Gift Guides

2019 Holiday Gift Guide: Marcia’s Favorite Picks

It’s that time of year again! The holiday season. Time for decorating and cooking, spending time with family and friends, hosting parties or going to them and shopping, shopping shopping!

It can be stressful trying to find the perfect presents for everyone on your list, so, in the spirit of giving, I’ve decided to make your task a wee bit easier with this gift guide, filled with some of my favorite finds this year, sure to dazzle and delight even the toughest on your list.

Some are more expensive, some budget-friendly, some funny, some serious but they all have one thing in common…good design. Because really, would you expect anything less?

Enjoy! And happy shopping, shopping, shopping!

Please note: Prices listed may have changed.


For the Foodie

They spend hours on end watching Food Network and actually have the talent to pull off an Emeril. Bam! Here are a few ideas to whet their appetite and maybe score you an invite to their next dinner party.

For your most kitchen-savvy and design loving special someone! The Always Pan is made to be a skillet, steamer, deep fryer, saucier, pot and pan–all in one! This smooth ceramic piece of cookware comes in charcoal, beige and a powdery pink, plus it includes a nesting spatula and a steamer basket. $145 (Our Place)

Known for their wonderfully retro refrigerators, SMEG has launched an awesome collection of kitchen appliances based on the curved and compact lines of postwar design. This pastel blue juicer has a fun 1950s-era vibe. $169.95 (Williams Sonoma)

Natural beauties, these cutting boards are made of recycled plastic and composite post-industrial waste and are available in a variety of colors. The perfect gift for those who make the planet a priority. Prices vary. (Savernake)

The collaboration between UK-based interior design firm 2LG Studio and bespoke knife maker Savernake includes matching knives, too!

Have a Star Wars fan on your foodie friend list? This trio of ultra-thin intergalactic spatulas and durable, Millenium Falcon silicone trivet ensure The Force will always be with them, especially when they’re cooking. Spatulas, prices vary | Trivet $20 (Williams Sonoma)

FOR THE BOOK LOVER (who also loves design)

What could possibly be better than a book about design? Whether it’s home or fashion that floats your design lover’s boat, I’ve got you covered. You may want one of these brand new books, too (you know, the one for me, one for you way to shop?), so get your coffee table ready.

Architectural Digest at 100: A Century of Style is a gorgeous book celebrating the best from the pages of AD for the past 100 years. It features the private spaces of celebrities, both past and present, such as Barack and Michelle Obama, David Bowie, Truman Capote, Michael Kors, Frank Lloyd Wright, Elsie de Wolfe and more. $81.87 (hardcover, Amazon)

100 Fashion Icons is a richly illustrated book that showcases 100 portraits of key fashion figures from the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London. The portraits illustrate key styles from different eras, from the 1850s to modern day, using images from varied mediums.

Featured fashion icons include Kate Moss, Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, Twiggy, Jane Birkin, Yves Saint Laurent,  Elsa Schiaparelli, Isabella Blow, Anna Wintour, Naomi Campbell and more. $17.99 (paperback, Amazon)


(AD Editor in Chief Amy Astley | Photo by Matteo Mobilio)





Breaking Ground: Architecture by Women is a stunning visual survey of the groundbreaking projects of some of the most impressive women architects, including Lina Bo Bardi’s Sao Paulo Museum of Art, Elizabeth Diller’s the Broad and more. $40.30 (hardcover, Amazon)

For the Naturalist

They love to reuse and repurpose. They have an affinity for finding new ways to use old things. They have a special love for Mother Nature and want to protect the planet. Have someone like this on your list? Here are few ideas for that person who finds inspiration in the beauty of our earth.

When form follows function, it’s a beautiful thing. These very clever vases by renowned textile designer Charles-Antoine Chappuis are handmade from glass and recycled linen with natural dyes. The funky silhouettes come in different colors on each side and can be flipped upside down! How cool is that? (Price available upon request)

Described as a “dramatic little tumbleweed,” the Resurrection Plant works in mysterious ways. When it’s dried out, it curls up into a brown ball but when exposed to water, it unfurls into a vibrant green shrub full of life again. Best of all, it can “resurrect” time and time again, so that neglectful plant parent on your list can rest easy. $12 (Pistils Nursery)

Not to be a buzz kill, but did you know that the air in many homes contains formaldehyde, a volatile organic compound and polluting gas that is commonly released from things like paint, varnishes, air fresheners, furniture, carpet, toys, fireplaces, etc.? Kinda scary, right? Dyson’s new Pure Hot+Cool Cryptomic features a brand new technology panel that allows the purifier to not just capture formaldehyde in the air but also destroy it. Plus, it has a heater to keep your home warm in the winter and a fan to cool it off in the summer. $399.99 (Dyson)

French label A.P.C. (Atelier de Production et de Création) and designer Jessica Ogden have collaborated to create a limited edition collection of quilts and pillows from leftover cotton and rayon fabrics. Arranged in abstract, patchwork designs, these eco-friendly creations are colorful and embrace irregularities. Designed by Jessica Ogden and Jean Touitou for A.P.C. $325 (small quilt); $180 (pillow)

For the Homebody

Those who enjoy the cozy comforts of home; the ones who practice self-care and who can’t wait for a night snuggled in a warm blanket in front of roaring fire; the ones who are hygge personified. These are today’s homebodies, and don’t we all secretly want to be one?

