Best Holiday Gifts for the Home in 2022
Our favorite digital photo frame and flannel sheets, plus plenty of ideas for hosts
Nota bene: If you buy through the links in this article, we may earn a small share of the profits.
We find ourselves at a crossroads in our homes these days. Tech companies are still trying to sell us on the smart home, but most of us are looking for ways to unplug. We’re conscious of buying American-made, but we don’t want to leave good deals and design on the table. We’re beyond the minimalist moment, but we’ve also honed in on our living spaces during the pandemic, so we still want to be intentional about what we bring inside. As such, all the home gifts we’ve chosen for 2022 meet this in-between moment — and meet the important criteria of being products we desperately want to add to our own homes, if we don’t own them already.
We’ve got bar carts and rocking chairs that will put on a smile on their face, without upsetting their curated feng shui. Those hundreds of photos sitting on your phone? We’ve figured out a couple novel ways to make use of those for heartfelt presents. And when we do ring up the tech wizards for their latest digital marvel, it’s something that will enliven your recipient’s space, rather than drain it.
Oh, and since we’re talking holiday gifts, we’ve also got some of the best coffee table books of the year and our absolute favorite flannel sheets. Can’t go wrong there.
Aura Mason Luxe Digital Photo Frame
What is the one thing all American adults have in common? A phone full of photos they have no idea what to do with. The solution? This digital photo frame from Aura, which is a handsome object in its own right (not the case for all digital photo frames) and incredibly easy to use, even for those in your life who aren’t tech-savvy. Plug it in, connect it to wifi, use an app to upload photos (or videos, with sound!) and their home is instantly cheerier. I should know, I have one.
HAY PC Portable Lamp
Portable lamps are the way of the future. HAY’s PC Lamp can be used both indoors and outdoors and it is incredibly lightweight. With a touch control dimmer you can adjust the brightness easily. And that classic mushroom shape is made of a thick plastic that is scratch and water resistant. HAY is known for taking everyday objects and turning them into works of art and this lamp is no different.
Squatty Potty Oslo Bamboo Folding Stool
You can’t knock the Squatty Potty for any practical reason. It’s a game-changer on the commode, as anyone who has tried one can attest. You can, however, knock the basic plastic model for its design, which is going to be a non-starter for anyone who cares an iota about their bathroom design. Enter: the Oslo Bamboo Folding model, which is legitimately handsome, well crafted and looks like a normal stool, so it’ll blend right in rather than screaming to your guests, “I’m the device they use for better bowel movements!” And when you do want it out of the way, just push a button underneath, fold down the sides and store it flat.
Pat Kim Wall Clock
Just because we all have smartphones in our pockets doesn’t mean we need to bow before our digital timekeeping overlords. In fact, I say go against the grain and pick up Pat Kim’s take on a wall clock, which is an imprecise geometrical delight. Will this help anyone keep track of the time more efficiently? Of course not, but that’s not the point. This may just help them break free from our overscheduled world and make time for, oh, I don’t know, play.
Graypants Wick LED Candle
The first time we heard the phrase “LED candle,” we were skeptical too. But this is one of those oddities you have to see to believe. It acts as a rechargeable lamp that you can carry and features three brightness settings and a “pulse” mode, and believe us when we say it can get incredibly bright. Set them along a table for a candlelit dinner outdoors. Keep one by your bed and use it instead of your phone when you get up in the middle of the night. It will replace normal candles or even flashlights, and shows technology can still be whimsical.
Shinola Wool Stripe Throw Blanket
Holiday gift guides are absolutely lousy with blankets. So what makes this one from Shinola worth wrapping up with a bow? It’s made in the U.S. (American manufacturing!) in collaboration with Pendleton Woolen Mills (heritage!), it’s 100% wool (natural fibers!), it’s big (five-by-six feet!) and the striped design is timeless without being boring (who doesn’t love stripes?). In short: get this one.
House of Léon Face Vase
Not everyone can have fresh flowers filling their vases every day of the year. However, if you’ve got a vase that doubles as a sculpture, like this foot-tall Face Vase from House of Léon, then you can leave it out all year without feeling like you need to empty your bank account at the farmers market. If you want to take your gifting to an expert level, though, get them flowers too.
