What a very chic luggage tag.
This speaker is small in stature, but it delivers big sound.
I actually think the zebra print on this water bottle is pretty sophisticated.
It’s a handy evil eye and iPhone charger in one!
A travel jewelry case—very handy.
This Smythson travel journal is rather adorable—and affordable, by Smythson standards.
Everyone’s passport case should have a bold pop of hot pink.
This pop-tastic travel blow-dryer just delights me—in addiction to which, it’s apparently quite good at its job.
And finally: I never get on a plane without a Chan Luu scarf, and I never hesitate to take the opportunity to tell you so.
I like the idea of a bright, happy sugar bowl accompanying one’s morning coffee.
Tokyo Design Studio’s espresso set is perfect for whoever on your list loves a good print, and is down for some serious matchy-clashy.
These graphic paper placemats from France are just genius—for parties or everyday use.
From Rifle Paper Co: a happy jumble of prettily decorated pencils.
Orla Kiely’s storage jar would brighten just about any countertop.
Just a nifty, cleverly-designed bottle opener.
Who wouldn’t want a gift from Le Creuset? I kind of want to spring for this charming utensil crock for myself.
This tray is pretty damn happy.
This box set of 100 Marimekko postcards will keep the print fanatic in your life pleased and occupied.
This roundup is far from comprehensive, and if I’ve left out a cause you feel particularly attached to, please speak up in the comments—possibly I’ll do a second round. First up: Thistle Farms offers sanctuary for female survivors of abuse, addiction, trafficking and prostitution. You can support them by buying items from, among other lovely things, their bath and body line, which graduates of their program work to create. I ordered this room spray—a blend of fir, cedarwood, and spruce essential oils—because it sounds like it smells fantastic.
Globe In empowers artisans in remote areas with the tools to build sustainable businesses. You can buy all sorts of cool stuff on their site, but I like their fun gift baskets best, and am particularly fond of this Celebrate Box, which comes with such goodies as a Batik table runner from Ghana, upcycled greeting cards from Malawi, and dark chocolate from the Dominican Republic. (The basket itself is from Mexico.)
This post is on attractive travel mugs, and it’s for my mother, who is forever getting behind the wheel of her car with regular old cups of coffee from the kitchen, which just seems messy and wrong and like an accident waiting to happen. This first one, which I find very attractive, was created with a patented tourmaline ionizing technology—no idea what that means, but it apparently improves the quality of your drink.
This is porcelain, which is rather elegant—if not entirely utilitarian—and I like the pretty print.
Just a sturdy, clean, optic-white option.
20×200 is probably my favorite of all the cheap art purveyors out there, and not just because the woman who runs it is a friend of mine and a really awesome person, although there’s certainly that: I also think they provide a strong, broad and quite accessible (but not dumbed-down) selection, and I am forever finding new things to want. I’ve long-coveted a piece from Jane Mount’s Ideal Bookshelf series, and her latest—the Feminist Bookshelf —is pretty stellar.
I’m pretty certain I linked briefly to Swissted about a zillion years ago: graphic designer Mike Joyce combines his twin loves of Swiss Modernism and punk rock to create updated concert posters for everyone from Bowie to the Clash to Bikini Kill. And they’re just so good. Right now I very much want this one for the Velvet Underground.
I’ve never quite cottoned to Etsy—there is just so much to sort through, so much of it craftsy, which isn’t so much my thing, and I find that looking through Tictail is a more satisfying experience—less dross per scroll, by a lot. And I don’t know why it’s taken me until now to write about Tictail (which has stores from 140 countries, including quite a few American ones), because I am forever finding things to love on it. This porcelain plate is made by a Swedish woman who does the coolest pieces inspired by old-school sailor tattoos.
This vase is pretty spectacular too.
I am so amused by this pillow that I ordered it for my home, even though it shall look horribly out of place on my sofa.
This throw, on the other hand, would pop beautifully on that very same sofa.
The rando pattern on this coffee cup proved too awesome for me to resist.