Christmas is a time of hugs and kisses, festive parties and family gatherings—pretty much everything that we’re not allowed to partake in this year due to the pandemic. One tradition that we can nevertheless keep on doing is gift-giving. Sure, watching your loved ones unwrap your gift through Zoom is not the same with being there but their excitement, delight and gratitude can be as rewarding. With this in mind, we have compiled an eclectic gift guide with just-released products that have enchanted us with their elegance, craftsmanship, or ingenuity.
From a jazzy plant holder, to a minimalist leather handbag, to a special edition of a design classic, and from a whimsically embroidered cushion, to handcrafted ceramics, to custom-made diamond jewellery, each gift has been handpicked for its aesthetics and distinctiveness as much as its practicality. Whatever your budget, there’s something for everyone, so don’t miss the chance to spread some joy this Christmas.
The Stripes Bowl by Mateus Ceramics
This Christmas, we may not be able to enjoy a festive dinner with our friends and family but we can at least make sure that the Christmas table is as merry as possible with the help of Stripes, the latest ceramic tableware collection by Mateus. Inspired by the 1960s, the collection is as exuberant and dashing as it is elegant and soulful, as it effortlessly marries ornamentation with simplicity. Bold organic stripes imbue the pieces with graphic flair while soft shapes and a glazed finish give them a sense of romantic allure. Our favourite piece from the four-piece collection is the bowl: meticulously hand-made and hand-painted in the company’s workshop in central Portugal, it comes in six seductive colours (cinnamon, plum, light pink, ocean, sand and grey) and can be mixed and matched with pieces from this and other collections per the brand’s philosophy.
Special Edition Snoopy White Table Lamp by Flos on Mohd
What’s not to love about Snoopy, the iconic table lamp by Achille and Piergiacomo Castiglioni? Designed in 1967 and produced by Flos, it’s a gem of modernist sophistication and inimitable style whose ‘classic’ status is uncontested. Now, a new, exclusive WHITE EDITION by Mohd has made us fall in love with it all over again. Featuring a black marble base and an opal white lampshade made from the highest quality materials, the new edition cleverly reverses the colours of the original design without subtracting from its timeless appeal.
SOODEN handbag by Tsatsas
This brand-new handbag by Frankfurt-based Tsatsas, one of our favourite leather goods brands, had us at hello. Inspired by a plastic bag from a Parisian bookshop, SOODEN’s minimalist silhouette belies a work of exquisite craftsmanship and ergonomic design – its rectangular shape is ideal for carrying your laptop, documents or magazines. Handcrafted in Germany from the finest lightly grained calfskin in brown or black leather, the handbag features brass frame handles meticulously crafted in Tuscany for a comfortable grip. Lined with pacific blue Nappa lambskin leather, it strikes the perfect balance between function, execution and aesthetic which we’re sure would excite even the most discerning sophisticate.
GUCCI check wool cushion with fawn
Encapsulating the whimsical sensibility and more-is-more mindset of Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele, this richly textured cushion blends several prints, patterns and techniques for a quirky yet sophisticated look. Part of 'Souvenir from Rome', Michele’s new collection of furniture and decorative pieces with motifs and patterns borrowed from the ready-to-wear collection, it features embroidered flowers, needlepoint fawn patches, and a floral print GUCCI logo on a brown check wool base. A yellow moiré back adds the design’s playful flair while a new line of vintage-inspired green packaging makes the unwrapping ritual part of the experience.
Plant holder by Claroplants
With houseplants brightening our homes and improving our wellbeing, it makes perfect sense that there are myriad of caring and styling ideas out there but the one that stands out for us is this colourful acrylic plant holder by Claroplants. Ergonomic and playful in its simplicity, it allows you to easily grow small hydroponic plants whilst jazzing up your living space. Combine the colour of your choice with your favourite vase or glass, fill with water, place a seed or cutting on it, and stand back and relax, as nature will do the rest. It’s a fun and effortless way to decorate any daylit corner of your house but there’s also something about watching the roots grow amid the interplay of light, colour and shadow that makes this practical plant holder almost meditative.
