Top 20 Holiday Gifts from our Modern Gift Guide
The season for gifting has arrived, and that can only mean one thing: agonizing over what kind of gift you are going to get the people in your life this holiday season. But fear not, giving the gift of modern design is always the right way to go. For all the personalities on your list, we have gathered our favorite designs (new and iconic) that will delight your giftees all season long. Below, find our favorite 20 gifts for modernists, whether giving or getting.
It may be functional, sure. But the Bird Kettle is really made to make a statement. A descendent of Art Deco and Pop Art, this modern design classic by Michael Graves is sure to be a quirky and iconic addition to any kitchen.
For the hunter in your life—that is, a hunter of avant-garde design. While there was the risk of nostalgia in its design, this little cub head manages to go the opposite way. Made out of iron wire, it becomes just a cheeky interpretation of traditional (and macabre) decorative art.
Modern chefs will love the minimal look of these salt and pepper Bottle Grinders from Menu A/S. Their Scandinavian style was designed to complement any space, while its rounded bottom was made with the hand’s grip and motion in mind.
An iconic silhouette, in a fresh new cut of solid wood. The Eames House Bird was created from a figure of American folk art that was a prized possession of Charles and Ray Eames. Reimagined as a symbol of hospitality, the bird is stunningly simple but makes an intuitive gift for any design junkie.
For giftees who like to wear their art, Alessi’s MT11 Fiato Sul Collo Necklace is an expected accessory from Mario Trimarchi. Mirror-polished stainless steel squares are arranged in a way that is both structural and chaotic for a striking piece of red-carpet worthy fashion.
A staple of Scandinavian design, Alvar Aalto’s collection of beautiful mouth-blown vases were inspired by the Finnish landscape, with undulating forms that are beautiful, alive and untamed. Aalto first introduced the now-iconic form at the 1937 Paris World Fair. Its simple, organic shape was a revolutionary statement at the time, and went on to become one of the most popular glass objects of all time.
For the host, bartender or mid-century modernist, Arne Jacobsen’s Cylinda-Line lets them have their martini and shake it, too. This open-top mixer was designed in 1972 makes the mixing and pouring as beautiful as the drink itself.
This easy and efficient pot is a must-have for the modern chef. The attachable lid also serves as an integrated steam vend and convenient colander, making it a versatile and functional tool for pasta, soup and more.
This is form and function at its best. Nomon’s Mini Puntero Table Clock is equally parts stunning objet and handy timekeeper. A smooth walnut wooden finish is juxtaposed with sleek graphite or polished brass, for a elevated piece that is right at home on a desk, shelf or at bedside.
Campouts, tailgates, beachside barbecues—is there anywhere this modern grill can’t go? Eva Solo’s perfectly packable table grill is an easy-on-the-eyes way to take your modern picnic up a notch. The fireproof porcelain base is dishwasher safe and pairs with a wooden trivet to protect surfaces from heat.
The pleats of this tote bag are signature Issey Miyake, a designer known for innovative clothing that transcends time and trends. Miyake collaborated with Finnish brand Iittala to design a collection around harmony, led by the designer’s innovation in material and form. Each pleat and fold of the Tote Bag retains its form even after repeated use, thanks to the fabric’s unique shape memory.
The textured surface of the Ultima Thule collection was inspired by the melting ice in Lapland and required thousands of hours perfecting the glass-blowing technique that would produce its rippled, delicate effect. Each piece is unique, as the pattern evolves organically during production as the glass burns the surface of the wooden molds it is created in.
The mirrored steel body of this handsome coffee set brings a touch of art deco refinement to everyday coffee consumption. The design is meant to recognize coffee making as contemporary ritual of sorts, elevating it to an art form, worthy of putting on display rather than tucking behind a cabinet door.
True to the aesthetic of the late Zaha Hadid, this candle set is simple in form but bold in personality. Each boasts its own exotic fragrance: Flare for the scent of orange blossoms; Equinox with notes of pine and cedar; and Corona signaling floral tuberose. It’s a perfect gift for the architecture buff as a tribute to Hadid’s body of work.
Oiva Toikka’s Bird figurines first took flight in 1972, using Toikka’s unique hands-on approach to glassmaking. The collection has grown to dozens of beautiful glass objects, and three are represented here: Ibis, Uhuu and Barn Owl. Each porcelain ornament is unique, modest and a festive tribute to Toikka’s beloved works.
Designed by American design studio Grain, the Totem Candles are simple sculptures made from paraffin wax. These statement-making silhouettes make a great hostess gift, and would bring a modern edge to a holiday tablescape.
Designed by Michele De Lucchi in collaboration with brewmasters Illy Coffee, this espresso maker is both a kitchen showpiece and a tool for enjoying your favorite cup. The pointed spout is reminiscent of a baby chick’s beak and designed to perfectly cut drips and drops when you’re done pouring.
This little companion might be too lovely to tuck into a jacket pocket. With beautiful minimalism and a soft round shape, the Shot Hip Flask is a pretty and petite way to get a little liquid reprieve.
The Wunderkammer collection from Seletti takes rare and uncommon objects and re-imagines them as chic pieces of home décor. A wolf skull in a fancy gold (colored) finish is a reverent, modern take on trophy heads or taxidermy and makes an unexpected gift for every design enthusiast on your list.
Two fine materials, brought together in one fine piece perfect for the entertainer or host. The marble base is made from Milas Lilac marble, which boasts beautiful, varying colors and patterns, while the carafe itself is made from smooth crystal glass.
Check out the YLiving Gift Guide for more ideas to gift all the design personalities on your list.
Team Y is a dedicated group of design devotees. We love everything that has to do with modern design, from products like lighting, furniture and decor all the way to interior design, architecture and city planning. What inspired the design? How does it work? What does it mean? We want to know. And once we know, we are constantly inspired to share what we've discovered with others who love design as well. That's Y.