High-Design Holiday: Last-Minute Gifts for the Aesthete

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As calendar months go, December is rocketing forward at a pace that rivals that of a certain reindeer-led sleigh. But for savvy shoppers who prefer to pick out the perfect gift IRL rather than challenging the limits of expedited shipping, there are still thoughtful treasures to be found at St. Louis’ most design-centric hotspots.

Centro Modern Furnishings, located in the Central West End, has stocked its shelves with stocking-sized essentials—because fitting an Eames lounger under the tree is easier said than done—that will surprise and delight any design-minded individual.

Conway Electric EXTŌ Extension Cord Collection
From $55
Because that yellowing plastic power strip isn’t adding any panache to your favorite workaholic’s desk setup, these chunky retro-cool power boxes with covered cords are a lifesaver for anyone who tends to overload their outlets (think: stereo obsessives, your friend’s next-big-thing garage band and of course, anyone with a few too many peripherals on the ol’ MacBook).

Alessi Splügen Bottle Opener
Designed in 1960 by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni for Milan’s first-ever brewery-backed beer hall, this sleek piece of metal is a masterclass in less-is-more design that looks great propped on any craft brew aficionado’s bar cart. (Pair it with a limited-release beer from one of STL’s hot-ticket breweries—cough, Side Project Brewing, cough—for added wow-factor.)

Fish Design Ribbon + Spaghetti Bracelet by Gaetano Pesce
Like the name suggests, these playful, statement-making bracelets have an unexpected and enchanting spaghetti- (or ribbon-) like look that make them impossible to resist touching. (Take our word for it—you’ll be amazed how many conversations start with a request for a closer look.) Made from flexible poured resin, they delightfully juxtapose nuanced jewel-esque hues with a soft texture.

Fish Design Ribbon + Spaghetti Ring by Gaetano Pesce
Bundle your bracelet with a coordinating ring for an even more thoughtful gift, or give the fashion-forward icon on your list a chance to channel her inner Iris Apfel by starting her collection with one of these taffy-esque, candy-colored styles. We can all but guarantee that once she sees the outfit-transforming appeal of a Ribbon + Spaghetti piece, she’ll be coming back to Centro to stock up on more.

Areaware Bent Nail Bottle Opener by Brendan Ravenhill
This stocking stuffer is a shoe-in for hostess gifts and coworker presents, and wins any “under $10” White Elephant or Secret Santa, hands down. Areaware’s bottle opener has become an iconic presence in hip Brooklyn bars and artful homes alike for its intuitive yet playful shape, hewn from wood and metal, that will develop a unique patina over time as it becomes a well-worn favorite drinking buddy. One magnet catches bottlecaps—so they don’t end up underfoot at your next shindig—while the other secures it to the fridge to keep it close at hand.

Images courtesy of Centro Modern Furnishings.

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