It may seem weird to think about the best housewarming gifts right now—but hang with us. Although the state of birthday parties and baby showers is in limbo, people are still moving to new homes. And that’s a perfect excuse to buy a friend a thoughtful housewarming gift—even if you can’t use said gift as an excuse to drop by and check out the new place. Sending a dependable cast-iron skillet or a powerful-but-compact blender will make you a part of your friend’s new home (and, more important, the meals they cook in it), even when you can’t accept a dinner invitation. Oh, you two are doing that pandemic pod thing? Then arriving with a new set of cloth napkins or flatware will be just the thing. We’ve curated a list of fun yet useful kitchen and tabletop items that will add life to any new space.
Buffalo Check Dinner Napkins
This classic-but-versatile pattern feels at home on the table for any occasion, from summer barbecues to the winter holidays. The black-and-white color palette goes as well with bright, multicolored melamine plates as it does a candlelit wintry tablescape.
Juliska Berry & Thread Loaf Pan
A simple loaf pan is a must-have to make any space cozy (can’t get hygge without warm pumpkin bread, you know?). This pan from Juliska is understated yet elegant with subtle detailing around the top. It’s also oven-, dishwasher-, and freezer-safe, so your pal can use it in ALL of her fancy new appliances.
$52.00, One Kings Lane
Le Creuset Stoneware Shallow Square Covered Baker
This stoneware baking dish from the luxury cookware brand Le Creuset offers a chance to give a classic and homey piece of cookware from a trusted brand—but at a lower price than the classic Dutch oven. The baking dish comes in over 15 different colors and it can be used for Thanksgiving sides, breakfast casseroles, and even one-pot oven dinners.
$60.00, Williams Sonoma
Instant Accu Slim Sous Vide
The Instant Accu Sous Vide may be the best housewarming gift for your more experienced culinary comrades, but it’s simple enough to use that it can easily elevate even the most novice cook’s skills. Explain to your friend that this gadget is perfect for cooking buttery salmon filets and breaking down tough cuts of meat such as a pork shoulder.
Mano Sprinkles Spoon Rest
This handmade spoon rest serves as both a pretty decorative object for your countertops and a landing place for soup-dipped ladles and tomato-sauce coated wooden spoons. It comes in playful sprinkle or polka-dot patterns and the purchase supports a small-business owner.
$28.00, West Elm
There’s power in the basics—especially if you’re giving a housewarming gift to someone moving into their first solo space. Everyone needs a blender, and this one is powerful but tiny—perfect for a friend who makes a single smoothie every morning.
Victoria Cast-Iron Skillet
A cast-iron skillet is perhaps the most essential kitchen workhorse. And Victoria’s is one of the hardiest on the market: It’s virtually indestructible and boasts both even heat distribution as well as heat retention, making it optimal for searing. Give this gift and you’ll see it out on your friend’s stovetop every time you come over, whether they’re sautéing, frying, searing, baking, braising, broiling, or roasting.
Sabre Tortoise Flatware Set
Is flatware a utilitarian gift? Yes. Is it a little weird to choose somebody’s flatware for them? Maybe! But this showstopping cutlery set is anything but bland—and chances are your friends will be grateful for that every time they set the table.
$17.00, Coming Soon
Salt & Pepper Grinders
Salt and pepper grinders are a must in any kitchen. These grinders can hold up to three ounces of seasoning each and are easily refillable. They can also grind at varying degrees of coarseness, meaning you can get large, crunchy bits in your cacio e pepe and fine, delicate specks on your fried egg.
Wooden Salad Bowl
This wave-shaped bowl is generously sized, which is essential for optimal salad tossing. It can be used to spruce up presentation of any kind of salad, or to serve as a centerpiece for a diverse assortment of fruit.
Artisanal Kitchen Supply 15-Inch Pizza Stone
This pizza stone is the unexpected necessity for any saucy pie lover, sure. But it’s also great for avid bakers of any kind. The 15-inch ceramic stone is perfect for evenly cooked oven-baked (or grilled!) pizzas and crusty sourdough loaves, plus it ensures even heat distribution in your oven. The stone is built with sturdy handles, making transferring it from oven to countertop easy.
$40.00, Bed, Bath, and Beyond
Acacia Wood Cutting Board
This classic and sturdy cutting board is truly multifunctional. It’s reversible, so you can go from prepping fruits and veggies to serving an aesthetically pleasing charcuterie board simply by flipping it over. The deep groove around the edge is also ideal for catching juices, preventing them from seeping onto the counter.
Mixed Material Utensil Set
Here’s another great one for beginners. This set covers the bases of all the utensils your friend will need to get started in the kitchen: slotted spoon, a fish spatula, tongs, wooden spoons—and a stainless-steel crock that keeps all the tools in one place.
$47.00, Williams Sonoma
Originally Appeared on Epicurious