-up-coloring-book craze. Recent travel-related scribblers include Steve McDonald’s "Fantastic Cities" (Chronicle Books, $15), a mashup of aerial views and kaleidoscopic urban mandalas. In "Secret Paris" (Little, Brown, $16), illustrator Zoé de Las Cases presents the quotidien, from landmarks to everyday objects like bowls and bugs. A challenge for overachievers: Try to capture the Eiffel Tower’s light show in crayon. —Lisa Chen

You might expect the shoe of the season to be trendy in the most expected sense of the word—slightly impractical, showy and destined to be a flash-in-the-pan. Fall’s most-favored footwear is anything but: Chanel’s trés bourgeois cap-toed, low-heeled slingback pumps in the brand's ultra-classic tan-and-black color combination. The trick to making these eternally chic shoes look modern is to dress against type. That means saying no to tweed suits—sorry Chanel!—or anything too delicate or polished, and yes to cropped, washed denim and oversize sweaters. Goatskin and Grosgrain Shoes, $800, Chanel, 800-550-0005

Designers like Brunello Cucinelli and Bottega Veneta’s Tomas Maier have sharpened up the tweedy, shambolic elements of academic get-ups.

There's more to life than chocolate-chip. Nutty and even nutritious, an oatmeal cookie done right is a joy. Here’s how, in a recipe from newly opened Sadelle's, in Manhattan—to our minds, the one to beat.

Yes, yes, we've all heard plenty about the $7 toast on offer in culinary capitals on both coasts, not to mention the avocado-smeared slices that have overtaken social media like an invasive weed. But we'll never get our fill of toast itself—nor, it seems, of a certain brand of retro-adorable appliance. Following on the cult success of its refrigerator, Italian maker SMEG has released a line of similarly colorful and curvaceous tabletop devices. This toaster belies its emphatically midcentury look with the latest in toasting technology, for a slice browned so specifically to your liking you'd gladly pay $7 for it (but, thankfully, won’t have to). 2-Slice SMEG toaster, $150, westelm.com

Philanthropist Eli Broad has taken the old saw "the best things in life are free" to heart. Starting Sept. 20, some 2,000 works of contemporary art that he and his wife, Edythe, have collected will go on display at the Broad (thebroad.org), their long-awaited new museum in downtown Los Angeles. The collection—featuring works by artists including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jeff Koons, Cindy Sherman and Kara Walker—will be housed in a Diller Scofidio + Renfro building that's already an Instagram star, thanks to a facade that looks like an alien honeycomb. Admission is free, but parking is not ($12 with validation). This is, after all, still L.A. —Ryan HaaseRelated: WSJ. Magazine features 21 portraits of artists in the Broad's art collection

Fresh shelling beans are among the tastiest and prettiest early-fall farmers' market finds, be they cannellini, cranberry, kidney or any of the many other varieties on offer. Here are four delicious reasons to pop them out of their pods.

Model and co-author of "Becoming by Cindy Crawford" (Rizzoli)"I'm excited to be in New York for my book tour. I'm being interviewed on Sept. 29 at the 92nd Street Y. I love living in Malibu—it's a great place to raise kids—but I miss the city when the seasons change. It's that back-to-school time that feels more like a new year than January. I love walking through Central Park and ending up some place on Madison Avenue like Le Bilboquet. It feels like the New York I would have imagined as a girl in DeKalb, Illinois.'

If you want to make dinner guests feel especially welcome, elevate your food on cake stands and other raised dishes to create a feeling of abundance.

Once upon a time, there was a heroic computer graphic designer named Susan Kare (creator, among other things, of the original Macintosh trash-can icon and the "Happy Mac" that Apple users saw on powering up). In 1990, using the blunt cave-tools of the time (Microsoft Paint and a whopping 16-color palette), Ms. Kare designed a digital version of Solitaire to ship with Windows 3.0. Though Microsoft allegedly only included such games to train users how to drag and drop, Solitaire was an instant fan fave. On the 25th anniversary of that release comes this handsomely nostalgic pack of physical cards modeled, with Ms. Kare’s help, on her necessarily choppy 72-dpi classic, complete with punch-card-cutout corners. It’s aces. Solitaire Cards, $14, areaware.com. —Keith Blanchard

