Guest blogger: The Aesthete Collective
Darling smarties, how is it almost Christmas?
In between relocating to Newcastle, Covid-19, lockdown, and coming back home to Perth it feels like the festive season has come around much quicker than usual. After spending a year away from everyone, this Christmas I’m most looking forward to spending time with my loved ones and cooking a big feast – and you bet I will be buying them all some killer gifts to celebrate the end of a very crazy year.
I love shopping, especially for others. You could say gift-giving is my love language – you know, the way you show others you care. I love spoiling my loved ones, not only at Christmas but when something good happens, or even just to make the everyday feel more special. Nothing says you care like finding a prezzie that’s ‘so perfectly them’, it’s such a heartwarming feeling to see the look on their face when you’ve really nailed it.
This year I’ve had so much fun curating a giving guide for all my smarties, looking to save you time and cut straight to the good stuff. Gosh, I love my job, how lucky am I?!.
From personal experience of being a seasoned shopper I can tell you that my biggest tip is to be prepared. Write a list of who you are buying for and your budget for each gift, that way you won’t end up buying double ups or forgetting anyone. When it comes to the kidlets, make sure you know their age, size, and what they’re into that year (as trends change fast in their world).
If you find yourself getting overwhelmed, take some time to sit down, have a drink and go through your list again slowly at your own pace. Shopping centres with all their chaos, music, and crowds can be a lot so be patient with yourself. If you’re not sure where to start, check out my Ultimate New Homebuyer Chrissie Gift Guide below. To make it even more efficient (thank me later) I’ve broken the list into three price tiers – Under $50 (great for that secret Santa or stocking filler), Under $150, and Under $500 (if you’re into a real splurge!).
There’s something for everyone on here! The entertainer, the gardener, and the stylist so you won’t be caught out. Best of all, the gifts are perfect for you new home buyers and builders wanting to make your house a home. So, if that’s you, or someone you know, happy shopping!
Big Spender (Under $500)
1. Sparkling Water Maker: I’m obsessed with sparkling water, this is an appliance by Aarke is one that I would be proud to have on the bench because it’s so stylish.
2. Cutlery Set: With its trademark bee logo, this classic French cutlery by Laguiole will make any meal look beautiful. I love the black as it is striking, but the white and pastel sets are gorgeous too.
3. Stool: I love this little milkmaid stool, it has so much character. I love the idea of having it next to the bath for a towel or a glass of wine to sit on.
4. Print: Kara Rosenlund is an Australian photographer with the most divine print series from all around the world, meaning there is something to suit every home.
5. Toaster & Kettle Set: I’m all for a beautiful appliance, and this Morphy Richards white toaster and kettle are no exception. I love the minimal design while the wood gives it some warmth and character.
6. Cast Iron Pot: Another classic French kitchen item is a LeCreuset cast iron pot. I use mine almost daily, they are such an investment in cooking, and whats better is they look gorgeous on the stovetop too.
7. Sheet Set: A beautiful sheet set can make a bedroom feel so much more luxurious. I am currently loving this set from Cultiver with the Cedar stripe as it’s fresh for summer and the stripe just adds something a little different.
8. Interior Doormat: All the areas of your home should be stylish, and your entrance is no exception! I love this Armadillo Co. floor mat, the jute gives it a relaxed feel while the wool softens it making it perfect for any home.
9. Throw Rug: Waverly Mills is Australia’s oldest working mill and it creates the most beautiful recycled wool. Finding a brand with products that are made to last is such a win. I love the beautiful pink palette of this one.
10. Coat Hook: Organisation never looked so good with this minimalist coat rack. Perfect for the entrance, a master suite or a bathroom.
Savvy Spender (Under $150)
1. Carafe with glass: Perfect for your desk or bedside, this Maison Balzac Carafe comes in the most beautiful colours, even if pink isn’t your thing the mint and amber colour are also a great choice.
2. Marble tray: A stylish solution for things like your jewellery, spare keys or skincare. I love the marble tray series as they are so versatile yet practical.
