Housewarming gift ideas for new homeowners

There’s nothing like the perfect housewarming gift, and we have suggestions!

Key tips to remember

  • Know your friends’ preferences and favorites
  • Consider what’s different about the new space
  • Balance utility and aesthetics
  • Buy local items when possible
  • Bring something you can share
DIY, Real Estate

In 2020, home sales hit a 15-year peak. People are always on the move, and sooner or later, chances are you’ll be invited to a housewarming party, which means you’ll need a few related housewarming ideas. Whether the thought of shopping for housewarming gifts fills you with anticipatory excitement or abject terror, please remain calm. Shopping for a new home gift can be tricky because personal tastes vary so much, and no one wants to give home gifts that aren’t well-liked and appreciated, or worse, end up being regifted. Unfortunately, that’s a chance we must take if we are to give gifts. 

Most online retailers don’t have a website section marked “gift ideas housewarming,” “apartment warming gifts” or “gift ideas new home.” It’s too bad that they don’t because each of these seems like a pretty good idea for an improved user experience. Nonetheless, fear not, dear reader. Together, we’ll work through a range of possibilities for unique home gifts. Whether you’re shopping for a housewarming gift for men or a housewarming gift for women, we bet you’ll be inspired by at least a few of the gift-for-housewarming-party ideas that we’ve come up with.

Cookbooks

Whether your friends know their way around a kitchen or not, a cookbook is a great housewarming gift. With a seemingly infinite variety of styles, cuisines and approaches, it’s easy to find a cookbook that appeals to any individual’s sensibilities and tastes. From foundational classics to international specialization, today’s cookbooks are packed with more than just recipes, often including history, stories, techniques, artwork and photography.

Cookware sets

While we’re on the subject of cooking, it’s tough to beat a basic cookware set for a new home. Most sets include various pieces like skillets, roasting pans, fry pans, sauce pots and more. Depending on your budget and the size of the kitchen you’re shopping for, the sky's the limit. If your friend is more of a baker, a set of nice baking pans is likely a less expensive option. If you like both ideas but aren’t ready to commit to purchasing an entire set, you could choose one or two essentials from either, like a sauté pan or Dutch oven, or a cookie sheet or cake pan.

Dish towels

Everybody needs a good set of dish towels, even unadventurous cooks who never stray from the microwave. Dish towels are a great gift idea because they’re often overlooked, overused, worn out or disappearing. They’re also available in every conceivable color and design for an easy way to freshen up the look of a new kitchen after a move.

Coffee makers

For many of us, a good cup of coffee is a baseline requirement from our kitchen, and something we rely on daily for powering up to get stuff done. As such, our coffee machines are often well-used and perhaps not in the best of condition. Knowing this, what caffeine-loving fiend wouldn’t be thrilled to have a shiny new coffee maker to welcome them into their new home? If your friend is a tea person, there are all sorts of gorgeous tea kettle options, from traditional to electric. From budget models to the latest and greatest, upgrading either or both essential machines is a can’t-lose housewarming gift option to consider.

Ice cream makers

If you’ve never tried making your own ice cream, you’re in for a treat, and if you’re looking for a great gift idea for a family moving into a new home, homemade ice cream and the time spent making it together is a potent combination that’s hard to beat. Modern machines can also make sherbet, sorbet and yogurt, depending on their settings, and some dispense toppings, too. There’s even a model that makes ice cream inside a soccer ball as you kick it. 

Popcorn makers

Popcorn, possibly the world’s greatest snack, is an excellent equalizer, beloved by parents, kids, guests and interlopers alike. Sure, you can rely on the simplicity and ease of microwave popcorn, but you’ll also ingest weird chemicals and miss out on the best variations that this versatile, healthy and delicious snack has to offer. With good popcorn makers, all you need is quality corn, a bit of oil and some sea salt. From mini theatre-style machines and air poppers to manual crankers and auto-flip toppers, giving a great popcorn maker as a housewarming gift encourages your friends to keep snack standards high.

Rice cookers, Instant Pots and air fryers

If your friends eat a lot of rice, they likely already own a rice cooker. However, unless they have a very nice one that doesn’t shed bits of nonstick coating from its rapidly disintegrating interior pot finish or otherwise misbehave, they might be due for an upgrade. If you’re less inclined to buy an expensive electric model, these days you can find a cheap rice cooker that works well in the microwave, saving users from yet another plug-in appliance and more than a few dollars. 

However, the Instant Pot, or robot bucket as some refer to it without affection, is an entirely different animal. It’s allegedly also a pressure-cooker device able to cook entire multitiered meals of various courses all at once, with the help of lots of buttons, programs and operator manuals. People love them. Air fryers are also all the rage as a somewhat healthier alternative to partially assuage the guilt of fried-food lovers and avid fried-chicken devourers.