In the autumn, when hops are at their peak, so-called fresh- or wet-hopped beers, made with cones plucked right off the vine, burst with flowery, fruity flavor. Hops last longer when dried, pulverized and packed into pencil-eraser-size pellets, but they also lose a good deal of their spunk. Freshly plucked, with sticky oils and resins still intact, hops are bright and juicy, with much less of the dried kind's bitter bite. The latest of the fresh-hopped wave—and its best iteration yet—comes from Tröegs. To make Hop Knife Harvest Ale (6.2% ABV), the Pennsylvania brewery spins a tornado of hops through its beer as it ferments, wringing out every drop of juicy mango and puckering Meyer lemon. The resulting deep-amber brew pairs well with warming fall foods, bringing out the sweetness of a rich Thai curry and adding edge to a rib-sticking pork shoulder. —William Bostwick

Small-batch, crafted jeans from labels such as Vetements and AMO are starting to edge out anonymous and skinny.

Even those who balk at the idea of seasonally themed china may succumb to the charms of this autumnal pattern from Gien, the 194-year-old French purveyor of faience, or glazed earthenware. Artist Florence Soulés looked to the ferns, mushrooms and "forest fruits"—Gallicspeak for acorns and berries—of a woodland near Versailles. The only thing missing is your ragoût. Gien Chanterelle, from $40 to $220, ampersandshops.com —Sarah Medford

For almost 70 years, Outrigger Hotels and Resorts has been a familiar brand in Hawaii, where it's headquartered and has more than 20 properties. Last month the company made what could be its most exotic and upscale move with the opening of the Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort. Outrigger fans might not recognize the place: A 400-square-foot room that might wow 'em on Oahu or Maui just won't fly in the Maldives, where pleasure-seekers who've traveled across half the Indian Ocean expect a reward as big as a house. Outrigger Konotta obliges, with villas that sprawl to over 2,200 square feet, each with a private garden, outdoor rain shower, walk-in closets and private outdoor pool. Villas are set on the sand or over water and, with only 53 of them, the place won't ever feel crowded. The Maldives is a famously pricey destination, but travelers who arrive before the end of October can stay at Outrigger Konotta for $419 a night—half the regular rate. The resort is an hour's flight from Malé, the capital, followed by a 30-minute yacht transfer, but if ever there was an offer worth traveling to the end of the earth for, this one is it (outrigger.com). —Ryan Haase

Authors of the new interiors book "Beekman 1802 Style: Opposites Attract" (Rodale Books) "We'll be sitting under the willow tree on our farm in upstate New York. Summer is so feverish—with the planting and the harvesting—that we love autumn because we can rest and process and let the creative juices flow. Everything we create is inspired by the farm, and we can see the whole place from under the 60-foot willow next to our pond. It's our favorite spot. That's where the inspiration springs from."

With a bounty of rich velvets, prim pie-crust collars, floor-sweeping skirts and lacy frills from designers like Marc Jacobs and Joseph Altuzarra, this season is flashing back to the Victorian era.

In the city, neither a rugged dirt bike nor a classic racing bike is quite right: You need something compact—and stylish. In rolls "Mia," (Italian for "mine,") a new city bike with flair from Martone Cycling Co. She’s small and lithe, weighing 11 pounds. She’s street-strong (composed of a steel alloy and aluminum) and has impressive mechanics, including an SRAM automatix two-speed automatic gearshift, so you don't have to think about downshifting after that UPS guy cuts you off. Mia's black-and-white frame can be augmented by tires, grips, and a saddle in four colors. There’s also an optional integrated basket for hunting and gathering artisanal ice-cream sandwiches. Further personalization is forthcoming: color-coordinated driving gloves and turn-signal lights. Mia Bike, $800, martonecycling.com —Keith Blanchard

