The Oklahoman

Welcome to your new home

Style-savvy housewarmi­ng gifts

- Kim Cook

Bread and salt. Wine. A broom or sack of flour. Honey, pineapples, even bluebirds – a symbol of happiness – have been bestowed on people moving into new homes over the centuries. ● Fall is a busy time for relocating, and many people have recently done so because of pandemic-related changes in work, school and home life. ● So if you’re looking for some modern housewarmi­ng presents to go with (or instead of ) the traditiona­l ones, we’ve got some suggestion­s from interior designers for both new renters and new owners.

At the front door

Baylee Floyd, an Orlando, Floridabas­ed designer with the online platform Decorist, suggests giving your friends a welcome mat. “A front door mat is always a great gift – I get custom, monogramme­d mats made to help them really make their place feel like home,” she says. and others offer customizab­le mats, or you can shop Grandin Road, Frontgate and Birch Lane for initialed coco mat designs.

Elysia Home’s Letterfolk doormat comes with a bag of 75 hexagonal penny tiles, so the new renters or owners can create their own welcoming message.

Leia T. Ward, founder of LTW Design in New Canaan, Connecticu­t, likes the idea of giving a little connectivi­ty.

“An Alexa or an Echo (may) seem random,” she says, “but it’s great for those extra spaces that homeowners typically don’t tend to buy smart speakers for, like a patio, garage, home office or bathroom.”

Or how about a house key locator? “A GPS finder for their keychain is a great housewarmi­ng gift,” Ward says. “It seems random and unimportan­t until that one time they actually need it.”

If they’ve already got the finder, you might update the keychain itself by getting one that’s monogramme­d. Mark & Graham offers leather tasseled ones in Kelly green, black, red or blush.

If the newly moved are going for a boho décor vibe, consider Natural Life’s hand-painted wood flower hooks, which could go next to the door, on a porch wall or really anywhere.

For the walls

Seattle designer Elizabeth Herrera suggests a customized house portrait. “Upload a special photo to, and they’ll create a letterpres­s or standard printed drawing,” she says. You can choose frame style, mat and size when you order.

If the recipients have moved to Chicago, New York City, San Francisco or Texas, Minted’s designers have created cool toile papers for each of those cities, offered in framed pin boards perfect for kitchens or home offices.

Chatbooks, which lets you connect your Instagram or camera roll to create photo books, prints or cards, has a walltile option too. Have the images printed on square canvas frames with moveable adhesive backing; perfect for renters.

Whispart on Etsy will create a personaliz­ed heart or house-shaped map of the new digs; add as many details as you want, then download and frame.

Getting cozy

City dwellers might love a soft plush pillow in the shape of a tropical leaf or succulent, from Green Philosophy Co; they’ve partnered with nonprofit Trees for the Future, so pillow and throw sales support planting initiative­s worldwide.

Another eco-friendly idea: The Polished Jar offers reusable bottles for personal and house products like soaps, lotions, etc. Choose plastic or glass, and you can further customize with a snazzy metallic or matte black pump, plus a waterproof label. Available singly, or in bundles that include a stylish tray.

Bring some pleasing fragrance into the new home with Otherland’s Manor House Weekend soy-based candle collection. The fall version has notes of smoky maple, cardamom, toasted nuts, pear and apple.

Homesick’s New Home candle, a blend of jasmine, cedarwood, lime and sandalwood, can be customized with a personal message on the jar label.

Subscripti­on gifts

If you know your recipients well enough to buy them a gift that revisits them every month, a subscripti­on box might be good. There are lots of options, and they can take the guesswork out of decorating.

“I love to give friends with new homes a monthly holiday décor subscripti­on box,” says Floyd. “Because it’s either their first home and they don’t have many decoration­s, or they just don’t have the time to decorate for the holidays having just moved in.”

Boise, Idaho, designer Mikayla Keating had a suggestion for flower and plant lovers in either houses or apartments.

“Fresh flowers always make a new home feel inviting and put together,” she says. At Bloomsy Box, a bouquet is sourced from fair trade farms, wrapped in eco-friendly paper and shipped each month. Subscripti­on options include pet-safe bouquets and mixed arrangemen­ts, as well as one inspired by the New York Botanical Garden; a portion of its sales helps support the Garden’s work on plant science and conservati­on.

For folks wanting easy, low-maintenanc­e plants, The Sill has several subscripti­on options.

Are the new residents art lovers, but have none? “A great way for your friends to decorate their home is with an art subscripti­on,” says Keating. “This is ideal when you’re unsure of their style, or if they have a hard time choosing artwork themselves.”

A gift card lets them sign up at Art Crate, fill out the style quiz, and an inhouse curator will help them choose a fine art print by an indie artist; they choose the size and format, and they can cancel whenever they decide their walls are happy.

Cooking and entertaini­ng

Knife blocks and cheeseboar­ds are classic housewarmi­ng gifts. If you want to take it up a notch, consider Crate & Barrel’s monogramme­d serving board made of mango wood, marble, and inlaid brass for the initial. The retailer also has Schmidt Brothers Cutlery’s tabletop and wall-mount knife holders, crafted of warmly hued acacia wood.

Or consider Material Kitchen’s reBoards, cutting boards made of recycled plastic and sugarcane, and offered in a rainbow of beautiful hues.

KitchenAid’s Artisan Series limited edition Light and Shadow stand mixer has the “wow” factor; the base is a creamy milkshake hue, and the bowl is matte black, textured with a studded design that’ll have your recipients wanting to feature it front and center on the kitchen counter.

That milky hue is also offered on a slim yet powerful semi-automatic espresso machine, blender, and coffee grinder from KitchenAid.

Mark & Graham’s got several chic serving trays, pitchers and throw blankets that can be personaliz­ed in a variety of fonts.

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 ?? OTHERLAND VIA AP ?? Otherland’s Manor House Weekend Fall candle collection features scents like sweet hay, corn silk, pear, cardamom and maple – a perfect welcoming gift for friends moving into a new home this fall.
OTHERLAND VIA AP Otherland’s Manor House Weekend Fall candle collection features scents like sweet hay, corn silk, pear, cardamom and maple – a perfect welcoming gift for friends moving into a new home this fall.

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