2020 Gift Guide: Worth the Splurge $500+

A splurge by definition is a luxury, an exception to the rule of normality, and the holidays offer an opportune moment to set aside pure pragmatism for some “let’s make some dreams come true/treat yo self” acts of kindness. Whether it’s gifting a piece of art, a beautiful piece of furniture, some cutting-edge technology or a unique expression fashioned into jewelry, we’ve got you covered with ten special gift ideas that will definitely tell the recipient they’re worthy of splurging upon.

Addition Studio Caterpillar Couch \\\ $6,600
With everything happening right now a place to relax in the home seems ever increasingly like a necessity, and The Caterpillar by Aussie designer Ryan Hanrahan represents our most idealized version of where we’d want to unwind on the daily. The large L-shaped floor futon’s single backrest not only looks comfortable, it seems to silently promise the possibility of a relaxing scalp massage when shared with someone special.

Amare Premium Ring – LACE by Jenny Wu \\\ $900
The Amare initially gives the impression of a single piece of arabesque jewelry, but it’s actually comprised of two wavy rings fashioned to overlap and link together into a harmonious coupling – an intricate example of architect Jenny Wu’s explorative designs using 3D printing technology to create “architecture on the body.”

TOO Design Collection 2B + Standard Square Canvas \\\ $540
Most wall art is a static affair. You find a spot, put it up and sit back to admire. But TOO Design imagines wall art as a more dynamic opportunity to express oneself, colorful art to be rearranged on a whim using a metal canvas with individual, powder coated steel finished magnetic geometric shapes in a variety of colors and finishes. Gift this to the person who already likes to rearrange furnishings/rooms regularly and tell them to go at it.

Apple Pro Display XDR + Pro Stand \\\ $6,998
At over $7,000 after taxes, this perforated and precisely machined piece of aluminum and glass seems like the embodiment of a splurge. And it is – a display capable of 1,000,000:1 contrast and accurate 10-bit color reproduction with a specially coated nano-texture glass designed to eliminate glare and reflections. Did we mention the optional stand costs more by itself than most monitors? Yet, for someone working within a field of design where color and geometric accuracy are a necessity, this is a splurge that will undoubtedly age into a perceived necessity.

Technogym Bike Personal \\\ $11,650
Fueled by gym closures, stationary bikes for the home have seen a huge resurgence in the last few months. But none carry the same design pedigree as Technogym’s sleek and modern interpretation of the ubiquitous cardio machine. Designed by renown architect and designer Antonio Citterio, the Bike Personal is one of several pieces of exercise equipment given the Italian design treatment – a compact and angular peddler of modernity embellished with polished aluminum detailing, and fortified by a wi-fi connected display with YouTube, Netflix and streaming services to keep the mind preoccupied while the body does its thing.

Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar \\\ $2,499
It’s amazing how many people will spend thousands of dollars on a 4K television, but never upgrade from the tiny and tinny output of built-in TV speakers. Ignorance may be bliss, but the education in audio fidelity delivered by Sennheiser’s beefy Dolby Atmos compatible soundbar will give anyone a PhD in what cutting-edge surround sound technology is capable of today. From a single form factor, the Ambeo can reproduce a virtual 5.1.4 soundfield that can fool the ear into hearing things directionally. Give one to the person who sorely misses going to the movie theater.

LG Signature Wine Cellar \\\ $6,299
Here’s a luxurious gift for the dedicated oenophile: a 65-bottle capacity wine refrigerator engineered to simulate the optimal temperature and humidity of an actual wine cellar. The unit’s black mirrored glass panel illuminates with two quick knocks, allowing a peek inside without opening the door and keeping the temps within from changing – a feature that will definitely result in a few oohs and ahhhs before even a single vintage bottle is opened. It can even open its doors using voice command in full Tony Stark-style.

Talo Bowl by Eunbi Cho \\\ $500
Ceramicist Eunbi Cho’s fruit bowl reminds us of the organic-Utopian details of Arcosanti – not a completely speculative interpretation noting Cho cites the fantastical tourism proposed by Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities as inspiration, paired alongside her memories of Seoul’s high-rises and blinking menagerie of signage. A unique gift for the fruit lover with a penchant for experimental design.

CH24 Wishbone Chair \\\ $625
How can a chair designed back in 1949 still look so modern? The bent beechwood Wishbone Chair by Hans J. Wegner is an iconic chameleon, a chair that can harmoniously blend into nearly any space, whether contemporary or traditional. While simple in appearance, making one of these chairs is a complex choreographed assembly requiring a hundred steps; the hand-woven seat alone requires approximately 120 meters of paper cord and an hour’s effort to weave into a comfortable spot to eat, read or relax from. The epitome of Danish design, it’s best gifted in pairs.

TOTO S550E Modern Washlet \\\ $1,680
Since we’re talking about seating, we’d like to propose giving someone very special their very own Japanese engineered throne for the holidays. If you’ve ever experienced a TOTO Washlet, we know you’ve already been ruined for life. Not only does this modern bathroom add-on feature a minimalist modern design, outfitted with a myriad of pulsating/oscillating spray features – it even opens and closes the lid automatically when anyone is near, pre-misting the bowl before use. Now that’s service.

If you’re still undecided or haven’t found the right gift, there’s one universal gift that is well-liked by friends, family, colleagues, and kids alike: the Design Milk gift card. Let your recipient pick out something for themselves from our shop. We’re sure that they’ll find something they didn’t even know they wanted.

Check out the rest of our 2020 Gift Guides here!

Gregory Han is the Managing Editor of Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a profound love and curiosity for design, hiking, tide pools, and road trips, a selection of his adventures and musings can be found at