Local Living

Pretty and practical buys for the home

Whether you're just starting or just finishing your holiday shopping, we've got you covered. Here are our picks for some of the best gift ideas in town.
By Terri Sapienza
Thursday, December 3, 2009

Whether you're just starting or just finishing your holiday shopping, we've got you covered. Here are our picks for some of the best gift ideas in town.

Vintage tea towel. Give one of these towels by itself or with a favorite soap, flavored tea or baked good. It's a one-of-a-kind gift any way it's packaged. $30 each at Valerianne, 111 Church St. NW, Vienna. 703-242-1790. http://www.valerianne.com.

Wooden ornaments. Need something small and sweet? These ornaments are it, especially the little bird. $5.75 to $17 each at Red Barn Mercantile, 113 S. Columbus St., Alexandria. 703-838-0355. http://www.redbarnmercantile.com.

Vases and bowls from Middle Kingdom. Lots of style for a small price. A single piece is perfect; a set of three, even better. Fabric-covered packaging included. Vases are $16 each at Periwinkle, 3815 Livingston St. NW. 202-364-3076. Bowls are $22 to $88 at And Beige, 1781 Florida Ave. NW. 202-234-1557. http://www.andbeige.com.

Mini cocottes and cookbook. At just a third of a quart each, these individual-serving, oven-safe pots should satisfy any foodie. $20 per cocotte (holiday special: a gift box of four cocottes for $49.99), $14.95 for the cookbook at Le Creuset, 7116 Bethesda Lane, Bethesda. 301-718-1885.

Entertaining book. For the consummate host or hostess. Help them organize the important details (cocktails, menus, rentals, music and caterers) for their upcoming gatherings in a pocket-size, leather-bound book. Personalization available. $58 at A Mano, 1677 Wisconsin Ave., NW. 202-298-7200. http://www.amano.bz.

Arbor porcelain votive holders. These comely holders can be used as they were intended . . . or not. They can be set up on a bar to hold snacks, on a dresser to keep jewelry or on a desk to corral paper clips. $20 each at Celadon Home, Wildwood Shopping Center, 10231 Old Georgetown Rd., Bethesda. 301-896-9818. http://www.celadonspaathome.com.

Lacquer trays and boxes. Practical and pretty. A great price, too. Perfect for the gift-guide writer on your list. Other sizes and colors are available. Trays are $45 and $65, boxes are $38 and $57 at Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, 1526 14th St. NW. 202-332-3433. http://www.mgandbw.com.

Russel + Hazel People and Places organizer. Not everyone is eager to go electronic. Give this acrylic card holder to the paper lover on your list. $49 at the Container Store. Locations in the District, Rockville, Arlington and Tysons Corner. http://www.containerstore.com.

Wood tape dispenser and Japanese masking tape. Utilitarian and cool, these modern accessories will dress up any desktop. $24 for the tape dispenser; $12 for a set of three rolls of removable tape (available in 10 colors) at Design Within Reach. Locations in Adams Morgan, Georgetown and Bethesda. (Note: These items are not available for purchase in stores but can be ordered through any location or at http://www.dwr.com.)

Cotton herringbone throw. Who doesn't love a soft, cozy throw? Available in 12 colors, this could be the go-to item for multiple people on your list. $80 each at Timothy Paul Bedding and Home, 1529A 14th St. NW. 202-234-2020. http://www.timothypaulbedding.com.

Guest soaps and bowl. This beautiful box of soaps is easy on the eyes and wallet, and the scent is spectacular. Whether or not they are paired with a bowl, they are quite possibly the perfect hostess gift. Other colors are available. $22 per box of 15 soaps, $30 per bowl at Valerianne, 111 Church St. NW, Vienna. 703-242-1790. http://www.valerianne.com.

Farmer's egg crate. This ceramic holder can be an elegant way to store eggs or a clever way to organize jewelry. $14 at Anthropologie. Locations in Georgetown, Rockville and Tysons Corner. http://www.anthropologie.com.

Open it! package opener. This five-in-one tool will help open any packaging, including sealed plastic and cellophane around CDs and DVDs. It's a dream come true for parents of young children. (Have you ever tried opening a packaged toy?) $10 at Bed, Bath and Beyond. www.bedbathandbeyond.com.

Whiskey stones. These reusable soapstone rocks will chill stiff drinks without diluting them. Wrap a box for the most frequent entertainer (or imbiber) you know. $22 for a set of nine at Proper Topper. Locations in Dupont Circle and Georgetown. http://www.propertopper.com.

Lilly Pulitzer pencils. A great teacher gift, these cheery paper-wrapped pencils are bound to bring a smile to the face of anyone who reaches for them, even if they are being used for work. $11 for a box of 10 at the Cottage Monet, 36 Maryland Ave., Rockville. 301-279-2422. http://www.cottagemonet.com.


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