2023 Trendy Reward Concepts From Senior Editor Gregory Han


Regardless of my longtime position right here amongst my esteemed Design Milk colleagues as our website’s resident expertise lover, my private desires have more and more leaned towards the utilitarian. Previously 12 months my spouse and I purchased our first residence, and we wrote out first e book collectively, and in flip, it all the time looks as if my wishlist seems to be extra like a purchasing record for a contractor or the provides record of a mountaineering fanatic reasonably than a design lover. Even so, there are various reward objects my design-loving coronary heart longs to welcome into my life, just a few of them shared beneath…

I nonetheless love the Dixon-designed Jack that I bought a lifetime in the past in celebration of a transfer and promotion, and I’ve continued to admire his present efforts, like this chemist-inspired borosilicate vessel that lands inside the nexus of my pursuits in science, design, and show. It ain’t simple being inexperienced, however displaying any plant or floral reducing with this vase will simply add a dimension of the graphic to enrich the pure.

Multi-tier pagoda shaped desk lamp on desk, dimly illuminated.

Architecturally-inspired lighting can veer into the realm of kitsch, however Hangzhou-based designer Mario Tsai’s multi-tiered, die-cast aluminum lamps and lights impressed by the pagoda are a examine in understated magnificence. The sunshine it glows with is extra atmospheric than room illuminating, however as somebody with a low-grade obsession with lighting, I’d welcome this modular top design in any of its 5-20 layer iterations to gentle the best way.

Living room setting with lots of wall art, with large ice cream cone shaped planter with rubber tree planted in it.

In one other lifetime, I labored as a toy and merchandise designer, and adorned our tiny studio house at the moment in acceptable colourful, playful style. I might need grown up just a bit bit since then, however part of me will all the time harbor an enduring love for objects that faucet into our inside little one, free from that horribly boring factor we name “style.” If somebody calls this tacky, I’ll simply throw out the, “It’s impressed by Claes Oldenburg!” card, then provide them a scoop of my favourite ice cream to placate their misplaced judgment.

Large screen print of yellow graphical floral arrangement

Los Angeles designer/artist Sebastian Curi appears to subscribe to the assumption you both “go massive or go residence!” Lots of his silkscreen prints seize the fascinating gestures of the hand in numerous poses, however I’ve just lately fallen for his twin Daytime/Nighttime outsized 40″ x 55″ prints. At this scale they’d add some colourful graphical oomph that may by no means wilt like their IRL counterparts.

Side by side photos of a low modern wooden 3-legged stool with a small hook on the back

Willy Hu first appeared on my radar through his work for LA-based Sugar Lab, “the world’s first true digital bakery,” quickly adopted by my drooling consideration towards the delectable efforts he and his associate Lexie Park create underneath the meals + design moniker, Eat Nünchi. Hu’s newest endeavor in partnership with Jimmy Chung takes a extra organic-modern strategy, a collection of stools launched and offered through Instagram evoking what my eyes understand as conventional lacquered Korean Joseon dynasty spirit via the prism of Southern California modernism. I’ve already positioned a down fee for one in every of UJU Studio’s ebonized stool designs with a sculpted knob, an early reward to myself.

Two modern clocks with a semi-translucent clock face with red dot and arms

I doubt I’m alone after I say the passing of time feels hazy at finest. And what higher technique to symbolize the nebulous presence of time’s passing than this translucent glass wall clock designed by Makoto Koizumi for Japanese clock band, Lemnos. Or within the phrases of the designer: “We typically discover the presence of a clock disagreeable. And typically the existence of time can also be disagreeable. So a barely ambiguous signal of time is simply high quality.” Amen.

Three hand embroidered graphical rugs inspired by hand painted signage, including one that says "2 for $3", "$4.29" and a milk carton graphic.

Artist Jeffrey Sincich’s embroidery artwork captures that comforting human component related to the hand-painted signage that I nonetheless keep in mind dotting the streets of San Francisco. Seeing them elicits a bittersweet realization the artistry and craft of hand-painted signage is fading from our collective reminiscence. Perhaps that’s why I would like this welcome mat-sized rug that includes one half of this website’s namesake. I wouldn’t dare step on this rug, believing it deserves a spot on my wall to admire just like the signal that impressed it.

Detail of an aluminum vented iPhone case with the same metallic design as Apple Mac Pro desktop, showing its small aromatherapy section.

As an iPhone never-nude, I’ve all the time encased my gadgets, simply in case. Usually it’s been leather-based, extra just lately with Apple’s new FineWoven materials (regardless of some studies saying in any other case, I’ve discovered the micro-twill sturdy and simple to scrub). The brand new iPhone 15 Professional and 15 Professional Max is likely to be sheathed in sections of titanium alongside the perimeters, however that doesn’t imply I wish to expose these areas to scratches and dents, nor my oily paws. Thus, I’m tempted to strive one in every of these ventilated aluminum alloy circumstances sporting the cheese grater design that any Apple Mac Professional desktop fanatic would acknowledge. In the event you’re questioning what’s up with the “Aromatherapy” a part of the case’s identify, apparently there’s a perforated part designed for a drop of fragrance or a vital oil. How scentual.

Person wearing long sleeves and a wristwatch sharpening a knife using HORL 2 magnetic sharpener

That is a type of items primarily sensible in nature, however so effectively designed, it emphasizes how one of the best items are ones you’ll use and love each day. As somebody who likes to maintain his kitchen knives sharp, however doesn’t essentially love the period of time required to take action, this magnetic sharpener is a intelligent means to maintain blades at their finest with out the entire multi-step care required of a whetstone. It’s simply costly sufficient to be a very nice reward, one that might be additional good paired with a Damascus gyuto.

Green background art illustration print of the Richard Neutra VDL House

For a few years we lived in a modest house overlooking the again nook of Richard Neutra’s VDL Home, aka the Van der Leeuw Home. The enduring residence remains to be imprinted because the epitome of the mid-century ethos, providing what I think about a chic and trendy technique to reside. With bedrooms as intimately personal as the house’s shared dwelling areas are voluminous in potentialities, I’ll all the time keep in mind the feeling of compression and growth thoughtfully laid out at a modest residential scale, alongside the romantic spill of daylight that might angle into the corners of the house with the sundown. I wouldn’t thoughts any of Studio Sander Patelski’s collection of architectural impressed prints, however this one could be appreciated with all these particular recollections.

Observe alongside so that you don’t miss any of our 2023 Reward Guides this 12 months!

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Gregory Han is a Senior Editor at Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a profound love and curiosity for design, mountaineering, tide swimming pools, and highway journeys, a collection of his adventures and musings could be discovered at gregoryhan.com.

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