I can be hard to decide what to give a new homeowner to make their house feel warm and cozy. The staples are always appreciated--a bottle of wine or a scented candle are classics for a reason--but if you want to stand out, try one of my favorite gifts for your new homeowner friend.
Gift Cards to Local Shops and Restaurants
Moving to a new city or a new part of town can be overwhelming--scoping out new coffee shops, bars, boutiques, and eateries takes time. A gift card from a local, independent spot serves as the perfect way to recommend some of the neighborhood's charm to a new homeowner. Plus, a few drinks may be just the thing to help your friends relax after the craziness of closing!
Tea, Coffee, and Brewing Tools
Loose-leaf tea and locally-roasted coffee are welcome in any home and give homeowners a warm, relaxing beginning to each day in their new nest. Make sure to pair your imbibables with the gear to properly brew the goods--a lovely steeping mug makes daily teatime easy, and a modern french press brews coffee to perfection every time.
The old decorating rule "a bit of green in every room" keeps a home fresh and living. If the homeowner is moving from any great distance, chances are the beloved houseplants didn't make the trip. Plants clean the air and provide oxygen in the home, which can be helpful to assist newcomers in adapting to a new climate. Pick a plant that is unique to your region, but make sure it is easy to care for!
Highlight the Arts
Every city has at least a few hometown bands and artists that are both massively appealing and bizarrely unique. For arts-loving homeowners, CDs from a local musicians or a painting from a local artist can be creative and cost-effective gifts that also introduce the homeowner to the color of their new city. Unless you know the specific tastes of the homeowner, tread on the safe side and look for music and art that is generally appealing to a wide variety of people.
Tradition with a Twist
If you like to stick to tradition and prefer the "Bread that this house may never know hunger, salt that life may always have flavor, honey so that you may always enjoy the sweetness of life, and wine that joy and prosperity may reign forever" approach, try adding your own twist to each item. Select a hearty bread from a nearby bakery; pink Himalayan salt candleholders and lamps add warmth to any room; give honey from local beekeepers or uniquely flavored honey; choose wine from the region or give a pint of beer from a neighborhood brewery.