99 gift ideas for home and garden
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99 gift ideas for home and garden

The L.A. Times home and garden team scouted more than a dozen shopping districts across five counties in Southern California. Our 99 gift picks here represent the serious and the silly, the functional and the frilly. Prices range from $2.75 to $3,995. First stop: Ige, designer Helene Ige’s shop on Beverly Boulevard in L.A., where we found the cutest German nodders ($11 each), bobble-headed animal figurines of rabbits, squirrels, dachshunds, lambs and more. “Crazy, crazy, crazy how big those have been for me,” Ige says. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
Handmade bone boxes from India ($50) are at designer Paula Smail’s delightful little Studio City store Henry Road(Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
At the 1-year-old Pasadena housewares emporium Maude Woods we found cheery French cheese knives for just $15 apiece. Add a simple white plate from nearby Crate & Barrel, some crackers and Camembert, and you’ve got a universal gift that still has some personality. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
What says “I love you” more than dog topiary? Just don’t mistake the schnauzer for a Scottie. “Sometimes customers correct me on the breed,” Pasadena shopkeeper Brad Larsen says, laughing. “Trust me, dog people know.” The moss-covered canines ($45 to $75 each) will never die, but, of course, do expect some shedding. You’ll find them at Brad Larsen Florals(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
We’re often amused by Gold Bug in Pasadena, surprising and wonderfully off-kilter. This year, it’s offering the perfect nose job: a limited-edition, life-size sterling silver ($420) or bronze ($380) olfactory figurine to mount on the wall or add some curiosity to the curio cabinet. If that’s a little rich, then give someone a backbone: a porpoise vertebra cast in pewter and finished in one of four colors ($55 each). (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
At Rolling Greens Nursery in L.A., a trove of vases, pots, lanterns and other indoor-outdoor gifts, we found these carved wooden blocks ($15 to $58) designed to cradle long-wicked candles ($5.75 and up). (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
Down the street from Rolling Greens is Specific, a tiny storefront loaded with design finds. These crafty bowls and vases ($35 to $150) by the Mexico City studio Tsimáni are made from ribbons of colored paper. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
A quick peek inside the ever-changing Specific. Those felt flags on the right wall are actually Wall Pockets by Scout Regalia, an L.A. studio that describes the design as wool felt pockets that can be used as a reusable wine bag, nondenominational holiday stocking or wall-mounted organizer for office supplies or mail. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
Gary Gibson’s L.A. store is the place where vintage addicts have their relapse. One-of-a-kind furniture, art and accessories make great gifts, of course, but more affordable pieces are available. Keep clicking for a couple of examples.... (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
Beautiful cloisonné tins ($200 to $285) from Gary Gibson(Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
Striped ceramic vases and bowls by French artist Fabienne Jouvin ($195 to $325) at Gary Gibson(Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
Our pick at the Green Life on Main Street in Santa Monica: reusable sandwich and snack bags by LunchSkins ($8.99 to $9.99 each) in vibrant designs reminiscent of the renowned Finnish textile studio Marimekko. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)
The Burbank store Mindful Nest has opened a Santa Monica location, delivering more handmade contemporary crafts, pottery and artwork by locals. Bonus: Shoppers can make their own scented candles, diffusers and room sprays at the blending bar in the back. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)
How about making a gift instead of buying one? The Urban Craft Center in Santa Monica is a retail space with fabrics and yarn, but crafters also can head into the loft-like studio to spread out and work on projects for an hour ($6) or a day ($15). (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)
Classes at the Urban Craft Center include sewing, screen printing, crocheting, knitting, soap making, candle making. You can buy fabric, then make a great tablecloth or napkins. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)
Open less than a year, Filigree in Studio City feels like a cozy yet elegant cottage. Among the draws: designs from the man of the moment in the textile world, John Robshaw. The store carries bedding (starting at $80 for a sham) as well as less expensive items such as luggage tags ($25 each). (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
Oh, what would a gift guide be without pet presents? We’ve got plenty. Our first stop was Maxwell Dog in Studio City. That’s where Wendi Laski was giving a treat to Charlie. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
