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House Gifts

From stocking stuffers to the stuff of fantasy

The Glass House

Photo by Eirik Johnson, courtesy of the Glass House

It’s always fun to find a great gift, based on the recipient’s taste and style. For those on your list who love everything related to design and architecture, here are a few special presents to satisfy their home-centric leanings. There’s variety in this selection, from secret Santa trinket, to a truly over-the-top experience:

The Ultimate Sleepover
Philip Johnson’s Glass House is a local Fairfield Country treasure. This holiday season, the storied Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog offers an overnight stay, and full run of the iconic, 47-acre New Canaan property. The package includes a private viewing of Johnson’s world-class art collection, as well as a tour of his private library. As evening descends, ten of your nearest and dearest will be joining you at Philip Johnson’s table for a locally sourced, multicourse culinary experience courtesy of an acclaimed chef. The meal comes to a close, you bid adieu to your guests, and retire to the bedroom with a perfect view of the surrounding forest. For more details, go here.

For Architects—Young, Old, and Wannabe
Their miniaturized versions of the world’s greatest buildings were not quite enough for the designers of the architecture series at LEGO. This year, the brand launched its Architecture Studio set, with more than 1200 white and translucent building pieces for making your own original mini-structure. A 272-page guidebook included in the set offers insight and inspiration based on actual projects from leading architectural firms, giving builders of all ages some principles on which to base their own constructions. Open the box, and you will not be able to resist the opportunity. For more information, check out the company website here. At last search, the company site had sold out, but you can also find the Studio at specialty toy shops and online at Amazon.

Lego Architecture Studio

Measure Up 
For the home shopper on the hunt, a compact measuring tape that fits in a purse and doesn’t weigh down your bag like a heavy contractor’s model makes a nice little stocking stuffer. Check the dimensions of furnishings, art, and interior spaces with these little helpers: 5-foot (blue case, 1 7/8” diameter) and 10-foot (white case, 2 3/8’ diameter) models are fully push button retractable, and can measure in standard or metric increments. From The Container Store.

Compact measuring tapes

A Home In The Clouds
Or at least, in the trees. The subjects of Skyhorse Publishing’s Tree Houses look nothing like your little brother’s childhood fort. They’ve morphed into resort hotel rooms (cover image, below), meditation spaces, and offices surrounded by nature; fifty projects span the globe (text is in seven languages) and stretch the imagination. It’s a coffee table volume to spark conversation and daydreaming. Available through. Available through Barnes & Noble.

Tree Houses

For The Tree
Artist-designed ornaments are a big staple of home furnishings retailer Crate & Barrel, and this year, the company has teamed up with a group of artists to produce uniquely decorated home-shaped ornaments. For each purchase the company will donate $10 to Rebuilding Together, a Stamford-based national organization that provides critical repairs and renovations for low-income elderly and disabled homeowners across the United States, and has done so for almost 25 years. Several of the designs are shown above, but check out the full selection here.