Bells be ringin', friends. We're coming up on the thick of wedding season, and we're sure most of those RSVP's you've returned came along with a long list of toasters and china and trivets from some department store registry. But you, being the thoughtful, creative, loving friend you are, wouldn't dream of getting them something so devoid of thought or passion. You want to gift something original, unexpected, and cool. We've got what they don't even know they really want yet, broken down into a handy guide for types of couples that can often be hard to shop for.
1. The Young Folk
These are the friends who are starting from scratch. Maybe they've just moved to a new city, maybe they both just graduated and are moving into their first "real" place, or maybe they agreed to disagree on one another's pre-wedding decor choices and have decided to start their shared life with a clean domestic slate. In any case, they need the basics, and since they might not have a set style yet, it's best to steer clear of aesthetics that make too strong a statement.
Your best bet for these friends is an evergreen essential that'll stay with them for decades. A classic, utilitarian design piece like an iconic Anglepoise lasts positively forever, goes with any and all decor, and is every bit as useful as it is timeless. Otherwise, go for something that'll get everyday use, like Kinto's solid minimalist coffee service, sumptuous bedding from Matteo, a versatile rug in a size right for a den, office, kitchen or entryway from Hawkins, or the super useful and long-wearing set of knives from Opinel. The basic idea: your best bet is something beautiful and durable wrapped in a design even the most mismatched couple can agree on. They'll always remember you as the friend who gave them a rare essential they can't do without.
2. La Vie Bohème
These friends request new pages added to their filled up passports and you can't quite figure out how they seem to have so much time off. And though they might keep a pretty nice home, their favorite place to be is on the move. They'll love you for a gift that'll help.
Every married grown-up needs grown-up luggage, and there's no better source than German stalwart, Rimowa. We especially love the Topas Multiwheel in the jet black Stealth colorway: it glides buttery through a terminal, fits a surprising amount of stuff for a carry-on, and looks super sharp in both urban and tropical settings. For slightly less coin, Raden makes excellent, stylish, durable luggage, too. Otherwise, consider his and hers dopp kits, a couple pairs of headphones for co-surviving long plane rides, a pair of S'Well bottles for a long trek, or some matching luggage tags that'll last forever from Porter Yoshida.
3. The Snobs
You love these friends, but they've always been the hardest to shop for. Their place is perfect, their style is confident, and they have an encyclopedic knowledge of design. Your best move here is to get them something beyond reproach they don't already have, whether it's an icon or a modern classic
The complex curves of the iconic Aalto vase come in several sizes and colors, and their organic minimalism works with any decor, whether maximalist or austere midcentury. And while they obviously make good vases, they can make equally good fruit bowls, utensil storage, or even a lux goldfish condo. Otherwise, some solid choices might be tableware from Hawkins New York, barware from Stelton, or American glassware to make the Bauhaus proud from Fferrone