Gift Wrapped


Domestic Aesthetic wants you to “live well, live right” with their life-enhancing and environmentally conscious products. Each product is people pleasing as well as planet pleasing. The Salt + Pepper Shakers (a) bring a little of the earth back into the home. The natural materials and simple forms of these shakers complement any home decor. The salt shaker is finished with low-VOC milk paint, and both the shakers incorporate sustainably managed wood. Or instead of giving flowers, why not a Rosebud Felt Bowl (b)? Though in a rosebud shape, the single piece of industrial felt can be changed into various shapes with the help of magnetic connectors. As the rosebud, it transforms into a key or mail holder, or storage for sewing supplies with the felt doubling as a pin cushion.

2-Nature’s choice

Sometimes simplicity stands out. The Castor Vase from Palette Industries is inspired by nature itself as well as Canadian heritage. The vase is perfectly straight like a tree trunk except the very centre where it appears as though it had been gnawed by beavers. These “bite marks” add elegant lines and intriguing shadows to the vase, making it a real treat for the eye. The spout near the top is ideal to place a single flower inside, continuing the theme of simplicity and natural beauty.

3-Stop dialing

Buttons? Who needs ’em? The Hulger Pappa*Phone, crafted by Montreal’s Furni, is the world’s first wooden VoIP (Voice-over-Internet Protocol) phone that plugs into a USB port and functions completely on a computer interface of a mouse, screen and keyboard. The Pappa*Phone is hand crafted from a single piece of solid walnut, interrupted only by a solid band of brass. It is designed for wear-and-tear and only gets better and more personalized with age. The materials used in the phone can be continually restored to create a more individual look. Pappa is also software-free and compatible with Skype or any other VoIP client, with either Mac or PC.

4-All together now

Kelvin. 23 is a new product from Vancouver’s Kelvin Tools. This handy little multi-tool looks like some sort of heavy duty stapler, but is actually a pretty clever little piece of design. Called the “essential tool for the urban home,” the sleek-looking gadget is a great toolbox alternative for condo dwellers. Incorporating 23 functions, including hammer, level, 6-foot measuring tape, LED light and screwdriver with 16 bits including Allen keys, Kelvin. 23 is ideal for hanging pictures and shelves, or assembling flat-packed furniture. Just launched in Flat Black, Really Orange and Stealth White will be available in 2009.

1-Up your sleave

Umbra’s Sleevino Wine Sleeves are a great way to dress up a so-classic-it’s-boring holiday hostess gift. Make any bottle a more stylish gift and keep it cool in dress shirt and suit jacket sleeves. Designed by Alan Wisniewski, these reusable sleeves come in an assortment of styles (in blue, grey and pink) and hold standard 750 ml bottles.

2-Pocket treat

Bon Bon, from Alessi, is a sweet little treat for your key ring. Say goodbye to searching for change the next time you need a coin for the supermarket cart or a gym locker with this objet-bijoux. Bon Bon looks like a metal piece of candy, and opens up to reveal a designated slot for a coin. Designed by Francesca Amfitheatrof and LPWK, Bon Bon is made from 18/10 stainless steel and thermoplastic resin.

3-It’s a wrap

The Cucoon condom dispenser from designer Susanne Hangaard, in collaboration with Line Depping and Royal Copenhagen, is a quirky item meant to raise awareness about the importance of using condoms – with playful undertones to promote a comfortable attitude towards safe sex. It consists of porcelain, medium-density fibreboard and nylon string, and is basically a box with a readily accessible condom available in the cutout opening.


Rock to sleep any electronic device while it’s charging with this creative solution available at Up To You. The Cradle Charger offers a velvety interior to hold an iPOD or cell phone while it’s charging. Instead of having to balance the device perilously on the nearest piece of furniture with wires strewn about, you can tuck it all away neatly in this little hammock. The pins of the device’s regular charger fit through the holes of the cradle and plug into the wall socket. The cradle comes flat but can be folded into shape to meet a device’s needs.


Add a little spice to someone’s life with Vessel’s 2HOT spice mill, the ideal tool for the cumin-conscious. Designed by Jean-Marie Massaud, this spice mill is functional as well as fashionable. It has a funnel-shaped spout easily filled with a choice of spice, salt, or pepper, ready for grinding. There is enough room in the reservoir for it to be a dedicated grinder, but any spice can be removed through the same opening and substituted for another. The ceramic grinding mechanism runs smoothly and has a broad range of coarseness adjustment.