It was a grey rainy day. I couldn’t work out how on earth I was going to dry all the loads of washing that had to be done. And I got to thinking. Wouldn’t life be lovely if it was a bit more luxurious? But how can I achieve that on a bargain counter budget?
Here, in no particular order, are some of the ideas I came up with. I’d love to hear more, so do share your tips with us please!
1 - Take more baths. Of course we’d say that! But, honestly, relaxing in a bath can feel so decadent. We do appreciate that for some of you this would be a rare treat, with water restrictions abound. But you could keep the water level low then use it for your plants and garden afterwards. We did this with our bath water last summer – it worked great for the lemon trees because they love Epsom salt! With a SO:Luxurious soak that has a scent reminiscent of far-off exotic climes, you can close your eyes and imagine you've jetted off on a long-awaited holiday!
2 - Relax with a massage for less from your local massage school students. Or enjoy a facial. Or any beauty treatment really. I think I’d be a bit concerned about something permanent though, like eyebrow tattoos, just in case!
3 - Drink lots of water – it’s free and you’ll feel and look great. Friends will start asking you what your expensive facial treatment is! Keep a jug in the fridge so it’s cool, and drink it from a fancy glass (bit of op-shopping required?!). Add a slice of lemon. Use your Sodastream – bubbles always feel a bit more luxurious! I use ice cube trays that are in the shape of hearts. Even drinking it with your reusable straw makes it seem a bit more fancy!
4 - Re the op-shopping from #3 – there are some great luxe bargains to be had out there. We like Paper Bag Princess but some of the charity stores have lovely things too. Even if I don’t find clothes that suit me, I’m always guaranteed to come out with at least one good book to read in the bath!
5 - Make the most of what you’ve got. Re your clothes that is. Have you tried a wardrobe consultant/stylist? They’ll help you get the most out of what you already own and make sure you don’t make mistakes with the new pieces you buy. See Wardrobe Flair or Brooke Amy for examples.
6 - Do you love beautiful things? You could buy a unique piece of art from a local artist. Cheaper than owning a Picasso! Though one day it too could be worth a lot of money…
7 - If you don’t want to buy some art, just take yourself off to an art gallery if you have a spare hour. I love it if they have a café. Go with a friend for that Lady Who Lunches vibe. Take a sneaky morning off in the week, check out an exhibition (even better when they’re free!) then treat yourself to a coffee and cake in swish surroundings where you don’t have to do the cleaning up!
8 - Speaking of cleaning, here’s a way to make a dull thing a little more luxe. If you use a liquid soap in your bathroom, transfer it into a fancy dispenser instead of the plastic bottle it came in. Swanky hotel bathroom vibes! For bar soap there are all sorts of fancy soap dishes out there to add a splash of vibrancy. Local craft markets are a good place to find them, along with the natural bars of soap to go in them! One of our local favourites is Sano Lifestyle.
9 - For more ideas on how to luxe up your house, why not spend a rainy Sunday afternoon checking out the fanciest open homes in your area? It can be quite fun having a nosy at how the other half live! The poshest bathroom I've seen was cream-carpeted (not really sure about that!) with steps up to a large corner Jacuzzi bath. Very swish!
10 - Or stay home and relax. In fancy style! Watch a classic movie with a glass of wine. Pimp your snacks - instead of a bag of chips, try something a little posher like these NZ-made organic GMO-free bags of popcorn from I Am Vital.
11 - Feel even more luxurious while you watch the movie – if you can’t afford the full fancy lounge wear experience, what about a pair of cozy cashmere socks?
12 - Last up for this blog post – mood lighting. Also known in this house as candles! In particular naturally-scented soy candles. I do have to be careful with this one as the house-full of menfolk aren’t as appreciative as I am about ‘jasmine and lily’ or ‘white tea and berries’ but I reckon you can’t go wrong with a French vanilla or a sandalwood.
A candle-lit bath with a glass of wine must be the best luxurious combo of all!
One thing I’ve learned though – it’s best to go for quite a narrow candle as the first time you burn it you want the liquid wax to pool to the very edge of the candle. This ensures you’ll get the longest burn time from the life of your candle. If you have a very wide candle you might have to have a 3-hour soak in the bath before it burns to the edge. Though I reckon I could handle that!
What are your little luxuries in life? Treat yourself – you deserve it!