Splurge vs. Reality

While decorating my new home, I definitely have to keep in mind The Budget.  In a perfect world, I wouldn't have one.  I would find my inspiration, buy it, and be done.  But that's not going to happen to me any time soon unless I win the lottery (note to self, remember to actually buy a lottery ticket!).  

The internet is a wonderful tool because it allows you to really "see" what's out there and get some great design inspiration.  Someone recently told me they never go to the pricier web sites because it's depressing.  I have to say, I don't agree at all!  I love snoop shopping on designer web sites.  I love getting beautiful catalogs.  They're great for getting the idea, and then copying it for a lot less.

For example, here are two sets dishes:









Aside from the cup an saucer in the second photo, these dishes, for all intent and purpose, are the same.  They are similar in style, and are the same size.  The first set is from World Market.  A set of four dinner plates will cost you $15.96.  The second set is from William & Sonoma.  The same four plates have a cost of $80.   Needless to say, I own the dishes from World Market.  And when my kids drop one (and then two!) I go down and buy another set of four without crying.  Much more practical and I get the same affect.

Do you remember my post Fall Updates?  I found those beautiful pumpkins at Horchow that I absolutely fell in love with.  But not the $375 price tag!  Sometimes I can copy something that I love for a much better price.  The pumpkins were $2 each and the bag of crystals was $10.  This year I plan to add several more (and more crystals to the two in the photo - that was all that Hobby Lobby had that day!)  So about $25 by the time I'm done. That's a price I can live with!

One really great way to help copy more expensive looks is Pinterest, which I shared in my last post.  I can grab photo's of beautiful, high end things or looks, and then search until I've found or duplicated what I love. I have several boards for different purposes, and I love them.

Take for example, my new desk.  I knew I had to have a smaller desk.  This new house, while larger, no longer has a dedicated office space (the first time in 12 years, HUGE change for me!!).  So I knew I needed something functional and practical, that would fit in a small space.  I looked, and pinned, a LOT of desks.  Not just desks, but office looks.  And then I narrowed it down.  The corner desk that I really liked?  Out.  No corners in my house to one in!  Another desk was lovely with lots of cubbies and storage, something I could really use, but it was BIG.  Too big for my small space.

Here was one of my inspiration looks:
And here is what I actually bought:
Is it exactly the same?  Nope.  But the first desk is $400 for the desk and $250 for the hutch.  Total cost of $650.  The desk I bought was $120 and the hutch was $70.  Actually, I got both pieces on sale for $120 with a coupon - shop smart!!  The new desk fits perfectly in my space, and my filing cabinet (on sale at Staples for $40 a few years back) has the same finish, so it looks like I purchased a matched set!

So don't avoid high end catalogs or web sites for your ready to decorate or update your space!