Still looking for that perfect gift for your significant other, clients and colleagues, family members, pets or yourself? Or struggling to decorate for the holidays? We’ve scoured gift shows and websites throughout 2016 to find a little something for everyone — from the gadget geek to the foodie — so that you could spend less time searching and more time enjoying the season. Best of all, these ideas will also delight design junkies. (Shown above: Poopy Cat's Landmarks Collection. See PETS for more.)
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PERSONAL ACCESSORIES AND APPAREL
PLAY AND CRAFT
Ace Hotel Shop (shop.acehotel.com)
Yes, the hip hotel chain has its own shop of lifestyle and housewares items, including an architecturally inspired soap dish. The Beam Soap Dish, designed by Studio Silo, is a slice of a miniature extruded aluminum I-beam that’s been tumbled and anodized in a clear or ombre finish.
Ace Hotel Shop
Aimée Wilder (aimeewilder.com)
Quirky and fun hand-silk-screened print designs include Amour — a molecular pattern in the shape of a heart — in two colors and Analog Nights — a pattern composed of audio cassettes and boom boxes — in eight colors. Each is numbered and signed by the designer, and a percentage of sales will be donated to her selected charity, Children of Promise. Sweetening the deal, she’s offering 20 percent off your order through New Year’s with the code WILDHOLIDAYS16.
Artless Goods (artlessgoods.com)
This studio’s Functional Landscapes series is a line of jewelry holders and containers that are, as the name suggests, inspired by landscape — but fashioned out of concrete.
Concepción Studios (via etsy.com)
Love Star Wars but not the original movie posters? Concepción Studios puts a mid-century-modern and retro graphic-design spin on pop culture for its silk-screened prints ranging from the original “Star Wars” trilogy to “Stranger Things,” Wes Anderson films and David Bowie concerts. We’re particularly fans of the Han Solo print that recalls Elvis-a-la-Andy-Warhol.
Concrete Geometric (concretegeometric.com)
Dode dodecahedron concrete vessels are cast in gray, white, dark, plain or marble tints and have a 2.5-inch opening that’s perfect for planting succulents, air plants and small cacti. Through New Year’s, the studio is donating a portion of the proceeds to Best Friends Animal Society.
Diminuto Cielo (via etsy.com; diminutocielo.com)
The Maneki Neko, otherwise known as the beckoning cat, is thought to bring people good luck in various aspects from fortune to love. This Spanish design studio recasts them in fun colors — and emblazons some with graffiti — for a modern, somewhat Jeff Koons look. The Lucky Cat “Gatete” figures come in different sizes; a hand-carved wooden version is also available.
Federico Babina (via society6.com)
Babina’s Archiplay illustration series depicts famous modern and contemporary architectural works from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim to Eero Saarinen’s TWA Terminal at JFK. The gallery-quality Giclée works are printed with archival inks on acid-free archival paper.
Quantum Prints (via etsy.com)
The range of art available from this shop is vast: patent posters of musical instruments as well as fictional inventions, botanical prints, aquatic and wildlife, anatomy diagrams, calendars, antique maps, nursery art and architectural orders. The works are printed with archival inks on various color papers from chalkboard black to blueprint to aged rustic.
Sabrina Fossi Design (sabrinafossi.com)
Sabrina Fossi’s Waveclock is made of ceramic, measures 30 centimeters in diameter and sports a ridged face reminiscent of corrugated material. The wall clocks utilize AA batteries and come in seven color combinations to suit a variety of spaces.
Sabrina Fossi Design
Designed by Amanda Betz, the Folded Vase is a porcelain sculptural statement piece that evokes origami paper art. The white version measures 5.1 inches in diameter by 9 inches high.
Tom Dixon (tomdixon.net)
The designer’s Etch tea light holder — which comes in a range of perforation patterns and sizes — continues to be one of our favorite home accessories. But the more recent Alloy candles and diffuser sets, part of the Materialism line, have also caught our fancy with a whimsical, industrial hex-nut design.
