Anyone else still use the plates and crockery they received as a wedding present 30 years ago? One thing’s for sure – they don’t make them like they used to. Certain household items are worth bypassing IKEA and forking out some extra coin for. With regards to durability, comfort, convenience and cost, here are 10 items you’d be smart not to cut corners with. And if you’ve had the same hand-me-downs since your first flat, then perhaps it’s time for an upgrade.
If your cookware is so chipped, pitted and discoloured you no longer feel comfortable putting food in it, it might be time to cough up for a Le Creuset cast-iron Dutch oven. Again and again, it comes up on lists of kitchen items well worth the money – expect it to last a very long time. (You could always donate your stainless-steel set to your niece or co-worker about to move out on their own. Those first-timers will literally take anything.)
Think you’re allergic to the kitchen? Perhaps you just don’t have the right tools. A good set of knives can be hefty in one hit, so buy a knife block, start with one, and slowly build your collection with what you need. A chef’s knife, a paring knife and a bread knife take care of most jobs, coupled with a wooden cutting board – never plastic. Have a look at catering equipment stores, which tend to be cheaper, and ask them if they sharpen (or know someone who does).
You spend a third of your life in bed, so investing in a good mattress that supports your spine, allows you to sleep soundly and wake up feeling refreshed is worth the price. You know it’s a good one when you sit on the edge and watch the foam reform itself when you get up – there’s nothing more satisfying. A good pillow is also essential.
We’re big believers in spending where you sleep and bed covers are no exception. Pony up for the real deal – 100 per cent linen – which dries quickly, looks chic and get softer the more you use it. A range of brands, from boutique In Bed to the more accessible H&M and IKEA, do linen sheets. They’re especially good in summer, always feeling cool and crisp – never clammy – against your body.
Glamorous it isn’t, but everyone needs a vacuum cleaner. Love strong and silent types? Don’t settle for a cheapo wind tunnel. If you have the cash, Dyson, Riccar and Miele vacuum cleaners are absolutely worth it. Cleaning up after your furry friends has never been easier.
You can’t be handing that lint-ridden, mottled rag to your guest. Splurging on towels is not so much about creating a spa atmosphere in your bathroom as it is about having ones that aren’t dingy and embarrassing to leave on your visitors’ beds. If you want the creme de la creme, go for Egyptian cotton bath towels. They feel super luxurious and are the most absorbent, as they have long, thick loops.
Instead of getting up close and personal with your rubbish every time you need to put something in there, splurge on a touchless model. Nothing beats the magic of waving your hand in front of the bin and having the lid pop up before your eyes.
The beauty is in its simplicity – it’s basically idiot-proof. At the risk of sounding like an informercial, a slow cooker serves the role of frying pan, casserole dish and roasting tin in one, searing, stewing, steaming, and negating the need for multiple pots and pans.
Everyone has who watched Jamie’s 15-Minute Meals knows the power of a good blender. They’re versatile – used to make everything from smoothies and baby purees to nut butters and crushed ice for your cocktails – and a good one will last for decades. Breville Boss, Blendtec 625 and Vitamix 5200S are trusted models, if you’re willing to fork out the cash.
This is often the first investment piece you’ll make as a young person or first-time home buyer. Think about how much time you spend veging out on it, socialising or just watching TV. A good couch creates a focal point, dictating design decisions for the rest of the space.