Your holiday shopping companion has arrived! For the second year in a row, 6sqft has asked a handful of New York City designers, architects and artists to share five things they plan of gifting this season (and maybe one they hope to receive). Ahead find 85 truly unique and unexpected items curated by the city’s most talented creatives. We promise that there is something for every budget and taste—and plenty of ideas to choose from if you happen to find yourself scrambling for a present at the last minute.
Jessica Banks, Inventor, Artist, Founder of Rock Paper Robot
1. Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: 5 Day Workshop class ($1,600)
Skill sets make such delightful gifts.
2. A trip to Finland’s Hotel Kakslauttanen Igloo Village
For the person in your life who has always wanted to live in a snow globe.
3. The Invigorating Heel To Toe Masseuse ($260)
So sue me: I’m single.
4. Personal Body Unit Index ($30)
I got these handy (no pun intended) and meticulously designed posters for a ton of people and got this (meta) shout out for my friends who made them.
5. AxiDraw Personal Writing and Drawing Machine ($450)
If aforementioned ton of people chipped in on this personal writing robot for me, I’ll make a donation in Mike Pence’s name to Planned Parenthood on their behalf and send him thank you notes written in his own handwriting… because design applies to any human system and irony makes a perfect stocking stuffer.
Logan Hicks, Independent Painter, Artist, and Photographer
1. “The Art of Spray Paint” by Lori Zimmer ($24.99)
Vanity aside (I’m in it) why wouldn’t you want this book? An incredibly talented author, Lori Zimmer, has done a great job assembling a list of artists using spray paint, from beginners to museum quality artists. The book is comes complete with how-to sections and informative windows into the working process of others.
2. Skull planter ($189-$379)
I love the handmade pots and sculptures that Jack of the Dust makes. Plus skulls are always a hit for the inner, angsty goth in us all.
3. A few rolls of original Beverly Hills Martinique wallpaper (Varies)
This is the ultimate in chic decor. The original Martinique Banana Leaf Wall paper has graced the walls of the Beverly Hills Hotel, Indochine in New York, and the bedroom of Blanche Deveraux from the Golden Girls. Okay, so maybe the golden girls reference is more of a novelty fact than a selling point, but it’s a timeless wallpaper and talking point for any home.
4. Gift certificate to Cafe Reggio
My all-time favorite cafe. Go hang out among a Caravaggio painting and Di Medici furniture while drinking a cappuccino at the cafe that brought the cappuccino to America.
5. Tristan Eaton x Hublot Concrete watch ($20K)
My good and talented friend recently did a collaboration with the watch company Hublot for their new Concrete watch. Eaton’s art graces the dials and back of the watch and looks spectacular. The $20K price tag will be a hinderance to most, but thats no reason to leave it off of YOUR wish list.
1. Blue Crow Maps ($10)
Why waste time with all of that neoclassical Washington D.C. architecture? This map lets you cut straight to the good stuff in each city. My favorite is Brutalist D.C.!
2. Hay Whale Stapler ($25)
I love a good anthropomorphized desk accessory. This stapler is such a cute little guy.
3. Goods For Good (Choose your contribution)
Let’s make sure everyone has enough to eat this holiday season. My sister’s charity builds chicken farms in orphanages in Malawi. I make sure to donate every year at this time.
4. Aesop ($92)
Because everyone wants to smell awesome.
Dror Benshetrit, Designer, Founder of Studio Dror
1. Leica T Camera ($1,095)
I was recently gifted this camera from my friends at Surface Magazine, and find myself taking it everywhere. It’s a seductively simple object that functions beautifully and freezes the important moments in life. I’d love to share that gift with somebody.
2. Flos Snoopy Table Lamp by Achille Castiglioni ($1,095)
Because it sits at the intersection of poetry and structure in a light and engaging way.
3. Blue Origin Spaceflight Experience (price per seat not yet announced)
I’m currently fascinated by space. The more I research and learn, the more I realize there is to discover. I’d love to experience the freedom of weightlessness that this program claims to offer, not to mention the opportunity to look back at our planet.
4. Togiharu Hammered Texture Damascus Knife Set from Korin ($254)
My first really nice knife helped my life: I loved chopping vegetables all day long; I ate more vegetables than ever before. That’s the effect a good design has on people’s lives and on their well-being.
5. Pentel Stylo Sketch Pen + Moleskine ($20)
The easiest form of expression of my imagination comes to me through sketching. I also love the saying, “If you’re stuck without an idea, change your pen.” A new instrument and blank page can be a new beginning.