Roll it, fold it, stuff it. No, these aren't the steps to some newfangled recipe for your Thanksgiving turkey; they're the possibilities presented by Stòffa’s remarkably resilient, worry-free fedoras. The New York-based brand of minimal Italian-made clothing and accessories has created a hat that can be run through the wringer and bounce right back. It's all thanks to durable felt fabrication—and the decision to do away with inner construction and exterior grosgrain bands—which allow you to tuck this hat under your arm, jam it into a jacket pocket, ball it up into your briefcase, or subject it to inclement weather without ruining that rakish fedora shape. So go ahead and brave those inevitable early November snowstorms, or get swept up by blustery fall winds. As an added bonus, you can even bust out this retro-chic hat at Halloween; this is probably the last year you can dress like Don Draper without looking wildly out of touch. Felt Rollable Hat, $400, stoffa.co

The Noguchi Museum, a cultural oasis in Long Island City, Queens, founded by sculptor Isamu Noguchi in 1985, is raising its profile this fall. An exhibition opening Oct. 7 will be the first to insert the work of contemporary artists into the master's solo installation. At the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 18 Noguchi pieces beckon from the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden until Dec. 13. And a new book of photographs by Tina Barney and Stephen Shore focuses on the museum and its visitors as well as the quiet power of the artist’s oeuvre. noguchi.org; "The Noguchi Museum: A Portrait," $50 (Phaidon) —Sarah Medford

Brooklyn-based chef and restaurateur Pierre Thiam salutes his native country’s many cuisines in "Senegal: Modern Senegalese Recipes from the Source to the Bowl" ($35, Lake Isle Press). Vivid photos take you from intimate meals to bustling markets, beaches to tropical forests. Along the way, Mr. Thiam provides recipes for boldly flavored fare—including seafood and whole grains, brightened with citrus, chilies and ginger—many of which call for nothing more exotic than what’s already in your cupboard. —Kelly Michèle Guerotto

Head coach of the U.S. women’s national soccer team, winner of the 2015 World Cup"We've got the Olympics coming up, so I'm on the road a lot. I'll be using the [location-sharing app] Life360 to let my family see where I am when I’m traveling. They can tell if my plane's taken off or I'm in Detroit or wherever. And I like using the app to tell where my daughter is, too—if she's at school or the park or acting with her theater group. I don't want it to feel like big brother, but it's a little bit of peace of mind."

The Kelly and the Birkin—the twin star handbags by Hermès—are undeniably chic, but they're almost too heavily weighed down by expectation and connotation. Plus, they overshadow the French brand's other rather beautiful bag styles, among them the Constance, the Evelyne and the Bolide. You can add the Octogone, a new design for this fall, to that list of relatively unsung, but exquisite accessories. The neat, geometric lozenge shape is a bit more boyish than its rather ladylike counterparts, and certainly sportier with the addition of a stripey woven strap. Octogone Bag in Epsom Calfskin, $6,050, Hermès, 212-751-3181

Winona did it. So did Sofia Coppola. Ditto Kate Moss. So too Claire Danes, as her contemplative high-school alter ego, Angela Chase. Crimson matte lips were a 1990s makeup mainstay for some of the decade's coolest style icons, and women everywhere. Now that '90s-era fashion has returned in full force, it makes sense that one of its strongest beauty statements would too. There are beautiful options from Charlotte Tilbury and M.A.C., but this shade from Dolce & Gabbana, which made use of the look in its fall show, is one of our favorites. Matte Lipstick in Dolce Jealous, $37, saksfifthavenue.com

Why settle for startling the neighborhood kids when you can petrify them? Four steps to creating the ultimate Halloween scene in your yard.

For her new Lunar collection of marble occasional tables, London-based jewelry designer Lara Bohinc used far bigger rocks than fit on your finger. Ms. Bohinc, known for her knotted ropes of gold-plated brass, teamed with UK-based luxury stone retailer Lapicida on the pieces. This "Sun and Moon" coffee table—part astronomy, part Venn diagram—is nearly as labor intensive as the marble inlay of Venetian Byzantine and Renaissance architecture from which she took her inspiration. Lapicida’s craftsmen work for nearly 100 hours to slice, polish and set the marble. It’s then banded with your choice of either brass or 18-carat-gold-plated steel. From $10,500, Lapicida, 212-360-8000 —Meredith Mendelsohn

Reward yourself—and recharge your batteries—at one of these spoiling spots after an extended stroll in the wilds of Patagonia, France or the California coast.

