We are honored that Laurie Pike is gracing Bungalux with her editorial presence today. For those of you who don’t know her, Laurie’s the editor-in-chief of Cocodot.com, our favorite website for online and printed invitations and greetings. Previously Laurie headed editorial at LA.com, Glue magazine, and Distinction (the precursor to the Los Angeles Times' stand-alone LA magazine). She has written for the New York Times, GQ, and Bust, and has consulted for Oprah.com, Bluefly.com, and ParisFrance.com.
In other words, Laurie's a better editor than we are. So, without further adieu, here's Laurie:
The name sounds like a throwback to the days when stockings had seams and indoor smoking was permitted, but a hostess gift is not a thing of the past. When someone has scrubbed their house, set out booze, and opened their door to you, you had better have some fabulous box with a bow in your hand to give her.
That said, no wants insta-landfill. We're more careful about the stuff we accumulate. That's why I'm so excited about these gifts, most of which I discovered at the 2011 International Gift Fair in NYC. They are beautiful, unique, and they all help your hostess throw an even better party.
Glassware: Glasses break; everyone needs more. PMO Designs ceramic mugs are nestled in wool cozies knit by the mothers of the Canadian company's two designers.
Building Blocks: We are nostalgic for our childhood, but we wouldn't exactly give someone a Fisher Price rolling phone. However, a building blocks set, such as one from Ferrone Design, not only offers the hostess a beautiful decorative item, but can also occupy the time of any children who may have tagged along to the party.
Monogrammed Stationery: In the age on online everything, sending and receiving handwritten notes is all the more elegant. You can personalize a gift of personalized stationery at Cocodot.com. Create original notecards with your own images and text, or go the classic route with a script monogram.
Game Parlor: Games may not be as hot a social activity as sexting, but they are more elegant. A beautiful game like Bagatelle—an analog precursor to pinball--can keep guests off their Facebook apps and interacting with fellow guests.
A Sleep Mask After a long night of filling drinks and rescuing wallflowers, a hostess should sleep in the next day. Help her recuperate with a fun sleep mask from Dreamstate.
Novelty Wine buckets can be cumbersome, and yet no one wants to sip warm Chardonnay. The Corkcicle is a conversation-starting gimmick that works, keeping a bottle of wine at just the right temperature.
Salt and Pepper Shaker: Your host wouldn't think of setting out a box of Morton's salt next to her tray of deviled eggs. Help her make her condiment selection sleek and chic with a salt-and-pepper shaker set from Museum of Robots .
Trays Presentation is everything, making the simplest of snacks and drinks look like a feast. Trays made of cow pelts, by Sashi, are decadent yet useful.
Vase: No matter what the décor motif is at your hostess's home, a small, simple vase--like one of the cuties by Pigeon Toe Ceramics--will blend in harmoniously.
Door Stopper: The size of bracelets and in the shape of diamond rings, the Shenzhen Hanchuan Industrial Company makes door stoppers out of flexible silicone--so no one will stub their toe on them.
Thanks to Laurie for being a fabulous guest editor. Now we just have to get ourselves invited to a fabulous Hamptons house over Labor Day. Hint. Hint. We promise we’ll bring you a really nice gift.