THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS: GIFT SHOW GREATS

by Marisa Marcantonio

I am hearing everyone in the industry say, "we are cautiously optimistic." Interior designers say new clients are active, albeit slowly and cautiously. I hope the optimism continues. I sped around the gift show over the past few days and discovered some great new companies that took a leap and brought their designs to market. Trends included unexpected shades of colors like persimmon, plum, mustard, and muted orange. I wish them all great success.
Here are some of the things I am loving now.

Sea grass frames and trays in serene coral, yellow and purple were showstoppers.

New York - based Robyn Brooks had a beautiful booth. She painted the walls in a pale blue hue to offset her bright skin, cork and sea grass designs. She learned all about high quality skins working with jewelry and bag designer Kara Ross, and then set out to do her own stylish thing. I am so glad she was at the show with her frames, mirrors, lamps, trays and bracelets-- something new to get excited about, when there was not a ton of newness out there....
Fortuny- covered chairs sit around an Eero Saarinen inspired table from Ikea for taking orders. She even brought a potted palm!


Here is Robyn standing next to a chic oversized cork lamp.

Her skin trays and frames are really nicely made and finished.

Love this! I don't usually go crazy for skins in wild colors, but her colors are stunning.


Fun geometric patterned poufs from John Robshaw are the new beanbag.

Joel Fitzpatrick just launched this great new eco towel line with cotton trim that comes in orange or green. As a designer, he saw there was a lack in attractive eco towels.

The Kelly green is fresh and crisp, great for a tropical home.

They are seeing what the response is to the geo's, I say, it's a go. Don't you?

Caskata, always taking their lead from natural beauty, had a beautiful new blue peony pattern that came on plates, trays and bowls.

Waylande Gregory introduced his small ceramic painted bowls in new, graphic designs. The elephant is a fave, and the glazes are in cool, unexpected off colors.

My favorite glass designer Joe Cariati did it again with these cloche designs in smoke, red and turquoise glass with a pretty ball finial on top. It would be great as a cheese plate, for cakes, and anything that needs some pomp and circumstance.

I had to include this Stray Dog Designs paper mache plant in turquoise. Low maintenance plants are a good way to go!

See Design is a new joyful printed collection out of New Canaan CT that captures the fun carefree spirit of bold color and pattern on bags, pillows, caftans and scarves.

The gals in their Accent on Design booth. Donna Gorman, left, is a textile designer that spent 20 years with Marimekko, can you tell?!

I loved this cheery tote with circles and dots in a perfect shade of lavender.

THE GIFT GUIDE

by Marisa Marcantonio

Here is something for everyone on your list. Naughty or nice, show some love by giving gifts with some spice:


FOR THE COFFEE DRINKER
Photo Courtesy of Wedgwood USA
Diminutive and chic, Dynasty Espresso cups with a Greek key motif from Wedgwood are the way to go.

FOR THE DESIGN OBSESSED:
Photo Courtesy of Chelsea Textiles
If you follow all things design then you know Alidad, the Persian interior designer doing some of the most gorgeous interiors in London. He has an existing collection with Pierre Frey and now, embroidered pillows with Chelsea Textiles. He was influenced by 16th Century Ottoman designs. A must from Chelsea Textiles.

FOR THE CANDY CRAZY:

Photos Courtesy of Hammonds Candies
Old world Hammonds Candies out of Colorado make the best holiday candy--hands down. Their candy canes and lollipops come in luscious flavors.

FOR THE FORGETFUL:
Photo Courtesy of Michael Devine
Make a list and check it twice. With this sweet notepad and pencil cup, you will want to become a note taker. Michael Devine made accessories covered in his signature fabrics. Bagatelle in Chocolate is shown here.

FOR THE INTERNATIONAL SHOPPER:
Photo Courtesy of Graphic Image
A Leather European Shopping Guide from Graphic Image is fun even for the armchair traveler.

FOR THE WORKER BEE ON THE GO:
Photo Courtesy of Vivre
Wheel through check in with style with a Large Editor Suitcase from Steamline Luggage through Vivre.


FOR THE GAME PLAYER:
Photo Courtesy of Williams Sonoma Home
Backgammon anyone? Sit by the fire and watch the snow fall outside. This is a classic every home should have, from Williams Sonoma Home.

FOR THE PERSON WHO LOVES TO PUT EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACE:
Photo Courtesy of Vivre
Distant Origins has these stunning Murano glass boxes with a metal framework. I have coveted this for years. It is a beautiful gift for someone who has everything. From Vivre.

