Holidays in Washington: Unique local finds offer strong gift potential

The offerings at the distinctive Miss Pixie’s Furnishing & Whatnot shop on 14th Street include lamps made from repurposed liquor bottles. (photo courtesy of Miss Pixie's)

Last week, we suggested holiday presents with D.C. connections. This week we’re doing the same — but with a focus on the offbeat. Wow friends and family with reclaimed, 100-year-old wood furniture, vintage art or a distinctly D.C. walking-tour guide, and you’ll be the gifter no one will forget.

Union Artisan: Sustainable, historic and handmade furniture and decor

With a workshop in Capitol Hill, Union Artisan is no stranger to historic row houses. And that’s exactly where this builder of custom furniture and handmade home decorations draws its inspiration. Using discarded wood, metal and stonework from under-renovation homes in the neighborhood, the sustainability-focused company breathes beautiful life into materials dating back more than a century that would otherwise end up in a landfill.

Union Artisan offers a table and a District flag made using materials from D.C. houses undergoing renovations. (photo courtesy of Union Artisan)

Union Artisan categorizes its breathtaking offerings into three collections: home, office and decor. In the first category, we love the Salvaged Lumber Coffee Table ($695), an unfussy, cognac-colored wooden table made entirely from wood saved from a Capitol Hill home. From the office collection, we recommend the Square Steel Pencil Holder ($95) — made of leftover pieces of steel from other projects, it’s an elegant alternative to that “I Hate Mondays” coffee mug. And from the decor category, you can’t beat the company’s DC Flag ($795), the perfect wall statement for any District resident.

To order or learn more, call Union Artisan at 202-798-0924.

Miss Pixie’s Furnishings & Whatnot: Vintage accessories, furniture and knickknacks

Miss Pixie’s is the of quirky, unique gifting. Located at 1626 14th St. NW, the antique shop has something for every budget and (funky) taste. Is there a baseball-card or vintage-license-plate collector on your holiday gift list? Miss Pixie’s has both items in abundance, for just $2 apiece. How about old photos for the collage maker or artist in your life? You can get those at Miss Pixie’s, too, for just $1 each.

Miss Pixie’s, which brings in new inventory every Wednesday, has bigger items, too. Bookshelves, dressers, chairs and seating abound. What about an antique banker’s chair ($70), or a lamp made from a Scotch bottle ($95)? With 4,500 square feet of retail space, Miss Pixie’s is likely to have whatever your gift-recipient’s heart desires.

For details, call 202-232-8171.

A National Jaunt: Best Walks in Washington, D.C.”: Self-guided local tours

D.C.-area author Ken Wilcox’s new book takes readers on a 12-mile “jaunt” around the National Mall and nearby attractions. It also details shorter-but-just-as-worthwhile hikes and walks to take through Georgetown, Capitol Hill, Chinatown, Adams Morgan and more. The 208-page book contains three dozen maps and more than 300 color images to help guide any trekker. Walks range from just over a mile to 12 miles long. All are kid-friendly, and most are handicap-accessible. The cover price is $18.95.

For more information, or to purchase, visit