The holidays are rapidly approaching and we’ve done the gift guide for travelers (two, in fact), streetwear, bourbon lovers, fitness fans, spirits in general, tequila aficionados (do your loved ones drink as much as we think?), and sneakerheads. Oh, plus vinyl and music and instruments and…
Anyway, we’ve given you the support you need to not come off like a total jerk this holiday. Plenty of it. At this point, all you have to do is write something heartfelt on the card.
But we’re not quite done yet! Now it’s onto the home — the items that, if you cohabitate with your giftee — have the potential to improve your quality of living too. Now that’s a true gift that keeps giving! See all 11 items across all price ranges below. Everything on the list has been tested and vetted by our team.
Platin Audio Monaco 5.1.2 Speaker System
This stereo is double-fire. The performance is extraordinary and the look is incredibly sleek. Wireless! Clean looking! And that sound quality is so freaking crispy. I don’t quite remember the movie experience (I haven’t been since the pandemic, is the popcorn tasty? I forget) but I remember the impact of movie sound. This is that.
The White Lotus finale chaos just hit harder without the sound scraping its way out of the tiny speakers on my TV. Huge impact for the viewing experience, for sure.
Here’s something better — quite important in my book: As an electronics idiot, it took roughly two minutes for me to want to call the Platin helpline for help with setup. And four minutes for me to actually do it. They got me set up quickly and didn’t rest until the whole system was dialed. Exactly what I needed on a product that was a splurge (especially with that aforementioned show waiting in my queue).
If you’re giving of gift of this scale and price, it has to feel easy for the giftee — this sound system nails that while fitting with a wide range of design aesthetics.
Inside Weather Modular Bondi 3-Seater Sofa
I did an insane amount of research for my most recent couch (honestly, the first couch I’ve ever bought). I actually spent $2K on a couch on Amazon and returned it, which is sort of a nightmare (okay, so this Inside Weather couch is technically my second couch). The Amazon couch just… wasn’t right. A week later, getting desperate, I was reading online reviews and found Inside Weather. I loved their Bondi sofa. It looked like a blend of midcentury and sort of “beach cottage folksy” which is my intended vibe.
But without a showroom, I couldn’t be sure. Still, I took a flyer on it — those reviews were persuasive and there’s a great return policy that extends for a full year (with a 25% restocking fee).
Well, friends, I have had this couch for a week and it has absolutely been life-changing. It’s the material and cushions are quality. It looks cool (the images don’t lie — folksy meets modern). Best of all, it’s oversized. To have a couch where people can stretch out and guests are comfortable feels kind of like a big life move.
No lie, this definitely stretched my budget (I got the three-seater — not the colossal couch in the image). But having a couch that feels like something I will have in my life for a substantial amount of time feels like some real adult shit. And I absolutely love the look of this. If you’re looking for a gift for yourself or your partner that will really get you daily appreciation, this is a great pick.
The Farmstand (Indoor) w/Glow Rings
We actually reviewed the Lettuce Grow two years ago. I still have mine and have purchased a second one (this one with glow lights so that it can grow inside too! It is just so easy and the produce that comes off of it is absolutely incredible. Plus people are wowed by it and it fits with mid-century design. Also… not to go too deep, but there is something that I find metaphorically important about growing some of your own food.
In a perfect world, I would have 10 of these lined up (like J.B. Smoove). That would not be a massive time requirement either — because, as I said before: they are incredibly low maintenance. Speaking personally, I don’t know if I have a unifying theory of what makes a house a home but I know that when people come over and I can cut herbs and pluck lettuce and grab tomatoes off of a hydroponic tower, it makes them feel more connected to the meal that I am serving and in some strange way it makes me feel more connected to the space that I inhabit.
That’s a pretty huge win for any giftee in your life. I know because I got one of these for Uproxx publisher Jarret Myer last year and he still raves.
Henry Pendant Lighting Shade
I guess the true trick with the lamp is if you like it. So this is me recommending a lamp that I like because it fits with my personal aesthetic. I have terracotta tile in my house and I like things in brass — so I bought these lights in terracotta and brass. It really doesn’t mean anything to anyone else. Nor should it.
Does your giftee have the same aesthetic as me? If so, this lamp in terracotta or even one of its more basic colors is fantastic quality and definitely feels like a lasting, well-built, suitably minimalist product when it’s hanging inside your home. If your giftee has a different aesthetic, it won’t be for them. I guess what I’m trying to say is that lamps are personal and ultimately, by the very fact that they illuminate a room, they naturally draw the eye — so having something that looks cheap is going to be corny and having something that looks nice and lasting is going to feel cool.
On second thought, a lamp might be a difficult gift, unless you cohabitate with someone.
