Happy Thanksgiving! It’s officially the holiday season, and with that in mind, it’s time to get on top of our shopping lists. And so, we’ve scoured the web and searched the shops to find you the gifts we’d love to give. Plus, Yale Breslin’s back on men’s gifts and Laurie Furber of Greenhouse Design Studio shares ideas for meaningful gifts that don’t cost a lot.
Also, I’ve always wanted a one shouldered exercise top and could never find one so we’ve collaborated with BEYOND YOGA (who make really chic, comfortable, perfect exercise gear) to make my dream top!
A record player (plus music) for your best friend or partner. Our dream record player is Dieter Rams and Hans Gugelot’s 1956 SK 4 for Braun. Make sure to stock his/her music library with vintage records that mean a lot as well. My choices would be…
Since 2009, identical twins Dawn and Samantha Goldworm of 12.29 have been creating custom scents for corporate, hospitality and private clients. Scents are made in conversation and to your specification and they can produce candles, room sprays and more. To them, it’s about “olfactive branding.” A truly unique present for a friend’s home.
Give your sister or girlfriend an updated set for her vanity – stackable trays and a mirror from Hay plus some beauty essentials, like a great moisturizer and a good mascara. Find Hay products in the UK here and in the US here.
A perennial gift, this is perfect for the emerging (or established) home cook. Send the planter from Scout Regalia ready-made or as a kit to build, along with essential herbs for a year round herb garden in the patio or fire escape.
Books and Names
A great gift for family friends, collect a set of books whose titles contain the names of each family member. It makes for a playful mantelpiece. This particular family is made up of George, Heidi, Stuart and Sky – a book for each.
In true goop gift guide tradition, a selection of our favorite personalized products
For the hostess, a set of antique linen napkins embroidered with her initials. At Guinevere in London they have a huge supply of vintage monogrammed napkins. If you’re lucky, they’ll have your initials. Otherwise, go for plain linen napkins and get them monogrammed.
Jennifer Rust designs a slew of custom tableware. We love the Birch tree design on a set of mugs and dessert plates which you can personalize with the person’s initials inside a heart “carved” on the tree. Rust also produces a customizable “Family Tree” pattern for plates and platters – a truly thoughful gift.
Jennifer Creel Custom Jewelry
New York based designer Jennifer Creel makes custom jewelry of all kinds. I love this necklace with my kids’ names on it. A great gift for a mom.
Such a simple gift for a kid – a wooden rope swing to hang on a tree in your backyard. Have a name or special message engraved on it at Kaufmann Mercantile.
Alexandra Llewellyn crafts super deluxe backgammon boards in several elegant designs. Boards can be personalized with initials and special messages. Now, if you’re looking for a completely bespoke board, sky’s the limit with prices to match. A true work of art and a unique present for a family friend.
Delvaux, the classic Belgian leather goods company has also gotten on the monogramming train. Pictured, a “Hug” card holder for cards and small what-nots and a classic “Brillant,” both for the most elegant woman you know. Available at Barneys.
This was just too cute not to include…A lion rattle with its own bed, pillow, and blanket, made by hand in Argentina by Adriana Torres, aka, Miga de Pan. Spotted at Couverture in London.
Adorable Faux Fur hats (with animal ears) from Restoration Hardware baby & child. They’re super soft, warm, and have convenient hand pouches too.
Nigiri booties from chloeinstyle.com. Enough said.
A pink fleece gilet from Marie-Chantal. This one’s great for girly girls as a “dress up” item that will also keep them warm.
The package is almost as important as the gift. We love Name Maker’s custom gift wrap and ribbon (they sent me these awesome personalized rolls for each of my kids). We’re also into British design duo Esme Winter’s beautiful prints, and of course, our favorite double-sided set from Sugar Paper.
From our #1 Men’s Gifts expert, Yale Breslin:
She’s known for illustrating the mugs of cultural icons on her line of tees, totes, and pillowcases, but if you ask her nicely, she’ll happily work on custom projects. Who wouldn’t want their dog’s face drawn on a tee? Awesome drawings, price tag to match.
Truth be told, I’m a die-hard SoulCycle fanatic (I try to convert people daily). While my success rate will not be revealed, once I heard that the ‘spinning powers that be’ were selling their bikes, I’ve been saving my dollars ever since. If he hates working out, this will transform him. If he’s into being fit, he’ll appreciate this even more. Ride or Die.
There’s a fine line when it comes to jewelry for the guys – even the smallest bit of ‘wrong’ can leave a lasting impression. Miansai Jewelry is made for dudes (by a dude) and his nautical inspired pieces are the perfect gift for that guy who has everything (and cares about his sartorial needs).
Want to make him geek out on the latest gadget to hit the shelves? 3 words: Samsung Galaxy Camera. BAM. Trust me on this one, it’s got an Android OS.
We all love a hotel. Make him feel like he’s in one (sort of) 24/7 with a customized robe. Or, get creative….who says ‘initials’ are the only way to go?
Terrapin Stationers is a family business that’s spearheaded by Ted Harrington. Hands down the only place you’ll be able to find stationery with sayings like ‘YOLO’ and ‘WTF’. #YouOnlyLiveOnce.
Yale Breslin is a New York-based journalist who knows what’s up. He works with Jay Z’s Life+Times (Hova knows best) producing fashion related content and also works with MR PORTER among many others. A former editor at V Magazine and VMAN Magazine, Breslin has contributed to publications and online endeavors including: ELLE.com, T: The New York Times Style Magazine Blog, GQ.com, Cool Hunting, Vogue China and more.
Some Final Gifting Inspiration
… from Laurie Furber, expert gift giver and owner of Greenhouse Design Studio:
“Over the years, I’ve become an expert at choosing the perfect gift that’s loved, used and remembered. It takes time and organization, and a little inspiration, but the appreciation you get in return is a wonderful reward.”
A touch of inspiration
Timing is everything. Give something that is relevant right now: When a friend has a Christmas party, bring her breakfast for the next morning: a pretty tray, a loaf of good bread, some homemade butter and jam.
When in doubt, keep it practical: A beautiful roll of baker’s twine and some homemade vanilla for a baker, a box of hand-dipped beeswax tapers or some fleur de sel in a pretty container for your weekend hostess.
Add a personal flourish to make your gift extra special: Give a vintage ironstone teapot filled with slips of paper listing all the reasons you love the recipient.
Don’t get hung up on the idea that your gift has to be expensive to be memorable: Fold 1,000 paper cranes for a friend who needs a wish, or give a brooch from your collection to someone who’s admired it.
And when you need a super-amazing gift, start a collection: Collect all the editions of a friend’s favorite book and give one every time there’s an occasion, or start a collection of cocktail shakers for your favorite martini making guy.
Think outside the box (literally): Don’t skimp on the wrapping. I always keep a stash of pretty paper and boxes, beautiful ribbon and add-ons like vintage letters and postcards so my gifts are beautiful inside and out. P.S. Greenhouse Design Studio has a “Something Personal” section, perfect if you’re looking for a personalized, thoughtful gift.
Just over a year ago, we packed our bags and left our beloved London for the sunnier climes of Los Angeles. We tearfully kissed our loved ones goodbye and hoped we would find a tribe in our new city, old and new.