Summer’s Most Fabulous Hostess Presents

18 terrific gifts guaranteed to snag you a return invite.

Off for a weekend visiting your pal’s spread on the Vineyard, up in Maine, or out in the Hamptons? Lucky you! Just remember—your mother was right about the First Rule of Good Guesting: Never arrive empty-handed. Sure, your hosts will say they don’t need anything. That doesn’t mean they won’t be delighted when you show up on their doorstep with one of these gifts, a big smile, and an offer to: a) empty the dishwasher, b) throw in a towel wash, c) run to the market, or, ideally, d) all three. 

Tray Chic

Your hostess will flip for one of these Lucite trays from Jonathan Adler, available in lots of psychedelic, graphic prints and colors, with the option to monogram. Don’t forget one for yourself! $106+

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Say Cheese & Thank You
Dobbs Ferry; (914) 591-6277;


Posh Picnicking

Nothing says summer like eating outdoors. Arrive bearing this crisp navy-and-white Chevron Wicker Picnic Basket—and some lunch fixings from your favorite gourmet shop—and you’ll all get to relax and enjoy the pleasures of feasting en plein air. Includes four place settings. $128

C. Wonder
White Plains; (914) 289-1500;

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Knot Your Mother’s Vases

Pop a bouquet of fresh-picked flowers into one of these Leave Me Knot ceramic vases with natural-rope detailing. Your hostess will enjoy the vase—and remember your thoughtfulness—long after the bloom is off the roses. $48, $65, and $189

Milieu Home Goods

Mamaroneck; (914) 315-6090;

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Glass, Plus

Instead of the traditional frog, these gorgeous hand-blown Bead Bud Vases by Rhode Island glass artist Tracy Glover feature colorful glass beads in either globe or teardrop shapes that secure a single blossom within a clear glass cylinder (6 or 9 inches tall). Choice of 16 colors; one or two beads. Made to order. $72+

Sheridan Interiors 
Wilton, CT; (203) 762-2888  

Tasty Toss-Up

This stunning Peony Salad Serving Set from Julia Knight is enamel on stainless steel, and—always a big plus—dishwasher-safe. Shown here in Ice Pink, it’s available in 10 other colors, including Snow and Kiwi. Pair with some just-picked veggies from a local farmer’s stand for an especially fresh offering. $98

Chappaqua; (914) 238-1900
Katonah; (914) 401-9600;


Candles in the Wind & Guest House

We were kind of over the whole candle thing until we discovered Lafco’s clever House & Home Collection, a fave of Oprah and other celebs. With gorgeous, hand-blown glass vessels, generous burn times, and scents specially selected for each kind of summer home and space, there’s always room for a Daffodil/Guest Room, French Lilac/Pool House, and Cilantro Orange/Kitchen candle. Mix and match for a unique set. $59.95/candle

Say Cheese & Thank You
Dobbs Ferry; (914) 591-6277;


Sophisticated Snacking

Who doesn’t adore Michael Aram? The designer’s sleek Molten Double Snack Bowl Set—a pair of stainless-steel bowls on an acacia-wood base—is just the thing for nibbles come cocktail hour. $109

White Plains; (914) 684-6300;


Mangia Bene!

This delizioso Taste of Tuscany presents all the Italian gourmet foods you need for an unforgettable feast for four, including hors d’œuvres and entrée. Packaged in a bright green colander are pasta, gourmet salts, duo formaggi sauce, caperberries in prosecco, tomato-olive spread, and crackers. $125

Holbrook Cottage
Briarcliff Manor; (914) 944-0734;


Crush It

IMUSA’s Lava Rock Molcajete—a Mexican version of the mortar and pestle—is perfect for making and serving a savory salsa or guacamole or grinding up fresh herbs. And because it’s made from natural volcanic lava rock that extracts essential oils from ingredients, it seasons and imparts more flavor each time it is used. Present with ripe avocados, tomatoes, and onions. $59.99




Come bearing this lightweight, insulated Blue Trellis Wine and Cheese Cooler from Picnic at Ascot and you can start planning your return visit. Includes a cutting board, cheese knife, and corkscrew; you add the vino, cheese, and your always-sparkling company.
Monogramming complimentary. $45

Rye; (914) 967-2910

Have a Ball

Come prepared for fun and games with this colorful Henley Brands Bocce Set. The natural canvas carrying case includes a wooden ball platform and resin balls in bright orange, green, blue, and red. $119.95

Crate & Barrel
White Plains; (914) 682-0900;


Beach Bucket List

These colorful containers from the Macbeth Collection—with more than 200 modern prints and bright colors available for customization—are fun to give and receive. Stuffed with sunscreen, towels, or other summer essentials for an extra-thoughtful gift. $48

Rye; (914) 967-2910

Say Cheese & Thank You   
Dobbs Ferry; (914) 591-6277;

Coasters Gone Wild

Another one of those things a hostess can never have too many of? Clever coasters. These Lucite ones by Alexandra Von Furstenberg—shown here in leopard and also offered in zebra—inject some always-in-style animal-print whimsy to any gathering. $95 (set of four)

Nest Inspired Home
Rye; (914) 921-6378;


Cutting Edge

You can never have enough serving pieces and these Vietri cake and pie servers, with delicate flecks of 18-karat gold, are simply elegant. Present with a home-baked pie or cake for (lots of) extra credit. $77 each; $154 for the set 

Holbrook Cottage
Briarcliff Manor; (914) 944-0734;

Shake It Up, Baby

It’s five o’clock somewhere in the world—so let this whimsical Martini collection help get the festivities started. Designed by J. Fleet in Pleasantville and handmade in Vietnam, these chic, lacquered-wood trays and bowls are heat-resistant, waterproof, and table-friendly for all foods. $93 to $165

The Silk Road 
Bronxville; (914) 337-2177;



Something special for the busy hostess to enjoy when her guests are otherwise occupied (or departed), this charming Savor the Scents gift basket includes gentle Provence butterfly soap, soothing lavender lotion, and lightly perfumed butterfly-and-lavender wax sachets. Be sure to entertain yourself so she can indulge. $110

Holbrook Cottage
Briarcliff Manor; (914) 944-0734;


Pillow Talk

Pillows are the T-shirts of the home, and we can’t get enough of New Ro native Alexandra Ferguson’s fab recycled-felt-appliquéd ones sporting pithy sayings like “It’s Beautiful Here,” “I Love This Place,” and “Beach House”—perfect for house-proud hosts. $87 to $97

Current Home 
Scarsdale; (914) 723-2462;


Flapjacks From the Farm

The small-batch, artisanal contents of this yummy Catskill Provision basket come direct from a Catskills farm. Included is organic pancake and waffle mix, fresh maple syrup, and wildflower honey—you could even offer to cook and serve it all up. $49

Domestic Dry Goods Company
Rye Brook; (914) 481-4822;

Our Westchester Home Design Awards event is June 26!

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