The 10 Gifts Guaranteed To Take His Home To The Next Level
Just a stab in the dark here, but this year, you’ve probably taken a long, hard look at your living quarters and concluded that it needs some work. (Better lighting for a start. And probably a sharper knife set.) Spending most of 2020 indoors, staring at the same four walls, will do that to a man. Which is why, when buying a gift this holiday season, homeware should be top of the list.
Of course, some of us will know exactly what a room needs to make it sing – although, hopefully, not a Big Mouth Billy Bass. For men with a vision, we have you covered. Others might need a guiding hand. We have plenty of suggestions below – barware and blankets that are hard to beat, plus a gardening set, should he ever feel the need to stray out the house. If all else fails, no one ever said no to a candle. It will make his place smell nice and make the most of that dim lighting, too.
01. The showpiece rug
If there’s one thing we’ve picked up from repeat viewings of The Big Lebowski, it’s that bowling is not ’Nam, there are rules. No, wait – it’s that a rug can really tie a room together. And perhaps few runners, floor mats or druggets (we said druggets: yes, we do mind if you do a “J”) will have quite the impact of this Jacquard wool and cotton-blend number by Missoni Home. Woven in the psychedelic style that the Italian house is known for, it should set the tone for any home. What, you don’t like it? Well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.
02. The top-class carafe and glass set
He might not have a water habit like NFL legend Mr Tom Brady, who reportedly chugs 37 glasses of the wet stuff every single day. Or, indeed, Happy, the hydrophilic crocodile of the BBC’s flagship animation series Hey Duggee. But he’s going to have to drink something at some point. And when the time comes, think of his delight when he does so from this, a handsome carafe set, hand-blown in Italy from robust green borosilicate. Whether it’s glacial runoff imported from Svalbard or slightly tepid and straight from the kitchen tap, this gift will elevate his humble H20.
03. The bewitching candle
According to folklore, the witching hour is when the veil that separates our world from the realm of the magical is at its thinnest. Some saw this as a time for ghosts, demons and evil spirits, but more likely what we found ourselves staring into was just the darkness of our lack of understanding. While crafted as a nod to midnight, with gold flecks shimmering against the blue Limoges porcelain casing, L’Objet’s candle is made to provide illumination, not to mention the brand’s Fleur d’Or fragrance to help ward off bad juju. Plus, the presentation box will look nice long after the candle has been snuffed out.
04. The bar-raising bar set
Of all the gin joints in all the town in all the world, make sure this superlative bar set by Lorenzi Milano walks into yours. As with any job, you need the correct tools to get it right. And mixology is an exact science (well, it ends in ology, which is good enough for us). This stainless steel and ebony kit includes everything you’d need for pouring champagne to assembling even the most complicated cocktails (make ours a fat-washed mezcal, please), and come on a smashing leather-lined presentation tray. Here’s looking at you, kid.
05. The “King of Cool” print
Hollywood legend Mr Steve McQueen had a knack for making almost anything look better just by being there (OK, maybe not The Hunter). Case in point, this concrete sulphur bath in Big Sur, California. True, his first wife Ms Neile Adams and the half-guzzled magnum of champagne play their part. But Mr McQueen, with his head out of water and cigarette perched on his lip, is what holds together this candid 1963 shot by Life photographer Mr John Dominis. One for the Le Mans-loving man in your life.
06. The sharpest knife and cheeseboard
No meal is complete without a cheese course. And no cheese course is complete without a knife and board set as elegant as this. Mr Ralph Lauren has been improving our wardrobes since the late 1960s and has had designs on our wider living spaces from 1983, when he launched his eponymous homeware imprint. And while it goes by the handle Wyatt, which perhaps conjures images of frontiersmen of the Old West, this charming implement isn’t one to bring to the infamous Gunfight at the OK Corral. Unless there was a decent charcuterie selection afterwards.
07. The presidential blanket
Until recently, you’d have to go back some way to find a US president with an approval rating worse than number 29, President Warren Harding. In his own lifetime, though, the Republican statesman was actually well-received; it was only after his death, while in office, that news of extra-marital affairs and his involvement in the Teapot Dome scandal, the Watergate of its day, came to light and the public’s view soured. This Pendleton blanket commemorates the shawl that indigenous chiefs presented to President Harding’s wife, First Lady Florence Harding, on a visit to the Oregon Trail in 1923. Jacquard-woven from soft virgin wool, in a striking geometric pattern, this is more our kind of coverup.
08. The cultivated gardening set
In this age of moving fast and breaking things, sometimes it pays to take a step back – to slow down and nurture. This gardening set was crafted with great care and attention to detail by artisans in Japan, which should set the template as the recipient potters in their own outdoor space. Providing shears and a small knife for teasing, trimming and tackling weeds, and housed in a charming canvas tote, this is the perfect kit for those with green fingers. He might find it’s not just the plants that grow.
09. The timely diffuser
If you’re thinking the diffuser featured here looks a bit like an hourglass, you’re not wrong. In fact, the principle is very similar, but not only does turning it over measure the passage of time (60 minutes, in this case), but it also releases Diptyque’s much-celebrated Figuier fragrance, a fresh scent emotive of rich bark and crisp leaf cover. This gift could be your finest hour.
10. The ultimate wine kit
Pity the folk of Maine. At least the Maine of Mr Stephen King’s multiverse. At the hands of the author, they’ve had to contend with vampires, undead pets and maniacal clowns that feed on children’s fears. Not to mention, in the case of the fictional town of Chester’s Mill, waking up one morning to find themselves sealed off from the outside world by a vast dome. Which, come to think of it, must be how L’Atelier du Vin’s Le Globe wine set feels. Including professional-grade implements for opening and, yes, sealing bottles, it comes smartly presented on a walnut tray. Sure, that vintage burgundy is something, but this is the, er, Maine event. (Sorry.)