What Matters

November 2023 Issue

Sleigh the gift game

Where did 2023 go? Design-centric gifts transcend the barriers of age, profession, and personal preferences, making them an excellent choice for everyone on your gift list. Whether it’s the aesthetics that evoke emotions, the functionality that marries beauty with purpose, or the sheer novelty of owning something thoughtfully crafted, such presents are bound to leave a lasting impression. The stories below spotlight the best in design and emphasize the universal appeal of gifts that celebrate creativity and innovation. So, whether you’re shopping for a minimalist, a maximalist, a tech enthusiast, or an art lover, design gifts ensure something for everyone.


While many of our subscribers may live outside of the Washington DC, Northern Virginia, and Maryland geography, our firm and studio is based in DC. When possible, we love to support local artisans and shop locally. Shop Made in DC started as a community development experiment five years ago to provide a platform for hundreds of creators and craftspeople to incubate and sell their products. Now, with numerous physical locations around the area and a fabulous online store, this could be your place for one-stop [local] shopping. They sell over 5,000 products, offer classes, and have regional pop-ups.


Why do we buy luxury scented candles? Because life’s too short for our homes to smell basic! They can transport us to a lavender field in France or a spice market in Morocco without the hassle of packing a suitcase. They can transform a simple evening into a sensory experience, making our homes feel like five-star spas. They’re perfect for housewarming and host/hostess gifts during the holidays. 
Here are some of our favorites: 

Boy Smells
Diptyque (refillable)
Taja (customizable)


We hope these five resources help round out your gift list. We always have these bookmarked in our browser for year-round giving.

Curated design finds from the MoMA Design Store
Curated design finds from Wallpaper* Store
Everything for the desk at Present & Correct
Chocolate from L.A. Burdick
Glassware and barware from Kimura


This month we are featuring more gorgeous spaces from our #IMCouplesRepeat project. Moving upstairs, we’ve designed a luxe, but understated, primary bedroom with a hotel-worthy feature bed wall. Our design is centralized around a custom, paneled wall with a soft upholstered headboard and sculptural bedside lights.

Just around the corner is the den – perfect for binging Netflix or curling up with a book plucked from the brass and wood floating bookshelves lining the walls. We’re layering this small (but mighty) space with a dark, textured wallcovering to really amp up the coziness factor. This is sure to be a favorite weekend spot for relaxing and resetting.

Last, but not least, we have another inviting bedroom awaiting guests on the third floor. This guest bedroom will be drenched floor-to-ceiling in a soothing and warm wall color that will set the backdrop for a very comfortable (and very stylish) stay for friends and family.

For those with an interest in design and wanderlust: Meet Jason Claire, the creative force behind Upon Return, a travel guide crafted from his journeys across 65 nations. This is more than just a catalog; it’s a handpicked journal of authentic local encounters brimming with enthusiasm and genuineness. Step into a realm where each hotel, restaurant, café, gallery, shop, museum, and site echoes dedication and passion. Register for the soon-to-be-released Upon Return and let your forthcoming journeys craft tales you’ll want to share.