To my mind, the point of gifting is to give another person something that becomes indispensable to them, or very nearly so. To that end, I like finding attractive, well-designed versions of useful, everyday things, because that way the items in question will actually be loved and used, instead of re-gifted or put away in a drawer somewhere—which is always the fear.
1. Emile Henry Salt Pig
First of all, you just have to love something called a salt pig, and I like how it looks kind of retro and space-age. It’s also a super-handy and easily accessible way to store salt, and when you’re done cooking, it looks great on your dining room table. Also, it comes in a ton of good colors, but I’m partial to this poppy red, which is what I have in my kitchen.
$40, Bed, Bath & Beyond
2. Brass clips
Your gift-ee can use these cool brass clips as she would an ordinary paperclip, or as a bookmark. I think the shapes are really cheery and fun.
3. MTA socks
I love these safety-orange socks from streetwear brand Only NY, in collaboration with the Metropolitan Transit Authority. They’d look so cool peeking out from under a pair of jeans, and the MTA logo is kind of a classic.
$14, Only NY
4. Wolfum serving tray
I’m a big fan of LA-based home design brand Wolfum, and designer Annabel Inganni is masterful in her deployment of color and pattern. This tray would come in handy as a cheese and appetizer board for parties, but I might put it on my dresser and store jewelry on it.
Alma blue serving tray, $68, Wolfum
5. Block perpetual calendar
I don’t know about you, but I’m always forgetting what the date is, and while a quick glance my laptop or phone would resolve that issue handily, wouldn’t at this pocket-sized desk calendar be a far more stylish solution?
6. Stacking jewelry boxes
These are a nice, neat way to store jewelry or whatever else you want out of sight, and the color combinations are pretty fun.
$25 ($20 for members), MoMA Design Store
7. Coin purse
I always want things that go in my handbag to be bright-colored, so I don’t have trouble finding them. This little coin purse fits those specs, and couldn’t be a whole lot cuter either.
$65, Clare V.