December 3, 2010
This is the last of our contributor’s gift guides. Jordan Awan, who is an art director at The New Yorker, and a valued member of the Lifework team, reveals his wish list.
During the holidays, this sturdy Stanley Flask ($20) should never leave your inside coat pocket. Rust and leak proof, it’s as aesthetically pleasing as it is practical; use it to make holiday travel bearable, or simply to enjoy an extra dose of winter cheer. Order one from DWR or head to the wonderful Brook Farm General Store in Brooklyn.
Playful and beautiful, the Eames Hang-It-All ($179) has become an essential part of both my apartment decor and my daily routine: it’s always my last stop on my way out the door and my first when I return. The Hang-It-All really does hang it all; pile on bags, coats, scarves, sweaters, hats, and anything else (if you can bear to cover it up, that is!) Designed in 1953 by Charles and Ray Eames, it’s available from the Herman Miller Store.
M&Co.’s Bodoni watch ($105) is, to me, the Platonic ideal of a watch. Designed by Tibor Kalman in 1984, it’s lightweight, comfortable, and has a perfectly proportioned face which elegantly shows off the understated Bodoni numbers. It’s as timeless as a timepiece can get. Buy it from MoMA and show your good taste.
Designed in 1951, Isamu Noguchi’s Akari table lamps ($145) are functional sculptures that look at home in any setting. The soft glow they emit is an easy way to warm up a room on a cold winter night. Buy them from MoMA or the Noguchi Museum in New York; otherwise check out all the beautiful lamps for sale in the Akari Store.
Hillside makes heirloom-quality scarves ($80); no matter how light my jacket is, on a cold day my scarf keeps me toasty. If you live in New York, head to In God We Trust for the best selection; if not, check out Hickorees, but do it quickly, before they sell out.
December 2, 2010
Everyone has heard the age-old advice that “it’s the thought that counts” when giving gifts, so I thought it would be fun to prove that advice wrong. The list below can go a long way in eliminating the need for you to think this holiday season, and giving one (or more) of these great gifts will leave your recipient thinking that you searched high and low to make them happy. These gifts are perfect for that person on your list that “has everything” or that just insists on great design and functionality in everything they own.
1. Saddleback Leather Co. Briefcase: Finding that “perfect bag” can be quite the chore, and I should know, it took me almost 3 years of searching until I came across this amazing briefcase from Saddleback Leather Company. The briefcase is made with 100% full grain boot leather, marine grade industrial nylon stitching, and pigskin lining and comes with a 100 year guarantee. As the manufacturer says: “This isn’t your next bag, it is your last bag.” $520-$610 via Saddleback Leather Co.
2. Magnetic Collar Stays by Wurkin’ Stiffs Anyone who owns a dress shirt has no doubt wrestled with some unruly collars at some point. These super strong magnetic collar stays by Wurkin’ Stiffs give you complete control over that collar situation. They are the perfect stocking stuffer for the guy who thinks he has everything. This set comes with three different size collar stays that should fit any dress shirt. $35 via Amazon
3. Contigo Westloop Stainless Steel Double Walled No-Leak Travel Mug These great looking and amazing travel mugs defy logic with their ability to keep hot drinks steaming hot for up to 4 hours, and cold drinks cold for up to 12 hours. Beyond keeping your favorite drink appropriately temperature controlled, you will be hard pressed to have your beverage spill or leak on you. Although it is impossible to make this travel mug leak, it only requires a simple one handed push of the button to get access to the liquid goodness inside. No amount of knocking over or shaking will result in your beverage seeing the light of day. $15 – $20 via Amazon
4. The Longines Master Collection Mens Watch Nothing classes up a nice wardrobe like a great watch. The Longines Master Collection Watch is an amazing looking automatic watch that would look great with your jeans and dress shirt, or your best suit. The stainless steel case, alligator strap, and moon phase display are just a few of the great features that will make this watch a treasured piece for you and probably for some lucky recipient once your own internal clock stops ticking. This is generally considered to be in the “mid-range” as far as luxury watches go, and is a great value for the money. $2,500 via Amazon
5. Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman I’ve only ever had the pleasure of sitting in the Eames Lounge Chair with Ottoman once, but it resulted in one of the best naps I’ve ever had. These chairs are so ridiculously comfortable, that you need to be careful who you let sit in it. If you have a not-so-favorite in-law coming by for the holiday season, I’d strongly recommend keeping them out of this chair so you can spend your evening lounging and sleeping off that holiday feast. $3900-$4800 via Herman Miller
Balance, Design, Products, Technology
December 1, 2010
It’s truly the most wonderful time of the year. And no, it’s not because of the smell of fir trees for sale on New York City sidewalks. It’s not the holiday party invites and greeting cards now in my mailbox. It’s not even the peppermint hot chocolate suddenly available at my local coffeehouse (though, that’s pretty close).
For me, it’s all about the gift guides filling the pages of magazines and the homepages of my blogroll. Heaven! Here’s a look at a few things I’m whispering into Santa’s ear.
