The holidays are here once again, and this year more than ever we think it’s vital to continue celebrating and supporting the businesses in our own backyards. In an age where practically anything we need is available at the click of a button or a tap on our phones, face-to-face interaction and a slower, considered approach to consumption has become a welcome respite fromhttps://seventhandoak.com/ the usual fast-paced rush of the holiday shopping season.
With that in mind, we’ve put together this Holiday Gift Guide to help inspire you with some of our favourite local picks for homewares, kitchen accessories, self-care staples and sustainable alternatives. We’ll be highlighting some of our favourite designers and purveyors so you can shop mindfully this season while ensuring you’re crossing off everyone on your list.
LIV Design Studio’s 2021 Holiday Gift Guide
More than ever before, our homes have become the focal points of our daily existence — spaces where we can discover meaningful comfort and curate our own unique living experience. The gifts we’ve chosen here were selected to seamlessly integrate into recipients’ everyday lives, adding functionality and a touch of pared-down elegance to any living space.
This stylish serving tray from German designer Christian Haas‘ 2016 collection for Arita is functional elegance at its very best. Combining the best of both Asian and Western dining sensibilities, this minimal porcelain tray has a simple but captivating pattern that could easily integrate into any home. Available at Milky’s on Dundas St. West in Toronto, this gift is perfect for the coffee and/or tea lovers in your life.
The Ellipse self watering planter available from Vancouver-based interior designers Pure Design is the perfect gift solution for the absent-minded plant parent. Handmade in Canada by a completely woman-owned, locally-focused business, the Ellipse planter by MiMOKO is hand-thrown in porcelain with a smooth, pared-down finish that can seamlessly blend into any living space. The cleverly designed planter waters from the bottom-up using a lower reservoir to ensure even coverage for your coveted greenery.
Mjölk is a Toronto-based interior design & lifestyle shop with a curated selection of the very best furniture and housewares from across Scandinavia and Japan. For Volume II of their Book Series, Mjölk has travelled to Japan to spotlight the workspaces of local artisans, exploring the meaning of “Seikatsu Kogei”, a Japanese craft movement that is closely tied to everyday life. These books are thoughtfully produced to bring inspiration to our daily lives at every turn, and serve as a reminder of the merits of thoughtful design and consumption.
Atkinson’s is a Vancouver store specializing in carefully selected dinnerware, crystal/glass, flatware and home accessories. With a focus on European designers both established and small & artisanal, their website features over 20,000 curated pieces to ensure there’s something for everyone on your holiday shopping list. We chose the Cobra Candleholder Set by Georg Jensen for our Gift Guide this year, as its versatile design inspired by the form of its namesake snake would make the perfect centrepiece of an elaborate dinner table.
Since 1988, Livingspace Interiors has been providing Vancouverites with functional, modern design solutions from top European designers. Shown here is the 28 Clear Table Lamp by Bocci, a minimalistic table lamp constructed using an innovative process that gives it its unique, semi-distorted spherical shape. Inside is an opaque milk glass diffuser housing the LED lamp, which helps give this table lamp a warm glow that instantly makes any space a bit cozier. Brass fixtures add a touch of elegance, while a notch on the base’s underside allows the lamp to be affixed to a wall as well.
GoodBeast is a Vancouver design firm that produces top-notch hand-blown glass decor and glassware. Each piece is crafted by hand at their local studio, with a focus on function above all else. The BOULDER Vase was designed to explore the natural weakness of glass, by hand-forming the vase then allowing it to collapse in on itself to capture the material’s organic shapes. This also serves to make each piece completely unique, albeit with an instantly-recognizable form that can fit into any space. Pictured here is the “Enamel” iteration of the vase, but it’s also available in a variety of other colours & finishes so you can personalize this one-of-a-kind gift.
We’ve partnered with GoodBeast as part of our annual hoLIVday Giveaway. Enter here for your chance to win the Boulder Vase in Enamel for you or a loved one.
FOUND‘s design work, in their own words, is “ready to accompany you through your appetites, your moods, your desires” with a host of unique, modern pieces brought to us by Montreal-based industrial designers ALLSTUDIO. Their often whimsical wares are designed to last, adding a unique twist to whatever space they find themselves within. For our 2021 Gift Guide, we selected the studio’s SUN Shelves. Instantly adding panache to any room, this rounded composition of 4 distinct shelves provides the perfect storage solution as well as a distinct graphic element.
