29 Hot Gifts for the Homo Homebody

It's said that one's home is their castle — and these gifts are sure to help the domestic diva on your list outfit her abode with style that's fit for a queen.

BY Diane Anderson-Minshall

December 19 2013 1:02 PM ET UPDATED: June 05 2014 7:57 PM ET

Apartment-dwellers, Meet Your New Garden
Urbanites will adore Modern Sprout, a new self-watering and self-feeding hydroponic planter that grows your food and herbs indoors. The simple-yet-sleek windowsill planter is magnificent in reclaimed wood and functional in other styles (like chalkboard), and comes in both plug-in and solar-powered varieties, offering a product that’s practical for gardeners and foodies, as well as snobby design gurus. Simple, self-sustaining, stylish, and you can toss the garden gloves? Yes please. And if the price is too much, try their Garden Jars, which are super cute at around $20. (Don’t understand how it works? Here’s a run-down.) $129 and up, ModSprout.com

Organizing Their Bathroom Stuff

Got a boyfriend or girlfriend whose "stuff" is all over the bathroom counter? Help clean up their act with the 100 percent eco-friendly Bamboo Hair Styling Station, which holds all your honey's styling tools (blow-dryer, curling iron, flat iron, and so on), hides the cords, and has room for both a hidden power strip or the bevy of combs, brushes, and other stuff. $69.99, GreatUsefulStuff.com


An Old-timey Bathroom Staple That Looks Super Cool 
I don’t care if you’re a bear, every man’s bathroom looks cooler with an old-school shaving set, and the Van Der Hagen Luxury Shave Set can’t be beat. It comes with hypoallergenic soap (think glycerin, shea, and cocoa butter), 100 percent pure badger brush, monogrammed apothecary mug, and combo razor and brush stand. $28.04, Drugstore.com 

My White (or Black) Whale
This is one gift I had to buy myself: Thabto UK’s new Mobi Porcelain Whale Vase, which transforms any old table top into an open ocean. It’s a two-piece contemporary vase that creates a sort of optical illusion, looking like the whale is above and below the surface; a small blow hole turns any flower into a colorful plume of water. $65.29, thabto.co.uk  

A Simple Kitchen Gadget
Veg-heads and working moms will dig Zing Anything’s Salad Zinger, which lets you add any ingredients to a grinding cup on the bottom (like garlic, poppy seeds, chili peppers, or citrus), pour in olive oil and vinegar, and create the perfect homemade salad dressing all in one simple, easy contraption. You can use it to make flavored olive oil and dipping sauces, too. $24.99, ZingAnything.com   

Class Up the Bedside Table
The new FACES collection offers up a gold bar or chrome skull tablet-holder that is a conversation piece in and of itself. It comes in sizes compatible with virtually any device (from smart phones and business cards to full-size iPads and tablets), is portable enough to travel, and it’s a beautiful hand-poured, high grade solid resin that comes in a hand-crafted birch wood crate. (My suggestion: gift the crate, keep the skull holder for yourself.) $138, 400oz.com   

Pandas Love It, So Will They
Bamboo flooring is all the rage, so why not get your office products to match? This sleek, eco-friendly bamboo and black leatherette Bamboo File Box from Great Useful Stuff will unclutter her desktop, give you a great place to pile magazines, or add a touch of sexiness to his otherwise dull office. It’s got handle cutouts so you can tote it from room to room, and it folds flat for storage. $39.99, GreatUsefulStuff.com  

Gay Art Meets Happy Plants
Gay artist Matt Pfeilstucker creates these fun, modern concrete planters, called PeaboPots, by hand using recycled molds and a unique concrete mix of natural, earth-friendly materials. The result is a lightweight and breathable pot that both plants and people love. They are small, easily transported, and fit perfectly on a desktop or windowsill.  Prices vary, PeaboPots.com

