December 13, 2011

Traditional Decor Items with a Twist

Lambs wool throws with hand-finished fringes from Klippan and Eleanor Pritchard.

Clever designs, bright new colours are the hallmark of wide range of home-centred holiday gifts


When people are dedicated to their homes, there is a golden rule when choosing a gift that will tickle them. Go for items with a neat twist – a glimmer of something usual, perhaps, or an upgraded version of an old favourite. After all, you won’t make them feel like kings or queens of domesticity if that run-of-the-mill cushion or candle ends up with their name on the tag under the Christmas tree. Here is our selection of some home décor gifts guaranteed to light up their faces.

Making the cut

With charcuterie all the rage, cheese and chopping boards have gone from mundane to must-have kitchen accessories. Check out local artisan Union Wood Co., which is creating them from 100-year-old Douglas firs salvaged from a factory. Costs $175 at The Cross Décor & Design, 1198 Homer Street. (604-689 2900;

Not to be sneezed at …

Who wants to look at a boring box of tissues, when you can play house instead? This amusing Umbra house tissue box is $4.95 from Paboom Home Imports, 2209 West Fourth Avenue. (604-738 1050;

Special brew

It’s the smart wooden handles that really make these stainless-steel Freud coffee pots stand out. Get pouring … from $95 at Walrus, 3408 Cambie. (604-874 9770;

Service with a smile

Trust Marimekko – the hue-heavy Finnish creator — to cheer up your kitchen. Everything’s rosy with its Pieni Unikko tray in upbeat blue, green and orange. Costs $55, at Marimekko, 1233 Hamilton Street. (604-609 2881;

A touch of the surreal

Cosy up with Indaba’s bizarre and beautiful penguin cushion. Costs $32 from Chintz & Company, 950 Homer Street. (604-689 2022;

 Suar thing

Hand-carved in Bali out of suar wood, this Buddha piece starts at $79 from the newly launched home décor store, Eclectic Living, 105 West Second Avenue. (604-876 8222;

Lighting-up time

There’s orange and clove to get rid of tobacco, and lily, violet and orange flower to imitate the freshness of the great outdoors: This six-strong candle set – from the Royal family-approved, 180-year-old Price’s candlemakers in London — is on the right scent. Costs $62 from Old Faithful, 320 West Cordova Street. (778-327 9376;

Glass act

Need a spot of colour in your home? These vibrant vases will do the trick. Made by Ontario-based Tsunami Glassworks, they cost from $210, at p+a furniture, 159 West Hastings. (604-255 2089;

Not your grandmother’s dishes

It may look vaguely familiar, but this fabulous five-piece pie set from England is completely reinventing enamelware. Costs $119, from Mint Interiors, 1805 Fir Street. (604-568 3430;

Wrap stars

Curl up luxuriously this winter with these lambs wool throws, notably hand-finished with blanket stitching or fringes from Sweden’s Klippan and Eleanor Pritchard, who hails from the home of the wandering sheep, Wales. Cost from $150, at Örling & Wu Home, 28 Water Street. (604 568 6718;

Make mine a little one

They may not contain enough for a huge family meal, but these porcelain oil and vinegar pourers score high on the cute-o-meter. Cost $5 per set, by PC Home at Real Canadian Superstores at 3185 Grandview Highway (604-436 6407; or Southeast Marine Drive, both in Vancouver (604-322 3702), and 7550 King George Highway, Surrey (604-599 3721).

Bowled over

As any home-décor aficionado knows, Italian design guru Alessi never does anything in half measures when it comes to style. Witness this Harmonic bowl, $171, from Inform Interiors, 50 Water Street. (604-682-3868;

To the point

Tea time will never be the same with this locally made, unique, spiky blowfish teapot. Costs $240 at the Gallery of B.C. Ceramics, 1359 Cartwright Street on Granville Island (604-669 3606;

Outside of the box

Where to keep your love letters or precious bits and bobs? Oscar Maschera’s leather boxes and trays in wonderful red, orange, brown and black are a romantic choice. From $189 at Provide, 529 Beatty Street. (604-632 0095;

Crystal clear

Looking for a smart decanter that looks as pretty on the drinks’ tray as a dressing table? This crystal one is effortlessly double duty. Priced $89.99, at HomeSense. Locations include Metropolis at Metrotown (604-430 3457) and 491 West Eighth Avenue in Vancouver. (604-879 3701;

Revolution in a teacup

Welcome to the otherworldly magic of the Magisso Tipcup which promises a “no-mess” vessel for the looseleaf tea lover via an ingenious inbuilt removable strainer. Co-designed by Daniela Cubelic, tea master and owner of the Victoria-based Silk Road, it costs $29.90 in white or black (; 250-704-2688)

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