If, like me, you can’t move for pages of gift suggestions falling out of this weekend’s newspapers, then don’t despair… here’s a capsule collection of 10 modern classics to solve your Christmas shopping angst.
These (subjective, obviously) fabulous, mainly design-led products for should cover ideas for most of the family: some come with a little country-twist, but most are good for townies too….
1 - Zeena Shah cushions: Zeena is one of the hottest textile designers around right now. Her cushion motifs are fresh, current and just a little bit folksy.
Buy for: yourself!; textile lovers, anyone who likes to sit comfortably…
2 - Paul Cocksedge Invisible Bookend: This is such a brilliant piece of design. It’s functional, witty, it doesn’t require any fitting, and yet holds around 1.5 metres worth of books. For me, just what modern design should be about.
Give to: cutting edge design enthusiasts, DIY avoiders, keen readers…
3 - Cambridge Satchel Company satchel. I grew up in Cambridge, and when I started school my mum gave me a (brown) leather satchel which I LOATHED. Complete with brown uniform, brown satchel, and topped off with pink-framed NHS glasses, I was a true child of my time.
Now I’ve grown up and so has the satchel: I love it in red, but the metallic ones are covetable too…
Give to: yourself, again! Your sister. Grown up nieces. Anyone who travels by bike.
4 Makers and Brothers Owls – I keep wondering when the owl as a motif will stop being popular, but till then you’ve got to love these owls by Cleo. Made in Ireland using Irish tweed and felt, they look just as cute individually as they do shown here in a group.
Give to: you could give them to others, but wouldn’t you miss them?
5: Opinel knife: Made in France, outdoorsy company Opinel have designed this round-tipped knife specifically for children it’s the perfect whittling knife for boys and girls who love the outdoors and comes in several colours from red to pink, green and blue. My 10 year old loves the responsibility of having his own pen knife (yes it too took me a while to adjust from the knee-jerk reaction – a child, with a knife – I have only just moved from sarf-east London!). Picnic-loving or camping adults will also enjoy it. A safety catch keeps it either open or closed, and the round tip is also a safety aspect. (Opinel say from 7+ but for common sense reasons, only give to responsible children).
Give to: sensible older boys and girls, outdoorsy types, al fresco diners, glampers
6 – Beesnees by EsterComunello from TwentyTwentyOne: One of my favourite contemporary design stores stocks these quirky bee houses: sold as a set of three. Encourage solitary bumble bees to live in your garden and help our ecosystem. Made from wood and steel, they’re small enough for even the tiniest town garden.
Give to: gardeners, nature lovers, town and country dwellers
7 Capital Spice cookbook: We all love a currry, and this newly published cook book is a brilliant gift for anyone who – loves to cook, and/or loves curry, and/or loves London and/or loves to eat out at Indian restaurants.
Top notch London-based chefs share inside info and recipes, so we can recreate these tastes at home. (Ed.Chrissie Walker, published by Absolute Press).
Give to: A great gift for men who love to cook
8 Hampson Woods chopping board. Suddenly the humble chopping board has become a designer item, and there are plenty to choose from, but these are my favourites. Hand-carved in their Hackney workshops with wood from the London Plane tree, the boards are beautifully smooth to the touch.
Give to: lovers of contemporary design, keen cooks
9 – After Noah House of Marbles 62 piece marble run. After Noah was one of the first shops to stock unique pieces of retro and vintage accessories. They also choose their toys well: classic in design, but most importantly, fun to play with!
Give to: boys and girls from 3+
10 Baker Ross Scissors Carousel: Not a great image but a perfect present for any child who loves to make and craft. Each pair of coloured scissors cuts a different pattern. Again, for common sense reasons, supervision will be needed for little ones.
Give to: boys and girls from 3+
Let me know what you think: Happy shopping!
(*FYI none of these are sponsored links, they’re just lovely products, in my opinion, which I’ve discovered this autumn whilst researching for my ‘real’ job)