Celsia Floral is a boutique, family-owned floral shop in Vancouver’s vibrant Kitsilano neighbourhood. They consistently create some of our favourite fresh floral arrangements, all custom-made to order. LIV Design Studio has frequently used Celsia’s stunning floral designs in our past projects and we absolutely love the unique creations they provide. This Holiday Signature Arrangement is the perfect gift for hosts this holiday season, or a festive accessory to your own celebrations.
We’ve partnered with Celsia Florist as part of our annual hoLIVday Giveaway. Enter here for your chance to win a Holiday Signature Floral Arrangement for you or a loved one.
During the holiday season in particular, food & beverage take on a new significance as instigators of warm conversation and jovial gatherings. Culinary experiences have such a transformative power over our everyday lives, and objects and items that contribute to this make for unforgettable gifts. Here, we’ve collected some amazing culinary-focused gift ideas to add a bit of flair to your friends & loved ones’ everyday routines.
There’s no better way to connect with friends & family than over a fine meal. H Tasting Lounge, located in the Westin Bayshore in Vancouver’s Coal Harbour, transports diners and guests alike to the roaring twenties, albeit with a uniquely Pacific Northwestern spin. Inspired by the life of famed mogul and aeronautical enthusiast, Howard Hughes, the opulent, art deco-inspired decor and locally-driven, highly seasonal menus make for a truly special dining experience for you and your companions. For a special holiday experience, book a reservation for their Festive Afternoon Tea.
Not only does La Glace make truly exquisite ice cream, they also sell it in convenient to-go pints for easy gift-giving. From their shop on West 16th Avenue in Vancouver, the outfit produces plenty of seasonally-inspired flavours that you’ll need to experience for yourself to believe. For their winter offerings this year, choose from Gingerbread Cream, Candied Chestnut, Eggnog & Rum, and many more – we’re partial to the Panettone flavour.
Avenue Road is a total-concept design destination in Vancouver’s historic Gastown as well as locations in Toronto, home to an array of unique furniture, accessories, architectural elements and art. Their curated selection of thoughtful goods makes for a one-stop home for all your holiday shopping needs. From their many offerings, we’ve chosen the Otto White Wine Glasses, designed by Lasvit in collaboration with Japanese designer Yabu Pushelberg. Evoking classical mythology and grandeur, the clear glass and perfectly balanced shapes of both bowl and stem make for a distinguished gift for the discerning oenophile.
Inform Interiors has been a staple of the Vancouver interior design scene since their inception in 1963, and is considered one of the top 5 design stores in the world thanks to their vast selection of contemporary furniture and homewares. Located on Water Street in Vancouver’s Gastown, their shop provides inspiration at every turn by hosting the very best of global design.
The ‘Norm’ Bottle Grinders by Scandinavian designer Menu veer away from the traditional form of salt and pepper grinders, defying expectations yet providing a wholly functional user experience through a high-quality ceramic mechanism that makes these grinders ideal for everything from salt & pepper to spices, grains and dried fruit.
We’ve partnered with Inform Interiors as part of our annual hoLIVday Giveaway. Enter here for your chance to win your very own set of these Menu Bottle Grinders.
Vancouver’s Paragon Tea Room is the perfect place to connect with friends and family during the colder months. Experience a variety of teas from around the world and learn more about their origins and traditions from the experts at Paragon. For a thoughtful gift option, take home their Hojicha Powder Trio – a signature combination of three powdered teas each with its own unique region, harvesting season, and roasting process. These teas take the recipient on a journey through their terroir, evoking powerful feelings while warming up even the coldest winter’s day.
Far from your average neighbourhood coffee shop, Milky’s is a Toronto institution that combines fun, inviting design with a thoughtful selection of tea and coffee for a one-of-a-kind experience. Take the guesswork out of gift-giving with a gift card to this remarkably cozy cafe and warm up the recipient’s winter coffee breaks.
Taking the time to step back and centre yourself during the holiday season is essential. From fitness to facemasks, it’s important to make time for yourself and cultivate experiences that help you relax and focus on what really matters. Here are some objects and experiences that the LIV Design Studio team reaches for when we need some time to ourselves.
