Recently a few of my friends have found themselves moving into sweet new pads and I found myself scouring the housewares section for appropriate, we-love-your-new-place gifts. Or in my case, thanks-for-not-minding-Isobel-feeding-your-cat-goldfish-crackers and sorry-for-crying-on-your-patio-and-singing-karaoke-too-loud presents.
I love buying housewarming gifts the most because housewares is my favorite section of any thrift store. Just ask anyone, I have a bit of a bowl problem, and I’m steadily developing a bit of a mug habit as well. House warming gifts allow me to shop for the things I love to shop for without me having to shove my collection of vintage melon ballers aside so I can fit in just… one more… fondue fork…
My friends Dave and Stef moved back home over a year ago and lived with family until finding the perfect place to rent. It’s nearly within sight of the home Anthony lived in shortly after I met him so the area is full of nostalgia for me. My Grandmother lived on that street for a time, too. As an added bonus, it’s within walking distance of a restaurant that reportedly has great margaritas, so if necessary we can go there, get tipsy off cocktails and salsa, and sleep it off on their couch.
I found one half of a knight book end to grace Dave’s D&D shelf, along with this vintage silver plated knight glass for storing drawing pencils (or even–wait for it—drinking). My male friends are always more difficult for me to buy for than my ladyfriends, but in this case I knew he’d be pleased.
Stefanie loves tabletop games and one of her favorites is a card game called Oh Hell. I happened to find a boxed version of the game, still wrapped in the original packaging from 1973. It was sold at Payless, a store we used to have here in the Valley, but who knows where this one came from.
I still can’t walk past vintage Hawaiian souvenir items without thinking of Stefanie, who studied Hawaiian literature and counts the island as one of her favorite places in the world. I loved the bright and vibrant colors of this plate.
Lastly, Stefanie was one of my only friends for whom I’d never made a terrarium before, and that is specifically because of her cat, Bella, whose sole mission in life is to destroy things. She prefers expensive laptop or piano cords, but will never pass up the opportunity to wreak havoc on some poor helpless green and growing thing. Of course, most of my terrariums tend to have an opening at the top which leaves them vulnerable, so when I saw this glass seashell dome, I knew it was perfect present for Stefanie. Take that, Bella!
My friend Scott also found a really sweet place. It has tons of space, a garage with a work bench, and a weird little wooden platform in the middle of the landscaped front yard. As a joke he mentioned how funny it would be if we held little concerts in his front yard and we could all sit in his driveway and watch. What started as a joke became an awesome idea he called “Driveway Cafe,” and for his housewarming party he fenced off the driveway and the front yard and our piano-inclined friends put on a show while we enjoyed a pot luck dinner.
His place really is huge so I went on the hunt for some art for his plain white walls. I found this mounted photo of San Francisco, a place he loves to visit, and secretly hoped he wouldn’t love it so I could keep it for myself. No such luck so I passed it his way.
As a stylish bachelor, I wanted to find Scott serving items he’d actually use, so when I came upon this gorgeous bone-white piece of mid century California Pottery I snapped it up, thinking it would be great for serving crudites or mixed nuts, or just for display. He has a bar cart area so the mid century modern midnight black tray works for that as well.