December is here, which means ‘tis the season to be gifting. As an interior designer, sending out holiday cards to your wider network is standard operating procedure. However, you likely have a smaller list of special people you want to treat with a present they will remember. If you’re stumped about what to get your VIP clients, treasured vendors and indispensable colleagues to show how much you care, look no further – the Design Manager team has scoured the vast retail landscape to bring you the 15 best holiday gifts for 2019.
Gifts that Combine Fashion and Function
Carolina Amata Texting Gloves – $49 at Shopbop.com
These cashmere blend gloves are soft, sleek and the perfect finishing touch to a polished outdoor look. The best part? The forefingers and thumbs have textured tips that are touchscreen friendly. The change in material is so subtle, one can hardly notice the transition, unlike the typical touchscreen-friendly gloves that have a decidedly sporty aesthetic.
Opening Ceremony Massage Sandals – $35 at openingceremony.com
These slip-ons are no ordinary sandal. Their design follows the principles of reflexology and acupressure, giving the wearer a foot massage and reawakening their internal systems with every step. These multi-function slippers could be the perfect gift for a fellow designer, or anyone who spends much of their days on their feet.
Collapsible Water Bottle – $25 at uncommongoods.com
Environmental sustainability is a critically important objective for our global society, and increasingly people are avoiding disposable beverage containers by carrying around their own refillable bottles. However, toting a large and bulky bottle along with your laptop, tablet, books, drawing sets, and so on can be quite cumbersome. That’s why we love this collapsible, refillable bottle designed by Niki Singlaub. This is a low-priced, high-design item that can suit just about anyone on your gift list.
Jet & Bo Cashmere Travel Set – $360 from jetandbo.com
This 100% pure cashmere set includes a blanket, eye mask, and socks – all neatly compressed into a matching cashmere travel case. This is the perfect gift for a traveler who will appreciate a super luxurious take on a utilitarian concept, especially now that fewer airlines are providing these items to travelers as a standard courtesy.
Infrared Sauna Blanket V3 – $499 from higherdose.com
Instead of a day at the spa, give the gift of the Infrared Sauna Blanket. This celebrity favorite will detoxify your body, facilitate your body’s natural ability to pump nutrients to muscles and boost your metabolic rate. It gives the body the effect of a work-out while simply lying still and relaxing. You can use the Infrared Sauna Blanket at home or take it with you on your travels. The health-conscious, lover of pampering spa treatments will be ecstatic to be gifted this unique item.
Gifts for Tech Lovers
Sonos Move (wireless speaker) – $399 from Sonos.com
The Sonos Move isn't any ordinary wireless speaker. This device delivers the unparalleled sound quality of a Sonos product in a weatherproof and drop-resistant package, allowing you to take the party anywhere you please. Much like Amazon’s Alexa, you can control the Sonos Move with your voice, or via the Sonos app and Apple AirPlay 2. If you take the speaker to a location that lacks WiFi, no worries; you can stream via Bluetooth. This is a great gift for the person who loves music, podcasts, or audio books and appreciates high-quality sound.
Apple Airpods – $159 from Apple.com
Similar to the Sonos Move, there are few who won’t enjoy the gift of Apple AirPods, Apple’s wireless headphones that operate via Bluetooth and allow for a seamless listening or headset experience. To up the ante, present the gift in a designer case, like this sleek cover from Phillip Lim ($125).
Coravin Wine Preservation System – $209.96 from Williamsonoma.com
Coravin has solved a problem that wine lovers have lamented for centuries: how to enjoy a glass of wine without spoiling what remains in the bottle. This patented device allows you to extract the liquid from the bottle without removing the cork, making such a small puncture that the cork can essentially reseal itself. This gift idea segues perfectly into the next items on our list.
Gifts for Foodies and Frequent Hosts
Murray’s Cheese “Top Shelf” Gift Box – $190 from Murrayscheese.com
Murray’s Cheese is one of New York City’s most famous fromageries. They offer a wide variety of gift baskets, which they will deliver nationally with the fine foods preserved in a thermal-lined box with reusable, food-friendly gel packs. The “Top Shelf” basket is one of their most luxurious collections, including truffle-infused cheeses to the best blues, Epoisses and Parmigiano Reggiano, complemented by honeycomb and cherry preserves.
Single Bottle of Silver Oak’s 2015 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – $95 from Silveroak.com
Silver Oak’s 2015 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic choice for the red wine connoisseur on your holiday gift list. It arrives in the winery’s signature red box, making it an easy gift to send without additional trim. Adding to the appeal, shipping is included in the price.
Tippsy Sake Box (option for subscription) – $59 to $588 from Tippsysake.com
The Tippsy Sake box includes three 10oz bottles of sake, each of a different type and from a different brewery. The price of one box is $59, but Tippsy offers a subscription model with frequency up to one box per month for a year, costing $588. If one box per month is too much sake, the recipient can always adjust their timing preferences to space out the deliveries to an interval that suits their needs. This is a fun gift for the person who likes a glass of sake at a sushi dinner, or just enjoys trying new drinks.
Cadeau de Décoration de 1stdibs
Small Contemporary Brass Cone Spindle Candle Holders by Fort Standard – $220 (for pair) from 1stdibs.com
The holidays are a time when every host wishes to flaunt their impeccable taste by way of a stylish tablescape. Candles are a warm and inviting feature to any holiday table, and candle holders are an excellent gift, especially as an interior designer who can choose the perfect match to the recipient’s aesthetic. The pair featured here are solid brass with a form that expresses elegance, balance and precision. The design from Fort Standard is available in a variety of sizes and shapes, offering a design solution to any desired arrangement.
Marble Stand Cake with Lace Edge in White Carrara Marble – $329.54 from 1stdibs.com
Serveware is another nearly foolproof gift of decor, and one that an interior designer can easily adapt to the style of the recipient. The dessert platter shown here is made from carrara marble with a delicate lace edge. Every piece is handmade in Italy and entirely unique.
Gifts That are Just Plain Fun
Backgammon Set in Navy and Red Lacquer – $316 from 1stdibs.com
The board-game lover on your list will be touched by the thoughtfulness of this lacquer backgammon set. Not only does its style add a touch of elan to the room it graces, it provides after-dinner entertainment, making it an excellent choice for a holiday gift.
“The Impossible Collection of Art" Book – $895 from 1stdibs.com
For the book collector on your list, consider a rare book or a coffee table piece de resistance, like this selection from Assouline, in which super-dealers Ségalot and Giraud curate the ideal contemporary collection in a scenario where “money is no object and anything is possible.” Information delivered with style and an air of fantasy fits right into the holiday mindset of the intellectual on your list.
We’re sure this comprehensive list of 15 holiday gift ideas will guide you to thoughtful selections that will express how much you appreciate the special clients, vendors, and colleagues in your life. For even more festive gift inspiration visit 1stdibs.com's UnCommon Gifts Holiday Shop.
If you are an interior designer thinking of – or in the process of – starting your own business, read our guide on how to start an interior design business, which includes information on how to build and maintain strong, authentic relationships with your network.