As I find myself inching closer and closer toward my 30th birthday, I’m more willing to invest in pieces that I know I’ll want to keep for the long haul. My early twenties were full of roommates, moves to new cities, and cramped short-term apartments—whose twenties weren’t? But, having spent the past several years really defining my style and progressing my career, I’m more ready and able to fully commit to certain items that spark major joy.
That said, as much as I love a good splurge now and then, there are some home items that I’ll never rationalize paying extra for, simply because there is just no need. What are such pieces, you may ask? Read on for the scoop.
Coffee Table Books
I’m all for supporting independent booksellers, and I support purchasing coffee table books at these types of retailers if you’re in a bind and need to purchase a specific title right away, or if you want a pristine copy to gift to a friend. But otherwise, there is truly no need to pay the sticker price for a coffee table book.
Over the past few years, I’ve been shopping for such titles on sites like Book Outlet, Marshall’s and TJ Maxx.com, and via other discount retailers—thrift shops and used book stores will often have some gems on hand, too. I have no plans of stopping this habit anytime soon, as hardcover books, especially oversized coffee table books, are pricey, and I’d rather put my hard-earned cash toward a special piece of furniture instead.
Be sure to check a book’s condition—they’re usually classified as ‘excellent,’ ‘like new,’ ‘good,’ or ‘fair’—before ordering from a secondhand website, as you won’t want to be disappointed if a title turns up totally bent or torn. However, this can easily be avoided by quickly scanning the description. Then, kick back and congratulate yourself on several dozens of dollars saved.
I don’t know what it is about me, but my bath and hand towels get so weathered over time. Of course, I’d love to envelope myself in something luxe after getting out of the shower, but I usually find myself purchasing the same low-priced towels over and over again—Target and HomeGoods have great finds for less—because I’ll inevitably ruin one with a nail polish stain or grab one to clean up a spill in the hall.
One day, I’ll become a true adult and learn how to treat my bath linens with care, but for now, going the cheap route seems most conducive to my lifestyle.
Most of the decorative objects that I feature on my built-in shelving are actually quite affordable—my favorite places to shop for such pieces are H&M Home, Zara Home, Target, and TJ Maxx. I’m happy to spend a bit more on showpieces, like special decorative burl wood boxes that I know I’ll cherish for the foreseeable future, but smaller accents can be a bit more trendy.
I’ve found myself gravitating toward such different styles of décor as I’ve aged—for reference, my apartment in 2014 was filled with foo dogs and chinoiserie accents galore, and now I’m all about more modern finds. Fortunately, I never spent too much on any one item and haven’t had major regrets when it comes to decorative objects, but I prefer to err on the safe side and stick with more budget-friendly décor since I do enjoy playing around with new styles and color schemes pretty often—who knows what look I’ll gravitate toward next year?
As much as I catch myself dreaming about splurging on a beautiful set of Fferrone Dearborn glasses, I know that it’s fairly likely these will break in my tiny apartment kitchen or end up getting crammed into the back of my small cabinet. Maybe they’ll make their way onto a wedding registry one day.
I do have some special wine goblets from Estelle Colored Glass that I love to use when entertaining, but on a day-to-day basis, most of the glassware I use is thrifted. If a guest happens to break one of my 99 cent glasses, absolutely no tears are shed. I also have a bit of a glassware obsession and love to stock up on fun thrifted finds that are both beautiful and affordable, so this is kind of a win-win—even a tight budget will go a long way when you’re shopping for pieces that cost $1 a pop.
At this point, I’m happier with quantity over quality when it comes to drinking vessels, even if it means getting a bit creative with storage.