Some of my favorite little things for the home include cloth napkins, heavy flatware, a layered bed, nice glassware, fancy hardware, low lighting, and candles. Fortunately, these little daily luxuries don’t cost very much and many just require an initial investment and basically last forever. Having little luxuries like these help me stick to my budget because they are mini-reminders that just because I’m making more cost-conscious choices, I never have to feel like I’m doing without.
I love using cloth napkins because they make every meal feel a bit more special and they are much better for the environment than disposable ones. I’ve purchased almost all of mine from antique or vintage stores and, even though they are technically second-hand, they were never used before. Just-like-new for less, and they last quite awhile. We reserve the prettiest ones for guests and use heavy cotton or linen ones for everyday.
I realize most people already have some flatware, but it always seems such a shame to me when people use disposable plastic-ware for company because they don’t have enough of the the real ones. You can find beautiful flatware sets at stores for good prices, or wonderful old pieces at second-hand stores for pennies. They don’t have to match. I love a good mismatched place setting of lovely flatware myself. If you find yourself resorting to plastic, consider investing a few dollars in some flatware at Goodwill or an antique shop. Or save up and purchase a matching set you will use for the rest of your life.
I shared my recent bedding upgrade here. I think a layered, cozy bed is a must. The easiest thing to do is invest in a neutral or white sheet set that you can use in any season. Then, add a comforter, a couple pillows that feel perfect to you, and a blanket or two. Over time, add a bed skirt, a duvet cover, and some decorative throw pillows. You may be able to re-use or re-purpose other items and fabrics from your home.
Like plastic flatware, plastic cups at parties make me sad. A delicious drink or yummy wine looses some of its pizazz in a disposable cup. Like flatware, glassware doesn’t have to match and it doesn’t have to be new. Some of the coolest tumblers I’ve found are leftover relics from the 1950s. Keep your eye out for bargains and don’t be afraid to gather an eclectic mix over time. Alternatively, Ikea also has very affordable glass ware. It pays to spend less on glass ware, because it will inevitably break at some point and then you don’t have to worry about the value of the broken items.
Yesterday I shared my love for posh light-switch plates. I think little luxurious touches like these really give a home personality, and they are not terribly expensive. I recently splurged on two new knobs for my linen closet; a little porcelain frog and owl. They make me smile every time I go to get a towel or change the bed sheets. And they will live on my closet doors forever, so it was truly an investment that will last. Aren’t they cute?
Lighting can make or break a space. Nothing kills a warm and cozy ambiance like harsh overhead lighting. Like the other items on this list, you can spend as little or as much as you want and basically get the same effect. Essentially, you just need a few lighting options for each room. In my living room, I have a table lamp and a floor lamp on opposite sides of the room. This gives us a lot of options when we have people over for creating the perfect mood. My husband recently installed a dimmer switch on our dining room light and it has made a world of difference. We can lower the light for meals and turn it brighter for tasks.
This goes along with low lighting. The last thing I do before we have guests over is light a few candles. It really adds a warm and homey touch. I also love to have a large scented candle on my coffee table to light in the evenings. The scent makes me happy.
Do you have little everyday luxuries that add to your life?