No Business Like Show Business
Got a die-hard movie lover on the list? Breck Armstrong’s one-of-a-kind Film Reel Table will bring the movies into his home. It’s made with an original aluminum 35mm film reel from the 1930s, sandwiched between two sheets of glass and offset by a steel base made with salvaged gear parts.  $850, UncommonGoods.com

Tour de Front Room?
What's not to love about this movable Bike Table from Uncommon Goods? Made from a vintage bicycle and topped with panels of rustic wood, the bespoke table by Brooklyn’s Tyagi Schwartz uses a kickstand-inspired design to create a moveable statement piece so the table can do a ride-along with the party. $1,850, UncommonGoods.com

The Perfect Coffee Table Book
Publishers roll out their biggest books around the holiday and it’s so hard to choose, but here are three books that would do your home proud: A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk looks at fashion from a queer lens from 18th Century “macaroni men” to k.d. lang and Alexander McQueen, along with contributions from acclaimed LGBT history scholars. 85 Years of the Oscar by Robert Osborne, the host of Turner Classic Movies, is the only official history of the Academy Awards, and includes photos and info on each ceremony, scenes from films, Oscar memories from luminaries, Oscar record holders, and more making, it a gorgeous must-have for cinephiles. Casilli, the first book dedicated to featuring the work of famed '80s celebrity photographer Mario Casilli, has a foreword by Joan Collins, and photos of the era’s high-camp and glamour of the stars of Dynasty and Dallas, as well as Dolly Parton, Brooke Shields, Bette Davis, David Hasselhoff, and dozens more. Queer History: $50, YalePress.Yale.edu; Oscar: $75, Abbeville.com; Casilli: $35, Amazon.com

My Favorite Take on Reality
I love almost anything Harry Allen does, but there are three of his coolest catches you can give almost anyone this year. For the Reality Pickup, Allen used a toy truck cast in resin and marble to come up with this catch-all bowl and magnificent functional art. The Reality Brush Vase is a great paintbrush holder for artists or makeup aficionados, but no need to be so literal; it looks gorgeous filled with flowers too (and it comes with a glass insert so it can hold water easily). And the Coil Rope Vase is even more beautiful and contemporary in its simplicity, a thick, fibrous rope coiled and cast into a beautiful vase with a glass insert. $75, both vases; $100 for pickup; Areaware.com  

Eco-Conscious With a Dark Side
From Cardboard Safari, the guys who brought you the hipster’s favorite animal trophies made entirely of cardboard, comes the amazing Vince the Human Skull. It’s a laser-cut skull made from non-toxic, environmentally friendly recycled cardboard. Comes in a variety of colors; I want the zebra striped. $35, Etsy.com/Shop/CardboardSafari

Gay Graffiti for Your Tables
Blik, which makes tons of cool, self-adhesive surface graphics for the wall, teamed up with the Keith Haring estate to launch six new Surface Skins designs. Just like personalizing your cellphone or laptop, Surface Skins let you to bring art to other objects in your home like tables and cabinets, and may favorites were these Haring graffiti tabletop graphics. Six different designs from Haring’s iconic line drawings remind me of the hope and energy the famed graffiti artist offered before his AIDS-related death in 1990. $35 and up, WhatisBlik.com 

Singing it the Shower 2.0
Now you can sing, watch videos, read your email, and more with The iPad Musical Shower Curtain. This curtain has built-in speakers and a waterproof pocket for an iPad or tablet, and audio cables that will connect an iPad, iPhone, Android phone, or MP3 player to two speakers in the upper left and right corners of the curtain. And yes, the side of the curtain where you put your iPad is made with touch-enabled material so you can actually use your portable device while wet. $39.95, Hammacher.com  
 
For the Soon-to-Be Newlyweds

If your BFFs are getting hitched (and have penises), give them a useful gift: Getting Groomed: The Ultimate Wedding Planner for Gay Grooms. This sleek two-ring binder, which slips easily into a messenger bag, covers everything from budget to guest list, forms, contracts, master timeline, and more. It’ll be their new coffee table (and everywhere else) book, at times much to your chagrin. $24.95, ChronicleBooks.com 
 
