How to choose gifts to grace a new home

INVITED to a house-warming party? What is a girl to do? When it comes to gift-giving occasions, a house-warming party ranks among the best.

Not only is a carefully chosen present for your host a tangible way of sending good wishes, it can be fun to shop for.

Roberta Caon of Firehouse, a gift shop in Dunkeld West, says that when someone has a new home, it is courteous to bring a gift on your first visit.

"Whether you're buying a house-warming gift for a couple who are moving into their first home or their fifth, gift buying should be fun.

When choosing a gift for a house-warming party, you should first look back to when you moved into your own home and ask yourself these questions," Caon says.

l What kinds of things did you need or want? What gifts did you receive?

l Which gifts did you like and which gifts did you not like? If you haven't moved into your first home you can ask yourself similar questions to help decide what to buy. Such as: What would I like?

'What wouldn't I like? Then think about the person you are buying for. What are their interests? Do they have a "theme" in the kitchen, lounge, dining room and so on? Also check to see if they are registered anywhere. These questions should be your base for choosing just the right house-warming gift."

House-warming gifts

Food is a great option as a house-warming gift: "There is so much work involved in moving and setting up house that anyone will welcome a simple dish or full dinner as a break from all the work," Caon says.

She adds that you can opt for various household accessories, like curtains, a doormat, cushion covers, tablecloth, showpieces and so on. In case of curtains and so on, make sure they go with the overall décor of the new house.

Alternatively, look at a beautiful custom-made doorstop. Items like antique showpieces and exotic centrepieces are a great option. Plants are also an idea. You can give plants in ceramic pots, their size depending on the size of the rooms.

You can opt for aromatic candles, along with brass candleholders. Unique ceramics from Imiso are a good idea. Paintings and hangings work well and a wall mirror for a special place in the house will be appreciated.

Picture frames are another option. For a casual home, choose wood, pewter, bamboo or glass frame and for a more formal setting go for a crystal or silver frame and the intriguing Avoova ostrich-egg mosaics from Cape Originals. Appliances - a TV set, fridge, washing machine or food processor - are also options.

Don't know their colour scheme or taste in decor? Don't take a chance! A gift card will always be appreciated.

What to avoid at all costs

l Do not recycle things you've received from someone else. You're bound to be found out.

l Don't bring any plants but the freshest.

l Don't take something that you'd love but your friend wouldn't.

l Never offer a pet. Chances are, if your friends wanted a pet, they'd have one.

l Be careful with food. If you're known for making something special and delicious, great. But think about the lifestyle of the recipient.

Don't take alcohol if you know they don't drink. Don't take a yummy dessert if they're on a diet. You get the picture.