Pandora Sykes is a journalist, broadcaster and author of How Do We Know We’re Doing It Right? – a collection of witty essays that explore the anxieties and myths of modern life – and most recently What Writers Read – a love letter to reading in which beloved writers share their favourite books. It comes as no surprise, then, that Sykes is an avid reader herself. “I quite like the mantra, ‘never give a present that you wouldn’t like to receive’, she says, “although of course we all have at some point!” This is evident in her playful line-up of gift ideas, which include the ultimate picks to perfect a bibliophile’s ideal hideaway, from feline accessories to that all-important reading light.
Another one for the kitchen, or perhaps the dining room, our Sorano Serving Bowl has a prettily designed curving rim, that adds an element of interest to its simple style. Its hard-wearing white glaze means that it’s not only suitable for everyday needs but can also be “easily blended into a tablescape,” says Sykes, so perfect for special occasions alike. Sykes assures that “it will go with everything,” making it the ideal gift to give, as friends and family can use it however they please.
Sykes says that she likes gifts that make great stories, and the Lakadema’s certainly do that. “The leopard book ends are just the right side of kitsch,” she says, “the kind of thing you search for hours to find in car boot sales.” The wild-themed pieces are part of our Lakadema Range, and make another perfect gift option for a book lover.
Sykes would like to give the Arzella Bowl to her mum, who would “fill it with nuts and a nutcracker perched on top, for Christmas”. This pretty piece with scalloped-edge detail is handwoven from rattan and works for storage or display. On the theme of giving gifts you’d like to receive, Sykes would love this piece for herself: “we get through a ton of fruit in my house,” she says, “so, as soon as I saw the Arzella Bowl, I wanted to fill it up with bananas and oranges.” This year Sykes will be spending Christmas with her extended family, “too many yappy dogs and just the right amount of cheese balls,” so a serving bowl wouldn’t go amiss.
Nodding to traditional Chinese celadon ceramics, the verdant colour of our Yushan gives it its name: Taiwan’s Mount Yushan is also known as the Jade Mountain because of its lush green peaks. “I love all shades of green,” says Sykes, “particularly in the kitchen.” She can see this piece on the centre of a kitchen table, filled with long stems of faux flowers “or, perhaps some red berries at Christmas on the mantelpiece.”
There has been a wave of biophilia in the last few years – bringing the outdoors in, celebrating nature and decorating our homes with greenery for mood-boosting effects – which makes plants and faux plants ideal presents. Sykes describes the Miniature Faux Fiddle Plant as “an easy blender, and instant crowd pleaser”. Its petite size, compared to our larger alternatives, means that it can be found a home easily, and as it’s faux, it’s a gift the recipient can enjoy for years to come.