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Housewarming Gifts

What to Give and What Not to Give


Domino - The Book of Decorating Image

Domino - The Book of Decorating

Melcher Media
It's traditional and thoughtful to give someone's who's moved into a new home a gift, but it can be tricky to know what type of housewarming gift to give. Here are some ideas that are bound to be appreciated by anyone who's just moved in to a new home.

Plant in a Vase

It's always nice to give and receive plants but it's even nicer when they're in a vase. The vase doesn't have to be overly decorative or expensive, in fact, it shouldn't be. Stick with something simple and neutral. When in doubt go with clear glass. Simply purchase a plant at a florist or grocery store, remove the foil wrap and plop it in. To dress it up even more tie a decorative ribbon around the vase. Again, avoid the cheesy, foil, grocery store ribbon and splurge on something a bit prettier like grosgrain ribbon.

Home Décor Book

Most people like books, but knowing what kinds of books can be tough. For a new homeowner a home décor book is a pretty safe bet. Opt for a coffee table-style book with a lot of great photography. If you know the style they like to decorate in you can go ahead and purchase a book about it. If not go for something more general. Someone who likes shabby chic décor won't appreciate a book about modern design. Something like the Domino Book of Decorating is a great choice.

Gift Card

This one can be a bit tricky but a gift card to a home store can be a terrific housewarming gift. Sometimes giving gifts with dollar amounts attached to them can be a bit uncomfortable so it's probably best only to do this with people you know fairly well. When it comes to the value give an amount that's approximately the same as what you would spend on a vase or book. Make sure it's enough so they can purchase a small trinket of some sort. $20 is always a decent amount but you can feel free to go higher or lower depending on the situation.

Art Rental Subscription

An art rental subscription is an excellent gift for new homeowners. These types of subscriptions allow people to test out different pieces to see what will work in their home (without making a costly mistake!). Turning Art is an American company who offers a unique art rental service. You can also check out other ones in you area. A quick Internet search should do the trick.

What NOT to Give

Just as important as knowing what to give is knowing what not to give. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Home Décor Items

Refrain from giving a piece of home décor like a pillow or piece of art because it might not suit their décor. Even picture frames can be iffy. If you want to give a frame with a photo in it make sure it's very simple. Plain black or white is usually safe but avoid any colors or decorative details. Honestly, it might seem like a small thing but people can be very picky about picture frames.


Avoid giving people kitschy trinkets like tiny figurines or objets. They might seem cute or funny but more often than not these things end up going to Goodwill or other second-hand shops. Most people don't need or want any more "stuff." It's much better to give them something they can really use.


Picking up a bouquet of flowers is a nice idea for a hostess gift but not for a housewarming gift. People who have just moved into a new home might not have gotten around to unpacking things like vases so they'll have to race around to try to find something to put the flowers in )only to have the flowers die a few days later.) It's better to give them something a little more long-lasting like a plant or something they can actually use for the home.

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