With multiple locations in both Vancouver and Victoria, Lagree West is the perfect place for a workout this holiday season. The fitness studio offers a variety of classes, membership plans and private sessions to ensure you’re staying on top of your goals this new year. Spoil someone on your list with a gift card, or better yet – join them for a class or two to bond over a unique wellness-oriented experience.
Vancouver-based home decor retailer Obakki has a broad assortment of ethical, handcrafted homewares designed to encourage more purposeful consumption. The store works with smaller artisanal producers from around the world to bring in sustainable goods of lasting quality – perfect for long-lasting holiday gifts. We’re especially fond of their candles, like the No. 13 Candle in SEME displayed here. Ideal for the colder months, this sweet & smokey scent is a delight to the senses and instantly adds a touch of refinement to any home.
Seventh & Oak makes handmade, eco-friendly home fragrance goods that instantly evoke our warmest memories and transport the user through their rich scents. Transparency and thoughtful production methods are at the core of their business model, and this truly shines through in their stories and carefully-designed scents and gorgeous packaging. The aptly named ‘Zen’ Candle shown here is ideal for relaxing during the busy holiday season, and is sure to become an indispensable addition to anyone’s self-care routine.
Leah Alexandra‘s Vancouver studio produces timeless jewelry designs of exceptional quality, with gemstones sourced from around the world. Owing to the individuality of the stones themselves, each piece is different and made to be cherished for years to come. To store and protect your jewelry, look no further than Leah Alexandra’s own Travel Wallet. Minimal in its design and constructed for both home or travel use, ensure precious pieces stay protected at all times with this stylish, practical essential – available in both pink and black.
Vessi is a Vancouver Brand widely recognized for their aptitude in creating high-quality, lightweight waterproof apparel that certainly doesn’t sacrifice style. Perfect for a Canadian winter, their shoes and accessories make for great and much-appreciated gifts that bring warmth to anyone’s life. For this year’s Gift Guide, we chose these stylish, practical waterproof knit gloves that are light enough to fit under any jacket and can pair seamlessly with any outfit.
You may already be familiar with CB2‘s modern-designed furniture and array of functional accessories, but did you know that they also make incredibly stylish weights? Add a touch of elegance to someone’s workout routine with this special Kenko Walnut Weight Set from designer CB2. With everything needed for a comprehensive workout and style & charm in spades, this unique set combines form and function into an absolutely perfect holiday gift.
The holidays are the perfect time to reinforce our commitment to our environment and the world around us, and gift-giving should be no exception. This year and every year, we’re focusing on choosing eco-friendly options wherever possible, and selecting items that are sure to stand the test of time.
Nineteen Ten is a boutique store located on Vancouver’s bustling Main Street, and they offer a variety of sustainably made and consciously-sourced products from smaller makers across B.C. and Canada. This Midnight Print Furoshiki Gift Wrap is the perfect solution to a typically wasteful modern convention, guaranteeing your presents are delivered in beautiful, unique wrapping while offering a more sustainable, reusable alternative to traditional paper products.
Vancouver’s The Soap Dispensary is known throughout the city for their excellent bulk offerings, zero-waste packaging, and sustainable kitchenware alternatives. To inspire someone’s sustainability journey and give them ideas to integrate zero-waste practices into their own cooking, pick up a copy of Anne-Maria Bonneau’s “The Zero Waste Chef” – full of tips and recipes to help create delectable food out of items you may normally throw away.
ITSUMO is a shop in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant that focuses on bringing in quality Japanese homeware and lifestyle items made with both ingenuity and a healthy respect for tradition. The shop’s name means “Always, Everyday, Continuously & Forever” in Japanese – which speaks perfectly to their commitment to stocking long-lasting, thoughtfully designed products. The lovely Kazura Net Bag shown here is perfect for getting groceries where they need to go, handmade in Laos from arrowroot fibre for durability. This simple but striking everyday bag is a great way to bring modest beauty and unmatched functionality to someone’s routine.
Be sure to follow our Instagram for more holiday design ideas and inspiration, and don’t miss out on our hoLIVday giveaways with some of the brands listed in this article.
Happy Holidays from all of us here at LIV Design Studio!