12 uniquely beautiful gifts for design lovers

Life’s too short to buy ugly gifts. That’s why we assembled a gift guide for the design lover in your life.

From an origami greenhouse to a sneakerhead pint glass, these gifts will satisfy even the choosiest design aficionado.

Read by the light of a book.

MoMa Store

Who says a lamp has to look like a lamp? The Lumio Book Lamp appears to be a wood-bound hardcover book until it's opened -- and turns into an LED-illuminated book sculpture.

Embedded magnets allow the Lumio to be mounted on magnetic surfaces, and a leather strap means that it can be hung like a lantern. A rechargeable lithium-ion battery powers the Lumio for eight hours at a time.

Light it up for $190.

Explore the wonders of local architecture.

Andrew Michler

Andrew Michler's 'Hyperlocalization of Architecture' explores the trend of architects using a place's natural and cultural features to create sustainable structures.

From Japan's tiny homes to Spain's 'wrapped' buildings, there's no shortage of beautiful designs to admire in Michler's coffee table book.

Get it for $47.

Grow tiny plants in a tiny greenhouse.

Infarm

The Microgarden Indoor Garden Kit folds into a mini-greenhouse, allowing anyone to quickly grow microgreens -- vegetable seeds that grow into tiny plants.

Plant the seeds, wait one to two weeks, and the microgreens are ready to eat, no watering required.


Start growing greens for $26.

Take beautiful photos instantly.

Lomography

Photography lovers will appreciate the Lomo'Instant Black, a customisable instant camera that's compatible with a number of lens attachments plus colour gels in purple, red, blue, and yellow. Just add the filters over the flash to get an Instagram-worthy photo in real life.

The Lomo'Instant even features a small mirror to allow for selfies. Who needs Polaroid?

Snap IRL selfies for $119.

Blast music from inspired desktop speakers.

Joey Roth

Joey Roth's ceramic speakers and subwoofer will satisfy audiophiles and design-lovers alike.

The horn-shaped speakers somehow manage not to topple over as they sit inside their wooden stands.

The sound is impressive. It's easy to tell the difference between records, CDs, and MP3s, and a powerful subwoofer adds oomph to the listening experience.

Pump up the jams for $1,095.

Bring out an inner artist.

Wacom

Designed specially for creative types, the elegant Intuos Draw is a combination pen and tablet that lets anyone easily make digital drawings, comics, and photos.

The tablet comes with software to get your artist started, and can wirelessly transfer images to a computer screen.

Make beautiful art for $70.

Make filtered water more elegant.

Soma

Soma elevates the filtered water experience to the next level with a glass carafe that doubles as a design object.

The Soma filter, which is made of silk, coconut shells, and a plant-based casing, ensures that chlorine and other foul-smelling (and tasting) additives stay out of the water.

Sign up the water-lover in your life for a filter subscription service and they will get a replacement every two months.

Clean up water with a carafe and filter for $49.

Show off taste in music.

Gramovox

People who love record players tend to be the same people who also enjoy showing off their impressive record collections. Satisfy both of those urges with the Gramovox Floating Record Vertical Turntable.

The turntable plays records vertically, making it look like they're floating above the record player -- and displaying the owner's impeccable taste in music.

Start spinning for $400.

Celebrate one of the world's best book cover designers.

Peter Mendelsund

'Cover' delves into the many brilliant book covers designed by Peter Mendelsund, including jackets for authors like James Joyce, Franz Kafka, Martin Amis, and Simone de Beauvoir.

The book examines Mendelsund's creative process, starting with jacket sketches and discarded drafts and finishing with the covers you find in the bookstore.

Get creative for $39.

Keep time in perspective.

Scott Thrift

Traditional wall clocks aren't always necessary in the age of the smartphone. Instead, consider The Present, a '365 day timepiece' that completes one revolution every year.

Different colours slowly mark the changing of the seasons, reminding observers to slow down and pay attention to the present.

Meditate on time for $200.

Play with pens at work.

Bower

Sure, your giftee could stuff their pens in a bland pen holder -- or they could use the Tipsy Writer, a half wooden, half brass ball that stays upright no matter how hard someone tries to tip it over.

Start scribbling for $35.

Travel through the design history of sneakers.

PopChartLab

This pint glass is the perfect gift for the sneakerhead in your life, offering a visual trip through sneaker history.

From the 1973 Puma Clyde to the 1989 Air Jordan IV to the 1990 Reebok Court Victory, there's plenty to admire here.

Toast to legendary sneakers for $9.

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