Monday, 29 November 2010

Budget-friendly
Christmas gift guide

Some generally quite affordable nice interiors-ish things that I think would make great gifts... would love to hear what you think, if you got any of them, who you bought them for. Will no doubt be adding more shortly.



Who for Busy parents who'd appreciate an excuse not to display Auntie Dot's cat calendar this year; architecture students; style conscious entrepreneurs; organised eco bods
Where from The Peanut Vendor 
How much £12
What This no-nonsense wall planner measures 70cm x 100cm and is by Crispin Finn design studio – who apparently only design in red, white and blue. It's 100% recycled and comes beautifully packaged. A great stocking filler or chic Secret Santa.

Who for The chap – or chapess – who appreciates the finer things in life; the friend who throws slightly intimidating dinner parties in her/his uncluttered home; the cognac connoisseur; the friend who has everything
Where from  Bodie and Fou
How much £35
What These deliciously touchable brandy glasses by Normann Copenhagen are specifically designed to "enhance bouquet, temperature and volume" of the cognac, apparently.  If you're buying for someone with lady-sized hands – they also do a smaller version.


*ONE-OFF*
Who for Craft nuts; vintage sewing fans
Where from The OK Corral 
How much £5
What Totally loving this online shop right now. And this book would be a lovely, unique gift for crafty friends or relatives. Not only does it have a marvellously retro cover (it was first printed in 1978) but it is also wildly practical – with tips for knitting, sewing, crocheting and more (it even includes patterns). It's a one-off so no guarantee it'll still be there – but do browse the site's other vintage books,  or try eBay or if you have the patience to rummage, Oxfam Books online has some gems too.


MONEY BOX MULTI Ceramic Kids' money box


Who for  Children saving for a rainy day; grown-ups who'd like to look at a nice owl sitting on their mantlepiece
Where from  Habitat
How much £10
What It's from the kids' department – he's a moneybox – but this super cute retro styled owl would make just as lovely a present for a full sized people, in the ornament department. Thanks to cunning shopping friend, Holly, for this genius idea.


 * ONE-OFF *
Who for Anyone who's just moved house; a chap who doesn't mind getting his hands dirty; the guy with a new home and no clue what to do with it; a single gal (or co-habitee of the former) needing some DIY tips; a young man about to be unleashed into responsible life
Where from The OK Corral 
How much £5
What A thoughtful secondhand book – particularly of the non-fiction variety – can solve the trickiest gift conundrums. This 1913-20 bible of manly skills covers everything from polishing shoes to mixing your own paints. And it's a piece of history! A total bargain to boot. See above for links to some other places to shop around for more of the same.




Who for A man with a home office; a stylish bachelor; aspiring gentlemen; fans of spy novels; probably not someone working in a call centre or the armed forces, the police or at sea
Where from The Keep Calm Gallery
How much £15 unframed (try Eframe for affordable non-standard sized frames to order)
What This cool, manly poster features the nautical flag and Nato alphabets. It'd be perfect hung near a popular telephoning spot – for translating call centre interpretations of the spelling of one's name without hesitation. It measures 297cm x 420cm.


Who for Clean, serene design freaks; loveable hypochondriacs; a couple with a newborn and an sleekly designed nursery; chic eco warriors; the stylish in-laws; nature nuts; subscribers to Inhabitat 
Where from  Super-Collider store 
How much £129
What This is Andrea. She looks nice, doesn't she? As well as that, she also purifies your air – in the most natural way known to nature, by filtering toxins through her planty fronds and roots. Only she's a super pimped plant, with NASA research behind her creation – and French designer, Mattieu Lehanneur behind her sleek style. Super-Collider is a sexy science-y organisation that has lots more than gifts going on. Check it out.




Who for The sort of friend who might own a cake stand and drink tea out of proper cups; a no-nonsense kitchen whizz; parents who sit down to breakfast with their toast in a rack; owners of a country-style kitchen
Where from Labour & Wait (click on "all products")
How much £14
What This glass butter dish, made from an original 1950s mould, is a classic bit of design. It's lovely and almost transcends taste; a bit of a no-risk gift for any of the above and many more.


