It can be a tricky sort of challenge to buy someone else a gift for their home. Something too obviously highbrow might cast an unwelcome shadow over the rest of their stuff; something in the wrong color palette might clash with their taste. But the 11 gifts below, from an inexpensive set of espresso cups to a hardworking outdoor fireplace pit, all strike the same note: they’re great-looking and functional items that will make great additions to anyone’s space.
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Baxter of California White Wood No. 3 Candle
We’ve written our fair share of words about candles here at Men’s Journal, which are important because—and this is especially true in winter—when you’re inside, it’s easy for the air to get stuffy and unpleasant. Baxter’s candle, easily one of the best things the California grooming company makes, will fill the air in any home with the soothing, masculine scents of leather, rosemary, and cedar. You might not want to leave the house once you’ve started burning it.
Of course any home that has candles needs an implement to light them, and this knurled brass match striker from the Los Angeles firm JFM is not equal to that task, but it’s also a really cool addition to any coffee table. Think of it as a literal fire starter and an actual conversation piece: match strikers were common in the Victorian era, but these days they’re pretty rare. Using one to light a candle in front of your guests is a lot more elegant than whipping out your drug store standby lighter.
If you’re trying to find a gift for someone who’s not a candle guy, that’s fine, but know that you can do a lot better than plugging a strip of scented plastic into your wall outlet. Tom Dixon’s scent diffuser, which comes in a hexagonal aluminum vessel, brings the calming smells of amber, cedar, and cypriol into your space, and it looks cool enough to leave out and display.
Parachute, the company known all over the Internet for its soft and sustainably made bedding and homewares, partnered with the Los Angeles ceramicists Kat & Roger to apply their signature pattern to a warm wool-and-cashmere blend blanket. It has just enough visual interest to make for an eye-catching addition to the arm of your couch, and its soft hand will make it a cold-weather favorite from day one.
With all the battery-powered devices so many of us carry around every day, finding enough places to plug in and charge can be a hassle. Conway’s Smart Chip Extension Cord is one of the few that’s stylish enough to leave out in the middle of your space, and it boasts two standard plugs and two USB plugs, so you can charge everything that news power at the same time.
Not that this will matter to the dedicated coffee lover on your list, but there’s some science that suggests that drinking your morning cup of joe out of a white cup can make it taste a more bitter than it actually does. Solve that problem for the person who runs on espresso with these glass cups. They’re a departure from the standard white ceramic—in a very, very good way.
If you’re looking for something that will get passed down from one generation to the next, it’s hard to beat this champagne bucket from Match. Out of the box it looks like an heirloom that’s survived decades of family celebrations, which is something you can only achieve in the kind of family owned Italian factories where this thing was made.
There’s nothing quite like a roaring fire in the dead of winter. There’s also nothing like lighting a roaring fire and then not having the appropriate set of tools to deal with that roaring fire. Before things go off the rails for your flame-loving friends, get them a set of tools to manage any errant ashes or embers.
Know someone who wants to light a fire on their deck or patio? Try this heavy steel fire pit from Stahl, whose pieces were cut with a precision that means they don’t have to be welded together, and a lack of a powder coating means that every fire you light in this thing will contribute to its patina over time.