The first place I lived with my husband was a small two-room apartment he used to share with his college friends. It was the quintessential bachelor-pad you see in memes. Empty except for two single beds, a set of drawers, and a large clear box filled with books, files, and an assortment of laptop chargers.
However, it was always clean and quiet and we were in love, so we managed with very little. We were in our twenties and did not need a lot to be happy. We stayed there for only a few months, but the evenings in that apartment cuddled together watching Avatar: The Last Airbender on his laptop were some of my fondest memories.
Fast forward, I am writing this in our new home—a serious upgrade from where we used to live. I am sitting cross-legged on our very cozy couch writing this article, while he is taking a little video game break in between working from home. It is still very clean and quiet around here, and we are still very much in love❤️. However, we are in our 30s now, and we have made a few upgrades to our home improving the quality of life to a great degree.
Whether you live alone, with a partner, a roommate, or a few, I believe these home upgrades are very much due in your 30s!
1. Upgrade Your Bed
If you are planning on splurging on one thing in your home, make it your bed. Go for the best mattress you can afford. You will be spending lots of time on your bed (hopefully!). So, go all out and make it the paradise you deserve to get into after a long day.
You are officially in the Queen bed territory now. Anything smaller would not suffice. You should also get at least two sets of plush bedding/bed linen/sheets with a high thread count.
Throw away your worn-out pillows and get a nice breathable pillow that holds its shape well. In fact, get four pillows in two sizes and + a nice matching set of bed and pillow covers in a color that makes you happy.
Remember to take 5-10 minutes every morning to make your bed, and experience the joy of coming home to a bed that makes you feel like you are in a fancy hotel room!
2. Upgrade Your Kitchen
It is about time you transition from the basic kitchen from your college days to a higher-end kitchen that would impress your mom! By 30, you should be able to put together a fairly nice meal for a small group of guests if the need arises. The key to a nice kitchen is to invest in some good quality kitchen items that will stand the test of time.
You probably already have a stove, an oven, a rice cooker, a toaster, and a blender. If you don’t, you need to get them asap! (Just FYI, if your wedding is coming up, you are going to get an unprecedented amount of blenders and toasters as gifts. Weird, but true!)
You can upgrade your kitchen with a classic set of chef’s knives, an air fryer, a stand mixer, and a Crockpot (or any kind of slow cooker and a pressure cooker). Do not forget to upgrade your dishware as well. You do not need that flowery chinaware your mother uses. Get a nice set of white dinner dishes and cutlery to serve food when you are entertaining your family or guests. Oh, and a few wine glasses as well. You are too sophisticated to be drinking red wine from a coffee mug!
3. Upgrade Your Bathroom
You don’t need 11 different categories of towels for the bathroom like Monica from F.R.I.E.N.D.S does, but you need to really upgrade your towel game in your 30s.
No more thin, moldy, and worn-out towels.
Go for towels with a high thread count. Always 100% cotton. Do the Marie Condo test when you buy towels. When you touch it, see if it sparks joy in your heart. If it doesn’t, go for one with a higher thread count! You will find the right one eventually.
You need at least two full sets of thick and soft towels per person in your household. (A set consists of a bath towel, a hand towel, and a face towel).
4. Upgrade Your Lighting
Lighting can make a world of difference to a home. There are stunning yet affordable lighting fixtures that instantly elevate the look in any room. Moreover, installing under-cabinet light strips in your kitchen pantry can add an instant luxurious boost to the appearance of your kitchen. Keep things green and energy efficient by using LED light bulbs. Smart light bulbs are another great way to upgrade the lighting of your home.
You can also use decorative scented candles and lamps in your kitchen and the bathroom, lighting up dark corners and creating a romantic ambiance. Most importantly, make sure your curtains and windows do not obstruct natural light during the day. Let sunlight fill your space all over with warmth and joy.
5. Get a Dining Table
Most modern homes and apartments come with a spacious kitchen island/breakfast bar that also works as a dining area, replacing dining tables. However, you still need a dining table in your home to complete the transition from your twenties to your thirties. It does not have to be a separate dining room like your parents had, but a separate table where you can sit with your family during your meal times and when you entertain guests is a must-have for a grown-up home.
Dining tables can be very versatile and their uses are limitless. For example, my husband has set up camp at our dining table since last year with his multiple monitors, now that he’s working from home during the pandemic. See? Useful!
6. Get a Bookshelf
Maybe it’s just me, but whenever I visualize a beautiful grown-up home, there is always a big bookshelf in it. Piles of books on the floor around my study table used to be a part of my personality back in college. Now that I’m older, it has become less cute. The first big purchase I made for my new home was my bookshelf. It’s filled with all my favorite books and memories, and brings me joy whenever I see it.
A nice bookshelf helps make all your books from Harry Potter to Crime and Punishment to Becoming by Michelle Obama to be great decorative items as well. A bookshelf adds personality and interest to your space while showing that you’re well-read! Bookshelves are also great to display your little souvenirs and trinkets from travels, indoor plants, and cute framed pictures.
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7. Decorate with Intention
Your 20s are for finding yourself, your voice, and your interests. By the time you are 30, you should be able to decorate and accessorize your space with intention. You are telling a story when you decorate your home. When someone enters your home, they should be able to take a quick glimpse of who you are with one sweeping look. My personal taste in interior design largely leans towards contemporary and minimalistic design with clean lines, comfort, pure whites, and bright pops of pastel colors. When you decorate your home, think about exactly the kind of place that brings you the most joy and recreate it.
“There is a magic in that little world, home; it is a mystic circle that surrounds comforts and virtues never known beyond its hallowed limits.” – Robert Southey