Who for A person in whose kitchen yellow won't clash; a mid-century modern loving friend/sister-in-law/mother; someone who happens to live in a town full of Northern European style townhouses like the ones on the tea towel, or is moving from the country to the town – that would be sweet
Where from Lisa Jones Studio
How much £10
What Love this "Town" tea towel and the way it looks like a chocolate box Swiss village, just waiting for snow to fall. It's 100% fairtrade organic cotton, too.


Who for Storage nerds; those with allotments; that person you know who has a whole cupboard full of bags for life they keep forgetting to take out
Where from Habitat 
How much £15
What Technically it's a bag. But I love the idea of it as the place you dump all that unsightly guff you walk through the door with (keys, bicycle lights, dog lead etc.) – and make it look beautiful. It'd work well by the front door or on a suitable kitchen or hall shelf, or on the stairs if they're wide enough. It'd also work as a magazine rack. And, of course a shopping bag...


Who for That person you know who's just done a first aid course; a parent with small children and a suitable bathroom; the gentleman cyclist who often needs his wheel wounds dressing
Where from Amazon
How much £21.98
What This tin first aid box (21cm x 15.5cm x 16cm) makes a sweet and unusual gift... however, if the colour-scheme of your intended recipient is all about beiges and creams, this might not be ideal – it'd work well in a house which embraces splashes of bold colour.
Who for Someone with a nice desk; anyone who likes Orla Kiely-ish/Scando/mid-century modern stylings; retro kitchen owners
Where from North Rock Gallery
How much £13.20 (for the smaller size)
What Designed by Lotta Odelius for Sagaform, this Swedish tinged ceramic container is probably intended for the kitchen but would look great on a design-y desk – perfect for paperclips, odd coins, Post-it notes of import etc. A row of three would look great.




Who for The Proud-to-be-British; ex-pats missing home; a chap who needs some wall filling but needs to keep it masculine; font nerds
Where from Bold & Noble
How much £38 unframed (it's a standard size, so no need for framers' shops: try Eframes or Ikea's Ribba range for affordability and niceness)
What They do maps in the same range of Australia, New Zealand, the USA and London too, so good gifts for anyone moving or travelling to any of those places soon or, indeed, living there. They measure 50cm x 70cm and also come in a duck-egg blue.


Who for Doggie types
Where from Quietly Eccentric at Not on the High Street
How much £40
What These cute cushions come in lots of different breeds – including non-breeds. The designs are printed onto new wool, fully machine washable covers and feature illustrations by the artist Lindsey Gardiner. They're kinda cute.





Who for Wildlife-loving children with bare bedroom chairs; the nephew you've also sponsored a panda for
Where from Lettie Belle
How much £25
What This cute-faced panda hand-stitched cushion measures 23cm x 28cm and is made from organic cotton, felt and leather



















Who for The Hipster tween/teen in your life; fashion-forward photography fan
Where from The V & A Shop
How much £12.99
What The Street Style Memory Game features 25 pictures taken by the Flemish photographer, Barbara Iweins of hip young things on the streets of Amsterdam. The game requires players to match their faces with their outfits – or it can be played as a traditional memory game.

Who for Design-conscious in-laws; arty Grandpa or Grandma; husband; wife; colour-loving lover; glasses-wearing pals
Where from Supernice
How much £30
What A rather special glasses case designed by Jonathan Adler, who also makes rather glorious ceramics in the shape of birds and lions and angular faces  (and rugs and exciting books and all sorts) that are currently flying out of the gifts section of Heal's...


Who for Him indoors; the family; anyone with a silly sense of humour who likes a nice big mug of tea; fancy dress fans; the guy who loved Movember more than anyone expected
Where from Pedlars
How much £16.95 each
What Handsome half-pint sized mugs , designed by Peter Ibruegger, with your choice of moustache on the front. They're kind of silly but beautifully made (and so a pleasure to drink from) and would cheer up any kitchen. One or two would make nice stocking fillers, or splash out on a whole set for someone really silly who you really love.

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