Updated: Aug 20, 2019
I am a big fan of Christmas. The only thing that I do find quite tricky is gifting. My criteria for buying gifts is as follows:
1) Try and find something they might not know they want - risky.
2) It has to be something I would be happy to receive -selfish, but quite a useful marker.
3) It can't be landfill if you don't know what to get, get something that can be put to good use; candles, chocolates, a Santa Maria Novella Soap (13 euros).
4) Cost, I am not tight per-say, but I do like to feel like I have got a good deal. If it is expensive, it needs to have a reason, well made & ethical.
Anyway keeping all of this in mind I have compiled a Christmas gift guide. The only guarantee I can give is that everything on this list I would like to receive, along with some pieces of Tat which I already have.
1) As many of you may know, I work for House & Garden magazine. I have been here for three years, my boss for those three years is Gabby Deeming. Gabby is not only a whizz with interiors she has also managed to set up Day Dress. This autumn she produced her first winter collection in hand-woven khadi cotton from the amazing WomenWeave in Maheshwar. What a bloody winner!
Isla dress in Indigo stitch, £325, from Day Dress.
2) I have long been an admirer of Manor House 1690, like many things I came across them through Instagram. I have bought a mobile, ceramic leaf (£22) and a good few chutneys (£6) - all of which have been greatly enjoyed. I recently saw on Sophie's (the talent behind Manor House) Instagram that she has started to make these fantastic plates, they start from £55. She also does commissions - firstname.lastname@example.org
3) Anyone who knows me in my Tat form knows how much I enjoy the items that Cart House find. I think their pieces are delightful and well priced to boot. I am not suggesting you buy anyone a tub armchair, although if anyone wants to buy me one, I would be most grateful. But these charming glass jars surely would be a welcome addition under the Christmas tree.
Hand Blown Glass Jar, £24, Cart House.
4) Obviously I have to include some Tat... I have long been in love with this set of plates. I think they would make such a beautiful feature in a kitchen or restaurant - on the table or wall. Either way I think someone should buy them.
5) A few years ago one of my sisters best friend came back from Sierra Leone. She had been living there for a few years. On her return, she kindly brought my sister the most beautiful basket bag. The colours, pattern, size and bag straps made this one of the best bags I had seen. Me being quite a grabby person commandeered this bag as my own. I am still surprised when my sister says something, doesn't she know its mine now. Anyway, Basket Room has a whole host of these bags (along with many other basket objects), Miranda you are more than welcome!
Amani Tote Bag, £69, from The Basket Room.
6) I recently came across Host, it is a new venture set up by Sophie Warburton, Style director at The Telegraph. She has lots of wonderful pieces, I particularly fell for one of the 'Host Finds' a Vintage Blue Stripe Pitcher for £35.
7) Socks were for years a bit of a joke of a gift. No more. Bonne Maison captured my heart a while back. I feel a bit natty when I look down and see the slither of pattern between my trousers and trainer. They have a whole host to choose from, and I am quite the admirer.
Night Moon, 19 euros, Bonne Maison.
8) Finding art can be a toughie, firstly although Ikea does great big posters that can undoubtedly cover some wall space, you may not be moved by them. What's the point in that case. Secondly finding original pieces of art can become quite expensive very quickly. Hence why I think Picfair has done such a great job with their new venture. They house thousands upon thousands of images from photographers all over the world. They can now turn into pieces of art for your home - printed, framed and delivered - all for as little as £45.
9) Any pictures of me recently one will see a beautiful pearl hanging from my ear. This earring is by far the most glamorous thing about me. The designer of this beauty is sandralexandra. She has yet to start up her website, but while she is working on it, you can DM her for more details. I think these would be a treat for; Mums, Daughters, Girlfriends, Uncles & Brothers alike. Prices start from £30.
10) Like many things, these were introduced to me by Gabby Deeming. She gave one of these Mascon & Lesquoy broaches to me for my birthday two years ago. As soon as I laid my eyes on it I fell hook line and sinker for them. I have bought them for many of my friends & family. Who could resist their charm.
Hand Embroidered 'Mask' Pin, 30 Euros, Mascon & Lesquoy.
11) My mother religiously made photo albums. So I am lucky enough to have visual diaries of my life growing up. I love the process of sitting on the sofa pointing and giggling at haircuts and outfits. Ruth Sleightholme who is another member of the H&G decoration team introduced me to the wonderful Crompton Marbling's photo albums. They have many wonderful products but these albums are so smart and what a gift.
Fonthill Landscape Album, £64, from Crompton Marbling.
