Looking for the new and different ideas for this holiday giving season? Curated especially for the design-obsessed, this wish list checks all the boxes. From splurge-worthy to practical, functional and beyond, here are 25 presents we’d be pretty pleased to receive ourselves. Happy holiday shopping!
1. This novel, electric fragrance diffuser is housed in a handmade tongue-and-groove recycled maple-wood box, so no two are alike. Up top, an Edison bulb emits a subtle, warm glow, while a delicate glass nebulizer spreads a fine mist of Le Labo’s vanilla-musk scented Santal 26 oil into all corners of your home.
Santal 26 Home Diffuser by Le Labo, $590
2. Who wouldn’t want to be swaddled in a luxurious, Turkish-cotton towel after every bath? This set of long-staple cotton towels features simple, flat-weave cotton fronts (striped in cool gray) backed in looped terry cloth for maximum absorbency.
Fouta Supreme Towel Bundle by Parachute Home, from $289
3. Wendy Goodman, New York Magazine‘s Design Hunting editor of 30 years, has set foot in sublimely gorgeous homes we have only dreamed of entering. Her first book, May I Come In?, features full-color photographs of more than 75 of these residences, Goodman ushers us inside and allows the gorgeous homes to do the talking.
May I Come In? by Wendy Goodman, Abrams, $65
4. An iconic quartet: Pendleton Woolen Mills, plus Calvin Klein, Andy Warhol and Dennis Hopper. This reversible wool-blend saddle blanket unites these art and fashion icons with good old-fashioned workmanship. Offered in pink or red with a black graphic of Hopper—a longtime fan Warhol fan himself—true to the artist’s original 1971 prints.
Andy Warhol Foundation + Pendleton Printed Blanket by Calvin Klein Home, $450
5. Bring some color into the life of your favorite backgammon enthusiast—and get the whole family into analog game nights with this beechwood-and-plastic set. Folds when not in use.
Colorful Backgammon Set by MoMA, $89
6. Inspired by the streamlined architecture and fine materials of the Art Deco period, this handsome rectangular tray is covered in a glossy burl-wood veneer that’s naturally resistant to moisture and staining — so overflowing sidecar cocktails can be served without worry.
Burl Wood Lacquer Tray by CB2, $50
7. The power of the gift of a live, fragrant wreath cannot be underestimated. It’s a thoughtful gesture that invites guests in—and lasts—all holiday season long. This ring of freshly intertwined spiral, silver dollar and willow eucalyptus can serve double duty as a dining table centerpiece.
Eucalyptus Wreath by Harry & David, $80
8. Industrial designer, George Nelson—a founder of the American Modernism movement whose work is represented in MoMA’s permanent collection—designed more than 150 clocks in his lifetime. This famous battery-powered starburst wall clock (released in 1955) exemplifies the perpetual appeal of Mid-Century design with its numberless face and black-chrome-and-brass construction.
Star Clock by George Nelson, $530
9. Sugarmat’s line of uncommon yoga mats were created to bring glamour and style to your workout. The creatives behind the brand are passionate about making a product that offers both fashion and function. This particular pattern is a part of the Healing Heart Collection that is meant to evoke human feelings from abstract art.
Dream Catcher No. 3 by Sugarmat $99
10. Italian artist Piero Fornasetti was so obsessed with 1940s opera star Lina Cavalieri that he used more than 500 variations of her face when designing his iconic collection of tableware and home décor. His son, Barnaba, perpetuates his father’s lithographs on objects such as this glazed ceramic container housing a woodsy-scented paraffin-blend candle.
Nuvola Lidded Candle by Fornasetti, $210
11. According to Cameroon’s Bamileke culture, the Juju hat is a symbol of prosperity and divinity. Traditionally worn during annual dance rituals, these elaborate ceremonial hats, when stretched and flattened, turn into sculptural works of wall art with all the aplomb of the wild bird feathers of which they’re composed.