1. Brooklyn Graphic Map, $40.00 Manhattan’s cool cousin (and my home borough) gets special treatment with this bold, hand-screen-printed from artist Ben Kafton. And seriously, who doesn’t love a memorable map of their city? Get it: delaflamant at etsy.com
2. KOOSTIK, $80.00 I find KOOSTIK clever and chic. Handcrafted from solid wood, it’s natural alternative to electronic iPhone sound docks (and looks cooler, too). Get it: koostik.com
3. Eames Molded Plastic Chair, $399.00 I have a major crush on this simple light-blue chair (and I especially love its dowel-leg base). And it would be very much my style to place it sitting under my new red Brooklyn map. Get it: Herman Miller
4. Pendleton Rainier National Park Full Blanket, $134.83 I dig this item as much I dig the history behind it: Since the early 1900s, Pendleton has honored America’s National Parks with its classic collection of wool Park Blankets (like this one created for Washington state’s Mount Rainier). Get it: amazon.com
5. Shoulder MacBook Sleeve, €139.00 The perfect accessory for a new MacBook owner (such as myself). Made of wool and 100% vegetable tanned leather, it features a shoulder belt and includes a much-needed removable extras case. Get it: hardgraft.com
Images linked to their sources within the numbered text
Balance, Design, Products, Technology
November 30, 2010
Trolling through numerous online stores can be a daunting task if you are searching for the perfect gift. To ease the burden, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite picks for the design and music lovers on your gift list.
Groove Merchant, a world renowned record shop based in San Francisco, celebrates it’s 20th anniversary with a stellar collection of soul and funk sounds from the past. The 14 track compilation features choice cuts from Arthur Foy, Soul Liberation, The McCrary as well as others. Also available are a t-shirt and limited edition poster. All items are designed by Freddy Anzures (Apple/Wax Poetics) for Props.
Practice your shooting skills with bitplay’s Bang! lamp. When you fire a shot at the lamp with the included gun, the light turns off and the lampshade falls to the side, showing that it’s been hit. Super cool! (via Hello Bauldoff )
Store your books in a fun and unique way with Finland based Kayiwa’s Aakkoset shelf. The type driven shelf is made of medium-density fiberboard and comes in a variety of colors. (via swiss miss)
Dress your iPhone up in style with a case from Lumadessa’s new collection for uncommon. My favorite is the Night Owl, but you have several other options to choose from. Makes for a perfect stocking stuffer too!
Scotty Reifsnyder recently updated his shop with the Heroes of Folk – a series of letterpress cards featuring illustrations of American Folk legends like Paul Bunyan and Johnny Appleseed. The cards are available for $30 a piece or $150 for the complete collection. Pick them up here.
Her Idea is a delightful new book by Rilla Alexander which takes readers on adventure of elation, struggle and triumph – and of making ideas happen. The illustrations are amazing and it makes for a wonderful gift for all ages.
November 29, 2010
With Thanksgiving safely behind us we begin to looking forward to the rest of the holidays. This year Hannukah starts early – December 1 to be exact. So we’re going to start our gift guide early too! I asked five Lifework contributors to put together their wish lists for the holidays. Here is Heather’s and as you’d expect it has a particularly foodie bent. Look out tomorrow for Brian Greene’s list. If you’re shopping for Christmas this will certainly give you lots of time to get inspired before the rush sets in.
(PS – don’t forget the Herman Miller holiday event runs until December 13. We are offering 15% off selected items and a fast ship service.)
The very best gifts to give are the ones you’d like to receive. And so I hope my husband is reading about all the lovely generous gifts I want to give, hint hint. But seriously, my gifty picks center around what is in fact my very, very favorite part of the holiday season: parties! So whether you’re the cooking in the kitchen or decking the halls, here are a few must-haves for making the seasonal scene.
1. WMF Profi-Plus Stainless Steel Ball Whisk, $30 at MoMa Unlike many kitchen utensils that rate high in looks, this one actually works. It has become my absolute favorite whisk, particularly when it comes to cleanup as there are no crevices for food to get stuck in. Also, the design means that the ball rods can generate more whipping action using less effort. It’s in heavy rotation in my kitchen and on my gift list.
2. Muji Water-Repellent Apron, $22.95 Can we talk about how totally chic this Japanese apron is? I love all things Muji for simplicity of design, and this apron is no exception. Perfect for the hostess on your list—you know, the one who actually cooks and looks good doing it.
3. Vange’s Desile Folding Chair, $335 It seems like I’ve been on the hunt for good folding chairs for a very long time. This bamboo eco-friendly version is the holy grail of folding chairs. Cut from a single 20mm slice of board, when closed, the chair is pancake flat (100 chairs = 2 linear meters).
4. Lanvin Crystal-Embedded Suede Ballerina Flats, $770 Good taste starts with shoes, and I love Lanvin’s update on the classic ballerina with this flirty little Swarovski crystal bow. To stay on your toes for the month of merrymaking ahead, forgo the heels and slip into something more comfortable.
5. Eames Hang It All, $179 I’ve been wanting this Eames Hang It All FOREVER! And this year I’ve found a way to give AND receive. I’m wrapping it up and putting it under the tree for my toddler who will love the colorful hooks. As parents, we make sacrifices…
6. Heath Ceramics Winter Scarlet Dip Bud Vase Set, $110 A friend once said she was suspect of those who seasonally decorate—and while I think she was talking gourds on mantles and lawn ornaments, I have to believe she would make exception for Heath’s seasonal bud vase set in seductive suede red, ruby red and linen white.