Brooklinen Flannel Sheets
It’s inevitable that we’ll all be a little melancholy when the holidays end. But you know who won’t be feeling those post-Yule blues? Anyone who gets these flannel sheets from Brooklinen, because they’ll get to enjoy the warm and welcoming embrace of this unimpeachable bedding every single night. We’re partial to the green plaid, but if that’s too cabin-in-the-woods, there are plenty of other colors to choose from.
Louis Vuitton: Virgil Abloh
An homage to the late Virgil Abloh, this tome chronicles the groundbreaking designer’s time as the artistic director of menswear at the French fashion house. Along with hundreds of images documenting his tenure, which was cut short by his death in 2021, the book contains reflections from friends and collaborators like Nigo, Naomi Campbell, Kendall Jenner and Kid Cudi.
Masaya & Co. Amador Rocking Chair
Masaya & Co. has become one of our favorite furniture brands of late, for their incredibly handsome designs and unmistakably high-quality construction (honestly, their pieces feel luxurious in a way that, if you’re anything like us, just might put all your other furniture to shame), sure, but also for their commitment to real, large-scale sustainability. The company has established over 1,100 acres of tree farms on deforested land, where they plant beautiful teak, rosewood and cedar and other hardwoods. Named for a small town in Nicaragua, Masaya showcases local artisans and their traditions.
Houseplant Gloopy Ashtray by Seth
Seth as in Seth Rogen. The actor decided to turn his interests (pot and pottery) into a side hustle with Houseplant, which deals in stylish smoking accessories (and, in California and Canada, actual cannabis). Whether they partake or simply appreciate avant-garde ceramics, this Gloopy Ashtray will look positively kooky in any space. Even better, this limited-edition container comes with a certificate of authenticity signed by Seth himself.
FLIKR XL Personal Concrete Fireplace
FLIKR started with a classic round “personal fireplace,” which could be used indoors or out, and was a cinch to burn. For Bespoke Post, they went bigger with this XL model. It’s better for hosting, but also easier to extinguish at the end of the night and still fits into whatever living situation you’re working with. And yes, before you ask, you can cook s’mores over them.
Artifact Uprising Hardcover Photo Book
The other thing you can do with those hundreds of photos sitting there on your phone that aren’t doing anyone any good? Make a photo book out of them. Don’t worry, it’s not as time-consuming as it sounds, at least not if you use Artifact Uprising. Start with their Hardcover Photo Book template, then pick some simple attributes like size, page count and color, then upload your photos and you’re almost done. If you don’t have an eye for design, you can pay a little more to have their team finesse the layout. You’ll still get 100% of the cred when they unwrap it.
Matilda Goad & Co. Bar Cart
Some people are trying to maximize space in a one- or two-bedroom apartment. Others are drowning in space with the new homes they bought during the pandemic. Either way, this charming bar cart will extend their cocktail service into any room they very well please. Available in red or yellow, both of them evoke the set of a Wes Anderson movie, which is always a plus.
WS Game Company Luxury Clue
Board games are seriously underrated gifts. If you’re going to a party, they can add to the entertainment for the night. Even if you won’t be there when it’s unwrapped, it’ll give the recipient something to look forward to after all the presents are opened. The offerings from WS Game Company are particularly special, as they swap out the cheap plastic and flimsy paper construction from classic titles and reimagine them in designs worth leaving out on your table, instead of stuffing them into a closet. With this version of Clue, you’re getting three-dimensional rooms under tempered glass, all housed in an elegant wooden cabinet. Who needs Netflix when you’ve got games that look this good?
Norm Architects Folk Ladder Mirror
Place it in a small room to make it feel larger, fashion it as the centerpiece of a bedroom (or slot it in a walk-in closet) for those fit checks, anchor it in the entryway for last-minute looks before heading out into the wide world — the long and short of it is, every home would benefit from the Folk Ladder Mirror. This may be just the finishing touch they’ve been looking for…
Sonic Editions Fine Art Photography
Artwork can be an impressive and memorable gift, especially if it ends up as the showpiece of their living room. It can also be expensive and rife with pitfalls (framing, matching their taste, buying something unique). Sonic Editions streamlines the process with their impressive collection of limited-edition fine art photography. You can choose from specific photographers (like Slim Aarons), subjects (like Dizzy Gillespie) and collections (like Hollywood), then add a frame style and rest easy knowing the archival print will arrive in pristine condition and ready to hang. In fact, go ahead and pick a space on their wall ahead of time.
