While this is the anniversary of us moving into this house – two dilapidated flats with no key for the meter, a boiler that needed mending (good luck with that just before Christmas) followed by a bust loo and a snowstorm (so cold we slept in our coats) no-one actually buys a house this close to the end of the year…. *waits for your stories in the comments below* so I thought I would carry on with the shopping and this time we’re going under £60. And still sticking mostly with small businesses although that isn’t the stated focus. Also the, somewhat arbitrary, limit was set for the first idea below which I think is fabulous and really quite want to self gift.
These are things that I would like (which can be as good a place to start as any) or that I think you could use as a jumping off point. So the Kit Kat Tapestry Cushion above works for the person who needs to relax more, the chocolate lover (to be accompanied by a large bag of said chocolate, and the person who likes to sit back and watch a film. So you can add a mug and some great tea, a film subscription (BFI is a good one) or a magazine version. Team it with slippers or great pyjamas. You can see how it starts to build from one idea. By the way this isn’t the only cushion available; there is also After Eights and Tunnocks Teacakes. If it’s for an older relative you could make it yourself and give it to them (probably too late for this year but you’ll thank yourself when their birthday rolls round.
The other thing that, for me at least, is key when it comes to presents is finding the beautiful version of the every day meaning that it’s something that will always be used but not often bought for oneself because it’s a little more expensive or doesn’t feel “everyday” and everything should be everyday. So it’s a gorgeous mug (or set of) the lovely salt and pepper mills below and even a lovely tray which can bring everything together on a desk or coffee table.
You will see lots of gorgeous pictures of Christmas lists at this time of year, which often seem (to me at least) to have been selected because the colours coordinate or it looks pretty so I’m not going to apologies for not having done that because, as you know, I’m all about the words and the ideas.
So you might look at the salt and pepper mill and think it’s boring – (unless you love cooking) but think also about what they are saying. And after two years of cooking at home several times a day, you could give this – to improve the every day – but accompany it with a picture of a restaurant booking. Or a weekend City break where no-one will have to cook anything for several days. As ever it’s about what works for your budget.
I’m always looking for good trays. Of course they are useful but they are also useful styling props. A random collection of stuff on a coffee table or desk makes more sense when it’s grouped onto a tray. I have a vintage silver salver on mine with a selection of half-burned scented candles on it. Without the tray it’s a mess. With the tray – and a pretty box of matches it’s a thing. And I’ve included a picture, which is very unstyled as you can see all the burn marks round the top. Also it’s a very old tray because of course you can buy new (and I’m always trying to tell you about small businesses that you might not know about) but you can also scout about for vintage. And on the basis that The Mad Husband won’t read this I have found such a good find on ebay….
If trays aren’t your thing then boxes for putting things in are also a grand idea. Of course you can give them empty but you can also fill with favourite chocolates. Or jewellery. Or paperclips and desk stuff. It depends on who you are buying for. So this is a very pretty resin pot from Dar Leone which would look so pretty on a dressing table or in a bathroom filled with, for example, reusable cotton wool pads and bamboo cotton buds. There is an element of lateral thinking to present buying but once you have found the elusive something to start you off it usually rolls along quite nicely from there.
This is why I often start with a room that person likes to be in and think about what they like to do in there or how you can enhance their time in there – or in the case of the kitchen – out of there! And that’s how I found these gorgeous little celluloid boxes from my new discovery Choosing Keeping. They come in assorted sizes and shapes and you can fill with earrings or as, below, a pencil sharpener or any tiny thing that takes your fancy.
I have been a fan of June at Osime Home for a while now and as well as cushions she makes these lovely fabric containers which, once again, work for plants but also bathroom accoutrements and even pens and desk tidies.
Or these pretty. vases from Antipodream which, of course, you can give on their own or with a flower subscription.
Final one for today, although I hope that has given you lots of ideas are these pretty frames from All The Things. And, again, you can fill with a postcard of a place you might be travelling to, or a favourite poster or print or even a ticket from your first date or their first gig or theatre tickets etc. Pictured below is the A4 size for £39 and there’s an A3 for £49.50 or a mini for £24.
Now all this is making me want to shop… Ill be back on Monday with some more ideas – we have eco and blow the budget still to come. And last minute – non interiors things that I have used and loved this year and heartily recommend: Beauty Pie membership, you can now pay an annual fee of £59 and shop when you want (still under our £60 limit here). Their skin care is honestly incredible and I have had lots of compliments about my skin since I started using – as a recommendation I started their ABC regimen which is Retinol (vitamin A) Brightening Niacinamide Drops where the main ingredient is Vitamin B and Vitamin C capsules. Try for six weeks and notice the difference. And remember you could print out the membership and stick in in one of the pots. For make up I use Trinny London and while I have modelled for them I also buy it myself at full price and I love the new Lash to Brow.
For Tech I love Nolii – their plugs come in fun colours that you can plug two USB cables into ( for me it’s phone and kindle) and their fabric cables are super long which is always useful. Plus they come with a little weight so the cable doesn’t slide off onto the floor. Again, I have bought products from them. I’m currently intrigued by the battery pack that you can charge at the same time as you charge the phone so you don’t find it’s flat just as you need to leave the house.
So many beautiful gift ideas. I love the vase, you almost get lost staring into it.
I must be getting old. The wooden salt and pepper mills only reminded me of little people. Cheers from Canada!
It seems this time of the year is when people like strolling the internet, looking for a new home. Or dreaming of a new one. The whole buying-a-house thing in this country is so very complicated, read infinite chains and sellers pulling out at the last minute, that moving into a new house on Christmas day wouldn’t surprise me! I’m glad you survived and made your house a gorgeous home to tell us the story!
Donkey years ago, I’ve rented a flat, left my hotel room after buying a mattress and waited for its deliver, which was guaranteed for that particular day, whilst planning all the decor of my new place. I ended up rolling out my lovely new bedsheet on the floor and having one the worst nightsleep of my life! My bones still crack at the thought of it!
On another note, my filthy mind went way overboard with the wooden salt and pepper mills! I simply couldn’t have them, I’m sure my husband would end up saying ‘could you pass me the b****cks please?’
Oh dear, is it just me?
Thank you Kate, this is brilliant! I always get my mum ceramics for Christmas as she’s a collector and I just love those vases. Plus, my partners parents dropped the beautiful sandstone salt and pepper mill we got them a few years a log so a wooden replacement is genius! Two more ticked off. Yay!