Tracy Glover (tracygloverstudio.com)
The Terrarium craze doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, but master glassmakers are creating unique vessels for presenting the ecosystems in new ways. Among them, Tracy Glover has designed the bulbous Gourd in Lustre Overlay, Primavera or Smooth finishes. Available empty or with a plant kit, the terrarium is capped with a glass lens-shaped lid.
The Bouroullec brothers revisit an older design of theirs — a cloud-inspired plastic shelf module — for their brand-new Nuage vases. Here the cloud shape is rendered in extruded aluminum profiles in anodized clear, green, gray or light blue. Three sizes are available for each.
WrenLab Ceramics (wrenlabceramics.com)
The beautiful wheel-thrown porcelain vessels from this Brooklyn-based studio include the organic Casper and Russian Doll vases, the turned candlestick–like Cylinder vases and drinking Tumblers, which can also be used as containers. Colors run the gamut from pure or warm white to vibrant peacock blue and stark matte black.
This Portland, Oregon, company continues to produce handsome, modern desk and tech accessories out of natural materials, the most recent of which is a minimalist MacBook Dock that props the laptop on its long edge to declutter desks. The dock is constructed with domestic walnut or maple hardwoods, a precision-machined aluminum base for balance and natural cork lining on the bottom to keep the dock from scuffing and scratching the desktop. All are compatible with the 11- and 13-inch MacBook Air, 12-inch MacBook and 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro.
Henge Docks (hengedocks.com)
Specializing in docks for Apple products, Henge Docks offers a Vertical Docking Station that is precisely shaped and sized to fit each MacBook model. These docks are not just for freeing up space and storage, however. Some function as charging stations, and all provide cable management or pass-throughs for ease of connecting external screens and audio speakers while docked. The MacBook, Pro and Pro Retina models also feature strategically placed vents to ensure airflow and cooling for optimal performance.
The StandUp Nomad desk is, as it sounds, a standing work desk, but with an attractive Scandinavian aesthetic that blends in with modern residential interiors. Constructed of FSC-certified birch plywood, it features a single storage shelf and ergonomic footrest and can be manually height adjusted from 36.5 to 48 inches. A standard 25.5-inch-wide or extra-wide 31.5-inch size is available, as is a children’s version. The desks ship flat-packed and require assembly, but it’s an easy 10-to-15-minute process.
Known for its quirky and whimsical tools and toys, Kikkerland offers a number of desk accessories that pull double duty, such as the Concrete Planter and Pen Holder. The small version has an opening sized for a single small plant and an integrated pen cup. The large model is more horizontally oriented with a trough — wide enough to hold a few small plants — cantilevering over a built-in, ridged pen-holding tray.
Los Angeles–based architecture studio Besler & Sons developed Props as multipurpose pieces that can function as bookends, paperweights, display platforms or even doorstops. Props come in four shapes — Classic Wedge, Snubnose Wedge, Personal Pan Pizza and Soup Can — and in three flecked colorways of Classic White, Strawberry and Lavender.
Square and rectangular sticky notes are so last year. Have more fun with the Shape Index Sticky Note sets, which come in three different shapes and four colorways. Plus the Dot and Triangle sets include three different sizes. Each pack contains 51 sheets.
This European brand beautifully handcrafts desk accessories including an all-wood Bluetooth-connected keyboard simply called Board. Compatible with all Macintosh computers and iPads or any Windows device with Bluetooth, the keyboards are made from a single piece of walnut or maple wood. They can be customized with name engraving and preferred country/language layout (such as US English QWERTY) as well as optional note engraving on the underside. Want to get even fancier? Get the matching Touch Slab, another Bluetooth-connected maple or walnut peripheral that functions as a multi-touch trackpad as well as numerical keypad.
Tat Chao (tatchao.com)
What a simple concept STAN is: It’s a card-like wood piece with slats that allow you to position and prop up your mobile phone. The lightweight walnut-birch stand can accommodate iPhones 4, 5, 6 or 7 as well as Samsung and other Android handsets.
Tom Dixon (tomdixon.net)
A super elegant line of desk accessories, Cube comprises a tablet stand, mechanical pencil, pen, organization tray, stapler and tape dispenser, all with a shiny copper finish.
Kikkerland’s Virtual Reality Glasses work just like Google Cardboard viewers for smartphones and cost the same but add a fun black analog camera graphic to the exterior to ensure you don’t accidentally toss these into the recycling bin.
