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For Paula Sutton, the British stylist, writer and force behind the popular interiors blog Hill House Vintage, finding the perfect Christmas gifts for everyone on your list comes down to knowing the recipient inside out, and really taking the time to reflect on what they love and how they use things. “I think it’s such a shame to receive things that end up in a dusty corner somewhere, so it’s so important to really think about whether something fits into somebody’s lifestyle,” Sutton says.
“I like being a super sleuth,” she tells us, “I make a point of listening to my loved ones throughout the year and I’ll jot down ideas in a little notebook—they don’t even know they’re dropping hints.” With this considerate approach, it follows, then, that each of the Christmas gift ideas in her edit are selected with a friend or family member in mind. Yet they’re also items that Sutton would have in her own home. “It’s a very selfish way of choosing things!” she laughs, “But I always think if you love something passionately then other people around you will love it too.” If you’re at a loss as to where to begin when choosing Christmas presents, then why not heed this advice? Sutton’s edit reflects her signature style, so it goes without saying that there’s plenty of pieces to fall for.
“I was thinking of my sister here; she’d love the mugs and the matching pitcher in green. My whole family is obsessed with tea and cake and having elevenses—basically as much cake as we can possibly have. My sister is a little bit trendier than me and a bit more contemporary; these are quite cool and can fit into a very traditional interior which is more like mine, or an interior that’s a bit more modern, which is more like my sister’s.”
“Really these are a present for myself, I am obsessed with all things dachshund. They’d look lovely in my home office. A wish list gift, absolutely.”
“I’ve got twin daughters who have gone off to college this year—I’m actually slightly traumatized, adjusting to that. One of them loves things that are very beautiful and pretty, and the other likes things to be a bit more functional. These are for the twin who loves items that are a bit more feminine and design-led—also just to keep herself organized. The dorm rooms are just so basic, and it would be lovely to be able to inject a bit of color and personality into a room like that.”
“I’ve chosen the large size because it was for my mother-in-law’s dog. But really, I would also have one for my little dachshund. It used to be quite hard to get things for pets that fit into your décor or your interiors, you used to have to go with paw prints, or novelty. It’s so lovely to find dog beds and blankets that really suit your furniture.”
“Again, for my sister. She loves teapots and all that elegant chinaware—it would be perfect in her home. Blue and white is such a classic, it suits everyone’s interiors.”
“Once again, I would love this myself; it’s just a really beautiful bed tray. It’s very traditional, it gives off Downton Abbey vibes, and it makes me think of married women having their breakfast in bed. However, this would be for my father-in-law who’s not been well. Isn’t it just a lovely thought having breakfast brought to you, with a proper linen napkin, bone china plates and silverware and everything? I think this would be a lovely tray to have that on. For people who have to have breakfast in their rooms, it just adds that bit of chic, it uplifts something that could be quite mundane.”
“My best friend loves to travel, and she has a lovely flat in Notting Hill that’s very white and sparse and minimalist, but there are beautiful curves and shapes in it. I think she would love this, it’s got that contemporary feeling, but it looks like something you could have picked up on your travels somewhere as well. That would suit her perfectly.”