Both posh and multitasking, True Bee Design Crown Storage Ottomans serve as a footrest, storage, extra seating, and tabletop. Check out this video to see it in action. Delivery takes 8 weeks, but you can also buy your favorite design-obsessed giftee a gift card. There are several styles to choose among, including Blue Arbez, $3,240, and Tullulah, $3,480, shown here.
We had a blast testing the new Keurig V700 Brewing System, $230, in our break room, whipping up lattes, cappuccinos, teas, and other drinks both frothed and not, hot and iced, bold and regular. Two-step Vue packs allow you to add froth, and you can choose the size of the beverage from a four-ounce cup to an 18-ounce travel mug.
Color a friend’s world with this cheery Squaresville Pillow, $85, in organic cotton and recycled poly twill, which is machine washable and dryable.
It was a sweet day indeed when a pie from Royers Round Top Café, a legend in Texas, arrived for staff sampling. Send a pie-fancier into nirvana with Bud’s Chocolate Chip Pie,$29.95, 4-to-1 the most popular pie on the café’s menu. Bud describes it as a “big, thick, and chewy chocolate chip cookie with pecans.” You can also buy a gift certificate for mail order pies, or treat the serious sweet tooth to the Café’s 12-Month Pie Plan, from $453 to $513. (Bud is working out the details of his Pie-a-Month for Life Plan; his actuary has some reservations!)
A set of three brass candleholders, $248, by DwellStudio from Zinc Door, makes a chic gift; they look especially good on bookshelves.
We love the classic charm of this Christmas in New York Advent Pop-Up Calendar, $17.95, available from the Metropolitan Museum of Art or one of its stores. Call 1-800-662-3397 for Customer Service.
For the nature-lover on your list, consider America’s Other Audubon. Nearly everyone is familiar with John James Audubon and The Birds of America. But few are aware of another monumental volume, Illustrations of the Nests and Eggs of Birds of Ohio. Inspired by Audubon's lithographs at the 1876 World's Fair, 29-year-old amateur naturalist and artist Genevieve Jones began working on a companion volume to The Birds of America, illustrating the nests and eggs that Audubon omitted. When she died suddenly of typhoid fever, her family finished the project in her memory. Featuring reproductions of all 68 original color lithographs, archival photographs, and selected field notes, America's Other Audubon chronicles the making of this extraordinary nineteenth-century book. Consider pairing this book with the Audobon Placecard Holders on the next slide.
People who love to entertain with flair will enjoy these Audobon Placecard Holders, $65, available from the Metropolitan Museum of Art or one of its stores. Call 1-800-662-3397 for Customer Service.
Our garden editor fell in love with Mariachi Mad Mats at a trade show. They’re exceptionally stylish-looking outdoor rugs. Made from recyclable materials, they don’t absorb stains, and you can wash them off with a garden hose. Best yet, they’re good-looking enough to use in a kitchen, kid’s room, or playroom. They come in oodles of colors and patterns from houndstooth to florals to ethnic; “Molly” and “Turkish Aqua” are shown here. Prices range from $52 for a 4x6 to $120 for a 6’3”x9.
Modern with a rustic touch is a stylish look, interpreted nicely in this 12-inch round tray with horn legs, $275.95, from Mary Jurek’s Orion Collection through The Addison Collection.
Give a chocoholic the ultimate indulgence with elegantly packaged chocolates from L.A. based chocolatier Valerie. The Best of Valerie Tote, $100, is a toe-curling assortment that includes truffles, petit fours, jam, bark, and more.
Classic design aficionados will treasure William Morris Cloisonné Collection Ornaments,$38 each or $85 for a set, available from the Metropolitan Museum of Art or one of its stores. Call 1-800-662-3397 for Customer Service.
A great gift for those who dote on their pets, the Tagg pet-tracking device, $99.95, uses advanced GPS and cellular technology to track a pet’s location and monitor its activity. Best used with pets 10 lbs. and up, the device latches onto an existing collar. Users can set up a Tagg Zone, which will alert owners via text or email if a pet has escaped.
