The people whose homes we tour on Apartment Therapy don't just collect a lot of beautiful things...they are often the makers and designers of beautiful things. As we gear up for the holiday season of memorable meals shared with loved ones, we wanted to check in with some of these creatives and get their recommendations for splurge-worthy tableware items from their own lines that are popular with their customers.
Consider this your shopping list for a holiday gathering accessorized with goods that are gorgeous, unique and handcrafted. And skip that bottle of wine as a host/hostess gift this year at friendsgiving: These are all items that would make great gifts for your friends, family and loved ones' tables, too!
Caroline is a textile designer known for her earthy, tactile soft goods. She lives in a beautifully appointed 420-square-foot studio apartment in New York's West Village neighborhood.
Caroline's website has an entire list of their handmade items that would be great on a holiday table (how convenient!). But she does recommend two items in particular as great buys for your holiday table (or perhaps the holiday table of a friend or loved one!).
"I really love these napkins for holidays in particular because they are super cozy and thick. And these lovely stoneware serving bowls are small batch and each made by hand. I love that each one is a little different."
Helen is known for her hand-thrown pottery in stunning colorways and beautiful, organic patterns, so of course she'd have great servingware to suggest. We've toured both her Brooklyn home and her Brooklyn ceramic studio.
"I'm SUPER excited about a new piece...it's a shallow bowl that's the kind of dish I like using for every meal at home, instead of the traditional dinner plate."
Her shallow bowls are dishwasher and microwave safe and will be available in two colorways, Ocean (blue) and Squid (black). The best part: she's using a third-generation ceramics manufacturer and the RAM pressing method (rather than hand-throwing each piece herself), so these shallow bowls sell at a great price ($68 with discounts for ordering multiples) and ship in two weeks or less. If you are all set on bowls and plates, you may also consider her Pebble tumbler, one of her most popular items this year.
Nick McPhail of HALF CERAMICS
Nick is a painter, ceramist and artist who sells his handmade ceramics under the name HALF CERAMICS. We got to see how he transformed a 650-square-foot Silver Lake rental into a creative live and work space in his house tour.
Nick has a few handmade item suggestions for the holiday table: "Salt Pigs are great. Super fun and functional...and a great conversation piece because not everyone is familiar with them! They are used for salt or other spices, and provide easy access — which is great when cooking multiple recipes at once. You can rest a little spoon in there, or just use your fingers!"
"Everyone needs a good set of cocktail tumblers around the holidays. They are multi-functional and the clean design makes them appealing to even the most particular recipient."
"My biggest seller is probably my Slant Mugs. There are many different color options and people really seem to enjoy the handles. I think I'll probably sell-out of Salt Pigs, Mugs, and Pour-Overs. I try to stock up before the holidays, but I'm just a one-man operation so it's a limited supply."
Artist, designer and ceramist is a pattern powerhouse, creating beautiful items for her own line, as well as collaborating with brands like Anthropologie. Her house tour features one of my favorite kitchen tile backsplashes of all time.
The items Molly recommends below are not handmade, but they are well-made, and Molly still hand-makes all the prototypes. This design process keeps the prices reasonable, the selection plentiful, and her amazing ideas within grasp.
"From my own shop, My Blue Bird tableware collection has really been my best seller this year, in particular the Blue Bird mug. From collaborations with other companies my icon collection for Anthropologie has been a real favorite! I personally love the Unicorn mug."
"I LOVE my collaboration with Hester & Cook on kitchen papers. I particularly love the gold frame collection and think its perfect for styling a Thanksgiving table."
And exciting news for Molly Hatch fans this holiday season in particular: "We have a holiday collection this year in the shop for the first time; once those items sell out they will not be reordered!"
Lake Sharp of ARRAY
Lake Sharp is a skilled maker whose hand-thrown pottery, micro-batch textile goods, and exterior and interior design services comprise her business ARRAY. We recently toured the beautiful home she shares with her husband and child.
"The geode salt wells are great because they are very unique and as a lover of both salt and tiny spoons, this one is a real win/win for me."
Lake suggests this marbled clay incense holder with some nice handmade incense from Juniper Ridge, as well. "Most people can get into the ritual of lighting incense and clearing the air, plus there's something to be said about re-gifting value too!" And 10% of all ARRAY sales go to the ACLU and Planned Parenthood.
Linda Hsiao of Knotwork LA
Linda is a ceramic artist, whose creations can be found at Knotwork LA. We recently got a look at the beautiful home she shares with her partner Kagan, an architect; every room is filled with hand-made finds!
"This season I thought a little bit more about sharing and gathering so I've made pitchers in both the bird series and my porcelain inlay series with thoughts of people sitting around a table sharing drinks together."
The launch of the bird series of pitchers and creamers has been amazing this year. Since each bird is hand sculpted; they all seem to have their own personality. When someone starts collecting they find their bird needs an additional friend at the dining room table."
"Porcelain inlay sets and cup and pitcher sets will be launched just in time for holiday gifting as well. Each colorway is one of a kind, so check in often!"
Alex McCabe of Kip&Co
Alex is the co-founder of Kip&Co, a Melbourne-based brand offering beautiful and modern bedding and home decor since 2012. Earlier this year, we got a look inside her stunning, newly remodeled home.
Bonus! These items aren't handmade by Alex, but Alex is killer at curating both her home and her online store, and these things would look amazing on any table. "Our French linen table cloths and napkins get the party mood started and add a touch of European luxury."
"Our translucent, pop-coloured cutl