We’re all spending way more time at home these days, so a nice little trinket or house-related doodad is a clever prezzie for most people. And don’t be intimidated by your interior-crazy friend’s cult-like obsession with Architectural Digest or a pedantic eye either. Bestow upon that fussy type something cool, unusual — and ideally — locally made for their space and you’re bound to be invited around again.
Here, Wanted’s editor (herself a devotee of all things interior-design-related) Sarah Buitendach, rounds up a couple of items you might consider.
1. The clever (and green) gift:
Have a good look and you’ll realise that these beautiful, verdant Blantyre jars from top local brand Wayoko are actually upcycled from old wine bottles. I mean, how smart!? As the name suggests, they come from Malawi — where their makers collect used bottles from hotels and restaurants, and magic then into these stunners, complete with hand-turned mahogany wood lids.
2. The serious design gift:
Let’s get technical for a minute. Part-light, part-kinetic sculpture, the Orrery chandelier is a collaboration between Julian McGowan (of Southern Guild fame) — under the name MAK — and NØDE design studio. The chandelier is manufactured from anodised aluminium with custom-made glass shades handblown by David Reade. Its design was inspired by old-fashioned orreries, which are mechanical models demonstrating the motion of the planets in the solar system. It is a stone-cold beauty and the perfect limited-edition present for someone who’s a collector of the finest things in life. Or, alternatively, has everything else already. See southernguild.co.za.
3. The continental gift:
Handcrafted items have heart and provenance, and, so, are extra cool. The vividly colourful ones sourced from across Africa that Cape Town-based Shine Africa Collection sells always make me seriously happy. They include basket bowls handwoven in Rwanda, Moroccan handwoven platters made from recycled materials and locally produced telephone wire bowls that are all lovely to look at and useful too.
4. The communal gift:
Devotees of SA design brand Mash. T Design Studio will probably be near hysterical to learn that they’ve just released a new range called Presents from Joburg. To start with, it’ll include serving trays, a vase, planter, salt and pepper shakers, and side plates, but will eventually also include everything from rugs to occasional chairs. As the brain behind the label Thabisa Mjo puts it, “The reason Presents from Joburg is launching with items centred on serving tools is to foster the idea of community coming together at the end of the day and sharing a meal. It’s about treasuring those moments spent together around the dinner table and sharing.” I am besotted with the side plates — I want them all!
5. The bright gift:
Candles are having a major moment, with new brands popping up all over the place, but I’m especially taken with those from local brand Okra Candle. The, erm, hot hand-poured pieces the team produce are deeply sculptural, sexy and covetable. Their willowy That Skinny Bitch iterations ignite my inner Morticia Addams but I know they’ve got a style to suit every space and aesthetic. Burn your cash on these babies with the greatest of pleasure.
6. The really, really useful gift:
You can never have enough washcloths. This is especially — obviously — true in a moment where hygiene is paramount. To this end, why not give someone a pile of these gorgeous pure cotton washcloths from Garden Route textile outfit Mungo? They’re available in various colourways and actually, even come in a set of 12 — ideal for piling up next to a basin or sink.
7. The four-legged gift:
A chair might seem like a strange present but when it’s a new take on a South African design classic, it’s certainly a stylish and trendy one. Dokter and Misses have just reissued their Blue Chair, previously made in steel (it was the first one the duo produced all the way back in 2007) — this time in timber. Six of these, occupied by your besties, around a table — sans Covid — what a dream! See alwayswelcome.store.