There are two types of people in this world – those who have all of their Christmas shopping bought, wrapped, ribboned, and placed under the tree by late November – and everyone else. I had every intention of falling into the first category. But alas, it’s mid-December and I’m lagging, acutely aware that shipping cut-off times are quickly approaching (especially with postal delays). The silver lining: there’s nothing quite like the exhilaration of running around a twinkling, decked out central London in the days leading up to Christmas in search of perfect presents that are sure to elicit squeals of delight.
If you’re not sure where to start – worried you’ll end up gifting something that reeks of vague ambiguity (bath bombs, La Marca Prosecco) or panic (generic vouchers) as last-minute gifts often do – fret no more! Whether your remaining recipients are avid interior design enthusiasts or simply homebodies who relish the opportunity to recharge in the comfort of their own sanctuary, you can’t go wrong with presents that are sure to add joy to their surroundings.
Thoughtful gifts require first deciphering your loved one’s personal style, so I’ve rounded up some delectable homeware ideas for your favourite maximalists and minimalists (as well as for the aesthetically elusive).
To: the staunch maximalist
They probably already own a multitude of candy-coloured squiggly candlesticks and Sleeper’s cult-status feather “party” pyjamas. As extroverts with a more is more approach, they’re bound to have an overflowing collection of pretty trinkets. Consider a statement coffee table catch-all, such as Matthew Williamson’s Oval Peacock Tray with its fuchsia and teal feather design. Also perfect for hosts and entertainers, its rounded corners allow for maximum teacup-ferrying capacity.
Look to Balu London for additional tabletop treats like their Chessboard set of six eucalyptus, gloss-finished placemats in shades like periwinkle, clementine, sage green, and taffy pink. With coasters to match, the warped chequered pattern creates an off-kilter, witty supper party scheme.
Or if blowing the budget is an option, indulge them in wilfully excessive glamour with Helle Mardahl’s “Bon Bon With a Twist” cocktail glass, available on Net-A-Porter. Set on a sculptural pink stem, it’s a shallow cantaloupe-coloured coupe with a lime green sphere on one side. You know what they say – it’s always happy hour somewhere. And that “somewhere” just so happens to be where you’ll find your favourite maximalist merrily sipping an espresso martini out of this glossy goblet. The “Candy Cocktail Glass” from Thirteen-Thirtyone is a charming (almost) dupe at a much more attainable price point.
To: the quietly understated but always cool minimalist
Crisp linen shirts, regularly blowdried hair, ironed pillow cases – that’s the vibe of this giftee. Think warm neutrals and clean lines; they’re a palpably chic, neat and tidy tastemaker.
The Haeckel’s Chalk Room Diffuser available at Elevate would sit prettily in their pared-back pad. Made from porous etched chalk found across the Kent coastline, the vessel absorbs the oil blend of lavender and freshly cut grass, and slowly, over time, releases a scent that evokes sea spray and warm summer days into the surrounding room.
Alternatively, pair Sanctuary Spa’s signature sleek, matt white candle deliciously fragranced with jasmine, grapefruit, and vanilla with an elegant brass candle warming lamp. This electric candle warmer (available for speedy delivery on Amazon) is a far healthier and safer alternative to flame-lit candles. It evenly melts the wax from the top down, meaning no open fire – preventing smoke, soot, and pollution.
In shades of chocolate, cream, and beige, or in an eye-catching fiery orange, String Furniture’s height-adjustable, aluminium Museum Sidetable would make an ideal present for a friend with an affinity for Scandinavian design. Right at home amid organic materials like blonde woods, soft linens, jute, and handmade ceramics, the sidetable can be a flower pedestal or a bedside table to hold a stack of their favourite books, reading glasses, and morning coffee. This goes beautifully with lights&lamps’ Roma rechargeable table lamp with its sleek black base and opal glass shade. The rechargeable battery means the recipient can take it with them wherever they need a little extra glow.
Or if they veer towards the traditional (think the Coastal Granddaughter trend that swept TikTok earlier this year), gift them these Oliver Bonas ceramic shakers, boasting blue and white tones and a cube silhouette so they can sprinkle their salt and pepper with a floral flourish.
To: the aesthetically elusive homebody
For that person who’s oh so difficult to buy for, you can’t go wrong with coffee table books. An “objet d’art” in its own right, a coffee table book is a must-have finishing touch that injects any living room with an abundance of aesthetic charm.
Andrew Martin’s latest Interior Design Review Vol 26 features work from the world’s top 100 designers of 2022. From clean-lined purity to the ultimate maximalist explosion, it delivers the most renowned, innovative, and exceptional interiors and architecture of the past year. An indispensable reference book and unbeatable source of inspiration, its glossy thick pages of aspirational imagery and textual reflection are sure to delight the design-minded bibliophile in your life.