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Gift Guide

They already have everything. They never tell you what they want. Shopping’s a bitch. But not with Diablo’s gift guide.


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Here’s a sampling of the  hottest new items that even the most exacting personalities will enjoy. You’ll be glad you read it. And so will they.


{ The Hostess }
 

Every weekend, it seems, she’s hosting a bash. And not just any gathering—those to-die-for get-togethers that your friends and neighbors can’t stop talking about. Oscar parties. Blind wine-tasting soirees. Sex and the City marathons. She always has the perfect theme, the perfect decor—and the perfect serving dish. So, what do you give the hostess who has everything? We started by browsing Walnut Creek’s myriad kitchen stores and the überhip home decor newcomer Entrez Open House, and then explored throughout the East Bay. We’re pretty sure Ms. Hostess will clink her gimlet-filled glass to contemporary Marimekko trays and pillows, a bright yellow Le Creuset piece, imported and domestic wines from Residual Sugar, and artisanal treats such as apple-praline butter, black-fig chocolate, and sangria jam delivered weekly by Telltale Preserve Company. She’ll be delighted. And you’ll be guaranteed an invitation to the next fête.

Whistling kettle in dijon, $70, at Le Creuset in Walnut Creek; Conde Nast Traveler Room With a View, $65, and Salted: a Manifesto on the World’s Most Essential Mineral, With Recipes by Mark Bitterman, $35, at Read Booksellers in Danville; assorted domestic, French, and Italian wines, $15–$40, at Residual Sugar Wine Bar + Merchant in Walnut Creek; a di Alessi magic bunny toothpick holder, $30, at Entrez Open House in Walnut Creek and Oakland; iittala salad plates, $25, at Draeger’s in Danville; Saarinen side table by Eero Saarinen, $794, at Design Within Reach in Berkeley; red and yellow pavé flowers in vintage milkglass vase, $40, at Clementine in Oakland; Match martini glass, $108, at Draeger’s in Danville; Flokati rug, $30, at Ikea in Emeryville; Rock & Republic Celina shoe, $295, at Footcandy in Walnut Creek; Milly Aimee Beaded Cocktail Dress, $475, at Iniam in Oakland; Giles & Brother Mon Amour stripe bangle, $150, at McMullen in Piedmont and Oakland; Match cocktail shaker, $358, at Draeger’s in Danville; Mudpie fleur de lis dip set, $22, at David M. Brian in Walnut Creek; round oven dish in dijon, $235, at Le Creuset in Walnut Creek; Marimekko tray, $55, at Entrez Open House in Walnut Creek and Oakland; trivet in flame, $55, at Le Creuset in Walnut Creek; Juliska cake stand, $84, at Draeger’s in Danville; weekly artisanal sweets by San Francisco chef William Werner, at telltalepreserveco.com; Zak Designs egg tray, $9, at Kitchen Table in Walnut Creek; Galison’s Modern Geometry thank-you notes, $8.50, at Entrez Open House in Walnut Creek and Oakland; Kuhn Rikon measuring cups, $21, at Kitchen Table in Walnut Creek; salt and pepper mill in flame, $60, at Le Creuset in Walnut Creek; canvas hand-molded ceramic salad bowl, $102, and Nkuku long-handle mango wood salad servers, $32, at Atomic Garden in Oakland; Marimekko Kivet pillow, $52, at Entrez Open House in Walnut Creek and Oakland.


{ The Hipster }
 

Hipsters. They’re the pickiest ones on your list. They’re music and literature snobs, and most of their fashion purchases require hugging a tree or saving an endangered something-or-other. Hipsters are so crazy-particular about their trendiness. Lucky for you, Diablo mined the hippest corners of Oakland and Berkeley, and sprinkled in some cutting-edge ideas from Walnut Creek and Danville for good measure. For independent records (hipsters prefer vinyl over CDs), books, vintage band T-shirts, and posters (Nikki McClure’s Ditch the Car seemed appropriate), Issues in Oakland is your treasure trove. And, since hipsters love coffee but hate wasting paper and plastic, check out the embellished reusable porcelain mug we found at Atomic Garden in Oakland, which is sure to make other Blue Bottle patrons jealous. Fixed-gear bikes are so three years ago, so how about a unique Justin Brock Shine Forever skateboard instead? And for gifts that give back, we suggest Toms shoes (each pair you buy puts a pair on a needy child in Africa) or the yellow butterfly pillow that CB2 in Berkeley sells in conjunction with Creativity Explored, a nonprofit that supports artists with developmental disabilities.

Butterfly 20-inch pillow by Creativity Explored artist Valerie Long, $50, at CB2 in Berkeley; Craft Magazine box set, $60, Ramones record (plus various other titles), $15, vintage T-shirts, $40, How To Make Books, $25, High Fructose, $40, Paul’s Boutique, $11, all available at Issues in Oakland; Toms red canvas women’s classics, $44, at Sports Basement in Walnut Creek; Prairie Underground organic jeans, $170, at Atomic Garden in Oakland; polka-dot fedora, $26, Evil Eye bracelets, $10–$14, and Chaser Van Halen rock T-shirt, $38, at Ella J Boutique in Danville; birdsong necklace, $50, heart attack necklace, $35, and little leaves earrings, $35, all by Erica Weiner, at Issues in Oakland; Series Seven chair by Arne Jacobsen, $466, at Design Within Reach in Berkeley; Wallace & Sewell woven multicolor scarf, $114, at Atomic Garden in Oakland; Grado Reference Series headphones RS1i, $695, at Stereo Unlimited in Walnut Creek; Real Skateboards Justin Brock Shine Forever deck, $43, at DLX Skateboards & Clothing in San Francisco; Nikki McClure poster Ditch the Car, $10, at Issues in Oakland; Billy Kroft recycled wood planter box, $30, and Jen Pearson recycled apothecary bottle and succulent terrariums, $24, at Atomic Garden in Oakland; 365 Ways to Save the Earth, $30, at Read Booksellers in Danville; Fortress Crush sunglasses, $16, at Sports Basement in Walnut Creek; Holga 35mm camera, $48, at Urban Outfitters in Berkeley and Walnut Creek; Juxtapoz magazine, $6 (plus a wide variety of other glossies, $4–$12), at Issues in Oakland; reusable porcelain mug, $24, and O-check Warmth floral notebook, $9, at Atomic Garden in Oakland; Bodum Chambord three cup French press, $33, at Draeger’s in Danville; utility pendant lamp, $40, at CB2 in Berkeley; Billy Kroft salvaged wood wall sculpture, $700, at Atomic Garden in Oakland; Elbow Grease Designs tote by Jenny Hurth, $26, and Fatboy Point beanbag, $89, at Entrez Open House in Walnut Creek and Oakland.