Put your own slant on stylish gift giving with this DwellStudio Slanted Wine Chiller, $198, from Zinc Door.
Is an iPad constantly being used by a person on your list? If so, the Gripster, $49.99, from Native Union, is a must-have gift. It solves many of the challenges users face when positioning, holding, and storing the tablet. A patented Smart Handle can be spun, inclined, or rotated 360 degrees. It comes in an array of colors.
Give a cook a state- or country-shaped cutting board, $48, from the Daily Grommet. They’re custom-made, so allow 2 weeks.
A natural element gets a sophisticated twist in the Gold Coral Candleholder by Lazy Susan, $60, from Zinc Door.
When you best pal is dog-tired, she or he can rest in style in the Parisian couture-inspired Marley Dog Bed, $198 to $348 depending on size, from Chiasso. The pillow is removable for washing, and the bed base can be wiped clean.
One of our graphic artists is very taken with the immortal half-smiles of these wooden Mona Nesting Dolls from Chiasso, $48, in wood, from 3 to 6 inches.
Santa’s helper goes global: the Chindi Reindeer, $198, measuring 17 x 9 x 26, is crafted in the style of Chindi rugs. From Olive & Cocoa, it is handmade with strips of recycled fabric and accented with beads and bells.
We like the hip lines of this pad for feathered friends, made for durability of iron and PVC. The Yankee Bird Feeder, which also comes in cheery red, is $38 from Chiasso.
The flavors of Southern Skillet vinegars reflect the integrity of Southern cooking with their clean balance of sweet and savory. With muscadine grapes, sugar cane, satsuma, tomato, and blueberry varietals, the imagination soars. Shown here is White Muscadine, $22. It’s one of many small-batch boutique vinegars—aged over 20 years—from Southern Skillet.
Keep a special someone’s home fires burning with the Jonathan Adler Squirrel Match Strike, $42, from amazon.com.
Dutch designer Marcel Wanders turns his playful eye to the handles of Alessi’s new Dressed Collection of cast aluminum non-stick cookware. Pretty enough to hang out in the kitchen, this frying pan, $115 to $170, depending on size, cooks up a mean batch of scrambled eggs as well.
The year 2013 marks the centennial of Grand Central Station, so stuff a stocking with these 20 postcards of the timelessly elegant landmark, $9.99, from Gibbs Smith.
Traditional Home readers love the gardens that our natty contributing writer Elvin McDonad brings them. In the lavishly illustrated A Garden Makes A House A Home (The Monacelli Press $29.70), he gathers lush, well-tended, and dramatically different gardens from around the country to illustrate how to garden in a variety of terrains, from a steep hillside in rainy Portland to a tight urban lot in Houston.
Globetrotters will get some mileage—as well as some chuckles—out of the Slanguage books by Gibbs Smith, $9.99, a visual guide that makes it easy to use the phrases they’ll need to get around. In Italian Slanguage, for example, “Comb Mess Tie” translates to “Come stai?” (“How are you?”). Books are also available for Chinese, French, Japanese, and Spanish.
What better gift could you give an insomniac than a good night’s sleep? Sound Oasis, $149.99, is a high-tech alarm clock that permits the user to create an environment for relaxation and sleep. It blocks out irritating noise and creates a peaceful atmosphere with a choice of 120 sounds, including realistic nature sounds. It also features various sound therapy options, has a voice memo recording feature, and (best yet!) a nap timer.
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Fun For Everyone Gift Guide
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By Rebecca Christian
From the latest gadgets to holiday classics to fun stocking stuffers, here are gifts in a range of prices to please everyone on your list.
We think Andrew Beckham’s The Lost Christmas Gift (Princeton Architectural Press), $17, about a parcel lost in the mail for decades, is destined to be a classic. Sure to bring a tear, the book is a faithful reproduction of a handwritten story and illustrations created by a mapmaking solider while at war. Intended as a gift for his son, it was based upon a mountain adventure the two had shared before the soldier left home.
Be sure to check out all our holiday gift guides.