Diamond Letter & Number Necklace by Anastasia Kessaris
There’s something magical in sending a message written literally in diamonds to a loved one, which is why we adore this collection of custom-made diamond necklaces by Anastasia Kessaris for Kessaris. Made from meticulously cut diamonds, shaped into letters, numbers, and symbols, and set in yellow, white or pink gold, they can spell a dedication of your choice, be it a name, initials, anniversary dates or a motto, conveying your message with sparkling elegance. Extravagant and yet austere, luxurious yet whimsical, the beauty of these bespoke diamonds lies as much in their exquisite craftsmanship as in their expressiveness. With a choice of black diamonds and sapphires to boot, Kessaris’ custom made jewellery not only make for a thoughtful personal gift, they also boost your own creativity.
PKG01 by VOID Watches
This classic date watch by VOID Watches encapsulates the modernist principles of the last 50 years of watch design as well as the brand’s design philosophy which is rooted in its Swedish heritage. Just 7mm in thickness, the thinnest in the brand’s collection, with its understated silhouette and muted colour palette, PKG01’s elegance is as subtle as it is undisputed. The quartz watch features an acutely tapered crown, Italian leather strap and the brand’s hallmark red accent on the second hand. Available in silver and gold finishes, with a choice of white and black dials, and several strap colours, its minimalist design can be tailored to your taste which makes it even more of an ideal gift for timepiece aficionados.
Tema e Variazioni N.171 Wall Plate by Fornasetti
In 1952, Italian artist Piero Fornasetti started painting the face of 19th century opera singer Lina Cavalieri, enchanted by her oddly inexpressive stare and flawless complexion, and never stopped. Hundreds of versions later, Lina has become a household face in the design world as the subject of the eponymous brand’s iconic “Tema e Variazioni" series. The latest in the series is a festive porcelain wall plate that juxtaposes Lina’s melancholic stare with a vibrant red bow. Hand-decorated in Fornasetti’s Milanese atelier, it can be used as a placemat, but also ornamentally as a centrepiece, or wall decoration, alone or with the other plates in the series. Enchanting as it is whimsical, the beauty in Fornasetti’s plate lies in Lina’s evocative, open-ended expression that’s just begging to be “unwrapped”.
The New Era Magazine
The New Era Magazine combines two of our favourite interests: bespoke print publications and Scandinavian design. Printed in Stockholm on environmentally friendly Swedish paper, and focusing on Scandinavian interiors, design, art and craft, the magazine showcases exceptional homes and inspiring people. Conceived as a source of inspiration as much as information, TNE’s first issue published in November 2020 takes readers into the homes of celebrated artist Anton Alvarez, architect Andreas Martin-Löf and interior designer Lotta Agaton, a modern farm inspired by the sustainable timber dwellings of the Sea Ranch community in San Francisco, and a stunning forest retreat built entirely of wood, as well as explores design in a time of crisis after a year of lockdowns and travel restrictions.
Mojave Palm Candle by Haas Borthers for L'objet
Part of a family of characterful tableware, home décor, textiles and fragrance, the Mojave Palm Candle is the product of a creative collaboration between Los Angeles-based artists and twin brothers Simon and Nikolai Haas, a.k.a. The Haas Brothers, and Elad Yifrach, Creative Director and master craftsmen at L’OBJET. Crafted at L’OBJET’s porcelain atelier in Portugal, and embellished with playful motifs and 24K gold details, the candle embodies the brothers’ whimsical sensibility and openness to material experimentation, and L’OBJET’s dedication to meticulous craftsmanship. Infused with the new signature Mojave Palm fragrance by perfumer Yann Vasnier, its artful design is complemented by dry, woodsy notes of papyrus, guaiac wood, balsam fir, patchouli and frankincense that evoke the wild beauty of the Mojave Desert.