12) Another piece of Tat for you. This time its a pair of Italian Tole sconces. For some reason I imagine them in a bathroom. But if you buy them, you can put them wherever you please. Quite a generous gift if you ask me.
Pair of Italian Tole Sconces, £150, Tat.
13) CSAO established an atelier in Senegal that provides artisanal knowledge and skill to the women of the Dakar community, empowering them by teaching and paying them for embroidery skills that they can turn into prospering livelihoods, while encouraging them to take on paid apprentices to pass the techniques on through generations. I've been a fan of their cushions ever since I saw them in H&G Main Decoration story, styled by G.Deeming (see below).
Je T'aime Cushion, by CSAO, £85, from The Conran Shop.
14) Emily Tobin is the Arts Editor & Deputy Editor of House & Garden. While doing this sizeable role she managed to find the time to write a book with THE David Mlinaric: GREAT ENGLISH INTERIORS. It should be on everyone's Christmas list, its top of mine!
15) Wicklewood have a delightful range of products, fantastic colours and patterns - I can't imagine anyone would be disappointed receiving one of their pieces. I adore these Talavera tapas plates which are one-of-a-kind ceramics sourced in collaboration with Gloria Gonzalez.
Talavera tapas plates, £25, from Wicklewood.
16) What's not to like about Future Kept's British Made 100% Recycled Wool Throw? They are well priced, great colours & environmentally friendly. Watch out family I may well have done a bulk buy.
Everest, £18, from Future Kept.
17) Back to an old favourite, The Peanut Vendor. As some of you may have seen I recently was given a pair of pink faux marble columns for my 30th. These have cemented my love for TPV. They have many wonderful objects to give to your most discerning family member. But my particular favourite is this marble obelisk.
Marble Obelisk, £70, The Peanut Vendor.
18) Another bit of old Tat. This time it comes in the form of a twelve armed table candelabra. If this doesn't shout out Christmas I don't know what does.
Toleware Metal 12 Branch Candelabra, £220, Tat London.
19) Not to be duplicitous, Henry Porter is my father. But I have read Firefly & I think it is jolly good. I am not the only one, ' Given its topicality and its sheer ambition, the resulting book is bound to be in contention for 2018’s thriller awards. But it’s also possible to imagine it challenging for the Orwell prize for political writing, such is the power of its depiction of the migrant exodus. Full of poignant scenes and mesmeric action sequences, it may be the first novel to do justice to the phenomenon’s epic scale.' Emma Hardy, The Times.
Firefly, £14.99, By Henry Porter
20) Ceraudo - sister sister team have got some fabulous pieces for gifting.I have been particularly taken by Hand-Painted Terracotta Urn, what a delight!
Hand-Painted Terracotta Urn, £75, from Ceraudo.
21) Rachel Cocker graduated in 2015 from Edinburgh College of Art, since then she has created her marvellous range of floral tableware pieces. I think this platter from 8 Holland Street is dream of a gift to receive.
Round Platter, £68, by Rachel Cocker, from 8 Holland Street.
22) Claudia Rankin & The Shop Floor Project - what a dream duo, you can join the gang with this print for £65.
Study for Tile, Lion & Bower, by Claudia Rankin, £65, from The Shop Floor Project.
23) Saudade hosts a number of wonderful items, I will be my bottom dollar that you will find at least one thing that will tickle your fancy. I particularly love these 'Marbled & Bookcloth Notebooks'
Marbled Notebooks, £15, from Saudade.
24) Tat again - what could be nicer than handing this baby over to some unsuspecting family member. They will be ever so embarrassed when all they've got you is some Pizza Express vouchers (I would be v happy with PE vouchers).
Hafnerware Vase, £45, from Tat London.
25) Native & Co designs and curates homeware from Japan and Taiwan. The blades are made using a method known as jiyu tanzo or free-forging with an exceptional laminated edge and are renown for their durability and functionality. I'm a sucker for a whale.
Whale Knife, £38, from Native & Co.
26) Choosing Keeping has a host of great bits, including the dreamy Antoinette Poisson Papier Dominoté. What really caught my eye was the J Jeffery Paper, Gold Birds and Flowers Pattern. For some reason the colours just sing to me.
J Jeffery Paper, Gold Birds and Flowers Pattern,£65, from Choosing Keeping.
27) The sculptor and designer John Julian has many beautiful pieces of kitchenware on his website. In particular The Porcelain Fruit Stand, which would make for the most fantastic gift for oneself. I love this handle free water jug, sleek, practical design. The only drawback for me is that I do not like to touch unglazed items, but if you are less precious than I, I would strongly suggest it.
