Interiors Star Sophie Roussel Enlightens Us About The Art Of The Gift

The gifted young designer, a rising star in the interiors world shares her ideas for the perfect present
The Garnered - The Garnered Sophie Roussel Journal 1
Sophie Roussel

Known for her impeccable eye and passion for fine craft we ask Sophie Roussel what makes the perfect gift

What’s the best present you have ever received?

When I was a teenager, my father handed me an envelope one Christmas. It was a letter with a dozen Design book titles. He had bought them so that I might start a library and learn the importance of inspiration and learning from others. It has now become a tradition and every year my library grows. I have a great sentimental attachment to these books as well as his letters – an invaluable source of inspiration for my work too. I hope to do the same thing for my children one day, be it novels or non-fiction about a topic which excites them.

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What would you like to receive?

Quality time and food are both up there so I love it when my friends or family take me out for one on one dinners where they might have researched a particular restaurant for its design or the food it serves.

In general, any gift where you can see that the person has spent time on finding, making or commissioning something. I also love uniquely crafted objects that tell a story and cherish these pieces in my home even more when they have been given to me by someone. But that said, I’ll take a box of chocolate almonds from Auer in Geneva any time!

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Criteria for the best gift?

It has to be thoughtful and strike an emotional chord. A little bit of the unexpected also adds a nice element of surprise.

And what is the best gift you have given?

Possibly when I made a miniature replica of a design chair I had heard my parents talking about that was too much of an investment. I was a teenager at the time who wanted to be a product designer. It still sits on a book shelf in their living room.

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What do you like the gifts you give to say?

I have thought of what will make you smile. I care about you. Here is something just for you.

How has the way we shopped changed in recent years? Have you made an effort to give more considered gifts (given the climate we live in currently).

Issues of sustainability and considering the environment have become very relevant and a whole set of possibilities have emerged. It is almost like going back 100 years before industrialization – when many artisans can thrive again because the demand has shifted from mass produced goods to beautiful, handcrafted items which last.

It is also very rewarding to see how we can make a significant impact by supporting a different type of consumerism and not compromise the quality of the products we are shopping for. For ourselves and as a gift.

Sophie's gift wishlist from The Garnered

Left: To create memories with friends around the dinner table. I am huge fan of Casa Lopez and regularly gift products from them (as well as having them in my own home).

Middle: A beautifully made leather good can last a lifetime. A great gift for a traveler who can take their loved ones with them always.

Right: A great example of incredible craftsmanship. The engraved monogram is a sweet personal touch.