Holiday Gift Inspiration

December 10, 2015 • BabyDesignInterior

’tis the season for making lists and shopping gifts, and i want to start this post by telling you about this little life hack that i found online. it’s called CHECKED TWICE and it’s basically a platform where you can create an account for a family and all members can share wish lists with each other. you can ‘pin’ anything from any web shop on there, or create a gift idea without a link to a shop. but the true genius of it is that everyone can ‘claim’ gifts for everyone, so that no one ends up with a double. every family member can see which gifts are taken, except for the owner of the list – so the surprise isn’t spoiled for them. personally, i am all for lists. i figure that either we don’t do gifts at all, or we get each other things that we know we’ll actually like and use. it’s a wonderful idea to want to do something thoughtful for one another, but i feel bad about wasting money on stuff you’ll never use. so, if you’re like me and you have a large family spread out all over, perhaps you’ll like checked twice. (not a sponsored post y’all, i really just friggin’ love this little discovery!)

last year i put together a few collages with gift ideas from brands that i loved, but this year i decided i wanted to take a look around our apartment and share some of my current favorite things, so that they might end up inspiring those looking for ideas. there’s something for everyone in there…

TIVOLI gives the gift of great music, anywhere you want it. we’ve had the MODEL THREE in our living room for years, but until recently were missing an audio unit in our bedroom. the MUSIC SYSTEM THREE streams music from your smartphone, has a radio and an alarm clock, and works on batteries so you can put it anywhere you like. i like to take it into the bathroom while i take a shower. // TYPE HYPE has the best gift ideas for those who have weak spot for good design or type. i love these bottles – they are great to look at, but they’re actually very decent wines, too. the BARBERA D’ALBA is my favorite. // other gift ideas from our bedroom – letter cups from TYPE HYPE to form their name. // a poster from PLAYTYPE with their favorite letter. // that lamp from SERAX for night time reading in bed.

if you’re looking for a small gift that feels personal, i think these letter notebooks from TYPE HYPE are the best. they exist in several different colors and sizes, and they are great to encourage that friend to write down their witty quips, awesome ideas or emotional life story. to be honest, i feel like you can never have too many notebooks, so this kind of gift would always make me happy. // check out the cute notebooks from SERAX, too. // another brand that is so, so good at creating perfect gifts is EMOI EMOI. especially if you want to spoil a mom or dad! i love their scented candles that spell ‘we are family’, their coffee mugs that say ‘maman poule’ or ‘papa cool’, and perhaps you’ve noticed how much I LOVE THEIR SWEATERS. but this scarf honestly takes the cake. it’s a collab with mapoésie, has the most beautiful colors and comes in a cute little box.

if you’re looking to surprise a design fan in your life, why not surprise them with a subscription to DESIGNER BOX? it truly is a gift that keeps on giving… and it’s how i got these cute WOODEN ANIMALS that brighten up my desk space. // i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again – one of the most important elements in anyone’s interior, is the lighting. it’s the first thing we saved up and shelled out for when decorating our first apartment together, and the lamps we bought then are still some of our favorite items today. the lamp on my desk is the luceplan costanzina we got at MASTER MEUBEL a few years ago. the one next to our tivoli in the living room is by FOSCARINI. it’s their iconic lumiere table lamp, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. the way to a design lover’s heart, if there ever was one.

photos by stephanie duval

A Thoughtful Home With Nest

December 3, 2015 • Design

A Thoughtful Home With Nest A Thoughtful Home With Nest A Thoughtful Home With Nest A Thoughtful Home With Nest A Thoughtful Home With Nest A Thoughtful Home With Nest A Thoughtful Home With Nest A Thoughtful Home With Nest

when i first learned about NEST, i was intrigued. from a purely branding point of view, they looked like they could be the apple of domestic electronics. after all, i had never before seen a ‘beautiful’ thermostat. then they started rolling out other products, and my fascination with them grew. from the way their products looked to how they communicated about them – everything seemed to sort of ‘click’ in the right way.

now that i have been given the opportunity to experience nest for myself, my initial ideas have only been confirmed. just like with any apple product, even opening the box of your product is part of a bigger experience. the packaging is beautiful and carefully designed so as to reward you immediately with a good look at what’s inside. no sticky tape, no wasteful fillings – just the product and the bare essentials you need to set it up. the experience continues right there, because you can go from unwrapping to first test-driving the product in less than five minutes. everything is so self-explanatory and easy to use, it definitely kept reminding me of the first time i ever used my macbook. there’s just no going back, you guys!

i didn’t really have use for a thermostat in our current rental apartment, but i was curious to discover the nest cam. i had previously always resisted putting a baby monitor with camera in juliet’s room, but this camera can be used for a variety of purposes, because its sleek design fits in anywhere. naturally though, we first wanted to try it out in juliet’s room. the camera automatically adjusts to the lighting in the room and switches to infrared when necessary, so we could start spying on our daughter when she slept. and honestly, it’s been so much fun. i can’t wait to share some video we have saved from her shenanigans, but more on that later!

we also were offered to try out the nest protect, a very advanced smoke and CO alarm. we already had a pretty rudimentary smoke alarm hanging in our kitchen – ugly as hell, but it does the job. the nest protect is a lot more beautiful, so we didn’t really feel the need to hide it anywhere, and we decided to put it up in the night hall connecting our bedrooms and bathrooms. it is also the passage we use to get to juliet’s room whenever she wakes up at night. we thought it would be a good place to position it to keep us all safe, and we were excited about the extra feature that would help us out there. the nest protect lights up when you walk underneath it in the dark, so there is no more fondling around during the deep hours of the night.

recently we became even more convinced we’ll have to replace the smoke detector in our kitchen with another nest protect, when we the alarm set off after we blew out some candles and it scared us half to death. if anything like that should happen around the nest protect, it first gives you a heads-up in a recorded human voice to let you know there’s something fishy going on. it gives you the time to intervene before it goes in full-on alarm mode, which is pretty nifty if you like to experiment in the kitchen and things don’t always go your way.

both products are linked to a smartphone app that is also super easy to use. i have made it a habit to check up on video of juliet sleeping or getting in and out of bed whenever i’m traveling for work. it’s a small way to feel connected even when our timings don’t allow us to video chat. and if our smoke alarm would ever go off when we’re not in our apartment, the app on our phone would let us know what’s going on immediately – a very comforting idea when you’re away from home a lot like we are. oh nest, you might drawn me in with your looks, but you won me over with your smarts.

full disclosure – NEST sent us both products to review and keep. this post was in no other way sponsored or paid for, and my opinion has not been influenced in any way. i always suspected i’d be a fan of their brand, they just offered me the opportunity to discover it for myself. // photos by stephanie duval


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my name is stephanie duval, and i am a storyteller. this blog is where i share my favorite stories about design, travel, fashion and the nice things in life.


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