Every year we present a holiday gift guide especially picked for its high quality design.  We combed around the globe for each product and chose them for its functionality, creative design, and that certain unique quality.  We hope you enjoy this year’s choices.

The holidays usually mean entertaining and whipping up scrumptious feasts for the guests.  To make your entertaining a little easier and more enjoyable, we chose the following for your kitchen, dining and living rooms.

1. Chop Knife – from Norman Copenhagen (http://www.normancopenhagen.com/); € 34

Designed by the Italian team Paolo Lucidi and Luca Pevere for the Scandinavian store, Norman Copenhagen, this rubber handled chop knife is perfectly ergonomic. Its circular shape fits into the palm of your hand and eases chopping of vegetables and fruits.  When prepping is done, you can hang it up on the wall as a sculpture.

2. Wine Rack – from Umbra (http://www.umbra.com/); $ 21

Every host needs a place to hold their wine selection.  This acrylic wine rack is designed by Ran Lerner and holds six bottles.

3. Stereo System – from Geneva Labs (http://www.genevalab.com/); $ 999

From Switzerland we have the Model L Stereo system for the big spender and the technophile. Designed by Geneva Labs, this stereo system is a sleek addition to your entertainment center. Available in several glossy lacquered colors to fit into the décor of your home, the system offers two speakers, a premium amplifier, radio, CD and Ipod player.

4. Andrea Living Air Filter – from A+R (http://aplusrstore.com/); $ 150

A beautiful setting doesn’t just start with the furnishings, it begins with a healthy environment.  For our environmentally-conscious dwellers, A+R offers the Andrea Living Air Filter.  Designed by Le Laboratoire in Paris by Mathieu Lehanneur and David Edwards, the filter removes toxic gases from the air including formaldehyde, benzene and ammonia and uses a living plant to absorb the toxic gases.

5. Hollywood Pillow – from Z Gallerie (http://www.zgallerie.com/); $ 49

6. Vendome Pillar – from Z Gallerie (http://www.zgallerie.com/); $ 38-40

To add that touch of glamour and romantic mood in your home, Z Gallerie offers a ruffled flower pillow and the Vendome Pillar. The pillow comes in sheer organza nylon in bright turquoise, a pop of color perfect against a winter white décor. The Vendome Pillar candle holder is made of mercury glass in silver and stands at 18” or 21” high.

7. Design Research: The Store that Brought Modern Living to American Homes – from Amazon.com; $ 31.50

No living room is complete without a coffee table book.  Written by Jane Thompson and Alexandra Lange, the Design Research book is an homage to the famous but defunct Boston design store, Design Research.  Opened in 1969 by architect Benjamin Thompson, the store was ahead of its time.  A former partner of German architect, Walter Gropius, the founder of the Bauhaus movement, Thompson carefully curated the selection of furniture, accessories and fashion for his store.  Closed in 1978, Design Research continues to influence many designers to this day.

8. Digital Dreams chandelier – from Unica Home (http://www.unicahome.com/); see website for price

Providing that extra sparkle to your home, we have the Digital Dreams chandelier. Designers William Brand and Annet Van Egmond wanted to create a lighting sculpture from a simple chandelier. At the end of each spoke is a digital frame that contains 1 GB of memory to display your personal photos, allowing an ever changing sculpture. You can capture the memories of your festivities and upload it for your future guests to gaze and marvel at.

For those who have a great interest in design, a unique gift that will provide long-lasting benefits is an interior design online course. Sheffield School allows for a flexible learning style, as well as the opportunity to explore other topics with offerings such as feng shui training courses, event planning certification tracks, and even jewelry making classes. If you or someone you know has any interest in learning the elements of design for either personal or professional use, this is a great place to start.

Caroline Wolfe Papocchia is a freelance event planner based in New York City. She has over six years of experience as a project manager and production supervisor for a variety of clients and event planning companies. In her career, Caroline has worked on public and private events both in the US and abroad, ranging in scale from a dinner party for 10 to an opening gala for 1,500.

As the student advisor for the Wedding and Event Planning Course at the Sheffield School, Caroline imparts her knowledge and experience to students from around the country and the globe who are aspiring to enter the event planning field. Caroline advises students equally on working in the industry and getting the most from their studies with Sheffield.

In addition to her work with the students, Caroline contributes stories on event and wedding planning to Sheffield’s Stylehound blog and Designer Monthly e-newsletter, as well as to Project Wedding.