12 amazing housewarming gifts to give new homeowners
Both house- and heart-warming.
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As a (very) new homeowner, I feel qualified to say what kinds of gifts make sense to celebrate this milestone. While bottles of wine and succulents are an easy choice if you don’t know your host too well, a little more creativity and thoughtfulness goes a long way in a) securing your friendship and b) easing stress and anxiety for the just-moved-in. While it can be awkward to ask new homeowners what they need because it’ll be followed by the obligatory “Don’t sweat it! We don’t need anything!” the truth is that owning a home is chaotic before the physical and figurative dust settles. To help them during what's a stressful but also exciting time, here are the homeowner-approved gifts I have either gotten from pals and family or would have not-so-secretly loved to receive when I was moving in.
1. This cooling pillow
Home isn’t just where the heart is: It’s also where you fall asleep the moment your head hits the pillow. It features cooling gel inserts so you never have to flip your pillow over to the cold side, and said inserts also allow you to adjust your preferred thickness. The quilted and flat sides are reversible, and in the four years I’ve owned the pillow, I’ve never had a bad sleep on it once (except for when my cat steals it).
2. This cult-favorite candle
It’s incredible how a bright and fruity scent instantly transforms a home. This best-selling candle with over 500 reviews on Nordstrom is available in 2.4 or 6.5 ounces and boasts uplifting scents of rose and blackcurrant. Reviewers report how well it burns and how amazing it smells: “This candle has to be THE most fragrant candle I have ever burned. A soft scent that fills the entire house. Worth the $ spent!”
3. A super soft throw
You don’t necessarily need to be privy to your host’s home décor or color palette to offer them a throw that’ll liven up their living room or soften their bedroom. This unique, handwoven throw harkening to Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat proves more is more. Rows of pale olive, mustard, red, blush, blue and orange contrast against cream, grey and black stripes, with rose gold thread brightening the entire piece. The fringes framing each side of the blanket give it a rustic look that’ll make them think you scored this piece in a faraway boutique. Reviewers say it adds the perfect pop of color and allows for you to change up your color scheme multiple times down the line: “Received both the Carreno throw and Lumbar pillow on our wedding registry. They are perfect for adding a bit of color to a room while keeping the overall design simple and clean. We're using them with a white linen duvet in one of our gust bedrooms and have received so many compliments!”
4. A sleek garbage can
This is less of a decorative gift and more of a functional piece they’ll be using for years to come. Many of us (like me) struggle with overflowing garbage cans, but this one will keep their kitchen, office or bathroom nice and tidy because of its high volume of six gallons and 2.9 gallons for both compartments. Since using it for the last month, my kitchen has become considerably neater. It features a lid that opens and shuts with a light press of your hand, as well as a compartment for trash and compost (or recycle—if you prefer!). With over 300 reviews, customers love how it looks as sleek as any other piece of furniture in their home: “We absolutely LOVE this trashcan, "Bo!" It's stylish, fingerprints don't show on it, and because it's raised our iRomba vacuum cleaner can easily clean underneath it! My kitchen looks significantly more stylish with this trashcan than with the bulky traditional type.”
5. These velvet throw pillows
The lovely, pearlescent hues in these statement pillows are derived from flowers, plants and other botanicals, meaning no two pillows are the same. They feature a buttery soft velvet that’s as comfortable to rest on as it is stunning to look at. As a best-seller at Anthropologie, reviewers note how the online photos don’t do the product justice: “These pillows are GORGEOUS in person. They are so soft and add great color and texture to my living room. The quality is amazing. I might buy more!”
6. A handy planter
Chances are, your host’s other guests have inundated them with all kinds of plants and flowers. Stand out from the pack—and save their sanity!—with a two-piece planter featuring a stand. With an elegant metallic finish, it’ll both blend in with any type of décor they already and simultaneously make a huge statement.
7. These plush bath towels
You can never have too many bath towels, and that rings especially true when they’re made of such high quality long-staple Turkish cotton (which is supposedly far softer than your standard cotton). Our expert Camryn Rabideau calls the Parachute towel “The Goldilocks of towels” because it feels just right: it absorbs water quickly and effectively, isn’t too heavy, doesn’t accumulate a musty smell after sitting out damp for a while, and gets rid of stains without needing a pre-treatment. Coming in six neutral shades, these towels are the perfect addition to any homeowner’s arsenal.
8. These hand-crafted vases
Much like showing up with a planter, a vase or stylish container will help your hosts get organized in the greenery department. Pottery Barn’s most popular vase collection includes a small and large urn (you don’t have to use them for anything morbid, keep in mind), a bowl, a pitcher and a medium cachepot. Made of terracotta with a glazed finish and wrought-iron handles, they work with real or faux florals and plants or even just for storing tchotchkes.
9. A doormat for their entryway
A doormat is the first impression you’ll have of the house, so a classy one is the way to go (read: no cheesy sayings or over-the-top patterns). You want to opt for a weatherproof doormat so that they can wipe their shoes down before they walk in. This handwoven plaid doormat also works perfectly for the bedroom, laundry room, kitchen and more. Of its 360 ratings, many reviewers report how well it works as a layer underneath another rug for a surprising décor choice: “Love!! It fits perfectly as a rug under my 24x36 door mat and gives the extra cozy vibe I was looking for to welcome our guests. It isn’t too stiff but seems durable and lays flat nicely. The quality was way better than expected!”
10. A smart coffee maker
It’s not a home until you’ve had your first breakfast and cup of piping hot coffee in it. Our smart home writer Rachel Murphy says Hamilton Beach’s Smart Coffee Maker transformed her mornings because you can control it through the Amazon Alexa app or any Alexa-enabled smart speaker like an Echo. Either pre-program it to brew you a pot of the good stuff at a given time, or “ask” Alexa to brew it for you the moment you wake up. For the old fashioned folks, manual settings do the trick just as well as any coffee maker. Bonus: the coffee maker has gone on sale since Rachel’s review!
11. A custom armchair
If your budget is a little higher for someone special, think about a custom-made armchair. This accent chair ties the room together, provides more socially distanced gathering options, and is comfortable as heck (excuse my French, but I have the Allform sofa made of the same plush high-grade polyfoam and fiber material, and because of it, I’ve found myself unable to work on my stuffy office chair since getting it). Pick your fabric, which includes seven colors and two shades of leather, and then its legs in three distinguished finishes. Add on an ottoman and square and lumbar pillows to round out the look.
12. This ode to their furry family members
It’s been seven months since I’ve begun working out of my new home office, and it’s never quite felt complete until I used its bare walls to celebrate my favorite coworkers: my cats Hendrix and Freddie. Animalist is an incredible service by Swedish artist Emil Tiismann that allows you to choose from dozens of dog and cat breeds, and turn them into unique modern art prints made either of dainty linework or bold geometric patterns. You can top off the photo with their pet’s name for an added layer of personalization that’s so thoughtful they’ll want to display it front and center.
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