19 Standout Gifts to Wow Design Enthusiasts
I wouldn't go so far to call myself a design enthusiast, but I do like me some cool shizit, and I think you will see that level of admiration reflected in this 2023 holiday roundup of standout gifts to wow design enthusiasts. By which I mean, it's possible works such as the Shargeek see-through portable charger, Disassembled Old Phone Art, and Octopus Banana Rug won't wow actual design professionals and artists, but they should provide some eye candy and gift-giving ideas to Dude's target demographic.
And anyway, all the stuck up design overlords who don't think the extracted parts of an OG iPhone laid out and mounted in a fine wood and glass display case isn't a standout piece of design can buzz right off back to Wallpaper* magazine!
Note: All standout gifts to wow design enthusiasts are priced as they were at printing on November 16, 2023. Pricing, and availability, are subject to change.
Wood & Magnetic Ball Bearing Watch
Dudes, do you feel time passing by? No? Well. You're either too young, or you've never touched a magnetic ball bearing watch before. The first one I ever saw, the Bradley Tactile Watch, was originally made with the blind and sight-impaired in mind, but it looks so unique and fashion-forward, even those with 20/20 vision started buying them.
This wood and magnetic ball bearing version, made by EUTOUR, takes a slightly different approach than the Bradley. While the latter situates the hour ball bearing on the edge of the watch face, and the minute ball in the center, EUTOUR places both on the watch face, and separates them with a decorative wooden disc. The Bradley also uses embossed hash marks to indicate its timepiece's 12 hours, while EUTOUR gives you nothing but a smooth surface in that department, so I'd imagine these wooden versions will take some more getting used to than their stainless steel and ceramic inspirations.
Shargeek See-Through Portable Charger
I see what you're doing here, Shargeek. I mean, it's hard not to with the see-through shell around your STORM2 portable power bank revealing all its inner workings and charging capabilities.
Shargeek claims to be the first in the world to create a fully see-through battery pack, which is maybe true, maybe not, but either way, I'm definitely noticing a visibility trend here. Just last month Zens released their Liberty Glass Edition Wireless Charger, and, come on. In a nod to the neon telecommunication hardware of the 90s, someone's gotta have a clear cell phone in the works. It makes sense, too. People are demanding visibility on all fronts these days.
Chroma Type 301 Porsche-Designed 9-Piece Knife Set
OK, so it's just the handle F.A. Porsche designed for Chroma's Type 301 knife line, but still. Are these silver steel stunners not some of the sleekest and sexiest chef's knives you've ever seen? And I hear they can help you go from 0 to 60 chopped onions in 2.2 seconds flat, and break down between 182 and 198 chickens per hour!
Wav Minimalist Desk Organizer
Will you ride the rainbow or the monochrome Wav? Anything in between goes too with this minimalist desk organizer from Design Craft Workshop.
Bao Loi is the woodworker who runs the shop, and makes Wavs with his simple, elegant butler tray design. The desk organizer is solid walnut coated in a natural oil finish. Dimensions are 8.75" x 6.75" x 0.75".
Grid Studio Disassembled Old Tech Art
Grid Studio creates art honoring extinction that is itself on the verge of extinction. Their framed displays of disassembled old tech - namely iPhones, but also a few other Apple products, brands of early edition cell phones, and nostalgic gaming devices - rely on relics that are getting harder and harder to come by.
For example, the Grid Studio piece above left lays out and labels the innards and outards of the OG iPhone. One-point-oh, released on June 29, 2007. How many of those are left in the world? And of the ones left, how many people are willing to part with them so Grid can turn them into "carefully arranged and attached decor masterpieces?"
DIY Ice Mold Wine Bottle Chiller
Match your bottles of bubbles with the festive, fun, or romantic theme of the party you're pouring them for with a DIY Ice Mold Wine Bottle Chiller. The stainless steel ice bucket holds a cylindrical ring of ice you can freeze decorated with pretty much any items that will fit inside its 1.2"-wide walls. Fruit. Herbs. Flowers. Jingle bells. Action figures. Fake severed Rudolph noses and elf toes. You know, the usual.
Flow Wall Desk
Cue the Naughty By Nature, because the Flow Wall Desk and its designer, Robert van Embricqs, have every reason to sing, Holla if ya hear me though, come and feel me flow.
We've seen both cool wall-mounted desks and cool transforming furniture before, and this folding chair is even a kinda cool piece of wall-mounted transforming furniture. But when it comes to design, function, and practicality, the Flow Wall Desk is in a league of its own. Or at least in a league with Fletcher Capstan. A single twist takes the desk from a flat, slatted wooden square against your wall - a minimalist piece of art in and of itself - into a curvy, undulating workstation with a semicircular desktop that's as beautiful as it is useful.
Skeppshult Cast Iron Mortar & Pestle
Dark. Dense. Powerful. That is the Skeppshult Cast Iron Mortar & Pestle. Handsome. Traditional. Virginal. That too is the Skeppshult Cast Iron Mortar & Pestle.
The burly Swedish herb and spice grinder is handmade from virgin iron ore and walnut wood in Skeppshult's 100-year-old foundry. The design is unique and modern in its cubic shaping and combination of black cast iron and dark wood in a kitchen tool. But it is also classic in its choice of cookware materials, and built to last for decades. Skeppshult even includes a 25-year warranty with the Cast Iron Mortar & Pestle to prove it.
Koto Wood-Fired Hot Tub
Why is everyone using Koto's Wood-Fired Hot Tub also using, um, clothes? Like, what's that lady in the image above wearing in 102-degree water that's basically sitting right next to a campfire? A cardigan? A wetsuit? The wooly hat is very clear. And - and! - she appears to be sipping a glass of neat whiskey. Just to, I guess, warm the blood a little on top of it all. Where the heck is the Koto Wood-Fired Hot Tub made, Antarctica?