The Moleskine Smart Writing Set takes note-writing, doodling and list-jotting to the extreme. It includes Pen+, an aluminum pen with a concealed camera that traces and digitizes every mark made with it; a Paper Tablet notebook of pages with an invisible grid that helps the pen keep track of where it is on a page or within the notebook; and the Moleskine Notes App, which records the digitized files and allows the user to store, share, export and edit them.
The AuraBox Clock Speaker is a Bluetooth speaker, LED display that visualizes music playing through it, speakerphone with built-in microphone, alarm clock with indoor temperature display and notification screen for text messages and various social media alerts. A mobile app even allows you to create your own pixel animations for display on the unit. The speaker is compatible with both iOS and Android devices.
Neither a wall sculpture nor a jewelry dish, ARiNA is an elegant, battery-operated and portable Bluetooth speaker that can rest on a tabletop or mount onto the wall. It provides 360-degree sound through a molded-textile cover that’s indented in the center to hold a mobile phone. The covers — which range from espresso suede to gray felt — are easily interchangeable as desired on top of a black or white finished base. The unit, which also converts into a phone-conferencing speaker, conceals USB Type A and Mini ports for optional use with cords.
Sony Life Space UX (via store.moma.org)
The LSPX-S1 Glass Sound Speaker is a small and portable cylindrical table lamp that looks like a standard yet beautiful lantern. But pair it with a Bluetooth device and it becomes a powerful audio speaker with amazing sound. The glass diffuser portion conceals a translucent passive radiator in the top for transmitting excellent deep bass sounds while a 2-inch-diameter woofer below transmits powerful midrange. The LED “filament” is dimmable to warm tones to mimic a real candle or lantern flame.
Sony Life Space UX
Crate and Barrel offshoot CB2 always seems to know how to do the holidays in the hip and modern vernacular. Some of our favorite Christmas decorations this year include the Asteroid Ornaments and Wire Drop Silver Ornaments, both of which recall the traditional Finnish Himmeli ornaments, and various tabletop or mantle-top minimalist tree-shaped objects ranging from Tree Frames and Pillar White Trees to reflective, light-catching Disco and Paz Trees.
JoNai Lucite Designs (via etsy.com)
This Etsy maker specializes in cutting clear Lucite acrylic into decorative objects and accessories, including a modern menorah for Hanukkah observance. The piece measures 12 inches wide and high and ¾-inch thick.
JoNai Lucite Designs
Less & More (via etsy.com)
An Etsy maker from Vienna, Less & More sources salvaged oak wood, cuts it down into a minimalist Modern Hanukkah Menorah and finishes it with environmentally friendly oil. As such, each candelabrum is unique from the next. The piece measures 16.5 inches wide by 1.5 deep and 2 high, and the stainless steel candle slots will fit 3/8-inch-diameter menorah candles.
Less & More
Nestled Pines Woodworking (via etsy.com)
Eight snowflake shapes are laser-cut into a variety of wood species (black cherry, black walnut, red oak, maple, aspen and aromatic red cedar) for this Mini Snowflake Ornament set. Each ornament measures approximately 1.5 inches in diameter and is finished with food-safe nontoxic oil. The set is packed in a postconsumer-recycled paper gift box.
Nestled Pines Woodworking
Studio Armadillo (via etsy.com)
Get playful and arrange the modular pieces of this Tangram Hanukkah Menorah to create unique compositions that speak to you. It consists of 10 mahogany wood pieces (one square, two large triangles, one medium triangle, four small triangles, one parallelogram and a large square tray) with brass candle cups for holding olive oil cups or Hanukkah candles.
The Jewish Museum (thejewishmuseum.org)
New York City–based furniture designer Brad Ascalon devised the elegant Ascalon Marble Menorah that’s at once minimalist yet loaded with meaning: Its clean rectangular bar form is interrupted by left and right diagonals set at 18-degree angles (18 symbolizing “life” in Judaism). The solid white Carrara marble menorah measures 11.5 inches wide by 2.5 deep and 1.75 high. For the kids, the museum’s shop also offers a fun LEGO Dreidel by Brick Shtick that’s made of actual LEGO bricks glued together with permanent adhesive.
