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

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

What’s your go-to host gift? 

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.

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? 

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

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? 

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.

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? 

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.