Here are a few things worth upgrading that won't cost a pretty penny but can make a difference.
Show some personality Right Out of the Gate. So often this is a $5 mat found at a Home Depot-eque shop without a whole lot of thought. And in NYC, these suckers get a work out so if it's time to retire yours, splurge on one that will add a little somethin' somethin'. Ikea has this cutie for a song.
An instant room upgraded, just freakin' upgrade from the $2 crappy door handle to something with more substance and style. This is one of those things no one will really notice but like good highlights that just make you look like you have had a good night sleep, it'll just give the overall room a lift. Love this black porcelain one from Rejuvenation.No one wants to see some old used up (dirty!) bar of soap in your kitchen or bathroom so toss that sucker and buy a nice pump version with nice packaging that says "Enjoy washing your hands." Williams-Sonoma has some beautiful ones.
Kitchen (or Bathroom) Soap
ps. While you are upgrading the kitchen soap, check out your sponge. If it looking dingy, buy a new one
It's the easiest way to change a sofa, switch out the pillows. Use the same inserts and get new covers which can easily be stored under your bed when not in use. Etsy has great ones and so does Furbish which has this lovely for $50.
Pretty Catch All
Everyone needs a drop bowl so wallets, keys, remotes, packs of gums, lipsticks, extra keys don't all end up everywhere. And if you have to have one, make it pretty so it turns all those little things into a chic display. This one from Etsy is fun and hold a ton.