Holiday Inspiration | A Designer’s Gift Guide

When I see gift guides and holiday shopping promotions filled with fast-fashion and mass marketed objects, it often feels something is missing: soul. This moment supposed is when wonderment, tradition and beauty are the focus. With my gift guide I wanted to share some ideas that honor the beauty of the season. In the midst of a pandemic, in-person exchanges can be limited – but packages can be mailed to whomever you are connected to – as a tangible token of the season.

By the way, these objects or ideas are not sponsored –  only things that I personally find beautiful or useful.

gifts of elegance:

  • A Choice of Art: If you would like the recipient to have some choice in their present, a gift card to one of the world’s leading online art galleries,, allows you to gift beauty in an easy, meaningful way. My own works are featured on my profile page, but pieces from artists around the world are also featured in an ever-changing rotation on the site.
  • Lampe Berger: With refillable luxury scents in artist-crafted glass bottles, the French company of Lampe Berger offers elegant and thoughtful pieces that are decorative and functional. I personally keep a rich purple one in my studio – it freshens the space on both a visual and olfactory level. In my home, a more subtlety colored one suits the ambience. I love to change the scents during the seasons.
A Lampe Berger which I keep in my studio.

gifts of style:


  • Silk scarves: They can be worn year round- from completing a summer look to layering over a coat to tying onto a purse or bag, scarves can add a pop of personal style to any look.

My City Scarf series is an homage to all the different areas of the world that move me as significant or beautiful. Custom designed scarves hand printed on silk Hamatoi, rich silk or matte crepe fabrics, add an artist twist on a style basic. Also available are my Rococo Bright series and the Sappho Scarves.

  • Curated Design Books: My studio is filled with printed goods- from piles of magazines, stacks of books, and collections of museum catalogs. I highly recommend buying from a local bookseller and to Support the Strand, buy from the Strand Bookstore in New York, my personal favorite. Their design and art department as well as used books are phenomenal.
  • Critical thinking: My friend, the talented author and culture critic Mia Levitin, has a new book out: The Future of Seduction. It’s a slim, chic volume encapsulating her experiences and vision of dating in the 21st century.

gifts of creativity:

  • Creative space: In my creative practice, I found that the one of the most important aspects of creating is having space to work and to expand. For me, my studio is my oasis. An idea for someone in your life who is a creative is giving them something that allows them to have devoted time to their practice. Can you offer to babysit, give a dinner, or offer a favor for them so they can ‘get into their zone?’
  • Exhibition tickets and subscriptions: While museums have been cautiously reopening and closing this year, I am obviously in support of patronizing artistic institutions, places that have been so heavily affected this year. Carving time out of your schedule and inviting your creative loved one on an artist date is a way to give a beautiful, creative gift.
A snapshot of a museum visit with my son Ludo and his friend. 
  • Prints and Custom Artwork: Collages, digital etchings + art prints can be presented that impart originality and creativity to the receiver. My acrylic prints, especially limited edition “digital etchings” of my Iconics/Poetics series are a visual reminder of daily beauty.

gifts of peace:

  • Artist cards: One of the best + most classic ways to stay connected even miles apart – handwritten and handcrafted cards . One card from my Iconics / Poetics series, “Angel (Peace Offering)” is inspired by a painting by Giotto. It features a message of peace and hope resonates at any time – yet can also be a lovely holiday card. With a handwritten note, you can offer your loved ones a mailable moment of peace.
  • Candles: While perhaps a bit of a cliche, candles are constantly lit in my studio and I find that they add just an air of calmness. I particularly recommend the Maison du Monde double wick candle – or finding a local artisan that specializes in candle making.
  • Instant photo printers: Photographs are a great way to hold a tangible memory. In the digital age, we often lose track of the photos we take in the cloud or forever in a digital gallery. I enjoy printing photos right from my phone and placing them in a lovely frame.