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Little Luxuries That Have a Big Impact

5 income-friendly indulgences that will make you enjoy every moment you spend at home.

Written by Donna Peak


Now, more than ever, people turn to their houses to provide much more than their basic need for shelter. Home is a workplace, a school, a source of entertainment and a haven of safety.

And while most homeowners don’t have an unlimited budget when it comes to outfitting their abodes, there’s a host of ways to infuse a house with a luxurious feeling without the exorbitant price tag. So go ahead … indulge yourself. Here’s how.


1. Classy Counters

If there’s only one area of your kitchen you can afford to upgrade, count on countertops to make a big impact. The money you save by choosing inexpensive stock cabinetry can be invested into high-grade granite or quartz. Mix it up by installing a low-cost covering, like a vinyl laminate ($25-$50 per square foot) or a mid-grade product, such as recycled aluminum ($35-$95 per square foot) on the perimeter counters and a luxury option, like engineered marble (roughly $100 per square foot), on the more prominently displayed island. 

Bathroom counters are an even easier place to splurge, because you have less surface area to cover than in the kitchen. You may even try super-luxurious soapstone or natural marble (up to $200 per square foot) in these smaller spaces.


2. Haute Hardware

Details do make a difference, and in home design, nothing proves this adage more than hardware. An artsy knob, elegant drawer pull or vintage hinge can elevate stock materials to custom conversation pieces. For rustic luxury, look to items with a hand-rubbed, timeworn finish. To add a bit of sparkle, polished brass and Lucite are elegant-yet-affordable options.


3. Everyday Indulgences

Luxury isn’t limited to decoration. Convenience and functionality are highly underrated amenities. Affordable features, like pullout shelving and spice drawers, corner cabinets with lazy Susans and pantry/closet organizers can make a big difference in your everyday routine.


4. Brilliant Lighting

An intriguing fixture transforms mere illumination into art. Statement pieces like geometric shapes, textured chandeliers and graceful wall sconces rescue a home from feeling humdrum. And the visual interest doesn’t stop at the fixture; bulbs have come into their own, too. Edison bulbs and color-changing LEDs add a “cool” factor.


5. Fortunate Feet

Hardwood and porcelain tile floors are log and timber home staples, but they can feel a little cold this time of year. If you want to add a real dose of luxury in your own log or timber home, look no further than a radiant in-floor heating system. Imagine stepping out of bed or straight from the shower onto warm and toasty flooring. (Kick the heated bliss up a notch and install a towel warmer while you’re at it.) It’s a game changer.

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