The Jewish Museum
Typography Judaica (typographyjudaica.com)
Hebrew characters milled in beech, maple or American walnut wood form the body of this modern Typograph Menorah, while a small wooden dreidel cleverly completes the word. The top is finished with an aluminum plate that’s hand-smoothed. The menorah measures 10.6 inches wide by 0.8 deep and 2.8 high.
West Elm (westelm.com)
Turn your Christmas tree into an enchanting woodland or menagerie with your favorite creature ornaments. West Elm offers a wide range, from Mimi Kirchner owls and Bottle Brush forest animals to ASPCA Animal and Silver Glitter Bird Clip ornaments.
Wood Present Studio (via etsy.com)
Choose your favorite from among 15 different shapes for a box of Wooden Snowflake Ornaments. They’re laser-cut in 1/6-inch-thick birch plywood and offered in natural, silver or gold finish in sets of eight, 12, 16 or 20 snowflakes. The ornaments, which measure approximately 3.5 inches in diameter, are packed into an 8-inch-square engraved plywood gift box tied with rustic twine. Because these are made to order, plan to purchase these two to three weeks ahead of Christmas.
Wood Present Studio
Among the myriad hand- and machine-embroidered pillow designs that Aandaz produces, we’re fond of the monochromatic collections Fern, Tinsel and Chrysler but also the colorful Burst and Bohemian. Meanwhile, geometry and asymmetry come together in another one of our favorites, the Hexa series. All of the patterns are embroidered onto linen grounds.
Famous family-owned Minnesota company Faribault Woolen Mill Co. has exclusively created the Plus One blanket for CB2. A single, bold plus sign adorns the heather-gray blanket woven of recycled and new wool for warmth and a modern look.
Fashion designer Issey Miyake lends his pleated-textile aesthetic to this Finnish home décor brand for a number of cushion covers in the Iittala X Issey Miyake Collection. The designs include Herringbone Emerald, Zigzag Light Grey and Random Dark Grey or Pink.
Now you can customize home furnishings with the click of your mouse on a website, even if you’re not a trade professional. Roostery invites both consumers and designers to select from throw pillows and tea towels to upholstered chairs and make it their own by choosing fabric pattern, colorway and even preferred textile hand from eco canvas to faux suede and cotton sateen.
Savannah Hayes (savannahhayes.com)
We love the bold geometric patterns and tasteful color palettes of this designer’s throw blankets, baby blankets and pillows. Among them, check out the Madrid and Taormina throws, Mansfield and Rivington baby blankets and Bucharest and Izmir pillows.
West Elm (westelm.com)
Happy Habitat is the brainchild of Kansas City–based artist and designer Karrie Kaneda, who first draws patterns by hand and then sends the designs to be knit to order by a small team in New Jersey. Her Stripes Throw, available through West Elm, sports a chic and modern black, white and gray pattern composed of 80-percent-recycled cotton and 20-percent-acrylic yarns. It measures 50 inches wide by 60 long.
Designer Carmen Boog creates patterns almost stream of consciously during the embroidery process, often based on music she’s working to, ensuring that every design is completely unique and of the moment. We love how her random patterns look on the One of a Kind Cork Fabric cushions, which come in two sizes (32 inches square for floor use or 19.6 by 9.8 inches for standard use). Choose from blue, black, red, rust or milky white cork fabric.
The Brooklyn-based studio has expanded its Urban Gridded Collection of jewelry to include more cities and more style options for each design. So now you can wear the Barcelona grid as a round stainless steel pendant on a sterling silver chain, Venice Beach, Los Angeles, grid in a dog tag–shaped black-tinted steel pendant on a ball-chain necklace or the Portland grid in gold-plated earrings. The collection also now includes select city grids emblazoned onto 4-inch-diameter cork coasters.
Smart watches and bracelets are getting more fashionable, as demonstrated by the Sona Connected Bracelet. It looks like a stylish leather piece but is actually an activity and stress tracker that senses heart rate variability (HRV). Two sizes are available, as are three colorways: rose gold/white, gold/black and gunmetal/black. The leather strap is genuine full grain. Must be used in conjunction with the Caeden mobile app, which is compatible with iOS 9 or higher.
