101 Guidesgiftproducts

d*s 2009 gift guides: d*s editors’ picks

by Grace Bonney

happy holidays everyone! this week i’ll be posting a special d*s gift guide at end of each day and for today i thought i’d kick things off with a special gift guide/wishlist from the people that make d*s possible each day: the d*s editors! each editor was kind enough to share a few things they would like to give and receive this year, so i hope you’ll enjoy their favorites. i know i’ve picked up a few ideas to wrap (and hopefully unwrap) this year so happy gifting! stay tuned the rest of this week for gifts under $25 (tomorrow), gifts under $50 (wednesday), gifts under $100 (thursday), ac’s gift guide for guys(friday) and of course, our annual design bloggers’ gift guide/wishlist (the following monday). and of course, we’ll be posting plenty of handmade projects between now and the end of the month for those wishing to make rather than buy.

CLICK HERE for the full list (and images) of editors’ picks after the jump!



to give: homemade spiced apple butter! i taught a series of canning classes, including one on making apple butter using locally sourced apples, this past october. friends and family will be receiving 1/2-pint jars of this heavenly trinity of apples, sugar, and spices.

to receive: i absolutely adore these wool felt slippers from toast (which meet right at my favorite style intersection of “function” and “fashion”):

i’m also a big baker and can’t get enough of this “gingerbread” cookbook by jennifer linder-mcglinn (and i promise to bake up a little something from the book for whoever gets it for me!)


to give: every year I get together with a friend and we spend the weekend making candy for the holidays. we get brown take-out boxes from whole foods – they’ll let you buy them – and tie them shut with red and white baker’s twine and then write a little note on a pretty tag. we experiment with different candies every year, but one recipe standard is chocolate salted caramels! yum!

to receive: i’m usually more of a necklace girl, but i’d love to start dressing things up with a pretty scarf. my dream scarf would be the dupatta ombre scarves from matta, but i also love these scarves from marc jacobs and these beautiful scarves from oak.

i’ve been a little obsessed with scissors lately and would love to have these beautiful bonsai shears, which is a little frivolous since I don’t have a bonsai tree. but maybe I could start a little herb tea garden, which would look lovely in this little container from terrain.


to receive: we’d both like a vespa to help us ‘scoot’ around philadelphia. alissa would like to receive ‘any piece of jewelry from egan day!’ ryan would like to receive a 1920 eberhard & co. one button chronograph watch

to give: we are planning to give our family and friends stockings stuffed with all sorts of little presents and toys we have collected throughout the year.


to give: jill: I usually make a holiday card in addition to giving other small handmade gifts, but this year I’m going to simplify and present an original silkscreen print to all the folks on my list. I also love having a few tea towels around as last minute hostess gifts!

to receive: the studio choo team would like to receive scarves from yokoo– it’s cold in the studio! we’d also like new fancy felco shears– can’t hurt to be a little fancy while we’re working. and an A, J, and L from albeit jewelery


to receive: Personalized notecards from Enfin, la Voila! on etsy, Helen Ficalora alphabet charms, Washi paper masking tape from Japan, and a Tiffin Bento Box.

to give: Kusmi Tea: I love a gift that helps bring people together (and actually gets used!). Over the past year, having tea with friends has become my favorite social activity. I love these teas, the variety of aromas and colorful tins that you can mix and match. It’s also is a Paris based company, which is only appropriate given my current location :)


to receive: 50mm lens for our Canon Digital SLR: This is an affordable and fun lens that we’ve been dying to get for our digital SLR. The f/1.8 capability is great for achieving those sharp foreground, blurry background shots that we love so much.

-Ceramic Orange French Press: We finally broke the glass on our beloved french press recently, and this beautiful orange one has been calling our name for awhile…

Dual Membership to SF Moma: Museum memberships make great holiday gifts. We love going for short visits every so often and it’s a luxury not to have to shell out $15 or $20 for the entry fee every time!

to give: Set of 3 screenprints by Tom Bonauro: Tom Bonauro is a local design hero of ours, and this set of bold, graphic prints is easily frame-able and would make a perfect gift for just about anyone we know.


to receive:

– this umbrella
compass button from erie basin
-Home delivery of the sunday times (and not just for the crossword!)

to give: This amazing and beautiful deck of playing cards


to receive: i’m a huge fan of “of the month” clubs. i’d love to receive some sort of fresh flowers, food product, herb, or maybe shoes (a new pair every month? yes!) every month. i’m also gunning for one of these home composters ashley wrote about. pricey, but totally worth it if you live in a small city space where open composting will attract mice and bugs. (i also like almost every pair of vintage earrings at erie basin and doyle and doyle, so i’m always happy to open a gift and see something with history.)

(ps: i already gave myself a gift of signing up for sarah and nicolette’s herb/flower class. merry christmas to me!

to give:: this year my budget is running low so i’ll be pairing vintage things with fresh, local things. ie: a beautiful but inexpensive vintage bottle from the bklyn flea with fresh flowers from saipua. i’m also excited to pair things like customized mugs or bags with homemade gifts inside like fresh bread, muffins or cookies. i love homemade gifts and baked goods, but sometimes it’s nice to have one “new” things mixed in. i’ll be making a lot of things this year using THIS and THIS project outline…

*image above via lonny magazine


to receive:

rustic wine glasses – i have been using the stemless kind, but i want something a bit more substantial. i love the rough look of these.
boskke sky planter – i would love to have one of these hanging near my desk.
moss nos da blanket – this would be a luxe gift, but i love this blanket! the colors are so rich and it looks incredibly cozy and soft.

to give: my family is full of tea drinking bookworms, myself included… so i think i might be giving some stack mugs from heath ceramics, a tea from samovar tea lounge, and a book to each member of my family. maybe one of the penguin classics that are so pretty.

kristina gill:

to receive:
-I’ve always loved the Vase de Printemps (April Vase) by Tse Tse and would love one for the kitchen counter which doubles as a breakfast bar in my studio.
-I love the Jielde lamp, and would like one of the Loft collection (large floor model) in orange or hot pink.
-A nice Denyse Schmidt quilt, or even better, to have the quilt my grandmother made for me when I was ten cleaned fixed and sent to me from home. (she made one for each of her grandchildren, i remember her cutting all the pieces and working on them over the summers)

to give:

-Inviting friends for coffee or afternoon tea in a nice place. Living far away from my friends, I only get to see them for a brief time over the holidays. If we were here, I’d bake for them, of course!

Suggested For You


  • Not to add more work to your ever hectic schedules…but perhaps a solution to the price range problem is to treat it more like the other guides with limits. So you’d pick your wish style luxe gift to give and receive (e.g. Love to give my sister this vespa and receive a neclace) and then a reality give and receive. I wouldn’t want to lose either the practical or the inspirational!

    • hi guys

      just a quick note on the pricing of these items- there are a lot of items in here that aren’t vespa-price-range, and i really enjoy seeing a range of ideas, from budget-friendly to dream-wish-list.

      we produce at least 3 budget gift guides a year (all under $100) so if you’re looking for something with a specific price point, we’ve got you covered. this guide was meant to be a fun look into what our editors were looking for personally– not a general guide to gifts for everyone.


Leave a Reply

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.