Where’s the sushi? At Maxwell Dog, raised feeding platforms by Replus ($28 to $170) looked good enough for us to dine on. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
If you’re going to have an enormous dog bed in your home, shouldn’t it look good? Jax and Bones dog beds come in a variety of sophisticated fabrics ($124 to $178) at Maxwell Dog(Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
For a semi-custom gift, how about semi-custom note cards? At Mimio in Pasadena, you can pick from about 20 templates, most contemporary botanical designs. Then have any name printed on the front. You get a choice of folded cards or postcard-style notes (six for $13, 12 for $25). (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
Tweak99, Tara Riceberg’s temporary holiday store near the Beverly Center in L.A., has taken over the front of the crafts workshop Hands-on 3rd and is selling everything under $100, everything wrapped -- a sort of one-stop Tylenol for gift givers. Lots of clever items are meant to induce a chuckle: The popular Appro Sake Bomb set ($99.99) is a ceramic decanter with cups. (Alexander Purcell)
While we’re in a spirited mood, let’s talk martinis. At Colcha in Venice, martini glasses (and wine goblets and Champagne flutes) get a shot of glamour with a faceted mirror finish on glass stems ($20 each). We bought the matching candle for $14. (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)
Shopping for someone who likes his drinking experience to be more retro? How about printed coasters based on vintage matchbook designs and midcentury advertising illustrations ($5 each)? They’re at Bar Keeper in Silver Lake. (David A. Keeps)
The hot seller at TableArt on Melrose Avenue: the new In and Out trivet ($38) from the German housewares firm Konstantin Slawinski. Pull the silicone arms outward and you get a hexagon with linear flourishes; bend the arms inward and you get a curvy, abstract star. It’s available in several colors. (Konstantin Slawinski)
If the classic platters and bowls of Heath Ceramics are too pricey for your budget, there’s much to discover at the L.A. store: Futagami brass pieces that turn bottle opener into art form ($35), as well as the steel-clamped, rubber-ringed Weck glass jars ($2.75 and up) that design-minded cooks can fill with homemade treats. We bought the ones here for $4 apiece and filled them with macaroons. (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)
For 30 years, Freehand Gallery has been filled with functional, hand-crafted temptations on 3rd Street in L.A. Pictured here: gorgeous red and black stoneware ($45 and up) with hand-etched imagery from California potter Sally Jaffee. (Freehan)
Artist Marc Tetro trains his dogs to sit, stay and never bark. It helps that they’re made of cardboard. A range of breeds is available; we picked up the Boston terrier and pug for $10.95 apiece at the South Pasadena shop Marz, (626) 799-4032. (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)
Venture from Old Pasadena’s chain stores to 601 Green St., the atelier of interior designer Carolyn Oliver, and you’ll find a collection of ceramics that meld the charm of Matisse with the earthy vibe of midcentury pottery. She collaborates with a local artisan to produce all the pieces, which range from the 33-inch-wide mural pictured here ($2,995) to sets of coasters (four for $25). Also available: Wonderful vases ($200 each), a table lamp ($2,500) and pedestal patio table ($3,850) with the same heft and spirit. Custom orders taken. (626) 449-3463. (Craig Nakano)
Been spotting old yardsticks in vintage stores? We’ve noticed them selling for upward of $15 apiece in Silver Lake, sold as wall décor. We paid $3 to $9 each for these vintage yardsticks at the Pomona Antique Mart, (909) 623-6464. (You can’t tell from the photo, but they’re actually wooden cubes, as thick as walking sticks.) As in other communities, Pomona’s antique row is struggling — lots of shuttered storefronts. Our favorites, however, are still open, and though the selection is hit or miss, the prices are generally good. Point the GPS to the intersection of East 2nd Street and South Garey Avenue. (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)
Higo mari, an intricately embroidered Japanese craft, has a chaff core wound with cotton thread dyed in vegetable extracts. Each ball ($35) comes in different patterns and colors at the Venice Japanese imports store Tortoise General Store(Tortoise General Store)
From Japan to Mexico: This handmade crucifix studded with metal milagros ($40) is a handsome piece of folk art from the Silver Lake store Gypsy, (323) 660-2556. (David A. Keeps)
Hand-woven, lidded Senegalese prayer baskets ($70.99) and hampers ($173.99) would complement boho-global and contemporary interiors alike. We saw these at Kellygreen in Silver Lake. (David A. Keeps)
Textile and furniture designer Donna Wilson has launched a tabletop line with children’s faces, including melamine “Time for Tea?” tray with smeary green eyes and red cheeks ($49) and English bone china plate with bearded man drawing ($34). You’ll find it at Reform School in Silver Lake. (David A. Keeps)
