The fabulous Deco Christmas Gift Guide 2018

The fabulous Deco Christmas Gift Guide 2018

We've put together a stocking full of gift ideas that cut the mustard on the eco front, as well as being lovely to give and to receive.

By Abby Trow & Hari Alexander

It's great to give presents at Christmas but we want to be sure our gifts a/ aren't un-eco and b/ won't be forgotten about by the time the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special starts. So we've done a bit of due diligence on your behalf.

*Click on images in the article to see them open in a larger format with full product information

To give and not to incur much in the way of environmental cost is surely everyone's motto when buying..or requesting.. gifts, is it not?

So with sustainability, durability, recyclability, ethicality, fair trade, and low CO2 emissions during manufacture in mind, we've got some lovely ideas for Christmas presents.

 

Tog is known for its incredible kitchen knives and now it's adding to the range with these fabulous wooden chopping boards
it's the detailing that makes these boards so stunning. Tog
Seedball...wild flowers for our bees, butterflies and insects
New for 2018, Seedball's Christmas trio

Top: superb British cherry and American walnut chopping boards from master knife-maker TOG, from £50 Above right: for a lovely inexpensive gift that will cause gardens to bloom and insect life to rejoice, Seedball's new limited edition Christmas trio, £18 or £19.99 giftwrapped

Seedball

Starting with lovely London-based Seedball, whose tins of seedballs are making a big impact on our hearts, minds and crucially, gardens. Scatter the balls hither and thither and wait for flowers to spring forth. Bees, butterflies and their insect brethren will all thank you. This year Seedball, based in north London, has a special Christmas trio of tins which can be gift-boxed too.  Bee Merry: Brilliant for bees! Contains Foxglove, Viper's-Bugloss, Red Clover, Wild Marjoram and Birdsfoot Trefoil, plus an annuals mix of Chamomile, Night-Flowering Catchfly, Corn Marigold and Cornflower.  Let it Snow! A stunning all-white flowering wildflower mix for bees and butterflies. Contains Meadowsweet, White Clover, Oxeye Daisy, White Campion and Yarrow. Wonderland: Contains Red Campion, Ragged-Robin, Bellflower, Meadow Buttercup, Meadowsweet, Forget-me-not, and Oxeye daisy.  Christmas trio: £18 or £19.99 giftboxed.

TOG

TOG’s four beautiful new chopping boards are handmade in England from British cherry and American walnut sourced from sustainably managed forests. Their unique stripe design is inspired by the copper layers in the blades of TOG knives. Choose from:
The Ant (28 x 19 x 3.5cm endgrain, £60) is a convenient size and is ideal for small tasks such as chopping fruit, garlic, shallots and avocados.
The Dragonfly (36 x 25 x 1.5cm, edgegrain, £50) is thin, light and portable and is designed to be held easily in one hand so you can scrape food with the other. Mid-sized and perfect for general purpose food prep.
The Hare (39 x 29 x 4cms, endgrain, £100) is another mid-sized board but more generous than the Dragonfly. It’s designed for all common food prep tasks and can be easily stored in a cupboard.
The Ox (53 x 37 x 5cm, endgrain, £200) is a magnificent luxury, heavyweight butchers block-style board designed to be left on the counter and wiped clean.  TOG Boards from £50
 
 

 

A charming eco friendly decoration - reclaimed wooden elephant in teal and orange, handmade and painted in India. 8x8x6cm, £34. www.elephanthead.co.uk
Hot water bottle cover from Welsh Blankets, £30

Above: The Elephant Head offers eco and ethical homewares handmade in India from reclaimed, sustainable and recyclable materials. Choose charming pieces such as the decorative reclaimed wooden elephant shown here, painted in teal and orange, £34. Above right: recycled wool hot water bottle cover from Welsh Blankets, £30

Superb quality giclee print of a Dee McLean Hampstead Heath painting. From £75 to £250
Blue Floral miniature by renowned glass artist Peter Layton, 8x8x4cm, £190. www.londonglassblowing.co.uk
Juniper Ridge incense sticks are made from wild plants and flowers in the US of A. £6 at Dulwich Picture Gallery shop
Uashmama organic paper tote bag, 95 euros at www.uashmama.com. Bags are made in Italy
Award winning acorn vase by Ilex Studio, £23, www.ilexstudio.com
And if you can't find any acorns yourself, Ilex sell packs of 2 for £3
A perfect gift for anyone committed to tree generation..Acorn Vase from Ilex Studio
Ethical and eco decorative accessories 
 
The Elephant Head is a fresh new start-up selling lovely fair trade homewares and decorative accessories that demonstrate the amazing craftsmanship offered by artisans across India. The company's emphasis is on products made from recycled materials, such as the decorative hand-painted elephant we've chosen here. There's a wealth of lovely pieces on the website so have a browse.
 
Swedish wooden horses are perfect for equestrian-minded Scandinavia enthusiasts. And people living in white houses who like a burst of bright colour on an uncluttered shelf. Charming hand-made Dala wooden horses from The Swedish Wooden Horse Company are made from off-cuts of pine from local sawmills in the village of Nusnas in Dalarna, central Sweden. Dala horses, which date back to the 17th century, vary in size from 3cm to 75cm. From £14.95.
 
