some more of our favorite things – 2013 edition 

by Nov 13, 2013ModObjects0 comments


With Hanukkah extra early this year and Christmas right around the corner, it’s time to get in the holiday spirit.  And that means it’s time for our annual ‘Favorite Things’ list.  I am a sucker for good, modern design.  I believe I was born this way.  I also learned a lot when I worked at a little store located within Contemporary Galleries downtown on 4th Street back in the late 80’s.  The 221 Store.  Does anyone remember it?  Awesome little design and housewares shop ‘curated’ by owner Steffanie Gentile (who had impeccable modern taste).  I think I spent more than I earned there, and I still have just about everything I bought.  That’s the thing about good design.  It never goes out of style.  Here are our picks for this year’s modern gift givers (or things for your own ‘wish list’).  Enjoy the season – and our little slideshow of our Summer 2012 visit to the Christmas Story House and Museum in Cleveland!


 skagen watchesWe bought our first Skagens in the 90’s. Why not? They were beautiful, sleek and modern, and a fraction of the price of the gold standard modern watch, the Movado. 15 years later our Skagens have stood the test of time, and the line has expanded to countless styles. They are still slim, modern, dependable, and affordable at around $100. Locally they are available at department stores. Bargains can be found on Amazon.

harper coasters

Cool set of 4 absorbent stone coasters from Charley’s midcentury Ford Times bird prints. $30. Available locally at Fabulous Frames and Art and Mica 12v where lots of other Harper gifts are available, too.

stelton cylinda line by arne jacobsen

This year’s ‘splurge’ gift. We have been collecting this line for years (since I worked at the 221 Store) and prices have skyrocketed lately. Good deals can still be had on ebay and the occasional piece shows up at the 20th Century Cincinnati Show.

wilton scoop-it batter spoons We are suckers for useful kitchen gadgets and this one is the bomb. The edges of the scoops are little spatulas. Make muffins or cupcakes with NO MESS. And the best thing is they are under $7 and available locally at Sur La Table or Bed Bath and Beyond. If you are on my list, don’t be surprised if you get these this year!

case study ceramics planters 

I still do not have any Architectural Pottery, but these Case Study planters from Modernica are a pretty damn good substitute and add modern bling to any interior (or exterior!). Good quality and proportions. Shipping is free, and they occasionally run a 15% off promotion.

terrace plaza book

Once I get my flux capacitor perfected, one of my first stops will be to the Terrace Plaza Hotel in its heyday of the 1950’s. In the meantime, this new book (available mail order via the link above and also at the CAC Gift Shop) by DAAP graduate Shawn Patrick Tubb will have to do. At least the Miro and the Calder are on display at the Cincinnati Art Museum. But to see them in their original environment would be priceless….

alexander girard playing cards

Part of the Miller House collection that our friend Jenny Geiger produced for the Indianapolis Museum of Art. At $14, these are a no-brainer perfect modern hostess gift. This website (and museum shop) has lots of other great gift items as well!

charley harper sketchbook

Step by step instructions to draw 28 Harper stylized birds. Great for the aspiring artist of any age. $20. Available locally at Fabulous Frames and Art.

apple tv

We purchased two of these reconditioned for $75 each off of the Apple website (new is $100) so we could watch “Orange is the New Black” on Netflix. Apple never ceases to amaze with their perfect design. The box is so tiny it sits under TV and is not even noticeable. Even the sculpted aluminum remote is beautiful. Not only can we now watch Netflix, but we can look at photos and listen to itunes radio and even watch Amazon Prime shows and movies all on our TV. Great bargain in the ever changing technology market.

photo gifts – collage mugs and standouts

Arlen and I drink our coffee out of these every day and these silly little things are among my favorite possessions. These collage mugs are especially nice if you have had a professional session, but they work well with candids, too. Surprisingly good quality photo printing. We put them in the dishwasher occasionally and they have held up well to that, too.

You can go crazy with the variety different photo gifts, but the standouts (photos mounted on a block) from mpix are especially cool (shown here lower right). ‘Like’ them on Facebook to be notified of specials (free shipping, other discounts). The photo of the Farnsworth house on the upper right was also printed, matted and framed by mpix. The painting of Fallingwater on the left was painted by our daughter Tenley after our visit there last year.

for more ideas, check out our 2011 and 2012 favorite things lists 

And don’t miss local shopping opportunities like the City Flea Small Mall and annual Fabulous Frames Harper Celebration.  Happy Shopping!


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