I used to be more utilitarian about gifting, but in recent years I’ve noticed that the most memorable presents haven’t only been the most useful – they’ve also been the most delightful to unwrap.
Gifting, it turns out, is as much about the experience as the gift itself.
And so for my list, I’m looking at gifts that delight recipients as much as benefit them this coming year – wearables, reads and more with a mindful touch or a nod to design. May you find something here for you and for the loved ones on your list this Christmas.
Happy gifting, and happy holidays!
My own French press is about to retire, but even if it were in good shape I reckon there will be room for Tom Dixon's brew cafetiere. Isn't that rose gold sheen gorgeous? There's also a set of four espresso cups, a coffee scoop, coffee caddy, and stove top coffee maker, all in the same chic copper finish. It's perfect for those who like a statement piece – for the kitchen counter as much as for the work desk – and those who like their coffee, of course.
I love a gift that gives back, more so when it's as functional as stationery for the year-round. Paper goods company BerinMade has put both in gift boxes featuring their designs along with handmade candles and soaps by Sons & Daughters, a local ministry that exists to serve the vulnerable in the city's red light districts. My pick would be the Everygirl Gift Box featuring their Adventures notebook and rose gold pen with S&D's lavender candle, although other sets also feature BerinMade's trinket dishes, their popular Wanderlust notebooks, as well as a mix-and-match option to ensure everything in the box is something you – or the recipient of your gift – likes.
For one's self or one's amour, these simple and beautiful woven alpaca wool necklaces by Pippa Small make for thoughtful splurge-worthy gifts, featuring pebbles of ethically mined gold from Bolivia – meaning the sites at which they were sourced have been certified for their responsible mining practices with regard to the environment and labour, among others. I'd love one strung along a navy string; thankfully, both colour and length may be altered upon request.
Unlike with coffee and wine, I'm not at all fussy about water – although I wouldn't receiving one of these special edition bottles from San Pellegrino. A collaboration between the brand and Italian architect Giulio Cappellini, the bottles feature labels by world-renowned designers from around the world: architects and interior designers Neri&Hu from Shanghai (my pick!), Chicago-based artist Steven Haulenbeek, and French designer Philippe Nigro. More a gift for enthusiasts of architecture and design than disciples of H20 and its nourishing qualities, these limited edition bubbly water is available through January at The Mira, The American Club and the Grand Hyatt.
Few things fuel motivation and inspiration like a good desk, and this one from Fornasetti's latest collection offers more than just an upgrade. Made of wood and brass, and hand painted silkscreen, the Desk Coromandel is both a thoughtful gift and a chic addition (or replacement) to the home office – and it's sure to do wonders for your productivity, too. Find Fornasetti at Lane Crawford.
'May I come in?' by Wendy Goodman
It's an open secret that we're all about beautiful homes here at Home Journal, and I can't think of a better gift to further flame our curiosity than Wendy's Goodman's gorgeous tome. Featuring spreads of beautifully shot homes from her years as a design editor, as well as notes and observations on the private spaces of luminaries from Diana Vreeland to Whoopi Goldberg, May I Come In? is a book for perusing through the holidays – one that, like me, any fan of design and beautiful spaces is sure to love.
Images: Courtesy of Tom Dixon, BerinMade, Pippa Small, San Pellegrino, Fornasetti, Abrams Books