The holiday season has a way of keeping us fully booked with social events from December 1st straight through New Year’s Eve. For hosts, this can pose a particular challenge: how to make sure that your event stands out from the rest? And for guests, this often means mad dashes to find last-minute gestures of appreciation that aren’t just another bottle of wine. Which is exactly why we’ve built Azure’s 2023 holiday gift guide around three dinners where the tables are set with great gift ideas for enlivening festive gatherings.
Night One — The Loft Party. (It might be the season of gold and silver, but we’ve always been partial to steel and aluminum.)
Night Two — The Villa Feast. (Who says Tomato Girl Summer can’t roll right on into Tomato Girl Winter?)
Night Three — The Gallery Soirée. (Museum-worthy objets that are sure to inspire a still life or two.)
Oh, and another great gift idea? A subscription to AZURE.
Scroll down to start your multi-evening marathon of food, drinks, and design.
All prices are in CAD unless otherwise specified.
— Night One: —
By adding stylish ridges to a stainless-steel sheet, Milan studio Cara \ Davide creates the perfect platter for caviar and potato chips (Ruffles brand, naturally).
Using the same extruded aluminum forms as the Montreal manufacturer’s recent lighting collection, this tubular vessel accommodates both candles and flowers.
From $280 at Lambert & Fils
Designer Jaime Hayon pours one out for house plants with a one-litre polished stainless-steel pitcher featuring a charming silhouette and easy-to-grip handle.
$220 at Finnish Design Shop (in ivory; stainless steel coming soon)
Nail the nuts and bolts of mealtime with the late Virgil Abloh’s Conversational Objects centrepiece. Matte-finish forks, knives and spoons offer a playful riff on rugged mechanic’s tools.
US$400 at Alessi
A just-launched portable version of the Vancouver lighting brand’s signature orbs lasts for up to 80 hours on a single USB-C charge. The frosted glass shade sets an enchanting evening mood.
US$250 at Bocci
Quilted, extra-long oven mitts by food installation artist extraordinaire Laila Gohar prove that a night of home cooking can feel just as fabulous as a trip to a downtown concert hall.
US$40 at Gohar World
— Night Two: —
One of 10 talents featured in CB2’s Black in Design Collective, Miami-based Élan Byrd celebrates the time-honoured art of basketry with a handwoven rattan vessel.
$100 at CB2
This classic 1961 design by Nani Marquina’s dad, Rafael, features a removable glass spout designed to ensure a smooth flow of EVOO at future family gatherings.
$100 at Gabriel Ross
3D-printed in Montreal, Cyrc’s rounded vessels bring new life to recycled plastic. Small openings in the base keep produce fresh by encouraging airflow.
$115 at Cyrc
Balloon glasses give wine extra room to breathe, resulting in a more balanced taste. This two-toned version pairs as well with Pinot noir as it does with pet nat.
Brooklyn prop stylist Selena Liu’s latest addition to her Serving Friends collection is a wavy beech board featuring a circular indent to anchor brie wheels or dip bowls.
$85 at 313 Design Market
A new edition of Swedish prince Sigvard Bernadotte’s 1938 design wraps a terracotta-hued plastic shell around the original stainless-steel pitcher, which keeps drinks hot or cold for up to six hours.
$130 at Ssense
On a seaside vacation back in 1964, Finnish textile designer Maija Isola took inspiration from Greece’s mythological sirens to create Seireeni, a sinuous pattern that has now been adapted onto woven jute placemats.
US$40 at Marimekko
— Night Three: —
Berlin designer Mark Braun balances elegance and ergonomics with this marble spice crusher that harks back to ancient millstones.
$210 at Hem
Colourful shapes collide on Dawn Sweitzer’s silkscreen-printed glass platter featuring a wraparound wood rim. Each one measures 71 by 36 centimetres.
$220 at Ethnicraft
Made in partnership with Indonesian artisans, Matty Matheson’s hand-dyed cotton table linens capture the beauty of the night sky after a long shift at the restaurant. No judgment if you use yours as a blanket while watching The Bear.
US$90 at Matheson Cookware
Handcrafted from a slab of dramatically patterned marble, this curvy catchall creates a natural resting place for post-dinner chocolates.
Simon Legald’s trio of red clay bowls is accented with a swirling black and cream decal inside. Choose from 15-, 23- and 30-centimetre diameters.
From $35 at The Modern Shop
Turn your next avocado pit into a desk plant with this elegant take on a seed germination kit. A concave ceramic lid supports stems as they sprout, while the glass vase below shows off roots in all their fibrous glory.
$145 for two at Design House Vancouver
Kelly Wearstler brings geometric flair to her ceramic tableware collection. Lying somewhere between a grid vector and a hand-painted watercolour, the linear pattern she developed is printed at a different scale on each dish.
From $105 for four at Kelly Wearstler
Three stylish tablescapes provide stocking stuffer ideas galore.