STYLISH GIFTS: FOR THOSE WITH A WILD STREAK

by Marisa Marcantonio

Animals have such presence. Make them presents, in their many varied forms. From feathers to horn, animal prints to zebra stripes, any time of year is a good time for the wild side. Every few years, animal prints come back into favor, and for good reason. When used right, (i.e. sparingly) their impact is memorable. For those that appreciate this lively look, here are gifts to enthrall.

Photo courtesy of Dransfield and Ross

Don't ruffle your feathers, look at them on Dransfield and Ross's chic convex mirror.

Photo courtesy of Natural Curiosities

Bring wonderous creatures into interiors with this stately elephant print from Natural Curiosities.

 Photo courtesy of Jayson Home

Having fresh flowers around makes everything look better, so why not add an interesting vase to a friend's collection? This rustic double horn version from Jayson Home has room for two small arrangements.

Photo courtesy of Branca

Urban and country dwellers can enjoy a bit of alpine style with Alessandra Branca's striking red and brown embroidered Stag's Head Cocktail Napkins, sold in a set of six.

Photo courtesy of Tozai

A Zebra hide rug real or faux adds a worldly wise exoticism to an interior.  I found this wonderful eco friendly printed canvas version designed by the talented Dransfield and Ross boys for Tozai. Trimmed in felt, it makes a chic addition to any area that needs a bit of pattern.

Photo courtesy of Jen Going

For the gal that loves blue and white, Jen Going's cobalt blue and white Zebra Pillow with contrast blue trim.

Photo courtesy of Asha

Malachite gives me wanderlust for the great African game reserve camps and chic safari style. Slide necklaces were so popular in the 70's, I am glad Asha is bringing them back, her design Isabel is a quatrefoil pendant featuring malachite in the center.

Photo courtesy of Kayce Hughes

I don't tend to wear a lot of leopard, I have 2 pairs of shoes, Belgians and Stubbs and Wooton, that have carried me through the trend resurgence over the past 10 years. Maybe its time to add a tiny bit more, with Kayce Hughes clutches trimmed in a bright hue. I like the subtle contrast and classic shape.

 Photo courtesy of Pologeorgis

Here is another way to inject a bit of leopard into your evening wardrobe without going overboard- a little Rabbit Fur Stole from Pologeorgis resembles the real thing but with a gentler price.

Photo courtesy of Iomoi

With a Cheetah spot border, the handsome leather and canvas monogram tote from Iomoi is a perfect bag for running around town. 

Photo courtesy of Sugar Paper

Mixing a gold foil printed liner  in a small leopard spot pattern and a hot pink border, letterpress cards from LA's Sugar Paper have pizazz.

Photo courtesy of Ralph Lauren

It is hard to resist a gift that helps with organization. Ralph Lauren Home's swanky leather and leopard printed letter holder assists in keeping desk clutter to a minimum.

Photo courtesy of Thomas Paul

Butterflies have been in style for some time now, and every time they get prettier. Elevating melamine, Thomas Paul's oval tray looks elegant but can go rough and tumble outdoors.

TRULY GIFTED GIFT GUIDE: THE NEW STONE AGE

by Marisa Marcantonio

From geodes to agate,  malachite and minerals, gemstones and natural elements are leading the way in decorative objects.  Capturing the beauty of the natural world, these one of a kind earthly accessories with incredible diversity in shape and color  make you realize how precious, wonderful and varied nature can be. Give the gift of the unique this year.

Photo courtesy of Tozai

Dransfield and Ross for Tozai created Malachite Shadow Boxes with gemstones found all over the globe. Perfect for those needing a gemstone primer.

 Photo courtesy of HSN

Encourage a friend to take their flower arrangements to new heights in interior designer Richard Mishaan for HSN's purple Amethyst Vase.

 Photo courtesy of Tory Burch

Rock out in Pietra Doro Earrings from Tory Burch.  Mixing Lapis and Mother of Pearl they are made with an inlay technique from the 16th Century, Pietra Dura.

 Photo courtesy of Noble House

This Noble House Designs Santos Cuff with stones like agate, jasper and rock crystal has had me smitten for quiet some time. Totally divine. That Sarah Lowery Ng really has a great eye.

 Photo courtesy of Ralph Lauren

Need that special gift to awe and amaze? Ralph Lauren Home's Malachite Bianca Box sheathed in hand-cut malachite is gorgeous.

 Photo courtesy of Eduardo Garza

When only the best will do. Amethyst set in a gold leaf surround sits atop a black lucite box created by artisan Eduardo Garza.

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Photo courtesy of Anthropologie

Melissa Joy Manning created this Raw Pyrite Hook for Anthropologie. Adding a bit of chunky stone chic to your walls, why not give them to a friend to hang  their necklaces?

 Photo courtesy of Hillary Thomas Designs

Give a lamp new life with the addition of a cheery finial. Hillary Thomas Designs circular Spiffy in orange Howlite is just the thing.

 Photo courtesy of Kelly Wearstler

For that friend that has it all, Kelly Wearstler's gem encrusted brass Bottle Opener is sure to jazz up their bar.

Photo courtesy of HSN

A little bit new agey, Richard Mishaan for HSN's blue Agate Obelisk can spruce up any tablescape.

A limoges porcelain Malachite-patterned lidded box houses a fragrant pink champagne-scented candle by L'Objet from Williams-Sonoma

PAINTERLY PIZAZZ

by Marisa Marcantonio

Reminiscent of Jackson Pollock's iconic, out sized drip paintings, a new crop of painterly inspiration is emerging.  The abstract surface pattern, trending on fabrics as well as ceramics, is appreciated as much for its randomness as it is for its hand - created feel. Adding an energetic zing, splatter can kick it up a notch when pattern is called for.

Pierre Frey's Leo, named after the large scale canvas painter captures the artist's hand with slashes and drops of paint.

There is also a striking black and white combination that prefer the strong contrast.

A ceramic dish from Mrs. Howard has spatter, brushstrokes and dashes.

Beeline Home's newest lamp, The Spatter, with splashy blue glazes covering the entire white ceramic form.

Dransfield and Ross debited their new Tozai Home collection at High Point that featured a classic Louis Chair covered in a mad splash of black and white splatter paint. The natural cotton fabric the paint is applied to looks just like a Pollock canvas.

Bunching cubes also get the paint treatment.

Vaughan Design took the classic amphora shape of the Aegina Vase and added a dynamic spatter and brushstroke glaze to the ceramic lamp.

Providing a casual rustic feel, porcelain coated enamel pieces in spatterware from Crow Canyon are popular for picnics.