Photo: Courtesy of Uncommon Goods

Your host is having you over for a reason – their abode is lovely and well furnished for a fabulous night away from home. But it’s just plain rude to show up empty handed.

Zee Krstic
July 05, 2017

It goes without saying that a lot goes on behind the scenes before one opens their doors to family, friends, or even first-time acquaintances. But we all know that a host wouldn’t extend an invite without having the best possible “face” on, so to say, and that means having all the bells and whistles of the hallmarks of a great interior.

What, then, do you bring for a host who has graciously invited you into their well-curated home? Gifts and tokens of appreciation for a overnight stay can be tricky: you might be meeting your host for the first time, and getting anything personal seems like a gamble compared to the safety of a candle or generic pre-packaged potpourri.

According to Newsweek, the most-returned and least-loved gifts are those that tend to be on the generic wavelength with a nod to how practical the item may be.

Buying kitschy items for the kitchen that aren’t specific enough for a practical usage is a big no-no. Something as personal as jewelry is hard for a generic host gift given that they feel obligated to wear the piece, even if it doesn’t quite line up with their tastes. The same is definitely true for clothing.

And while an upscale bottle of pressed olive oil or imported vinegar sounds lovely for hosts with a culinary gift, it doesn’t always transport well from point A to point B (you’d cry if it spills all over your luggage).

The first step to nailing a useful and appreciated gift for a receptive host or hostess is understanding that their home is most likely complete with objects according to their taste – whatever you buy, they will probably already have or won’t explicitly need.

The question you need to be asking yourself is how can your chosen item or gift introduce a new take on housewares or kitchen items that your host might not have encountered yet. The perfect balance between a unique, singular item and a gift that is useful in some aspect will do wonders for any host, regardless if they’re home and kitchen are already perfect as is.

1) Hedley & Bennett Dinner Napkins

Photo: Courtesy of Hedley & Bennett

Dinner napkins are something that every great host will have – and frequently replace, given the messes and stains that eventually degrade even the best linens. These bold pomegranate dinner napkins are inspired by the hues of Cuban culture and are made of a sturdy linen-cotton blend. And we guarantee that your host will appreciate the bold red color that they might not have bought for themselves.

2) Seed-Printed Fruity Glass Tumblers

Photo: Courtesy of Uncommon Goods

Glassware is another household item that is used hard, fast and often breaks, needing replacement. But rather than find the fanciest glassware that your host will be afraid to offer other guests given their high price tag, settle for these vibrant tall glasses that are sweet for sipping. The four flavorful fruits featured on the glasses are a fun way for your host to serve cocktails without worrying about damaging glassware, outdoors or in.

3) Urban Outfitters Pressed Floral Glasses

Courtesy of Urban Outfitters.

Is your host not exactly a fruity guy or gal? Try this set of two stout glasses with etched decals inspired by pressed wild flowers. Your host will be guilt-free if one of these shatters into a million pieces as a party foul, and the price is right for a few sets.

4) Williams Sonoma Ice Cream Sandwich Maker

Photo: Courtesy of Williams Sonoma

While we’re sure that all hosts have a few tricks up their sleeves for making hors d’oeuvres come to life, they’ll be thrilled to receive this dandy ice-cream sandwich maker for the sweetest dessert they’ll ever serve their guests. Easily washed and small enough to store in a corner of a cabinet will also earn you points as well.

5) Stein Mart's Gold-Tone Cheese Serving Set

Photo: Courtesy of Macy's

The very first thing you might encounter in your host’s home is a wonderfully attractive plated cheese spread. This gold-plated cheese serving set is a welcome relief for a host given that they might not own more than one cheese platter and certainly wouldn't think of buying another for themselves in the future.

6) Kate Spade Deco Dot Apron

Photo: Courtesy of Kate Spade

The “hostess with the mostest” wouldn’t dream of spilling anything on herself while she is whipping something up for her guests in the kitchen – but if your hostess has an eye for style, maybe this simple yet chic Kate Spade polka dotted apron will be her next go-to cover up in the kitchen.

7) Jonathan Adler Mohawk Salt & Pepper Shakers

Photo: Courtesy of Jonathan Adler

There’s an entire clan of people who absolutely go bananas over a unique set of salt and pepper shakers, and if your host is one of them, then you already know you’ll make their day with this mod Mohawk-themed set right here.

8) Himalayan Salt Tequila Glasses

Photo: Courtesy of Uncommon Goods

This set of shot glasses will be a hit in addition to that bottle of tequila you’ve picked up for the host who enjoys a strong cocktail among friends. The Himalayan salt will add much needed flavor to the tequila and is perfectly reusable and washable as well.

9) Molly M Designs Coasters

Courtesy of Molly M Designs

Coasters can be a cumbersome item on a table – with some artisans choosing to make them out of hard deposits like marble or even stone – but every host will have their go-to set. This set of geometric felt coasters are extremely light and the modern design will immediately draw eyes on any table top.

10) Funboy Yacht Float

Courtesy of Funboy

For the host with the summer digs on a lake or a sprawling backyard complete with much-envied pool, there’s no better gift than a luxurious float they’d be all too happy to show off to all of their future guests. This float is large enough to be called a yacht and even features dual cup holders and a double-reinforced front cooler for ice and a chilled bottle of rosé.