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

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Look for Less: Ballard Designs "Bar" 2

Hola!  I can't believe it took me 1 1/2 hours to get the grass cut out front!  And I haven't begun the trimming yet!  I did rake up the mulch around the maple tree near the curb that was all messy and driving me crazy, and picked out dozens of stones along the fence line with the neighbor to the north -- they have this UGLY red lava rock/stone as a mulch in their year along the fence line, and it always seems to be migrating feet into my grass - like two to three feet into my grass from the fence line.  Now how does that happen, I ask you???  Do the stones have little feet that they hide when humans pick them up?

I'm taking a break right now and jumping right in with the "star" of this look for less:  the Bar table!  It is pretty.  I found several acceptable less expensive substitutes, depending upon your price point and budget.  Here we go.  Oh, and here's another look at the inspiration image:

Refresher:  The table is the Fairmount Console, 32 1-2" high x 65 1-4" long x 14" deep: $899. Hardwood, made in Italy. Worn black or distressed white over gray.

For $399 and free shipping through the duration of the sale (which ends this weekend, but you know, sales happen all the time, darlings!), you can get the Overton Buffet from Home Decorators:

The Overton Buffet measures 39" high x 52.5" long x 19"deep.  It is taller and deeper than the inspiration table and less length. The Fairmount Console (inspiration table) is 5' 5 1/4" inches long; the Overton comes in at a little less than 4 1/2' long.  Like the inspiration piece, it has nice curvy legs and two drawers, with a bottom shelf for additional storage.  Interestingly, it featured only one center leg. The Overton has what I think is a "Jacobean" look, or maybe late Victorian - those heavy turned legs, but the depth of the drawers and the underskirt balance them out nicely.  The finish is NOT black, it is "rich cherry."  A little hard to tell from the photos I've seen how light or dark a cherry finish this is.  I like the look of it, but short of spray-painting it black I'm sure there are many methods of getting a darker look adding black wax perhaps or - is there such a thing as black rub-n-buff?  I keep reading about rub-n-buff...  Anyway, the price differential is $500 plus that free shipping.

The Universal Great Rooms Charleston Sideboard in charcoal (Model 28778) offers an elegant but more expensive alternative:
Depending upon where you shop, you might score this at $716 plus free shipping at Gnarly Shopping.  It also is offered at much higher prices elsewhere, which we're not interested in!  The Charleston Sideboard is made from select veneers and hardwoods, charcoal finish, 66" long x 18" deep x 49" tall -- it looks like that back scroll work is about 12-14" high, so I'm guestimating the actual height of the table top at 38".  If you subtract the scrollwork back, the Charleston Sideboard looks much like the Fairmount Console with its delicately turned legs and also has the length (5' 6" long).  Also features two drawers and that bottom shelf. The price differential is $183 plus the free shipping.

The least expensive alternatives that follow all have considerably less length than the Fairmount Console (5' 5 1/4"), but if space is a consideration in your home, the price is very right for any of these possible substitutes:

Found at Wayfair, Oriental Furniture foyer table, for $268 and free shipping:

Measures 29.75" tall x 37.75" long  x 13.75" deep, black finish, made out of wood (type of wood, veneers, or whatever, not specified).  It features two drawers, bottom shelf and nicely turned legs, but lacks the length and the middle set of legs.  The price differential is a whopping $631 and free shipping, but you're giving up about 2 feet in length plus center leg or legs. 

Also found at Wayfair, the Safavieh Katie Console Table and I'm just loving the look of those curvy front legs!  Yeah, it's not straight turned legs like the inspiration photo, but look at her, isn't she gorgeous!  She costs $209 and has free shipping:

Katie's dimensions are 32" tall x 43" long x 15" deep.  She is made of birchwood and features a cherry finish top and distressed black finish elsewhere.  She has two drawers and a bottom shelf that has curves in the front, and her front legs feature turnings at the bottom.  The rear legs are straight as is the back of the bottom shelf.  At 43" long Katie is about half a foot longer than the  Oriental Furniture foyer table, above, and costs less plus has free shipping.  At the time of this posting, Wayfair said Katie was out of stock and would be restocked around May 15, 2012.  The price differential is $690 plus free shipping.  By the way, I did find Katie at for $186.05.  As you know, the prices at fluctuate, depending upon interest in a particular item/demand and supply.

Also at Wayfair, the Convenience Concepts French Country Console with Faux Marble Top, for $141 (but currently out of stock):

Dimensions:  30" tall x 48" long x 15" deep.  This offering comes in black with a faux marble finished top.  It has delicately turned legs and there is a center support foot under the bottom shelf.  Only one drawer, though.  At 4' long, this is about 1.5 feet shorter than the inspiration table, but for the price and where space is at a premium, it offers a reasonable alternative to the inspiration piece.  It is wood veneer and faux marble construction.  There is also a slightly less expensive alternative with a medium-oak finish top for $133.12, otherwise identical to this table in construction, look and size.  The price differential is $758 to $765 more or less. 

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