For unique gift ideas (ahem: impressive pieces for the design snobs in your life), we turned to Karikter in Union Square.

The local boutique also has a full online offering, featuring ordinary, useful products -- with a carefully designed twist. For example, the item pictured above is...oh, just your everyday pepper mill. (Yeah, that's the coolest pepper mill we've ever seen, too.) Color us impressed.

1. Forge de Laguiole Horn Pepper Mill, $185

2. Royal VKB Serving Tray, $88

3. Peter Stathis Trapeze LED Table Light, $350

4. Lego Architecture Farnsworth House, $82

5. Shelton Pure Black Chef's Knife Large, $130

6. Vacuum Jug 0.5L, $65

7. Chairs Card Case, $38


Lily Ko (lily7x7 studied fashion design and merchandising at Central Saint Martins and the Academy of Art University. In addition to writing for 7x7, Lily is on the creative team at Pottery Barn, and works as a freelance stylist, writer, and designer.