Ready to upgrade to some nice, high quality things...
December 3, 2017 3:32 PM   Subscribe

where does one get those things?

Over the next year I'd like to replace some household items, like sheets, towels, fabric napkins, serving dishes etc. There is no rush, but the items I have are getting run down and I thought it might be a nice treat to start to replace them over the coming year. But from where?!?!

I've gotten really lovely towels and sheets from Pottery Barn, but the world's worst toaster from William Sonoma. I love the look of Farmhouse Pottery (and the price is ok), but I'm afraid Etsy (where I might find other nice pieces) is a little overwhelming.

Suggestions of where you can go for high-quality household items? I'm willing to put down some cash for items that will last a long time. Recommendations for shops large and small are welcome, but online shopping is preferred (in the U.S.)

I did see this post from 2014, so any updates or additions are welcome.
posted by Toddles to Shopping (18 answers total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
I pretty much follow what The Wirecutter recommends for household stuff.
posted by radioamy at 3:45 PM on December 3, 2017 [13 favorites]

We use Wirecutter almost exclusively to pick out new, high-quality things. It's served us well and we've loved everything they've recommended.
posted by ancient star at 3:47 PM on December 3, 2017 [2 favorites]

Thirding Wirecutter for recommendations.
posted by sailoreagle at 3:55 PM on December 3, 2017 [2 favorites]

I scored some free Williams and Sonoma dishes about a decade ago, and they still look brand new. If I had the money, I would absolutely buy a set of servingware from them. They sell a few different brands, but I have their house brand.
posted by little king trashmouth at 4:47 PM on December 3, 2017

Consumersearch provides meta-reviews that are especially good at educating the reader about what to look for. But damn, I wonder what I've been missing by not checking out Wirecutter.
posted by DrGail at 4:50 PM on December 3, 2017

Since you're not in a rush, it's worth looking at area TJ Maxx/Marshalls/HomeGoods stores. You can't go in looking for something specific, because you won't find it. But if you just browse and accept the randomness, you can find high-quality, name brand stuff.
posted by kevinbelt at 5:00 PM on December 3, 2017 [5 favorites]

Oh my gosh—YES to Williams Sonoma dishes. I splurged about 15 years ago and got their heavy white restaurant style stoneware for my everyday plates/pasta bowls/cereal bowls etc and I’m still using it all today with absolutely no signs of wear. Pretty much anything I cook looks gorgeous on it.
posted by bookmammal at 5:28 PM on December 3, 2017

Maybe look for some local makers? Forex, if you live in the Bay Area (or anywhere, really, with the internet), Heath makes great ceramic dishes (it’s what you’ll find in higher end restaurants around town). (A much smaller local maker, Jered, does wonderful work, too, which you may also find around town). No need to limit yourself to big, national brands!
posted by notyou at 5:44 PM on December 3, 2017 [3 favorites]

I look at the Sweet Home reviews, I have always liked the things I bought that they recommend.
posted by fairlynearlyready at 5:58 PM on December 3, 2017 [4 favorites]

Another thing I like about Wirecutter is that they tell you what to look for in any item category. For example, I didn't get their pick for flatware or dishes, but I knew to look for 18/10 stainless and I understood what the hell bone china was!
posted by radioamy at 6:02 PM on December 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

NB to everyone recommending W&S stuff they got over 10 years ago, the current quality is not the same.

I have some Pottery Barn sheets from ages ago that have stood up pretty well for almost 20 years, and luckily the new ones I got earlier this year seem to be of a similar quality.
posted by poffin boffin at 6:13 PM on December 3, 2017

For sheets, towels, and small appliances I like to get them at Costco. The quality is always good, and if there are any problems you can easily make returns.

I wanted to buy a stand alone freezer and I found out that Costco doesn't sell them (they do sell chest freezers) which indicated to me that they couldn't find any for which they would stand behind their quality. That led to me to further research and in the end I decided not to buy one. I mention that story to illustrate how serious they are about offering good quality products.
posted by vignettist at 7:11 PM on December 3, 2017 [2 favorites]

I just picked up some gorgeous hand-thrown pottery by local artisans at a holiday craft fair. Keep your eyes peeled for events and vendors in your area.
posted by delight at 10:53 PM on December 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

You don't have a location listed so it's a shot in the dark, but if your city has a Muji, check it out. They've been my upgrading-from-IKEA-and-becoming-an-adult savior, and it's a one stop shop if you are into the aesthetic.
posted by tmcw at 11:07 PM on December 3, 2017

MefiWiki FAQ: Shopping has a collection of AskMe posts in the general category of What should I buy that's reliable, durable, and possibly worth spending a lot of money on?
posted by zamboni at 5:58 AM on December 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

I'm not sure I can make great recommendations because I'm in the UK, but as someone who is also at that point where I can afford to upgrade to adult-quality stuff (yay!) something I'm keeping in mind is that every penny I spend has power.

So, for towels and linens, I'm searching for companies that use organic fibres, so that my money goes toward more sustainable farming of those fibres (like this one). For appliances, I'm looking for companies with good warranties and that don't change their models too quick, so that when the thing breaks (hopefully not too soon) we can get a replacement part rather than having to buy a whole new one and throw away the whole damn thing (companies like Bosch have a good reputation for this).

It might not be top of everyone's priority list but it has helped narrow down the search for me. It's more expensive, but I have to keep telling myself that most of the stuff out there shouldn't be as cheap as it is, and that someone else less privileged than me is probably paying the remainder of the price.
posted by greenish at 8:28 AM on December 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

For dishes and serving ware, Fiesta ("fiestaware") quality is the same or better than it was when it was first being made 80 years ago, you can get it for relatively cheap and it will not only wear like iron (you can stick it in the freezer and in the oven!) but it will likely increase in value! And it's made in the USA. Look for sales at Kohls, Macy's, JC Penney, or BonTon -- you can find it up to 50% off retail price fairly regularly. I don't buy it unless I can get a really good price.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 9:29 AM on December 4, 2017

Fiestaware lasts a bunch of wear and tear... which is why it's often used in cafeterias. This may not bother you, but I can't help feeling like I'm back in college when I eat of the plates my sister got!
posted by raccoon409 at 5:01 PM on December 4, 2017

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