Christmas gifts for the house-proud

Scratching your head for what to get the interioristas in your life as the festive season gets into full swing? Here’s a few ideas on the home front

 

Great gift ideas for that will bring a smile to all interioristas, from hostesses with the mostest, hard to buy menfolk, bachelors, Panks – professional aunts with no kids – and even people you don’t know too well.

What do you give the house-proud? “Gifts now have to be personal rather than general,” explains Helen Turkington, interior designer. “People no longer give flowers, for example. They may send them in advance, saying they’re looking forward to the meal or as a thank you after the big day.

“But as a gift they have been replaced by items with more longevity, touchstones that will remind the recipient of a time and place; a picture frame for example or a crisp white linen cotton table runner that will show off their fine dining table.”

If you’ve been invited to Christmas dinner, then etiquette dictates that you should give the hostess a gift. You’ve probably offered to contribute to the meal by bringing one of the courses, so why not marry the two ideas by plumping for the cheese or desert course and present it under an LSA Glassware mouth-blown dome, set on an ash board with a hand-knotted leather toggle. A wine decanter is another option that will be well received. Gifts such as these will recall the gathering long after the host has vacuumed up the last of the pine needles.

Professional aunts with no kids (Panks) will have styled their home just the way they want it and won’t want a plethora of kitsch raining on their aesthetic parade. A lipstick red pair of dashing dachshund bookends, complete with a good book, may just win them over.

The bachelor pad dweller whose fix is caffeine will love the stovetop espresso-making Bialetti Café Mukka, which comes in a cool Friesian cow print. If he is more of an oenophile, then the Le Creuset’s lever corkscrew with its foolproof functionality and artfully pleasing design may be just the ticket.

Hard to buy for menfolk really get short changed at this time of year. Show-offs will love a Scratch globe because it lets them literally make their mark on the world, by using a coin to scrape off their “been there done that” destinations. Or you could make all his Christmases come at once by giving him an Arcane arcade table which features more than 100 gaming greats, so he can play Bubble Bobble over breakfast, Legend of Kage at lunch and Dungeon Crawl before dinner. Each table is also equipped with two 30-watt speakers that can play his favourite tunes while playing.

What do you give people you don’t know very well? Turkington suggests games, something she “can’t keep” in her shops. She’s already sold out of her entire range of Xs and Os, chess and backgammon sets. OK Sports on Wynnefield Road in Rathmines has a well-priced selection.

Scented candles may be considered the socks of the gift world but there are a few aesthetic exceptions; Michael Aram’s heavenly scented designs come beautifully packaged within sculpted lids of nickel plate and oxidised bronze that you can use as a trinket box after the candle burns out.

In the mood . . . creating the right atmosphere
Mood smells

Max Benjamin’s Cloves and Cinnamon Christmas candle, €18.95
Mood sounds
The modern version of a festive mix tape is one downloaded from Spotify onto a USB stick
Mood lighting
The Plaza seven taper candelabra, €95, from Meadows and Byrne meadowsandbyrne.com


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