What better way to shop than to hear from the experts? Here, the Bustle Shop team speaks with Katie Hunt, co-founder of innovative retailer Showfields, to curate a list of housewarming gifts that are anything but boring. Best of all? You can click “add to cart” directly from this article.
My partner and I just moved to a new apartment, and all I can think about is what’s missing. I keep a notepad and Sharpie in my living room to document this endless stream of needs and wants: “step can for kitchen,” “doormat,” and “twine for recycling boxes” have quickly given way to “new throw pillow covers?” “planters?” and “plants for planters???”
What this is all about, of course, is making one’s house into a home.
When you move to a new place, you want to fill it with meaningful memories and things. That’s why buying housewarming gifts for someone else can be so tricky. A just-right gift is beautiful, functional, and inherently infused with meaning — a warm reminder of the person who chose it and the moment in time. But short of peeking at the recipient’s Sharpie-smeared notepad, how do you decide what they need or want? It feels so personal!
To crack this case, we spoke with Katie Hunt, co-founder and Chief Innovations Officer of Showfields — aka “the most interesting store in the world,” with physical locations in New York City and Miami.
“I have an unfair advantage when it comes to sourcing gifts,” admits Hunt. “I spend the majority of my time looking for the most interesting, mission-driven, well-made brands for our stores.”
Her philosophy for housewarming gifts mirrors her approach to selecting inventory at Showfields, which features dedicated curations of brands that are BIPOC-founded, female-founded, cruelty-free, and more: “I like to bring something that has a larger story and mission, and to curate that gift based on something that they are passionate about,” she says.
See below for her cheat sheet of truly unique gifts for everyone in your life. Hot tip: Not only are they all under $150, but you can shop them directly from this article.
We only include products that have been independently selected by Bustle’s editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
For The Dog Parent
If the recipient’s Instagram Stories are jam-packed with pet videos, you already know the fastest way to gain their favor: a gift that honors their dog’s place in their home (and their heart). Go for elevated essentials, like a two-month supply of compostable poop bags from Dogdrop or pet-friendly macarons from Bonne Et Filou (yes, I called them essential). If you have a bit more budget, Hunt also hand-selected this unreasonably cute dog bed from Design Dua that they won’t need to hide away when guests arrive. (French bulldog not included, unfortunately.)
For The Candle Lover
A candle can be thoughtful if you shop with a mission. There are three strategies you can employ to make this gift memorable: shop small (we love Black-owned brand Harlem Candle Co.), shop sustainably (like the Siblings set below, which allows you to pour your candle into a vessel you already own), and personalize where possible (see Taja’s Casa Candle, which allows you to personalize the label and engrave the lid).
For The Foodie
Food gifts have more of a shelf life than you think — a one-time gift might just turn into a new pantry staple. “A gift is an incredible opportunity to introduce a friend or family member to a brand that you love and want to support,” says Hunt. “Who knows? Those allergy-free cookies started by a mom in her kitchen... might end up being a mainstay in someone's new home for years to come.”
Hunt recommends these unique (and beautifully packaged) gifts for foodies, all from small brands that have wellness in mind: chocolate granola with ashwagandha from Sakara; kelp pasta from AKUA; an Ayurvedic supplement from Kola Goodies Inc.; and a family pack of those gluten-free, vegan, and allergy-friendly cookies from Partake. Go luxe with a trio of high-antioxidant olive oils from Tuscany via Olio Piro, or treat them to an 8-pack of vegan gelato from Sacred Serve, which boasts unique flavors like Saffron Chai Spice and Matcha Mint Chip.
For The Designer
What do you buy the person with an impeccably curated home? No need to pick out extravagant decor, as they’ve clearly got that covered. Reach for items that add value and warmth to their new place. House plants are always welcome (like this adorable kit from Rooted); build on the gift with accoutrements like colorful planters in their color scheme of choice (like the set Hunt chose from Palette Pots). Alternatively, buy them a piece of practical art, like a round21 table tennis paddle designed by Latinx Miami-based artist Lola Blu.
For The Friend With A Sense Of Humor
Gifting personal-care items can be a bit of a minefield, but for the right person, an utterly practical gift rooted in bathroom humor is just the ticket. It doesn’t get more highbrow-lowbrow than premium 100% bamboo TP from a brand called Who Gives A Crap; if that’s a bridge too far, try “forest-friendly” tissues from the same brand or something interactive like a (tasteful!) boob-themed puzzle from Jiggy.
For The Tea and Coffee Drinker
Whether you’re looking to gift a get-up-and-go type or the “self-care Sunday” friend, Hunt has a few lovely finds she carries at Showfields. Try a variety pack from Woken (a brand making single-serve espresso in compostable packaging) or luxurious loose-leaf teas from Alexandra Winbush. Get extra points by throwing in a cool, minimalist mug set for optimal enjoyment, like the Rigby Home set of four below.