Every year the holidays seem to come earlier and earlier, but if you’re planning on hosting any holiday parties or having friends and family crash at your digs, it’s best to start getting things together so you can actually enjoy yourself when the time comes. So to help you out, I’ve put together a list of double duty holiday decor: beautiful things that make the holidays a little bit sweeter, but aren’t holiday-specific. These goodies will last you through the Winter season and then some. Think of them as gifts to yourself that keep on giving.
I’m a huge fan of the bar cart. Full disclosure: I have yet to own one myself. However, I’m five minutes away from getting the Threshold Wood and Brass Finish Bar Cart from Target. This thing is versatile enough to be used as a kitchen cart or a bookshelf when the party’s over.
Threshold Wood and Brass Finish Bar Cart , $130
My aunt had the cutest napkins with turkeys on them when she hosted Thanksgiving this year and it made me smile, so to pay it forward, I found these. The Marimekko trees are a non-committal holiday napkin print that work for any Winter celebration.
Marimekko Kuusikossa Napkins, $6.95
Tired of everyone having to throw their jackets on some bed? Anthropologie’s Antler Wall Hook adds an instant ski lodge look while keeping everything organized.
Antler Wall Hook, $79
If you own an air mattress, please do all of us guests a favor and throw it away already! Unless space is an issue, we would like something that doesn’t feel like sleeping on…air. The Austin White Bean Bag Chair looks like something I could sleep late on, and look fashionable while doing it. Its modern white quilty look makes this a year-round chair that doesn’t need to be stuffed in a closet when guests go away.
Austin White Bean Bag Chair Bed, $175
This King Cube Ice Tray may look unassuming, but it makes everything better. When I first discovered this gadget, I ended up getting several for myself and a few lucky people as a “just ’cause” gift, and they love me forever because of it. It produces extra large ice cubes that melt at a glacial pace (sans global warming). Also, these are the kind of ice cubes served with an overpriced drink at a gorgeous bar – throw these in an ice bucket at your next party and your guests will definitely notice.
Red King Cube Ice Tray, $8.95
Music seems to be an afterthought at many a family holiday gathering. But the right music can really set the mood, especially when you (or other guests who like to DJ) can easily stick an iPod or iPhone into this fun color changing speaker.
iHome Color Changing iPod/iPhone Speaker Dock, $65
Christmas lights are not just for the tree anymore, like these Starry String Lights from Restoration Hardware that I’ve been drooling over forever. I want to cover everything I own in this stuff. Take that, Australian family whose Christmas light display can be seen from space.
Starry String Lights – Diamond Lights on Silver Wire, $15-99
Happy holidays, and don’t forget to treat yourself!
originally posted on ibby.com
Our love of Kiosk is already well-documented here at FM, a love which glows even brighter during the holidays: This treasure-trove is a one-stop shop to find something perfect for half your gift list. Procrastinators who missed the online order cutoff needn’t fret—you can stop by the Soho shop up until Christmas Day (assuming you’re in NYC). Here are some of our recent favorites, all highly giftable:
At $38, these fleece-lined deerskin mittens are a true steal. They’re made in Vermont and perfect for the urban lumberjack in your life.
Buy a bottle of awesomely packaged Klosterfrau elixir for a nerve-wracked in-law. I used to use it when I lived in Germany and it is oddly calming (albeit medicinal tasting). I’d dump a spoonful in my tea, drink it while taking a bath and then mentally peace out. $18.
Travel thread makes a thoughtful gift for a globetrotting acquaintance. The bracelet-like kit packs away flat and lets you pull out individual strands when needed. $11.
Travel Thread Kit
I love Wooly Willy. Always have, always will. Know who else loves Wooly Willy? Kids. Perfect for your little niece or nephew. $8.00.
The Citra Sipper turns oranges into juice boxes—a thoroughly unique stocking stuffer or Secret Santa gift. $6 each.
Who wouldn’t want a historical nail sample set made by America’s oldest nail manufacturer? $30.