Juju Hatt III by St. Frank, $395
12. Whether used purely as a decorative or functional item, to cordon off space or create privacy, this attractive scallop-top freestanding screen has French apartment-style written all over it. The New York City-based home fashion company, The Inside, offers this customizable (and refreshingly affordable) version in 94 designer fabrics.
Scalloped Screen by The Inside x Clare V., $299
13. Who are you calling a mutt? Just like DNA tests designed for humans, a simple cheek swab from Fido will reveal his family tree (all the way back to his great-grandparents!) and tests for more than 250 dog breeds—including wolf, coyote and village dog ancestry—and 160 genetic diseases.
Dog DNA Test Kit by Embark, $159
14. The Italian coffee company famous for its fine-roast espresso has re-released its 20-year-old X1 machine, originally designed by renowned architect Luca Trazzi. This multi-beverage machine whips up barista-quality American coffees, cappuccinos and lattes—not to mention a pretty mean espresso—and has a handy built-in milk steamer and frother.
X1 iperEspresso Anniversary 1935 Machine by Illy, $695
15. Google’s new voice-activated speaker display connects to any Google account and acts as a personal virtual assistant to display photos, play videos, tell you the weather and predict how long your morning commute will take—no monthly subscription needed.
Home Hub by Google, $149
16. Present this holiday’s cups of hot cocoa, coffee and tea in this set of six enameled stoneware mugs in a rainbow of dishwasher-safe metallic hues.
Metallic Mug Set by Le Creuset, $80
17. Tiny houses and apartments call for like-sized furniture. Designed and produced in Japan, this clean-lined, modernist table would look great (and fit) in any space, and is composed of powder-coated steel with spindly legs top-dipped in white latex paint.
Round Table by Home of the Brave, $89
18. Curl up in a Ohhio’s Grande Punto Large Chunky blanket made of Extra fine Merino wool. The blanket will not only keep you warm this winter and make you feel like you’re floating in a warm, gentle cloud, it will make your home beautiful as well.
Grande Punto Large Chunky Blanket by Ohhio, $380 (50 in. by 70 in.) or $512 (60 in. by 80 in.)
19. Indoor gardeners will appreciate this gift of green. One easy-care plant, potted in a glazed earthenware planter, is delivered to its recipient each month. You can customize planter color preferences and shapes; pet-friendly and low-light options are available, too.
Plants for Beginners Monthly Subscription by The Sill, $35/month
20. Warm, soft bedding is essential to surviving those cold winter nights. This sheet set is made in Portugal of organic long-staple cotton, rendering them stronger, comfier and longer-lasting than more typical flannels.
Flannel Patterned Sheet Set by Boll & Branch, from $245-$330
21. Light up loved ones’ holidays with a sculptural paper lantern designed by iconic Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi. This tall, modernist floor lamp consists of a washi-paper shade with bamboo ribbing on a metal frame, and has been handmade in Gifu, Japan since 1951, when the artist first developed his original design.
Akari Floor Lamp Model UF4-L6 by Isamu Noguchi, $750
22. Give the gift of vigilance with a smart, Wi-Fi-enabled doorbell that’s controlled by voice-activated devices like Echo and Google Assistant. The bell allows you to see, hear and speak to whoever rings your bell in real time, detects movement around your front door and sends alerts to virtually any device—with minimal setup (no wiring!) required. Video Doorbell II by Ring, $199
23. Cocktails anyone? Wheel in the eggnog atop this sleek, moveable bar cart composed of acrylic and polished stainless steel. Mirrored shelves reflect wine, spirits and other beverages of choice.
Maxima Stainless & Acrylic Bar Cart by Safavieh, $799
24. This Hollywood Regency-style geometric mirror frames the perfect welcome scene in a foyer or entry. Individual pieces of rattan form triangles, circles and trapezoids, and it can be hung horizontally or vertically.
Riverwalk Mirror by Serena & Lily, $498
25. A good rug grounds any design scheme: This earth-tone hand-dyed wool kelim is woven in India via traditional technique, on a specialized loom called a Punja that produces identical designs on the front and back of the rug.
Kelim Rug by Ferm Living, $135