HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE: THE TOP 7 GIFTS FOR THE TECH OBSESSED AND THE LUDDITES

by Marisa Marcantonio

Welcome to the first of several gift guides, starting with gifts for the tech savvy design enthusiast. This year, great new designs have emerged in unique categories that harness technology and the direct to consumer model, that cuts out the middleman which means better prices for luxury goods. From toothbrushes to luggage, practical design-forward gifts can be appreciated daily, making them the perfect gifts. Ahead, my top 7 tech and non tech presents that will make gift buying easier this holiday season. 

GIFTS FOR...

THE PUNCTUAL: 

Photo courtesy of Apple

Photo courtesy of Apple

Either you are an early adopter or you take a wait and see approach when it comes to tech and gadgets. The 2nd version of the Apple Watch comes equipped with GPS so you can leave your iphone at home when you go for a run or ride. I am partial to the sleek new white ceramic Apple Watch Edition that will set you back $1,249 and the Apple Watch Hermès selection that came out in September.  

THE BEAUTY BUFF:

Photo courtesy of Dyson

Photo courtesy of Dyson

When I first heard design guru James Dyson had designed a hair dryer, I jumped for joy. He knows a thing or two about world class product design, form and function, and if he could take on this arduous daily task with an elegant solution, he had my ear. Well, a sleek, beautiful design, low noise and heat safe temps make the Supersonic great, but is it worth the $399 price tag? They spent $67 million to develop and engineer this cool newfangled tool, but I think it is more of a luxury than anything else. But if it makes the job at hand easier, then it's worth it in my book. 

Photo courtesy of Goby

Photo courtesy of Goby

Why not add some great design to your morning routine? This new Goby rechargeable electric toothbrush (it debuted in October)  is big on style and low on price. As the first toothbrush to go the direct to consumer Dollar Shave Club route, Goby comes in fun colors and the price, at $50 with $6 replacement heads can't be beat in the electric toothbrush market. It has easy USB charging and attractive storage, and I can't wait to try it and support a woman founded startup (with an investment from Susan Lyne-headed Built By Girls Ventures over at AOL). 

THE MUSIC MINDED:

Photo courtesy of Sonos

Photo courtesy of Sonos

Listening to music makes me happy. That is why I am asking for the Sonos Play 1 speaker for Christmas. I am a longtime Bose loyalist, but since my Bose bluetooth speaker stopped working, I have come to embrace a new game in town, the mini and mighty Sonos. It's all about that bass. 

THE COMMUTER:

Photo courtesy of Starbucks

Photo courtesy of Starbucks

Now that the cold weather has arrived, its time to take hot coffee and tea seriously. With Ember's insulated to go cup, you can keep your drink at the exact temperature you like. The price tag is steep, but for commuting, nothing beats it.

THOSE ALWAYS ON THE GO:

Photo courtesy of Allbirds

Photo courtesy of Allbirds

Want to wear the hot shoe everyone in Silicon Valley is buzzing about? Allbirds, made from New Zealand Wool are lightweight, machine washable and comfy. They are the kicks to be wearing now. Technology helped make these sneakers, but they are low tech in their minimalist design. 

Here's something for the jet setter on your list. Or, Merry Christmas to you. Two former Warby Parker execs, Jen Rubio and Stephanie Korey started a well priced direct to consumer luggage brand, Away. With a minimal hard-case design and iphone charger on top, this bag is light, meets carry on size standards and is well designed. For the personal touch they are offering hand lettered monogramming on bags that take two weeks to arrive.  I've been considering this luggage and just saw it in action at LAX, so I think I am going to go for it. 

FALL 2016 HIGH POINT HIGHLIGHTS: BUNGALOW CLASSIC FOR HIGHLAND HOUSE

by Marisa Marcantonio

The Atlanta based interior designer partnership (and husband and wife duo) behind the established home decor store Bungalow Classic debuted a designer collection of pieces at Highland House at the fall High Point Market. Following the dynamic, vintage inspired collection launched by designer Barrie Benson last season, Highland House has proven to be a worthwhile destination to visit at market. With an attention to scale, proportion and exciting upholstery fabric selections, this furniture company (part of the same group as Century Furniture, Rock House Farm) is making traditional exciting again. Ahead, a look at the designs created by stylish Mr. and Mrs. Bungalow, Courtney and Randy Tilinski, who have built a loyal following (they launched their  Westside area Howell Mill shop in 2000) for their serene spaces, classic details, and relaxed formality. The line includes easy to use designs and pretty pieces for those that appreciate quiet sophistication.

The entrance to the space was done in soft colors and included a muted stripe and damask

A dusty pink and creme palm tree print covers an upholstered corner settee with tufting and a tailored skirt

A rich saffron yellow velvet covers a high sided minimalist sofa with tapered dark wood legs

One of my favorite pieces, this classic 2 seater sofa done in cream linen with a slim tailored arm and dressy cream bullion fringe. Lookout world, bullion is back!

When comfort and elegance are in order, this slim curved arm 3 seater sofa provides a tailored approach

Side chairs with a high back and back pillow make for a great reading spot

I love a cut corner, so this tailored ottoman with pleated skirt that acts as a coffee table or ottoman is just the thing