{ The Athlete }
 

When we went shopping for the athlete, we thought trophy with a capital T. We wanted to find the ultimate trophy gift for the guy or gal who’s happiest waking up with yoga before biking to the courts or the links and then heading off to the mountains for some downhill slope time. To score points with the athletes on your list, we headed to Lululemon Athletica for a stylish but functional Stride jacket and Peace of Mind vest; and to Sports Basement for Salomon ski boots, Spy Optic goggles, and the Saucony Progrid Stabil CS shoe. But what was our favorite find? It had to be the Callaway Diablo Octane driver from Golfsmith in Walnut Creek (where we stocked up on lots of designer stocking stuffers). Any club named after our favorite magazine has got to be in the athlete’s holiday gift bag this month.

Everywhere gym bag, $88, and Align Ultra mat, $28, at Lululemon Athletica in Walnut Creek and Berkeley; Klean Kanteen Sport Be Green water bottle, $18, Jamis Commuter eight-speed bicycle, $675, and Salomon Shogun 182 skis, $660, at Sports Basement in Walnut Creek; Hank Haney Putting Mat, $30, Callaway Diablo Octane driver, $299, MacGregor DX golf balls, $20, Bionic golf glove, $25, and Sportline Solo 925 watch, $80, all available at Golfsmith in Walnut Creek; Saucony Progrid Stabil CS shoe, $105, at Sports Basement in Walnut Creek; Wunder Under crop legging, $68, Stride jacket, $108, and Peace of Mind vest, $158, at Lululemon Athletica in Walnut Creek and Berkeley; Giro Skyla bike helmet, $34, Babolat Pure Drive racket, $185, Prince Sports EX03 Rebel Team racket, $169, Penn Court One tennis balls, $2.75, Fit 55cm anti-burst gym ball, $20, Salomon Quest women’s ski boots, $360, and Spy Optic Targa II goggles, $40, all available at Sports Basement in Walnut Creek; Team Effort Lettermans II club cooler cart bag, $180, and assorted golf clubs, $99.99–$199.99, at Golfsmith in Walnut Creek.


{ The Sophisticate }
 

As her friends sip on her signature dry martinis, the sophisticate pours a Grey Goose and tonic, which mixes nicely with Nina Simone’s sexy voice crooning through those top-of-the-line Stereo Unlimited speakers that you surprised her with. As the girls debate the first stop on a big night out, she settles into a Design Within Reach Cherner armchair and starts to strap on the Martha Davis wrap tie ankle boots from McMullen boutique. Maybe she’ll make an impression by going with the Gorjana rose gold necklace from Flaunt over her Lanvin T-shirt dress from Barneys. But then, her eyes lock on that chic black globe, and she smiles slyly, remembering that romantic weekend you spent together in Morocco. Is there still time to pack her Canali weekend duffel from Daskalos and catch the last flight out of Oakland? No, she decides, calling a cab to get rid of the gals. She reaches for her iPhone and sends you a text: I’m waiting . . .

Walnut stool by Charles and Ray Eames, $829, at Design Within Reach in Berkeley; Supernal Minis speakers, $1,500, at Stereo Unlimited in Walnut Creek; Fiona painting by Emeryville artist Mike O’Neal, $500, at Quadrant Gallery in Emeryville; Cherner armchair by Norman Cherner, $1,149, at Design Within Reach in Berkeley; Martha Davis wrap tie ankle boot, $598, at McMullen in Piedmont and Oakland; Lanvin T-shirt dress, $855, at Barneys New York in San Francisco; Robert Rodriguez link chain necklace in bronze, $198, at McMullen in Piedmont and Oakland; rose gold necklace by Gorjana, $98, at Flaunt Boutique in Danville; black ring by Azaara, $120, at Iniam in Oakland; tricolored cowhide pillow, $65, at Alderson Interior Design and Gallery in Danville; black globe, $200, and Miss K table lamp by Philippe Starck, $288, at Design Within Reach in Berkeley; Christian Louboutin Dorepi leopard shoe, $895, at Footcandy in Walnut Creek; Ed and Kate Coleman Clique vases, $75 large and $40 small, at Kitchen Table in Walnut Creek; Canali weekend duffel, $675, at Daskalos in Walnut Creek; Jimmy Choo Tara fringe bag, $1,195, at Footcandy in Walnut Creek; Henrik, Jesper, and Lisbet salt and pepper mills, $40, at Crate & Barrel in Walnut Creek; Merino wool orange throw, $49, at CB2 in Berkeley.


WEB EXTRA: Check out even more gift ideas from our editors here.

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