The Ultimate Christmas list

Ahh Christmas, that time of a thousand emails pushing products that nobody needs or wants. Then again, the best gifts are often things you don’t really need but are just beautiful. The key thing though is that someone actually thought about you as an individual and chose something that they thought might spark some inner joy when you opened it.  So herewith a highly subjective collection of 21 things to buy for some very lucky others, or hint at for yourself, from the purely pretty to the perfectly practical including the premium pricey (it is my ultimate list after all!), because a gift should never be just for Christmas, and besides, William Morris’s edict always reigns supreme… “Have nothing in your home that you do not either know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”

1 Fornasetti Piatto Calendario

Designed by Barnaba Fornasetti for the last 30 years, these calendar plates continue a tradition started by his father Piero in 1968. In terms of inspiration, for this 2019 limited edition, Fornasetti has chosen “a symbolic landscape, expressing a desire for freedom and openness. May it rain keys this New Year, in order to open new doors and broaden our horizons.” Perfectly put methinks. Approximately £250 (Euro 280) www.fornasetti.com Also available from Harrods

Fornasetti plate

Fornasetti ‘Piatto Calendario 2019’, porcelain with gold and platinum, diameter 24 cm. Limited edition of 700 pieces

2 Anthropologie’s monogrammed journals

Because you can never have too many notebooks, especially when they’re this pretty! £16 each. Anthropologie

Colour-blocked monogrammed journals from Anthropologie, £16 each

Colour-blocked monogrammed journals from Anthropologie, £16 each

3 Mickey Mouse x Bosa

Designed by the very wonderful Elena Salmistraro, this limited-edition ceramic ‘Mickey Mouse Forever Young Sculpture’, which was two-years in the making, celebrates the 90th anniversary of Disney’s mouse. It’s described as being “dressed in shorts with stunning street-art decorations combined with a biker jacket and studded shoes: a game of contrasting colours, refined shiny/matt effects and three-dimensional textures.” Definitely a collector’s piece priced at £3,500 (3,300 Euro excluding VAT) Available from Jane Richards Interiors

Mickey Mouse x Bosa

Mickey Mouse x Bosa designed by Elena Salmistraro Photographer Alberto Parise

4 Larusi Sakura Apron

Two-tone, 100% linen apron woven from the finest European flax and pre-washed for softness. Because if you’re going to be cooking up a storm, tis nice to look the part! PS there are three different colour options (not shown mustard/bark and pale blue/grey). £60 Larusi

100% linen apron, £60 from Larusi

100% linen apron, £60 from Larusi

5 Matthew Williamson’s candles

Five different designs, five exquisite scents, each in a large 600g ceramic container (roughly twice the size of a standard candle) that’s a gorgeous thing to keep in its own right when all the wax is gone. Check out the direct link to discover the story behind each design and how it relates to each perfume. Example, the ‘Jaipur Jewel’ pink and turquoise design (my fave!) “captures the essences of India’s bustling and vibrant pink city with a heady mix of incense, spices and woods with natural ascents of juniper and cinnamon”. £140 each, Matthew Williamson

Matthew Williamson scented candles, £140 each

Scented candles by Matthew Williamson, £140 each

6 No.3 Doddington on an Autumn morning MOSS candle

If a plainer aesthetic is more your bag, then let me introduce you to Moments of Sense and Style, an online lifestyle company devoted to considered products. As the co-owners, Rob and Syreeta put it, “Our life before was hectic and always on the move, urban nomads, never still. Life and tragedy made us stop; stop rolling, time to gather moss, take roots.” Thus their products are meant to inspire you to also stop rolling. ‘No.3 Doddington on an Autumn Morning’ is one of a trio of scented candles, £30.00. They also do quite the most beautiful matches (£9) too. MOSS

No.3 Doddington, a scented candle (wood, berries, fig and amber) from MOSS, £30

No.3 Doddington, a scented candle (wood, berries, fig and amber) from MOSS, £30

7 Coromandel Trays from Fornasetti

But back to patterned… and again from Fornasetti as I love them so: from the brand new ‘Coromandel’ collection, these trays are just a joy in  lacquered, silk-screened wood that’s then hand-painted with silver leaf. Useful and incredibly beautiful. A real heritage piece to keep forever. Admittedly a tad pricey at approximately £890 (1000 Euro) but then this is a dream list, not an Amazon Save-for-Later wishlist. www.fornasetti.com Also available from Harrods

Wooden tray with silkscreened design and hand-painted silver leaf, from the 'Coromandel' collection by Fornasetti.

