Ask the Expert: Gift-Buying Tips from Antiques Dealer Joel Chen

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By William Lamb / Published by Dwell
Los Angeles-based antiques dealer Joel Chen shares his gift-shopping advice.

What’s your go-to host gift?

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Joel Chen started gallery and retail space JF Chen over thirty five years ago on Melrose Avenue. The space features 34,000 square feet of carefully curated furniture, accessories, and art.

A ceramic vase or a small sculpture; something for the home.

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What is your go-to kitchen appliance?

A Nespresso machine.

Espresso machines by Nespresso, from $99.

What is your everyday bedding? 

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What is the best design book to give as a gift?

Collecting Eames: The JF Chen Collection, by Grant Taylor (JF Chen, 2011), $62.

Pratesi sheets, queen sets from $545. 

What’s your favorite kind of towel? 

Josef Hoffmann–style towels from MAK Vienna.

What’s the best wedding present you’ve given or received? 

Give a charitable donation in lieu of a material gift.

What would you give to a recent college graduate?

Money.

What is your go-to kitchen appliance?

A Nespresso machine. Espresso machines by Nespresso, from $99. 

What is the best design book to give as a gift?

Collecting Eames: The JF Chen Collection, by Grant Taylor (JF Chen, 2011), $62.

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