You’ve probably played this game before — what would you do if you won the lottery tomorrow? Would it be champagne and limos from here on out, a closet full of designer shoes, an infinity pool, and a staff to feed you grapes and fan you with palm fronds?
While some of that may be the stuff of pipe dreams and Pinterest boards, living a life of (at least a little) leisure isn’t as far out of reach as you think. Just because you don’t have the resources of a Rockefeller or a Kardashian, doesn’t mean you can’t inject a little opulence into your everyday. Below, three home improvement projects that will bring you that much closer to the lap of luxury — and don’t require funds from a secret Swiss bank account. With the help of the professionals at HomeAdvisor, you can be living the high life while still keeping your costs low.
Install a Walk-in Closet
The walk-in closet is the stuff of movie montages: the heroine getting ready for her big night out, twirling amidst hundreds of heels and dresses in every color of the rainbow. Meanwhile in real life, you’re stuck rifling through precariously stacked sweaters, trying to buy slim hangers, or fighting your spouse for every spare inch of space. But as luck would have it, you don’t need a Hollywood-sized paycheck to have a movie star’s closet. According to HomeAdvisor’s national data, the average cost of installing a walk-in closet is less than $2,000. That number can go up depending on how fancy your concept is — or if you add amenities like a vanity or dressing area — but if you stick to the basics, you can build room to twirl without breaking the bank.
Plus, a walk-in closet isn’t just a lavish little hideaway that makes getting dressed a little more fun every day; it’s also a handy-dandy storage solution. You can save money by not shelling out for custom closet organizers, and instead finding cheap shelving units, bins, and baskets online or at your local home furnishings store. And if you use your newfound closet space as an excuse to go shopping for more clothes… well, we won’t tell.
Install a Gas Fireplace
When winter comes along and snowflakes begin to fall, there’s nothing quite as cozy as curling up next to a fireplace with a good book and a hot mug of tea or cocoa. But actually building that picturesque fire can be way more trouble than it’s worth, from purchasing the wood, to struggling to get it to light, to cleaning up the soot afterwards. Not exactly the most relaxing way to spend an evening. The solution? A gas fireplace that ignites at the push of the button, so you can do that “I have made fire!” caveman victory dance whenever you want.
Gas fireplaces can cost as little as $400 (bearskin rug not included), with the installation price tag being a bit higher — HomeAdvisor’s cost data puts it at just under $2,000. But it’s worth it to make sure your gas line hook-up, ventilation, and wiring are all properly installed, so you don’t turn your wood furniture into kindling the first time you try to light it up.
In addition to being the easiest-to-use fireplace option, a gas fireplace is also the most eco-friendly, so you can feel good about saving the world while warming your hands by a fire you didn’t even have to make. Now that’s an indulgence that’s hard to argue with!
Install a Hot Tub
If your idea of luxury is a glass full of bubbly and a tub full of bubbles, you don’t have to look further than your own deck. A leisurely soak in an aboveground hot tub is the ultimate way to kick back after a long day, or top off a stellar dinner party with friends — and you won’t need to travel to a ski chalet in Aspen or the Alps to get it.
Aboveground hot tubs will run you less than $500 for inflatable models, $4,000 for wooden versions, or up to $17,000 for high-end acrylic tanks. But according to the data collected by HomeAdvisor, the average cost to install a hot tub is less than $350. Because it’s a freestanding structure, you’ll save on construction and landscaping costs, and your monthly utility bills won’t skyrocket the way they would with a built-in unit.
An outdoor hot tub is a great way to make sure your patio gets a little love, even in the colder months, and there are also proven health benefits to regular steamy soaks. It’s the perfect place to de-stress and feel like you’re on a fancy vacation without ever having to leave your backyard. And the only deep pockets you’ll need are the ones in your fluffy bathrobe!
You’re constantly looking for ways to improve your home, but it always seems like the most practical projects get top billing. You make do with your Lilliputian-sized closet because the windows need to be replaced; you stare forlornly at your unused wood-burning fireplace because the driveway needs resealing. But it’s important to remember to treat yourself — especially since high-end comfort doesn’t have to be high-priced. With these simple and relatively low-cost projects, you can bring a little luxury into your home, and still have funds left for other repairs and renovations. HomeAdvisor is here to help, instantly connecting you with qualified and verified professionals in your area who can get started on your vision. So sit back, relax, and get ready to see your champagne dreams (on modest means!) come true.