Shopping for people, whether it be for the holidays, birthdays, or other special occasions, can be a challenging task. Not only do we want to feel as though it shows that we've put some thought into choosing the right present, but most of us also have to respect a limited budget. Plus, it's always nice if we manage to give something unique - there's nothing worse than learning that the recipient of our gift already has enough of the same item to start selling them in bulk.
Not long ago I rambled on about how all items are designed whether they are considered "designer" items or not. Now I have managed to compile a list of 10 incredibly designed items that make unique and fun gifts and won't put your bank balance into the red, with price tags ranging from only $15 to $120.
1. Clocky by Nanda. Guaranteed to get you out of bed in the morning! And it's adorable, available in different colours. $50 www.nanda.com Also available at the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art's boutique.
2. Hearty Cup & Saucer by Wgokoro-Ya. With every coffee or tea you are reminded that somebody loves you. Drinking glasses and tea set also available. $20 www.mollaspace.com
3. The Come In Go Away Doormat is both practical and unusual. Suits almost any sense of humor. $30 www.betterlivingthroughdesign.com
4. Foot in the Door Doorstop. This doorstop speaks for itself and saves your own shoes from damage from misuse. Available in black too. $15 www.designmyworld.net
5. Mansion Planter by Pull + Push Products. What a neat idea! A planter that looks like a building, complete with stairs and balconies. $120 www.mollaspace.com
6. Rock Vase. A practical vase for one or two flowers and matches any decor. Under $50 from www.tortoiselife.com
7. Skyline Memo. Perfect for home or office use, for adults or kids. Put your mark on the city. $30. www.designmyworld.net
8. Time is Money Clock. Unique gift for a professional, and so true... Time is Money. (The clock doesn't have to be broken to get hard-earned money out - there is a removable plug.) $120 www.atypyk-e-shop.com
9. Original art. There are countless sources for reasonably priced original artwork, Idealspace Design's mini art gallery being one of them. Galleries are easy to find, and you can also contact art schools to enquire about students' art for sale, or browse the Internet. Whatever you are buying, make sure you are informed if it is an original, a hand-painted reproduction, and so on.
10. Gift certificates from Idealspace Design start at only $60 and are definitely a unique gift. I have never heard of other interior designers giving gift certificates for interior design or decor services, but if you're not in or around Montreal, you could ask designers from your area if they would be interested in selling you gift certificates. www.idealspacedesign.com
There are countless items out there that are unique and affordable, and often it only requires that we step off the beaten path to find them. Happy shopping, and happy holidays!