Housewarming Rules of Engagement

16 Oct

A friend of mine hosted a lovely housewarming party last night. She’s lived in the place for over two years now but she just finished a massive renovation and has been in living under construction for the past 14 months. So, it was time to party! Her approach was perfect: proper printed invitations,  fresh flowers in every nook of the place, tasty food and great company. Despite this perfection, I left the party a bit annoyed. Not because the party wasn’t fun but because I saw too many people pop in with not so much as a card in hand. No plants, no wine, nothing. How disappointing…

Friends, people with style entertain well and appreciate those who entertain. It’s important to never show up empty-handed. Whatever gesture you choose should be thoughtful and personal and need not be expensive. Sometimes a nicely written note on your best stationery is enough! For example, I know that my friend loves the Cape and Islands so I brought her a bottle of wine from the Nantucket vineyard (the wine isn’t that yummy actually, but you see where I am going with this…)

Stumped for ideas? You don’t want to look cheap but you also don’t want to show up to someone’s open house acting as though it is Christmas in July. Here are some ideas that fit the bill…

Eats – New to the city? Try giving a gift certificate to a local restaurant. I always find the reviews on a helpful guide:

Errand Queen – People are busy and sometimes a little help is a god send. I LOVE the idea of giving someone a gift certificate for errand running. These businesses are popping up like daisies all over Boston but Whaddya Need?  has been getting rave reviews. Check it out.

Leafy things – Bringing a gift of a plant or flowers is always a nice gesture. A few things to remember…first, if you bring a plant, make it a low maintenance plant. No one wants to be a plant murderer so keep the pretty orchids at bay…low light, low maintenance plants are the best bet. Another thing? Present it in a pot…finished product, please. As for flowers? Keep the colors in line with the hosts decor/style. These aren’t flowers for you, they are flowers for them. Trying keeping the bouquets small and tidy as well. Large arrangements require work and also put pressure on the host to put it front and center. Check out Twig, Winstons Flowers and Fresco Flowers for high quality product and design.

Pretty things – Then there are other pretty things – so many pretty things! Try candles (no color please!), “thank you” stationery, pretty napkins, bright-colored cooking utensils, cookbooks and packaged soaps.  Three of my favorite shops in Boston are Flat of the Hill , Hudson and Tour De France.

WINE – a good bottle of wine is a good gift – enough said. BUT please present it in a gift bag.

Have fun at the party!


Style Girl


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