FOR THE RUSTIC COUNTRY LOOK:
Photo Courtesy of Plait
Beautiful handwoven napkins from Plait are made in the US of 100% cotton. Plait is a chic little company started by a Cranbrook Academy of Art graduate out of Madison, Wisconsin. Order a set through Etsy.

FOR THE NEW BABY:
Photo Courtesy of Jack and Lulu
How about something permanent to decorate the nursery? Blue Tulips Wall Art is matted and framed behind acrylic in a soft white wooden frame. Frame measures 18 x 14 inches with 8 x 10 inch opening. Personalize it with initials.
Photo Courtesy of Jack and Lulu
What about a Tugboat print for the little gent? The graphics are adorable and can go trad or mod. Order yours at Jack and Lulu.

FOR THE WEE ONE:
Photo Courtesy of DWR
To give a toddler their first car, what a thrill! These retro wheels are sure to please from Design Within Reach.

FOR GRANDPARENTS:

Photo Courtesy of Two's Company
A cute picture of the grandchildren will make the elders happy. Bone frames are available from a retailer listed on Two's Company.

FOR THE NAPPER:
Photo Courtesy of Sferra
The Celine throw is pure heaven. Made of 100% brushed cotton it is the softest thing going and a great price. The subtle herringbone pattern comes in luscious colors, by Sferra.

FOR SOMEONE WHO HAS JUST MOVED:

Photo courtesy of Vellum
Bamboo bath accessories from Vellum are great for a new homeowner or to make a bathroom sparkle. Love the waste bin beside a desk.


FOR THE TRAVELLER:
Photo Courtesy of Crane
Compact and old fashioned, this leather encased clock brings it back to basics. What more do you need? Carried at Crane.

FOR THE NEWLY INTERESTED IN INTERIOR DESIGN:
Photo Courtesy of Random House
Domono: The Book of Decorating is a nice way to introduce the basics. With De Gournay wallpaper on the cover, you can't go wrong giving this book.

Photo Courtesy of Random House
This useful book takes the pages of the magazine and reorganizes them by category. You can learn decorating tricks, space saving techniques, good sources to shop from and what the fundamentals are for each room in your home.
Photo Courtesy of Random House
Learn how to pull it all together with easy to follow tips and ideas.
Photo Courtesy of Random House
The softcover makes the book look like a cute text book--it is not intimidating.
Photo Courtesy of Random House
A good gift for a newbie or a Domino dweller, through Amazon.

FOR THE LADY:
Photo Courtesy of Lunt
Use this Toast Rack from The Botanical Garden Collection for Lunt to hold monogrammed stationery on your desk or load it up with toast and use it on a breakfast tray.

Photo Courtesy of Haute Home by Jane Leider
Frilly, well-pressed linens are a heavenly gift. The girly girl often collects boudoir covers, and this will make her so happy. Or splurge and get the whole bed set from Haute Home.

FOR THE SAFARI LOVER:
You might not be in Kenya anymore, but elephants can still roam free in the sitting room. Get some big game through Mecox Garden.

FOR A SAILOR WITH ALLERGIES:
Photo Courtesy of Haute Home by Jane Leider
Drop anchor on the sniffles with this tissue box cover available through Haute Home.


FOR THE FOODIE:
Photo Courtesy of DWR
A Microplane Rock Salt Shaver is just the thing for the cook. The hottest trend since the olive oil craze, pick one up at Design Within Reach. Salt not included, hit Dean and Deluca for that.

FOR THOSE IN NEED OF DECORATIVE OBJECTS:
Photo Courtesy of Joe Cariati
Handblown glass decanters with gorgeous stoppers from Joe Cariati are a stunning gift. Bright hues make each sinewy shape a standout. Available through Joe Cariati.

FOR COLLECTORS OF OBJETS:
Photo Courtesy of Penkhurst Ceramics
Porcelain fruits look delectable in these lux glazes. Why not get one in each color from Penkhurst Ceramics.

FOR THE HOSTESS:

Everyone needs a great tray. Set up a bar, serve with it or set it down and stack books on it. Available from a retailer listed on Two's Company.

FOR THE PARTY GIRL:
Photo Courtesy of Vivre
SuRevolution's four regal purple Tasseled Silk Napkin Rings will rock the party, through Vivre.

FOR THE PARTY BOY:
Photo Courtesy of Michael C.Fina
J L Coquet makes the most stunning shiny black crystal champagne coup. Serve Cristal or Dom in these for your New Year's toast. Available through Michael C. Fina.

FOR THE NEATNICK:
Photo Courtesy of The Laundress
Keep dry cleaning bills at bay with this little bag of helpers from The Laundress