Andrew Gray, Head of Brand Design at Warby Parker
1. The NASA Graphics Standard Manual ($79)
A meticulous facsimile of Richard Danne’s 1974 re-branding of the agency. This work is published by Standards Manual, a New York-based publishing company that strives to archive and preserve lost artifacts of design history and make them available to future generations.
2. A snowball painting from Stephen Antonson ($500)
Summon the infinite with a snowball painting from artist and furniture maker Stephen Antonson. I saw these in person last April, and have not been able to get them out of my head. Stephen is known for furniture and decorative accessories made of plaster. Fittingly, these are made from plaster dust.
3. Tokyobike Classic Sport Limited ($950)
When my beloved 1980 Fuji bit the dust, I decided to splurge. This Tokyobike Classic Sport Limited has a matte charcoal finish and Brooks cambium (cotton canvas fused to natural rubber) grips and saddle. The single shift lever makes it perfect for a city commute.
4. Frits Henningsen Wingback Armchair ($40-60K)
Designed in 1935, this Frits Henningsen wingback armchair still looks absolutely contemporary. At auction on December 8th by Wright in Chicago. It’s estimated to between $40-60K, and needless to say, you won’t be bidding against me.
5. Adidas x Raf Simons, Raf Simons Stan Smith Lace Up ($400)
Because Raf’s the man!
Michael Brotherton, Architect, V.P. of Operations at Situ Fabrication
1. Filson Mackinaw Wool Vest ($160)
I love vests as they hold tools, phones and other pocketed items in a much more flattering way than pants or jackets. Plus they’re great to layer.
2. Sparq Home Mortar and Pestle ($34.95)
Crushing, grinding, muddling… this thing will do it all and still look great sitting on your countertop.
3. Dinner for 2 at Blue Hill at Stone Barns (Varies)
I ate here last year and it was the best meal I’ve ever had, hands down. Each course is delivered and described by a different chef. Show up early to tour the grounds, and definitely splurge for the wine pairing!
4. CityMeals on Wheels (Choose your contribution)
In addition to being a great charity, they usually give a placemat or card that you can leave a customized message or drawing on to be delivered with one of the meals.
5. Cut at Badlands Salon ($89)
What better way to deal with that early February drear than getting a new haircut?! Ask for Berto, and tell ’em Michael sent ya.
Melanie Courbet, Curator, Founder of Les Ateliers Courbet
1. Leather-covered speakers from Vifa ($449)
I love both the performance of the speakers and their elegant design; they look like a man or woman’s purse while carried, and are just elegant in the corner of a room.
2. Lobmeyr “Serie B” champagne cups ($248 – $1,544)
These have been my #1 gift idea since I came across the set some years ago. Cool design, hand-painted on hand-blown muslin crystal by Lobmeyr (designed by Josef Hoffmann). I am gifting myself one glass every year until I complete my set.
3. Questlove’s Strobe Lazy Susan ($900)
Because it’s playful and practical. I like design that doesn’t take itself seriously. I also love the graphics/design and what they refer to. But most importantly, the lazy susans come in an extra large pizza box for packaging.
4. Gijs Bakker Rose Hook ($520)
I love the secretive function of this scent diffuser/wall hanger; the object is both simple and elegant. A scarf or coat hung on the hook will capture the scent of amber stones, rose petals or lavender hidden inside.
5. A Red Rothco ($32.99)
The classic Christmas Union Onsie. Perfect for X-mas morning.
Teddy Blanks, Graphic Designer, Partner at CHIPS
1. Shutterfly Woven Photo Blanket ($119.98)
Ignore the cheesy example above! The secret to these woven photo blankets is that you don’t have to give them family photos. You can submit any high-res jpeg, which means you can make a custom design and their machines will weave it into a very comfy blanket.
2. ‘Compliments Of’ cards ($16)
These beautifully designed cards, each presenting a specific complimentary phrase, are fun to give out to loved ones or to peruse while reminding yourself how great you are. Some examples: “Your effects are immediate.” and “Your schemes are foolproof.”
3. Peter Mendelsund’s “Cover” and Michael Bierut’s “How To” ($43 and $33)
These are rare things: graphic design monographs actually worth reading all the way through. In both cases the prose is as engaging and vital as the work on display.
