May 20, 2018:


Yesterday Prince Harry married American Meghan Markle and I couldn't get enough of the royal wedding. What a gorgeous dress, the bride was radiantly beautiful and the church at Windsor - oh my goodness, the flowers alone were soooo beautiful. There's nothing like a good love story to make one appreciate how precious we can be (and should be) to each other.

I'm glad the weather was perfect yesterday for the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex's wedding. I can't say the same for around here. Spring keeps teasing and then going away. This morning I woke up to a "balmy" 47 degrees F outside, rain, damp, and I turned the heat back on! It's May 20th, the heat. should. not. be. on. Period.

Last Thursday, however, was beautiful. I was able to get a goodly amount of yard and garden clean-up done over several days last week. I also took some photos of my flowering tree anchoring the north corner of my house and made the current collage. I think it's an ornamental cherry, and on the the other end of the house, I think that's called a purple sand cherry? I'll have to check that. The blossoms on the tree do not have a distinct fragrance, but the purple shrub that wants to be a tree (despite my hacking it back, back and back yearly - I'm losing, by the way) has myriad blossoms with a distinct fragrance. I can't decide if the scent is too beautiful to bear or too awful to smell, it certainly can be overpowering!

This coming week will be the third cut of the grass this season. We had rain late Friday night and then for several hours earlier this morning. This rain, on top of the rain we had over four days the prior weekend, and the grass is growing like nobody's business! I don't mind doing the grass, though, as long as it's not too hot, too cold, not raining, and not too windy. I'm not picky at all, am I...

I still have a lot of raking out of areas that suffered from snow mold over the winter, and have not yet really tackled cleaning out the north flower bed in the backyard. That will be a chore!

But Memorial Day weekend is coming. This coming Saturday I will be out with a friend (who has a nice large van - goody!) stocking up on potting soil, top soil to fill in never-ending low spots in the yard, grass seed, and lots of plants! For some reason, this spring seems busier than those in prior years. I can't figure out why that is...


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Pretty Ad for Ballard Designs: The Look for Less

From time to time, many years before I thought about starting this particular blog, I would visit Ballard Designs online from time to time to ogle their latest offerings.  Ballard Designs is too expensive for me generally, but I have always enjoyed looking over their fine collection of wares.

In my last issue of Traditional Home I came across this ad and I tore it out (thus the uneven side, even though I did attempt to trim it evenly with a scissors - I'm hopeless when it comes to cutting something straight!) -- meaning to scan it.  Today, finally, I got the image scanned in:

Unfortunately there was some bleedthrough of print from the other side of the page.

 I was attracted to many elements in this room, which has a blue-grey and light taupe color scheme.  Love the two chairs with the "zebra" upholstery!  Love the leather ottoman being used as a coffee table; love the orchid; love the mirror.  The color scheme is appealing -- the soft blue-grey of the lamp and accessories was the first thing that caught my age when I flipped the magazine page and saw this ad.  I like the blue cushions.  I love the color of the lamp and would even have such a lamp in my home, although it looks a tad "modern" in design in contrast to what I usually like. 

I took a look around BD this afternoon because, unfortunately, while I should be painting the kitchen or, at the very least, removing wall paper in the family room, I have zero motivation to do either!  I should be taking a nap, too.  That will come later; had a late one yesterday (from 4 to 6 p.m.) and it felt so wonderful!

(1) The mirror is the Portofino Mirror, 42" diameter!  Gigantic!  It also costs $299 and is not wood but plastic, made in China.  Shipping is expensive.

(2) The chair is the Julia chair, and covered in the "Nomad" print, $861.00. The Julia chair is made in the USA.  But at $861.00 this is far more than I would ever pay for a single chair, no matter how much love at first sight it was.  Sigh.

(3) The Kent leather ottoman is $599.00, in the ad above it is upholstered in "almond."  It is 34" square and 15" high.  Made in Thailand. 

Is it just me, or doesn't it seem that these items are all excessively expensive for mostly being made in China?  Whatever the case, it is a beautifully put-together room.

Can I get the look for less?

(1) Substitute for Portofina 42" inch mirror at $299.  This is a tough one.  I'm looking right now at a Next-tag search and only at mirrors that cost less than $299.  None are 42" in diameter and none I've seen have the same segmented frame.  This one is somewhat similar but not as large:

This mirror is from, Hancock Village 36" wide, polyurethane frame, antique white finish.  $269.91.  The same mirror is available at Lamps Plus for $229.91.

A little bit different look - much less mirror and much more frame, at 32" wide, is the Howard Elliot Casey Round Mirror in White at $221.99.  

I could not find a comparable size mirror for the price offered at Ballard Designs.

(2) Substitute for the tufted "Julia" chair at $861.00. Julia's price varies depending upon the upholstery selected.  I visited Home Decorators and found this chair:

This is the Graham fabric chair.  As far as I can tell, it is only available in this twill khaki colored fabric.  The price is $369.00 plus $50.00 for shipping. 

I also found this incredibly inexpensive chair at Target.  It does not have a tufted back or curvy legs but it has gorgeous lines and I love the upholstery.  Best of all, the price is $169.99 plus $19.99 (at the moment) for shipping!  It has the "look" minus the high price tag:

This is the Swoop upholstered accent chair in in Botany Taupe

At a higher price point, also at Home Decorators, is the Birkin chair:

The Birkin, with tufted back, rolled arms and curvy front legs, offers several different upholsteries.  This is "natural print."  It is priced at $649.00 plus $100.00 shipping.  Pricey but still less than Ballard Design's chair.  I'm really digging this French script chair, but it's out of my price range, alas.

Back at Target, I stumbled across this pair of chairs for $799.99 plus special shipping offer of $49.99:

These are Joussard linen, medium size chairs, in beige

(3) Substitute for the Kent leather ottoman at $599.00, 34" square and 15" high.  From Target:

It's not in leather:  Button-tufted upholstered ottoman in Sandstone, 100% linen fabric, 35" x 35" and 18" high.  $230.99 plus $29.99 special for shipping.

From Penney's:

Not leather, Jamar solid cocktail table, velvet taupe with dark expresso wood finish, $200 everyday price, 35" x 35" by 15 1/2" high.  Available in many other colors.

The above all-leather ottoman is from Vive Decor.  It is the Diamond Sofa Zen All Leather Tufted Square Cocktail Ottoman in Mocca, 40" x 40" by 18" high.  $499.00, with free shipping.

(4) Substitute for Suzanne Kasler large gourd lamp at $169.00 in French blue, 29" tall. 

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