Soothe yourself or someone you love with jars of petite bath bombs ($32) from RK Apothecary in Santa Monica. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)
Carrie Davich, owner of Maude Woods in Pasadena, said big sellers right now are pewter salt and pepper shakers cast as garlic cloves or radishes ($60 a set). (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
Metallic shell-shaped salt and pepper cellars with impossibly petite spoons ($32 a set) are also popular at Maude Woods(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
Same concept, different look: hand-hewn olive-wood salt and pepper servers with matching spoons ($23 each) at Ige on Beverly Boulevard in L.A. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
Architexture is an elegant Studio City showroom filled with holiday ornaments, soaps, pillows, room diffusers, ceramic ginger jars and colored glass accessories in festive holiday colors. Even if your gift recipients doesn’t love it enough to keep out all year, perhaps they will deploy it each year for the holidays? (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
For guys: bottle stoppers made from vintage billiards balls ($30 each). They’re at Henry Road in Studio City. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
Not for guys: A wide-ranging collection of English stoneware food containers ($48 to $96 each) that held jams, cream, even potted meats are part of Kathy Delgado’s charming ode to French country life, Vintageweave on 3rd Street in L.A. (Kathy M. Delgado)
The Juicy Leaf, a Venice gift shop for urban gardeners, sells these air plant kits. It comes with glass container, rocks and an air plant, which requires no soil and only an occasional soak in water. Near-instant living sculpture. Price: $24.95 apiece; order three and save $15. (Christian Del Rosario)
The Juicy Leaf’s newest air plant kit follows the same concept but uses a different container. Price: $29.95 per kit; order at least three and the price drops to $24.95. (Christian Del Rosario)
At A + R in Venice, we saw designer Josh Owen’s cast-iron menorah ($150), which looks elementally modern and is functional too: The base catches candle drippings. (David A. Keeps)
Elizabeth Paige Smith has a cult following for her Kittypod line of feline beds and scratching accessories. Her latest, so new it hasn’t even hit stores: the Kittypod Dome ($49.99), with cardboard shell, interior scratch pad and little kitty-head-shaped ventilation holes in the back wall.

Corrected: An earlier version of this caption erroneously reported the price as $24.95. (Kittypod)
The Packabowl, a flexible food and water bowl ($18.99), can smush easily into luggage. Should we be surprised that the manufacturer touts materials that are “BPA and phthalate free”? We spotted it at the Urban Pet in Los Angeles. (Polkadog Bakery)
From Imm Living, maker of clever porcelain accessories: cocktail picks that look like darts. They’re $22 for a set of four at Firefly in Venice. (Imm Living)
If you like your wine with sweet oak notes, how about oak furniture with aromatic hints of a robust red? The latest design from Marina del Rey furniture maker Cliff Spencer sources its wood from Napa Valley wineries. Oak that’s added to steel vats to flavor wine usually gets tossed, but these boards ? stained various shades depending on the varietal ? are then cut and reconstituted into handsome display boxes finished in beeswax. Price: $290, sold directly through Spencer’s e-commerce site(Cliff Spencer Furniture Maker)
Designer Martin Konrad Gloeckle’s Bendino lamp is a laser-cut, powder-coated piece of steel that unfolds into a 10-inch-high light. It comes in five colors and sells for $72 at the Venice pop-up shop Sleek Identity(Sleek Identity)
We love the dog lamp. There. We said it. Vividly painted terra cotta lights in the forms of canines and mermaids are all made by hand in Mexico by members of one family. Cute for kids’ rooms, kitschy in the bathroom, front and center in the living room of those who like a lot of look. The lamps are $159 each at Zingara in Venice. (June Czerwinski)
For concentrated coolness, there’s always L.A.'s Silver Lake Boulevard. You can find Judy Jackson stoneware bowls and vases at Lake, Stan Bitters ceramic sculpture at Ten 10 and all things Swedish, cool and contemporary at Yolk, including this festive felt ball trivet ($28). (Los Angeles Times)
Earth-loving techies, your pillows have arrived. The organic cotton Mr. Small Robot ($33.99) and Mr. Large Robot ($44.99) are shaped like machine men and printed with cartoon graphics. They’re matched with a super-size pillow imprinted with a UPC bar code ($99) at Kellygreen in Silver Lake. (David A. Keeps)
Venice landscape designer Sean Knibb turns out the ultimate indoor-outdoor poufs ($424 each): thick, cushy and upholstered in Sunbrella fabric with piped edges and perfectly matched stripes. (David A. Keeps)
