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.

Gift Guide 2015: Part 5

Today we’re brainstorming gifts fir the couples on your list.

Kitchen

Bouchon Bakery

Depending on the culinary skills of your recipient, a fancy baking mix with a pretty mixing bowl and/or spatula is a fun and useful gift. For “fancier” baking mixes, I look to Williams Sonoma. It will look great paired with some of their seasonal or standard accessories like whisks, spatulas, cookie cutters, baking tins, or mixing bowls. If your recipients are already pro bakers or chefs, you might want to replace the baking mix with some premium ingredients like fancy vanilla extract, salt, olive oil, etc. and a tea towel. If you want to show of your culinary skills, consider making your best cookies and packaging them in gift worthy containers that they can reuse.

West Elm Bowls

Depending on how full you think the recipients kitchen cabinets are, I think it’s fun to gift a small set of pretty bowls, mugs, or a serving platter. It’s great to find unique items in boutiques and specialty kitchen stores, but if you want a short cut I think West Elm, Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn, Sur La Table, and Williams Sonoma all have good options. If you can spare a few days, most of these retailers have personalized serving trays as well!

Home and Car

Address Stamp

A personalized set of notepads for the kitchen counter or a custom address stamp is a thoughtful and useful accessory for most households. As we know from my post on personalized gifts, Paper Source is my go-to for my stationary needs. You can pair this with a calendar a bottle of wine for a more substantial present.

faufurPB

I think one of the most thoughtful ways to gift is to upgrade something that gets a lot of use. One of these things is a throw blanket because, 1. people tend to accumulate  cheaper fleece or those sweatshirt blankets, and 2. blankets wear out over time and it’s nice to get a fresh one. And God forbid I have a blanket that actually compliments my living room (don’t forget, faux fur, like metallic, is considered a neutral if you’re from New Jersey)! This is another thing that you can get from your favorite home boutique, but I also like the options at Pottery Barn (above) and West Elm. And if it’s a family with young kids or pets, do them a favor and go for something machine washable.

AmazonEcho

My brother cannot stop talking about the Amazon Echo and apparently Oprah agrees with him. It’s basically Siri on steroids. It’s a speaker, it answers questions, and it can even turn your lights on and off (if you get the right light bulbs). Plus they are apparently adding functions every day. It’s a little pricier, so it’s for the people you really like.

Frost Guard

If you’re game to gift something extremely practical, take a look at the Q. QVC sells this thing called the Frost Guard. It’s a windshield cover that is perfect for those in colder climates. Instead of spending time cleaning off your frosty, snowy windshield, you just take off the Frost Guard and get on your way! This is great for people who park outside, and have to rush off to work in the early mornings! Pair with other cold weather accessories or some hot chocolate mix for a bigger present.

Experience

Tickets to a show or sports events, or a gift card to a restaurant is the perfect alternative to a material gift. The trick is catering to their interests and making it convenient for them logistically. Here are a few ideas:

Gift Guide 2015: Part 1

I know what you’re thinking- it’s October.

People.

Shopping is a year ’round sport and there are some holiday gifts that require some advanced notice, so you’re going to need to think ahead of Cyber Monday for these ones. I’m talking about personalized and monogrammed merchandise. If you want to look thoughtful, get them something with their name or initials on it!

Let’s do this by recipient:

Guys in your life

Converse Kicks

Personalized Sneakers.  I have bought these for myself and for presents. They are always a hit! Almost every mainstream sneaker brand does a personalized option where you can pick the color and sometimes material for each panel, and add a monogram. I’ve had good success with Nike, Adidas, and Converse. If I were you, I would go for more of a lifestyle look rather than some high tech running shoe because they’ll want to show them off when they are out and about with friends. Converse is a little more affordable, but get ready to go above $100 for Nike, Adidas, or New Balance.

Friend/Family Couple

West Elm Canvas Totes

Canvas Tote. Let me tell you. I got this canvas tote (the above with the “E” on it) for my parents a couple years ago for them to use as a beach bag. It got a little bit of delayed reaction because I gave them a beach bag in December, but come July it was their new favorite thing. You could totally grab one of these from West Elm or the classics from LLBean or Lands End, and fill it with some other fun things: throw blanket, beach towels, bottle of wine, gourmet food stuffs, candles, etc. Depending on the contents you pick, it would be perfect for a newlyweds first holiday season, a hostess/holiday gift for overnight holiday visits, or a housewarming/holiday present to new homeowners.

Girls in your life

Mono_pouch

Travel pouches or toiletry bags. These are probably more of a stocking stuffer, but always useful and can be colorful and fun, or quite elegant depending on the recipient you have in mind. My instinct for this genre is Mark and Graham. They have a wide range of pouches, toiletry bags, jewelry rolls, tech cases, you name it.

Grandparents

Wool_Throw

Something warm: throw blankets or bathrobes. I always think of comfy, and easy care things for my grandparents. Because my grandparents are often cold, a nice throw blanket seems like the perfect option, and I think it helps if it’s machine washable like the above washable wool from The Company Store. It will hopefully upgrade their living room and get a lot of use. All the home stores have throws with monogramming available, so you have options. Also, a nice new fleece bathrobe would probably be much appreciated.

And one more for the Girls

PaperSource

Personalized notepads. I’m a big fan of stationary, and personalized notepads are a great, and affordable, gift for almost any friend, mom, or aunt on your list. I usually rely on Paper Source for my stationary needs (of which there are many). I recently needed to restock my own notepad supply for my regular list making, and I went with these. Most notepad sets at Paper Source are $35, and if notepads don’t inspire you, they have several other personalized stationary options.

Have you started your holiday shopping yet?