Wearth London is a great place for eco and ethical Christmas presents. We love their Soapdaze gift sets, £21.50, which comprise a large bar of Devon-made soap, a scented candle and a recycled cotton hand-knitted facecloth.
 
Nature

For most of us, original paintings are out of our financial league so why not give a giclee print, which can be so good it's hard to tell them apart from the real thing. That's certainly the case with prints of Dee McLean's paintings of plants and flowers on Hampstead Heath, which she made over a period of two years when the pond area was being dammed to protect against flooding and subsequently replanted. Dee's prints are mounted and prices start at under £100.

We all know that from an acorn comes the mighty oak. A charming gift for tree lovers is the Acorn Vase from Ilex Studio, which costs £23. If you can't find any acorns Ilex also sells packs of 2 acorns for £3. 

For twitchers, choose a bespoke birdbox from Lincs-based Lindleywood. Made by hand from sustainable European redwood pine, these boxes are great fun and available in loads of delightful designs, from Georgian house to beach hut. Prices from £49. Made to order so get your request in by end of Nov ideally.

We defy anyone, young, middle-aged, old, male, female, transgender, not to find their home is improved by the addition of a Hug Rug barrier mat. Made in Yorkshire from recycled cotton, machine washable Hug Rugs come in fab designs, from woodland animals to contemporary stripes. Choose from rectanglar mats or runners. £39.99 or £69.99
 

Soapdaze set from Wearth London comprises large handmade soap, recycled cotton knitted face cloth and soy wax scented candle. Made in Devon. £21.50 www.wearthlondon.com
Swedish wooden Dala horses have a real Christmas spirit. Various sizes, colours and designs from £14.95 art The Swedish Wooden Horse Company
Slip cast porcelain small milk/cream jugs by Sue Ure Maison, £11.25 in the decomag shop
Dremel Stylo* is a versatile tool no crafter or maker should be without. £56 from Dremel
Hug Rug recycled cotton barrier mats are brilliant. And washable. And made in Yorkshire. From £49. hugrug.com
Lindleywood wooden bird boxes come in lots of fun designs. Handmade in England, from £49. www.lindleywood.co.uk
Beautiful linen hand embroidered zip pouch from Sep Jordan, which provides fair trade work for refugee women in Jordan 27x17cm, £74
Orchids are always in demand. Try M&S or Waitrose or a specialist grower of course
We love the Seaside Vibes diffuser from Crabree & Evelyn, now £25. It does fill the room with fragrance.
.

If it does ever get cold again in this country, check out Welsh Blankets, which offers a great selection of products made using vintage woollen fabrics, including hot water bottle covers. Price £30, including the bottle.

Tote bags are always useful and when they are made from paper yet are robust and stylish, well, you're onto a winner. Find Uashmama paper tote bags at uashmama.com

A special someone with a love of all things miniature will be delighted with an exquisite miniature size version of a vase or vessel by renowned glass artist Peter Layton of London Glassblowing. These precious little gems come in rich colours and patterns. Prices from £190

For the crafters and creative DIYers in your life.. the Stylo+ from craft brand Dremel is a good option at £56.00. It looks like, and is held like, a pen and allows you to carve patterns on wood, personalise and engrave leather, or polish a piece of metal, stone and glass. It comes with a multi chuck so accessories can be changed easily.

Make scents

There are gazillions of scented candles and diffusers on the market and we think the more expensive products (eg Neom, Crabtree & Evelyn, Jo Malone) tend to offer a more satisfying fragrance, derived from essential oils. I.e you won't stand around saying 'I can't really smell anything'. But if your gift budget is small, don't forget the humble incense stick which does give good scent too, albeit for a shorter period. For natural aromas from the hiking trails of the Pacific North West, we like Juniper Ridge bamboo sticks in Douglas Fir, which are made only from organic plant materials. Packs of 20 sticks costs £6 at the Dulwich Picture Gallery shop. 

Flowers and ceramics

Orchids never go out of fashion and they're always beautiful and gratefully received in our experience. Whether your recipient can keep the plant alive and thriving for years to come is another matter but they, hey can read up about orchid care. M&S and Waitrose sell good quality orchids and for more lux gifting, there's Flowerbx. 

And for tasteful, understated modern tableware, look to Sue Ure, a talented ceramicist (her warm washed out colours are divine) who's based in south-west France. She throws on wheel but she also has a diffusion range that's less expensive than her hand-made pieces. Sue Ure Maison slip cast porcelain is made in Poland using her moulds. The small handle-less milk jugs make a perfect small gift and we sell them in the deco shop for just £11.25. We think we're not knowingly undersold with these!

Three cheers for charity shops

Finally, can we urge you all to take a look in your local charity shops because you'll almost certainly find some lovely gifts in their bric-a-brac sections. We're involved with our local Crisis shop in north London, which gets high quality pieces from china and glassware, to sports equipment and books, records and DVDs. Great for being eco - re-use means no waste and no recycling costs; and if you're on a budget, well, you'll find one-off presents for well under a tenner and more than likely a fiver. 

 

.
.