There are plenty of home goods that are fine to buy cheap (I put shower curtains and bathmats in that category), and then there are those worth shelling out some cash for. These are investment pieces that will travel with you from home to home, and that could one day be given to a loved one. Here are our picks for 5 items you'll love using every single day, and that you'll look forward to owning for years to come.
It may seem counterintuitive to invest in something you're going to walk on, but a high-quality, handmade rug will age beautifully and last for generations. Pick one that's timeless and versatile enough to work with many different decor styles, such as a Persian rug. (Need proof? Check out how great Persian rugs look in homes of various styles.) When you're ready to make the investment, consult our list of best sources for high-quality rugs. And if your wallet isn't ready? Here are our favorite places to find a more affordable alternative.
Copper and Cast Iron Cookware
Food just tends to taste better when it's cooked in copper and cast iron. And if cared for (at least, most of the time), these pieces will last for generations. Vintage cast iron pans are easy to find at flea markets and secondhand stores, and there are a few top brands to look out for. If you're buying new, Lodge, which has been around for 120 years, is our go-to brand. If you're purchasing brand-new copper pots, choose one with a stainless steel interior that won't react with food, such as those from de Buyer or Brooklyn Copper Cookware.
This is not only an investment that has the potential to appreciate in value, but it's also one of the most personal and meaningful home purchases you can make (not to mention the power it has to completely alter the look of your home.) Get to know your local galleries and attend an art fair, like the New York Affordable Art Fair, which is held each spring and fall. Browse the selection at artsy.net, and also scout the sites on our list of online sources. For your first piece, look for work by emerging artists, which is generally less expensive, and you can support a budding career at the same time. That's a double-investment.
Natural linen is one of those materials that gets better with age—it's durable, yet lightweight, and softens the more you use it. A full set of high-quality linen bedding can get pricey, but if it lasts for years and can make every night's sleep a little better, then I'd call that a worthwhile splurge. Check out our top sources for linen bedding before taking your pick. The same goes for table linens—these pieces wear their ages well and will last for decades. This also means that you shouldn't be afraid to pull them out any day of the week.
Handmade ceramics are having a moment right now, and artisans all over the world are producing pieces you're going to want to use every day—and keep in your collection forever. For starters, check out the work of Jim Franco, Tortus, and Nathalie Audibert, but there are also many talented ceramicists selling their work at a range of prices on Etsy. Now, just try sipping your coffee out of an exquisite handmade mug every morning and see if it doesn't inspire you to sign up for a pottery class.
Tell us: Which home decor items do you think are worth investing in?