December 4, 2016: Hola everyone! Winter has arrived in Milwaukee and there are snow flurries today. Despite several hard freezes remarkably my "spikes" in two of my patio planters have absolutely refused to die. The rosemary and thyme plants I nursed inside the house through last winter spent the summer in their pot outside next to the side stoop off the driveway, where they get plenty of sunshine all day long. I transplanted them into a cozy sheltered spot right next to the stoop in October and they are still green and growing, too! With the delay in getting the drywall patching done in the relatively minor "reconstruction" work I had done in my kitchen, I am way behind my time in getting the house decorated. But yesterday I got my wreath decked out with extra lights and dressed the front door of the house, and my battery-operated traditional candles were put up on the window sills all around the house Friday evening. It becomes a ritual to go around at dusk and turn the tops to the right to turn the candles "on" and at bedtime to go around and turn the tops to the left to turn the candles "off." Today I put some "glittery" throw pillow covers purchased new last month from H&M on three of my sofa pillows to glam things up a bit in the living room and add some sparkle. Later on, after I sufficiently fuel myself up with wine and snacks and probably to distract myself while I listen to the Packers game on the radio, I will huff and puff and pull my artificial tree up from storage in the basement. I will decorate it simply this year. Every year I say that, and every year I end up throwing just about everything except the kitchen sink on the tree. I am very proud of myself this year, though. I did not buy a single new ornament or Christmas doo-dad for the house (throw pillow covers don't count!!!) Happy Holidays to all, with hope and fervent prayers for 2017. I've a feeling we're all going to need a lot of help from Goddess in the coming year. Jan

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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