There's a chill outside and a cosy feeling of comfort in our house, the usually empty square that I walk past every day is now piled high with trees in netting waiting to be picked, unwrapped and decorated with lights. It's definitely starting to feel a lot like Christmas.
Admittedly, it takes a while but I love writing our Gift Guide. A little self-indulgent perhaps (as it's basically an elaborate hint to Father Christmas ;-) but also because it's fun to gather together all the lovely things we've discovered over the year and share them with you. Enjoy...
Oli Hooson introduced us to Luca in the Spring of this year. A restaurant in Clerkenwell with a focus on British seasonal ingredients through an Italian lens with an interior you just can't help but fall in love with. We enjoyed delicious snacks, small plates and cocktails in the bar but haven't yet had the pleasure of dining in the restaurant. You can find Luca at 88 St John Street, London EC1M 4EH and gift vouchers are available to buy on their website here.
I gave Ian a London Undercover City Gent Umbrella as a wedding gift, and it's perfect for keeping him dry when he has to venture out on soggy mornings to walk our dog. A smaller one would be useful for when we're out and about. Our favourite is the Telescopic Umbrella - personalised with our phone number in case we ever accidentally leave it behind would be even better!
We've been working with the lovely people at Centre Commercial, our stockist in Paris, for a few years now. The store owners are also the founders of Veja, who design and make environmentally friendly sneakers, made with raw materials sourced from organic farming and ecological agriculture, without chemicals or polluting processes. With ways of working and ethics that we hugely admire, their brand has become an inspiration for our own business. Ian is lucky enough to be already walking around in a pair of Veja sneakers and now my feet would like some too.
A British brand with a distinct design outlook. MONC was founded in London, by British designer Freddie Elborne with an aim to celebrate the creative process and the people behind it. We have exhibited at Design Junction a few times alongside MONC and this year I couldn't keep my eyes off their Kreuzberg frames. Available as specs or sunglasses in four colours, my favourite is the Whiskey Brown Gradient shown in the photo above.
Aesop x Studio Henry Wilson
The Brass Oil Burner, designed by Sydney-based industrial designer Henry Wilson to light and scent your self and dwelling is Aesop's first object for the home and what a sculptural jewel it is. An object of substance weighing over 1kg, it is crafted from solid brass, the material chosen for its ability to conduct heat as well as develop a beautiful patina.
This summer was spent renovating the two bedrooms in our house and it was such a joy and relief to finally put our clothes in wardrobes and sleep in a decorated room with curtains drawn. A classic Anglepoise Original 1227 Mini Wall Lamp would create a focal point for our spare bedroom, plus it plugs in to a socket, so we can be forgiven for forgetting to put in the electrics for a wall light before plastering!
William Whiteley & Sons
If there's one thing that always goes missing in our studio it's scissors! To save our sanity, we've recently treated ourselves to a new pair (pre-Christmas self gifting is allowed where necessary). The Wilkinson Classic Sidebents are hand-made in Sheffield using traditional techniques and offer precision cutting for all types of fabric. William Whiteley & Sons manufacture a variety of scissors from those used daily in the home to shears treasured by professional tailors and barbers. Perhaps some paper scissors in preparation for all that gift wrapping would justify another pair.
Founded by British Fashion Designer Patrick Grant, Community Clothing has a simple mission - to make excellent quality affordable clothes for men and women, to create jobs for skilled workers and by doing this help to restore real pride in Britain's textile communities. As a child, my parents faced many challenges running a small knitwear factory in Leicestershire, so their mission truly resonates with me and I wish them great success. Made in Blackburn, their Unisex Printed CC T-shirt has our name written all over them!
Time-keeping is not my strong point and earlier this year I missed a talk I was meant to attend with our friend Ross Baynham, co-founder of Instrmnt, because I lost track of time and missed my train. The irony was not lost on me. So, it's high time a clock for our studio was on our wish list. There has long been a gap in the market for an understated wall clock where the focus is on form and materials rather than branding. Following the success of their watches, Instrmnt have once again nailed it with the recent launch of their A-Series. Elegant and importantly quiet, the clock comes with a stainless steel stand allowing it to be positioned on a desk or mounted on a wall. Aside from the A-Series’ German-made movement, the entire manufacturing process takes place in the UK.
We're proud of our Simple Key Toggle, which was designed with the conscious motive to waste less leather. Marks that are naturally found in veg-tanned leather can be hidden in the lower layers of the spiral shaped toggle, meaning that areas of the hide that would have previously been discarded can now be used. Plus, the key ring can easily be hung on a hook so less time spent looking for keys! The perfect gift for a new homeowner and those ethically-minded friends.
A cup of tea not only starts our day but is also the best accompaniment to those chats that find their way to solving life's little problems. We love a good brew and these delightful ceramics would make ours all the more enjoyable. Catherine and Matt West are ceramicists and designers working in Sheffield under the name Pottery West. Their pieces are available to buy from a few select stockists as well as their online shop, which goes live on the 5 December at 10am.
Made from card, each bauble concertinas out, fastens with a magnet and hangs on a tree with a cotton loop. Toast have a selection of stylish decorations for those that find Christmas more appealing without the tinsel.
Exceptionally talented photography duo India Hobson and Magnus Edmondson have already taken us along for the journey by allowing us to follow their visual masterpiece of an Instagram account @haarkon. Now, their debut book Glasshouse Greenhouse takes you on a worldwide journey through their favourite botanical spaces and we can't wait to hop on board.
That just leaves me to wish you all a wonderful December and Christmas. Enjoy making your own lists, shopping for loved ones and drinking the occasional mulled wine to see you through the busy festive season.
Very best wishes,
PS. We love finding out about interesting products and independent brands, so if you have any suggestions for gifts, please do comment below...