Little Luxuries: 16 Easy Upgrades For Household Items


Think about the things in your house that you touch every day—from the moment you wake up (alarm clock, coffee cup) to the moment you go to sleep (pillow, water glass).

Do those items make your life happier and your home more beautiful? Notice how you feel every time you reach for that chipped coffee mug or curl up in a throw blanket that has seen better days. Then imagine how you’d feel if your home were filled with items that are high on style and function.

If the stuff you use every day is worn out, difficult to use, or just plain ugly, it could be depleting your energy, putting you in a negative mood or making your days more hectic. How’s that for a good excuse for a little retail therapy? If it’s time for you to make some upgrades around your house, check out these luxe versions of the household items we use most often.

1. Wake-up Light

Sure, your smartphone can double as an alarm clock, but you spend the rest of the day at the mercy of your phone’s beeping and flashing. Make mornings more serene by waking up to the sound of chirping birds and sunlight (or at least high-tech facsimiles of them). Philips, $100


2. Jonathan Adler Carnaby Arches Mugs

You don’t have to get rid of your mug from your alma mater or the “#1 Mom” coffee cup your son gave you 10 years ago, but you also don’t have to use them every day. Sip in style with colorful ceramic mugs from designer Jonathan Adler’s Carnaby collection. Jonathan Adler, $18


3. Teak Shower Organizer

Turn your shower into a mini spa by storing cleansers and loofahs on a pretty and durable teak rack. Aqua Teak, $70

4. 3-Bottle Chrome Shower Dispenser

Ban messy bottles in your shower and keep things organized even behind closed doors (or curtains, as the case may be) by installing this chrome dispenser for shampoo and conditioner. Bed Bath & Beyond, $40 


5. Oscar de la Renta Robe 

You probably wear your bathrobe more often than those designer peep toes you had to have, so why shouldn’t your robe be just as stylish and well made? Bloomingdale’s, $178

6. Real Simple Slimine Hangers

Say goodbye to mismatched plastic hangers and metal leftovers from the dry cleaner. Stock up on a closet-full of these sleek hangers to save rack space and prevent clothes from slipping. Bed Bath & Beyond, $30 for 50

7. Topsy-Turvy Jewelry Box

Spend less time searching for your favorite bangles or statement necklace when all of your jewels are stashed in a box that is as pretty as the stuff inside it. Anthropologie, $298


8. Claudia Mirrored Vanity Desk & Seat

How much more fun would getting dressed be if you had a pretty perch for applying makeup and styling hair? Even if you don’t have a dedicated dressing room, you can set up a ladylike vanity in a corner of your bedroom or home office. Horchow, $999 for vanity, $469 for seat


9. AICO Hollywood Swank Creamy Pearl Desk Chair

Nothing can spoil your décor faster than unattractive office furniture. Make your den a stylish retreat with a grand, tufted armchair. Paying bills and signing permission slips just got a whole lot more glamorous. Furniture Crate, $1,159

10. Sonos Wireless Speaker

Banish unsightly wires and bulky iPod docks, and replace them with one wireless speaker that can pipe tunes into any room in the house with a tap of your finger. Sonos, $199


11. Emile Henry Olive Oil Cruet

Most recipes call for a splash of EVOO, but who needs a bulky bottle sitting on the counter all the time? Upgrade to an understated cruet that keeps olive oil accessible and maintains freshness by blocking light. Emile Henry, $34

12. Cashmere Throw Blanket 

Make movie night even cozier with soft, luxurious throws. Choose from a rainbow of colors to accent any décor scheme, and add monograms to designate a blanket for each member of the family. Williams Sonoma, $249


13. Wildon Home Taylor Wooden Laundry Basket 

Keep whites and brights separated and stashed neatly until laundry day in a handsome wooden hamper. Dirty clothes never looked so good., $133

14. Pisano Antique Switch Plate Cover

A finely decorated room deserves switch plate and outlet covers to match. Ditch standard plastic covers for charming vintage-inspired plates. House of Antique Hardware, $25

15. Goose-Down Pillows 

If you spend a third of your life in bed, you may as well be comfortable there. Sink into a good night’s sleep with 350-thread count, down-filled pillows. Available in different sizes and firmness levels. Cuddledown, $249-579


16. Juliska Isabella Bedside Carafe

Instead of stumbling to the kitchen for a midnight sip of water, be prepared with a beautiful bedside carafe filled that’s as pretty as it is practical. Gracious Home, $135


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