8 Designers and Architects Reveal Their Ideal Gifts For the Season

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By Dwell
From the softest, most luxurious sheet set to a versatile picnic blanket, top designers, architects, and makers give us their picks for the holidays.

Whether it’s a present they’ve given, received, or would love to unwrap, these selections are great for design-savvy folks.

Cover photo courtesy of Schoolhouse

Apurva Pande of CHA:COL

Lamy Safari Pens
Lamy Safari Pens
Many attractive colors, timeless design, perfect ergonomics. These are just some of the reasons that the LAMY safari is one of the most popular writing instruments for young people. Distinctive recessed grip guarantees writing comfort.

From the architect: 

I’ve carried it to sketch all around the world, pairing it with my trusty Muji sketchbooks. I always have mine within reach in studio. The pen's size and weight allows you shorter, more ‘weighty’ strokes for writing and drawing. It's refreshing compared to other tools that force us to speed through these tasks. The ink flows flawlessly through a variety of easily changeable nibs, and the compact refills make replacing ink very clean and fuss-free.

Mandy Cheng of Mandy Cheng Design

Parachute Sateen Sheet Set
Parachute Sateen Sheet Set
This Sateen set is the start to making the perfect bed. Designed for longevity, our Sheets continue to soften with use and time.
Parachute Starter Bathroom Bundle
Parachute Starter Bathroom Bundle
The easiest way to upgrade your bathroom, this bundle includes our most popular bath items in one simple set.

From the designer:

For close friends or family, I love gifting bedding or bath linens. Typically speaking, once someone has their designated sets of bedding and towels, it’s rare to think about replacing them until it’s absolutely necessary because quality sets can be pricey. Parachute Home has great bedding sets (I love their Washed Sateen collection) as well as towel bundles (the Starter Bathroom Bundle is a gift I would love to receive).

Costa Farms Snake Plant
Costa Farms Snake Plant
The Sansevieria, or known as its more common name, Snake Plant, is a classic houseplant that has gained popularity in modern and contemporary decor because of it's architectural linear leaves and varieties of colors. It is the ideal houseplant and can adapt to any environment.

If you need a more low-key gift for a holiday party or co-worker, consider a stylish potted plant. Find a nice planter from your favorite nursery or store (Potted in Atwater Village happens to be my local favorite), and pair it with a sturdy plant, like a snake plant (Sansevieria), Peace Lily, or Pothos. You’re contributing to cleaner air within their home, introducing good design, and likely replacing an existing plant that called it quits several months prior!

Lanette Rizzo of Allied Maker

Ochs und Junior Day/Night Watch in Sunburst Patina
Ochs und Junior Day/Night Watch in Sunburst Patina
Pure metal, no added color!  40mm grade 5 titanium case with screw-down crown | Dial in “sunburst” patina | Markers milled and in “sunburst” patina / date disc in brass – numbers patinated | Daytime in brass | Nighttime in “sunburst” patina | Moon in brass | Sun in 24k yellow gold | Hour and...

From the designer: I’m obsessed with this watch as a gift for [my husband and Allied Maker founder] Ryden because it beautifully displays brass, walnut, and leather. Kin to our fixtures which also use the same materials and is also made with an attention to craftsmanship.


Ashley Longnecker of Tiny Shiny Home

At West End Cast Iron Flying Bird Wall Hook
At West End Cast Iron Flying Bird Wall Hook
Made from cast iron, this flying bird wall mount may function as a clever and stylish coat hook or simply as a unique piece of wall art.  6.5" x 4" x 4.5"t Photo Courtesy of At West End...
At West End Cast Iron Cactus Wall Hook
At West End Cast Iron Cactus Wall Hook
Made from cast iron, this clever wall hook will bring a Southwest vibe to any room in your home.

From the designer:

I am obsessed with most things from At West End. We have their cast iron bird hooks in our Airstream, and I’d love to have their cactus hooks! I love things that are both functional and adorable, and the cactus hooks and the bird hooks check all the right boxes.

Lindsey Branca of Branca & Co.

