2013 GIFT GUIDE: ENTERTAINING ESSENTIALS

by Marisa Marcantonio

There are some things you would never buy for yourself, but you know your friends or family would really appreciate the thought.  When it comes to entertaining details, it can take ages to build up a collection of wonderful vintage bar accessories, or find glasses that are pretty to look at and comfortable to hold.     So be a thoughtful gift giver, and give something unexpected that will be used and enjoyed time and time again. Cheers.

Photo courtesy of Serena and Lilly

Some people are the life of the party. Others, prefer to remain in the shadows, and would rather spend a quiet moment catching up with friends. Why not encourage that with a zippy new game for them to play, with a Serena and Lily Signature Backgammon Set?

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Adler

Store trinkets or cut lemons on the bar in Jonathan Adler's swirly blue and white malachite-edged box topped with a gold-backed pagoda.

Photo courtesy of Moma

Capturing classic surrealist Magritte paintings, these brightly colored melamine plates at Moma Store are a cheerful addition to the table that can expose children to seminal art from an early age, or, help you start your collection.

Photo courtesy of Billy Cotton

A faceted design makes Billy Cotton's new stemless wine glasses comfortable in the hand. The price, makes them easier on the wallet. 

Photo courtesy of Simon Pearce

By mixing antique decanters with beautiful newer pieces, a bar can have a bit of soul. There are s many interesting gin and tequila bottles being designed these days, so pairing them with these classic, hand-blown glass  lidded decanters from Simon Pearce keeps everything swellegant.

Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn

I like the rustic design of Pottery Barn's Mack Cocktail Shaker, it has a great 1940's retro vibe. 

Photo courtesy of Tiffany

My love of Elsa Peretti's designs knows no bounds. Every drink will look better when swirled with Tiffany's Padova spoon, complete with sinewy curved loop handle.

Photo courtesy of Crate and Barrel

Those that look forward to the arrival of cocktail hour will embrace Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. Tonic, made in small batches to mix with sparkling water for a customized cocktail experience. Find it at Crate and Barrel.

Photo courtesy of Barneys

A glommed up version of the real thing, Carl Aubock's exquisitely designed brass Horse Shoe Bottle Opener from Barneys will be a welcome and handsome addition for the artisan ale bunch.

NOTICED: AN OWL INVASION

by Marisa Marcantonio

With cute visages and wise reputation, the owl is the go-to bird of choice these days. From feather festooned ornaments to hand painted dinnerware, their tell-tale silhouette, large eyes and unique feathers are open to a variety of creative interpretations.  These noble, winged creatures gained their image of being scholarly because of their extremely good night vision. They can be cute and fuzzy or wise and serene, and there is a bevy of character in their round little faces. If you give a hoot, there is a feathered friend you will come to adore.

Photo courtesy of Anthropologie

Resting on a single branch, Hedwig the white Snow Owl from Anthropologie gives off a warm vibe.

Photo courtesy of World Market

Need a glitzy mod owl for your yuletide? World Market's Metal Owl ornaments resemble vintage jewelry, pick silver or gold.

West Elm's Black and White Owl Ornament with gazing eyes and a speckled coat.

Sparkly and blue, the Glimmer Glass Owl from Anthro adds a glow to the tree.

With bark and twine and feathers around his eyes, The diminutive Nature Nursery Owl has his peepers trained on you. From Anthro.

If he was alive, I would consider adopting him. Fuzzy wuzzy, The Tussled Feather Owl at Anthro is all personality.

Combining tiny twigs and pieces of bark, Anthro's Sprig and Spruce Owl sits on alert.

A folksy hand painted clay pitcher in the shape of an owl from Anthropologie.

Photo courtesy of Urban Outfitters

Wide eyed and vibrating with wisdom, Urban Outfitter's Owl Cooke Jar is just as good as his vintage counterparts.

Covering the entire surface area of the plate, Owl Dessert Plates from West Elm have hand done artistic flair.

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Adler

Shake up the table with Jonathan Adler's all white ceramic Owl Salt and Pepper Shakers.

Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn

Whenever I see a vintage version of an owl lidded box like this,  I want to scoop it up. This pretty lidded Pottery Barn Owl Cloisonne Box lined in blue enamel has a Japanese influence. 

Keep books organized in wise style with Z Gallerie's split-personality White Owl Bookends in polyresin.

Photo courtesy of Mrs. Strong

An owl sits in the shadow of the moon on Mrs. Strong's note card.