Moving into a new home is usually a fairly notable landmark, and we as humans tend to mark notable moments with gifts and ceremony. If someone likes you enough to invite you to celebrate their new home, it’s only polite and proper to bring along a housewarming gift. They’re welcoming you into their new domain, and it’s an exciting moment. Bringing a gift is a nice way to say thank you, and to show that you’re happy about their move too.
The only problem is, what do you bring? What do you get for first-time homeowners as opposed to veteran domestics who already have everything? Is a hamper of essentials appropriate, or is home decor the sort of thing you bring as a housewarming gift? Negotiating the social perils of housewarming gifts isn’t easy, but here are a few housewarming gift ideas to get the ball rolling.
Barware and drinking
Does the new homeowner or renter like a tipple? If so, a nice bottle of something probably won’t go amiss. Being invited to a new home for the first time is more of a momentous occasion than a regular dinner date, so if you do bring a bottle, you should make sure it’s something good. Of course, how good depends upon your means and how much you like them, but it’s generally a good idea to bring something fancy enough that they might think twice before consuming it then and there.
If you feel like bringing something more home-related and permanent is a better idea, then you can’t go wrong with barware. Like a wedding gift, a housewarming gift should be about contributing something to that person, couple, or family’s growing horde of necessary, or not so necessary, goods. If the person in question likes alcohol, they’ll need a bottle opener. A fancy designer bottle opener can make the perfect, simple, understated housewarming gift. If you know that they’re into their cocktail making, you can perhaps bring them a boston shaker, or some sleek bar accoutrements
Glasses are another drink related gift option. For first-time homeowners you might want to consider bringing some nice crystal glasses to start of their glassware collection.
Cooking and food
If your friends are teetollers but amazing chefs, then kitchenware is always a decent housewarming gift choice. Even if they’re drunkards and terrible chefs, they’ll still need to cook, and it might be a good idea to pointedly help them on their way with a set of pots or pans.
Again, for first-time homeowners, wedding gift style presents are always a good bet. Pots, pans, knife sets, rolling pins, anything you can think of. If the person or persons in question are a big fan of quiche, why not get them a quiche dish so they can try their hand at making their favourite treat at home.
Spices, oils, or any other fancy food delicacies might also be appropriate. A good set of spices will make a lovely gift, especially for someone into their curries, but it won’t set you back as much as stainless steel pan. You could also make a gift of all the essentials. If you and your friends are a little younger and you have a mutual understanding of budget constraints, then why not bring something practical? If they’ve just moved then they might not have flour, sugar, or any of the other day to day necessities that are usually kept at home.
Decoration of some sort is an obvious housewarming gift option, but you have to be a little careful. Your friends might not necessarily enjoy the same outrageous wall art that you appreciate, so it helps if you’ve visited their previous home and are familiar with their tastes.
If the people in question are not first time homeowners, but veterans at moving, they might already have all the paintings and ornamentation they need to make a house a home. What do you get for the person who already has everything? Personalized decor is a sure-fire win, and something that they’re unlikely to already own (perhaps for good reason). But even if they end up not adorning their walls with the six foot oil painting of their face that you commissioned, gifting personalised art is one of the more interesting housewarming gifts you can make.
Obviously this one only applies if the new home actually has a garden. An ornamental lawn flamingo might make an amusing gift if your friend has just moved into a one bedroom apartment in tower block, but the joke will wear thin fast.
But, if your friends are lucky enough to have a garden, then garden ornaments make a perfectly suitable gift. If they have just moved, they’re unlikely to have start thinking about garden decoration, so that gift of a lawn flamingo will be one less thing they have to worry about. More seriously, garden furniture is never an unwelcome gift, especially if summer is just around the corner.