Gjusta Goods Bread Plate - White
Gjusta Goods Bread Plate - White
DETAILS  Handmade in California for Gjusta Goods. Designed for daily use at our sister restaurants.

From the designer:

I absolutely love the ceramics line from Gjusta Goods, and am planning on giving a few of their grain and yogurt bowls to a friend of mine whom loves to cook. There are so many great ceramics lines today, but what I particularly love about the Gjusta Goods is the weightiness of the pieces, the earthen tones, and the handmade nature of each piece. The Gjusta Goods ceramics are a great gift because there are so many pieces, each with their own little inconsistencies; so when you put together your own set, it feels really personalized. As an added bonus, all of the Gjusta Goods pieces are dishwasher safe!

Pierre Jeanneret Easy Cane Chair
Pierre Jeanneret Easy Cane Chair
One easy cane chair with fantastic patina. Great proportions. All wooden parts authentic from 1955. With an incurved back. Rich patina. Cane redone in 2016. Additionally with a cushion. Rare collector piece. Soft waxed, not lacquered. Kept patina in fantastic condition.

My dream gift this Christmas would be a set of Pierre Jeanneret easy chairs. What I particularly love about the Jeanneret easy chairs is how seamlessly they fit into any interior design scheme, which is important when buying an investment piece. I also enjoy having a mix of vintage and new pieces in every home we design, and the Jeanneret chairs would lend a much needed masculine counterbalance to some of the more feminine, softer pieces we own.

Maziar Behrooz of MB Architecture

SOG Sync I Multi-Tool
SOG Sync I Multi-Tool
Whether it's used as a belt buckle or clipped on a pack, the Sync multi-tool is there to save the day anytime and anywhere. The functionality of a multi-tool is useless if you don't have it on hand when you need it. The Syncs are multi-tools designed to easily be worn with the detachable base as a...

From the architect:

Keeping it in the affordable bracket, currently I love this buckle/tool designed by a friend of mine for Sog. It comes attached to a belt buckle and you can snap it off and use it as a multi-tool. Great for carrying a tool and having it super accessible at all times, without taking extra space, and its stylish.

Milwaukee Magnetic Tape Measure
Milwaukee Magnetic Tape Measure
Milwaukee Magnetic Tape Measures are nothing but Heavy Duty. Using Nylon Bond Blade Protection and a 5-Point Reinforced Frame, they offer the Longest Life by resisting contamination wear and increasing protection when dropped.

And I always like Milwaukee measuring tapes, especially the long ones. They let you extend the tape pretty far without needing support; and they make the coolest swish sound when retracted.

Kate Davison, Visual Strategist

Schoolhouse Electric Plaid Picnic Blanket
Schoolhouse Electric Plaid Picnic Blanket
Designed and sewn in-house, this picnic blanket is our ode to Pacific Northwest living. Machine-washable, heirloom-quality wool is backed with water-resistant nylon. Featuring solid brass hardware and a helpful handle, this blanket rolls up for on-the-go fun. A Schoolhouse Electric Original.

From the designer:

One of my favorite gifts I have ever received is my Schoolhouse Plaid Picnic Blanket from my sister. It’s perfect for year-round picnics, and the bottom is waterproof, so theres no limit to where you can dine. Plus, the straps and handles make it so easy to roll up when you are on-the-go. The mustard tartan is a perfect backdrop for beautiful, Insta-friendly photos too! So all-in-all, it’s a perfect gift for those that love a dinner with a view.

Frederick Tang of Frederick Tang Architecture

Desmond & Dempsey
Striped Cotton Pyjama Shirt
Desmond & Dempsey Striped Cotton Pyjama Shirt
Desmond & Dempsey's pyjamas are a little more polished than average sleep sets, so you can lounge around the house and still feel smart. From the brand's 'Le Jardin' collection, this breezy cotton shirt is patterned with cheerful stripes inspired by the colourful city of Marrakesh.

From the architect:

I would love a new sleep shirt. I know pajamas seem like an old dad kind of present...but I'm obsessed with this brand, Desmond & Dempsey, and especially this pair. The colors feel playful but sophisticated. And the cut doesn't scream "bedtime"—in fact, I would wear this out to a summer block party.