Even if you are a world-champion penny-pincher, the holiday season gives you some leeway to indulge. Whether it’s for your better half, the boss or the neighbor who’s hosting the block party, a gift that shows you splurged a little goes a long way to create that holiday cheer.
This story originally appeared in the November 2015 issue of Living Intown magazine.
Swan Coach House
The art gallery and gift shop on the grounds of the Swan Coach House in Buckhead offers a range of ideas for all ages, many handcrafted by local artisans. Handbags, one-of-a-kind jewelry, elegant dishware, table linens and stationery are in stock, along with books and jars of locally made sauces and spices. The art gallery displays exhibits of paintings, sculptures, textiles and pottery, much of which can be purchased.
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3120 Slaton Drive. 404-261-0636. swancoachhouse.com
More unusual variety awaits shoppers who drop by the Fainting Couch. Owner Kathleen Williams and her husband, Joe, scour flea markets, auctions and estates sales around the Southeast to stock their antique store with old 78 and 45 RPM records, vintage jewelry and clothing, collectible cameras and typewriters, and such singular finds as an antique sword, a French trunk ($195) or a crystal chandelier. The selection is never the same, and shoppers have only limited hours (Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 7 p.m.) to find their treasures.
434 Ponce de Leon Ave. 404-872-6698
Guilt-free shopping is the hallmark of this Midtown store that opened in 2012 with an inventory of American- and locally made, fair-trade products. Gift items for adults and children include jewelry, accessories, art, barware, stationery and food items that are handmade, natural or organic. Two of the top sellers are “Spiritiles,” hand-crafted tiles that carry an uplifting message or quote ($129), and bottle openers made from the broken bats of major league baseball players ($95-$190). Each opener has been MLB certified and can be traced back to the player using the wood when it snapped.
999 Peachtree St. 678-705-9880. ecodenizen.net
Known for its eye-popping holiday catalog, Nordstrom’s local stores offer a few more affordable but equally intriguing options. At the Perimeter Mall location, check out the line of clutch bags from Treasure&Bond that includes a fringed black evening bag ($128) that does double duty as a worthy cause: The store donates 2.5 percent of the Treasure&Bond sales to organizations that empower youth. Shoppers will also find Australian UGG slippers, lined with wool and finished with a suede sole ( $80), S’well Wood Collection stainless steel water bottles ($45) and toy “Snowtime Snowballs,” a pack of 30 fake snow orbs billed as “the real thing, without the frostbite” ($30).
4390 Ashford-Dunwoody Road and other locations. 770-394-1141. nordstrom.com
Interior designer Kim Hirsch, owner of the 4-year-old Urban Farmhouse, has stocked her chic shop with several unique items that can match any gift list. A line of men’s gifts includes leather iPad covers, leather valets for keys and wallets, and candles. The store also sells embroidered plush pillows, artworks and decorative bowls ($200) handcrafted from old wood. A line of boards for cheese, bread and pizzas is made from reclaimed wood, and features leather straps and comes in a range of sizes ($100-$200). And there’s jewelry from various designers who use semiprecious stones and beads in necklaces, bracelets and earrings ($225 and below).
12680 Crabapple Road, Milton. 770-410-1112
Calypso St. Barth
What better way to warm up the season than by sporting a bit of cashmere? At Calypso St. Barth, the luxurious fabric comes in various colors and creations such as cute pull-on hats with pompom tops ($150) and earmuffs ($175), or cashmere and silk scarves and sweaters that start around $100. Among the most popular pieces are cashmere snoods ($250). “They’re great to slip on under a coat to keep you warm and add some texture,” says Meredith Courtney, one of the shop’s managers. One of the store’s top sellers, Courtney says, is its line of classic silk dresses ($200) that are ideal to wear year round. Just jazz them up with a cashmere shawl or a pair of boots when the weather’s colder. Calypso also carries several jewelry lines that emphasize one-of-a-kind pieces.
2200 Avalon Blvd., Alpharetta. 678-245-6117. calypsostbarth.com
After all the shopping, baking, wrapping and celebrating is over, it’s time for a bit of pampering. His-and-hers gifts with a variety of natural scents await at L’Occitane. Along with an extensive selection items from Provence, the holidays bring boxed sets that offer samples of several products ($75-$100). Staffers will also custom-make gift baskets with your choice of items, such as almond soap, verbena hand creams, lavender-scented body wash or the company’s world-wide best-selling shea butter handcream ($28).
262 Buckhead Ave. 404-869-8400. loccitane.com
For more ideas about gifts, decorating, where to eat and what to do, check out our complete Atlanta Holiday Guide.