Ask Design Mom: Housewarming Gift

August 23, 2010

Ask Design Mom Question:
Hi Gabrielle. My best friend just bought a house and I’m looking for a housewarming gift idea. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks! — Isabelle

Design Mom Answer:
How thoughtful of you, Isabelle! One of my favorite housewarming gifts to give is actually very small, but very practical. I like to find a good-looking tape measure that can be kept in a purse. (The tape measure and tools pictured here, by Cynthia Rowley, would be perfect.) When you move into a home — whether it’s a fixer upper or brand new — a tape measure will come in handy over and over again as you figure out what furniture fits where and how long the blinds or drapes should be.

What about you, Dear Readers? What do you like to give as a house warming gift?

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Esther August 23, 2010 at 10:49 am

Provided the new home was purchased I love to get a beautiful address stamp.


2 Sarah August 23, 2010 at 10:50 am

Personalized luggage tags with their new address on them!

or personalized stationary with their new address.


3 yours truly August 23, 2010 at 6:08 pm

This is very simple, but so so wonderful… the Volcano candle from Anthropologie. It’s the BEST home scent.


4 Val August 23, 2010 at 8:47 pm

I usually give Toilet Paper, Dish Rags and Dish Soap.

Those things are so hard to find when first moving in.

If they are settled in already I like to make muffins packaged up pretty and give them a new embellished by me address book with our information already in it. :)


5 Anne August 23, 2010 at 11:53 pm

Great idea! I always carry one in my purse…


6 Stephanie Partridge August 24, 2010 at 12:26 am

Our most used gift when we moved in was a laser level. It was amazing for hanging pictures and curtain rods up. Best invention ever!


7 Michelle Z. August 24, 2010 at 5:08 am

I always give a fire extinguisher, with a note that says something like “I hope this is one of those gifts you never find a use for, that just sits in a corner and gathers dust.”


8 elz August 24, 2010 at 7:44 am

I usually get a huge welcome mat (blank) and personalize it by moonogramming. It is like the ones in Frontgate or Ballard, but at a fraction of the cost. I also like to get a big potted plant and paint their house numbers on the pot, but that takes more time!


9 sophia August 24, 2010 at 8:01 am

food. everyone loves food…and it doesn’t add clutter!


10 Marcie August 24, 2010 at 9:31 am

I think a great idea for a house warming present, or wedding present, would be a custom address stamp from Sweet Papery

I have one and LOVE it!


11 Momma Goose August 24, 2010 at 11:12 am

Thanks for posting this–I love your suggestion, and your readers had some great ideas too!

When I moved a year ago, I created a “moving box” by throwing boxing tape, permanent markers, a box cutter, big and small white labels, and duct tape in a shoe box. I intended just to use it for moving prep, but I must use that box three times a week–still! (I love labelling things. It makes everything feel so much more organized.)

Anyway, next time a friend of mine moves, I’m going to make him or her one of these boxes (I’ll put it in something more aesthetically pleasing than a shoe box) and hopefully give it her (or him) a few weeks before moving day.


12 Pat T August 24, 2010 at 12:06 pm

For a new homeowner with a yard, I love to give a gardening apron with pockets, gardening tools, and a gift card to a local garden center.


13 andrea melberg thompson August 24, 2010 at 12:54 pm

Mrs. Meyers Clean Day cleaining products! They make you WANT to clean up and wipe your counter tops, etc. Smell wonderful and they have coordinating scents for all the supplies.

Or – Cucina soap/lotion set for your kitchen counter in the white ceramic holder with the glass bottles!


14 Simply Cathi August 24, 2010 at 1:35 pm

A delightful idea!


15 vegeater August 25, 2010 at 5:29 pm

I LOVE girly-looking tools. You can get a plain wooden hammer and embellish with paint, glue, and ribbon for a personalized look. I have one from my mom, and it makes me happy every time I use it.


16 DebraLynn August 26, 2010 at 9:23 pm

Kind of along the same idea as the fire extinguisher, I like to give a good carbon monoxide detector. People know they should have one, but I talk to so many who don’t have one. Also, I know people who have had trouble with carbon monoxide in their house. So important to have and how much better you feel when you have one.


17 Shirley Cotney September 10, 2010 at 10:47 am

I love those cute tools by Cynthia Rowley. I have some. They also make great graduation gifts for girls.


18 Shirley Cotney September 10, 2010 at 10:49 am

Note Cards from Nana’s Notes also makes great house warming gifts.
Check them out on Face Book


19 susan October 18, 2010 at 8:24 pm

Something unique and different…. Fresh Wee Tidings – mini gift cards for any occasion.




20 Catherine July 12, 2012 at 1:26 pm

What about a gift card for a few hours of babysitting so Mom can do all of her unpacking without interruption?

Check out to find, book and pay sitters all from your desktop.


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