3. Candle: Scent is so powerful and can make such a difference to a space. You can never go wrong with the Baies candle, it is Diptyque’s most popular scent and the vessel matches any interior. I love this scent for a living area.
4. Cushion: Bonnie and Neil is such a beautiful Australian brand, their colours are just incredible, what I love about this cushion is it’s brightness, it will make such a beautiful statement in any home.
5. Napkins: More Bonnie & Neil as I just love how they create such beautiful textiles featuring Australian Flora and Fauna, I recommend these to anyone purchasing a gift for someone overseas too (light to post and reflect the beauty of Australian design).
6. Bottle Opener: I have bought this bottle opener for so many people, it’s the most stylish one I’ve come across and it’s incredibly strong for those stubborn bottle tops. It’s such a conversation piece you will want to keep it out on your benchtop or bar on display.
7. Napkin Rings: I’m not normally one for napkin rings, but these are just incredible. I love the brushed brass making the luxury a little more refined and subtle.
8. Bird Feeder: Made from recycled plastic this bird feeder is good for the environment in more ways than one. I love the colour and the design of this piece, and so will the birds.
9. Bottle Grinders: It doesn’t matter you’re buying for someone who loves to cook or not, but every kitchen needs a set of these bottle grinders. There is a colour set for every home, but my personal favourite is the hunting green and beige.
10. Bathrobe: Sheridan is a brand that encapsulates luxury, and nothing says luxury more than a white bathrobe. These cotton bathrobes will make you feel like you live in a hotel.
Stocking fillers (Under $50)
1. Hand soap: You really can’t go wrong with this gift, it has the most beautiful natural fragrance to it, and the size of the bottle makes it last a long time. Perfect for the kitchen, your guest hand sink or in your master.
2. Spade: This is for those who love to garden, I love this hand trowel as the beautiful timber is soft enough that over time it moulds to your hand. There is a whole range of these timeless gardening accessories so it makes buying over the years easier as you can build up a set.
3. Tea towels: Such a great stocking filler, everyone needs those ‘nice’ tea towels, the ones that only come out for parties and special events, well these are those and for a stylish tea towel, they’re at a good enough price to buy a few.
4. Juicer: Robert Gordon is known for their gorgeous pottery, and I am really loving this little juicer, it’s perfect for juicing your citrus, and keeping on a shelf as a display.
5. Vase: Country Road can do no wrong when it comes to their vases. I love the shape of this one and with that colour I can picture a bunch of poppies effortlessly leaning in this piece. There are others in this series you could cluster with for added effect.
6. Cookbook: If you’ve ever had the pleasure of eating at one of Bill Granger’s restaurants be it in Sydney or London, you’ll know he has such a way of creating such impressive meals from simple ingredients. This book not only has recipes you’ll want to cook but some very yummy looking drinks too.
7. Mug: These beautiful Marimekko mugs are like pieces of art, and I love the floral pattern on this one. These mugs are also comfortable to hold and great quality china.
8. Produce Bags: It’s so important that we try and make small changes around the house that contribute to the environment, and reducing plastic waste is a good start. This set of 5 produce bags make food shopping and storage a much greener experience.
9. Keyring: I’m obsessed with this brass shield! Anything to make boring keys look better, they are still apart of your house so why shouldn’t they look chic!
10. Conversation Cards: These cards are so much fun when hosting a dinner party, pop one at each persons place setting for some fun conversations!
Lulu Cavanagh is a multi-hyphenate interior design, stylist, photographer, graphic designing, and owner of the design studio ‘The Aesthete Collective’. When she’s not lending her stylish eye to the who’s who of the design world, like including Empire Homewares, Sheridan, Stylecraft and Bauwerk Colour, she’s perfecting a floral arrangement or going for a coast walk. After living abroad in the UK, interstate in Melbourne and Newcastle she is back in Perth for 2021 and working on some exciting projects with Smart Homes for Living. Lucky us!