Home Ownership

Gift List 2017: 13 great gifts for renters

Spread a little bit of that traditional holiday cheer with any one of these gifts. The best part? When they move they can take it with them!

One of the biggest knocks on renting is that you lack the opportunity to really restructure your home to make it more suitable for you and your lifestyle. But that doesn’t mean you can’t adapt your rental unit. This holiday season, we’re turning your loved one’s rental unit into a lived-in-and-loved nest with some amazing holiday gift ideas. Check out our list of the 13 best gifts for renters this holiday season.

1. Terrarium kit ($13+):
great gifts for renters - DIY terrarium kit

Terrariums are an easy way to add a statement piece around the home, without having to make any big changes. The best part is that it also doubles as a fun afternoon activity. Take this DIY kit for instance, which is the perfect gift for someone who is both crafty and in need of some additional home decor this season.

2. Waxed planter lavender grow kit ($18):
great gifts for renters - waxed lavender kit

Whether you’re living in a shoebox in the sky or in a walk-up with no backyard access, these mini-grow kits are a great way for your friend to start cultivating their green thumb. Not only is this a practical gift but the packaging doubles as the perfect statement piece for just about any home. Sold through Indigo, you can also get Spruce, Poinsettia, Poppy and Forget Me Nots. 

3. The Roasters Pack ($27+):
great gifts for renters - coffee club

Coffee lovers of the world, rejoice! The Roasters Pack is a monthly subscription service that sources all sorts of coffee beans and sends them straight to your door. This is perfect for the friend who loves to get mail and enjoys that extra-special cup of fresh cup of coffee. Any would-be barista would be proud of this gift.

4. Raise the bar glassware ($35):
great gifts for renters - Drake Hotel Toronto

Especially if this is your friend’s first place, a new set of glassware is a great gift that can accompany your loved ones from home to home. Go the extra mile, and literally “raise the bar” with these glasses from the Drake General Store. Vodka, gin, whisky, or water – take your pick.

5. Mobile smart TV ($35+):
best gifts for renters - smart TV

Help make someone’s unit become a bit smarter with a mobile TV unit that’s good to go. Options include the Roku, Amazon’s Fire Stick and Google’s Chromecast. These HDTV streaming sticks allow renters, who can’t be bothered with cable television, to stream straight from Netflix, Youtube, Amazon Prime and other free or paid services. Make sure you pick a unit that works best with your pal’s lifestyle. For instance, Google’s Youtube channel will no longer work on Amazon’s Fire Stick as of 2018 (there’s a big feud between these two companies), while the Chromecast forces you to use an app on your smartphone or tablet as a remote. 

6. Pyramid incense burner ($37):
great gifts for renters

Help your friend’s home smell as delightful as possible. An incense burner is not only an awesome way to fill a home with fragrant smells but it can serve as its own statement piece. This pyramid-shaped one from CB2 is a chic statement for any renter’s home.

7. Google Home Mini ($40+):
great gifts for renters - Google Home Mini

“Google, help me find the perfect holiday housewarming gift…” The Google Home is the latest addition to the tech giant’s suite of life-changing products, and it makes for the perfect gift for any renter or homeowner. It helps to set to-do lists, play music, tell the weather, and even knows a joke or two. This is the perfect way to help a new homeowner, with a to-do list as long as their arm, keep everything in order.

8. Smart outlets ($40+):
great gifts for renters

Smart outlets connect to your home’s wifi so that you can control your light bulbs or any other simple electronic device with your smartphone. Smart outlets work by plugging into a regular wall socket and then allow you to control a paired electrical device. Plus, many are now compatible with various Smart Home AI systems, such as Google Home. 

9. Music where you need it, without the wires ($50+):
great gifts for renters - Sonos wireless speaker

Remember what we said about music? If your friend’s place is bigger than just one room you may want to consider a Bluetooth or Wifi enabled speaker. While most wireless speakers rely on Bluetooth, the Sonos brand relies on Wifi (but start at $249). This allows the user to place a speaker in each room that can play different audio options in each room. Think podcast in one room, radio in another and your favourite tune in another room. Most speakers can be controlled through apps installed on your tablets, smartphones or computers. Buy more than just one speaker, and turn your friend’s apartment into an amphitheatre in a hurry.

10. Say hello to freshness and a home-cooked meal! ($74+):
great gifts for renters - HomeFresh

It’s hard to stock a fridge. Do you buy for the week and then throw out food? Or buy each day and run the risk of racking up your take-out or food delivery bill? If you have a friend who struggles with this dilemma than consider getting that special someone a subscription to Hellofresh, which is a meal kit subscription service that comes pre-portioned, and ready to cook! Help them stretch their culinary imagination, without raising their overall food bill.

11. Transportable record player ($119):
great gifts for renters - portable vinyl record player

What’s a home without a little bit of music? A record player is not only an awesome way to enjoy music but serves as an excellent conversation starter. This unit from Urban Outfitters can easily become a fantastic piece for any side table, coffee table, or countertop. Better still, it comes with its own carrying case making it easier to move from one spot to the next (and pack up and take to the next unit, if necessary). Time to dust off those old Christmas records when you give the gift of a vinyl record player.

12. Woolrich blanket ($162+):

The more blankets, the merrier! These Woolrich blankets have been in production for more than a hundred years, so you know they’re worth it. Your friends can wrap themselves up nicely, or they can simply use this blanket as a statement piece in any room. All Woolrich blankets add a touch of cozy even to the most pristine condo or apartments because they are equal parts practical and stylish. What a combination!

13. IKEA gift card ($??):
great gifts for renters - Ikea gift card

Organizational solutions are always en vogue, especially during the holiday season. Whether they have a storage locker or not, a gift card to IKEA can help your friends find more containers and other organizational solutions. That way, from cupboards to drawers to closets, everything can be kept in tidy, tip-top shape.

Pick any one of these 13 holiday home gift ideas for the renter in your life and your sure to stay in your holiday budget while still spreading some cheer. 

Max Specht
Max Specht

Nothing makes Max Specht happier than telling people where to go and what to do—and not in an authoritative sense. He prides himself on being a tour guide par excellence and has the recommendations to prove it.