Interior Designer Andee Hess’s Gift Guide Has Something for Everyone on Your Nice List

By Ian Zunt / Published by Dwell
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The Portland native suggests quirky gifts by fellow creatives in her hometown, like velvet-and-wool circle pillows or a Bermuda Triangle–themed comic.

Known for bringing a touch of funk to projects around the world—including cult-favorite eateries like Salt & Straw Ice Cream and Stumptown Coffee—Andee Hess is the mind behind Osmose Design. Here, she lets us in on some of the best gifts to come out of Portland's rich arts and design scene. 

Looking for something else? Check out the rest of our holiday gift guides here.

Andee Hess, principal designer at Osmose Design.

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"My old Portland pal, the amazing glass artist Andi Kovel of Esque Studio, has a new product out for Design Within Reach: the Söt Carafe and Cup Set. Crafted with a metallic silver powder coating, I love how these are sculptural and truly unique, but also functional."

Esque Studio Söt Carafe and Cup Set

Named for a word meaning cute in Swedish and fool in English, the Søt Carafe and Cup Set is functionality at it’s finest. This handblown piece is coated with metallic silver powder and features an opening that perfectly cradles its matching cup. Essential accessory that is not only visually stunning but a practical piece to keep bedside.


"In Spy Island: A Bermuda Island Mystery, a four-issue miniseries coproduced by Dark Horse Comics and The Ministry of Trouble, the Portland author and comic writer Chelsea Cain whisks us to the Bermuda Triangle. I love the comic books’ retro covers. This collection would make a clever gift for a friend with a graphic eye."

Spy Island

The new graphic novel from the team behind bestseller Man-Eaters is a terrifying, sexy, and thought-provoking espionage thriller-that also happens to be laugh-out-loud funny! The world's best spies keep watch over the Bermuda Triangle from a mysterious island outpost teeming with supernatural intrigue, monsters, and evil villains set on global domination. The best of these spies is named Nora Freud (no relation). She knows eighty-seven ways to kill someone with a cocktail toothpick, and she's used thirty-two of them. Lately though, Nora has started to feel like she's going through the motions. Close the temporal portal. Assassinate the genocidal maniac. Have sex with the MI-6 agent. Plus, the island has gotten kind of touristy. She agrees to one last mission. But when Nora's troubled marine cryptozoologist sister shows up unexpectedly, warning of mermaid attacks, Nora realizes that boredom is not her biggest problem. Laugh-out-loud funny, terrifying, sexy, and philosophical, Spy Island is the perfect comic book for anyone who enjoys travel, chardonnay, krakens, Atlantis, volcanos, scuba diving, mermaids, ghost pirates, tropical espionage, secret agents, and/or island-casual Sean Connery.


"I love playing games, often to the dismay of my friends. Created by indie rockers and Portland locals, The Decemberists, Illimat is a card game that states: ‘If you've ever enjoyed hearts, bridge, cassino, or gin, Illimat will feel both familiar and unlike anything you've ever played before.’ I also love the unique aesthetic of its world."


Illimat has the style and flavor of a classic card game with a dynamic twist. As you play, you combine cards and collect them, trying to gather more than your opponents. But hidden luminaries and changing seasons can alter your plans. Beautifully illustrated by Carson Ellis and designed by award winning game designer Keith Baker with heirloom quality materials. Suitable for ages 12+ up, play time 15-45 minutes. For 2-4 Players.


"Ladies and Gentlemen Studio’s Lightscape candle sculpture is inspired by the principles of Moholy-Nagy's ‘Light Modulators’.  It’s simple and clever at the same time. Also, it is a limited edition piece, and 50% of proceeds will be donated to food justice through Soul Fire Farm."

Ladies & Gentlemen Studio Lightscape Candle Light

Ladies & Gentlemen Studio focuses on one of the most elemental of human-made illuminations: the flame. While mundane and familiar, the candle occupies a special place in the human psyche and the studio set out to better understand why and how it's qualities can create engaging spatial experiences. Their process began with a reexamination of the humble flame's inherent qualities gaining new appreciation for it's warm visual temperature, dynamic movement, and dramatic castings of glow and shadow on its surroundings. Inspired by the principles of Moholy-Nagy's "Light Modulators" the studio conceived of an intersecting composition of perforated and polished metal shapes which house a simple candle. The assembly's surfaces reflect, refract, and obscure the subtly flickering candlelight to create a complex interplay of highlights and shadows which cast onto nearby architecture to create a rich, dynamic spatial experience.


"Check out this album by my friend Chris Funk. Ambient tunes that are perfect for working or walking your dog (and some Osmose credit on the cover art)."

Songs For Dog Fitness by Chris Funk

Limited edition purple vinyl with a 3/4" wide, 53" long leash, perfect for walkies!


"These are the perfect, not-so-perfectly round pillows for anywhere in the home."

Schoolhouse Green Velvet + Wool - Circle Pillow

The Velvet + Wool Circle Pillow adds a pop of composed color to any seating arrangement or bed. Forest green velvet and pear green wool play counterpoint while the lush texture of the fabrics make both sides equally suited for display. Each pillow is sewn in our Portland, Ore. factory and finished with a down-filled insert and an invisible YKK zipper. A Schoolhouse Original.


Related Reading:

Before & After: In This Portland Tudor, an Irresistibly Quirky Kitchen Steals the Show

10 Best-Designed Places to Eat and Drink in Portland, Oregon

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