nexxt cubbi 3 piece wall shelfIn today’s economy, budgets have simply become part of the norm. We plan how much we will spend on eating out per month, on groceries, on back-to-school gear for the kids, vacations, and more. And the same can be said for items for the home – what will we spend on new kitchen decor? How much can we budget for closet accessories?

When it comes to gifting, there’s usually a budget set there as well. Whether it’s for a gift exchange party, baby shower, Christmas, birthday, or other special occasion, we know, generally, how much we want to spend before selecting the desired item.

nexxt slant 2 shelf wall shelfOften times, the figure of $50 pops up. Why? It’s that manageable amount that won’t break the bank, but that’s generous enough to be considered a gift that isn’t, for lack of a better term, “cheap.” And when buying items for your own home, it’s an amount you can justify spending without feeling that you’re dolling out too much or skimping on what you need or deserve. We all work hard, right?

So what can you find for your home, or someone else’s, for around $50? It turns out, quite a bit.

Home Decor

Home decor items are always welcome, and something versatile that will fit in a variety of nexxt pinot wine glass holderspaces like the Cubbi 3-Piece Wall Shelf from nexxt, is ideal if you’re buying it as a gift.  Finished in black, the Cubbi comes with three different-sized wood cubes that can be mounted to the wall in whatever configuration you desire to add to the look of a room, whether it’s a home office or den. Beyond just decor, they serve as shelves, so you can use them to hold practical things like books, eyeglasses, or the TV remote; or other decorative items, like flowers and ornaments.

Or, if you want to get super-funky, consider the nexxt Slant 2-Shelf Wall Shelf, which employs a quirky design that can liven up a bedroom, home office, or other “fun” room of the home. It makes for an interesting way to showcase items like books, or simple use it as winsome bed traya decor piece to house decorative items.

If you’re a wine drinker like me, or the person you’re buying a gift for is, you will appreciate a convenient place to hold wine bottles and glasses. Particularly great if you have a bar area in the basement, or as part of your dining room setup, is the nexxt Pinot Wine Glass Holder Shelf, a wall-mounted shelf that can hold up to six glasses on the bottom, and a few bottles of wine (up to 15lbs. of weight) up top. Finished in espresso, it mounts via a concealed support, which gives the rack the look of floating in air.

Practical items

prepac edenvale contemporary 1 drawer nightstandA great gift idea for the mom-to-be (or dad-to-be!), newlyweds, or elderly person is the Winsome Bed Tray, which is perfect to keep on hand when breakfast in bed is on the menu. That might be because someone is sick, or to celebrate Mother’s or Father’s Day with some soup and hot tea, or homemade pancakes and coffee. It has foldable legs so you can easily store it away when it’s not in use. Beyond use for food, it can also come in handy when you want to get some work done on the computer in bed, or while curled up on the couch.

A small nightstand is sometimes one of those overlooked pieces of furniture. But they can come in handy for holding things like your alarm clock (i.e. smartphone), nightlight, eyeglasses, and favourite novel. You can pick one up for around $50, like the Prepac Edenvale Contemporary 1-Drawer Nightstand, which comes in basic black to match honey can do 24 pocket over the door closet organizerany decor, and with a single drawer for storing those items you want to have close by. In addition to the drawer is a large bottom shelf for storing other larger items, like your laptop or workbooks.

Organize the closet with the Honey-Can-Do 24-Pocket Over-the-Door Closet Organizer,  which can be used to hold up to 12 pairs of shoes, or other items, like jewelry and belts. Made from natural canvas and finished in clear and beige, it’s a great gift for the shoe-lover who isn’t lucky enough to have his or her own large, walk-in closet.

While you might have a front coat closet, some homes do not. And even if you do, you may wish to have a place where you can simply and quickly throw your jacket and hat down when you get home. The Monarch Solid Wood Coat Rack might fit the bill. It has a pedestal base, and three tiers of hanging space to hold both short fall jackets, and long and monarch solid wood coat rackbulky winter parkas. The third tier is low enough for kids to reach, and thus learn to hang up their own jackets when they come inside.

Even when I lived in a condo with double closets in the master bedroom, we still had trouble finding room for all of our clothes. Simply because while dressers and drawers can hold many things, both my husband and I have tons of clothing that needs to be hung up, and not squished so as to get wrinkled. A good solution is a hanger that can neatly hold multiple items, like the Honey-Can-Do 5-Tier Swinging Arm Skirt/Pant Hangers. They come in packs of two, each of which can hold up to five pairs of pants or skirts on their thick metal arms. The arms swing out so you can place the item on top of it or take it off, then lock back into place. This way, you can hang five items in the same space that you’d usually need for one.trudeau 16 bottle spice rack

I remember attending a gift exchange Christmas party one year, and the one gift that everyone was hoping to get was the spice rack. It’s a practical kitchen item that anyone can appreciate, even if you simply use the bottles to house your own selection of spices. The Trudeau 16-Bottle Spice Rack spins for easy access to the spice you need, and comes with 16 glass bottles and tops. As a bonus, the bottles come with spices inside.


Smart home

Get yourself started on the way to a smart home with a Philips Hue A19 Smart LED Light Bulb, which will work with the Philips Hue bridge (sold separately in a Hue starter kit) to allow you to control it remotely, from your iOS or Android smartphone. You can dim the lights to your desired brightness, change colours, set timers, notifications, and alarms, or even geofencing parameters so the light will come on as soon as you approach the philips hue A19 smart LED light bulbhome, and turn off when you leave.

Or, opt for the Mipow Playbulb Sphere Smart LED lamp, which can add mood and accent lighting to any room. It communicates with a wirelessly connected iOS or Android smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth, where you can select colours, or choose from five lighting effects. Because it’s water-resistant, you can also use it outdoors. The unit charges via a wireless inductive dock – place it on top, and it will recharge to provide up to eight hours of continuous use. The 20-centimetre bowl is made from real glass.

See more great items for the home at Best Buy Online

Christine Persaud
With 20+ years of experience in trade and consumer tech journalism, I have covered the tech space since before social media was a "thing" and the smartphone as we know it was even invented. Writing for various technology, lifestyle, and entertainment sites, I have covered and reviewed hundreds of tech products, from home appliances to wearables, fitness tech to headphones, TV entertainment products and services, and more. I'm also a passionate foodie who loves to cook and bake, a TV show fanatic (happy to give what to watch recommendations!), and proud mother to a 12-year-old son.