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Put some thought into housewarming gifts

Published Aug. 28, 2005

A housewarming gift can be the stuff of legend. Do you want to be remembered for the crystal vase or the funky placemats? Something seasonal (anything adorned with snowflakes, pumpkins or wreaths) or everyday?

"The choices are endless, but one thing I wouldn't want to be accused of is adding any more clutter to someone's new home," writes designer Kate Spade in her book Occasions. "I think an early act of kindness is to send someone breakfast and dinner for the first few days at their new place. Instead of having to root around for the coffee maker in the morning, it's so much nicer to get a delivery of fresh coffee and croissants."

Other options? Focus on a room in the house: Pick something for the kitchen or the home office or the powder room. The only limitations are the size of the dwelling.