David Yarrow: Storytelling
If you can’t have one of David Yarrow’s cinematic photographs hung up wall-to-wall in your house, this is the next best thing. His brand new photo book does justice to his painstakingly constructed scenes (Wild West saloons, yachts helmed by the Wolf of Wall Street) by coming in a truly gargantuan package, at 14.4 x 15.1 x 2.7 inches and weighing just under 10 pounds. Get a taste of what you’re in for by reading our interview with the British photographer, then make sure your recipient’s coffee table won’t buckle under the weight of this wide-ranging collection.
Anthropologie Roll the Ice Coasters
It’s hard to get excited about coasters, but we’ll make an exception for these beauts. These are downright sexy. Ideal for a particularly snazzy bar or game room, this set of six golden coasters accounts for all the faces of a die.
HAY Neon Tube LED Lamp
For the artist or teenager in your life (or the person who can still pull off teenage-bedroom style), consider this lamp from the Danish design wizards at HAY. Wait, it’s just a neon tube? Yes, and that’s what makes it oddly brilliant. Lean it up against a corner, tuck it behind a bookcase (or place it on a bookcase shelf), illuminate your bar. The only limitation is the creativity of the giftee.
Sandgrain Studio Cocktail Posters
Does anyone really need a poster telling them how to make a simple Old Fashioned or an even simpler Negroni? Hopefully not. But that’s not the reason we want these posters from Sandgrain Studio. We want them because they’ll look fantastic hanging over our bar cart in the basement. (OK, and because it doesn’t hurt to have a reminder when you’re a couple drinks in.)
Grovemade Desk Shelf
All of Grovemade’s minimalist goods make great gifts for the home office, but the Desk Shelf, which comes in three sizes and various materials, stands out for its ability to single-handedly provide a makeover for a haphazard workspace. It’s a computer stand and storage space all in one, with sleek looks that’ll help it fit in with desks both clean and cluttered.
Ice Cold: A Hip-Hop Jewelry History
There are layers to Ice Cold, a unique historical record just out from Taschen, and we’re not talking about the many, many chains featured in this coffee table book. This deep dive into hip-hop jewelry showcases the musicians themselves (starting with Run-DMC and working up to Cardi B), the jewelers who iced them out, the photographers who captured them, and even includes essays from rappers ranging from LL Cool J to A$AP Ferg. Possibly a good one to give your dad who never understood grills.
OneClock Alarm Clock
Not only is OneClock designed to help people achieve the ultimate goal of a phone-free bedroom with its analog functionality, but this curious little alarm clock has another trick up its sleeve: gorgeous musical compositions created by Jon Natchez of The War on Drugs (if that doesn’t mean anything to you, the guy won a Grammy). This will not pair with smart home devices, which may just be the smartest thing you can do for your sleep routine.
Theory11 Slow Dance Lamp
Add to their cabinet of curiosities with the mystifying Slow Dance, an optical illusion lamp that illuminates small objects of their choosing (it comes with two feathers, but flowers from the garden, vibrant leaves and similar ephemera work) and entices them to ever-so-slightly twist and twirl. How are these inanimate objects brought to life? That’s the point of the thing, not to know.
One of These Days Gone Tomorrow Tray
Everyone needs a valet tray. You know, that vessel to toss your essentials on: keys, phone, wallet, lip balm, sunglasses. We’re not a big fan of wireless charging pads, so skip the high-tech receptacles and get them one that’ll actually look good on their counter, like this Western scene from artist Matt McCormick. After all, everyone could use a little more yeehaw to start their day.
Sometimes you need more than “fig” or “sandalwood” to help guide your sensory journey when lighting that scented candle. Which is why Anecdote’s descriptions help elevate its concoctions above the rest. “Smells like full moons and mercury in retrograde.” Yup, we know exactly the person who’s getting that in her stocking. “Smells like procrastination and inspiration.” Finally, a candle made just for your brother. There really is a candle for everyone.
We've put in the work researching, reviewing and rounding up all the shirts, jackets, shoes and accessories you'll need this season, whether it's for yourself of for gifting purposes. Sign up here for weekly style inspo direct to your inbox.
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