What is Ideal?

Ideal is a carefully curated shop composed of unique, design-conscious gifts and accessories. The objects we choose are creative, authentic, and refined. They are inspired by the vision of talented artists and designers from around the world.

Our store was formed with our own ideal in mind: that shopping should always be a personal and thoughtful experience.

Enjoy our blog and please come visit our shop in beautiful, downtown Bellingham. If you can't make it in, we take orders over the phone - just call (360-752-5522) or e-mail info@anidealshop.com.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Unique Gifts for your Valentine

Looking for well-designed treats for your Valentine? Of course we've got lots of great jewelry in stock, but also wanted to offer some ideas for more unconventional gifts.

Yes, chocolate is a traditional Valentine gift, but think outside the chocolate box and consider this unique bar. New from Chocolate Editions is the Valentine Stripes Bar. White chocolate and natural strawberry side-by-side make this bar as tasty as it is beautiful. We have samples at the shop so come by for a taste. Handmade in small batches by Mary Matson and Matt Even in Brooklyn, NY.

Valentine Stripes Bar by Chocolate Editions, 3 oz - $10

Greeting cards can be sweet and meaningful, but often end up tucked away in a shoebox or drawer. Here's a way to remind your loved one every day of their best attributes. A flattering monologue adorns this clever mirror, designed by Joop Steenkamer Jr., for Goods Design. Here's how it begins: "Oh how beautiful you are! You're charming. You look gorgeous! It's fantastic. You are infinitely attractive! I think that you are fabulous, just fabulous! You are absolutely delectable..." The praise continues, detailing each feature of the face. The perfect mirror to glance in before that first cup of coffee in the morning. Measures 11.8 x 11.8".

"Oh How Beautiful You Are" Mirror by Joop Steenkamer, Jr. - $125
Most bouquets of flowers wilt within a few days, but with Makedo's Find & Make Flowers Kits your bouquet can last indefinitely - and can be redesigned as many times as you like. These are great for kids and grownups, alike. Find materials around your home - often things you would have otherwise recycled - and use the pieces in the kit (hinges, clips, and cutter) to build your bouquet. Instructions are included to help with ideas, but your imagination is really the only limit. Not for children under 3 years old.

Find & Build Flowers Kit by Makedo - $12

Makedo Flower Bouquet

Should you decide to go for fresh cut flowers, we also have lots of great ideas for vases. We have several in fun, Valentine colors, such as this red rubber vase by Henriette Melchiorsen for the Danish design group, Menu. At first glance it looks like it might be ceramic but this piece is bouncy, un-breakable and fun. Fold the top inside for a different look. Available in other colors, as well.

Rubber Vase by Henriette Melchiorsen - large $43; small $33
We also have several new patterns in these ever-popular collapsible plastic vases, which store flat when not in use. This solid design in blood orange/red is quite cheery.

Collapsible Vase - $8

Here's a romantic gesture - how about creating a playlist of favorite love songs and getting your partner a new set of headphones on which to listen? Audiophiles love this set from Danish design company AIAIAI. They look great and boast serious sound quality, as well.

Tracks Headphones by AIAIAI - $60

The pieces of this clever salt & pepper set nest together as the figures hug. Designed by Alberto Mantilla for Mint, Inc., the Hug Salt & Pepper Shakers will get daily use on your table - and possibly even remind you to hug your Valentine after meals.

Hug Salt and Pepper Shakers - $29

Should you feel inspired to create a keepsake for your loved one, we just received another shipment of Japanese "mt" washi masking tape in many different patterns. Great for scrapbooks, wrapping packages, sealing envelopes, or any creative project.

Washi Masking Tape, set of two rolls - $9

So there you have just a few gift ideas that are as unique as your sweetheart. We would be happy to offer additional suggestions for jewelry, books, wallets, and more. Just stop by, call (360-752-5522), or e-mail info@anidealshop.com.

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