Pretty much everyone wants to live in the lap of luxury. But when you ask people exactly what makes a home feel luxurious, the answers run the gamut—not just in variety, but also in price. Sure, some may wax on about wine cellars and infinity pools, but others might say they couldn’t imagine living without that second sink, or their electric doggy door.
As proof, look no further than this list of homeowners’ favorite splurges, and how much they cost. Consider them inspiration for your own home’s next upgrade—one that will make you feel like a million bucks without the sky-high price tag—and a free pass to splurge a little!
1. A second dishwasher
“A second dishwasher is the best. I find it particularly handy when I am entertaining, since I can put absolutely everything in when the party is over and come down to a clean kitchen. But I also love it when I have a few stray dishes in the morning and don’t have time to unload the dishwasher, yet don’t want to leave them sitting in the sink all day.” – Kristin Ritterbush, homeowner in Danville, CA
Price range: $300–$1,000
2. Dimmer switches
“I had dimmer switches installed throughout our house—being in control of the lighting in every room in the home allows us to create the perfect ambiance. No more harsh lights at dinner or dim lights that make it hard to read.” – Elsa Elbert, homeowner in Los Angeles
Price range: $10–$25
3. A bidet
“After staying at a posh hotel and being introduced to an electronic bidet toilet seat, we had to have one in our home. Unlike European bidets, which require an extra fixture—and thus more space in your bathroom—this is simply a seat that attaches to your existing toilet and gives the added function of a bidet. The water supply comes from your tank, and you just need an electrical outlet to plug it in.” – Carole Marcotte, homeowner in Raleigh, N.C.
Price range: $300–$500
4. Heated floors
“We added under-tile heat in our master bathroom, and we love it. Not only does it make the whole room feel warm, which is particularly important since it’s in the basement and we don’t have another source of heat there, but it also dries up postshower puddles so I don’t end up with wet socks after my hubby showers. You might say it doubles as a marriage saver.” – Rebecca West, homeowner in Seattle
Price range: $5–$9 per square foot
5. Farmhouse sink
“When I remodeled my kitchen, I installed a large farmhouse sink that is both deep and wide and has a faucet with a flexible, pull-out sprayer. The added space and maneuverability of the faucet has been a game changer for meal prep and cleanup.” – Annabel Joy, homeowner in Boston and owner of Trim Design Co.
Price range: $300–$800
6. Robot vacuum
“When we first got our puppy, Rigby, we never could have predicted the insane amount of hair a little 25-pound dog would shed—even though I brushed her regularly. Now I run my automatic vacuum when I’m having my morning coffee, and our house is free from dog hair tumbleweeds.” – Jessica Atkins, homeowner in Princeton, NJ
Price range: $200–$500
7. Warmer drawer
“Without room for double ovens in our kitchen renovation, we decided to add a warming drawer in an under-counter area. It allows us to cook ahead of time for parties and have a place to reheat, or to warm plates before serving food.” – Carole Marcotte, homeowner in Raleigh, N.C.
Price range: $1,000–$1,500
8. Electronic doggie door
“We would go crazy without our ‘smart door’ that our dog, Hunter, can open automatically just by standing in front of it with the chip on his collar. It gives him the freedom to go in and out during the day if I’m gone—and it’s also great when we’re home so we don’t have to constantly get up and open the door. I feel more secure, too, because our dog walker or neighbor can come get him from the backyard, and I don’t need to leave a key or code to our house.” – Mari Chazen, homeowner in Menlo Park, CA
Price range: $150–$350
9. Sous vide machine
“My husband and I cannot live without our Wi-Fi sous vide machine. We both work demanding jobs, and this machine allows us to have delicious gourmet meals at home without cooking for hours. For example, I’ll just leave steaks and ice in the machine when I leave, then at the right time I can open an app on my phone. It turns on, melts the ice, and cooks the steaks to perfection, and it’s impossible to overcook food with a sous vide since it sets a very precise temperature. When I get home, I sear the steaks to create a crust and voila—dinner in two minutes.” – Maggie Spivak Jencik, homeowner in Ellicott City, MD
Price range: $75–$175
10. Pull-out shelves
“I have found that pull-out drawers are the best to utilize the space of deep cabinet shelves and allow you to see everything you have. I have them in my pantry, but they are great for any kitchen cabinet, including those under the sink, and also work well in bathrooms.” – Elsa Elbert, homeowner in Los Angeles and owner of Composed Living
Price range: $30–$75
Cathie Ericson is a journalist who writes about real estate, finance, and health. She lives in Portland, OR. Follow @CathieEricson