By Nancy McKeon
ST. VALENTINE’S Day is a bit more than a week away, time enough to find something not quite so last-minute for once.
LEFT: Zebras don’t necessarily bring St. Valentine to mind, but Scalamandre’s iconic zebras (and arrows) bring super-chic style to the powder room (package of 15 paper guest towels, $7.95) or the living room (package of 20 cocktail napkins, $5.50, or luncheon napkins, $6.95). At Caspari Online.
RIGHT: What says “unconditional love” better than a parade of pups? (Okay, there’s a kitty or two in there as well, which is fine as long as they behave themselves.) The paper house Caspari has this “Valentine Parade” design by Japanese illustrator Masaki Ryo produced in Germany using food-safe ink and non-toxic, water-soluble dyes. Packages of 20 paper luncheon napkins are $6.95; a box of 40 cocktail napkins is $13, a package of 20, $5.50. All at Caspari Online.
LEFT: Made for John Derian by Astier de Villatte, the tasse for him is handglazed terracotta made in Paris. It’s 5 inches in diameter overall and 2 inches tall, $140.
I would never suggest getting anyone a dog as a gift. But I’ll suggest sitting down together with your Valentine in front of the PetFinder website and deciding if you and yours need a new best friend. Tons of small rescue operations list their adoptable animals on the site, and you can search by city, breed, age, good with kids/cats—whatever you need. (Don’t be surprised, though, to find yourself being cross-examined to see if you’ll be a good pet parent: These rescue groups are serious about making the best matches for “forever homes,” a somewhat sappy term but accurate when it works. In the past 10 years it has worked for me . . . twice (don’t be nervous: I adopt senior dogs).