Category Archives: Games

Holiday Gifts for the Home

Start With a Bauhaus-designed Tree

Michael Cannell — our fearless correspondent in Manhattan, blogger for Fast Company, and former Home Editor for The New York Times — presents ten home-oriented gift suggestions for the holidays:

1. Believe it or not, fake Christmas trees are coming back into fashion as mid-century artifacts.

Kuno Prey, a Bauhaus professor, designed this 58-inch tree (it’s widest branches are 44 inches) to resemble a cluster of pipe cleaners. ($325)

2. Here’s a good way to replace ornaments dented or cracked in storage.

These felt holiday ornaments by Joshua Stone — snowflake, dove, tree, and snowman — are die cut from thick grey industrial wool. Each is threaded with orange yarn for hanging. ($20 for a set of four)

3. Kids will love this walking elephant because it trudges forward with a realistic rocking motion, making them feel like they’re on their own jungle safari.

Parents will love it because it’s made with non-toxic dye and chemical-free rubberwood. ($250)

4. These star-shaped lights can be hung from a light fixture, doorframe, or rafter to cast a dappled holiday glow.

Called Starlightz by Artecnica, they’re made from chlorine-free bleached paper and silk-screened and glued by hand. Light and cord included. ($35 each)

5. There’s no rule that you have to use those old-fashioned red-and-white stockings.

Give your mantel a more contemporary spin with wool felt stockings decorated with monkeys, mermaids and a surfing Santa from the New York textile company Hable Construction. ($76 to $135)

6. These super energy efficient L. E. D. (light emitting diode) mini lights — they use 80% less energy than conventional lights — will last up to 100,000 hours.

So no more replacing dimmed bulbs. Unlike earlier L.E.D. Christmas lights, which produced a bluish white, this version emits a pure white. ($14.95 for a string of 50 lights)

7. Here’s a modern variation on the cardboard take-out drink carrier: Brigade by Furni is a set of four porcelain cups, glazed on the interior and top lip.

They fit snugly into a walnut-veneer carrying tray so the quartet of mulled cider can be safely conveyed to the fireside. ($79)

8. The mid-century designers Charles and Ray Eames were fascinated by toys. They scattered their office with a menagerie of playful objects, and in 1969 they made a short documentary about a spinning top.

Their interest prompted the artists James Klein and David Reid, who collaborate under the name KleinReid, to design a limited-edition set of three solid walnut tops made by Herman Miller. (set of three for $199)

9. How great is this? Bertand Planes, an artist and designer, created a mashup of high and low technologies by turning an iron windup music box into a USB drive.

The handle acts as a mouse, allowing you to scroll up and down text, change window size, etc. (Limited edition of five, price available on request)

10. The holidays occur in waves: first comes the tsunami of catalogs. Then gifts. Finally, the obligatory thank you notes.

Make your gratitude stand out with these vintage-style cards from John Derian. ($1.50 apiece)

Thank you to you, also, Mike!

EYE ON DESIGN: Happy New Year

Leap into the Future

My father started a family tradition many years ago that my own family continues today: at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve we get up on chairs — or even the sofa — and jump into the new year. The house reverberates but usually remains intact. Here’s the living room in one of architect Greg La Vardera’s modern plans (plan 431-11) from our Houseplans.com Exclusive Studio Collection — it’s the perfect spot for leaping off all that contemporary furniture.

431-11p2-1985 living room

May we all land in a new era of possibility. See you next year.