Each month I look forward to getting my Architectural Digest and checking out what they have deemed worthy enough to feature. Since they feature work by the world’s most famous (and expensive) designers, I like to see what they use and figure out how I can achieve a similar look at a much more affordable price. Today’s Save or Splurge features the very high end seating by Howard A.M. Stern called the Tete-A-Tete. The set includes two corner chairs with wood trim and a coordinating ottoman. The back is very elaborately detailed and the wood trim adds to the elegance. That being said, the set sells for the ripe sum of $30,000. You could purchase a pretty decent car for that!
My alternative is not an exact match, but it has some unifying elements and frankly, I think it looks like it would be more comfortable. It still retains the wood legs and wood trim around the back and sides, but the back is 7″ shorter and doesn’t have the “X” pattern. It is out of soft chenille rather than linen, and has what I consider to be a more stylish looking ottoman. Since they are all purchased separately you can really put any ottoman you want with it, but I needed to have something for comparison’s sake. The best part is, for this set you are only out $1467. That still leaves you enough to buy a car!
Kitchen islands, Man Caves, and game rooms make leather bar stools popular pieces of furniture. A comfortable bar stool that swivels is practical in all of these applications. This elegant bar stool from Frontgate features a barrel-type back that wraps you in leather comfort. However, you might need a drink from the bar after paying between $699 and $1099 per stool, depending upon the upholstery chosen.
My affordable option is from Hillsdale Furniture, a great source for high quality furniture that won’t break the bank. This bar stool still features leather upholstery, a barrel-type back, and solid wood construction. Granted, it doesn’t have the fancy carvings, but at almost one-third the price, you might be able to look past that. In fact, at $269 per stool, you actually have so much money left over you can afford to throw a great party, get drunk, and you won’t even notice the difference!
Is there a high priced item you’d love in your home but can’t afford it? Email a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will find you an affordable option.
Barbara Green is The Design Diva and owner of Sensibly Chic Interior Design. Follow on Twitter @thedesigndiva.
On this week’s Million Dollar Decorator, Martyn Lawrence Bullard went to England to shop for a “Designer Curated Sale” for online retailer Open Sky. If you haven’t heard about Open Sky, its concept is they get celebrities to pick out their favorite items, and then Open Sky sells them online for a discounted price. These are high-end items, any of which would not be available to the general public.
Today’s Save or Splurge item was not featured during Million Dollar Decorators, but since his shopping trip was, and the the throw is on the Open Sky website, you know Bullard picked it out. It is a black rabbit throw and its discounted Open Sky price is $2395. He is quoted “Pillows and throws are among the easiest ways to instantly change the feel of any room.” He is correct, but I am morally opposed to using real animal pelts. I’m sure PETA would protest, too.
If you want the elegant look of a fur throw, you can find cheap faux fur throws at shops like Target for under $25, but they won’t be as rich looking as this one which costs $209. Even though you can find it cheaper, sometimes you just need to invest in a higher quality product. This throw is timeless and can last for your lifetime.
If you like what you’ve read, please forward it to your friends and followers. If you have an expensive item that you’d like a more affordable option, leave a comment below or send a photo to email@example.com. Also check out our other blogs High End Looks for Less and Ask the Design Diva.
Barbara Green id The Design Diva and owner of Sensibly Chic Interior Design. Follow on Twitter @thedesigndiva.
BravoTv‘s Million Dollar Decorator has a fabulous interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard. This week he decorated Daisy Fuentes living room and included an amazing wall of mirrors that was truly a work of art, and had an equally amazing price of $15,000!
If you are handy with a screwdriver, a can of spray paint, and a caulking gun, you can recreate the wall display for under $150! Before you go shopping, determine the exact size display to fit your space. Daisy Fuentes‘ wall was huge, so you will probably want to reduce the size a bit. Draw a grid the size of your desired piece to determine how many vertical and horizontal pieces you need to span that distance, spacing them 12″ apart. You can alter the spacing if it help make the math easier. Once you have figured out how many pieces you need and their length, it is time to go shopping.
Go to a home improvement store that stocks narrow boards (1 x 2’s or lattice strips would work well) and ask an employee to cut them to your predetermined lengths. Also purchase some wood screws to screw the wood strips together, the spray paint color of your choice, mirror tiles, a glass cutter, and a tube of mirror adhesive.
When you get home, lay out the wood pieces in the desired grid size and screw them together where they intersect. Now you can spray paint the grid. Allow the spray paint to dry 24hrs before proceeding. Use the glass cutters to vary the sizes of the mirror tiles. When you have a pleasing arrangement, use the mirror adhesive to attach a mirror at every intersection, covering the screw. Allow adhesive to dry and it is ready to hang! If you are intimidated about cutting the mirror pieces, you can go to a glass shop and order mirrors cut to any size you want.
If this process still seems above your skill set but you still want an interesting mirror look, purchase a mirror made of lots of smaller mirrors. This will give movement and interest, but be much easier to accomplish. Here are two ideas to get you started. The one on the left is $400 and the one on the right is $271.