Works of Art That Never Really Melt
Hand-sculpted candles that owe more to the exotic tradition of Balinese woodworking than anything you’ve ever seen wrapped around a wick, Volcanica Candles are stunning artisan works of art that everyone will love. Made with ingredients indigenous to Bali — and manufactured in Ubud, the cultural and artistic center at the heart of the island — and named for nearby volcanoes, each of these candle motifs is breathtaking. The candles are actually luminaries and they burn at the core so the decorative exterior never melts; you just insert a tea light when core is done and it keeps the fires burning. Among our faves: Profound, Trance, Derditic, or any of the amazing wood carved candles (though many of the latter were lost to a fire in Bali). Prices vary, VolcanicaCandles.com

Dinner With the Gays
A bevy of famed chefs including Jacques Pépin, Marcus Samuelsson,  Melissa Clark, Andrew Carmellini, Daniel Boulud, Ruth Reichl, Michael White, José Andrés (and many more) each contribute to The Way We Ate: 100 Chefs Celebrate a Century at the American Table, a lovingly illustrated cookbook chronicling the rich culinary tradition of the last American century. The best part? It’s created by gay food photographers and The Way We Ate Tumblr bloggers Noah Fecks and Paul Wagtouicz. It’s like time travel for your stomach. $16.99 and up, BarnesAndNoble.com

The Wisdom of Catwoman
Behind every gay man is a diva he adores, and though I’m not a man, I have one too: the indomitable Eartha Kitt, who played Catwoman on the original Batman series (check her out here), and turned "Santa Bab"y into a classic (watch her sing and dis Madonna here). But there’s a side to Kitt only her (really hot) daughter, Kitt Shapiro, knew, and she’s launched a lifestyle brand called Simply Eartha to share it. Shapiro, who like her mom is a staunch LGBT supporter, told me that after her mom died of colon cancer on Christmas in 2008, she kept coming across scraps of paper with handwritten sayings on them from her famous mom like, "You'll fall for anything if you don't stand for something," "Never miss an opportunity to shut up”, and, one of her oft-repeated phrases, "Don't panic!" Shapiro turned those sayings into candles, notecards, throw pillows, mugs, t-shirts and more — even using her mom’s exact handwritten notes in some cases. There are three reasons I want to send these to everyone on my gift list: part of the proceeds of every purchase are donated to Colon Cancer Alliance; Kitt, an orphan who always felt different, loved gay people long before it was cool to do so; and everything is green and sustainable. My faves include the gorgeous-smelling, hand-poured soy candles (I sent the woodsy “My Flaws Make Me Who I Am” candle to every teen girl in my family); the Eartha Kitt natural stone coaster set (which has classic Eartha images and her own handwriting), and the beautifully delicate artisan decoupaged glass plates with Kitt’s image and handwriting (perfect for fans and collectors). Coasters Set: $52; Candles: $18; Glass Plates: $60; all available at SimplyEartha.com

Eight Days of Swank
Get an early jump on the festival of light for next year with the perfect pachyderm can help you celebrate Hanukkah. The Elephant Menorah from gay designer Jonathan Adler is quirky, fun, and minimalist stoneware at its best. $128, JonathanAdler.com

Simply Soap
Van Der Hagen, the company with the cool shaving kits for men, has come out with a line of mild glycerin soaps in four scents — Fresh, Fruity Floral, Free (the latter is no scent, actually) — which make for great hostess gifts. Snag several. $3.99, VDHent.com

Like Lichtenstein But More Portable
Love pop art but hate the price? Me too, which is why I adore this Comic Drama Wall Decal, which is printed on material that wont ruin your walls and can be reused again if you move to a different room. It’s trendy on a budget that's perfect for college students and teens, though my friends are all old and they love these wall decals too. $48 and up, WallsNeedLove.com

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