In my duties as the Home + Design Editor, I’m frequently trapped under an avalanche of catalogs, trade show badges, and fabric swatches. I rarely fall in love with an object for longer than a fortnight. (I’m like Edina Monsoon on a bad day.) So my mind turns towards modern classics and brands that combine a certain depth with quirky classicism. Case in point: I’m a true caffeine addict, but I can’t abide by techy gizmos, wasteful pods, or heaven forbid—drip coffee. I stick strictly to stovetop espresso makers, including this stainless-steel classic from Alessi by the late icon Richard Sapper. If you’ve never used one, I describe what it produces as the closest thing you’ll get to drinkable rocket fuel. Speaking of kitchen accouterments, you can find an endless stream of handmade gorgeousness at the online shop Artemest, which sells a constantly rotating selection of objects from artisans and other small producers you can’t find elsewhere stateside. Since I could never purchase any vase or vessel I’d want to keep on a permanent basis, I use paper ones from the small, Barcelona-based outfit Octaevo. Their stationery and other personal accessories are of fantastic quality and blend the colors and styles of the Mediterranean. My partner collects playing cards of all kinds, but my personal favorite is a pack of silver-edged ones from Hermès. People typically overlook the house’s playing cards and other games, and they make great gifts (orange box included). Lastly, I can’t forget my fellow Americans. For personal leather goods and bags, I’m in love with the New York–based Haerfest, who were just accepted into the CFDA Fashion Incubator program. They combine a minimal aesthetic with fantastic materials and precise construction techniques. Their nylon-and-leather duffel is great for lugging all those samples around.
Richard Sapper espresso coffee maker for Alessi, $200; alessi.com.
Stories of Italy set of 4 blown glass dessert plates, $1,680; artemest.com.
Octaevo paper vase, $20; octaevo.com.
Hermes playing cards, $140; hermes.com.
Haerfest nylon and cowhide leather duffle, $440; haefest.com.