If you have any high priced items that you would like but can’t afford, we will try and help locate an affordable option. Simply leave a comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find similar posts on our other blogs, “High End Looks for Less” and “Ask the Design Diva.”
Tags: affordable, Ask the Design Diva, Bravo, BravoTV, Daisy Fuentes, DaisyFuentes, decorating, design diva, designdiva, High End Looks for Less, home improvement, homeimprovement, Martyn Lawrence Bullard, Million Dollar Decorators, mirror, mirrors, Sensibly Chic Interior Design, The Design Diva, wall decor, wall of mirrors
A good lighting plan includes ambient lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting. Since everyone knows we all look better in candle light, why not include some for your lighting and decor needs? Today’s Save or Splurge features a beautiful candle sconce from Horchow. These would look beautiful in a living room, dining room, or even the foyer. I tend to use them in pairs on either side of a mirror or piece of art. It gives the entire wall decor more presence. Since the Horchow sconce retails for $395, buying two of them might be difficult. Of course, The Design Diva has found a more affordable option so you can cover your entire wall with sconces for what you’d pay for one of the other ones. This option can be purchased from Kirkland’s for a paltry $29.99. Now that is what I call Sensibly Chic!
Is there a high priced item you are coveting, but can’t afford? Let The Design Diva know in the comments or email her at email@example.com and she will try to find a comparable item at a lower price.
Friday night may be a family game night for you or a poker night for the guys. If you have the room, why not include a game table in your interior design plan for you and your family’s pleasure? No matter what your budget, I have the option for you.
The set featured on the left is made from solid oak construction, black leather upholstery on rolling high back chairs, a reversible top that has felt on one side for a game of Texas poker and a solid wood surface perfect for a family game of Scrabble or Monopoly. It also has a hefty price tag of $4230.
For the family looking for something more affordable, below is a hardwood table stained to look like cherry. It still has rolling chairs with leather upholstery, but the backs are a little shorter. It still has a reversible tabletop, but a more affordable price tag of $1182, which is one third the price of the original. That leaves a lot of surplus money for beverages, snacks, and (optionally) betting.
Tags: board games, decorating, design diva, designdiva, family games, game board, game room, game table, home furnishings, kids games, monopoly, party poker, poker games, poker stars, poker table, scrabble, Sensibly Chic Interior Design, Texas poker, The Design Diva
Outdoor decorating is all about comfort. This summer, instead of lying around on your family room sectional watching television indoors, stretch out and enjoy Mother Nature on an outdoor wicker sectional. This 7 piece sectional by North Cape is weather resistant for use outside. It retails for $45oo and is made with aluminum frames and wicker-look resin. I know that budgets are tight right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy leisure time outdoors. Our great bargain friend Target comes to the rescue with their own version of the outdoor wicker sectional. This one can be made in any configuration, but pricing it with 7 pieces for comparison sake, it costs only $997. I know it doesn’t look exactly the same, but with all the money you saved you can buy a weather resistant TV so you don’t miss any of your favorite shows…LOL
Furniture Stores carry a wide range of sofas in both leather and fabric. The sofa to the left is tasteful combination of both leather and fabric made by Lexington, and it retails for $5000. The beauty of this design is that the seat cushions are fabric, making them soft and comfortable without the sliding around associated with leather seats. The frame of the sofa is wrapped in leather, which will be durable and stand the test of time. An additional benefit is when you get tired of the fabric pattern on the cushions or pillows it is a lot more affordable to change it than having to reupholster the entire piece. If you love the look of that sofa but can’t afford that amount, the sofa below has similar lines, with the frame covered in brown leather and cushions covered with fabric, but it retails for only $800. The leather is distressed, which makes it a great choice for homes with children or pets.
Flooring plays an important role in a good design plan. It covers the largest surface area in a home, so you need it to be both beautiful and functional. Many homeowners today are choosing to have a wood floor, and then use an area rug to designate the seating area and offer comfort, warmth, and color. There is a wide range of prices for area rugs, and a wide range of quality. Quality area rugs are investment pieces, particularly those that are hand-tied and made of New Zealand wool and/or silk. Both rugs pictured here are hand-tied, and both rugs are made of New Zealand wool. Both area rugs have similar colors and patterns, but the rug to the left is $4200, and the rug below is $1800. You won’t have to sacrifice style or quality if you buy the less expensive rug, but you can sacrifice your old furniture, because now you can afford to buy new furniture!
Placing furniture around the room is the easiest part of decorating. What really makes the room “sing” is including the perfect accessories scattered evenly throughout the space. If you are going for an elegant look, a crystal vase brimming with seasonal flowers is a great way to go. This Baccarat vase from Saks Fifth Avenue costs $375. That’s a pretty high price for the average homeowner. The only way an untrained eye is going to know how much you spent is if you leave the price tag on the bottom and they are snoops!
Another option would be this vase by Nachtmann, which only costs $17.99 on Amazon.com. It is still crystal, it still has the same shape, it is still heavy, it will still look beautiful brimming with flowers. However, you will still be able to eat the rest of the month if you buy it!