The Design Lover’s Holiday Gift Guide


All year long we seem to come across the “perfect gift” idea for a colleague or loved one. Then the holidays roll around and those original ideas are nowhere to be found. Not to fret: we’ve consulted with the Bay Area’s top architects and designers to put together a collection of creative holiday gifts for the design lover in your life. Each item combines high aesthetics and functionality for the art savvy individual. You’ll find recommendations from Andrew Mann, Ian Stallings, Jennifer Jones, Heather Hilliard,  Kendall Wilkinson and our own Jeff King. Enjoy!

From Andrew Mann Architecture

Andrew Mann Holiday Gift Guide sketchbook

Best sketchbook for travel by Leuchtturm 1917: It’s the perfect size to throw into your bag and pull out on the go. The paper is bright white and a heavy enough weight to stand up to most mediums. The elastic keeps it closed and the fabric ribbon keeps one’s place in the book. Because the paper is sewn into the binding, the pages lay flat, so one can draw on a single page or do a double-page spread. Being an architect, I like the black cover, but there are lots of colors from which to choose.

House Rules book

Book that I’m itching to buy: House Rules: An Architect’s Guide to Modern Life by Deborah Berke

Deborah Berke is currently the Dean of Yale Architecture School and is an architect whose work I greatly admire. Her work is simple and timeless; essential and elemental. It embodies a fine balance between modern and traditional forms.

Buildings in the Landscape book

Book that I often go back to: Buildings in the Landscape by William Turnbull, Jr.

For those interested in the history of architecture in Northern California, Bill Turnbull’s work epitomizes the depth of that tradition. His workinspired by simple vernacular buildingsembraces that rustic modern ethos, but takes those simple elements and creates complex spaces infused with natural light.

From Ian Stallings Design


I always give these Quotable Cards to peeps. They’re great. Simple and stylish little messages to make people feel warm and squishy with love.


Candles. My favorite host gift can fill a room with a beautiful aroma, and Voluspa’s variety and packaging is fantastic (the “Mansion Noir” collection is the one we have at the office and is very swanky).


And if you want to inspire art in others over the holidays, try the Golden Fluid Acrylic Paint Set.


A yearly subscription to Elle Decor,  LUXE or Architectural Digest is a good holiday gift too.


If you wanted to feature a higher end item, gifting a piece of fine art from our roster of artists represented via IS (a branch of Ian Stallings Design selling luxury goods and fine art) is always a way to make any person in your life feel extra special!

From Jennifer Jones of Niche Interiors


We love gifting local, handmade goods! The Skala vases from San Francisco’s own Gerhard Ceramics are perfect for displaying branches and greenery during the holidays.


We are currently coveting the graphic Estrella stockings from The Citizenry – they are perfect for the design-savvy person on your list!

From Heather Hilliard Design

Bottle openers from The Future Perfect: These bottle openers double as a design-savvy holiday gifts and decorative accessories to enjoy year round.

The Future Perfect sells a variety from different designers–each statement-making design is beautifully crafted and unique. I love finding gifts that people are unlikely to go out and look for themselves but that they’ll genuinely use. So much of the holiday season is spent gathered with loved ones, often over food and drinks, and these brass openers will bring a little pizazz to any get-together. When not in use, they’re the perfect accent to elevate a bar, cart, shelve or table.

hex-bottleHex Bottle Opener by Iacoli & McCallister

holiday gift bottle openerCrest Bottle Opener by Fort Standard

saikai-crescent-moon-bottle openerCrescent Bottle Opener by Oji Masanori

saikai-lifestyle-bottle openerBottle Opener by Saikai Toki

saikai-lotus-root-bottle openerLotus Root Opener by Saikai Toki

Hand Bottle Opener by Carl Auböck

From Kendall Wilkinson Design

“In the Company of Women” by Grace Bonney/Artisan: A beautiful coffee table book can do wonders for your home, and this is one of my favorites. It’s an inspiring inside look at women in the creative field. As a designer, I feel this book belongs in every home.

Fornasetti candles holiday gift

Fornasetti Candles from Nordstrom: A perfect fragrance makes a house feel like a home. These candles not only smell great, but they’re beautiful too! After the candle is finished, the vessel makes a gorgeous keepsake.

Hudson Grace dirty martini juice

The Dirty Martini Juice from Hudson Grace: Hands down, one of my favorite things in life is a good martini. Hudson Grace’s “The Dirty” martini juice is not only delicious, but it has natural probiotics so you can feel good about indulging in a drink now and again.

From Jeff King & Company

lumio lamp holiday gift

The Lumio Lamp in walnut is a fun addition to any room. Winner of the 2015 Red Dot Award for product design, this lamp conceals itself as a hardcover book when it’s time for lights out.

Flyte levitating light bulb

Speaking of lights, Flyte has taken Edison’s design and turned it into a magnetic levitation LED bulb powered through the air. We wouldn’t mind having one of these around.


Last but not least, a membership to the De Young, SFMOMA or other museum is a great way to support your local arts institutions. (Above is our Director of Special projects, Nancy Madynski, with colleagues at a recent SFMOMA architecture tour.)

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