Friday, April 16, 2010

Buy This, Not That

I’ve got good news and bad news.  Good news first: the items you choose for your home don’t actually have to BE expensive to look expensive.  Like a chic outfit paired with really good costume jewelry, people will make assumptions based on your overall taste level and the details they see….same goes for your home.  The bad news?  When you don’t know what to look for, you can easily spend your hard earned money on something that looks (gasp) even less expensive than it is.  That’s not what we want.  I took a field trip to Home Goods today- everything there is quite affordable, but here’s what separated the luxury-looking items from the bargain bin ones.  

Basic Style

Homegoods is an absolute goldmine for great finds, but sometimes they interpret styles too literally and end up with merchandise that looks more like a novelty item than a chic piece.  If you’re going for a nautical look than by all means, incorporate some blue and white strips in your design aesthetic.  Add accents of red, maybe even accessories or furniture made from driftwood.  But do not buy a lamp shaped like a lighthouse, or a large captains wheel that says “welcome aboard”…that’s just taking it too far.  

lamp above, for example, costs about $130.  Even if you’re really committed to a nautical feel there’s still classier options, like this Lantern Accent Lamp.  

They’re $30 each, which means you could literally buy three of these stylish lamps for the price of the obnoxious one.  


There’s so much to consider when selecting a fabric for your sofa, chairs or pillows.  Luxury choices tend to set themselves apart with detailing like embroidery or tufts, and of course high-end fabrics.  Every material gives off an impression, so be sure to study what it’s saying before you make a purchase.  Here’s an example for you.  

These chairs are exactly the same in every way, except the first one looks dated and cheap, while the second one reminds me of these $2,000 chairs from Anthropologie.

Even if I was able to get past the particularly bad Zebra print of the first chair, the fabric itself looks shiny and plastic.  Know what trends are in (read: check Design Muse often), and you’ll always have the upper hand in your selections.

Furniture Texture

If I could warn you of one thing only, it would be to stay away from anything wood grained that looks too synthetic.  Cheap “wood” is as bad as it gets…it screams poor quality.  If you have a pre-existing bad imitation wood condition in your home and you can’t afford to make a change, consider painting whatever the object may be.  A high lacquer gloss in black, white, or even a bright shade creates a statement piece, while a more matted paint will help it blend in.  If you can avoid cheap looking wood altogether, that is- of course- the best case scenario.  As far as other furniture textures go, mirrors, high quality wood and embossed metals tend to look more expensive. 

We found this unimpressive Nightstand at Biglots for $169.99.  

Compare that to this gorgeous 
Glass Accent Table from Target that’s about half the price at just $89.99.  The moral of the story is simple: chose your purchases thoughtfully and you can make a simple budget look like a million bucks.  Fail to do so and you’ll detract from your home’s value.


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