KGA’s Gift Guide for Architecture Aficionados and Design Lovers

Back by popular demand, this year’s holiday gift guide is sure to please the architecture buffs, design lovers and tastemakers in your life. Products were hand-picked by KGA staff and run the gamut from cozy and seasonal must-haves to local gems made right here in the Centennial State. Read on for the details on some of our favorite things and get inspired!

Quick Calculations

The Construction Master 5 calculator is a great gift for architects and designers.

Construction requires precise measurements, pitches and quantities whether you’re a pro, serious DIYer or weekend warrior. Time is money and so is a wrong construction calculation. And who wants to be making these calculations by hand? We don’t, and you shouldn’t either. The Construction Master 5 Calculator includes built-in functionality for almost every measurement you’ll need, including U.S. and metric conversions, right angles, square ups, pitches and slopes, stud length calculations, stair solutions and more.

“It’s a calculator for dimensions, it’s amazing and a great time saver.”

Travis Hendrix, Senior Architect, KGA

Sleek Woolies

Everyone needs a go-to beanie that keeps them warm during the winter. Bonus points if it’s this stylish Smartwool cabin hat made from super-soft Merino wool that comes in four moody colors.

“My all-time favorite beanie. This hat is soft, warm, and roomy enough for larger heads.”

Andrea Thomas, Marketing Director, KGA

Rechargeable Hand Warmer

Keep hands cozy longer with a sleek battery-operated warmer. This little number allows you to control how much heat it releases and lasts between four and eight hours before it needs recharging. It’s available in multiple colors, and its slim profile fits in most pocket sizes. It’s perfect for walking, running errands, hiking, camping and other outdoor activities.

“They are rechargeable, compact, and of great quality to fit within your hand. Way better than the cheap disposable ones.”

Allisa Lacey, Project Manager, KGA

Premium Puzzles

These incredible puzzles are works of art! Made in Boulder, Colorado, Liberty Puzzles are a throwback to the golden age of jigsaw puzzles. Each one contains dozens of hand-drawn “whimsy” pieces intricately cut into the shapes of characters, animals, and geometric designs.

“During the initial shutdown, puzzles re-emerged in our house as a good way to talk and challenge ourselves not to just watch TV. I purchased a Liberty puzzle to do with my grandson and found out very quickly that we would have to wait a while for him to have the patience for these. I appreciated the challenge, but he isn’t old enough to ward off the frustration yet! We look forward to ordering a big piece puzzle to be made.”

Paul Mahony AIA, Senior Partner, KGA

Fanny Pack 2.0

The fanny pack gets a sporty update. This particular iteration’s our favorite by Denver’s Topo Designs. The Quick Pack is a fanny pack, shoulder bag and hand bag combo that can be used every day or for bike riding or traveling. It’s also made from recycled nylon and comes in a ton of fun colors.

Pocket Protection

KGA's architecture gift guide - the Lochby tool roll is perfect for keeping your tools organized for impromptu sketching.

Ink stains aren’t a good look, so protect your pocket, purse or bag with a tool roll for your favorite writing instruments. This one by Lochby is constructed from sturdy waxed canvas that’s moisture and scratch-resistant. Three specially sized pocket compartments and elastic keep everything together in this durable tool roll available in three colors — navy, black and brown.

“Keeping drawing tools in one location that’s both portable and waterproof is an excellent way of staying organized and keeping your tools with you for any impromptu sketching.”

Travis Hendrix, Senior Architect, KGA

Architect Activity Book

If you have a budding architect or design lover in your life, they’ll appreciate this fun doodle book. It’s less of an instructional manual and more of a creative guide to inspire wonder and creativity. Archidoodle invites readers to take existing buildings and reimagine them using their own ideas while learning about architectural principles along the way.

Handmade Homegoods

We’re always on the hunt for locally made housewares and were thrilled to discover Denver’s Nomad Potters. With palettes inspired by the natural environment, each piece is hand thrown and truly one of a kind. Some of our favorites include the white marled tumblers and speckled turquoise serving bowls. All pieces are dishwasher, microwave and oven safe.

Illustrious Illustration

Artists who are more digitally inclined will want an easy way to sketch on a device. Dragging an Apple Pencil along a glass screen gets slippery and doesn’t provide enough precision, especially when writing or creating detailed drawings. These iPad-compatible screen protectors by Paperlike are designed to feel like drawing on real paper.

“Getting a screen protector that feels like paper, like the Paperlike brand of screen protectors provides a tactile feel that helps bring art on a digital tablet to life.”

Travis Hendrix, Senior Architect, KGA

Wrapping Made Easy

There are two types of people during the holidays — those who love wrapping gifts and those who don’t. But no matter which camp you’re in, you’ll appreciate gifting yourself a wrapping tool that makes the process faster and more efficient. This set of nifty clamps attaches to a table and holds a paper roll in place (no more rolling onto the floor!). What’s more, the clips also double as a tape dispenser. Cheers to products that solve a problem and make life easier!

“The clips easily clamp onto a table to turn any surface into a wrapping station.”

Allisa Lacey, Project Manager, KGA

Local Libations

Crested Butte’s very own Montanya Distillers crafts delicious rums for the mixologist in your life. Barrel aged and locally made, the collection features four rums of distinctive flavor profiles. The Platino and Oro are lighter rums and make a great base for mixed drinks like mojitos, Manhattans and rum and cokes. If they’re more of a sipper, Exclusiva and Valentia are smooth, spicy and complex and will warm them up on a cold winter’s night.

Snazzy Supplies

Elevate everyday office supplies with a set of quality and colorful pens. The Paper Mate Flair collection features 24 felt-tip pens in an assortment of colors. They’re great for note taking, doodling, and bullet journaling. They’d make an ideal companion gift with an adult coloring book. 

“These are a staple at home and in the office. Perfect for writing, drawing or coloring, and so many fun colors.”

Andrea Thomas, Marketing Director, KGA

The Write Tools

no architecture gift guide would be complete without a great set of quality ink pens.

For architects, designers, artists and everyday doodlers, there’s nothing like a quality ink pen to improve drawings and sketches. These precision Micron pens are a must for every professional’s or amateur’s toolkit and offer fade-resistant archival quality. Opt for a set with various point sizes for sketching, drawing, writing or journaling.

“Pen and ink drawing is a fantastic way to bring a project to life.  The quality of ink in Microns is great, and my pen of choice.  They also get a major boost by having set tip sizes which help you control lineweights when drawing an architectural project.”

Travis Hendrix, Senior Architect, KGA

Easy Cleaning Solutions

There’s beauty in functionality, and anything that helps make chore day easier gets our kudos. If the special person in your life’s vacuum could use an upgrade, the Roomba i3 Series is the way to go. Improved suction and its ability to detect dirtier areas are some of the highlights of this beloved hands-free vacuum. Bonus: It also comes with an enclosed bag so the vacuum empties itself for 60 days.

“I recently upgraded my older Roomba to one of the newer models that empties itself, and I love it. It saves so much time and can clean large areas more effectively. It’s especially great for anyone with cats or dogs who shed!”

Andrea Thomas, Marketing Director, KGA

Savor the joy this season brings and happy gifting!