A couple days ago, I stumbled upon an open Reddit thread entitled “What is something that can make your life more luxurious but doesn’t cost a lot of money?” Like all threads, there were thousands upon thousands of replies, that ranged from the practical (good socks, comfortable shoes, high-quality coffee) to the ingenious (a curved shower rod, investing in spaces you spend time alone in, like the bathroom) with a few comedic tips thrown in for good measure (“Don’t have kids.” har har).
The list, while expansive, is actually a pretty interesting read—I always enjoy seeing other people’s definition of small luxuries and learned a few things, too—so I pulled out 21 replies that make perfect sense and can be applied your own life right now. And to dig into the full thread, head over to Reddit now.
"A curved shower rod. It makes the shower feel cavernous. [It] has so much more room and feels fancy."
Try: Moen Chrome Curved Shower Rod, $46; at Moen
Photo: Coco + Kelly
"Awesome salads NOT made with iceberg lettuce."
Try: Thai Quinoa Salad from Foodie Crush
"A bike. [A ride] that leaves you exhausted and [glowing] will give you the same sense of reprieve from day-to-day nonsense as a vacation. It's a lot healthier and cheaper than what most people do (drugs/booze.) [It's like an] Instavacation."
Try: Huffy Women's Good Vibrations 26" Cruiser Bike in Coral, $130; at Dick's Sporting Goods
"Think of the places you spend most of your time alone. Those places should be amazing and tailored to [you.] Your kitchen, bathroom, car, and bed should be clean with the greatest stuff you like. Spend extra on quality in these areas—high-thread-count silk sheets; quality utensils, spices, and ingredients; [make] the bathroom stocked with gersat products and don't cheap out. You'll look, feel, and smell better."
Photo: Brittany Ambridge for Domino
"Wear an eye mask when you sleep. In this digital age there are too many lights and distractions. An eye mask helps keep it dark and provides a great nights' sleep."
Try: Perpetual Shade "I Woke Up Like This" Eye Mask, $40; at Shopbop
Photo: Bali Body
"Learn cooking (and grocery shopping) skills! There's a world of difference between ramen with boiling water and a flavor packet, and ginger beef stir fry with ramen noodles, carrots, green beans, and coriander. And don't just learn ten staple meals and eat them over and over again, try new ways of cooking eggs or meats or vegetables, try new spices or fruits or vegetables. There are so many delicious recipes on the internet, there's no reason for anybody to eat plain food all the time!"
Try: Mongolian Beef Ramen Noodles from Jo Cooks
"A dimmer light switch in the bathroom. So nice when getting up in the middle of the night or when getting up early in the morning and you're not quite adjusted yet."
Try: Lutron Skylark Contour 600-Watt Three-Way Dimmer, $26.72; at The Home Depot
Photo: Studio McGee/Travis J. Photography
"Really good ice cream. One pint of really [high quality] ice cream is vastly better and more enjoyable than a gallon of the cheap stuff."
"Gel insoles are good for temporarily relieving discomfort but you should check out rigid insoles to properly provide lasting support and comfort."
Try: Corefit Moldable Insoles, $59.95; at Amazon
Photo: The Chronicles of Her
"Tools for a home bar. If you're having guests, you just need to buy the booze."
"Truffle oil. You can get a bottle for not a lot. Make poached eggs and toast in the morning and drizzle with truffle oil and you really won't believe its a Tuesday morning."
Try: White Truffle Oil, $15.95; at Williams Sonoma
Photo: Truffle and Parmesan Egg in Brioche from The Londoner
"Quality sheets. Thick, soft, natural fiber to sleep on and lay around on. The really good stuff is way more expensive but it also lasts a whole lot longer. I learned this when I moved out and accidentally stole my old roomie's sheets. good stuff and I have been buying high-end every since."
Try: Classic Core Long-Staple Egyptian Cotton Sheet Set, $99-$19; at Brooklinen
Photo: Stoffer Photography for The Everygirl
"I bought a patio couch for my small apartment balcony. Every other night, I make myself a cocktail or some tea and spend the last hour of the day reading outside. It's incredibly relaxing." [Ed note: No room for a couch? Try a great chair.]
Try: Ikea Innamo Outdoor Armchair, $35; at Ikea
"Books are a luxury in a dollars-per-hour sense: a 300-page novel that costs $15 provides 5-7 hours of reading time, so that's cheaper than cable as most people use it. If you're dedicated, you can probably get the same quality of education as a college graduate from $2,500 worth of cheap-or-free books (and several thousand hours)... although you'll still lack the credential."
Try: Book of the Month Club
"Put a string of LED lights or old Christmas lights under the edges of your bed. They make a great night light and make the bed look like it is floating." [Ed note: or on the wall]
Try: Firefly Clip String Lights, $20; at Urban Outfitters
Photo: Urban Outfitters Blog
"A nice desk. They're not super expensive if you know where to look/shop. There's just nothing better than sitting down at a nice computer desk."
Try: Altra Furniture White Parsons Desk, $66.99; at Casa
Photo: The Everygirl
"A memory foam mattress topper. It turns your bed into a cloud for under $100."
Try: Beautyrest 2-inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper, Starting at $59.99; at Overstock
Photo: Waiting on Martha
"I can live with the cheap version of most things, but my splurge is French milled soap. $7 a bar, but the bar lasts for months. It has little scrubby things in it and smells good!"
Try: Savon de Marseille Olive Oil Hard Milled Soap. $7; at Savon de Marseille
Photo: Villa Harmonie
"Nice bath towels. But don't use fabric softener or dryer sheets with them [because] they quickly lose their fluffiness and their ability to wick and absorb moisture. Wash them on gentle cycles and air-dry them most of the way before tossing them in a low-heat dryer. Your towels will last so much longer and be soft forever."
Try: Cotton Terry Towels with Jacquard-Weave, $17.99 each; at H&M Home
"A French press. You can get 90% of the quality of an espresso machine for $15 and it doesn't even need power. It only needs coffee and boiling water, takes five minutes to use."
Try: Williams-Sonoma Glass French Press, $39.95; at Williams-Sonoma
Photo: Gimme Some Oven