Sunday, 27 November 2011

christmas gifts for renters

I've done a round up of the best Christmas gifts for renters (in my opinion of course). I've organized the gifts by room, they're all under £50 and I think everything featured here is both lovely and useful. 42 choice gifts guaranteed to feather the rented nest! Of course, it's OK to buy yourself a present while you're looking for everyone elses and there's plenty here to tempt I think.


1. Le Cruset are the kitchen classic, yet they also remain contemporary, as this deliciously coloured pestle and mortar set proves. £16.20 plus p&p from the eCookshop.
2. Graham & Green are consistently stunning in their selections and this retro kitchen clock is no exception. Functional yet light hearted, it will bring a welcome splash of colour to any kitchen. £25 from Graham & Green.
3. Royal VKB stacking carafe with four glasses. With classic styling this set can be used for wine or water on the dining table, for juice at breakfast, or as a bedside carafe. Perfect versatility for only £19.95 from Pedlars.
4. Wall mounted bottle openers are handy, but this sturdy magnetic version sticks to your fridge, so no need to make a hole in the wall! Also available in white or red, £15 from SuckUK.
5. When safe old M&S announced an exclusive collaboration with Marcel Wanders, it seemed like an odd choice. Wanders however, has produced a beautiful, often quirky range that still somehow fits the M&S ethos. This dinner plate has future design classic written all over, and under it. £15 from M&S.
6. Girly, but not too girly, this storage jar from Orla Kiely would look great out on display. Other designs also available, £22 from Heal's.


1. A bit of baroque glamour for your boudoir. 6x4 photo frame, also in white, £20 from John Lewis.
2. Brighten up someones morning with these beautiful embroidered pillow cases from Karin Akesson. They will work equally well with white or plain dye bedding. Set of two, £24.99 from Rockett St George.
3. Wake up in style with this bake-a-like retro clock. Also available in green, red, chocolate and pink, £8.95 from the DotComGiftShop.
4. This black Marble tea light holder is the perfect stocking filler or secret santa gift. Amazing value at a mere £5 from The Natural History Museum shop.
5. Perfect for keeping warm in the winter, this Fair Isle throw can be taken to the sofa or a favourite reading char too. Also available in red, £35 from M&S.
6. The simple styling on this Utah mirror would fit most room schemes and can sit on a dresser or chest of drawers with no fixing required. It's also superb value at just £19.99 from Dunelm Mill.


1. For a touch of luxury every day, you really can't beat Molton Brown. This Rose Granati gift set is surprisingly peppery and unisex in scent. £30 from Molton Brown.
2. A warm bathrobe in the winter is especially comforting, yet this classic waffle version is also light enough to use year round for a touch of spa extravagance. Available in white, ivory and black, £21 plus p&p from King Of Cotton.
3. This stylish but practical glass jar can be used for a variety of bathroom essentials such as cotton wool. Small, £6 and large £12 from Next.
4. The best room fragrance on the market, this classic diffuser lasts for about six months. £15.57 from The Sanctuary (or nationwide at Boots)
5. I love this simple handmade, organic soap with retro typeface by Pebble & Chalk. £4 from Not On The High Street.
6. For a masculine, or minimal bathroom this accessory set is perfect. £16.99 from Dunelm Mill.

Living Room

1. For a new take on the London bus blind/tube stop trend, this print gives the co-ordinates of London in fashionable grey and yellow. £25 (unframed) from Rockett St George.
2. Every home needs a rack to store newspapers and magazines. This 50's style 'gum ball' one is a very reasonable at £17.95 from Fred Aldous.
3. This 'Inside My Head' ceramic container has the profile of a face when viwed at eye level. Also available in a zingy yellow, £35 from the V&A Shop.
4. For the music lover in your life, these recycled vinyl bookends will be a welcome addition to keep books or records in order. £12 from John Lewis.
5. This retro print cushion by Sanderson feels remarkably contemporary. Also available in a wintery grey and burnt orange colourway, £30 from John Lewis.
6. This wall decal is an excellent choice of wall decoration for renters. There are lots of designs available including huge tree silhouettes. Love Birds decal £50 from Heals.

Home Office

1. 'Bianca' the memo hippo contains loose leaf notes that she can hold in her mouth with reminders written on. Also available as 'Morris' the donkey £10.95 from Luckies.
2. Libretto have teamed up with Christian Lacroix to produce a range of stationery. This sunning notebook is decorated with punched pages and patterned endpapers. £16.50 from the V&A Shop.
3. This stylish calculator is made from sustainable bamboo. £22 also from the V&A Shop.
4. Great for holding pens and other desk related bits and bobs, this glass pen pot is available in aqua, grey and orange. £5 from John Lewis.
5. Perfect for writing reminders and to-do lists on, this set of three chalkboard decals will look great in any work area, or kitchen. £9.95 from Amazon.
6. This dinky metal 'Z' lamp is perfect for the home office. Also available in hot pink, £29 from Oliver Bonas.


1. This free standing 'Plant Theatre' can also be wall mounted and comes in untreated wood ready for painting or staining (pots not included). Perfect for balconies, patios and for growing a herb garden. £33.75 plus p&p from Not On the High Street.
2. A watering can from The Thoughtful Gardener that's good looking enough to be left out as an extra bit of garden or balcony ornamentation. Perfect for keeping that container garden watered. £34.95 plus p&p from Bloomsbury & Co.
3. A plant is always a great gift for a gardener and is a gift that will bring pleasure for years. This single olive tree would suit a garden, patio or balcony and is happy in a container so renters can take it with them when they move. £35 from M&S.
4. For the less enthusiastic gardener, this flower bomb requires no effort. Throw at a suitable patch of soil and in a matter of weeks a variety of grasses and flowers will grow. £11.50 plus p&p from The Balcony Gardener.
5. Help someone else with their patch of land. Seeds for a farmer in a developing country will help them feed their family. Seed gift, £12 from Oxfam Unwrapped.
6. Zinc planters for even the smallest garden. From £4.50 plus p&p from The Balcony Gardener.


1. Top of my book list this Christmas, Design Sponge, by Grace Bonney. I'm addicted to the website of the same name and this brings together tips, tricks, DIY hints and style guides.
2. Out this year in a new edition, Kevin McClouds 'Principles Of Home' is a must read for any interior design enthusiast.
3. Make the most of your outside space by growing stuff you can also eat, even on the smallest balcony. Read up over the holidays in time for spring planting.
4. Whether you eat meat or not, we could all do with some veg in our lives. As a vegetarian of twenty years it takes a lot to impress me on the cook book front, River Cottage Veg left me wanting to make every single recipe.
5. For serious interior boffins, Sibilla Courts 'Etc' is a style bible and must have.
6. For the less serious interior designer, Domestic Sluttery offer a great guide to gardening, dressing, entertaining and styling that still leaves plenty of time for knocking up cocktails and easy nibbles. Complete with hang over cures and how to clean up after the party.

All books available from Amazon and national bookstores.

Happy shopping!

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