Our Go-To Gift Guide for Design Lovers

From a spaceship-shaped console to an unforgettable sushi dinner, Surface’s editors select the objects and experiences they want to give this season.

Figuring out what to gift a design-minded friend is tough. To help get the wheels turning, the editors at Surface divulge what they’re wanting to give this month. Each object was chosen exclusively from The List, the destination for all things Surface-approved.

Want to join The List? Contact our team to find out how to apply.



1. White Notebook and Horizon Four Wallet, Makr
$28 and $115;
“As a combo, this wallet and notebook make for a gift with class, thoughtfulness, and a long life. The two are perfect for that effortlessly casual-cool lady or dude friend.”

2. Large Wide Bowl, Tina Frey Designs
“This softly shaped resin bowl is one of those completely understated objects that ends up being a forever favorite.”

3. Pulcina Espresso Coffee Maker, Alessi
“Alessi’s Pulcina was born an icon. Any design-loving friend will recognize the espresso maker as Michele De Lucchi’s 2015 creation, but even the less nerdy can still appreciate its pizzazz.”



4. Salsa Beauty Case, Rimowa
“Rimowa’s tough yet elegant beauty case is so appealing and functional that I’m finally tempted to replace the vintage snakeskin one I’ve been carrying for decades. It would also be an ideal gift for a certain globe-trotting friend of mine.”

5. Limited-Edition Leather Notebook, Moleskine
“Being a classic means never having to change. Moleskine’s simple, handsome leather notebook makes for a gift that will encourage the recording of memories—the old-fashioned way.”

6. Sea Drop Ornaments, Mayice Studio
“Sometimes the best gifts are simple curios. These vibrant, chromatic glass decorations from Mayice Studio are singularly enchanting, and could be made into one-of-a-kind tree ornaments for the holiday season.”



7. Satellite, Hervet Manufacturier
“In a world of seemingly homogenous design, cousins Cédric and Nicolas Hervet’s hi-fi furniture seems downright revolutionary. Satellite is a white ebony shell in the form of an intergalactic spacecraft that serves as the vessel for a Bose Soundtouch system—a head-turner in any living room, whether on this planet or the outer reaches of the cosmos.”

8. K-61 Watch, Instrmnt
“With its excess of bells and whistles and complicated terminology, the world of watches has often made me feel overwhelmed. But the K-61 from Glasgow-based studio Instrmnt is a timepiece that makes a lot of sense to me. It has all of the elements I know to look for: Swiss components, thoughtful materiality, and, most important, a clean aesthetic that’s easy to wear every day.”

9. One-Night Stay at Made Hotel
From $170;
Low-key yet top-of-the-line, this NoMAD hotel is my go-to when hosting friends and family from out of town. Its many food and drink offerings—including a communal cafe and rooftop bar that offers panoramic views of the city—complement its welcoming pared-down interiors.



10. Unico Flowerpot, Kähler
“A vase or pot always makes for a great gift, but you go above and beyond when you can fill it with something special. I love being able to gift clippings from my own ‘garden’ (read: windowsill), and this vessel is versatile enough to complement a variety of plants—and any friend’s home.”

11. Large Resin Temple Plate, Dinosaur Designs
“Selfishly, I’d like to support my friends in continuing to feed me in their apartments. Cheese looks real good on this resin plate.”

12. Spelman Sunglasses, Oliver Peoples
“Sunglasses are a super-personal purchase, but when you find the right pair you’re giving more than great shades—you’re helping a loved one see the world through a new lens. This slightly retro look is just right for the person I have in mind.”



13. The Sister Set, Behno
“New Yorkers have adopted roomy totes and their convenient leather accoutrements as our carryalls of choice. Behno’s convenient trio of Sister Bags—the tote Hannah along with her younger siblings, Lily the pouch and Amanda the clutch-cum-crossbody—makes switching from conference room to first date an easy feat.”

14. Reversible Tote in Tartan Cotton, Burberry
“With my friends’ frenetic schedules, versatility is key. Burberry’s jumbo, conveniently reversible unisex tote helps keep your look fresh, and is a cinch to switch up on the go.”

15. Sideways Tote and Detachable Clutch, Ampersand As Apostrophe
“Ampersand As Apostrophe’s Sideways Tote and accompanying detachable pouch are perfect for storing a pre-drinks primp kit. No matter what the city slicker in your life gets up to at work or play, gifting a them a new mode of transportation will send them over the moon.”



16. Hand-Sewn Hiker Wool Boots, Feit
“Even with a surplus of boots on the market, it remains really difficult to find a pair I actually want—that is stylish, and can get me through long wintertime slogs in New York City, but also be fitting for a ski trip to Colorado. Feit has the answer with these unfussy wool shearling–lined boots. I appreciate that they’re not only aesthetically simple, they also have grippy soles, and are made of high-quality, water-resistant leather.”

17. Dinner for Two at Omakase Room by Tatsu
Prices vary;
“I’m going to be taking one of my closest friends here for a holiday dinner. Entering Omakase Room by Tatsu—designed by burgeoning branding and architecture practice Savvy Studio, and located in a warm, wood-walled basement-level space—feels as if you’ve instantly been transported to Japan. The 18-course meals that chef Tatsuya Sekiguchi prepares are mind-bogglingly good.”

18. Large Brass Bowl by Mimi Hasegawa, Mjölk
“Toronto’s Mjölk is, hands down, one of my favorite retail spaces in the world. There’s always something new to discover at this minimalist gallery-meets-design shop. I recently purchased a roughly 800-year-old Mei Ping vase there as a gift. This brass bowl by Mami Hasegawa also caught my attention.”



19. 8 Watch Case, Louis Vuitton
“After a recent visit to the Louis Vuitton ‘Volez, Voguez, Voyagez’ exhibition, I became obsessed with the antique custom trunks created to transport unusual objets. While chances are I’ll never be able to order a set of custom luggage for myself, this small case designed to hold eight watches feels uniquely personal.”

20. BR-X2 Tourbillon Micro Rotor, Bell & Ross
“A limited edition of 99 pieces, the BR-X2 takes an aviation-inspired watch to transparent new heights. The square-shaped brushed-steel case and sapphire crystal become one, clearly revealing a visible skeletonized movement with a fascinating spinning tourbillon.”

21. Galet Square Porcelain Limited Edition, Laurent Ferrier
“Third-generation watchmaker Laurent Ferrier plainly states on his website his horological values: simplicity, precision, and pure, uncluttered beauty. A contemporary watch that bypasses all trends, the pebble-shaped case and the bright red 12 o’clock is set off by the glossy white porcelain dial.”



22. Ember Ceramic Mug, Ember
“You can’t beat a warm beverage in the winter cold. But finding the perfect vessel to drink from is a challenge. Enter Ember: its ingenious mug keeps drinks at a perfect, personalized temperature—and connects to an app that lets you know when they’re ready to sip.”

23. Light Small Universe Bowl, ABC Carpet and Home
“The imperfect, concentric circles and fired-down sea glass at the bottom of this dish is perfect for keeping jewelry, change, and other precious little objects. Like my friends, each piece is one-of-a-kind.”

24. Anthracite Ivory, Dark Brown, and Nero Cashmere Blankets, Bottega Veneta
$3,200 each;; exclusively sold via 800-845-6790
“Snuggling is appropriate year-round, but especially during the holidays. These beautifully woven blankets will ensure many cozy nights ahead. What better gift could you ask for than that?”


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