We all have friends who’ve relocated, peaced out from city life altogether, or, in many cases, decided that they could no longer deal with having three roommates who were all still going on Tinder dates and touching everything in the kitchen with their grubby hands. Those friends took the plunge and got their own places, and depending on our own living situations, we are either wonderfully happy for them or crushingly jealous. And you know what’s a nice thing to do for someone you really like? Get ‘em a housewarming present. It may seem old-timey to search for the best housewarming gifts, but maybe this is one of those good old-timey things, like splitting a big hot fudge sundae.
No matter who your bud is, we know exactly what to get them, whether they’re a plant-obsessed nut, a wannabe sommelier, or just someone who deserves some nice hand soap. Read on for 27 housewarming gifts to congratulate a friend for spreading their wings and going solo.
A match cloche
You may be asking, What in god’s name is a match cloche? The simplest answer is that it’s an attractive glass vessel filled with matches that you can put on the back of your toilet, for reasons that we hope we don’t need to explain. It makes a great housewarming gift because it’s the kind of thing you might feel kind of dumb spending $34 on for yourself, but will deeply appreciate in times of need.
A statement bath mat
Finally, a bathroom that’s only covered in YOUR hair, toothpaste, and soap scum, and no one else’s! There is a true sense of pride that comes along with having your own bathroom for the first time. Bath mats can really jazz up a powder room, but many first-time solo apartment dwellers are so overwhelmed with getting settled that they don’t have the time or money to hunt down a good one. We’ve got a few ideas…
Quiet Town Arco Desert bath rug
For fans of the desert, soothing neutrals, and modernism.
A fancy rug
An underrated staple of the room. Wool for days.
Mackenzie-Childs Courtly Check bath rug
Is the vibe Italian piazza, or is it ska? Depends on the friend who receives it.
But not just any wine glasses. If you drink at home, you probably recognize by now that frequently breaking fragile wine glasses is just a reality of existence, whether they get knocked off the coffee table or snap in half mid-wash in the sink. We’re over the whole skinny-stem thing; it’s fine in restaurants, but at home, it’s nice to mix things up a bit.
Our Green House recycled glass stemless wine glasses
Also made with recycled glass, but stemless for the extra-clumsy among us (and a little more affordable, too).
Moroccan Spanish-style wine glasses
When we first sipped out of these stubby, tuna-can-shaped wine glasses at Brooklyn restaurants, we thought they were pretty weird. But like many initially off-putting things—kombucha, Joanna Newsom—they eventually grew on us, and now we’re kind of obsessed with them. They can also be used for serving condiments, holding soy sauce for you to dip your takeout sushi in while you watch TV, or showing off some big fancy salt flakes.
Unbreakable wine glasses
Sometimes you hit the sauce a little too hard. That’s cool. There are so many rad, unbreakable wine glasses out there for every space cadet, but this set looks especially Ina Garten-worthy.
Nice big scissors
Scissors are the kind of household thing that you use all the time but never think about. It’s smart to keep a few pairs around, for various purposes: opening boxes, snipping tags, cutting the sleeves off of your old shirts, and creating deranged mood boards while you slowly lose your mind. These Garrett Wade scissors are big, gold, and sharp as hell, making them very gift-worthy.
A cocktail mixing glass
It’s pretty likely that your friend is already longing for a bar cart; maybe they already have one. What they probably don’t have is a Japanese-style cocktail mixing glass, which is perfect for anything stirred (ahh… negronis) and won’t take up too much precious cabinet or shelf space. We like this simple one from Kotai.
A corkscrew without some stupid company’s name on the side
Also needed for that hypothetical bar cart (or at least drawer of drink-adjacent supplies): a nice corkscrew that isn’t some hideous primary color and doesn’t say “Burgess Gym Fun Run” or whatever on the side of it. If your friend is lucky enough to have a fireplace, and on that fireplace, a stocking, this is what you should put in that stocking.
Your friend has had to buy like 8,000 new things for their apartment, and is going to skimp on soap and get Dial or some other caustic stuff and their hands are going to get all dried out and so are yours if you ever go over there and use their bathroom! But that doesn’t have to be the case. The best way to build self-esteem is to display soap in your bathroom that comes in a nice bottle and smells really good, too.
Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash
Aesop makes the king of hand soaps, so refined that they must call it “hand wash.” This stuff is practically a cult; it smells amazing, leaves your hands soft, and comes in that iconic amber bottle. Giving it as a gift makes you an angel.
Fancy soap on a rope
We’re so ready for some soap that doesn’t make our hands smell like dishwashing detergent. This Claus Porto soap has packaging that looks expensive, and smells like the armpit of a Tuscan lumbersexual, with aromas of woody, sunbaked fields.
A jar opener
LAUGH ALL YOU WANT! If your friend has poor upper body strength, like the person writing this description, they will use this thing every single time they bring home a jar of pickles or a little vat of Talenti. It is a lifesaver, and we don’t care how stupid it looks—it’s the most genuinely practical gift on this entire list besides the fancy scissors.
A fruit bowl
This is another one of the best housewarming gifts that you don’t think you need until you buy a sack of clementines and you’re like, uhh I guess I’ll just put these in a regular IKEA bowl until I figure out a better way. Mercer41’s Margret fruit bowl has everything we want in such a receptacle: great aesthetics, a size that’s counter-friendly but accommodating, and some visibility to make sure nothing’s rotting at the bottom.
A spicy throw pillow
If your friend has the dough to buy a really nice couch while moving into their new spot, well, we’re happy for them. But for a lot of us, we have to budget on the ol’ sofa and end up with some kinda boring beige or grey thing from IKEA instead of the beautiful red velvet chaise we had dreamed of. But here’s the secret to looking richer than you are: Just get a grip of nice throw pillows, and no one even pays attention to what the couch underneath them looks like. Weirdly, the more mismatched they are, the better.
Society6 Vintage Japanese Tiger pillow
Kinda sexy, kinda scary, decidedly spicy.
A Jonathan Adler tiger pillow
Pretty sure we’re all on the same page at this point that tigers are sick, and très chic designer Jonathan Adler obviously gets it.
A set of wooden salad bowls
These bowls instantly turn any salad into the opposite of a sad desk salad and fit into any manner of home decor, from “quirky lone wolf artist” to “seasoned entertainer throwing together a Niçoise in my bachelor pad.”
Next to a silk smoking jacket, fuzzy slippers are the best way to establish a sense of personal freedom and luxury in your home, no matter its size or location. These sexy Sorel ones are for the ladies, but they’ve got a suede-and-shearling line for guys, too.
Sunshine slippies. That’s all.
If all else fails, a snake plant
Let’s say you don’t know your friend’s drinking habits, or shoe size, or how they’re decorating their apartment, or anything, really, because it’s been a long year and your brain permanently feels like the spinning beach ball graphic that appears on your laptop screen when something is going terribly wrong. Just get them a snake plant. They’re impossible to kill, and Sill will ship one directly to your buddy so you don’t have to deal with staring at a dozen of these things in a nursery trying to decide which one is the least wilty-looking. Plus, you can choose the color of the pot. There—you tried!
Faux plants are also looking great these days
If they really can’t be bothered to keep something other than themselves alive (fair) there are some really rad faux plants out there. This forever blooming orchid by The Sill will look great in their foyer or restroom.
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.