December 1, 2023

It’s a struggle we all know. Just when you think you possess enough design objects, you find the one item that brings you a weird and warm fuzzy feeling—that piece that has to join your collection of cherished wares. To close out 2022, we spoke with a few of our favorite names in the design community about their best buys this year. In fact, we were thrilled to see so many supporting small businesses and even shopping from each other. Read on to learn the stories behind the pieces that topped their lists, which include handsome vases, tabletop rarities, and sweet dog purchases. 

Beverly Nguyen, Fashion Stylist and Founder of Homewares Shop Beverly’s

“I moved into my new home downtown at the start of the year and one of the most significant purchases I made was my Vitsoe shelves. The 606 Universal shelving system designed by Dieter Rams in 1960 still proves to be the most modern and seamless display for books and home objects I’ve ever seen. I then designed it with my friend and designer Josh Itiola to customize my needs and it feels great investing in an item that can last beyond a lifetime.”

Alistair Matthews, Photographer and Founder of Le Puzz

“One of my favorite purchases this year was my Gabriela Noelle Flower Pillow from Tyler McGillivary. It’s a permanent member of my home and a ray of sunshine. Colorful and fun and cute on every chair, couch,and floor spot, need I say more? The colors are endlessly joyful and I find myself looking at it often. I highly recommend adding a giant soft flower to any space. Sadly that exact one is sold out now, but some alternatives would be this one from Etsy or these ones from Urban Outfitters. Also this cherry pillow gets an honorable mention.”

Tyler McGillivary Gabriela Noelle Flower Floor Pillow

Meri Meri Cherry Velvet Cushion

“We got a pair of vintage outdoor lounge chairs by Cesare Augusto Nava during a period when we were getting carried away with online furniture auctions. They have so much personality, like these gentle creatures living in our backyard. Since they’re modular they can be paired into [a] chair and side table or a massive lounger. The kids like to make slides and jungle gyms and towns with them.”

Centre Table Consisting of Four Square Pieces By Cesare Augusto Nava

“I make a conscious effort to shop small and minority- or female-owned brands. I’ve been using the Dusen Dusen cotton napkins non-stop. Beyond its perfectly cheerful patterns, the quality has held up [over] many dinner parties.”

Dusen Dusen Cotton Napkins (Set of 4)

“My favorite purchase of the year was a vintage Alessi canister with a tomato on top. It’s great for holding pasta, and rightfully deserves to be left out on any countertop.”

Alessi Amber Spaghetti Jar

“My favorite design purchase this year was a set of six mother-of-pearl-handled butter knives by Brock and Company jewelers that I found at an antique shop in Montana. I also found doily heaven at the Doll Mercantile in Northern California. They have countless incredible pieces of fabric, buttons, beautiful miniatures, and more.”

Antique Mother of Pearl Handle Butter Knives by Brock and Company Jewelers

“This ceramic piece by Summerland is practically a sculpture. I love smokeware that you aren’t ever embarrassed to leave out. In fact, when guests come over they always ask where they too can find such a chic bong. I have the glossy white to compliment my Barbie-esque space, but the terracotta would have been a close second.”

Collier Sutter, Vintage Dealer and Founder of Space Fetish

“When ProbaPaws, Alex Proba’s dog line, came out I gasped out loud. Who now enjoys most of the pristine collection? None other than my one-year-old westie, Scout. It started with the rectangular tufted dog bed, which she and I love for its eye-popping texture and color variation. But we also couldn’t miss out on the Sophie Lou Jacobson collab dog bowls. I thought they were going to shatter into a million, trillion pieces with my hyper girl, but, so far, they are still standing. Her dinnertime setup fits right in below my kitchen’s vitrine (or vintage waystation) of retro glassware before they’re sold.”

“I love to host, and the multipurpose drinking glasses from Mamo NYC have quickly become the center of attention in my entertaining spread. Coming in a shapely design and vibrant colorways, they brighten up any occasion (and my table) without needing to do any leg work.”

“I might be biased, but our Bubble Cups top the products added to my arsenal in 2022. They’re pretty to look at, like an art piece, but are also soft and smooth to use with the best hand- and mouthfeel. I like elevating my iced coffee for one or a small batch of sparkling pet net with friends. With all of the pieces in my home, I also can get behind keeping a set or two around, because I find them charming as bud vases too—or using one as a vessel for a sundae on occasion.”

Susan Alexandra Bubble Cup Set

Ellen Pong, Ceramic Furniture Designer

“I recently bought a ceramic tile from my friend, Dan Mandelbaum. Lately, he’s been making all kinds of experimental tiles and arranging them into large, hanging wall mosaics. The tile that I bought depicts a cowboy slumped over a tired looking horse (donkey?) riding through the desert at night. I don’t often make notably exciting or novel purchases, but I like to collect nice little things made by my friends, and this is certainly one of them.”


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