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How to choose the perfect housewarming gift for friends and family

Housewarming gifts are a wonderful way to celebrate someone beginning a new chapter of their lives. Here are some ideas for special gifts to brighten up a new home.

How to choose the perfect housewarming gift for friends and family

Juliet Taylor


May 18th, 2022

“Housewarming” is a term which originally referred to the act of lighting a fire for the first time in a new house. Traditionally, each of the guests would bring wood which would serve as the fuel for the home’s first fire. Moving into a new house traditions have changed somewhat since then, and the term ‘housewarming’ has come to mean brightening a home or adding some finishing touches that warm the atmosphere rather than the air.

Common housewarming gifts include small luxury gifts like plants or wine and decorations such as pillows or throw rugs, art, brooms. Practical gifts are also popular, such as kitchen utensils and food items – commonly, bread or olive oil.

housewarming gift ideas new home needs

A good housewarming gift is something that will bring a touch of luxury and extra comfort into a home. The best housewarming gifts are ones that the recipient might not think to buy themselves. This is because it will make their daily life a little better than it would have been without the gift, and avoids you gifting something that they already have enough of.

In Singapore, housewarming gifts are an opportunity to show your friends and family how much you care about them. Fairly expensive gifts such as coffee machines, crockery, rice cookers, microwaves, kettles and vacuum cleaners are common trends in Singapore. However, for those with tight budgets, something small and meaningful will do just as well – especially if it is handmade or has sentimental value for you and the gift recipient.

housewarming gift ideas new home needs

As a general guide, housewarming gifts should not be more than $100. The actual etiquette of how much to spend on a housewarming gift depends on your relationship with the person. For those with whom you have a fairly casual relationship, such as coworkers, employees or employers, a gift should be around $20-$40. For someone you are dating, between $30-$50 is a safe bet. For a best friend or a close family member, anywhere between $50-$200 is fine. For parents, you should probably go on the more expensive side to show your appreciation – generally, $100-$200.

When deciding on a housewarming gift, many people will advise you not to ask the recipient what they would like. There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, because the recipient probably has enough on their plate already with organizing their new home. Another reason is that asking puts the burden of decision on the gift recipient, who now essentially has to decide how much money you will spend. This can be a lot of pressure for those who don’t want to overstep, and they might end up asking for something cheap even if you were willing to spend more money.

housewarming gift ideas new home needs

However, the main reason that people see asking someone which gift they want as rude is because it makes the gift less personal. Gifts are an opportunity to surprise someone with how well you know them. If they know exactly what they are getting, the fun of the present becomes more of a transaction. While this is true, that doesn’t mean you should avoid fishing for information. Try to subtly probe for information or make a note when they say that they want/don’t have something. This could help you to pick exactly what they want without even needing to ask!

For a general overview of some popular housewarming gift ideas, here is an outline of five common gifts and how you can add a personal touch.

What is a good housewarming gift? What to buy for someone who has everything

7. Gift card

housewarming gift ideas new home needs

A gift card is a very useful gift that the recipient will be sure to use. However, they are sometimes viewed as impersonal and the exact amount that you have spent on the person is obvious, which is a little awkward. The best way to give someone a gift card is to select the location carefully; if you make a note of their favourite store or somewhere that they have recently mentioned, a gift card is the perfect way to ensure they will love their present.

6. Appliances

housewarming gift ideas new home needs

Appliances are a great gift for first homes as they are not too expensive individually but altogether the prices add up significantly. Things like a toaster, kettle, rice cooker, pots and pans, cutlery or crockery are great ways to celebrate the person beginning again. For family gifts, this is a great way to go.

5. Décor accents

housewarming gift ideas new home needs

Décor can be an excellent gift when done right. If you feel you have an understanding of the recipients preferred styles, a small item like a pillow, throw blanket or art is the perfect way to alleviate some of the pressure of decorating an empty home for the first time.

4. Plants

Plants are an extremely popular housewarming gift, especially for couples and among younger people. Plants bring life into a space – literally – and have many psychological/physical benefits that will help the individual to settle into the new home. Try to purchase a non-demanding plant (unless you happen to know that the person enjoys challenging gardening) as you do not want to add another stressor to their lives when they are already dealing with moving.

3. Artesian food

housewarming gift ideas new home needs

High quality or luxury food and drink is a great gift that your recipient probably won’t have purchased for themselves. Moving into a new place is incredibly expensive, so high-quality luxury food is usually not a priority. A gift of something like organic honey, rich wines, cheeses, spices or olive oil will bring a little luxury into their lives where they probably would not otherwise have it. And as a bonus, you will probably get to share some of it during the housewarming party!

2. Gift basket

housewarming gift ideas new home needs

Gift baskets are a great way to combine many of the above presents and again bring a touch of luxury into the lives of a new home owner. In Melbourne basket gift delivery is easy and a simple choice if you cannot get to see someone in person. It also ensures that there will be something for the person to like within the basket, even if they are fussy or do not enjoy everything.

1. The gift of love

housewarming gift ideas new home needs

The best gifts are always ones with sentimental value. If you can think of a very unique personalized gift – perhaps one that you could make for the person yourself – this will always be a gift that is treasured for life.

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