Sixteen superior gifts for the design-conscious, all clever enough to get you invited back for the weekend—or a week
|(1) Write On |
This blown-glass vase by LBK Studios has a chalkboard surface, so you can personalize your message, and even change your mind ("Thanks so much"-wait, make that". . . so very much"). Ten-inch vase, $55, at Material Possessions, 704 N. Wabash Ave., 312-280-4885.
|(2) Match, Set |
The everyday, elevated. Wooden matches in mod boxes, $6 each, at All She Wrote, 825 W. Armitage Ave., 773-529-0100. Malin & Goetz mojito-scented candle, $48, at Jake, 939 N. Rush St., 312-664-5553.
|(3) Totally Totable |
Here's cuteness, and then some: Habel Construction's cotton canvas picnic tote in a lively aster print, $165, at Stitch, 1723 N. Damen Ave., 773-782-1570. Stuff it with happy-hued Ralph Lauren classic bath towels, $18 each, at Bloomingdale's Home, 600 N. Wabash Ave., 312-324-7500.
|(4) Bucket o' Fun|
A humble aluminum bucket ($2.99, at Home Depot) becomes perfectly giftable when you add limes and flowers (for a centerpiece) or ice and mini bottles of Champagne.
|(5) Summer of Love |
Angora tie-dyed throws, soft as you please, $195 each, at Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic, 2146 N. Halsted St., 773-327-9372.
|(6) Easy Does It |
The message is refreshingly obvious. Poketo stainless steel bottle opener, $17, at the Museum of Contemporary Art store, 220 E. Chicago Ave., 312-280-2660.
|(7) On a Pedestal |
JH Collection black glass cake stand makes for dramatic presentations of sweet treats, $102, at Jayson Home & Garden, 1885 N. Clybourn Ave., 773-248-8180.
|(8) Simply Shapely|
Coffee breaks are a little lovelier with a porcelain jug, $38, bowl, $28, and tray, $40, by Mud Australia. Motel Deluxe sugar packs, $10 for a 50-piece box. At Tabula Tua, 1015 W. Armitage Ave., 773-525-3500.
|(9) Rock On |
Take a dry-erase marker or Sharpie pen to these lacquered river rocks by Boomerdog ($10 each, at Homey, 3656 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-248-0050) to make clever place cards.
|(10, 11) Chillin' |
Never lose your scoop, or your cool. Quart-size handmade aluminum ice cream holder with scoop by Lunares, $62, at Splendor, 3717 N. Southport Ave., 773-244-2444. Disposable paper placemats from Macbeth Collection, $17 for 25, at Trousseaux, 777 N. York Rd., Hinsdale, 630-455-5990.
|(12) Puzzled |
Fashion these interlocking cork trivets into table runners, placemats, or mousepads. By Mio Culture, $23.95 for a set of 12 pieces, at the Chicago Architecture Foundation, 224 S. Michigan Ave., 312-922-3432.
|(13) Well Oiled|
Lothantique's Mémoire de l'eau decorative bottle of oil with driftwood and sand, $65, and Amélie et Mélanie Route des Indes fig and musk-scented bath oil, $50, at Embrace, 29 E. First St., Hinsdale, 630-325-1966.
|(14) Go Digital |
Find your host's address, age, or lucky number. Vintage house numbers from France, $12 each, at P.O.S.H., 613 N. State St., 312-280-1602.
|(15) Shell Game|
Delicate porcelain nesting bowls give a tabletop that perfect beachy touch, $70 to $135, at Tabula Tua, 1015 W. Armitage Ave., 773-525-3500.
|(16) Deer Friend|
Dangle this small silver bronze house blessing by Dogeared anywhere you want to bestow a bit of luck-or charm, $55, at Virtu, 2034 N. Damen Ave., 773-235-3790.