4. Jeffrey Toobin’s “The Nine” and “The Oath” ($14 and $13)
Now that the Supreme Court is probably about to go through an immense change, the reverberations of which we won’t fully grasp for decades, it’s a good time to bone up on what’s been going on there for the past few decades. Nobody writes about the Court like Toobin writes about the Court.
5. Loans from Kiva ($25 and up)
Last year my girlfriend gave me $50 to spend on Kiva. I gave it to Arpenik, a 27-year-old cattle farmer in Armenia to go toward the purchase of two calves for her farm. Now I get monthly updates about her progress as she slowly repays me and her other lenders. When I have all my money back, I get to re-lend it to someone else!
Elizabeth Brown, CEO of Viyet.com
1. Kravet Kari Hand-Blown Vase from Viyet ($105)
On Viyet you’ll find quality design for less, like this handblown vase from Kravet. It’s dramatic and bold—add just a stem or two of your favorite flower for the perfect hostess gift.
2. Compartés Chocolate Bars ($89.95)
This gorgeous collection fuses chocolate with art, style, design and fashion! What’s not to love?!
3. The New York Times 36 Hours: 150 Weekends ($39.99)
This book is one of the best gifts I have ever received and I still reference it constantly!
4. Amy Berry Dog Beds ($215-$365)
If our Bichon Frise is extra good this year, she may find one of Amy Berry’s chic beds under the tree.
5. Gucci Shearling Lined Leather Mules ($1,100)
I always love a contemporary take on a classic design and these block heels are no exception!
Philip Iosca, Artist, Designer, and Founder of Iosca Industries
1. Ace Hotel Stool from Philippe Malouin
I’ve been obsessed with this stacking stool since I saw it last year during London Design Week. It’s simple, slightly Memphis and comes in fantastic new colors.
2. Large Pink Moon Quilt from Caroline Z Hurley ($395)
If Agnes Martin had been a quilter instead of a painter, she might have made something like this quilt. This piece will look equally smart on your wall or your bed.
3. Wall Willy from Eric Trine ($20)
Because let’s be honest, who doesn’t need a little dick for the holidays? Especially one that helps keep things organized!
4. Private Parts Boobs Rug from Cold Picnic ($195)
I am obsessed with their entire Private Parts range, but especially this Boobs rugs which strikes the perfect balance of playful and refined.
5. Maui Wowie Pat from Group Partner ($65)
The perfect pot—plant optional! Wait for their planned parenthood edition to come back into stock or add this smiley face to cart!
Alexandra Champalimaud, Interior Designer, Founder of Champalimaud Design
1. For the Entertainer: Ted Meuling for Lobmeyer glassware ($150 to $929)
2. For the country: DuBarry country boots ($349 to $529)
3. For the lady: Margaux made-to-measure custom ballet flats ($225). You can gift someone a measuring kit and they can have their shoe custom fit to them.
4. For the home: Dewalt Cordless Portable Vacuum ($79)
Alex Polier and Dustin O’Neal, Founders of DNA
1. Dandelion Light by Drift Studio ($140)
Coolest desk light ever. It’s a conversation starter.
2. This is Ground ($499)
This gorgeous bag makes it too sexy NOT to be organized. We’re wondering if they monogram…. #DNA
3. Texture ($14.99/month)
It’s an entire newsstand on your phone.
4. Black Gucci Backpack ($1,950)
Best gift for him or her.
5. DNA Sweatshirt (By request only)
Because you want one.
David Von Spreckelsen, President of Toll Brothers City Living
1. Stutterheim raincoat ($295)
Your endless search for a great rain jacket is over.
2. “The Plot Against America” by Philip Roth ($10)
Required reading for the Trump era.
3. New Tribe Called Quest ‘We Got It From Here … Thank You 4 Your Service’ CD ($6.99)
For those of us who remember CDs, we’re glad to have them back.
4. Box of Davidoff cigars ($46 and up)
The finest cigars this side of Havana. Viva Fidel.
5. Bottle of Lagvulin Scotch ($67 and up)
If you like smoky scotch, it doesn’t get better than this.
Nancy Pantrier, Painter
1. Micheal Aram candles ($60)
No matter what time of the year it is, who doesn’t love walking into a room with an aroma that will take your senses into a paradise. Hint, one of my favorite scents is Orange Blossom.
2. Mid-century jewelry box in champagne lacquer ($199)
For all the my favorite rings (I have a lot of rings) and earrings, and or course whats soon to come. My jewels deserve a stylish storage box.