Food processors and blenders

If your friends don’t know the joy of homemade hummus or pesto, now is your chance to impress upon them these wonderfully delicious and yet almost deceptively simple foods. A small food processor can open the gates of culinary delights like never before, teaching your friends how to turn raw veggies into a delightful snack or make otherwise plain pasta transcendent. In a similar fashion, a blender can facilitate their burgeoning interest in mixology and help them kick that habit of stopping by the smoothie shop after every workout. 

Stand mixers

From making your own desserts, dips, breads and pizza doughs to grinding meats, mixing cheeses, dicing fancy vegetable dishes and making homemade pasta, a quality stand mixer can create an astounding array of culinary delights, from juices and cakes to ice cream and cookies. Available in various sizes and all sorts of colors, classic models make an eye-catching, stylish addition to any new kitchen and could be the perfect housewarming gift.

Salt and pepper shakers

Useful items that everyone needs, salt and pepper shakers are nearly ubiquitous, but they don’t have to be invisible. From collectible pop-culture figurines and classic, simple looks to high-end brass, wooden and glass works of art, there’s a salt and pepper shaker set (or grinding mill set) for every setting, occasion and personal taste. If you know your friend will love a particular look, this is another great housewarming gift idea that’s sure to be noticed.

Kitchen tools

From a good can opener and the right set of tongs to spatulas and everything in between, all functional kitchens deserve a reliable set of well-designed kitchen tools. Turning them into a great housewarming gift is easy because so many are already sold in sets. If you prefer to select items individually, you have endless possibilities. For example, you could pair your own favorite set of bamboo cooking spoons with a great rubber spatula and a slick, functional and stylish bottle opener. Got a favorite cheese grater or garlic press? Take this housewarming opportunity to share the very best kitchen tools. Your friends will thank you for it.

Mugs

Mug designs are all over the map. From inexpensive, mass-produced, made-in-China models printed with your favorite characters and sayings to pricey, small-batch beauties made in Japan according to hundreds of years of tradition, you have plenty of choices. We haven’t even mentioned the wide selection of handmade artisan mugs found all over the world. Like many household items at the intersection of utility and aesthetics, some mugs are favored for their looks and others for how well they perform, but we all have a favorite mug that accomplishes both. Turning these drinking vessels into perfect housewarming gifts that have the same effect on our friends is priceless.

Hot sauces

Everyone has at least one friend who is into the hot sauce thing. Even Beyonce and Hillary Clinton are on the record for loving the spicy stuff. If you’re shopping for a housewarming gift and one of the recipients is a hot-sauce lover, you can help. Introduce them to a brand they’ve never tried, make a batch yourself, or find a subscription service so they can try various new ones over time. High-end hot sauces are out there, even ones with truffles. Search online and ye shall find.

Bartending sets

If you’re shopping for people with mixologist leanings, it’s a safe bet that they already have a decent set of bar tools. But if your friends’ interest is just starting to grow, it might be the perfect time to give a nice bartending set for your housewarming gift. Most include all the essential tools, like shakers, jiggers, muddlers, spoons, strainers, pourers, bottle openers, tongs and corkscrews. Some higher-end models include fancy serving trays or even handsome carts that can be wheeled around the room, with storage for bottles underneath.

Bubbly

Nothing says “let’s celebrate” quite like a nice bottle of bubbly Champagne. And if you slice off the top and launch the cork into the air with an antique saber as a collective “huzzah!” reverberates around the patio, that will really get people in the mood. Don’t forget your eye protection if you try this at home. Showing up to a housewarming party bearing gifts of any sort of quality liquor bottles to help stock the new bar and crank up the party will likely be thoroughly appreciated, whether you stick to the Champagne or bring your spirit of choice. Party on.

Wine racks, chillers and fancy drinkware

If you you want to bring a bottle or two of wine to your oenophile friends’ housewarming party, you can elevate that idea with a nice countertop- or wall-mounted wine rack, or even a wine chiller designed to keep several bottles at the optimal temperature and save refrigerator space. While considering wine, think about your friends’ current selection of drinkware. Do they have enough glasses? Would they appreciate a few more of what they have or maybe something nicer? What about something occasional, like insulated Champagne flutes, monogrammed lowball tumblers, or elegant highball glasses? There are plenty of possibilities to explore here as you ponder the perfect housewarming gift.

Custom coasters and cocktail napkins

Regardless of the raging parties your friends may have thrown at their old place, they’re homeowners now and probably decorating with fancy new furniture, so this party is going to be a little different than what you remember from college. Dancing around the keg on the kitchen floor is probably out. This strange new suburban world your friends are entering includes coasters and cocktail napkins. If you’re still looking for a cool housewarming gift, there’s a wide world of coasters and cocktail napkins to explore. They come in all kinds of materials, designs, colors and textures, and can be customized to your liking. Try emblazoning them with fond, timeless rallying cries of ages past to remind them of their younger selves and make them laugh.

Custom cutting boards and serving trays

While we’re on the subject of customization, a cutting board can marry beauty and functionality, whether it includes your friends’ names, anniversary date or favorite catchphrase. Elegantly assembled from various types of wood, stone or manufactured materials, a cutting board is often at the center of a casual gathering.. A nice serving tray is also a conversation starter and a way to get food or drinks around the room effectively without spills. Serving trays can also be customized. Some even feature a zoomed-in portion of a map, highlighting a special region that means something to the recipients of this thoughtful gift.

