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Cheaper But Just As Nice… Or At Least Just As Functional

March 22, 2012

I have a great excuse for why this post is so late tonight. I was paging through my March 2012 copy of House Beautiful. House Beautiful is a fantastic magazine for imagining your dream house or for discovering the newest decorating trends. However, it doesn’t usually help me out too much in my own decorating. There are two reasons for that.

Reason one: price, Price, PRICE! If I were rich, perhaps I could look at these pages with a different mindset, but until my ship comes in…

Check out that big green picture above. It is massive, over 7 feet long! And it is made out of dried sphagnum, Spanish and mood moss. Pretty impressive. But not only do I not have a wall long enough and open enough for that, I don’t have a room modern enough for it, nor do I have a bank account big enough. Would you believe $3,995?

Another example. I love the idea of the retro chaise lounge. I could definitely see one in my bedroom someday. Don’t you just love them? But I’m pretty sure I won’t be dropping $4,538 on it, which is the price of the bottom center chaise. I do applaud them for including an offering from Ikea – the center green chaise lounge. More than affordable for my lifestyle at a super-reasonable $349. Now if I only had a box of trufffles and bon bons sitting next to my chaise lounge…

Reason two: Not really my style sometimes. Now there are parts of this dining room that I do like… the Persian-looking rug, the mirror, the hardwood floors. But on a whole, I like lighter and brighter areas with a more relaxed and inviting look.

Features I like about this kitchen? I love the brightness and I love the sparkling clean look of the Lucite table and white counters and cabinets. And I love, love, love the color of those beautiful aqua chairs! However, this would never fit my lifestyle unless a) my cats never entered the kitchen, b) I never planned to have children, c) I would never cook anything with red sauce again. Oh, and did I mention that I would absolutely LOATHE dusting that… uhhh… chandelier?

And now, just because I’m so wrapped up in this issue, here’s a room I love. This is a great little reading and relaxing nook that turns into a guest bedroom when needed (check out the great daybed!). The crisp white looks great when paired with a very neutral cream. Very clean and cool looking.

And ahhhhh, check out that tub! And the woodworking! And I wouldn’t complain about having a bathroom so large that I could put a plush ottoman in the center!

Ok, now I guess I should move on and show you the not-quite-so-elegant changes going on in my house. Once again, remember I have a budget of virtually nil and an older home with small spaces.

Change number one happened in our dining room. I can’t say that I’m quite a fan of the design of the dining room chandelier (if you could call it that). It kind of reminds me of those old bathtubs with the claw feet. Anyway, more drastic changes may eventually hit it one day, but for now, I stuck with a small change of the glass pendants.

We went from this…

… to this. Not perfect, but a little more modern. And they were FREE, which is always a plus, since I had purchased them for a different light a couple of years ago.

Hmmmm, do I see some kind of spray paint in this chandelier’s future? I’m not going to change it until I have a solid idea of what I want in this room.

Change number two involved a nightstand for our master bedroom. For an older home, our master bedroom is actually a pretty decent size. However, fitting a queen bed on the one half of the room leaves very little room for nightstands on either side of it. While searching for nightstands, I discovered that most of them are much wider than they are deep. My problem was that I only had 17 to 18 inches on either side of the bed. I also wanted something with at least a small drawer to keep a few things from the reach of the kitties.

Enter this thrift store purchase. It’s an old-school living room end table with the faux-leather finish on the top. Parts of it remind me very much of a couple older pieces that were in my family’s home growing up. After cleaning all the wood up, it looked pretty awesome for less than $30. Plus, it could be rather multi-functional should we ever move.

And… TA-DA! It fits perfectly.

On the other side of the bed, I have a narrow bookshelf that works out perfectly. I am very thankful that the modern trend is to mix and match certain kinds of furniture instead of having complete matchy-matchy sets.

So, while I may occasionally like to steal a few looks from House Beautiful, I am perfectly content with the small changes that I can afford to make in my own cozy, little nest.

(Note: The first 7 pictures were taken from House Beautiful, March 2012, published by Hearst Magazines.)

From → Decorating

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