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Ode to Design: 17 Standout & Stunning Gifts for 2021

Posted: November 30, 2021
Ode to Design: [ET] Standout & Stunning Gifts for 2021

When you're buying a gift, they say it's the thought that counts, but depending on your gift recipient, it's not the thought at all. It's the gift that counts. Its aesthetic. How cool it is. How much its owner wants to put it on display and show it off. These 17 standout and stunning gifts, a veritable ode to product design, will fit the definition of "perfect gift" for anyone on your list who wants more than thoughtfulness this year.

And as a bonus, most of my standout and stunning gift picks are pretty darn thoughtful too.

Note: All 17 design gifts are priced as they were at printing on November 30, 2021. Pricing, and availability, are subject to change.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G

I wouldn't normally write about some new Samsung Galaxy something, but dudes. The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G is some new Samsung Galaxy flip phone. A type of phone so close to my heart I only parted with mine and got a smartphone last year when T-Mobile took over Sprint and informed me my Sanyo Pro 700 would not be compatible with their towers. And now, in a world where I thought the beloved compact flipper was nearing extinction at the hands of phones the size of my entire crotchal region, here we have the Galaxy Z Flip3. Sigh. Thank you, Samsung, it's bee-yoo-tee-ful.

$849.99 to $1,049.99 ➠ Amazon

TerraLiving Preserved Moss Terrariums

TerraLiving Preserved Moss Terrariums
TerraLiving Preserved Moss Terrariums

Do you like plants? Do you kill plants? If you answered yes to both, TerraLiving's Preserved Moss Terrariums are for you! Creative in conception, stunning in design, and absent of still-aliveness, these moss displays will bring the lushness of a rainforest - or the regrowth of a post-apocalyptic world, or the cultivation of another planet - to the desktops of thumbs green and black alike.

$90 to $2,500 ➠ Etsy

Hanging Bookshelf

Hanging Bookshelf
Hanging Bookshelf

I don't know what I like better about this hanging bookshelf: it's simple, innovative design, and the ease with which you can use it to decorate a wall; or that it was created by a husband and wife team named Agusta and Gustav, who call their company AGUSTAV Furniture. Add to the second bit that they operate out of Reykjavik, Iceland.

Are you kidding me? On second thought, I don't think I can even consider what I like best about the hanging bookshelf. Through and through it is too cool for me.

$160 to $250 ➠ Etsy

Rolz Roll-Up Chess & Checkers Set

Rolz Roll-Up Chess & Checkers Set
Rolz Roll-Up Chess & Checkers Set

Get your king-me lolz and show off your Queen's Gambit skillz with Rolz, a chess and checkers set with a fine-looking notched wood board that rolls up for both play and display anywhere.

$100 ➠ Amazon

BOGO Khonsu Clock Lamp

BOGO Khonsu Clock Lamp

I don't know what the "BOGO" in the BOGO Khonsu Clock Lamp means, but I'm betting it's not "Buy One Get One." That would be nice, though, because then I could give one of the design-y designs as a gift to someone worthy of a gold-plated analog clock with an illuminated and illuminating outer ring, and also keep one for myself. But since I can't do both...one BOGO Khonsu Clock Lamp for me it is!

$249 ➠ Articture

Session Goods Limited Edition Designer Series

Session Goods Limited Edition Designer Series
Session Goods Limited Edition Designer Series

Come to the Dark Side...or the Light Side. They both have the sexiest smoking accessories your strains will ever see in Session Goods' Designer Series of all black and all white bongs, pipes, and cleaning caps.

$50 to $215 ➠ Session

Octopus Decanter

Octopus Decanter
Octopus Decanter

I think I've just found my own Octopus Teacher in this stunning Octopus Decanter from Ignite Glass Studios in Chicago. Creator Josh DeWall has blown borosilicate glass magic with his Einstein of the sea design, ready to put you 3 sheets and 8 tentacles to the wind.

Hexa-LED Honeycomb Light Fixture

Hexa-LED Honeycomb Light Fixture
Hexa-LED Honeycomb Light Fixture

You can't swing from the Hexa-LED chandelier, but you can gaze up at this stunning honeycomb light fixture in wonder of its design. And then in blindness from its 6000K LEDs and 730W of power.

As functional as it is fantastic, the Hexa-LED light fixture actually wants to help you look at everything in the room but it. According to creator Eko Design Co., "This modern light will make sure you'll never have an issue seeing anything in whatever space you place it in."

$230 to $785 ➠ Etsy

Splinterworks Pool Slides

Splinterworks Pool Slides
Splinterworks Pool Slides

Splinterworks Pool Slides, now here's something to buy now and look forward to using next summer. Or, more likely, look at now and look forward to using never, since most of us can't afford them.

