Housewarming Ideas

So my brother recently decided to make a move across the country. Very exciting! As soon as I got the news, I immediately thought- I need to get a fabulous housewarming gift! Frankly, I’m just fishing for reasons to shop for other people, because I’ve run out of things to shop for, for myself.

Rather than a typical bottle of wine, I try to get really useful and tasteful gifts that will compliment the new space. I thought I would share some of my ideas with the crowd. Bro- if you see something you like, let me know.

For the newbies

Sadie Dishes- Housewarming Ideas

This might seem weird, but for someone who is moving to their first apartment, either right out of college, or perhaps first solo apartment or house- I’m going to recommend silverware. This is not really for the hostess housewarming party gift, but more of a thoughtful care package gift for a close friend or family member. Going from the cheapest silverware Target or Walmart has to offer to legitimate weighty silverware makes such a difference! Believe me, drop $50 on real silverware and they will thank you, and use it every single day.

Sadie Dishes- Housewarming Ideas

Since we’re focusing on basics, another option that will get a lot of use is a set of melamine nesting bowls. They’re fun, colorful, and have so many uses. They can mixing bowls, prep bowls, or serving bowls. Pair them with some cooking utensils, and you’re all set! If you know you’re dealing with a baker, think about a few baking pans with some baking utensils.

For the fresh-starters

Sadie Dishes- Housewarming Ideas

My brother is making a cross country move, so they focused on packing the essentials and purged a lot of the extras. I want to get something useful but also something that has some character since they probably had leave a lot of the character pieces behind. I think this set of bowls would be perfect. I think they would tie in easily with a lot of different kinds of dinnerware, and who doesn’t need some cute cereal or soup bowls?

Sadie Dishes- Housewarming Ideas

I’m also thinking about embracing the theme of the new geography. Since they’ll be near a beach for the first time, what about a fresh beach set up with a beach blanket, beach chairs, and/or a beach bag. Even if they have some beach stuff already, if you go to the beach a lot, it’s nice to have extra gear on hand. You can make it a whole thing by getting a beach bag, adding a couple towels and some sunscreen.

For those who have everything

Sadie Dishes- Housewarming Ideas

For friends or family who have all the house stuff they need, my solution is a cutting board. Everyone I know needs another cutting board. My mom always tells a story about an enormous cutting board that we always use at Thanksgiving and Christmas for turkeys and cookies and everything else. She received it as a housewarming gift when she and my dad hosted a cookie party at their NYC apartment about 35 years ago. Living in a tiny NYC apartment, she didn’t really “get” the gift at first, but as it turns out, it’s been a standby for 35 years and counting…

Sadie Dishes- Housewarming Ideas

This is probably a repeat from previous gift post, but personalized stationary is always a good idea. How about an address stamp with their new address? It’s both useful and extra special at the same time.


Thanksgiving Tablescape

I’m a firm believer that the Thanksgiving tablescape really adds to the day. Sure the company and food can be great, but there’s something magical about a well set table. In other news, have I mentioned that Martha Stewart is my spirit animal?

You can obviously go a few different directions with the color scheme, but my parent’s dining room has gold metallic walls, so I like to stick with warm metallics and natural tones. Here are some items I’m thinking about at the moment (not all at once, but some combination of the below). Keep in mind, I’ll be adding flowers and possibly gourds or other natural elements.

Table Linens

I’m working with a large medium stained wooden table, so I usually opt for a runner and placemats instead of a tablecloth. I crocheted a million placemats in fall colors a couple years ago, but I’m always looking for a new runner.


This Nate Berkus table runner from Target is my natural and metallic theme all in one!


A Crate and Barrel Gold Jute table runner is both subtle and flashy at the same time.


A Crate and Barrel Natural table runner would be a great backdrop for fun candle holders and is definitely seasonless.


I like to have different levels of candles on the table. It creates a warm picturesque glow, and allows you to turn down the main lights a little bit.


I have been stalking these Crate and Barrel taper candle holders. They are a great modern take on taper holders.


A few of these little CB2 Rose Gold votive holders would be great scattered around the middle of the table.


These West Elm Mercury Glass tea lights had me at mercury glass.

Crate Hurracaine

We have a couple hurricane candle holders similar to these from Crate and Barrel, and I think they would be great with a natural colored (unscented) pillar candle, and maybe even some dried acorns or fall type things…

One More For the Road


I really love these horn napkin rings from West Elm.

Do you have your tablescape ready to go?

Thanksgiving Prep Time!

My family takes Thanksgiving very seriously (aka my mother and I take it seriously and my family is along for the ride). Every year the guest list fluctuates, and I think some of the especially well attended years have really helped us lock down our process. We usually host out-of-towners (myself included) so hosting Thanksgiving means the Thursday meal, plus all the other meals that weekend, plus accommodations. The general plan is as follows (eye candy from Crate and Barrel):

Three Weeks Out

Pull together the guest list, and check in with any family or friends who are on the fence. It doesn’t have to be finalized but starting the conversation will help the planning process.

Scour Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, and West Elm, etc. for Thanksgiving tablescape inspiration. This year I’m thinking a natural and/or metallic table runner (the walls of my parent’s dining room are metallic gold), with large hurricane candle holders and natural colored pillar candles. Plus some extra votives and fall flowers or branches. I try to repurpose things we have as much as possible, with a couple new items from Target on occasion.

Crate and Barrel Table Setting

Two Weeks Out

Start the list making! I pull together an Excel spreadsheet that has a few different lists:

  • Thanksgiving menu and family member responsibilities (everyone gets at least one item)
  • Make ahead items verse day of dishes
  • Groceries needed for Thanksgiving meal
  • Meal plan for the rest of the meals from Wednesday dinner through Saturday (especially if guests are staying a few days)
  • Groceries for the non-Thanksgiving meals

Take an inventory of plates, utensils, and table linens to make sure you have the correct amount. This gives us time to get everything clean and polished for the big day.

Crate and Barrel Table 2

One Week Out

Grocery shop for all non-perishables on your list, because you best believe there will be no cans of pumpkin left on the shelves on Wednesday! And if you can’t find something, you have time to check a couple more stores before the big day. Pick up perishables and the turkey as early as makes sense. Do not forget the turkey!

Crate and Barrel 5

Wednesday Before

Get going on the turkey prep if you’re not already defrosting.

Make all of your make ahead items. For us that includes the cranberry sauce, some mis en place, one or two pies (Mom makes three), one or two flavors of ice cream (Mom makes two or three), and any extra baked goods for the weekend such as cookies and pumpkin bread.

Buy flowers for the table and the house, and set the table. We try to use a local florist, but sometimes Whole Foods is a better bet on busy holidays. Make sure you have your game face on if you brave Whole Foods on Wednesday!

Set the table.

Crate and Barrel 4

Thanksgiving Day

Game time! Get the turkey in the oven, and make the rest of the dessert items in the morning. Let everyone know what their assignments are, and start knocking out the side dishes! Some things will go smoothly and some will inevitably not go smoothly. That’s what makes for good stories for years to come!

Crate and Barrel 3

Are you ready for Turkey Day?