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.
6sqft gift guide
December’s first days bring a dazzling parade of holiday gift markets all vying for the opportunity to find new homes for a bounty of goodies and crafty gifts. We’re all familiar with the big NYC markets at Bryant Park and Union Square, but some of the best finds—and the most fun—can be found at smaller, cooler pop-ups and neighborhood markets. Some are only around for a weekend, others for the whole month or longer. In addition to locally-made jewelry and crafts, vintage finds, artfully curated fashions, home items and other things we didn’t know we needed, these hip retail outposts sparkle with drinks, food, workshops, tarot readings, nail art, music, and family fun to keep shoppers’ spirits bright.
Do you hear what I hear? I think it’s Lightning Bolt…
Though the resurgence of beards and maxi-dresses makes the classic version look almost au courant, a company called Modern Nativity has created a tongue-in-cheek take on the iconic Christmas manger scene with an update for the smartphone set. The “hipster nativity” was born, like many a great idea, over happy hour beers between friends. Founder Casey Wright tells Mashable that after having an illustrator sketch it up, the idea looked too good to leave on the drawing board.
Image: skyline illustration adapted from Linda Eliasen’s “There’s no place like home.” Prints available for purchase here.
Who better to ask for unique gift ideas than those with an eye for the amazing? This year, 6sqft asked 10 New York City designers, architects and artists to share five things that they’re gifting this holiday season—as well as what they’d love to get their hands on for themselves!
Ahead you’ll find 50 fantastic gift ideas for every budget and for every kind of person on your gift list, from the techie to the design buff to your pal with kids to the hip hop and “Star Wars” nerds in your life. Start checking off your holiday shopping list here!
December’s first days bring dozens of holiday gift markets whose aim is to find new homes for a wealth of shiny goodies and crafty gifts. We’re all familiar with the big NYC markets, but some of the best scores–and the most fun–can be found at smaller, cooler pop-ups and local markets throughout the city. Some are only around for a weekend, others for the whole month or longer. In addition to locally-made jewelry and crafts, vintage finds, artfully curated fashions, home items and other things we didn’t know we needed, these hip retail outposts offer up DJs, drinks, food, tarot readings, nail art, music, and family fun to keep shoppers’ spirits bright.
It’s always tough when your Thanksgiving host tells you not to worry about bringing anything for the meal. With stuffing and pumpkin pie out of the question, what can you bring as a token of gratitude? Forget standard run-of-the-mill host gifts like a jar of jam or Yankee candle–6sqft has rounded up some fun and affordable options that are unexpected yet surprisingly useful. From a clever wine tote made in Brooklyn to an adopted olive tree in Italy, here are our top ten hostess gift picks.
This pocket-sized device may be less than three square inches, but it certainly packs a lot of punch. Karma Go takes a cellular connection and turns it into your own personal WiFi signal to power up to eight devices, including laptops, tablets, and cell phones. Plus, the battery lasts for 220 hours of standby time and five hours of internet usage.
The kids today posting their selfies and cat pictures to Instagram have no idea that they owe the square-shaped insta-photos to the good old Polaroid. So give them a little history lesson this holiday season with the Polaroid Socialmatic camera. It prints your photos on the spot like the original model, but also uploads them directly to social media outlets thanks to a WiFi connection that also lets users download apps and use the internet.
If Jesus is your homeboy, you can share a bit of religious flair this holiday season without offending any Christian on your list. The Minimal Nativity Set is a contemporary take on the bible-based scene, employing beech wood or brass blocks inscribed with each scene member’s name (Donkey, Joseph, Baby Jesus, etc.) to stand in for the traditional figurines. Created by French artist and designer Émilie Voirin, the blocks still represent the story and take place around the crib, but the characters have no skin color or features, leaving it up to people’s imagination and personal beliefs.
There’s nothing worse than grabbing your favorite necklace just to realize that its chain is in a knot that would take you all day to detangle. Or when you reach for your favorite earrings to find one has gone missing. Know an absent-minded jewelry lover like this? Get them the Arbor Jewelry Stand this holiday season. Not only is it functional, but we love the avian inspiration that designer Zoë Mowat infused into the piece.
Here’s a gift that both parents and children will get a kick out of. The Chalk Ware Metropolis chalk set contains eight custom-carved chalk pieces shaped like houses, skyscrapers, and everything in between. They don’t resemble the buildings of a particular city, so they’re perfect for your cousin in NYC or your aunt in Chattanooga. The fun pieces can be used as decorative objects on a mantle, and if mom or dad is feeling generous, the youngsters can take them and create their own works of art on the sidewalk or the chalkboard wall.