Splinterworks is known for their luxurious sculptural masterpieces for the home (see Hammock Bathtubs, Bodice Rocker), and their custom-made pool slides for the top 1% are no exception.

Custom Designs, Prices Vary ➠ Splinterworks

Alice in Wonderland Doorknob

Alice in Wonderland Doorknob

The Doorknob you see here may not lead you to Lewis Carroll's Wonderland, but Prop Sculptor's Alice in Wonderland replica is fully functional, so it could lead you to, like, your bedroom or your backyard, and if you're living your best life, those places may be their own Wonderlands of sorts.

$89.99 ➠ Etsy

Animal Sculpture BBQ Grills

Animal Sculpture BBQ Grills

I've never tried grilled bear, grilled horse, grilled wolf, grilled bull, or grilled ram, nor do I want to. But I would be amenable to trying a ram grill, bull grill, wolf grill, horse grill, or bear grill (not to be confused with a Bear Grylls, which I'd politely decline.)

Animal sculpture BBQ grills are designed and handmade in England by The Brixton BBQ Co. They slot together powder-coated steel into the 5 different formidable beasts you see above, or perhaps one you like better, such as a hippopotamus or a tardigrade - The Brixton BBQ Co. does take custom orders.

$800 to $830 ➠ Etsy

Million Dollar Cube Money Table

Million Dollar Cube Money Table
Million Dollar Cube Money Table

Is this what they mean by hiding something in plain sight? The Million Dollar Cube Money Table is an 18" x 18" x 18" decorative side or end table that looks like a pile of neatly stacked hundos. It's totally fake. ... ... Or is it? Or if it is, perhaps the Million Dollar Cube's cleverly designed wood and laminated matte vinyl exterior is the perfect diversion. The interior of the table is hollow, and what thieving hands would think you're dumb enough to stash your real cash, jewelry, and weed in such an obvious place?

$280 ➠ Amazon

Swing Bar

Swing Bar
Swing Bar

Oooh, swingers at the bar. Sounds like good times! Oh wait, it's a swing set turned into a bar for people to sit at while they drink. .... Sounds like vomiting!

A next-iteration of Duffy London's Swing Table, The Swing Bar "brings the playground to the adult playground of bars and restaurants." As the booze flows, it's a way to get the room swingin' before it starts spinnin'.

$23,000 ➠ Duffy London

Kinetrika Square Wave Kinetic Sculptures

Kinetrika Square Wave Kinetic Sculptures
Kinetrika Square Wave Kinetic Sculptures

Math strikes again. But when we're talking Kinetrika Square Wave Kinetic Sculptures, math is more of a beautiful dream than a cold-sweat-inducing nightmare.

Designed by sculptor Ivan Black, Square Wave is a series of interactive kinetic art inspired by the Fibonacci sequence. A simple spin along its axis, either between your fingers, on a magnetic stand, or hanging like a mobile, creates "a series of mind-bending optical illusions, and unexpected hypnotizing revolutions" that will put the old Windows Mystify screensaver to shame.

$54.40 to $203.15 ➠ Etsy

Hringpoki Guitar Pick

Hringpoki Guitar Pick
Hringpoki Guitar Pick

Joy Complex calls their Hringpoki Guitar Pick a deliberate effort to create "the most unique guitar pick in the world." And also, they admit with unabashed frankness, "the most expensive." Optionally most expensive, I'd add, as the titanium version of the Hringpoki Pick will indeed run you a hefty $175, but plastic options are available too for $45.

$45 to $175 ➠ Etsy

Green Forest Moss Rug

Green Forest Moss Rug
Green Forest Moss Rug

Who's up for a roll in the...moss? A shag on a shag rug woven into a lush forest floor? These Green Forest Moss Rugs from A Saturday Shop come in a handful of different sizes and shapes, all in Mother Nature-approved shades of green, and all with a high, fluffy pile that will titillate your skin whether you're stepping onto a Moss Rug from the shower, sitting on it to assemble your new BloomingTable, or rolling across it with your favorite forest sprite.

$700 & Up ➠ Etsy

Mousarris Summit Sofa

Mousarris Summit Sofa
Mousarris Summit Sofa

In his latest piece of nifty home decor / functional art, Stelios Mousarris fits modular cushions into a wall-mounted frame to produce a 3D piece of art depicting abstract mountains in various shades of blue. And he does this so that you can un-fit them from the frame, and pile them on the floor in any configuration your heart desires to create a sofa, chair, play area for your kids, or play area for yourself and a partner to explore sex positions you never thought possible.

$3,950 ➠ Mousarris
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