For a more budget-minded garden accent: 3.75-inch biodegradable bamboo starter pots ($1.50 each) in rainbow colors, pretty enough to use as a pencil cup. They’re at Kellygreen in Silver Lake. (David A. Keeps)
New serving bowls from Heath Ceramics are designed in collaboration with the L.A. design firm Commune and wood sculptor Alma Allen. They’re gorgeous, at once rustic and modern. Some come with a walnut lid that looks as fluid as a drop of water. (Prices vary.) (Heath Ceramics)
Newly made from vintage molds, glass cake stands ($89) look sweet in opaque pastels and transparent brights at Bountiful Home in Venice. (David A. Keeps)
At OK stores on Silver Lake Boulevard and 3rd Street in Los Angeles, a cast-iron monkey bottle opener ($32.50) makes for a functional and amusing gift with a little heft to it. (Los Angeles Times)
Stefanie Gelinas, a TV producer who often travels to Europe for work and returns with new home designs, has set up the Venice pop-up shop Sleek Identity. She’s selling a shower caddy called the Octopus ($35), a natural latex critter that loops over a shower head (no suction cups required) and has eight arms with adjustable loops for brushes and washcloths. Bonus: You can hang those shampoo and conditioner containers upside-down. (Sleek Identity)
Tea towels with bird and botanic motifs ($18 each) from Heath Ceramics could be crafty additions to holiday gift baskets. (Heath Ceramics)
Add a touch of France to a gift with Tumbleweed & Dandelion’s blue-striped woven cotton napkins ($22 each, $80 for four), which fit the bohemian chic trend in decorating. (David A. Keeps)
It’s a how-do-they-do-it price: $300 for each of these sleek wood and vinyl upholstered chairs, which evoke the classic work of Jens Risom. We spotted them at the G2 Gallery in Venice. (David A. Keeps)
Rockin’ around the Christmas tree? Not without a glittering, official Kiss ornament ($22). We found this one at Serifos in Silver Lake, (323) 660-7467. (David A. Keeps)
The smaller of the two Lawson-Fenning stores actually has a better selection of affordable gifts: coasters, party plates and this rustic hurricane lamp ($35) we picked up at the Silver Lake location. (Los Angeles Times)
At Driftwood on Sunset Boulevard, artist Scott Barry’s untitled works of human hands and graphic symbols pack visual punch ($40 each, unframed). (David A. Keeps)
With the scents of flowers, herbs or church incense, Cire Trudon vegetable-based candles ($75 each) come in Italian artisan green glass votives and have a burn time of 75 to 80 hours. A special Christmas fragrance ($85) comes in red glass, and a supersize candle ($220) could last for more than a week of continuous illumination. Another pick: the black wax bust of Napoleon Bonaparte ($110), of course. They’re all at the new Mohawk General Store in Silver Lake. (David A. Keeps)
Embroidered Indian pillows ($45) in bright citrus shades and pom-pom fringe throw a color punch to sofas and beds. They’re from Zingara in Venice. (June Czerwinski)
We went antiquing in Orange, we perused Retro Row in Long Beach, we even hit the desert. At Art Style Innovation, boldly patterned pillows called out for attention. (David A. Keeps)
On North Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs’ mecca of Midcentury Modern home decor, we checked out the new Ventura. Trina Turk Residential, the home boutique of the fashion designer, had patterned candles, pillows and rugs. Pictured here: Shag the Store, the first retail location of the artist known for his tiki and Palm Springs-inspired canvases. (David A. Keeps)
Looking to make a gift of candles seem a little more interesting? Add some old-school match boxes ($1.50 apiece) from OK in Silver Lake. (Los Angeles Times)
The canvas Tipi indoor tent ($275) is big enough for two playful kids or one adult desperate for refuge. Is it wrong for daddy to give himself a timeout? You’ll find Tipi at Reform School in Silver Lake. (David A. Keeps)
Animal Blueprints are drawings that resemble architectural renderings. Each is $95 matted or $185 framed at the Modern Dog in Venice. (The Modern Dog)
Another find at Sleek Identity: These designer dinner candles ($10 each) are imprinted with icons. As they burn, they tell you when it’s time for cocktails, dessert and bed. (Sleek Identity)
How about a stainless steel reproduction of a Jazz Age penguin cocktail shaker ($45) and metallic red soda siphon ($110)? They’re at Bar Keeper in Silver Lake. (David A. Keeps)
Fun find: The Scratch Map ($26), a rendering of the world covered in gold foil. Scratch off each country as you travel to various lands. We spotted it at Henry Road in Studio City. (Luckies)
Danish modern people pots get super-sized in this bust vase, ideal for arranging stems or supporting a toupee of succulents. Female bust also available ($150 each). Head to Floral Art in Venice. (David A. Keeps)
Charming handmade vintage dragon puppets have two rows of felt teeth. They’re $12 each at the Perfect Piece in Venice. (David A. Keeps)
If it seems like we keep coming back to the L.A. shop Ige, that’s because we are. It’s Gift Central. John Derian decoupage plates as well as some less expensive finds ... (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
