Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful,’ declared William Morris. The very best presents to receive are those you never think you need, but then subsequently can’t imagine living without. We’ve done some of the legwork this year for holiday presents for the art lover in your life.
Don't miss the Studio Voltaire pop up shop in Mayfair. This tiny non-profit art gallery space (normally based in Clapham) offers up a wealth of choice from world-renowned artists, including blankets designed by Michael Craig-Martin and aprons designed by Ed Ruscha. Check out the Jeremy Deller I-Phone cover as a stocking filler at £15. Other options might be one of the limited edition prints from Luc Tuymans but my own personal favourite is the Pablo Bronstein “prison” tray (pictured), or a vase from wunderkind artist Prem Sahib. And if you can’t get to the pop-up shop, simply order from a selection online through Farfetch.com
31 Cork Street through 18 December
The hottest book for home lovers
This Christmas it has to be John Derian’s Picture Book (with a foreword written by American Vogue editor Anna Wintour). Derian’s famously recognisable style of decoupage (cutting out pictures, gluing them to an object and then coating the object with layers of varnish) has been a hit pretty much from the launch of his homeware company in 1989. His plates, bowls and household items are handmade in his studio in New York by a small team of artisans and can be found here at the Conran Shop, Liberty and the Duchy of Cornwall Nursery. Now he’s brought out a book of his design inspirations and it’s rumoured that he’d like you to take your own scissors to the book and frame whatever takes your fancy.
Emin for the Ages
If you’ve hankered after an Emin neon artwork for your living room for years, and are not quite there yet, then do check out Rockett St George’s personalised neon signs for above the children’s beds, which have proven to be a 2016 hit. And we wouldn’t say no to a piece of Tracey Emin/Stephen Webster jewellery (slightly less bank-breaking than the artworks) to be found on Net-a-porter.
Don’t forget our faithful four-legged friends this Christmas. Check out Tales of Teddy for quite simply the chicest choices for the dog in your life. Handmade in Britain, it’s the brainchild of ex-Vogue writer Samantha Murray Greenway, who has collaborated with skilled craftspeople to create limited editions and one-off designs of dog blankets, bowls and leashes. The Farrow & Ball coloured dog bowls are so beautifully made that they’re now displaying fruit on many a dining-room table.
The stocking filler
What could be more elegant than Cire Trudon’s scented matches? British painter and illustrator Laurence Mynott was chosen by this quintessentially French company to design the match boxes, which we feel are a more stylish (and yes, cheaper) alternative to a scented candle.
For very young godchildren and budding artists-to-be, we’ve spotted aprons and pillowcases that can be drawn on, washed, then decorated again. Available from the Royal Academy gift shop they’re a delightful way of encouraging creativity and giving something both unusual and interactive. From 3-10 years.
For the fashion set
We’ve figured out the only way to visit art fairs, take photos, have drink in hand, hand out business cards all at the same time is not to worry about clutching a handbag. Which is why ex-Prada designer Tamara Salman’s hands-free, cross-body bag is so brilliant. Her vibrant luxury accessories line is inspired by artists such as Anish Kapoor and Jeff Koons.
And if price were truly no object…
…we would stroll into Ben Brown’s gallery and leave as the new owner of pretty much anything by Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne, subjects of his new show. This gingko bench would make for a memorable Christmas indeed.