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On the Eighth Day of Christmas: The Ultimate Gift Guide

On the Eighth Day of Christmas: Eight Timeless Pieces in which to InvestOn the eighth day of Christmas, we give you: Eight Pieces in Which to Invest, Seven Interior Design Blogs to ReadSix Festive CocktailsFive Holiday Wishes, Four Tips for a Successful RenovationThree Blogs Not to MissTwo New Traditions, and One Room to Refresh.

While this makes the ultimate Christmas Gift Guide, this list is more of a personal bucket list of luxury items in which it may be worth investing. I have first-hand experience with nearly all of these suggestions and while none of them are the most expensive in their category, they stand out for their timeless design, enduring quality, and their ability to evoke an emotional response. That’s what you get when form, function, and quality are equally elevated. So here we go in no particular order:

Nomos Metro Series Watch

I discovered these German-made watches during our travels last summer. I was walking down the street to find an ATM so we could do some laundry. Casually looking at the storefronts along the way, I saw this watch in the window and it gave me pause. So much so, I walked in the shop to check it out. The lines are simple and classic. The precision machining of the exposed movement is fantastic. The weight is perfect.  While I’m drawn to the Metro, they have other models in their range worth checking out, too. I’d love to say I came back from the ATM with more than a few euros but…(Editor’s Note: Kaper kids – Christmas is 13 days away. Hint Hint)

Breeo X Series Smokeless Fire Pit

These are just fantastic firepits.  They’re made in Pennsylvania and built like a tank. I find the combination of Corten and stainless steel a design win. They produce a lot of heat and yes, once they get warmed up, they are smokeless. If you want to cook on them, they have a sear plate around the perimeter, or you can opt for their broad line of cooking accessories. Nothing beats smores and friends around the fire.

Pro Tip: Go for the 24” or larger models so you can more easily see the fire.

Jori Daydreamer Recliner

Client: Hey Jeff, you must sit in one of my new recliners.

Jeff: OK.

Verdict: The-most-comfortable-recliner-ever!

The shape and feel are like no other. It’s the perfect reading/watching the game/napping chair. It comes in three sizes and is fully customizable. (Sorry, cup holders are NOT an option.) I prefer the look of using a contrasting exterior upholstery. Again, thoughtful design and a luxe experience.

Rega Planar 6 Turntable

This is for you audiophiles out there. This middle of Rega’s range turntable comes with a dedicated remote power supply and your choice of cartridge. While the warm analog sound is perfectly imperfect, the design is, well, perfectly perfect. I grew up in the post-vinyl era, but my older brothers wisely held on to their record collections. Now my son Ethan has their collections plus his own to enjoy. What’s old is new!

The Galley Workstation Sink

The sink is arguably the most used appliance in the kitchen but selecting one is usually given the least amount of thought.  American-made, The Galley Workstation extends the function of the sink to allow multiple tasks to happen simultaneously including food prep, food serving, and cleanup.  And they do it artfully and thoughtfully. If you’re dreaming of a new kitchen, The Galley Workstation is an investment worth considering.

Moccamaster Coffee Brewer

We can debate the best method to brew coffee, but if you’re looking for a drip coffee brewer, a Moccamaster is worth the investment. Handmade in the Netherlands, they are as beautiful to look at as the coffee they brew. They offer both hot plate and thermal carafe models that you’ll be proud to set on your counter. Personalize yours with one of their striking color options. Best of all, it’s got ONE button!

Le Pliage Original M Handbag

This one is from my daughter Anna, a junior studying fashion design. Here is what she said:

“It’s no surprise that Le Pliage by Longchamp is one of the world’s most worn bags. Every day I’m walking the streets of Florence, I see that signature tote bag hauling everything from groceries, to laptops, to weekend travel gear. In 1993, Longchamp released the Le Pliage (aka the folding) which took inspiration from Japanese origami to create an entirely foldable bag constructed with high-quality Russian leather as well as recycled canvas. The design is classic and functional, making it a desirable buy for either men or women. There are handbag and backpack options, but the tote bag is my go-to. It comes in a variety of colors including their signature navy and has options for personalization.”

Pro tip: “If you’re going to invest in high quality or luxury fashion items, always go for the accessories because they will retain their value at a substantially better rate.”

Hinkley Runabout 29

When I’m at the ocean or on the great lakes, I love to walk through the marinas to admire the beautiful yachts, fishing charters, and day cruisers. A few years ago on an unauthorized, self-guided marina tour, I saw this runabout and couldn’t take my eyes off it. Its graceful design captured my imagination. I had never seen one before and had no idea what it was. (Thank you, image search.)

Fast forward to the following summer, I was walking across the LaSalle St. Bridge over the Chicago River and there was another one tied up on the north bank. Again, an absolute work of art! These runabouts were made in Maine by Hinkley Yachts and combine classic design with modern jet propulsion including a unique joystick control. They recently stopped making this model, but I, personally, think it is the most beautiful boat I’ve ever seen.

So, there you have it, eight investment pieces that will age well and look good doing it. Which one do you want under your tree this year?

author avatar
Jeff Owner/Principal
Jeff Kaper is the owner/principal of Spectrum Design Group LLC. For over 30 years, he has helped his clients navigate the tension of form, function, budget, and disruption to create uniquely personal, enduring spaces to do life. He is a raving fan of the intrinsic joy good design brings to our daily lives. He also finds joy leading the SDG family and its story still being written.

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