Photo Credit: iStockphoto/princigalli
If you’ve received an invitation to celebrate a friend’s or family member’s hot new space, you simply must bring something to the host to show how much you appreciate the new digs. Ten ideas for the perfect housewarming gift are listed below – and the right one may secure you a spot on the next party invite list, when they try out what you gave them.
Wine and accessories – Take the new homeowner a bottle or two of their favorite wine (find out if they like red, white or rose’), and pair it with either a great cheese and water crackers, a wine-shaped cheese tray ($15), a set of gender-neutral bottle stoppers ($11.95) or a rabbit-ear corkscrew.
Cooking basket – Give the gift of making a meal yourself with a basket filled with dried pasta, a pot, colander, recipe for the pasta you included and a pasta-complementary cheese.
Monogrammed gift – Purchase a door mat with the recipient’s last name in a pretty font, or buy a brass or pewter doorknocker with the recipient’s last name initial in script. Or, monogram a metal key holder.
Something green – Give the housewarming host something they can plant and reap the benefits of in their new yard, such as a peach tree, lemon tree or two blueberry bushes (as they grow better in pairs). Or, bring a hydrangea plant or two that they can plant near their mailbox.
High-end toiletries – Everyone needs liquid soap for the kitchen and bathroom. Go beyond grocery store brands and purchase a set of luxury kitchen counter spray, dish soap, hand lotion and hand soap, such as this herb-scented group from Crate and Barrel ($8.95-$9.95 each) or this clean, Meyer Lemon essential oils hand soap and lotion with caddy ($39.95) from Williams-Sonoma.
Luxury candles – If your new homeowner friend is earth-conscious, purchase a few Pure Integrity soy candles in one of the light/moderate scents, such as Apple Spice, Baby Powder, Blueberry, Cinnamon, Crème Brulee or Herb Garden ($3.99-$23.99 each). Or, pick up a few aesthetically pleasing and wonderfully scented Slatkin & Co. candles from Bath and Body Works ($19.50 for 14.5 ounces) in their most popular scents: Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin, Leaves, Eucalyptus Spearmint, Salted Caramel and Homemade Cookies.
Patio décor – Whether the new homeowner has a townhouse, condo or a single-family house, they’ll need planters and décor for their porch or patio. Consider this light-catching recycled glass hummingbird feeder in clear, aqua or red ($39.95-$44.95), practical, attractive Herbes de Provence growing kit ($49.99) or cute animal wind chimes ($39.95).
Entertaining supplies – You probably don’t want to bring wine glasses, as the new homeowner may already have a matching set, but other dishes may be just what they want. This white, affordable chip and dip set from Crate and Barrel ($15.95) goes with any décor, and the curvy Reeve carafe ($29.95) can serve as a wine decanter and piece of interest on a dining room shelf. Also, everyone can use an eco-friendly salad bowl ($49.95) and matching servers ($14.95).
Get playful – Encourage your friend to invite you back over for game night when you give him or her the gift of games in some combination of Monopoly, Twister, Clue, Pictionary, Scrabble, Scene It! or Yahtzee. Or, opt for a poker chips set ($25) and playing cards.
Tools bucket – Pick out a theme – cleaning supplies, kitchen gadgets, gardening, grilling or home improvement – and create a housewarming bucket a la Martha Stewart. Pack the cleaning supplies one with sponges, scrub brushes, organic cleaners and waffle-weave cotton towels and washcloths; the kitchen one with a cookbook, serving spoons, spatula, tongs, a can opener and garlic press; the gardening one with gardening gloves, handheld gardening tools, seeds and plant food; the grilling one with grilling tools, a monogrammed steak branding tool, a spice rub and apron; and the home improvement one with a hammer, surge protector, screwdrivers, ruler, measuring tape, wood glue, nails and screws in various sizes.