3. Jade Trau Soaring Nightingale Studs ($1,300)
I love jewelry and I love birds, and what could be better than bird earrings? These are a definite no brainer.
4. Impossible Project X UO Custom Color One Step Polaroid Camera ($139)
I’m all about living in the moment. I want to have pictures to share without the wait.
5. ‘Pavarotti: The 50 Greatest Tracks’ vinyl record ($16.57)
Record players are back in style and opera brings joy to my ears, especially the voice of Luciano Pavarotti. Its also reminds me that singing isn’t one of my talents.
Janice Parker, Founder of Janice Parker Landscape Architects
1. Jo Malone perfume ($130)
Deep, dark and mysterious, this scent is profoundly relaxing. Interesting and different. Drift into natures aromas.
2. Salinity Salts ($13)
We always have a full selection of these delicious salts available in the design studio. Sustainably harvested ingredients make a for satisfying lively flavors—and they wake up your taste buds in unusual ways.
3. John Brookes Garden Books ($19.95)
Few things brighten my day like a John Brookes garden book. He covers all things garden in a timeless and classic way. These books are beautiful and his writing will make you smile.
4. Featherweight Coil Hose ($49.95)
A curly hose that is sturdy and well made—what more can you ask for? Hoses never look good in the garden but this one has style and form and you can leave it out where you need it.
5. Bionic Rose Gardening Gloves ($49.99)
We work hard, but garden with style! These incredible gloves are luxurious, practical and offer very real support and protection.
Andrew Sheinman, Interior Designer, Founder of Pembrooke & Ives
1. UE Portable Speaker ($100)
I love the simplicity of the design and that you can hang it anywhere you go.
2. Tom Dixon Bash Vessel ($265)
I think this is sculptural, elegant and a great gift. I have one of my own.
3. Picasso Sculpture book ($85)
I saw this exhibit when it first opened at MOMA and it was fantastic.
4. Vitra Uten.Silo ($405-490)
This is a classic. A fun gift for children and grownups alike.
5. FRAMED* (Various)
I bought this for both of my daughters who are much more technologically savvy than I am. I love digital art.
Amy Helfand, Rug Designer
1. Sun Pours Down Like Honey scarf by Avalanche Looms ($165)
The Wisconsin workshop of Susan Johnson, who has an amazing sense of color and weaves gorgeous scarves out of linen, hemp, wool, silk, etc. Keep an eye on her Etsy store, because her scarves get snapped up quickly as she adds them.
2. Felted bags by Cecilie Telle ($245.00 largest size)
I met Cecilie in graduate school in Chicago, when she was visiting for a semester and was working on knitting sweaters for logs and sheep. She now makes all sorts of felted things–bags, ponchos, scarfs, etc. in gorgeous colors.
3. Vases by Cecile Daladier
I am enthralled and obsessed by these quirky vessels, made in the South of France. They are interesting both as sculpture and as an alternative way to display cut flowers and plants.
4. Heaven’s Elevator, by Kristin Andreassen and Jefferson Hamer ($1.29)
In my other life, I host the House of Love concert series in Red Hook (with an Americana-y focus). This recent collaboration by two amazing musicians and songwriters who have both performed at the House of Love is a gem—gift it to everyone on your list as a little something extra!
5. “The Shepherd’s Life” by James Rebanks ($17.99)
I (and multitudes of others) connected with James Rebanks on Twitter, where he masterfully tweets about life farming Herdwick and Swaledale sheep in the English Lake District. I’ve been wanting to read this book since it came out.
For more gift ideas, check out the 2015 6sqft Designer Gift Guide—or skip spending altogether and offer some of your time to charity:
- Designer Gift Guide: 10 NYC Creatives Share What They’re Giving (and Want) This Holiday (2015)
- Where to volunteer in NYC: Food banks, shelters, soup kitchens, and more
Tags : alex polier, Alexandra Champalimaud, andrew gray, Andrew Sheinman, Champalimaud Design, chips studio, David Von Spreckelsen, dnaphilip iosca, Dror Benshetrit, Dustin O'neal, elizabeth brown, hwkn, iosca industries, Janice Parker Landscape Architects, jessica banks, les ateliers courbet, Logan Hicks, mark kushner, melanie courbet, michael brotherton, Nancy Pantrier, Pembrooke & Ives, rock paper robot, Situ Fabrication, studio dror, teddy blanks, Toll Brothers City Living, viyet