Do you have a friend who, year after year, promises that they’ll work harder and exercise more? Pedal Power‘s kick-ass Big Rig exer-desk might be exactly what they need to stick with those new year’s resolutions. This cool desk is totally “off-grid” and has the potential to generate up to 100 watts of electricity for one motivated user. And because it’s modeled off an actual high-performance bike, it features an ergonomic seat for comfort, quick adjustments for different riders, a flywheel to smooth pedaling, and a wide range of gearing—meaning your giftee could easily go from tubby to Tour de France cyclist before the new year’s close.
There are fewer things more annoying than waiting for a friend or family member as they frantically search for their keys. Help them in their hunt (and preserve your sanity) by gifting them a Tile this holiday. This simple but brilliant device takes the mystery out of finding one’s most important belongings and takes advantage of something we all have: a smartphone.
We were recently introduced to the term “lumbersexual,” used to describe a rising trend among males who, though they may spend no time outdoors at all, prefer to dress like upscale lumberjacks (think red flannels, stylish lace-up boots, and jeans) and buy woodsy, handcrafted goods. Does this sound like a guy you know who lives in Williamsburg or Bushwick? Well then we have the perfect rustic holiday gift for him–or anyone on your list who likes locally-made goods and cool kitchen supplies.
Made by Brooklyn Butcher Blocks, iBlock serves double duty as a cutting board and tablet holder, so you can read your recipe (or watch Netflix) while chopping veggies. It’s also reversible; the raised back that holds the tablet keeps the board flush to the edge of the counter.
If you’ve got someone on your gift list that’s overworked, under-caffeinated and looking for a better way to get their fix (this is New York, after all), look no further than Wacaco’s Minipresso as the perfect present. This portable hand-held device is a godsend for those who frequently need a boost but don’t have the time to wait in long coffee shop lines—or simply for those with a more discerning taste for the finer grounds in life.
Candles are probably the easiest, most common holiday gift when you just don’t have a clue what to get someone. But after several years of giving the same old candle, it gets a little boring. So we’ve found the perfect outside-the-box candle for architecture buffs, tech nerds, or anyone who will love an attractive eco-candle.
The AU Collection by artist and designer Andrej Urem is a series of 3D-printed candles inspired by architectural forms. And they’re made right here in Brooklyn.
As December dawns, the holiday gift markets roll in, and it’s harder than ever to turn around in NYC without encountering a pop-up shop or makeshift mall offering everything anyone could ever want–whether they know it yet or not–for the body, mind, soul and home. We’ve assembled a list of smaller, cooler pop-ups and holiday markets that mix music, food and fun freebies like haircuts, goodie bags and beer with this year’s selection of clever, crafty gifts.
Sure, we’d all love to be able to give our fungus-loving friends a nice, big truffle for the holidays (or even this $1 million beauty), but that’s not really the most economical gift idea. So to cure our mushroom cravings, we’ve found the next best thing.
The Oyster Mushroom Log from Williams-Sonoma is a hardwood log pre-inoculated with oyster mushroom spores. Just keep it damp and stored in a dark place, and the delicious mushrooms will sprout every two months for up to three years.
Aren’t we all a little sick of receiving holiday gifts that are completely useless and end up collecting dust in the junk drawer? Well, here’s a gift idea that’s extremely useful, but still an exciting product to unwrap, thanks to its sleek design and fun, bulbous shape.
Nokero‘s solar lights are perfect for camping, traveling, or everyday use in a poorly-lit apartment. The Huron N222 (pictured above) can charge a cell phone while it illuminates an entire room, while the Start N182 is compact enough to fit in your pocket (hello, stocking stuffer) but strong enough to light up a small space.
Coasters are definitely high on the list of “gifts for people who you don’t know what to give,” and if you’re like us, you’re always searching for sets that aren’t the standard square cloths or round pieces of wood. So, we’ve found the perfect coasters–not only are they unique and visually appealing, but they have a personal touch.
Neighborwoods Map Coasters were created by San Francisco graphic designer Aymie Spitzer, who has a passion for hand-lettered vernacular and antique maps. The cedar wood coasters celebrate the special neighborhoods of some of the country’s biggest urban sites, including Manhattan and Brooklyn.