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‘Tis the season to be merry and joyous, and a little bit of retail therapy never hurts. If you are in the mood to splurge on gifts to spoil your near and dear ones silly, this list is perfect for you. Not just any list, this gifting guide is curated by six designers and stylists, who tell us what’s trending this year, and also what they want this holiday season.
Sanjyt Syngh, Luxury Interior Designer
After studying design and textiles at Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, and spatial design at Chelsea College of Art and Design, Syngh’s forte lies in luxury spaces. He recommends picking products that are bespoke, and also enhance one’s life in some way. “The concept of holiday decor has evolved. It is no more just about that pretty wreath or the newest vase, it is about something that is unique,” he says. When it comes to picking the right gift, he suggests opting for products like candles, platters, throws and collectible objects.
“Candles are one of the most powerful elements in a space. Not only do they transform your mood but the right fragrance can enhance one’s well being too. Candles are always my top favourites during the holiday season. But not your regular ones, candles and candle jars that have character,” says Syngh. His top picks include Baobab Candles and Spire Candles by Lladro as they blend aesthetics, trends and scents seamlessly.
Laying out treats for your family members in interesting platters is another product to gift this year. His personal favourite is brands like Fornasetti that tell a good design story. Decorative objects too can add charm to your home, and can be used all-year-round. “These are things that can bring newness into your space and you can move them to different corners too.” His current favourites are from Bosa.
Samir Wadekar, Interior Design Consultant & Stylist
Constantly consulting, sourcing and styling for designers, design magazines, interior decor brands and hospitality spaces, Wadekar’s list of objects of desire is anything but ordinary, making it ideal for those looking for gift options that are distinctive.
One of the first things on his wish list is Longpi pottery pieces. His overflowing pottery collection contains ceramic pieces in various forms, sizes and colours from almost every place he's travelled to. “I find the starkness of the Longpi black pottery along with its almost luminescent glaze absolutely striking and timeless. Some places that have interesting Longpi pieces are Ikai Asai, Terracotta by Sachii and Codesustain,” he says.
Tribal sculptures are also on Wadekar’s list who bought his first one 15 years ago on a holiday. “I recently bought a 3.5-foot-wide Theyyam ritualistic headgear from Kochi, that makes for a statement piece in my living room. Personally, I want to complement it with another tribal piece, a dhodro banam instrument. This hand carved single-string musical instrument, with origins in Odisha, comes in a wide range of animal and human-shaped carved details,” he explains. If you too want to gift or own one, he recommends places like HB Gallery in Chennai, Phillips Antiques in Mumbai, Jain Handicrafts in Ahmedabad and Heritage Arts in Kochi.
Srila Chatterjee, Founder of Baro Market
Having worked at the intersection of advertising, film, design, art and fashion, Chatterjee took her curated treasures online with Baro Market. When it comes to festive decor and gifting, Chatterjee says, “I’m an absolute Christmas maniac and have amassed a loft full of Christmas things over 30 years—and still can’t resist adding to my collection.” Some of her personal favourite recommendations include shola balls, spiced candles, and a Christmas wreath.
Shola is a natural substance that comes from the weeds that grow in the mangrove and marshy areas of Bengal. When the weed is dry and the husk removed, inside is a white substance that is light, and when carved, looks magical. “The artists who normally make flowers have now adapted their craft to make shola balls. I love them as they are a reminder of how incredible ‘hand made’ is,” she reveals.
The waft of cinnamon candles by Crackle & Burn makes for a lovely gift this time of the year, and looks like a piece of art too. When it comes to wreaths, Chatterjee loves the ones by WOLF. “They are artists who work with waste and discards, and they are doing a small lot of Christmas wreaths made of things like spoons and coconut husks and I can’t wait to get first dibs on them,” she says.
Rashi Bothra & Ruchi Gehani, Founders & Designers of Azure Interiors
With over a 100 completed projects in Raipur alone, the interior designer duo focuses on decor that caters to both traditional and contemporary aesthetics. When it comes to recommendations for the festive season, they pick macrame wall art as it introduces a distinct artistry into a space with its texture and colour. “Macrame is a versatile form of fibre art that can be used to decorate the walls or used as hanging plant holders. By using cotton twine, jute, hemp in their natural colour, you can bring in a charming organic vibe to any room,” say the designers.
Sculptures are another great option to choose for festive gifting. Say Bothra and Gehani, “A one-off or limited edition piece of original art adds a unique story to the decor. Depending upon the size, a sculpture acts as a focal point in a space, adding character, while also reflecting the personality and taste of the person.”
Aparna Kaushik, Architect & Interior Designer
Kaushik is the founding principal and design director of her multi-disciplinary firm that works across architecture, interiors, furniture, lighting, product design, and landscaping. Her wish list this holiday season includes ornate chandeliers as they visually hold all elements of the room together, and create a focal point. “Depending on what kind of chandelier you select, you can transform the room into an opulent environment, a serene space or a glamorous venue. It can single-handedly change the mood of a room, and elevate it to a magical place,” says Kaushik.
Her second recommendation are wallpapers as they can evoke a certain mood in a room with their colour, texture and pattern, giving one the freedom to experiment and express their creativity. She adds, “They offer great variety and versatility, and an immaculately finished wall, resulting in a unique atmosphere.”
Farah Agarwal, Founder & Principal Designer of Chestnut Storeys
Running a Chennai-based design firm specialising in luxury design and décor, Agarwal launched Chestnut Storeys in 2014, and since then, is considered one of the leading tastemakers of South India.
Her picks for the festive season include products that are warm, inviting and entertaining. “Throws that are imbued with interesting fabrics or designs are the perfect lift to a room. With the weather turning chillier in December, the need to curl up and wind down increases. Wrapping myself up at home in the comfort of a beautiful and cosy throw is an indulgence I relish in,” she adds.
Candles too make it to her wish list, and Agarwal has picked ones from Fornasetti and Gucci for their interesting prints. Holiday season being a time to entertain, she also suggests gifting quirky and unconventional bar accessories like wine stoppers or embellished cocktail stirrers that are an extension of one’s decor style and add a splash of interest to the space. “Thinking outside the classic box when it comes to these small but essential products makes for great conversation pieces and merrier festivities,” she says.
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