2010 gift guides: california born and bred

Hi everyone! Simone LeBlanc again, and I want to share with you some thoughts on a topic that keeps popping up for me this holiday — the great state of California. I gain a certain type of satisfaction by looking in my own backyard and being inspired by all that it has to offer. Yes, I look forward to trips to many of the world’s great cities just like the rest of us, but I have to say that I am pleasantly impressed by all that this state has to offer. From north to south, there are some talents and visionaries turning out products with an inspired West Coast point of view. Whether it is hand-harvested bath teas from St. Helena, Byzantine tile artisan chocolates from Los Angeles or remnant wood desk boxes from Marin, the honest materials and straightforward approach define the California sensibility. The key is the balance (spoken like a true Californian, I know) – a distinctive line of sophistication and ease, excess pared down to simple quality. Relaxed and refined.

Maybe it’s the comfort that a breath of fresh air is always right around the corner or that if life gets too intense, I really can escape to the woods in a matter of minutes.

So to the rest of this beautiful country — you have a place in my heart, but there is something to say for a winter’s day that may not dip below 65 degrees. –Simone

Image above: 1. Hand-Cast Cement Geo Planter by Kelly Lamb $90; 2. Commune Shop Chocolates Inspired by Byzantine Tiles $49 ; 3. Rib Garland Brass & Leather Necklace by ACB $270; 4. Organic Lavender Bath Set, including Bath Milk, Himalayan Bath Salts & Harvested Bath Tea $38; 5. “Woods from the Forrest” Carved Deskboxes $40-$100; 6. San Francisco Stamp Set by Yellow Owl $11.50

Image above: Organic Printed Linen Fabrics by Flock $16-$54

Image above: Coyuchi Cozy Wool Blankets $148-$248

Image above: Clare Vivier Remnant Foldover Clutch ($79-$149) and Beatrice Valenzuela Handmade Leather Shoes ($160)

  1. AL says:

    I love Flock Home!

  2. jeana sohn says:

    love the picks!!! all of them. : )

  3. Toni Marie says:

    Lovely California gift guide! I’m a Californian and I agree with you 100% about everything… especially the nice mild winters. I mean, jeez sometmes it’s in the 70’s on Christmas day! Love it!

  4. Casey says:

    I love me some California! Can’t imagine getting anything done with snow on the ground! :) The concrete planter is too cool and I love the SF stamp set. Great collection!

  5. Simone says:

    Thanks ladies! So glad you like the choices – so many amazing creators out here in CA. Funny thing…we are in the midst of a monsoon right now! Although it’s an oddly warm one….Happy Holidays.xoS

  6. Jeanne says:

    I love the ACB necklace…all of these pics make me feel they are just for me ….or someone that deserves a special delight! Thank you for the inspiration!

  7. Jeni says:

    Love what was said here about California! Living here’s so amazing, esp when I hear from all my friends who left California for school, “Oh man, I wish I hadn’t left! You’re so lucky that you stayed!”

    I gotta admit though that this state is so big. I’ve yet to discover everything. Still tackling Los Angeles!

  8. Christine says:

    Those blankets… gorgeous! What a lovely gift guide.

  9. lisa says:

    best gift guide this year!

  10. Your guide made this California girl very happy!

  11. 009.Style says:

    I love the beautiful Flock Fabrics. Thanks for posting. Im definately going to have to feature them on my blog soon. Great post!


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.