17 Holiday Gift Ideas for Design Lovers


For all of you looking for design-savvy gifts, you’ve come to the right place! We consulted with a few of our favorite architects and designers to curate this list of 17 unique and creative ideas, perfect for all of the design lovers on your list. (We have a sense that handmade ceramics will be all the rage this year!)

From Chloe Warner of Redmond Aldrich Design

One of the few things I collect are vases, and right now I’m into gorgeously plain, earthy white ones. The Eric Roinestad XL Vessel 51 from The Future Perfect is an amazing modern Greek pedestal, and these Skala vases from San Francisco-based Gerhard Ceramics are equally elegant and probably more accessible.

The packaging alone on Olio e Osso’s multi-purpose balm sells it for me, but then I found out people use it as lip balm, cuticle oil, AND brow groomer, and now I need three. It’s available at the loveliest jewel of a beauty store that we just designed on Bush Street, Ayla Beauty.

I love giving strange and beautiful books to people, and Book/Shop in Oakland has the most amazing selection of unique and out-of-print editions I’ve ever seen. On a recent visit, I fell for a vintage Edward Weston book about Point Lobos, but the stock is always changing. For me, it’s the must-visit store in must-visit Temescal Alley.

From Bonnie Bridges of Boor Bridges Architecture

Made by our talented friend Beth Naumann in her Emeryville studio, Hellbent, the lightweight 9 Diamond Mobile is the perfect accent to any room. The striking yet delicate design looks great in front of dark or light walls and casts mesmerizing geometric shadows as the piece moves and rotates.

The smoky grey glass and gold-leaf accents give this hand-blown decanter set a luxe feel for the holidays. This stylish and sleek set is the ideal way to cap off a joyful holiday meal.

With designs inspired by traditional holiday motifs, these carved black porcelain mugs are perfect for sipping hot chocolate or some mulled wine by the fire. Make sure to check out the rest of the Holiday collection for coordinating sugar bowls and candles from this Portland-based ceramicist, Clay Factor Ceramics.

From Ariel Gessler Architects

Although ThePresent Clock was introduced several years ago, I think the unique concept is an absolute classic. The clock takes one year for the hand to fully go around. Its color scheme is bold and reflects the changing seasons throughout the year. As the name implies, this clock gives you a different way of seeing time.

These creative and playful Monkey Lamps bring whimsy and a unique attitude. You can mix and match the little guys to create a fun vibe that breaks the norm. Definitely a conversation starter.

We’ve found a simple and easy way to capture any specific color we like and match it to our favorite brands of paint, like Farrow & Ball and Benjamin Moore. Simply place the Nix Mini on any surface; it uses its own internal light source and connects wirelessly to your phone to give you the corresponding paint color.

From Dawn Carlson & Carol Perry of MAS Design

At MAS, we love to design for the confident client who loves their luxury with just a touch of bad@ssery. This Lele Sadoughi bracelet evokes their spirit and artistic flair. The architectural symmetry and post-industrial machinery are a juxtaposition they will die for!

Speaking of bad@ssery, this Ralph Lauren Sutton Flask Set will appeal to the design geek in your life! A set of RL monogrammed playing cards set will show the opposition that they are dedicated to their craft. (Not to mention the craft cocktail they’ll be drinking with the included flask and cups.)

We all know someone who snubs holiday stress. They have a sense of humor, coupled with a sense of style, and this silly, yet fabulous, rose gold flamingo pool floatie will float them into a chill holidaze.

From Karen Curtiss of Red Dot Studio

My Dear Tejas produces leather jacket and bag collections. Thoughtfully designed by Susan Kim in Northern California, using sustainably sourced American leather, that’s tanned in Colorado and meticulously crafted by artisans in Texas.

Anandamayi Arnold is a Berkeley artist whose specialty is making “Surprise Balls” out of crepe paper. The balls are filled with about 10 small toys and treats. Some of our favorites are the sparkly snowballs, lumps of coal, and pomegranates. The surprise balls are available at Tail of the Yak, they don’t have a website but their brick and mortar location provides a wonderful shopping experience.

Rare Device is one of our favorite San Francisco Stores to shop at. Giselle Gyalzen, store owner and buyer, has a great eye for art and product. They carry wonderful art prints and gifts. As a coffee lover, I  check out their stacking mugs, coffee dripper’s, presses, and pots. Also, be sure to check out their rotating art shows at their Divisadero location.

From Jeff King & Company

A membership to the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is perfect for those who appreciate contemporary art in all of its many forms. Not your typical art gallery, YBCA brings visual arts, performing arts, film, and civic engagement together, believing that culture is essential for change.

And finally, if you need more inspiration for unique gifts, check out San Francisco’s City Hall Pop-Up Shop on Wednesday, December 6. Over 40 San Francisco-based vendors will transform the grounds into a festive wonderland, selling locally made clothing, jewelry, toys, leather goods, homewares, and much more. With so many talented artisans and makers in San Francisco, you’re sure to find a gift for everyone on your list!

Happy holidays from all of us at Jeff King & Company!