Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer—and the official start of entertaining season. Your schedule is likely booked already with visits to friends and family both near and far, along with get-togethers big and small. Whether it’s a weekend away or an al fresco cocktail party, you’d never show up empty-handed. Instead of your usual bottle of wine, show up with a thoughtful gift that your host will love long after your visit is over. Here are a few ideas that are perfect to keep on-hand for every type of occasion:
A bold print (and optional monogram) elevates to-do lists and daily thoughts, making for a journal they’ll actually want to use. Lightweight and perfectly sized for a purse or tote, you’ll want to order a few different designs to have “in stock” for last-minute invitations.
Treat your favorite hostess to a cozy cashmere blanket that’s the perfect accompaniment to breezy summer evenings (and later, crisp fall nights). Made in Italy, Kravet’s throw is the epitome of high quality: it’s made of 100% cashmere and finished with natural brushing made of thistles.
Topiaries are a favorite hostess gift of Mark D. Sikes. Though he prefers the myrtle variety, any type of sculpted petite potted plant offers beautiful greenery with surprisingly little maintenance. (Just snip branches to preserve the shape, and water regularly.) Lemon cypress is a great choice for summer because of its intense citrus scent and bright color. Send it in advance to your destination to arrive in time for your weekend getaway.
Created by contemporary artist Bethany Collins, this exquisite set of hand-embroidered napkins will become a cherished accessory for future dinner parties.
A truly special set created by heritage candle maker Cire Trudon (which was founded in 1643), this duo features scents that are sure to please even the most particular hostess. The “Josephine” candle, named for Napoleon Bonaparte’s wife, features delicate notes of jasmine, roses, camellias, and irises. The “Cyrnos” candle, named for her Mediterranean villa, is a sunny mix of citrus, thyme, black fig, cedar, and pine.
Covered in a brilliantly hued goatskin and accented with brass, this vintage Italian pitcher is a standout on a buffet or bar cart. The streamlined silhouette of the mid-century design nods to its creator’s roots in the Art Deco era.
This sculptural oval ash wood tray perfectly suits the style of hosts who gravitate towards a modern aesthetic. The simple, light design is inspired by Scandinavian bentwood boxes.
Whether for the kitchen, powder room, or master bathroom, this soap-and-lotion duo will brighten up her day. Made with lemon oil, the set captures the authentic aroma of a citrus grove without being overpowering.
For the pop-culture obsessed host (or their families), this hardcover tome won’t disappoint. At 604 pages, the book features rare behind-the-scenes photos, sketches, and artwork from Episodes IV-VI.
Covered in a luxurious embossed shagreen that’s the color of a twilight sky, this jewelry box is worthy of her vanity. Pair it with an inexpensive bauble from your travels, or perhaps fill it with a few small snapshots for a sentimental gift.