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Shop like an Events Pro: Gifts for the Host in All of Us

See what GRAY’s events director has on her wish list this holiday season.


By Meghan Burger



It goes without saying that 2020 was not the ideal year for an events professional. I find myself extremely grateful to have the position of Events Director with GRAY, as we are a company with amazing foresight and the unique ability to pivot our strategy at a moment's notice, which gave me strength and purpose during such an uncertain time. To make it through a year like this, I often remind myself that nothing lasts forever and that even 2020 must come to an end. Looking forward, as the proverbial fog starts to lift, I can only imagine the numerous parties, live events, and gatherings we will all enjoy once the coast is clear. To prepare us for these joyous occasions, here are some of my top picks for supplies and host gifts to ring in 2021!



D.A.R Proyectos Stone Laundry Clip


Winner of a 2020 GRAY Award, the Peruvian artists and product designers at D.A.R Proyectos have been on my list of favorites from the get-go. Chosen for their versatility, these stone beauties are cleverly carved from Andean Esteatita soapstones in the shape of a traditional laundry clip and come in a range of muted hues which vary due to the nature of the natural stone. When hosting a dinner party or more intimate gathering, these can be used as unique and stunning place card holders, but what I love most about a piece such as this is that there is no need to store them: simply repurpose as an accent in your home to feature art, cards, notes, or anything your heart desires!


Shop it here.



Hand Blown Glass Tumblers by Summerill & Bishop


Looking for something a bit more whimsical? Look no further than the incredible genius of these tumblers from London-based kitchen and tableware shop, Summerill & Bishop. I am a sucker for anything with a nod to personal flair, and these are no exception. From designs as simple as single letters to french expressions for each member of the family, these glasses are hand blown in Italy and sure to delight.


Shop it here.




Blu Dot Splash Coat Rack

A good host never forgets the details—and when living in the Pacific Northwest as I do, this often means remembering to supply a proper resting place for the inevitable barrage of coats guests often bring. With a stunning blend of powder-coated steel and solid walnut, the Splash Coat Rack by Blu Dot is one I would gladly display in my entryway.


Shop it here.




Leaf Platter 53 by John Derian & Astier de Villatte


One of my favorite things to do as a host, whether in my own home or at a large event, is to pick up a tray and personally hand-pass hors d’oeuvres as the company arrives. Not only does this give me quality face time with guests, but it allows me to tactfully boast our stunning platters and serving plates! Through a brilliant meeting of art and skill, decoupage artist John Derian and Paris-based ceramic studio Astier de Villatte, both renowned for their immeasurable work, joined forces to produce a collection of pieces including this lifelike leaf platter. This piece is handmade in Paris with glazed terracotta, and Derian has added iconic imagery to the classic white tableware to produce a beautiful collaboration of design and character.


Shop it here.




Monte Carlo Candle Holder by Jonathan Adler

Ambiance is everything at an event, and whether I am planning an intimate anniversary celebration in the midst of spring, or a rich dinner in the dead of winter, my favorite addition to any decor is candlelight. One rule of thumb I am diligent about, however, is to use unscented candles whenever food is being offered. Luckily, limiting candles to an unscented version does not mean limiting your sense of design. A stunning choice of vessel is the Monte Carlo Candle Holder by New York-based designer Jonathan Adler. These dazzling blocks of acrylic are available in three sizes, each of its own color, and fitted with a solid brass candle holder thoughtfully equipped with a steadying spike for tall, tapered candles. For a playful look, layer the varying sizes and hues, or line up matching blocks to create a more streamlined design. However you display them, these luminous holders are sure to be admired at any gathering.


Shop it here.



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