The Secret to Pretty Gifts? Scrap the Wrapping Paper

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A little birdie told us that something good is inside.

Manhattan’s ABC Home is known for its commitment to a lush, ornate, global aesthetic. Spend enough time browsing all six of its floors, and you’ll emerge with a visual sugar high from the surfeit of beautiful objects. But when the Cut asked Amy Ilias, EVP of art and design at ABC, about gift wrapping, her answer was surprisingly laid-back.

“I tend to wrap very simply,” Ilias explained. “I love different colors of tissue, folded very intentionally, with layers of skinny twine or string.” She likes a magpie approach, making a gift look more unique by tying in “random bits of vintage ribbon, bindings or fabric,” or even a literal bird. (Ilias demonstrated with a tiny bird from a market in Europe.)

The important thing is not to get locked into one definition of prettiness. “Something or someone can have great beauty without being traditionally pretty or perfect — or be reinvented by time or experience and have a redefined beauty as a result of its evolution.”

Watch Ilias show off how to wrap a gift the ABC Home way in the video below.