Classical Handless Jug, 25cm / 1L , £65, John Julian.
28) What do we have here, at cool number 28 we have another piece of TAT.
Antique Green Glass Ice Bucket/Vase, £120, from TAT London.
29) 1930’s gouache wallpaper design, I think they are quite fantastic. They come framed and ready to hang. Covelli Tennant has four; they suggest they should hang together - I agree.
An Early 20th Century Wallpaper Design Sample 2, £75, from Covelli Tennant London.
30) Although Christmas is not the time to be out gardening, it is the time to think about it. Lovingly Made is a great vintage site where prices are not extortionate. I believe this Decorative French Plant Stand is just tops! I will be very envious of the person who gets to take it home.
Decorative French Plant Stand, £65, from Lovingly Made.
31) Might writing has gone to pot. It looks shabby and childlike. I put this down to my love for a black Bic Biro. I think with this brass number it could look quite slick and I would feel a bit of a dandy to boot.
Brass Fountain Pen, £72, No. 56.
32) As the temperature plummets, we need to think about wrapping up. Although mittens are not the most practical of hand-ware - I still have a place for them in my heart.
Emerald Check, £36, from Becksöndergaard.
33) I've tried so many times to rock as silk scarf on my head. So many times. But I believe 2019 might be the year that this works out for me. I think these from Lar Studio are extraordinary. If the head thing fails I can easily frame them, they are that beautiful.
Sac Macique Black, £50, from Lar Studio.
34) What a delightful addition these would make to one's mantlepiece, dining table or desk. These beauties come from Sicily through the marvellous company Agata Treasures.
The Colourful Candleholder, £45, from Agata Treasures.
35) TAT! These pair of Rare pair of Hand Salts, from the 19th Century and a complete delight.
Rare pair of Hand Salts, 19th Century, £120, Tat London.
36) Having now done a huge amount of my Christmas shopping (smug) I thought I would show off one or two places that I enjoyed shopping on. First, we have Not Another Bill. They have a very well curated collection of pieces to buy. What particularly caught my eye were these brightly coloured mugs.
Artist Inspired Mugs, £25, from Not Another Bill.
37) Arjumands World has long been a favourite of mine. I just love the patterns and colouring they use. Their shop lets you bring a taste of their world home. I love a sconce and this one is so simple and effective how could it not delight on the 25th.
Candle Holder, 84 euros, from Arjumands World.
38) Susan Deliss' house in the South of France has long been a favourite of mine. It featured in House & Garden a few years ago and you have probably seen it a hundred times since. Her online shop offers a exquisite chance to buy into her charming style.
Set of 6 pottery mugs with circles, £168, from Susan Deliss.
39) Benjamins Pollocks Toyshop is a place of dreams. Having been around 1856, I think you can trust that they know about toys. I recently bought this box for a christening; It looked particularly charming amongst the Tiffany bags.
Gift Box, £35, from Benjamins Pollocks Toyshop.
40) I am a big fan of Partnership Editions; it’s an excellent way for one to feel like they have a toe in the art pond. I continuously pick through the website to see the new artists on their books. Fee Greening’s work is mesmerising, and to own a piece like this (£300) would be a real Christmas wish come true.
41) I am pretty pissed off with myself that I left this one to number 41. It is clearly the most important. Choose Love, the world’s first store where you can buy real gifts for refugees, contains practical items like tents, nappies and sleeping bags. But instead of taking them home, each purchase buys a similar item for someone who truly needs it.
Search & Rescue, £40, from Choose Love.
42) After that I think Tat seems pointless, to say the least. But here goes, an Italian Tole Centrepiece which I am sure would delight or baffle the recipient.
Italian Tole Centrepiece, £185, Tat London.
43) I know buying a cushion for someone is tricky - but when they look this good I would say throw caution to the wind and go for it. Danish designer Christina Lundsteen has a marvellous sense of style and wants to fill your home with colour - I will let her.
Olivia, 50 x 60cm, 150 euros, from Christina Lundsteen.
44) The dream team, Pentreath & Hall have produced a marvellous Alphabet book. Cataloguing their many inspirations in a rich, visual anthology, this compendium of objects, people, paintings, places and ideas gives readers a satisfying insight into the duos minds. Along with the fantastico book you get a snazzy P&H bag.
The Pentreath & Hall Alphabet Book and Book Bag, £40, Pentreath & Hall.
45) I am not to sure if there are many things cooler than this Zodiac Lighter. It also rotates and there is a little music box in its bottom. Quite the conversation point.
Zodiac Lighter, £55, from Tat London.