8 holiday gifts for under $50
As everyone knows, the hardest renovation is a low-budget renovation. Likewise, the hardest decor gifts to find are lovely low-cost ones. But, good news! It can be done. Here are 10 fabulous finds that clock in at under $50 each.
1 Print charming
We love e-tailer Three Potato Four for its beautifully shot images of original, one-of-a-kind vintage finds. Unfortunately, if you move too slowly, you (or your intended giftee) can miss out on this mom ‘n' pop shop's best collector's items. Luckily, they recently commissioned a series of prints by illustrator Matt Cipov, including Gnatcatcher With Nest Eggs, printed on archival cardstock and ready for your frame. $30 USD (frame not included), threepotatofourshop.com
2 White hot
These pretty ceramic pieces with their elegant bisque finish are just the thing for host and hostess gifts this holiday season. Tuck a set of tea lights into the lattice votives, or fresh blooms into the vase for bonus points! Grill votives, $9.99/pair; leaf plates from $14.99; short slate vase, $19.99; tall slate cylinder vase, $24.99; all available at Chapters and Indigo stores or online at chapters.indigo.ca.
3 Scents & sensibility
Unlike lesser products using petroleum-based waxes, heavy perfumes and synthetic wicks (some of which contain lead!), Crabtree & Evelyn's Aromatherapy Distillations votives are crafted from natural vegetable oils and feature pure essential oil blends and clean-burning cotton wicks. Three scent blends promote relaxation, revitalization or purification. Each votive has 40 hours of burn time and the sturdy metal lids double as stylish paperweights (each is engraved with an inspirational message.) $29.50 each, Crabtree & Evelyn stores or online at crabtree-evelyn.com
4 Earthly good
Eco-conscious design lovers will thank you daily for this superbly sustainable 2009 desk calendar. Designed by San Francisco artist Cat Seto, the 100% recycled paper rests on a stand made from reclaimed lumber. If you send your pages back next year, the artist will recycle them and send you a coupon for 2010 refill pages. $23 US, seejanework.com
5 Hold it!
This Adler-esque jewelry stand is a quirky accent for any bright young thing's bedroom or bath. The painted-aluminum owls put your favourite bling on display, so you can enjoy gazing at it even when you're not wearing it. $14 US, urbanoutfitters.com
7 Old world view
Vintage maps and globes are perennially hot design memorabilia. If you know someone who loves mid-century design or who's a big traveler, get them started on the road to collecting with a petite globe. This circa-1950s model features countries that have disappeared and political lines that have shifted in the decades since it was manufactured, offering a glimpse of an era long past. Scour online for finds, or hit the flea market circuit. This beauty came from the Etsy shop (etsy.com) White Elephant, which recently opened a sticks and bricks shop in Hamilton, Ont. $45, etsy.com.
Avid readers and (ahem) avid coffee-table-book browsers alike will adore Umbra's Flybrary shelf. It fits anywhere a sleek floating look is desired: by the bed, in the living room, or in the kitchen where it can hold heavy-rotation cookbooks. $31.50, umbra.com
8 Jolt of style
Give the gift of caffeine to the die-hard java hound. President's Choice Home's digital 10-cup coffeemaker combines can't-live-without-it utilitarian virtue with oodles of contemporary style. The sleek "open" design and black-and-stainless-steel finish make it an artful addition to a kitchen island. It looks designer-y, but can be had for a mere $40, and -- best part -- you can pick it up while grocery shopping, rather than trekking out to the mall during the holiday rush! $39.99, Real Canadian Superstores across Canada. For locations, visit pc.ca