The Thrifted Kitchen Swap That Brings Me Joy on the Daily (It Feels So Luxurious!)

published Jul 6, 2024
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Kitchen with grey-green walls, open shelving, hardwood floors and hexagonal tile
Credit: Tessa Cooper

I consider myself a novice-level Swiftie, but Taylor was really onto something when she sang, “This is our house, we make the rules.” Making up my own house rules has undeniably been the best part of reaching the milestone of living alone in my 20s sans roommates or significant others. I can leave a dish or two in the sink if I feel like it, or decide to paint the walls at 11 p.m. on a whim — but above all else, I get to surround myself with only the things that bring me joy. 

When I first moved in, I was overwhelmed by the amount of “practical” things I needed to buy for day-to-day living (Forks! Plungers! Trash cans!) that seemed to eat up all of the budget I had set aside for decor. I quickly realized if I were going to make this place the home of my dreams, I was going to need to find ways to merge style and function.

It all clicked for me in a thrift store aisle as I was considering two choices: a set of standard, boring glasses or four of the most gorgeous amber-colored coupes I’d ever seen. Sure, some could argue that the boring glasses are the more sensible option, but not if I decided to buy the coupes for everyday use and not just for special occasions. 

So, I established house rule number one: I only drink out of wine glasses in my apartment. Here’s why this simple swap brings me so much joy every day — and actually makes a lot of sense.  

Credit: Rachel Otero

I can keep them all on display.

The coupe glasses came home with me and doubled as kitchen decor in the first year it took to furnish my apartment. (Pro tip: If you’re short on cabinet space or living in a tiny rental, like me, you can display glasses on open shelving or atop cabinets while for storage that still feels stylish and purposeful). Even more fun is how simple and easy it is to switch up the feel of my kitchen by rotating some of my favorite new glassware finds into the mix.

It makes the mundane feel special.

Drinking water out of wine glasses may seem silly at first, but it has a way of making even the smallest tasks feel a little extra special. Prepping meals for one can sometimes seem like more effort than it’s worth, but when you can make your dinner feel more like a fancy restaurant experience, eating at home becomes more of a treat than a chore. 

I can also attest that water somehow tastes better in a beautiful vessel, and I’m probably more inclined to stay hydrated drinking from a special piece of glassware than a heavy, daunting, overpriced water bottle (sorry, tumbler lovers!).

They’re easy to thrift for. 

I love to thrift and pop into antique shops, so I’ve sourced most of my glassware secondhand, which is a great way to build a unique and sustainable collection. If you’re looking for gorgeous glasses you can buy online, though, here are a few of my favorites:

Credit: Rachel Otero

They’re great conversation-starters.

If you’re looking for a low-lift way to impress your guests, I find my glassware collection is usually one of the first things people notice when they come over. A friend once said my apartment “felt like a castle” because we always “drank out of goblets,” which gave me a good laugh.

Another friend even gifted me an extra special set of zodiac glasses because she knows how much I love to collect them. There’s a story or memory attached to every single glass that brings me joy whenever I take a sip.