Custom address labels, return-address stamps and stationary

If your friend enjoys old-fashioned written correspondence, he or she is sure to love a set of custom-designed address labels, complete with a custom return-address stamp and stationary. Coordinate all three of these items with a design approach that you know your friend will like, and you’ve hit on a touching, personal gift idea with the potential to elicit tears. Housewarming gift solved.

Custom aprons and robes

Shifting into wearables while staying on the customizable gift-idea train, let’s look at custom aprons and robes. If your friends like to cook or are culinarily curious, they’re going to need aprons to keep from getting various food experiments all over their clothes. Aprons might never have been a consideration back when ramen noodles and macaroni and cheese were regular menu items, but this is homeownership. Aprons happen. You can get them monogrammed, or one that has Boba Fett or David Schwimmer on it. You know your friends best. Also, if they don’t have a soft, cozy robe yet, this might be a great occasion to get one for them, with or without the initials.

Custom blankets, pillows and welcome mats

Speaking of cozy, people like to nest inside their new homes, and nothing beats blankets and pillows for nesting. In virtually any fabric you can envision, from weighted wool and velour to cotton, and with a color spectrum to match, your blanket (or “throw”) choices are endless. Of course, you can also monogram or customize many of these options, and even submit art to scan onto the blanket. All these considerations also apply to pillows. Some people even have different sets of blankets and pillows for seasons of the year or to match constantly evolving color schemes. If you can’t get enough monogramming or catchphrases, consider adding a personalized welcome mat and make it a trifecta of custom messaging for your friends’ place.

Bathtub caddies

While we’re on the subject of getting cozy and relaxing, we cannot overlook the bath-time experience. If your friend tends to linger in the bath and lacks a bathtub caddy or tray, you may have just narrowed down your shopping list. Help your pal invoke the spa experience with the ultimate organizer and turn the bathtub into a relaxation desk. Your bathtub caddy allows your soaking friend to lie back and relax while keeping all his or her favorite bath-time accessories close at hand, like books, drinks, candles, snacks, bubbles and salts. While you’re at it, consider adding a fancy soap and lotion set as the perfect accompaniment.

Candles

Did someone say candles? Candles for the whole home? Candles in all shapes, sizes, colors and scents? Handmade, mass-produced, locally sourced or catalog-branded? Indeed, candles are major players in the gift category. But you need to be careful about this one because people are sensitive about scents. Nobody wants a stinky candle  filling their nice new home with smells they fail to appreciate. Go with a sure thing and be certain your friends like the specific scent . That’s the toughest part, but once you’ve got that dialed in, you can consider adding holders or a handy wick trimmer. If burning candles are discouraged in your friends’ new home, consider diffusers and smokeless incense as a way to spread splendid scents without fire or smoke.

Art

Here’s a tricky one. An original work of art, or even a print, could be the perfect housewarming gift. The tricky part is making sure you really know your friends’ tastes because the last thing you want to do is get them something they won’t display in their home. Don’t limit yourself to thinking in two dimensions. Sculpture, stained or blown glass, homemade furniture and yard art are all possibilities to give a unique gift that’s handmade by a local artisan instead of factory-produced by the thousands.

Plants

Every home is enriched, inside and out, by the addition of a little (or a lot) of greenery. Plants clean the air, add natural beauty, and connect us with literal growth and renewal. They make great pets, too, with no noise and minimal messes to clean up. Great low-maintenance plant gift ideas include succulents, cacti and ficus trees, not to mention indoor herb gardens for those friends who like to cook. Still, some people can’t seem to get their heads around taking care of living plants, even when they’re consciously trying. For these folks, there are a convincing array of artificial plants. If none of these options feels right, you might consider a dried floral arrangement, a great variation on the traditional flower bouquet that is pretty and festive but cannot be killed.

Oils, salts, spices and snacks

High-end pantry items like fancy oils, artisan salts and specialty spices are fantastic gift ideas because you’re giving someone something nice that they may not splurge on for themselves. And unlike that fancy bottle of liquor, you’re not pressuring them to open it as soon as you walk in the door. If a crunchy snack for immediate eating sounds like a good way to accentuate your cooking-related gift, it’s tough to beat classics like salted-in-the-shell peanuts, gourmet pretzels or seasonal homemade candies. Select a colorful, durable, reusable artisan gift basket your friends can reuse later and fill it with these tasty treats. Housewarming gift complete!

Thanks for reading our post on housewarming gift ideas! We hope it was helpful. While you’re here, you may also want to have a look at our 2021 home checklist, our 2021 fall moving checklist or our home warranty guide for first-time homebuyers. These and many other posts on a wide variety of home ownership and improvement topics await your perusal in the Cinch blog archive. Thanks for stopping by!


The information in this article is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.
 

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