Once again this season I’m simplifying my holiday giving for everyone, from baby to grandma, by focusing on gifts made of American hardwood. There’s an enormous selection out there, ranging from the sleekly sophisticated to the charmingly rustic—and everything in between. Here are six items I’ve already got my eye on.
Handmade in Los Angeles by De Jong & Co., a stylish furniture and interior design company, these elegant white-oak salt and pepper grinders are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, and in black walnut, too. The pepper version comes with a stainless steel grinder and can be used to mill coffee beans and other spices; the salt version uses ceramic components to prevent corrosion. All feature adjustable grain sizes. White-Oak Salt and Pepper Grinders; $150 each. nickeykehoe.com
The Tebori table—named for a traditional Japanese tattooing technique renowned for its subtle gradations of tone—is made in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, by Wren & Cooper, designers and producers of inventive contemporary furniture. Turned and painstakingly decorated by hand, the table is 19½ inches in diameter, 18 inches tall, and available in bleached maple or natural oak with a satin lacquer finish. Tebori Table, $850. wrenandcooper.com
Crafted from sustainably harvested beech, toy gorillas Hanno and Hanno Jr., are designed by David Weeks Studio in New York and made exclusively for Areaware. Thanks to strong bungee-cord joints, the sturdy wooden toys are infinitely posable and practically impossible to break. They are named for the ancient Carthaginian explorer who encountered the noble primates in West Africa in the sixth century BCE. Hanno, $100; Hanno Jr., $70; or $150 the pair. areaware.com
Designed by Peter De Jong and manufactured in Los Angeles, the Bas chair reinterprets the Shaker ladder-back archetype for the 21st century. With its padded leather seat and gently sloping back, this solid walnut beauty is as comfortable as a lounge chair—the three-rung ladder is canted to keep pressure off the spine—but elegant enough for the most formal dinner party. Bas Chair, price on request. dejongandco.com
A beguiling mix of timeless simplicity, sculptural harmony, and ancient practicality, this iconic counting calendar is handmade by Fruitsuper Design, a Seattle-based studio. Comprising a solid maple frame with porcelain beads on brass rods, the abacus-like tool indicates the year, month, and day by the position of the counters. Easy-to-master instructions are included. Perpetual Calendar, $128. fruitsuperdesign.com
Located in Kingston, New York, Blackcreek Mercantile & Trading Co. is a studio dedicated to small-scale product design and handmade manufacturing. Among the beautiful and functional hardwood objects it produces are these maple spice bowls. Free-form turnings—meaning each is unique—the bowls come in various sizes and finishes, including black or blonde, and blonde with black splatter or black with gold splatter. Spice Bowls, $110 to $130. blackcreekmt.com