2010 gift guide: non-kitchen items

This is that time of the year when we are all searching for the perfect gift for our friends and family, but find ourselves constrained by time, the weather, and if, like me, you live in a city, having to carry everything by yourself running from one store to the other. Me – I’m not a schlepper of things. I am an online orderer, though I do like to browse some shops from time to time.

As far as gifts go, there are many considerations to make, nevermind minding your budget as these things add up quickly. Each year I get excited for the guides from Design*Sponge among many others. This year, I absolutely loved Luisa’s guide which turned me onto the Amco lemon squeezer. Anyway, here are a few of my favorite non-kitchen related things that you might like. I’ll have the kitchen one ready for you in the next few days. Until then – enjoy these!

Red Flower Candles – I first fell in love with Red Flower products over six years ago when a friend gifted me a candle. It was Moroccan Rose and to this day it remains my favorite candle fragrance. I randomly wound up sitting next to the founder, the beautiful and elegant Yael Alkalay, on a train one day and told her just how much I loved her products. Red Flower candles use sustainably sourced, natural ingredients, and burn for 50 (!) hours (that’s a bang for your buck!), filling your home with a very pure, natural scent. I’ve tried just about every luxury candle brand out there and this is my favorite one hands down. And while candles are sort of a “general” gift given out to hostesses and such, these candles are different – not a single scent that smells overwhelming or overly perfumey. Each is lovely. Whoever receives this will thank you for introducing them to the brand.

High Street Market – I love the vintage products such as this milk glass bowl from High Street Market, one of my favorite Etsy shops. Each item is beautiful, striking, unique. Last year, I shopped here for a bunch of holiday gifts. I found an antique horse-head letter opener for my friend Brita and a beautiful silver fruit bowl for Jennie. This bowl, among so many things in this store, would make a wonderful and thoughtful gift. Just imagine how beautiful citrus will look in it!

Dear Fieldbinder, – Sigh. I want everything from this boutique. Each. And. Every. Thing. Every item that makes it into the store is carefully curated and selected with a keen eye and precision. Not only is the stuff great, but consistent in their feel from one piece to the next. My most coveted items, besides their Madison Marcus dresses, are their stunning jewelry items such as the earrings above. And while many of the items at the store aren’t exactly a bargain, this is a place for a thoughtful splurge-worthy kind of a gift.

Shlomit Ofir – So here is another Etsy favorite of mine – Israeli jewelry designer, Shlomit Ofir. Last year besides High Street Market, I was besotted with her entire line. So much so that pretty much many of the ladies in my life got necklaces and earrings from her fabulous line. And I’ve picked up a few items this year – the bird necklace above is simple, elegant and while offering a vintage feel, does it in a modern, clean style.

I think these bowls from Heath Ceramics are lovely. As is everything else they offer in their store from tableware to houseware. I’m always blown away by people’s ability to “curate” their stores, and not just sell objects, but works of art that are consistent with their vision of aesthetic. These bowls are not just items for your home – they’re handmade with expertise and meticulous attention to quality. If you give one to your mom – she’ll proudly display it at every family gathering!

Brooklyn Tailors Shirt – is what I’d give my boyfriend as a gift had I not gone and splurged already for him on an iPad and a cloud and airplane themed tie (two things he loves!). But I’m keeping an eye on this amazing Brooklyn-based husband and wife team that makes stunning bespoke shirts for men (and ladies) using crisp, classic fabrics. I know Andrew would look stunning in one!


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