After the install is over, the pictures are taken and the client starts actually living in the design you created, it might be the perfect time to express your gratitude and send a nice thank-you gift along with a written note. As one of our “20 Designers to Watch in 2020,” Andrew Howard zeroes in on the top go-to gifts he has up his sleeve.

1. Wine
For the bacchanalian clients in your life, read up on our Sotheby’s Wine Guide. Photo by Kelsey Knight.

It is sort of the old standby gift. One thing I can say is, a bottle of wine never looks bad in someone’s wine cooler and always makes for a fun time. And if anyone is upset about getting a bottle of wine as a gift, then they probably aren’t someone I am going to enjoy working with.

2. Fresh Flowers or Plants
This interior by Andrew Howard brings the flower power — and the inspiration for a client gift. Don’t forget to pair your cut flowers with the perfect vase.

Nothing makes a house feel more alive than a plant. I have always hated fake plants and refuse to use them, so something leafy, green and alive is always good for me. That plant description sort of reminds me of the Jolly Green Giant, so as long as the plant is not like that, we are good.

3. Pillows
From left: 21st Century Schumacher Citrus Garden Pillow, Rose Tarlow Melrose House Solid Euro Sham Pillows (Set of 2), 21st Century Schumacher Artigianale Italian Handwoven Oversized Floor Pillow and Nobilis Silk Velvet Tigre Pillow. Shop all pillows available now on Sotheby’s Home.

I subscribe to the theory that you can never have enough pillows. And as a person that likes to lie down and watch Netflix late at night, I also can never have enough. They are the perfect accessory, and also something clients might not want to buy on their own.

4. A Throw or Blanket
From left: Stick & Ball Polo Pony Throw, Fortuny Printed Cotton Throw, Atacama Home Amano Reverse Stripe Throw and ReWeave L.A. Holly Throw. Shop all throws and blankets available now on Sotheby’s Home.

I hold the world record for not liking the cold or being cold. A great snuggly throw is the perfect accessory to any sofa or chair, and a great way to stay warm at night. Also, it looks great during the day, folded neatly. I am not going to lie, I have two boys that like to use my throws and are incapable of “folding anything neatly,” so if you come to my house and see a crumpled throw on the floor after I just told you to fold yours up, my apologies in advance! And my kids are not averse to using my throws as napkins from time to time as well, so make sure to get something washable!

5. Sweets
Complete the gift by including some beautiful, yet functional, serveware for your client to present their new sweets on. Photo by Diana Akhmetianova.

Urban legend has it that I eat, on average, 2-3 slices of cake a day during the month of December by cutting off little slivers and eating them throughout the day in the office. And while I always say, “I don’t need any more sweets” before eating them, I always eat them anyway and I am always happy that I did. While I said above I “probably” would not love working with someone that doesn’t like getting a bottle of wine, I can say with 100% certainty I am not going to like someone that does not like eating cakes or sweets.

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