Wooden tray with silkscreened design and hand-painted silver leaf, from the ‘Coromandel’ collection by Fornasetti.

8 Lara Bohnic’s Treasury Box

Superbly sculptural, this ‘Fortress Treasury Box’ is hand-crafted in ceramic with a bronzed finish. Perfect for earrings or perhaps your earplugs by the bed?! It’s also available in a wonderful Chinese red or Iron finish. £196, Lara Bohnic

'Fortress Treasury Box' by Lara Bohinc. Hand-crafted in ceramic with a bronze finish. £196

‘Fortress Treasury Box’ by Lara Bohinc. Hand-crafted in ceramic with a bronze finish. £196

'Fortress Treasury Box' by Lara Bohinc. Hand-crafted in ceramic with a bronze finish. £196

‘Fortress Treasury Box’ by Lara Bohinc. Hand-crafted in ceramic with a bronze finish. £196

9 Tom Dixon’s Stone Spice Grinder

Apparently made from the same marble as used to build the Taj Mahal, this Stone Spice Grinder takes a utilitarian item and makes it into a thing of great simplicity and beauty. £85, Tom Dixon

 

Stone Spice Grinder, in marble and brass, £85, designed by Tom Dixon

Stone Spice Grinder, in marble and brass, £85, designed by Tom Dixon

10 Pink Plant print from Unlimited

Art is always a wonderful gift to give as hopefully it’s for life, won’t wear out and won’t be promptly re-gifted! And I think the Unlimited Gallery in Brighton is one of the best places around for graphic prints and limited editions. They also have a great website so you don’t even need to get on a train, although a visit is definitely to be recommended. This ‘Pink Plant’ giclée A3 print by Tom Abbiss Smith is one of a possible set of four, and it’s only £25 (unframed)! Unlimited

'Pink Plant' print by Tom Abiss Smith from Unlimited, £25

‘Pink Plant’ print by Tom Abiss Smith from Unlimited, £25

11 The Lucia Advent candle holder/bowl

Designed by Bjørn Wiinblad, manufactured by Rosendahl this advent candle holder/bowl makes a perfect centrepiece that you’d be proud to bring out every year. Plus it’s decorated with real gold! £70, TwentyTwentyOne

The 'Lucia' ceramic Advent candle holder and bowl, designed by Bjorn Winblad

The ‘Lucia’ ceramic Advent candle holder and bowl, designed by Bjorn Winblad

12 Lucia Fraser’s painterly plates

As spotted on new website, The Room Service, a platform devoted to “beautiful things found in design-led hotels, restaurants and spaces”, a series of plates and platters by artist Lucia Fraser. £18- £32, The Room Service

One of a series of ceramic plate designed by Lucia Fraser, £18- £32 depending on size and glazes.

One of a series of ceramic plate designed by Lucia Fraser, £18- £32 depending on size and glazes.

13 Apple x Hermès watch

Quite possibly the most beautiful Apple watch and strap in the world: The Apple Watch Series 4 Hermès. It has three delicious colours of leather in the strap, and even the face sweeps from one shade to the next as the hands go round. Literal swoon. £1,399 Apple Watch Series 4 Hermès

Double Tour watch strap from Hermés

Double Tour watch strap in multi-coloured leather from Hermés

14 Kintsugi plates

Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing items with thin seams of gold, which often, in my opinion, renders them more beautiful than when they were intact. These porcelain plates were designed to honour this ancient art, and as the designer puts it, “to create something very functional and at the same time inspirational and to remind people of the essence of resilience.” £110 for a pair, Japana

Porcelain plates decorated in honour of the Japanese art of Kintsugi by Japana

Porcelain plates decorated in honour of the Japanese art of Kintsugi by Japana

15 ‘Vitrail’ mirror by Inga Sempé

Like jewellery for your walls, this mirror is one of a set of eight by the French designer Inge Sempé for the Italian brand Magis. After all, as Inga so correctly says, “With a mirror you can see yourself, but above all you can liven up a wall and light up a room, as if it were a window or a lamp always left on.” Magis Prices range from approximately £350 – £450 available from Made in Design

