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Articles Written by Katie

Katie

About Katie: Katie has been a product and textile designer, an art restoration specialist, and an interior designer/merchandiser. Her interests are focused on finding well designed items that improve daily life as well as reading fiction and making stuff. (View Profile)

 
 

Moooi Sponge Vase

Would you believe that we originally featured Marcel Wanders’ Sponge Vase way back in the fall of 2007? Here’s a quick lesson on how it’s made: a sponge form is dipped into fluid porcelain clay, then fired in an oven where the sponge burns away, leaving only the porcelain form in its place. Neat, right? I’d count it among one of the top gifts for any discerning design fan, as it’s a special object that looks good with or without something in it.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $231.00
Available from: YLiving

Bookend and Paper Holder by Scandola Marmi

Maybe a bookend sounds like a boring gift, but this isn’t just a bookend. It also holds CDs (remember those?) and papers, thanks to its angled side slots. It would be an excellent entryway or office accessory, as it would do multiple jobs of holding and organizing books and papers. Fun tidbit of info: it was inspired by the Dome of Milan. Rotate the bookend (on its long edge) to see a pared down interpretation of the facade.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $143.00
Available from: WallpaperSTORE

Wood Basket and Tool Set Emma

Trust me, you don’t need a $700 wood basket. However, if you’ve got loads of money in the bank, then you might enjoy placing your logs in this powder-coated metal basket trimmed with leather (from Swedish tannery Tärnsjö). To complete your fireplace accessory kit, consider adding Eldvarm’s Fireplace Tool Set Emma and their Brush and Shovel set to match.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $245.00 - 695.00
Available from: Horne

Wörther Hexagonal Wood Mechanical Pencil

Ah-ha! Here’s the perfect gift for anyone who ever draws anything. Compact and lightweight, the Wörther Pencil is ideal for all sorts of sketching and writing. It comes with a 3.15mm thick graphite lead and is shaped with a thick, hexagonal barrel to make it a pleasure to hold.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $42.00
Available from: Ode to Things

Daniel & Emma’s Wish List 2016

To kick off our annual sharing of wish lists, we have Daniel To and Emma Aiston of Daniel Emma giving us a peek of what they’d like to give or get this holiday season. Thanks to Daniel and Emma for sharing your lists again this year!
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Mette Hay’s Gift Sets

We’re all really, really lucky that Mette Hay (co-founder of design brand HAY) put together these gift sets, because now finding a gift for a friend or co-worker is super easy. What about the Neutral or Colorful Stationery Gift Set for a co-worker? Or the Kitchen Gift Set or the Toiletries Gift Set for a sibling or friend? All hit the right note of fun and functional.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $36.00
Available from: MoMA Store

Iittala Kastehelmi Collection

As we’re in full gift-finding mode, it’s very appropriate to feature truly classic gifts- the kind of gifts that hold value no matter the year. Now, you might have seen Iittala’s Kastehelmi Collection before, but take another look and pay attention to each piece. They’re quite pretty in a very elegant, classic way, don’t you think? I’ve seen them used to hold jewelry/trinkets, snacks and food stuffs, and even plants. A set of jars or glasses could be a good gift option for that hard-to-figure-out person on your list? The Finnish word “kastehelmi” means “dewdrop,” in case you were wondering.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $20.00 +
Available from: AllModern

XFR Tote

A durable tote that converts to messenger, shoulder bag, and backpack sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it? The XFR Tote expands and collapses, so it’s ideal for a shopping tote. It’s also made from the highest grade 600D Double-Sided Tarpaulin with bound internal edges- that means solid construction that won’t disintegrate after a heavy grocery shop. Small loops near the handles enable you to clip in additional straps for changing your carrying style.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $60.00
Available from: Kickstarter

Halflight Leather Valet Tray

If a certain someone you know doesn’t have a tray or container to catch all the paraphernalia in their pockets, then you know exactly what to get them as a present this year: a valet tray. This leather one is available in natural or black, and is sized appropriately to fit anywhere- on a desk, dresser, console, or nightstand.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $85.00
Available from: TRNK

Polaroid Snap Instant Digital Camera

Talk about a great gift- you can’t go wrong with the Polaroid Snap Instant Digital Camera. Why? Because who doesn’t like taking instant photos? It blends nostalgia with updated digital technology, and is small enough to take with you wherever you’re going this holiday season. You (or the recipient) will have fun with it, no doubt about it.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $100.00
Available from: Polaroid

Normann Copenhagen Basic Bronze Bar Tools

What do you get your favorite wino oenophile? These Bronze Wine Tools from Normann Copenhagen, that’s what. However, if they’re a true oenophile, they probably already have a preferred opener/set, so they’ll most likely say, ‘oh, that’s so nice of you, but I already have a preferred opener, so please, do keep it for your own use…’ and then you’ll have to pretend to be embarrassed instead of particularly pleased to upgrade your own bar tools to something so streamlined and functional. Win/win, right?
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Purchase Information:

Price: $16.00 - 21.00
Available from: TRNK

Forestry Wool Throws

New designs from Forestry are here just in time to keep your toes warm this winter. Made from 100% New Zealand wool, each design is spare and elegant with subdued colors that are friendly to any interior- that’ll make those modern design aficionados on your list happy as can be. Might as well get one for yourself too, while you’re at it.
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Purchase Information:

Price: €139.00
Available from: Forestry

Hideaway Folding Guest Bed

Winter brings holidays and those holidays usually bring guests. That may or may not be something you enjoy, especially if you’re short on space. Here’s something that might make your younger* guests a little more comfortable without taking up too much room the rest of the year. The Hideaway Folding Guest Bed is like a suitcase when closed (with a convenient handle for carrying) and can be used as a ottoman or be stored under a bed or in a closet. Open up the triple-fold mattress for a comfortable sleeping space for one, no fussing about with an air pump or a leaky air mattress.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $165.00
Available from: Dwell Store

Perpetual Wall Calendar by Massimo Vignelli

Are you in full gift-shopping mode yet? If you’re trying to find the perfect thing, do consider this calendar by Massimo Vignelli. It would be perfect for anyone who leans towards simple/spare graphic design, especially considering it’s pretty much a design classic for those in the know. The large, bold numbers are easy to read across a room and will keep track of the date year after year.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $82.00
Available from: Fitzsu

Craft Design Technology

What do you get the pickiest of design aficionados? Any item from Craft Design Technology, that’s what. How could you not fall head over heels for a collection of high quality work tools designed to be “beautiful, functional and enduring”? I want all of it (specifically, the scissors have been on my wish list ever since ’08). Available in the US from rikumo. More of the collection below.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $4.50 - 96.00
Available from: rikumo