Like a camp crush at the end of the August, it's time to say au revoir to those ropey, rainbow-colored friendship bracelets some guys favor in the summer. You can get away with such loud, bohemian looks during the hotter months, but fall style is tidier and more toned down, and it all starts with a flip of the wrist. Leave those stringy wraps at the arts-and-crafts table and dare to snap on a polished, silver cuff. Whether you go with Spinelli Kilcollin’s simple sterling "C" or more mixed-media with Miansai's half-leather band, a silver cuff will add luxury to your fall accessories game. And, unlike that camp crush, it'll stay loyal to you for years. From left: Spinelli Kilcollin Cuff, $275, Barneys New York, 212-826-8900; Le Gramme Bangle, $400, Opening Ceremony, 212-219-2688; Bracelet, $225, miansai.com;

Conversational and full of helpful tips, the cult classic "Cheap Chic" by Caterine Milinaire and Carol Troy provides timeless advice on budget élan (e.g., "Sink your money into a very good pair of boots"). The reprinted 40th anniversary version is a bit of a period piece, but still resonates with fashion lovers today (former Hermès designer Christophe Lemaire considers it his "bible"). What you'll love: vintage photos of '70s fashion icons like Lauren Hutton in jeans and sneakers, as well as Fran Lebowitz in her signature black suit. $16, Three Rivers Press —Seunghee Suh

Big, brassy, ballsy—that's the aesthetic New York-based Master & Dynamic chose for its new high-end earbuds, our audio pick for fall: Gold globes dangle from flat copper cables that resist tangling, while titanium-coated dynamic drivers (8 mm) and silicone cuffs of various sizes secure good fit and tone. The ME05's authentic voicing really jumps, especially for percussion. When it's time to shut out the city, these locals have game. ME05, $199, masterdynamic.com —Dan Neil

If you’ve spent all summer in loafers and flip-flops, lacing up a pair of clomping boots can seem like squeezing your foot into a vise. And when you're just getting used to socks again, the 8.7 seconds required to deal with laces can make you feel like a martyr. We'd tell you to man up, but thanks to the magic of elastic, there's an alternative. Stretch-sided Chelsea boots—which were all over the fall runways—have the easy feel of a summertime slip-on, while offering the same cool-weather coverage you get from a burly brogue or cap-toe lace-up. And streamlined Chelseas cut a far more rakish figure than their tongued, tie-up cousins, making them an ideal option for a suited and booted look; they sit neatly under cuffed dress trousers. To take this polished look a step further, try a pair in a lighter-colored suede. Summer might be over, but with Chelseas, your feet will be none the wiser. From left: Common Projects Boots, $506, Bird, 718-388-1655; R.M. Williams Boots, $490, mrporter.com; Boots, $600, Crockett & Jones, 212-582-3800

Like the peacoat and the Breton top, certain elements of nautical wear are never out of style—whether in classic or inventively reinterpreted form. Take the hefty fisherman's knit. It's a perennial runway favorite upon which designers love to riff. One version that hooked our eye for fall is Alexander Wang's half-punky, half-cuddly knit that's embellished all over with tiny silvery balls. Its unique edgy-rustic look would fit in at a winter cocktail party, around an après-ski fire, and even at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. That said, you would probably appear overdressed on a fishing boat off the coast of Newfoundland. Oversized Pullover with Hand Crochet Chain, $2,100, Alexander Wang, 212-977-9683

For most of us, getting there is not half the fun: We'd prefer to use our precious time off enjoying the destination we're headed to. Aerolíneas Argentinas (aerolineas.com) has just made that easier to do with its new direct service between two of the country's most popular destinations—Iguazú Falls (above) and Los Glacieres National Park—shaving the travel time between them from nine hours to about six. Yes, it's a haul, but seeing Argentina's calving glaciers and epic waterfalls on the same trip now seems like a lot less of a hassle. —Lisa Cheng

CEO of Indagare, a membership-based travel company"I am going to start my fall in the Dolomites, where I'll spend late September hiking through fields of wildflowers and ending at refugios, or mountain huts, for lunches of pasta and local wine. Long walks in the country are one of my favorite parts of fall, but being based in San Cassiano at Rosa Alpina, an inn with a Michelin-starred restaurant, makes them particularly special."