Risa Cookware Set
Now here is a surefire gift! This brand was started by Eva Longoria and that’s great and all, but this is bigger: As the lead editor of our cooking section I test a LOT of pots. There are so many brands! We could legitimately rank 50 brands and not have covered 1/1000th of the market. And I’m telling you right now: This is my favorite pot I’ve ever tested.
It’s non-toxic. Non-stick. Extremely functional. Perfectly sized (so that you don’t need to have fifty pots, I only own two entries from this line and already I do 80% of my stove cooking in them). Whew, I could go on — aesthetically pleasing! Cool handle for balancing a spoon!
But I already said it all: This pot and its accompanying pan are the best I’ve ever tested. If you’re giving them as a gift, you can quote me on the card!
Crate & Barrel Brûlée Brown Natural Hemp Set Set
I’m a sheet aficionado. I like silk in summer. I splurge on thread counts when it comes to cotton. I even created a category of our “Hotels We Love” series titled “Bed Game.” This sheet might be my favorite all arounder. It’s almost as sexy as silk or satin (nothing can match those GOATs) but it feels cleaner longer and is somehow both lighter and more substantial. It’s soft and looks cool on the bed.
Earth tones — which match my home — was the obvious choice for me, but there are plenty of options.
My favorite aspects of these sheets are 1) that you really get a sense of the weave and therefore the nature of the fabric (it feels very real), and 2) that they soften with washes and sort of… evolve as you own them. Like a pair of nice jeans. Perfect for a friendship or relationship that feels similarly built to last!
Art By Christopher Rodriguez
Price: Varies By Piece
I’ll be real. Unlike the other items in this guide, I haven’t sampled Chris Rodriguez’s artwork personally — in that it’s not hanging in my home. But goddamn would I like it to be! I’ve seen it hanging in houses of friends and it stayed with me.
The way that Rodriguez plays with light and color (not in edits but beforehand, when taking the photos) makes my mind conjure stories. Just look at this gem:
Or this one:
The dude is telling wild, bright, borderline unhinged tales through photography, not just rending pictures. That takes talent. If you have the money to give away one of his pieces, you will win crazy points. Especially if the person you decide to give a piece to is me, the editor of your favorite LIFE section.
This speaker is like a one-person EDM show. Not only is the sound quality exceptional but the light dances to the beat of the music. As far as Bluetooth speakers go, that’s a pretty wonderful hook.
This speaker is perfect for someone you might listen to music and chill on a big-ass couch with. Because that soft flickering light is enticing as all hell and pretty romantic. I don’t think you want to bang the thing around to the beach and on hikes — once the glass is smudged or messy it might lose its luster. But if your giftee likes hosting meals in the backyard where the “big firefly energy” of this speaker will be most captivating, it’s a great gift. I had mine playing as a table centerpiece during a recent meal and it drew a lot of compliments.
Find Me In The Forest Poster by The Landmark Project
Mushrooms are all the design rage in 2022. And supporting US National Parks is always cool. This poster does both. If you’re buying a gift for the sort of person who appreciates those things, it’s a winner. Especially at that price point and especially since it supports our National Parks.
Of course, only you and your giftee know their style. But this is hanging in my home and it looks pretty fly!
Houseplant Ashtray Set By Seth
You don’t have to smoke weed to appreciate Seth Rogen’s super fancy pottery. Really, I know this firsthand because I own this moss-colored ashtray set and there isn’t a guest, stoner or otherwise, who comes over that doesn’t remark on this ceramic beauty.
Designed by Seth himself, this ashtray set comes with a deep well ceramic ashtray with a notch to hold your joint, blunt, or whatever, and a saucer that serves as a base for the tray, or another ashtray itself. The set also comes with a matching vase meant for holding flowers or anything else you’d like. — Dane Rivera, Senior Writer, Uproxx LIFE
Audio-Technica AT-LP 120XUSB
Modeled after the legendary Technics 1200 turntable, the same turntable that made DJing an art form in itself, the Audio-Technica AT-L 120xUSB has all the features you could ever want in a turntable at an affordable price with some modern updates that’ll fit right along your contemporary stereo set-up.
Featuring adjustable dynamic anti-skate control, adjustable tracking force, and a pitch change slider control, the AT-LP 120 will allow you to play any 33 1/3, 45, or 78 RPM record in your collection and is equipped with a USB output that will allow you to connect to your computer and convert your hard to find records into audio files so you can take even the rarest grooves on the go with you.
Thanks to a built-in selectable photo preamp, you can connect this turntable directly to your existing home stereo environment so you won’t need a fancy expensive preamp or any external equipment to listen to your records. No other turntable is this feature-packed while still being relatively affordable. — Dane Rivera, Senior Writer, Uproxx LIFE