Cut by Yumi Endo (store.yumiendo.com)
The motifs in Yumi Endo’s necklaces and earrings are geometric, architectural and minimal. And many are designed to be worn symmetrically or asymmetrically depending on one’s mood and outfit. Take, for instance, Cornelia necklace, which consists of two pendants that can be positioned at the center or hanging on one side. We also adore the clean and simple style of Minetta, which features an open, elongated rectangular body in stainless steel held by sterling silver box chain.
Cut by Yumi Endo
GOOD.designs (via etsy.com)
This German design studio, which has a small storefront on Etsy, plays on our love of geometric shapes, facets and the material of concrete all within its Concrete Diamond Chain. The handmade concrete pendant is finished with a gold or silver leaf tip and dangles from a ball chain.
Inno.Park Design Studio H.K. (innopark.hk/en)
The Rainbow Ring is a simple silver band on the outside. Inside lies the surprise, however, of cyan, magenta and yellow enamel stripes that are revealed only upon removing the ring or by wearing the ring as a necklace pendant.
Inno.Park Design Studio H.K.
Sally Kiss recreates the facet lines of gemstones with intricate designs laser-cut into stainless steel. Rings “cut” by KISSdesign are offered in round brilliant or emerald cut shapes.
Those who appreciate a bit of stardust, lunar phases or planetary orbits might like the round and spherical jewelry in the Stellar Collection. The pieces are made of stainless steel with concrete that’s been encrusted with diamond dust to add some sparkle.
The ubiquitous sans serif font Helvetica is the star of this watch series by Mondaine. Four face styles are available, three of which are based on different font weights: Helvetica No1 light, regular, bold and Helvetica 1 Smartwatch. Depending on the model, a variety of straps are available including brown or black leather, silver metallic mesh, black nylon and black silicon. Faces are black or white, while the hardware is gold plated, brushed stainless steel or black plated.
Monica Castiglioni (monicacastiglioni.com)
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Daughter of legendary industrial designer Achille Castiglioni, Monica has herself become an amazing jewelry designer. Her Pistilli pendants are beautiful, sculptural and organic bursts of bronze metal. Complementing Pistilli and Pistillini rings with set stones are also available.
Pico Design (picomeanslittle.com)
A love of architecture informs the modern jewelry designs of Andrea Panico, founder of her own brand Pico Design. Her signature Little Architecture collection is a lovely series of geometric compositions and forms in metal. But more playful and budget-friendly are her LEGO-inspired Building Block necklaces with LEGO-shaped resin block pendants in a choice of five colors and four shapes on black ball chain.
Rand Papele (randpapele.bigcartel.com)
Super simple yet personal, the Letra ring is an open sterling silver band with a 14-karat gold sans serif initial.
Alice Roche recreates the Snøhetta-designed textural façade of the museum in sterling silver for the Flow Large, Circle, Rectangle and Multi necklaces as well as the Flow Rectangle earrings.
Tat Chao (tatchao.com)
We don’t know exactly how comfortable square rings are, but we love the look of the ones created by Tat Chao, including the larger, asymmetrical Incongrue in silver and the 2.5-millimeter-thick Slim Square rings in bronze-infused stainless steel, oxidized steel or acrylic resin.
What? Watch (whatwatch.com)
The Calendar Watch looks like an ordinary men’s timepiece, but it’s actually a connected one that syncs with your calendar to show you busy and free time during the day via tinted segments on the face. Meanwhile, the corresponding app shows you the watch’s battery life on your mobile phone. The watch will also notify you of scheduled appointments via vibration and flashing light.
Worn & Wound (shop.wornandwound.com)
Looking to change the look of a watch easily? Consider swapping out the wristband with Worn & Wound’s Model 2 Premium straps, which combine refined and sporty, military styles. The lining is Wickett & Craig vegetable tanned leather, while the top, outward-facing leather is Horween. The latter is available in Navy, Olive, Moss, Natural, Natural Derby, Crimson, Color 8 and Coal.
Worn & Wound
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