1. Your mix-n-match glassware collection for a set of wine glasses.
Good news! Wine glasses aren’t actually that expensive, and actually, I wouldn’t spend too much money on them because they do break. Nevertheless, it is time to start drinking alcohol from vessels that are meant for alcohol, not tomato sauces.
Make it happen: A set of 6 wine glasses from Crate & Barrel (depending on the model) will run you about $30.
2. Your basic Ikea flatware to a fancier, more attractive set.
Ugh, how gross has your Ikea silverware gotten? So bendy. So cloudy. It just seems wrong to make a nice dinner for someone and have them eat it with the bendy, cloudy fork.
Make it happen: This West Elm gold flatware set (4 settings) is $104.
3. Your $30 vacuum to a Dyson (or at least something better than your $30 vacuum).
You know you’re getting old when you daydream of Dyson vacuums. Buying a cheap vacuum is all fine when you’re just moving into a place, but after a year or two, they’ll be doing half the work and leaving your carpets still full of dirt.
Make it happen: Dyson’s least expensive model is the DC40 Origin at $399.99 and comes with a 5 year warranty.
4. Hand mixer to a standing mixer.
Oh my gawd you are so sexy, KitchenAid. Gimme now. This isn’t to say you need to chuck your hand mixer — you’ll still have use for it — but for bigger and more ambitious jobs, the beauteous artisan standing mixer is king.
Make it happen: This KitchenAid mixer goes for $349.95 at Williams-Sonoma.
5. Your whatever bed to a proper bed.
And by proper, I mean you have a good mattress, a quality mattress pad or topper, a solid box spring, and a handsome bedframe.
Make it happen: Oof. It depends what kind of bed and mattress combo you get, but let’s say…you might spend anywhere from $500-$900 and $600-$1,300 on the actual bed. UGHGHGHGHG.
6. Your god-awful Ikea knives for knives that actually work.
I mean. There’s a reason you didn’t get nice knives in the first place. They cost like a million dollars.
Make it happen: This Wüsthof Classic 7-Piece Knife Block Set is currently on sale at Williams-Sonoma for $299.95.
7. “Artsy” photography prints you bought at Ikea or Posters.com for art you actually care about.
It’s not like you’re ready to become an art connoisseur, but having unique things on your walls makes a difference. Maybe you have a childhood souvenir or a print lying around that would look great framed?
Make it happen: Obviously, the price varies depending on what kind of art you’re buying. But if you have something already, take it to your local framer. Again, this service varies quite a bit in price but expect to spend at least $50 to $120 per item, depending on what it is.
8. That crap salad spinner for one that actually gets the job done.
Did you buy that super cheap Ikea salad spinner, too? Then certainly you have had the experience of having mixed greens expelled across your kitchen counter. Or by now it’s broken and you’re using sad paper dowels to individually dry off each lettuce leaf.
Make it happen: An Oxo salad spinner costs $29.95 at Crate & Barrel.
9. Paper towels for real table linens.
Not like you have to use them everyday, but for guests, it’s nice.
Make it happen: Depends on what you get. If you want something you’re not afraid to mess up, $50 at Target will be money well spent. However, if you’re in the market for something classy, Rachel Craven’s handmade table linens are truly special. The tablecloth pictured is $220.
10. Your lumpy pillows for some high-quality ones.
Did you even buy those pillows you’re using now? Or did you just steal them from your parents’ guest room? It’s worth the upgrade — you’ll sleep better.
Make it happen: This set of 2 Famous Maker down and feather pillows are $59.99 at Overstock.com.
11. Your cheap-o cookware from a 10-piece-in-a-box sets to sturdy, quality stuff.
This may take some time because quality cast iron skillets and non-stick pans aren’t cheap. But aren’t you longing to make your collection more well-rounded? A Dutch oven is an investment that can last you a lifetime. Roasting pans, casserole dishes, baking dishes … le sigh. I want you.
Make it happen: Start your kitchen makeover with a Le Creuset oven, which, depending on shape and size, starts at $105 and can be as much as $400 or $500 on the higher end.
12. Your grody couch for a grown-up couch.
The time has come to get rid of the sheet-covered or bargain basement couch that is the eyesore on your living room. Couches should not look like the face of a disgruntled old man. A beautiful couch will make your living room look a million times better. Save up. Feel the pain of spending $1,000 on a thing that touches your butt, and get over it.
Make it happen: West Elm’s Everett loveseat starts at $899.
13. Your crazy collection of wire/plastic/store hangers for a uniform set.
Making all your hangers uniform can actually save room in your closet.
Make it happen: Joy Mangano’s huggable hangers are a favorite because they’re thin and texturized, so they grip slippery clothes. A 34-piece pack is $19.99 at Target. Let’s assume you’ll need quite a few hangers, so you’re looking at $40-$60.
14. That nothing desk chair for a proper desk chair.
Do you have a bad back? Kinda? Ugh, getting old is the worst. Just…don’t sit in a folding chair or an Ikea cafe chair, mkay?
Make it happen: Oy. Turns out high quality, traditional office swivel chairs can be quite pricey (like in the $500 to over $1,000 range). This gray linen Pastoe desk chair is $485, but with some research or good Craigslist skills (if you’re OK with buying used), you can probably swing an upgrade for about $300.
15. Whatever it is you put flowers in for a proper vase.
Why thank you for these lovely flowers! Allow me to just put them in my beer stein. A vase doesn’t have to be fancy or pricey, but just have one — after all, isn’t this all about appreciating the space you’re in?
Make it happen: This sturdy vase by Heath Ceramics is $92, but you can also pick up a standard glass vase anywhere for as little as $10.