Tremont Nail Sample Set
It may be common knowledge that the right lighting can transform a room. For instant drab-to-fab, a chandelier is an excellent choice, but they can get so elaborate that choosing the right one is tricky. Luckily, some chandelier designs have evolved from the typical crystal overload into gender-neutral, classier styles.
West Elm is chock full of gorgeous lighting right now, like this Eclipse Chandelier. The grandeur is somehow perfectly minimized by its industrial looks.
Eclipse Chandelier, $199
It’s a thin line between classy and overdone if you’re going for the Hollywood Regency look The black and gold color on the Meridian Pendant from ZGallerie puts a masculine twist to an otherwise fancy schmancy style.
Meridian Pendant, $349
For a safe bet that pairs well with just about anything, try a George Nelson Saucer Lamp from Modernica. This midcentury original looks like a classic, well-tailored suit.
George Nelson Saucer Lamp, $269
Craving something trendy but worried you’ll eventually hate looking at it? The Regina Andrew Isosceles Chandelier at Zinc Door makes that rare kind of bold statement that you’re guaranteed to love for years to come.
Regina Andrew Isosceles Chandelier, $573
Finally! The Rae 6-light Chandelier from Overstock showcases the popular edison bulbs you’ve been dying to buy but had no good use for.
Rae 6-light Chandelier, $218
originally posted on ibby.com
Perhaps the ongoing national gun control debate is to blame, but I’m really into bullets at the moment. Not the kind I’d actually want to shoot from a gun, mind you, but of the more decorative variety. And wouldn’t you know, there’s a surprising amount of ammo décor floating around out there.
With a brass casing and foldable stainless-steel blade, this Magnum Bullet would make a killer cheese knife. $5.88 from Amazon.
Magnum Bullet Knife
Just in time for Father’s Day, this 5.25” long bottle opener is made from a demilitarized .50 caliber bullet casing. $16 from Cool Material.
50 Caliber Bullet Bottle Opener
Bite the bullet and write a loved one a real paper letter with this brass pen. It fits inside a .375 H&H Magnum shell that also functions as a stand. $21.25 from Uncommon Good.
BULLET PEN AND REFILL
Though decorative ice cube trays rarely produce any truly discernible shapes, you probably know someone really into making “killer” cocktails who would get a kick out of owning an ice cube bullet tray. $5.65 on Ebay.
Ice Cube Bullets
Toughen up your bulletin board with a set of nickel bullet pushpins. $6.95 from Artfire.
Auto Nickel Bullet Push Pins
Lampshades are becoming increasingly optional in today’s industrial, post-apocalyptic chic aesthetic. From throwback Edison to chrome-tipped, certain bulbs can easily stand on their own when hung from a simple cord set or displayed in a transparent shade. Here are some of our favorites as inspiration.
Nostalgic filament bulbs may be overplayed, but they still look really pretty lit up in a clear glass shade. This Squirrel Cage bulb from Rejuvenation is $16.
30W Squirrel-cage Tungsten Filament Bulb, $16
The sandblasted pattern on this Confetti bulb casts fun shadows on the wall when lit. Equally stunning when unlit, all you’d need to do is string it from a simple cord set (a good thing, as they aren’t cheap!) Finnish Design Shop €34.
Light Shadows bulb, Confetti
Chrome-tipped bulbs reflect light backward to avoid glare. This makes them popular as vanity lighting, but they also look classy exposed from a sconce in a hallway or in an open pendant in the kitchen. $5 from Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co.
Silver Tip Bulb, $5
If you want to be energy conscious but hate how normal CFL bulbs look, then the Plumen is for you. Its cleverly twisted tubes look graceful peaking through just about any fixture, and they use 80% less energy than normal incandescents. $30 from the MoMA Store.
Plumen 001 Bulb, $30
I’ve always been fascinated by bulbs that can flicker like a candle! The ultimate in mood lighting. $15 from Rejuvenation.
Carbon-filament Flicker Bulb, $15