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21 holiday gifts for people who like nice things

“Nice” home goods don’t have to be expensive home goods

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Do you hear that sound? Yes—it’s the distinctive “I-I-IIIII” at the start of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” and you know what that means: The holidays are here again.

With the holidays comes the annual race to find the perfect gift for every person in your life, from your cool coworker to your finicky college roommate and your discerning brother-in-law.

Stressing? We have good news: We’ve rounded up gifts at every price point—starting at $13 for a stocking stuffer and including everything up to a whopper of a piece of very good-looking technology. With Curbed as your guide, you’ll have the perfect presents picked out long before you get tired of hearing Christmas music in the grocery store. Promise.

Aesop teamed up with Sydney-based designer Henry Wilson to produce these river pebble-shaped oil burners ($170) made of solid brass. We recommend you pair it with the company’s Béatrice oil burner blend ($39), which features notes of patchouli, lemongrass, and cedar. Your giftee’s nose will thank you.
If you don’t know Tala, the London-based lighting company, you will soon. The company uses sustainably harvested wood for its products and designs artful bulbs, as seen here in this touch-operated table lamp and “Oblo” porcelain bulb. ($220 for the set, $130 for the lamp, $90 for the bulb.)
Charles and Ray Eames designed this handsome radio ($999), with its molded-plywood frame, in 1946... and then never released it (the manufacturer thought it was odd, the story goes). Fast-forward to 2018, and Vitra’s brought the design out of mothballs—and what a beaut.
These Hay Sonos Play One speakers ($229) come in five playful colors (including au courant pale pink and deep green). Our favorite has to be this one, “Vibrant Red,” which is, in a refreshing twist, neither Darth Vader dark nor Wall-E white. Run, don’t walk: This Wi-Fi speaker collection is limited edition. FYI: The ombre Wiggle vase is from The Break.
You should know: The 65-inch Samsung Frame TV ($2,499) is BIG. It’s also a beauty, with a 4K HD screen that discreetly displays art when you’re not using it to watch RuPaul’s Drag Race reruns.
Whether because of its strong associations with the fun of childhood or its primitive appeal as a writing tool, we love chalk. These Chalk Drawers, by artist Nikolas Bentel and sold at the New Museum Design Store ($28), are a great small gift for kids and kids at heart.
’Tis the season! Looking for living-room gifts? Consider each of the five senses: This year’s Curbed picks are all easy on the eyes, but also include treats ears (like the Hay Sonos Play One and Eames Radio from Vitra) and nose (we’re sniffin’ at you, Aesop oil burner). P.S. The circular vase is by Natalie Weinberger and the shelves (right) are custom, by Mat Driscoll of Bellboy.
Playing cards are hard to beat as a stocking stuffer. Hours of fun? Check. Easy to transport? Check. This rainbow-hued box set from Fredericks & Mae ($12.95) checks a third box: good looking.
Hello cuties! These fully portable, rechargeable LED lamps by Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby for FLOS ($295) come in four suave colors and have a pleasantly rounded form inspired by midcentury hotel design. Psst: The side table is by Hay.
Here’s a good gift for your sophisticated sister-in-law: Each issue of the biannual travel and design journal AUGUST zeroes on a specific city, exploring its architecture, design, and culture. A one-year subscription (two issues) is $44.
Puzzles are a truly perfect stocking stuffer, and this one, from Areaware ($15), features a 70-piece tonkotsu ramen design that will occupy you on a cozy holiday evening—and get your appetite going.
We first got wind of Plant Planet’s fun botanical prints when we spotted them in a home we photographed in LA—and it’s been love ever since. The Winter Fruit lithograph, seen here ($55), can be purchased with or without a frame.
Throw-blanket styles may come and go, but quilting is forever. This made-to-order one from Los Angeles’s Vacilando Quilting Company was inspired by the colors of the Mojave Desert and comes in three sizes (crib, throw, and queen), starting at $350.
The classic white hand towel gets a cheeky update from Hill House Home, which stamped “Soap” and “Water” on its new uber-soft, Made-in-Turkey bath towels. You know: in case you forget what you need to do at the sink. A powder room set will run you $140, and a master bathroom set is $350. The soap dish is by Object & Totem, from the Primary Essentials.
Maybe you don’t give much thought to soap, but the organic Erode series from California’s Umé Studio ($55) may get—and keep—your attention. Each of the seven scent profiles (including lavender, juniper berry, and cedar sandalwood, seen here from left to right) comes in a hand-poured form with a gorgeous, elemental shape. The company also makes hand-cast-concrete “button” trays for each soap ($35 or sold as a set for $75). And, in case you’re curious, the speckled ceramic vessel at center is by Ben Fiess.
Have a newly married friend or an in-law who’s big on cooking? Give the gift of stylish oven- and dishwasher-safe stainless steel pots and pans with these options from Great Jones, sold individually (from $45) or as a five-piece set (along with a cast-iron pot) for $395.
The tried-and-true cast-iron pot is getting a refresh this year, courtesy of a new brand on the scene, Great Jones. It’s offering this enameled option in sumptuous “Broccoli” (and four other colors) for $145.
We already dug the work of North Carolina ceramics brand East Fork—and then we saw this five-piece gift set (one of several on offer from the company this holiday season). What’s in the box ($230)? Two excellent East Fork bowls, a Japanese clay cooking pot called a donabe, wooden soup spoons, a packet for making soup stock, and a donabe cookbook. Itadakimasu!
Get cookin’. These stovetop and kitchenware gifts—from East Fork soup kits to Great Jones cookware sets—are an excellent choice for pretty much everyone in your life who actually makes use of their oven. By the way, that covetable yellow pepper mill is from Le Creuset.
This ridged pitcher set ($86), by New York City industrial-design studio Visibility for Areaware, includes four glasses and gives your friends and family zero excuses for not staying hydrated. It’s available in cobalt blue (our fave, seen here), moody, brass-colored “smoke,” and clear.
A carafe (for water, grapefruit juice, or—let’s be real—wine) classes up any tablescape. This playful option from Brooklyn shop Leif ($64) is hand blown in Guatemala and made from recycled glass. Want matching tumblers? You’re in luck. The tall one, seen here, is $38. A “short” version is available for $30.
We know all about the people who swear by expensive coffee-making accessories, and we respect their commitment. This Texas-made, matte-black-ceramic mug and pour-over set ($28), from Portland, Oregon-based Spartan Shop, is a great gift for your friend who is into both brewed beans and sculptural kitchen goods.
Getting going in the morning can be a drag. Inject a little liveliness into your loved ones’ mornings with these pastel-hued rainbow mugs from Hay and the MoMA Design Store ($17 each). Tea on the go is an option, too, if you add Hay’s George Sowden-designed water bottle ($35) to your gift.

Market editor and writer: Asad Syrkett
Photo director: Audrey Levine
Photography and styling: Heidi’s Bridge
Photo assistant: Brandon Wickencamp, Coni Tarallo
Copy editing: Emma Alpern
Editor-in-chief: Kelsey Keith