This beautiful weighted hand knit blanket will help ensure a sounder, anxiety free sleep. The hefty, velvety softness is perfect for a cold winter night. $279 (Dusty blush, 25 lbs., West Elm; available in a variety of colors).

The Comb Fountain, designed by Los Angeles-based ceramicist Lily Clark, is hand-built, visually stunning, and the quiet whoosh of water adds the type of peaceful background noise that puts the mind at ease. Clark merged her love of ceramics, water and hydraulic engineering in this architectural tabletop fountain. $295 (Lily Clark)

The smart Ember Mug lets you set an exact drinking temperature and keeps it there for up to three hours, so your coffee is never too hot or too cold. A microprocessor and sensors track the liquid’s temperature, activating a passive cooling and active heating system hidden in the mug’s walls. $179.95 (Ember)

Candles are the quintessential accessory for a cozy room, and these lovely lidded ceramic candles by Illume are especially nice. The wax of each candle’s base has been pared down to a blend of only the best 100% naturally derived waxes and oil for an even, pure, clean burn. Available in several fragrances, including Golden Honeysuckle, Sugared Blossom and Citrus Crush. $28 ea. (Nordstrom)

For the Traveler

For the wanderlusters in your life, here are a few ideas that will upgrade their experiences and make them want to plan their next adventure. Maybe they’ll even invite you along!

Blue Crow Media is a tiny publisher in London that makes architecturally specific city maps. Modern Berlin, a guide to the wide-ranging building styles from the city’s 20th century, is its latest offering. Older maps include Art Deco tours of London and a list of must-see Brutalist sites in Washington, DC. $10 ea. (Blue Crow Media)

The Moment Wide Lens For Iphone, Pixel, Samsung Galaxy and Oneplus Camera phones includes a lens, lens cap, and microfiber bag. Its new glass and wide angle design allows your phone to capture 2x more pictures. The Wide Lens captures smartphone photos and videos that are beautiful, crisp, and straight with no fisheye distortion. And what better gift for a traveler is there than that? $89.99 (Amazon)

No one likes getting caught in the rain, especially when they’re exploring a new city! The innovative Sharpty Inverted Windproof Umbrella has an ergonomic handle, is lightweight and extremely durable even in the heaviest of rain and wind conditions. One of the best travel umbrellas you can buy! Comes in a variety of patterns and colors, including a classic, solid black. $24.99 (Amazon)

The 18 oz. YETI Rambler Tumbler Stainless Steel Bottle is such a great gift idea for travelers and for those who love outdoor sports and recreational activities, such as camping, fishing and hiking. The cap makes it easy to hold in hand or attach with a carabiner clip to a backpack. This double-wall vacuum insulated water bottle has the power to keep water cold (or coffee hot) until the last sip, thanks to its premium stainless steel construction. It also features a ‘no-sweat’ design so your drink won’t sweat or produce condensation on the outside of the cup. And if all that wasn’t enough, it’s also dishwasher safe. $29.99 (Amazon)

For the Design-obsessed

We all know them. Those design-obsessed people who truly appreciate the unique and special. Who go out of their way to find beautifully designed objects for their home, where every mantel, coffee table and bookcase features things that tell a story. Here are a few gift ideas I think will make that special someone pretty happy.

Jonathan Adler is the king of special and unique home décor, and Adler’s Eve Double Bulb Vase is just that. Adler describes the Eve vessel as having a “shapely silhouette with a sly and seductive handle on surreal style.” (Isn’t that sooo Jonathan Adler?) Made of high-fired matte porcelain, these vases are the perfect spots for a colorful arrangement. $178 (Jonathan Adler)

The DodeCal is a 12-sided, three-dimensional calendar designed with mathematical  precision and hand-finished in high quality Cambrian beech. The calendar displays each month on a flat-faced rhombus. Designed by London designer Ric Bell with the help of a bespoke furniture maker and a toy maker, this unique calendar, which combines functionality and contemporary design would be a perfect addition to a home office. $90 (DodeCal)

New York-based designer/artist Pat Kim’s work is all about sculptural simplicity and enduring quality. His Zig Zags can really be anything you want them to be. Need a plant stand? Check. Book ends? Check. Soap dish? Check. You decide. Some of Kim’s work, including Zig Zags, is available at Fredericks and Mae, a unique gallery and gift store in Brooklyn that curates a changing group of artists in solo and group exhibitions. $20 ea. (Fredericks and Mae)

For the White Elephant Exchange

Who doesn’t love a fun White Elephant exchange? Here are some different ideas that you might not have thought about!

Missing Game of Thrones? Here you go! $19.97 (Amazon)

A wine glass shower or tub-side holder…because you just can’t be too far from your best friends, Chardonnay and Pinot. $15.99 (Amazon)

Or what about an actual “white elephant?” Can’t get more on point than that!

So there you have it…a few of my favorite picks for a well-designed holiday gift-giving experience this year. I hope I’ve taken a little bit of the stress out of shopping, and that you’ve found a few perfect presents for your special someones. Try to take a moment or two in the midst of all the hustle and bustle to relax and breathe.

And remember, I’d love to help you make your home a place to do just that. Give me a call at 314.395.1114 or CLICK HERE to contact me. We may not be able to redo your home by December 25 but we sure can get a good start on planning your new space for next year! CLICK HERE to learn more about our process for remodels and new builds.

Happy Holidays!

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