Sure, hobbies are cool. Hiking, biking, running, driving — we can get behind all of them. But have you considered doing nothing at all? From a 1950s-era book on work-life balance to smart air purifiers, here are 25 of the best gifts to give the homebody in your life.
Foot Soldier Defender Plaid Wool Blanket
While this throw may be inspired by the military blankets Faribault is known for crafting, it won’t make your home look at all like a barracks. This classic rugged wool blanket is durable and heirloom-worthy. But that wool durability doesn’t mean scratchy, you will have no problem cozying up to this blanket at home through the holidays.
1. Guide to Easier Living
Much of Russel Wright’s ode to the mid-century lifestyle details how design and organization can stop burnout caused by too much work. Sound familiar? The 1950 book isn’t all so premonitory, but the parts that aren’t still useful today remain interesting as a design and culture time capsule.
2. Parachute Waffle Bath Towels
What they are: long staple Turkish cotton waffle weave towels that look great. What’s more important: they’re made with a looser weave than the towels you’re used to, meaning they air dry way more effectively.
3. East Fork’s The Mug
East Fork coffee mugs are among the hottest items on the internet. The upstart Asheville company attained fame through a number of newspaper and magazine features, and its mugs, made entirely in its Asheville studio, were sold out for more than a year (unless you were one of the lucky few to purchase them on their Tuesday drop date). They’re a little easier to come by today, but they’re no less gorgeous.
4. Five Two Stoneware Dinner Plates
Five Two is Food52’s in-house line that’s designed by the site and tens of thousands of its readers. Its stoneware dinner plates are dishwasher-safe, microwave-safe and look fly as hell.
5. Grovemade Desk Pen
Grovemade, maker of many fine items for desks, made a modern desk pen. It’s not a pen you take with you, it’s a pen that stays at your desk. Available in brass or aluminum, the pen took the designers nearly four years to make.
Gear Patrol Magazine Subscription
Gear Patrol Magazine is a deep dive into product culture. Inside each issue, you’ll find seasonal buying guides, rich maker profiles and long-form dispatches from the front lines of product design. Get four print magazines — delivered quarterly — with an annual subscription.
6. Twelve South Fermatta Headphone Hanger
Know somebody who talks about their headphones too much? Buy them this. Twelve South’s hanger is made of a weighty aluminum and features leather detailing and built-in USB ports.
7. Trusco Toolbox
Made in Japan, this stamped-steel toolbox looks good enough to be used as a decor piece, but not so pretty it can’t get its handles dirty. The main selling point is its blue enamel coating, which prevents scratches and dings while looking stellar.
8. Muji Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser
Anyone who’s been in one of Muji’s very few American stores has been tempted by its tiny, translucent-ish oil diffusers. They’re affordable, elegant and they work. It’s an easy way to make your living space more comfortable for you and visitors.
9. Kvell Rollo Hamper
It should be known that in gifting a laundry hamper you are sending a message, but sometimes a message needs sending. Kvell’s scrunchy, rollable hamper is made of a synthetic fiber that allows air in and out. This means the dirty clothes doesn’t become a bacteria breeding ground as quickly.
10. Herman Miller: A Way of Living
For its 100th birthday the company that came to define American Mid-Century Modern released a historical tome dedicated to its many affiliated designers, products and design innovations. If the person you’re gifting wants and Eames Lounge Chair but you don’t have north of five grand to spare, buy them this instead.
11. Intention Design Desk Tray
An anodized, sandblasted aluminum case with a rubber base and a smooth suede interior for all your keys, coins and pocket knives. It’s an easy way to organize with a bit of style.
12. German Boot Brush
An elegant way to clean your boots, and a nice reminder for messy guests that dirty shoes won’t be tolerated.
13. Le Labo Palo Santo Candle
Everybody likes candles, and Le Labo makes some of the best in the business. The Palo Santo scent is exceedingly woody, but not like a campfire. This is what you get someone who you like, but have no idea what to gift.
14. Awair Glow-C Air Monitor and Smart Plug
Smart plugs are cool, but air quality is cooler. Awair’s little plug monitors and beams air quality information to your phone and, if you so choose, can use this information to trigger other devices (like, say, an air purifier).
15. Twemco Flip Clock
One of the most famous clocks to come out of an era obsessed with them. Twemco, a company that’s been making timepieces since the ’50s, still makes one of the sleekest on the market.
16. Sunday Smart Lawn Plan
Does he like his lawn? Perhaps a little too much? That’s who Sunday is for. Plug in their address, steel a soil sample (I’m serious) and Sunday builds bespoke fertilizer for the lawn, completely free of problem chemicals.
17. ThermoWorks Thermapen IR
ThermoWorks’ chef-recommended kitcen thermometers are not cheap, but they are the best. This year, the Utah brand added an IR laser pointer to its standard Thermapen. It’s a near-perfect tool.
18. Authenticity 50 Signature Sheet Set
These are wicked sheets. The percale set is made of extra-long staple Supima cotton and represents one of the best deals in all of bedding. It’s also made entirely in the US and comes in a variety of colors.
19. Korbo Handwired Baskets
Today, these handwired baskets are used to hold blankets. When they were invented 90 years ago, they were for hardworking Swedish fishermen and farmers. Each one is made from a single piece of wire that’s totally resistant to the elements.
20. Snowe Flatware Set
Old, chipped and stained forks and knives is a bad look. Instead of waiting to get married to upgrade your flatware, splurge on Snowe’s 18/10 polished stainless steel set. It’s available in stainless steel, black satin or brushed gold.
21. Tait Wall Clock
Designed, sourced and made in the US, Tait’s wall clock is composed of maple, steel and aluminum. The face is ink screenprinted onto aluminum and the movement is quartz. It’s sort of like a more colorful, modern interpretation of the famous IBM wall clock.
22. Coway Airmega Purifier
This year, one of the best home air purifiers money can buy got smart. Coway’s oft-recommended machine now hooks up with Alexa, fires real-time air quality information to your phone and can be scheduled and dialed in from anywhere.
23. Phyn Smart Water Assistant
It takes ten minutes to install (no plumber required) and it can save its owner loads of cash. Phyn’s water assistant measures water use across all fixtures in your home and identifies leaks and problem areas before they create bigger problems.
24. Hay Butler Step Stool
Only recently available in the US, Hay has many nice, affordable gifts for the aesthete in your life. Its Butler Stool isn’t one of the affordable pieces, but it is a clever, beautiful piece of utility-laden furniture. Perfect for holding books, lamps and feet.
25. Humanscale Nova
A sustainably made stunner of a desk lamp. Humanscale’s latest lighting piece is best gifted to somebody who spends hours at their desk a day. The LED bulb is muted by an array of shields that make its light satisfying and not straining, and its “Forever Hinges” firmly lock the head and body in place when adjusted.
American Bench Craft Tradesman Zippered Tool Tote
Keeping small tools handy and organized can go a long way to making house repairs and chores easier to tackle. The Tradesman Zippered Tool Tote from American Bench Craft is a 14-inch tote equipped with eight gusseted side pockets, with double-stitched, taped seams for unmatched utility and durability, making it a great way to organize, transport and store your home improvement essentials.
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