Please welcome our latest columnist to The Rural Modernist team: Carol VanderKloot of cvk ink. This childhood chum of mine specializes in media relations and communications for the design community, so she will surely be sharing scoops and insider information long before you read about it anywhere else. As Señora Jaffre would say (we had the same Spanish teacher in middle school), "¡Bienvenidos!"

In the spirit of my attempting to be thrifty, practical, responsible gifts that are surefire THRILLGIVERS... with a hint of luxury and a touch of edginess... I covet the following this holiday:

TBT RIBBON LAMP by ECCO Design Sleek and stylish, the mod lighting device is well suited for reading, working or ambiancing and can bend up or down. And, despite its great looks, the TBT Ribbon Lamp by ECCO Design is eco-friendly to boot with an innovative CCFL (cold cathode fluorescent light) bulb that lasts up to 15,000 hours that can change color temperatures and be dimmed to suit the mood or task. $148 (US)

SYLVIE PILLOWS Charming, whimsical and meticulously made, Sylvie Pillows are anything but cute. Hand made creations combine vintage and limited edition textiles that emulate tasteful 70s vintage wallcovering in colorfast cotton. Perfect for the boudoir or even, gasp, the naugahyde couch or to gift to any tricky wicket! $40-$75

UNIFORM WARES One can never have enough watches and I'm always in search of the perfect least embellished, modernist wrist option. And here's one that does little more than LOOK great and the Pantone-inspired colors make them the perfect CHOICE for the snittiest of design and architectural snobs. $141

LIVING WITH WINE Wine cellars, bottles of Lafite, tasting rooms and thermo-controlled environments. Sound familiar? If not, no worries, just glance thru Samantha Nestor's recently published tome, LIVING WITH WINE. The book transports us into the private world of wine collectors showing how they store, enjoy and share their prized Bacchus collections. So Napa, Tuscany, Burgundy be damned, save some dough and feel like you've spent a million without leaving the homestead. $75

When all else fails, do the right thing. Want to open your home to a pet in need of love and care, why not adopt a dog or cat through the angelic rescue group, Posh Pets Rescue. Lovely Linda will match you and your temperament to the perfect pet. And, if you can't adopt a pet, she's in need of fosterers to help make pets more social and more adoptable. And, if you can't do either of the above, then please, please opt to make a tax deductible gift to this small but mighty group. No excuses, now, sit and stay!

Pristine, bejeweled and dazzling, Orange Howell holiday ornaments evoke memories of Christmases past. Hand crafted and inspired by traditional Americana, these modernist silver pieces are adorned with colorful Swarovski crystals. Plus, each ornament comes boxed in a well chosen orange box and nestled in a flannel sleeve to insure longevity for future generations. $25-$75

7. BLAST from the PAST
Ok..we all have our favorite holiday special that we KNOW word for word that feature bewitching claymation characters. But how about a Rankin Bass movie that you haven't seen? We're going a little off track holiday wise, but I'm in love with 1968's MAD MONSTER PARTY and I bet that you will be too. Boris Karloff and Phyllis Diller star with a cast of creepies that is completed by a groovy soundtrack and coolio and art direction.

On your next transatlantic flight, why not snooze in style with a divine Mary Green sleeping mask. I'm particularly partial to this bear model. And, only two bits for this chuckler!

OK...dollar bills be damned...onto our luxury component of the show...

I'm generally NOT a fan of heavy leaded crystal--especially those dreaded items that function only as vessels to collect dust. However, Jaime Hayon's creations for Baccarat elevate crystal refineries to new levels never thought possible. I'm not even going to quote prices, but run, look, and gasp at these heavenly whatnots.

Ok... I leave the best for last and list what, realistically, can not be attained. Robert Isabell, floral and event designer extraordinaire, left behind a legacy of items that are being auctioned off. The NY Times gave a glimpse into this exquisitely curated world that that only legends can create. The spaces go to great lengths in combining modern classics such as Prouve and Perriand with burgeoning soon-to-be coveted Paul Evans with with others. Ok, topping my list for sure is the utterly divine Minetta Lane townhouse--but, since I'm pushing simplicity this year, how about this simple Bertoia sculpture, estimated at 30-50k.

Browse The Collection of Robert Isabell at Auction, December 17


  1. MsSvelteNY // December 21, 2009 at 3:13 PM

    Dear Santa,

    If you don't count last weekend, I've pretty much been a good girl all year. I would love that lamp (#1 Please) under my tree.


    Ms. Svelte NY

  2. tennyson10 // December 21, 2009 at 7:01 PM

    cvk has outdone herself yet again. I'll take one of each pretty please!!!

    a dc admirer