These beautiful mpingo wood storage boxes ($49 and $62) at Ige are shaped like spiky oryx horns. Lift up the top and perhaps you can drop in ... (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
? one of Ige’s old-fashioned gunmetal and silver keys stamped with a one-word message such as “sweet” and “yes” ($11 to ($13). (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
At Henry Road you’ll find pillows, lighting and, for the friend or family member you know well, perhaps one of the butterfly paintings on the wall (beginning at $120). (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
John Robshaw bedding at Filigree in Studio City. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
David Browne’s reclaimed wood chair ($225) exudes Shaker simplicity at the Silver Lake shop Driftwood(David A. Keeps)
A safe, inexpensive bet: glass tea light holders ($4.75 each) from Rolling Greens in L.A. (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)
For the risk-taking gift giver: the wall of birdhouses ($165 to $495 each), many adorned with trowels or shears, at Rolling Greens. (And if the recipient doesn’t like it, don’t worry. It can “accidentally” fall from the tree in January.) (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
These wire “bingo” baskets ($12.50 to $21.50) are decorated with vintage-looking wooden discs. Lined the baskets with tissue paper, fill with homemade cookies and bingo: You’ve got a winner. We also found these at Rolling Greens(Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
Modernica in L.A. may be best known for midcentury furniture, but it’s also one-stop shopping for colored glass: vases, pitchers, candy dishes and more (most $50 to $400). (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
At Gary Gibson down the street, you’ll see more great glass, including these vases ($45 to $95). (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
Hard to resist: Zigg the tiger plush animal by Super Zero ($30). We spotted it at Weego Baby in Santa Monica. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)
At Weego Baby’s sister Santa Monica store, Weego Home, pillows by Judy Ross, Hable Construction and Antonio Aguilar ($150 to $275) have graphic appeal. Those are Ross’ pillows pictured here. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)
Dragonfly kites ($32 apiece) work for any age. You’ll find them at Weego Baby(Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)
Studio City-based Architexture is filled with holiday ornaments, serving pieces, chandeliers and more. Present for self? Designer Abby Rose’s upholstered queen-size bed in the background ($995). Presents for others? Try chinoiserie candles ($39 each) in reusable ceramic containers. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
Vintage-themed signs -- some made of card stock, some metal -- line the walls of the new Rocket Fizz in Pasadena, where old-time sodas and retro candy provide a sweet bit of nostalgia. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
How about the gift of time? At Gold Bug in Pasadena, an hourglass runs on silver-plated sand ($42). (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
Give them the world -- or at least the world on a candy dish. This Fabienne Jouvin design was selling for $32 at Maude Woods in Pasadena. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
Among the offerings in the 3rd Street gift store of L.A. designer Deborah Rhein: handmade, down-filled pillows embroidered on silk or wool with velvet backs (about $100). (D.L. Rhein)
Gift tag: good. Gift flag: better. Santa cards styled like souvenir felt pennants from the 1960s ($15.95 for a set of six) are among the offerings from Urbanic in Venice. (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)
For the little minimalist: the Ideaco piggy bank ($32) Weego Home(Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)
Are the little ones as tall as the average gorilla? A badminton net? Napoleon? Henry Road owner Paula Smail holds the I’m As Big As ? height chart ($18) in her Studio City store. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
We have to stress that no photos adequately capture the sheer beauty of Circle Factory cutting boards at OK. Store owner Larry Schaffer says he’s got more new items for this holiday season than in previous years, and standouts include these cutting boards from a North Carolina studio. (Moet Hashimoto)
It’s bustling on 3rd Street in L.A., one of dozens of shopping districts we scouted for home and garden gift ideas. Other picks from OK: glasses ($20 to $31) from the Danish company Holmegaard, a Berliner wooden chess set with sleekly carved pieces ($185) and plastic trays encased with Lithuanian linens ($18.50 to $35) would make for a sophisticated picnic.

Look for even more ideas on our L.A. at Home blog. And when you need a break from shopping and just want to peek inside some great homes, check out our Homes of the Times photo galleries(Christina House / For The Times)