A few months ago, we received an invitation to a “Renovation Reveal Party” given by friends who purchased a three story, modern home in the Los Angeles suburbs. We were always taught that protocol dictates that you never arrive at anyone’s home empty-handed. So, imagine how flummoxed we were when trying to decide what gift we should bring to honor this particular occasion.
Normally we would bring a nice bottle of wine or flowers for dinner invitations. This was something more, so we felt it deserved a more personal and thoughtful tribute. We were determined to search for something with meaning that would tell a story and be a conversation piece for future social events in their new space.
So what did we know about our hosts?
Musicians and Music Lovers
Both are musicians of respectable skill with infrequent gigs in the Los Angeles area. Music is definitely a passion for this couple, so we decided that something tied to this art was definitely a possibility.
Our hosts are also foodies, like we are, so they would appreciate a new culinary tool or treat that they don’t already own.
Our third category was guided by the fact that both of our hosts have work-from-home offices and a gift for these rooms was most certainly an option.
Where did we decide to shop?
We ventured onto UncommonGoods, a website introduced to us by a realtor friend who ordered from it frequently to purchase housewarming gifts for her clients. At first we were a bit overwhelmed with all of the various shopping “dimensions”:
- Shop by Recipient
- Shop by Occasion
- Shop by Interest
- Shop by Category
Each “dimension” had about twenty more categories from which to choose. Nonetheless, we decided to look at ALL of the categories and were able to filter our choices down to the following items below, based on our hosts’ interests. Given the uniqueness of the website’s collection of products, exploring the site was an enjoyable experience, as it fulfilled a sense of discovery.
Gifts for Musicians and Music Lovers
This was perhaps the most intriguing category, as we had never seen so many interesting items, many of which could be personalized.
This doormat can be personalized with text displayed across the “speaker grill”. The maximum number of characters is 16. Be sure to view customer submitted photos to get a better sense of size and uses. NOTE: The doormat DOES NOT come with a pair of Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers, as photographed.
This wall timepiece is handmade from upcycled vinyl records. You can choose from four pre-selected music genres:
Commemorate a special moment or achievement with this personalized vinyl LP wall art inspired by the look and feel of golden oldies. It’s made from an upcycled vinyl LP that’s finished in a brilliant gold hue and suspended between two pieces of glass in a floating frame. You can personalize an “artist name” and an “album title”. For extra points add five custom text titles of your song list
Perfect for someone whose ideal afternoon might look something like: soft guitar playing; a cup of tea; and a can’t-put-down novel. These bookends are handmade from recycled wood designs, and contain a “serial number”, similar to what you would find inside a real acoustic guitar.
This cheese board lets you pay homage to classic vinyl and delicious hors d’oeuvres. Designed to look like a record player, the turntable platter is actually made of slate. The “needle” is actually a hidden wire cheese slicer.
Gifts for Those Who Work From Home
A unique and stylish way to conceal your spirits. Made from reclaimed library books, this handsome tome sits on your desk or bookshelf. It’s 5 o’clock somewhere!
Lightweight, stylish and always available – what more can you ask for in a phone charger. Never be without “juice” again… you’re wearing it!
An amazingly effective gift during flu season that most people would not think to purchase for themselves. Stay healthy while keeping your battery charged.
Functional and smart. Use your phone while it is charging. These are handmade (think unique) from New Hampshire from actual rocks that are reclaimed from New England Beaches.
If your home office takes you to the beach or other tropical settings, make sure you have power for both your phone and tablet. Equipped with a microprocessor for optimizing energy, this is perfect for travels abroad, and outdoor events.
Count the precious moments from a single event with a time “capsule”. This is a truly unique gift for someone who has journeyed on a life changing event, such as launching a business or unveiling a renovation.
Gifts for Foodies
Wow! A more efficient way to make an omelet each morning! Handmade by craftsmen from Texas, this stoneware, clay, dish is microwave, oven and dishwasher safe.
So, for years we have been doing this all wrong: wooden skewers through the food often stick to the meat, causes food to fall through the grill or are difficult to dislodge on the plate. Enter the Kabob grilling basket, which makes the task of rotating your kabobs easier, while keeping food intact for more even cooking and hassle-free plating.
Stylish, professional tools for the grill master! A great gift for anyone with a new outdoor grill or a love of outdoor camping.
As the evening sun sets on the party, liven it up with wood fire, charcoal or gas grilled popcorn. Enjoy a light, fluffy batch of steamed kernels in 4-5 minutes in the backyard or during a camping trip.
The gift that lasts after you’ve eaten it. A lollipop of lavender-lemongrass on a seed-filled stick can be planted to grow a lavender plant. The rosemary and mint lollipop stick, when planted, grows a mint bush. There are eight delicious and inventive flavors in a set.
So which one do you think we chose? Let us know in the comments below.
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