Joanna told me she'd made a habit of when she came across an outfit she liked, in a magazine or a high end retailer or wherever, she would make a mental note of the styles, the cuts, the materials, etc., and then scavenge much cheaper stores for similar pieces, putting together designer looks for way less.
Now, I realize this isn't a novel concept. People have been doing it for years - you can't afford Anthropologie so you shop from Ruche; you can't justify splurging on a "real" Mulberry handbag so you plan to buy from their Target line (available in stores October 10 - December 31, 2010, btw). It's smart shopping for those of us on a tight budget who still want to look trendy. But what I never realized before Joanna led me on to this approach is just how addictively fun it can be! Not only do you end up with some envy-inspiring outfits, but you get to smile all the way to the bank while wearing them, guilt free.
Well... all this to say, I've begun doing this with apartment decorating, too. And you guessed it, it's equally thrilling! Take this room, for example:
Design*Sponge, belongs to the Minnesota home of photographer Kimberly Cornelison and her husband Alfie Ferreyra, who do photo shoots for all kinds of cool home and garden magazines. I LOVE their style. So... I set out to see if I could mimic it on a budget. Check out what I found:
Starting with the table, which appears best I can tell to be simple, white, and round, I found this odyssey table at CB2 for $199.
Next comes the table runner. And again, we're in luck. While it's not identical, this one from seller floratouch on Etsy has the same clean lines and black and white color scheme, and it's only $12 bucks.
French bleu damask candles, 2 for $8.00, from seller TheShabbyChicCottage.
The sugar and creamer set were $2.99 each, the flower vase was $1.99, and the white ceramic bowl was $3.99. A steal, if you ask me.
I also found these mini containers at Goodwill and thought they were cute, especially for just $.50 a pop!
And I couldn't believe this find - an entire set of these 6 dainty Corelle mugs for $3.99!
Now, I realize some people are a little squeamish about eating and drinking off of previously owned dinnerware. I personally believe in the absolute absolving power of hot water and some good dish soap, but if you're one of the uneasy ones, never fear. Just keep tabs on clearance events at places like Crate and Barrel, Sur La Table, and even Anthropologie has good sales. You have to be patient, but you can get some great stuff this way.
For example, this kado blue rice bowl is on sale right now at Crate and Barrel for $5.95:
Also, CB2 is currently having an online sale where you can get these drinking glasses for between $.50 and $.95 each, and pieces from this white porcelain dinnerware set for $2.95-$4.95.
In addition, this cute little shatter-resistant bowl is only $3.99 at Sur La Table:
You see, with a little patience and a good eye, you can snag some really great dinnerware pieces for a fraction of the original price. You probably won't find enough of some clearance items to score an entire set, but I happen to like the whimsical appearance of a mix-matched tabletop anyway.
And to carry on the eclectic theme, in the Minnesota home's breakfast nook that we're mimicking, they've chosen a bentwood bench as part of their seating. Not what you might expect to be pulled up next to a modern white table, but I think that surprise and the fact that it works is part of what makes the effect so delightful. This is another one of those items that you have to be patient and watchful in order to find it at a bargain price, but hey, I was in luck today! Guess what else I found at Goodwill:
True, it's not exactly bentwood, but for $15.00, I'm not going to be too picky. I think it will look just great in our little room we're putting together, especially once we accent it with a chic, decorative throw pillow, like this one I found on Etsy from seller KenilworthPlace, $25:
For the chandelier in the room, I browsed Ikea's online supply of lighting fixtures and found a nice substitute in this Lerdal chandelier, $49.99:
And that, ladies and gentlemen, just about raps the room up, except for one last thing - the wooden blinds on the window. To get this look, I found a similar product at World Market, their chunky bamboo roll-up shade, priced between $24.99 - $39.99, depending on the size of your window:
Ouila! They're you have it. A cute room with decor you can be proud of - both for its style and its price!