From Iceland — The Design Lover’s Xmas Gift Guide

The Design Lover’s Xmas Gift Guide

Published December 17, 2015

The Design Lover’s Xmas Gift Guide

Finding the right gift for the design lover in your life can be tricky. There’s a lot of stuff out there—and it can be hard for some of us to discern what of it really merits gifting. But, fret no more! From candles to calendars, chocolate to wool—here are some rather educated suggestions on the best of local design to stow under the tree this year.

sorcerer's creed

For the poor, the unlucky in love and the otherwise troubled
Sorcerer’s Screed brings Viking Age self-help into modernity. As the name suggests, this Viking take on self-help comes in the form of various useful spells, which help you solve problems such as finding your way home, dealing with difficult neighbors and calming your sheep. The spells were originally compiled in the early 19th century by a poet called Skuggi, and are now being published in English for the first time in this beautifully designed volume by Arnar Fells Gunnarsson.

Where to buy:
Bookstores and at, 3,990 ISK

candle by

For the pyromaniac
Dreamed up by Thorunn Arnardóttir, a rising star of Icelandic design, Dýri is a candle shaped like a reindeer that slowly transforms into a decorative metal skeleton as it burns. And if this does not fulfill your burning needs, you can move on to setting fire to a whole range of animals, including bunnies, cats and little birds, available in various pastel colours.

Where to buy:
Spark Design Space, Hrím, Kraum, Epal, Minja, Aurum, Snúran, Mýrin and, 6,300 ISK

Vik sun hat

For the one you want to spot easily in the crowd
Vík Prjónsdóttir’s Sun Hats are vibrantly coloured woolen beanies that fit any occasion, inspired by the various different shades of the sun and the sky in the Northern hemisphere.

Where to buy:
Spark Design Space or, 12,900 ISK


For the one that forgot your birthday
Snæfrið & Hildigunnur designed a perforated calendar that changes with time, when you remove the days as they go (if you can bear to tear the pretty thing). Part of the Wrong for HAY collection, the calendar comes in grey and cream, and there is both a plain version and one with a random fact for each day.

Where to buy:
Spark Design Space, Aurum and online at, 5,500/7,500 ISK

Stone age Maraca

For the one that never learnt to play the guitar
Part decoration item, part instrument, Hanna Dis Whitehead’s lovely handmade ceramic maracas are shaped like Stone Age knives. If you’d rather cheer up your loved ones as they tend to housekeeping duties, Whitehead also has a colourful line of kitchen towels.

Where to buy:
Spark Design Space and Lumex, maracas 4,500/8,500 ISK, tea towels 2,900 ISK, 4,900 ISK for a pair.

omnom chocolate

For the ones overseas
With their cute wrappings, Omnom chocolate bars are especially great for those of us who have little love for the act of wrapping gifts. Handmade in an old gas station turned chocolate factory in Reykjavík, this year’s Omnom Christmas bars are 66% chocolate from Madagascar, sprinkled with dried cherries and caramel roasted almond chunks.

Where to buy:
Bookstores, souvenir shops, design stores, selected grocery stores and, 1,400 ISK


For the crafter

With 700 pages of ornaments and patterns found in Iceland, Íslensk Sjónabók will keep its recipient busy for a while. Designed by Birna Geirfinnsdóttir of StudioStudio, the book is so beautiful that it will delight and inspire the less skilled crafters, too.

Where to buy:
Spark Design Space, 21,000 ISK


For when parents ask what you want for yourself
The technical features of an outdoor garment and fashion design fit for the city come together in the new Jöræfi Parka, by 66°North in collaboration with JÖR by Guðmundur Jörundsson. At 128,000 ISK, it’s best to let someone else pay for it, though. For those on a budget, Guðmundur also designed a new take on the fishermen’s knit cap turned ultimate Icelandic hipster beanie (4,500 ISK).

Where to buy:
66°N, Bankastræti and JÖR, Laugavegur.

geysir socks

For the one attempting to get through an Icelandic winter
You cannot go wrong with a pair of woolen socks from Geysir. The company recently opened a gorgeous new store on Skólavörðurstígur alongside launching a chic knitwear collection designed by Erna Einarsdóttir.

Where to buy:
Geysir, Skólavörðurstígur, 2,900-3,900 ISK


For the ultimate design enthusiast
The undersigned, Sari Peltonen, works at the Iceland Design Centre. Her additional, blatantly biased gift suggestion is HA #2, a magazine on Icelandic design and architecture that she herself worked on.

Where to buy:
Bookstores, design shops and hadesignmag, 2,900 ISK

Sari Peltonen is Head of Communications at the Iceland Design Centre.

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