Having just gone through this, and receiving some lovely and thoughtful gifts, and wishing for even more, I have a word or two to say about housewarming. If you know the person well, and what they need or want, go there. A drill or tool kit, new dishes, a big can of primer. Personally I would like a new slow cooker, an electric griddle and a set of nonstick brioche molds. (You can always check my Amazon wishlist.) But you don't always know exactly what a person needs, so here are some safe and always welcome housewarming gifts:
1. Yankee or other scented candle, $5-25 - They just smell so good. And there are so many great scents. Choose something seasonal, like Sun & Sand, Orchard Pear, Eucalyptus, or Clean Cotton.
2. Pretty dish towels and/or oven mitts - If a household doesn't have these, they need them. If they do have them, they are stained and old and need new ones. People rarely buy these for themselves, yet it feels so good to have clean towels in your kitchen! Need inspiration? Try Quelobjet, Funktion, or Etsy.
3. Bamboo cutting board, $10-20 - Bamboo is hard, lightweight, and a self-replenishing renewable resource. Plus it's pretty and everyone could use a new cutting board.
4. Serving platter/pitcher/cake stand - A friend brought a long narrow platter to our housewarming party and filled it with strawberries and champagne grapes. I love it. A few years ago another friend gave me a Marimekko pitcher filled with lemons. Love that, too. And cake stands can be so cool and pretty, like this one and these.5. Destination Dinners, $25-30+ - It takes awhile before new homeowners are cooking full meals in their new place, so here's a twist on bringing someone a frozen casserole. Each international food kit "beautifully displays the pre-measured hard to find spices, sauces and dried items as well as step-by-step instructions, a shopping list for fresh ingredients and fun facts and trivia about the destination you are 'traveling' to." And the gift sets include dishes and utensils, too. So cool! Please feel free to get me the Ayutthaya Green Curry or Jerk BBQ sets anytime.6. The Popcorn Factory - Live far away? Want to send something awesome and inexpensive? Our family has given and received many gifts from the Popcorn Factory and everything is excellent - and it's so fun to look through the options! Got a health nut friend? You can never go wrong with great fruit. 7. Home Depot gift card and/or Dare to Repair: A D0-it-Herself Guide to Fixing (Almost) Anything in the Home, $12 - These don't require much explanation. A new homeowner needs stuff and is usually clueless. I can speak from experience. These will be used faster than you can exclaim, "What broken pipe?!"