Presumably, ye who purchase a Wood-Fired Hot Tub from Koto's Elements line will not be required to outfit yourself in anything but your birthday suit to use it, so with that in mind, we can continue to discuss the spa itself. Sexy, modern, and tuned to nature, the Wood-Fired Hot Tub features a 200cm diameter lux black basin at its center. The tub is treated with heavy-duty granite, and enclosed in black thermo wood cladding, completing an aesthetic that is both beautiful and subtle.
Monbento x Opinel On-the-Go Meal Kit
If you'd like a fancy pants lunch box and some fancy pants cutlery to properly complement your fancy pants lunch of leftover lamb chops with blackberry chutney, look no further than Opinel's On-the-Go Meal Kit collaboration with Monbento. A fine gift for foodies, the kit combines Monbento's bento-style MB Original Outdoor Lunch Box with Opinel's No.08 Folding Knife and Picnic+ insert set (a fork and a spoon).
The No.08 knife is a limited edition Opinel folder, whose handle is engraved with a cool French-inspired mountain scene that also decorates the handle for the fork and spoon, plus the top of the lunch box. The anthracite and mustard colorway is also unique to the Monbento x Opinel collaboration.
Julbo Vermont Classic Mountain Sunglasses
Be a retro Vermont mountain dude (or lady)...and up your steampunk cosplay game...with a pair of Julbo Vermont Classic Mountain Sunglasses. With their round lenses and leather side shields, Julbo calls the shades "timeless classics, and symbolic of our history with the mountains." I call them "Master Barnaby Brogley, at your service."
LG StanbyME Go Briefcase Design Touch Screen
This briefcase contains over $1,000 in cash...spent on LG's new StanbyME Go Briefcase Design Touch Screen. Designed for tailgates, camping trips, outdoor movie nights for two, and handcuffing to your wrist, the StanbyME Go is a well-protected and easily portable monitor you can use to stream content, interact with your favorite apps and social media platforms, and play games and music.
Wallet-Sized Phone Tripod
The perfect Instagram post or TikTok video is just a wallet-sized phone tripod away. This ultra-thin, 0.4-ounce phone stand and positioner is a piece of pocket EDC for snapshot snappers and footage fiends of all kinds.
The fold-flat tripod is made of carbon fiber, TPU, and engineered plastics for durability, even, its makers point out, if you use it as a fidget toy. Open up the card by twisting at its center and then flipping up the legs. From there you can both elevate and adjust the angle of any brand of phone / case with a total thickness of 1/2" or less. The tripod's circular rails control phone tilt, plus hold it in place with stability and precision.
Octopus Banana Rug
My doomsday prediction for 2023: the Octopus Bananas will come for us! And since we'll all be dead or enslaved, and unable to get merch and gear to remember it by, here's an Octopus Banana Rug you can buy before the Octo-Banana-pocalypse. A festive, pop-art-styled souvenir of the event to enjoy before the event itself wipes us all off the face of the Earth!
The Octopus Banana Rug is a fantastic hand-tufted piece from Ornn Works. It is made of acrylic and cotton rope and an imagination ChatGPT will surely dissect and copy the minute it sees the rug on these pages.
Yeah, ChatGPT follows the Dude. How do you think it got so clever?
Bottoms Up Doorbell
Cheers! Tchin-tchin! Salude! ... Hey, can someone get the doorbell! The Bottoms Up Doorbell from Dutch design house Droog is a toast to wine lovers and party hosts, the perfect chime for announcing their guests.
And for those not so into wine, or hosting, or having people show up at their door ever, at least with the Bottoms Up Doorbell anytime political activists and yay-hoos selling religion and solar panels come around to get your blood hot, the sound of clinking wine glasses will provide a simple reminder to help cool it back off: it's 5 o'clock somewhere.
Abode Gale Cordless Fan
Abode Gale is a cordless fan that's personal in size and powerful in action. Its 9-hour battery life and slim, 700-gram design make the Gale an easy grab-and-go companion as you move throughout your home or office, and its 3 fan speeds adjust airflow from "gentle breeze" to "strong gust of air." All at an acoustic cost to you of just 30 decibels.
Like most circulating fans, the Gale Fan has an optional 180-degree rotation setting, and its neck angle adjusts from straight ahead to straight up. The final trick up the fan's blades is a mood light that encircles the outer ring of the Gale. The light's brightness is also adjustable to create ambience along with airflow.
Best Made Gerstner Field Chest
The Best Made Gerstner Field Chest is a fine example of classic design meets modern craftsmanship. Historical significance meets contemporary admiration. Nostalgia for the past meets deep...deep...pockets in the present. The Best Made Gerstner Field Chest costs more than every piece of furniture in my house. More than several pieces of them combined. Damn, dudes, you better have some mighty fine tools and gear to your name to merit organizing and storing them in this piece of American Cherry luxury.
Cement Tissue Box Cover
This Cement Tissue Box Cover weighs 4.4 pounds, which is about the same weight of the snot that came out of my body during the 6-week cold I had at the beginning of the season. I'm not even joking. In fact, I may have gone through 4.4 pounds of Kleenex too, so really it was an 8.8-pound cold, which makes the idea of owning a 4.4-pound Cement Tissue Box Cover seem not only reasonable, but necessary for the job it's going to have to do.
Wood & Leather Cable Organizers
All the cables in your house are gonna come crawling, snaking, and unfurling from their tangled nests vying for a spot in one of numcraft's wood and leather cable organizers. The desk accessory combines the decluttering skills of Marie Kondo with the minimalist style of Lady Godiva, holding up to 5 cables in place, and easily accessible between a row of looped cuts of leather.