Ask the Expert: Gift-Buying Tips from Caroline Baumann of Cooper Hewitt

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By William Lamb / Published by Dwell
The director of the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum lists her favorite belongings and gifts.

What’s your go-to host gift? 

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

Lobmeyr Balloon Glasses by Ted Muehling, with their hand-painted eye motif and delicate form.

Lobmeyr Balloon Glasses by Ted Muehling, $310 each.

The Marcel Wanders Birdhouse for Droog . It’s a wonderfully bold, bright, modern, and minimal form. Birdhouse by Marcel Wanders for Droog, $95.

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What’s your favorite brand of towel?

Waterworks and Uchino.

Bath towels from Waterworks, from $23 (pictured). Slate Lily bath towels by Uchino, $49.

What is your everyday bedding? 

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What’s your go-to host gift?

The Marcel Wanders Birdhouse for Droog . It’s a wonderfully bold, bright, modern, and minimal form.

Birdhouse by Marcel Wanders for Droog, $95.

Frette or Matteo, with a Scholten & Baijings blanket for Hay. Bedding by Scholten & Baijings for Hay, from $22.50

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What would you give to a recent college graduate?

A Braun BN-35 watch by Dietrich Lubs and Dieter Rams, because its functionally oriented design keeps it relevant.

BN-35 watch by Dietrich Lubs and Dieter Rams for Braun, $330.

What’s your favorite brand of towel? 

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What is your everyday bedding?

Frette or Matteo, with a Scholten & Baijings blanket for Hay.

Bedding by Scholten & Baijings for Hay, from $22.50

Waterworks and Uchino. Bath towels from Waterworks, from $23. Slate Lily bath towels by Uchino, $49.

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What is your most indispensable everyday gadget?

My Fitbit.

Fitbit Flex by NewDealDesign, $100.

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

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Baumann was named the director of the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum in 2013.

Lobmeyr Balloon Glasses by Ted Muehling, with their hand-painted eye motif and delicate form. Lobmeyr Balloon Glasses by Ted Muehling, $310 each. 

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

Phaidon’s book on Naoto Fukasawa. Naoto Fukasawa, edited by Naoto Fukasawa (Phaidon, 2007), $50.

What would you give to a recent college graduate? 

A Braun BN-35 watch by Dietrich Lubs and Dieter Rams, because its functionally oriented design keeps it relevant. BN-35 watch by Dietrich Lubs and Dieter Rams for Braun, $330.

What is your go-to kitchen appliance?

SodaStream, designed by Yves Béhar. Source home carbonation machine by Yves Béhar for SodaStream, $99.

What is your most indispensable everyday gadget?

My Fitbit. Fitbit Flex by NewDealDesign, $100.