Deck The Halls: Great Gifts For The Home
The presents sure to put a smile on house-proud faces, from Asprey, Tom Dixon, Ralph Lauren Home and more
It likely hasn’t escaped your notice, but the holidays are edging steadily closer. We can already hear the faint jingle of a Christmas playlist in the distance – the MR PORTER London offices, fortuitously or otherwise, sit atop a sprawling shopping mall, which, right on schedule, has transformed itself into a vast, gaudy grotto. If you caught last week’s luxury watch instalment, you’ll know that in the run-up to the big day, we’re rounding up an assortment of our favourite gifts to make your selections that bit easier. On this week’s agenda: homeware. Shopping bags at the ready? Let’s deck those halls.
FOR TASTEFUL WALLS
Sonic Editions was founded in 2009 by Mr Russell Blackmore as an antidote to those dreaded “Keep Calm And Carry On” posters. If, like Mr Blackmore, you shudder atsuch twee decor, the brand’s limited-run prints will be more your speed. His team – which includes LA-photographer Mr Sean Sullivan – raid long-forgotten archives or partner with photographers to release limited-edition prints at, and this is the really good part, very reasonable prices. Our exclusive MR PORTER edit for the holiday season includes this oh-so-cool greyscale portrait of Mr Serge Gainsbourg, poised to take a puff of his ever-present Gitanes. Don’t know any Francophiles? There’s plenty more where that came from – you’ll find snaps of everyone from The Beatles to Dr Dre in the portfolio.
Or try these
FOR A FESTIVE BREAKFAST
The Wolseley Collection
Breakfast has lost its ceremonial swagger. There’s no pomp or circumstance about washing down a muesli bar with a hurried swig of bitter takeaway coffee on a commuter train. Which is why a proper breakfast – breakfast at The Wolseley, to be specific – is a thing of gastronomic beauty. The former car showroom-turned-grand café at 160 Piccadilly was a favourite of revered (and feared) Sunday Times restaurant critic Mr AA Gill, who – in spite of his typical verbosity – summed up his dining experience with one choice word: “Wow!” As well as a truly cracking kedgeree and homemade Viennoiserie, the thing that distinguishes The Wolseley is the carefully-curated accoutrements in which it serves them up in: the polished table is adorned over the course of the morning with a procession of toast rack, coffee pots and egg cups. One of MR PORTER’s latest acquisitions, The Wolseley Collection, allows you (or lucky recipients) to recreate the ritual at home with a series of elegant pieces like this silver-plated tea set with caddy.
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FOR A TABLE OF TREATS
For presents fit for a king or queen, Asprey is the name to know. The 237-year-old British jeweller has held a covetable Royal Warrant since 1862, which Queen Victoria granted for the brand’s dressing and writing cases. Its remit has always extended beyond these areas, though. Especially noteworthy is the label’s silverware collection, which is handmade in the workshops squirrelled away above its New Bond Street store. MR PORTER’s selection includes novelties such as duck head bottle openers and spaceship-shaped cocktail shakers, but this egg cup and coordinating gilded spoon fashioned, rather appropriately, with chicken feet takes our particular fancy. We challenge you to find something more fitting to present the so-called “man who has everything” come Christmas morn. And, once you’ve ticked off everyone on your shopping list, turn to the brand when you’re dressing the Christmas table – the contents of Asprey’s cracker set will put last year’s surprises to shame.
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FOR A PERFECT CUPPA
“Life is like a piece of toast”. No, we aren’t in the throes of an existential monologue, though the onset of December and present-buying season has a tendency to bring it out in us. Rather, it’s the motto of TOAST Living, a homeware range that seeks to simplify and streamline the objects we use every day. So, if you have anyone on your nice list whose tastes lean towards the minimal, look no further: the brand’s wares look as good in action as they do on a kitchen shelf (who among us doesn’t appreciate a decent “shelfie”?). To get each piece just right, the label enlists some of design’s rising stars. This copper-coated kettle, for example, is the product of a collaboration with Milk Design, a Hong Kong studio led by new kid on the block Mr Chi Wing Lee. If you really want to splash out, present it as a set with the coordinating drip coffee set.
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FOR A BOXING DAY PICK-ME-UP
Another brand taking up the minimalist mantle is Taiwanese outfit bi.du.haev, whose name is based on the phonetic notation of the English words “Be Do Have”. The collection, which is new to us, adheres to functionalist design principles that would make Mr Arne Jacobsen beam with pride – seriously, the label’s sculptural coffee makers are worthy of a spot in Architectural Digest (or at least your Instagram feed). From what you’ve read so far – this being the third tea or coffee-related item on the list – you might be labouring under the assumption that the MR PORTER team have an unhealthy obsession with caffeine. And, well, you’d be right. But we’re also of the opinion that once the holiday festivities and frivolities are over, your gift recipients will be thankful for a present that aids their recovery. This pour-over concrete and copper set up is fuss-free, practical and looks really, really nice – what more could they ask for?
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FOR SIPPING BY THE FIRE
Ralph Lauren Home Metropolis Crystal Decanter Coming soon
Ralph Lauren Home
Fresh from our recent collaboration with the all-American brand, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, we’ve recently added Ralph Lauren Home to our ranks. The label joins our current roster of Polo, RRL, Purple Label and RLX, and like its all-American sartorial output, the core offering is a collection of well-crafted classics. The designer started the range because he couldn’t find things that were up to scratch when he was decorating himself: “After Ricky and I were married it was time to think about our home. We were disappointed at the lack of choices and quality. That’s when I decided to create my home collections. I design with a purpose in mind, and I want things to last and look better for having been used,” he says. The pieces in the Metropolis barware collection, especially, are the crystal equivalent of a button-down Oxford or camel Polo coat and every bit as timeless and refined. The hand-cut decanter (and, if you’re feeling really generous, the matching glasses) will make any whisky or wine drinker very happy.