On cool autumn nights, your bare feet are grateful for rugs. This one, a playful mélange of charismatic shapes designed by Scandinavian legend Josef Frank in the 1940s, was never produced, until now. Swedish interior furnishings company Svenskt Tenn partnered with rug company Kasthall to produce the carpet. Hand-tufted with New Zealand wool, it's a soft—and dirt-resistant—gift to chilly toes and a rare find that was nearly lost to time. Mosaik Carpet, 102-by-118 inches, about $17,500, svenskttenn.se —Kelly Michèle Guerotto

Styrian pumpkin, an Austrian variety bred for its delicate dark-green seeds, provides snacking far superior to anything you'll find inside a jack-o’-lantern. The Stöger family of Neuruppersdorf, known for their pumpkinseed oils, now peddle the seeds themselves, raw and toasted. They pack plenty of antioxidants and a nuanced nutty flavor. Styrian Pumpkin Seeds, from $6 for 5-ounce bag, stogeroil.com —Kelly Michèle Guerotto

An investment in recreational vehicles or campers is usually a lost cause, but that’s not the case with the retro-chic Road Chief.

Looking for a camera that can capture fall foliage in all its postcard-ready splendor? Check out Sony's just-released A7RII. It has a full-frame sensor with 42.4-megapixel resolution so you can make billboard-size prints, and it's compatible with a wide range of SLR lenses (Sony's Sonnar T*FE 35mm f2.8 is a versatile starter option). Low-light and image-stabilization prowess allow it to snap crisp shots at dusk or on jittery hayrides (or even dusky, jittery hayrides). And the A7RII is relatively small, so you won't hesitate to bring it on long walks in the nearest forest. If you can't live without the instant gratification of Instagram likes, use its built-in Wi-Fi to upload photos directly via your phone. A7RII, $3,200 (body only), sony.com —Jarrard Cole

The problem with many adjustable lamps? A high-wattage bulb makes the fixture too hot to handle. Milan-based Artemide has cooked up a cool, energy-efficient solution with its aluminum Reall floor lamp. A long-lasting LED array blazes like a star, but the light source's heat-absorbing base, plus dozens of warmth-dissipating holes in the cupped shade, allow you to grip the light, rotate it 360 degrees and slide it up and down its post—all without scorching your paws. But even if you never need to touch the lamp, its elegant design radiates another kind of cool. From $1,645 (available in white, black, or polished aluminum), Artemide, 212-925-1588 —Meredith Mendelsohn

Light and lithe yet sufficiently substantial, Cabernet Franc is the only wine you need to take you through this transitional season.

Chef-owner of Hartwood in Tulum, Mexico"At this time of year I love horchata, a rice-based drink that's very fallish. It's cinnamony and a little bit nutty—we flavor ours with zapote negro seeds, but you can use almonds—a rice-pudding flavor in a drink, rich and filling. It's great in the afternoon, before a siesta."Find a recipe in Mr. Werner’s cookbook, "Hartwood: Bright, Wild Recipes From the Edge of the Yucatán," published October 20 by Artisan Books. Correction: The book will be published October 20, 2015. A previous version of this article said the book would be published the week of September 19.

How many times have you accidentally mixed in a favorite cashmere sweater with your laundry, only to find it ruined, shriveled and outraged on the other side? Those days of cashmere heartbreak may be over thanks to DanRoy, a New York outfit that’s developed a washing-machine-safe form of this covetable material, dubbed Active Cashmere. DanRoy pulled off this convenient feat by treating their Scottish-milled yarns with a water-resistant coating that doesn’t compromise the wool’s softness. Crew Neck Sweater, $875, preorder at activecashmere.com

This season, politely discourage guests from draping their weather-sodden outerwear on the back of your furniture with these Aarre Wall Jewels, from Finnish design manufacturer Iittala. The handblown glass knobs can hold an impressive 11 pounds, though you may prefer to leave these beauties bare. Iittala Aarre Wall Jewels, from $225 each, including wall-mounting hardware, AlwaysMod, 866-663-9998 —Kelly Michèle Guerotto

