I’ve experienced a recent surge in friends buying new homes! Sometimes, they’re just moving down the street to a house that better fits their family. Others are moving to a new job in a new city. Still more are taking advantage of remote work to relocate to a smaller community, where they’ll have more space to raise their children. Lucky for me - with these moves comes an opportunity to join my friends at their housewarming parties!
It’s believed that housewarming parties started in medieval France, when new homeowners would have a dinner to thank their friends and family who had helped build their new house. Not much has changed, only these days we’re often thanking our friends and family for helping us move!
Often, now, new homeowners (especially first-time homeowners) throw a party to invite friends and family to see their new place and help it feel like home. Like any party, we traditionally follow the rule of etiquette that we shouldn’t arrive empty handed, so we bring a gift to help them celebrate this new chapter in their life. Here are our top housewarming gift ideas:
Kitchen Gadgets and Household Items
If your friends have just bought their first home, often the best gift is something practical. New home gift ideas can range from something as fancy as a pasta or bread maker, to something as simple as a kettle - or maybe even just new tea towels and napkins that may inspire the decor of their new house! When I bought and renovated a home, I was excited to receive unique wooden salad “claws”, bar ware, and a beautiful piece of handmade pottery amongst the gifts from my guests.
Many new homeowners are moving from their parents’ home or a small city apartment and don’t yet have a lot of the household items and tools they might need. What they purchase first will likely be necessities - like a toaster. You can wow them by picking up the little luxuries: a coffee grinder for some fresh brew, a waffle maker, or even a smart speaker!
A Home and Garden Store Gift Card
Continuing the theme of new home gifts, this gift also works for people who may be planning some renos or redecorating. When my sister moved into her house, she had to paint over one bedroom that had been previously painted a garish orange with large yellow polka-dots. It took a few coats of paint to get it to much more soothing lavender. A gift card to a paint store would have been put to good use!
Likewise, when my mother downsized once her kids had moved away to a place with a little less house and a little more yard, my brother bought her a gift card to the local home and garden center, so she could buy a garden shed for a little extra outside storage. While gift cards might seem less creative among these housewarming ideas, I assure you that for those who value practicality, they are very much appreciated!
Outdoor Furnishings or Equipment
First home often means first yard, and with it, a wide array of tools, equipment, and furnishings that may be required - and definitely will be appreciated.
Perhaps the new homeowners are looking forward to planting their very own flower or vegetable garden? Put together a custom gift bucket - or even a wheelbarrow - complete with garden gloves, digging and weeding tools, and even some packages of seeds or starter plants.
If they’re excited about having their own barbecue, you can help them out with some awesome accessories. BBQ tools, cedar grilling planks, a kit of BBQ sauces or dry rubs. You get the gist!
Some comfy lawn chairs can also be a big hit!
A Fine Bottle
This housewarming gift is probably best suited as an idea for housewarming gifts for couples. People love to “christen” a boat by smashing open a bottle of champagne, but frankly, I prefer having a bottle of wine to open with a partner as we enjoy a quiet evening together and just enjoy our house! Some will prefer an aged Scotch, a Craft Beer Mixed Pack, or their favorite trendy cocktail.
The nice thing about bringing a beverage to a housewarming party is that the host can either decide to set the bottle aside to be enjoyed in a more intimate setting later - or they can serve it at the party! Either way, you know that it’s a gift that is going to get used and enjoyed.
Let’s say your best friends have just moved really far from their friends and family, making a traditional housewarming party a major challenge. This is the perfect time to organize a virtual housewarming party! I’m sure it doesn’t come as a surprise that we recommend making a group video that can serve as a perfect keepsake of the occasion.
A video of loved ones sending their housewarming wishes to the new home owners can be one of the most meaningful housewarming gifts, because it can remind the new homeowners that, near or far, their friends and family will always be there for them.
Your virtual housewarming videos may include advice, how-to videos, or simply messages of support and congratulations!
If the homeowners are new to the area, why not keep it local! You can scout out the area around their new house and buy them a basket of goods from their local bakery or wine or beer from a local winery or brewery. Perhaps you can even throw in a small gift card, encouraging them to venture out to some of the local hot spots. This can be a great way to help them explore their new neighborhood and meet their neighbors!
If you’re able to swing by an artisanal market or boutique, look for unique housewarming gifts such as a jar of local honey! Not only is honey a sweet, delicious treat with age old antibacterial properties, some say that honey made by local bees helps you fight local allergens, too!
Making a house feel like home is all about bringing your personal style to the place! Meaningful housewarming gifts can help the new homeowner towards that goal.
You can get a name plaque made for them to sit over their mailbox or beside their front door! Nothing quite says ‘I live here now’ by putting your name on it! Similarly, a new number display for the outside of their house made in style that best suits them is a great way to make someone feel at home.
We hope this list was helpful. And don’t forget, when in doubt, just buy them plants! We moved to a new house once when I was a teenager and my family received five new house plants at our housewarming party! Most of them even survived!