One of a series of eight mirrors designed by Inga Sempé for Magis

One of a series of eight mirrors designed by Inga Sempé for Magis

16 Chisel and Mouse London Cityscape

And why not. An utterly unique piece of artwork, a 3D resin model of the City of London at a scale of 1:2500 in a simple wooden frame (suitable to wall mount or display on a desk). And if you don’t fancy that, then have a browse around the rest of the Chisel & Mouse site and perhaps you’ll fall for a 3D model of some iconic architectural buildings (from Battersea Power Station to Helsinki Central Station) instead. Your only dilemma will be deciding which one to choose. London Cityscape, framed (with different wood colour options), 70cm x 70cm, £495. Chisel & Mouse

3D London Cityscape, in resin, £495, Chisel & Mouse

3D London Cityscape, in resin, £495, Chisel & Mouse

17 Katharine Gorham wall hanging

If a somewhat softer art work is more your taste, then how about bringing the power and positivity of plants inside with one of these 100% cotton wall hangings from artist and designer Katherine Gorham. Hand printed in the UK, £450 Katharine Gorham

100% cotton wall hanging by Katharine Gorman, £450.

100% cotton wall hanging by Katharine Gorham, £450.

18 Pots and platters from Society Limonta

Now where would we be without a few pots on my list! And I love these in hand-thrown Limoges porcelain from Society Limonta. Designed by Beatrice Rossetti Society Limonta Ceramics was born out of the desire to explore the textural possibilities of ceramic, thus pieces are often in a combination of matt and gloss and some even bear the imprint of a super fine linen. These are the very latest coloration, a rather lovely smoky tobacco grey. Prices from about £55. Society Limonta Online shop And you can read more about this wonderful brand here.

Society Limonta porcelain tableware in smoky grey. Bowls from £55

Society Limonta porcelain tableware in smoky grey. Bowls from £55

19 The Lloyd throw from Wallace + Sewell

Eternally gorgeous for the colour mix and luxurious softness, this is a throw that will never date. Plus, for that all important extra-added detail, each one is beautifully edged with blanket stitches, which adds a soupçon of additional texture. £285 Wallace + Sewell

'Lloyd' lambswool throw by Wallace + Sewell, £285.

‘Lloyd’ lambswool throw by Wallace + Sewell, £285.

'Lloyd' lambswool throw by Wallace + Sewell, £285.

‘Lloyd’ lambswool throw by Wallace + Sewell, £285.

20 A brass watering can from made.com

I remember seeing this at the made.com press show and lusting after it then. And now that I have amassed quite a few houseplants, I think I need it too! The ideal tool to make a chore into a ritual. You’ll also be supporting emerging designers as this piece was part of the brand’s fantastic crowdfunded TalentLab initiative that invites anyone to send in a design idea with a selection then being chosen to go through to production. ‘Tend To’ watering can in polished brass, £39 made.com

'Tend To' polished brass watering can, £39, made.com

‘Tend To’ polished brass watering can, £39, made.com

21 A limited-edition Rietveld ‘Beugel’ chair

And finally, one classic chair: a limited edition of the ‘Beugel’ chair first designed in 1927 by Gerrit T. Rietveld and now re-issued with an original motif designed by the Dutch illustrator Joost Swarte. Available in three colourways (mustard, blue and white), with only 200 being made of each, And the design? It was the love for connections and constructions that made Rietveld’s works so outstanding. I paid homage to this with a motif based on the cartesian knot: a simple connection of three wooden sticks, elegant and ever-lasting” says Swarte The pearl white version will be launched for the festive season while the blue and mustard versions will be presented at the imm cologne trade fair in January 2019. Laminated wood seat over a steel frame, and yours for an estimated £1,550 (1,450 Euro excl VAT) Cassina

Limited-edition Beugel chair by Rietveld with surface illustration by Joost Swarte for Cassina

The three colour ways of the limited-edition Beugel chair by Rietveld with surface illustration by Joost Swarte for Cassina

Limited-edition Beugel chair by Rietveld with surface illustration by Joost Swarte for Cassina

Limited-edition Beugel chair by Rietveld with surface illustration by Joost Swarte for Cassina

 

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