Wallpaper* gift guide: shopping with design editor Rosa Bertoli

For serious design objects with a whimsical twist, delve into this playful gift guide

Gift guide: portable lamp by Hay
(Image credit: Courtesy Hay)

My favourite gifts are those that enrich everyday life, bringing a bit of spark and colour to well-oiled rituals and add imagination and flair to daily routines. Here are some design objects that do just that, ranging from the whimsical and playful, to serious design with a twist. 

Wallpaper* gift guide by design editor Rosa Bertoli

A versatile carafe

Gift Guide: &Tradition Jug

(Image credit: Courtesy &Tradition)

Among my favourite objects launched in 2023, this carafe by Jaime Hayon for Danish brand &Tradition plays with traditional design codes while offering a unique take on the act of pouring. The polished steel carafe is part of a collection that includes candle holders and expressive vases, born from the idea of creating a series of everyday objects that elevate small daily rituals.

Momento Carafe by Jaime Hayon for &Tradition, £167, from Madeindesign

A jumper with serious design credentials

Koivu Pierre Charpin Sweaters

(Image credit: Photography by Jasmine Deporta, courtesy of Koivu)

I have been wearing Koivu jumpers pretty much non-stop since design curator Anniina Koivu launched the brand during Fuorisalone 2021. Made in Italy and with a limited palette (blue, red, navy and white, joined this year by a black version), their boxy shape and oversized silhouette have quickly become a favourite and a must-have for me. This year, she introduced design collaborations to the mix, working with Pierre Charpin on an embroidered series that combines the brand's essential garments with the French designer's flair. 

Koivu special edition jumper by Pierre Charpin, €500

An abstract 2024 calendar

2024 calendar

(Image credit: Courtesy Theodóra Alfreðsdóttir)

Icelandic designer Theodóra Alfreðsdóttir's work often looks at how time-tracking can become a visual experience. Her 2024 calendar was inspired by the way people visualise months with different colours and shapes as references, translating the year into a 12-part artwork. The calendar hangs on four wall-based pins, with a page for each month of the year. As the month ends, the pages are flipped to create a new artwork, marking the passing of time as a visual journey. 

2024 Calendar, from £45, by Theodora Alfredsdottir

A portable lamp

Gift guide: portable lamp by Hay

(Image credit: Courtesy Hay)

As far as lighting design goes, portable lamps are a favourite genre of mine. Their versatility knows no bounds, can be used informally to illuminate a space or as centrepieces as part of a table setting, indoor and outdoor, to work or play. Gifting them is always a joy, and this year I'd go for Inga Sempe's ‘Mousqueton’ for Hay for its playful take on a practical tool (that is also suitable for indoors and outdoors). Alternatively, I am also considering Vincent Van Duysen's Gustave for Flos in this luscious green as a dinner centrepiece, or Grau's Salt and Pepper lamp for its versatility around the house. 

Mousqueton by Inga Sempe for Hay, £195, from Holloways of Ludlow

A kite (to fly or display)

Kites flying in the blue sky

Kites by Bertjan Pot

(Image credit: @_kite_club_)

Magoji Kites at Noguchi Museum

Cicada Magoji Kite

(Image credit: Evan Scott)

Flying a kite on sunny, windy days is among my 2024 resolutions, perhaps thanks to the several brilliant kites I have come across this year. Dutch designer Bertjan Pot and photographers Scheltens & Abbenes got together to start the Kite Club, creating handmade kites with colourful patterns, which they document on Instagram. An exhibition at the Noguchi Museum also kickstarted my interest in Japanese Magoji kites, their whimsical animal shapes a joy to look at (and doubling as perfect decorative objects if you're not inclined to flying them). 

Japanese Magoji Kites, $45, from Yoka Good Things

A classic moka pot

Alessi Museum collection

(Image credit: Delfino Sisto Legnani)

Richard Sapper's moka pot for Alessi is an interpretation of the classic espresso maker that the late designer created in 1978. It is one of my most gifted items, and using one every day, I can attest to the satisfaction of using this well-engineered machine for a daily pleasure. This version with a red handle was created to celebrate Alessi's centenary, nodding to Sapper's original prototype. I personally favour the larger, 6-cup version, but there are also 3 cup and 1 cup available. 

Richard Sapper 9090 coffee maker for Alessi, £149, from Madeindesign

A deck of playing cards

Playing Cards by L'Objet

(Image credit: Courtesy L'Objet)

Playing Cards by L'Objet

(Image credit: Courtesy L'Objet)

Holiday season in my mind means playing cards with an after-dinner drink, so I have been looking for a twist on a traditional deck. Enter L'Objet's Jumbo playing cards by LA design duo The Haas Brothers, featuring the designers' signature playful characters and colourful interpretation of a classic. The deck comes in a velvet box and features a shimmering effect that elevates every game. 

The Haas Jumbo Playing Cards by L'Objet £92, from Selfridges

An iconic piece of furniture

Artek 60 stool by Alvar Alto

(Image credit: Courtesy Artek)

Alvar Aalto's Artek stool 60 is firmly on my whishlist this year, whether in Formafantasma's new wild birch version or this blue lacquered interpretation. Used as a seat, occasional table, rest for a book or cup, or stacked when not in use, it's the perfect multifunctional piece of furniture to own or gift. I also went down a 1stDibs rabbit hole and now covet this rare bright blue topped version from the 1950s (or any of the pieces on there, with their exquisite patina), as well as the newly released Phaidon book about Aalvar and Aino Alto as a reading companion to the design pieces.  

Stool 60 Villi by Formafantasma, £236, from Endclothing

Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.