Assembled in a snap, this salad from photographer-cook Heidi Swanson’s "Near and Far: Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel," published this week by Ten Speed Press, extends the ease of summer eating to ingredients on hand now. Who knew dried fruit—in this case tart apricots and sticky dates—could stand in so adroitly for fresh? The secret: balancing the bowl with lush avocado, bold parsley and a brightening boost of preserved lemon. —Kelly Michèle GuerottoDried Fruit SaladTOTAL TIME: 10 minutes SERVES: 4 as a side salad In a bowl, combine 1 cup halved dried apricots, 1 cup pitted and quartered dried Medjool dates, 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, 1 teaspoon minced preserved lemon and 3/4 cup parsley leaves. Toss well. Add 1 medium avocado, cubed, and gently toss. —Adapted from "Near & Far" by Heidi Swanson

Even hardhearted minimalists develop a soft spot for comfort as the weather turns cold, and for them, a new Minneapolis-based company has designed Quilts Nos. 1 to 6. Louise Gray takes a contemporary approach to quilting, playing geometric lines of stitching against abstract patchwork design. The all-cotton creations are nicely supple and can serve as throws, small bedcovers or even, with a little ingenuity, room dividers. Quilt No. 1, 54-by-72 inches, $425 louisegray.com —Sarah Medford

These one-of-a-kind cultural festivals give visitors a chance to see destinations at their most interesting—and sometimes strangest—times.

Raise your glass to Thermos for modernizing the reusable water bottle with this 24-ounce app-connected model, available this fall. Like all new Thermos products, this one is refreshingly BPA-free. Its brainy, high-tech lid measures your intake and the temperature of the fluid, and conveys it—via Bluetooth—to an iPhone or iPad app that tracks your progress against your hydration goals. You do have hydration goals, don’t you? Connected Hydration Bottle With Smart Lid, $60, thermos.com —Keith Blanchard

The only thing better than having someone carry your bag is forgoing a bag entirely. DUFL (dufl.com) keeps your travel wardrobe and arranges for items you select to await you in your hotel room, then retrieves, cleans and stores them until next trip. It costs $9.95 a month and about $100-$200 per trip. For those who need a break from conference rooms, DUFL may soon ship golf clubs. —Ryan Haase

This handsome artisan-made ballpoint pen, available in October, promises to do what other fine-writing instruments cannot: capture all your doodlings to a smartphone app, exactly the way you scribbled them. It uses an accelerometer and microcamera to track the angle and motion of your strokes when you write in the included refillable leather-bound notebook, whose pages are printed with a barely visible pattern. Pen nerds, buckle up: Each wood-accented, copper Stylograph is handcrafted in a workshop in southern France. Orée Stylograph, $450, oreeartisans.com —Keith Blanchard

The Coffee conundrum: Brew at home or visit a neighborhood spot for a premium—and pricier—caffeine fix? Jake Miller, a former Caribou Coffee brand manager, loves to make his own but wasn't satisfied with the performance of his French press (easy to operate but too much residual sludge) or the trendy pour-over method (clean, bright flavor but too finicky). So Mr. Miller and his team combined the best of both in their Duo Coffee Steeper. Just add coffee and hot water to the stainless-steel chamber fitted with two single-mesh filters (extra-fine to keep coffee completely grounds-free); cover and wait four minutes; then twist the top while holding the silicone grip (protects your hands from burning) and release the resulting bold-flavored brew into the glass carafe. Then take a sip and tackle your next dilemma. $70, fellowproducts.com —Kelly Michèle Guerotto

All the Lincoln Logs and Tinkertoys are splintered and gone; all the Erector Sets are rusting away in municipal trash heaps. But Lego, those ubiquitous plastic building blocks, are still busy conquering the world: starring in major Hollywood movies, gracing museum lobbies and inspiring annual global fanboy conventions (the 14th annual BrickCon takes place Oct. 3-4 in Seattle). Now, in a new book, Microsoft Windows-team-member and self-confessed Lego freak Tom Alphin uses Lego to teach architecture. The backstory: In 2008, Lego launched a popular series of Architecture Sets so fans could re-create the Louvre or the Sydney Opera House for their living rooms. This book expands on that tradition, teaching seven major architectural styles (including that of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West, pictured) with a mix of stunning photo galleries of real-world examples, and instructions for versions you can build yourself. No building permits required. "The Lego Architect" by Tom Alphin, $25, nostarch.com —Keith Blanchard

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