January 31, 2018:


Today is the Super Duper Blue Red Full Eclipse Partial Eclipse Moon, depending on where you may be viewing from.

Three years ago this day was my last day of working and I retired after 46 years of full-time work. I've enjoyed every single moment of my retirement since then - three years and hoping for twenty more, we'll see how things go...

February and March can be cruel months in southeastern Wisconsin where I live. January itself was nutso here weather-wise, with two separate thaws. I don't ever remember getting two January thaws before, and many years none happened at all.

Before I know it I'll be headed to Las Vegas to visit my friends and celebrate some sunshine and warm weather, and see a show (I always try to squeeze one in). Meanwhile, I am continuing, slowly, to make this smaller retirement ranch into a home that makes me smile in every room. I still have lots to do, including major painting projects. I keep putting them off. Seems at 66 I'm not so keen on painting as I was at 36. Gee, I wonder why...


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Look for Less: Ballard Designs Calais Bedroom 4

Here are the posts thus far:

The  Challenge (Introduction) October 23, 2012.
Shopping for the Ottoman - October 31, 2012. 
Shopping for the Headboard - October 24, 2012.

Shopping for the bedding!

I spent many hours looking for a similar pattern to Ballard Design's drop-dead gorgeous Calais bedding in creamy white and shades of navy to lighter blue.  With mixed success, I confess, darlings!

I've mentioned this before -- I'm not the most patient shopper, either on-site or online!  When I find something that is good enough I usually buy it, and generally I've been very happy.  But for these challenges, I've tried to step up my game a little.  Hmmm...

Tonight, whatever possessed me - when I looked at the actual description of the Calais bedding at Ballard Designs, I NEARLY HAD A FRIGGING HEART ATTACK!

I've been shopping now for over a week thinking I was looking for something in NAVY BLUE or SHADES OF BLUE.  And - guess what - THERE IS NO BLUE IN THIS DUVET. 

Also was shocked that this is a DUVET COVER - not a comforter!  For $249 for a queen size?  With faux wood buttons?  ARE THEY KIDDING? 

Close-up of the Ballard Designs Calais pattern.  Does the dark
color look like black to you???  I thought it was navy blue!

Shock and horror, darlings!  Do I start over and toss out everything I'd done before, focusing on smokey to dark blue tones (with mixed success)?  Or do I just chuck it up to one of those things and continue onward, adjusting from this point but sticking with what I've found thus far.

I opted for the easy way.  I stuck with what I've found thus far - which is shades of blue.  Geez Louise!

So, without further ado, here is what I found while shopping for the bedding -- NOW keeping in mind that the actual colors are BLACK, CHARCOAL, TAUPE AND BROWN ON CREAM BACKGROUND.  The original look included a duvet cover (which I actually thought was a comforter and was, therefore, shopping for a comforter with one exception I found - you'll see it below) - $249.00, Euro shams (2) -- $49 each ($98.00 total), standard shams (2) -- $39 each ($78.00 total), and a bedskirt -- $199.  Ballard Designs prices are noted. Total for the look is $624.00.

Here is the opposite of dark-colored design on pale background:  it's a light-colored design on a dark background:

This is from J. C. Penney, the Linden Street Marlon Comforter SET, currently on clearance for $70 (for real) for Queen Size.  Yes, you read that correctly.  And, darlings, it is actually a comforter, not a duvet cover!  And yes, it is a SET -- the only thing not included are the Euro pillow covers!!!  Particulars:
  • all-over floral Jacobean pattern
  • blend of blue, cream and chocolate
  • soft chenille, microfiber and faux linen

    Comforter set includes:
  • comforter with neutral microfiber back
  • pleated linen-like shams with button accents
  • bedskirt has 15" drop; fits footboard

    Full and queen sets have two standard shams. Euro pillow, accent pillows and window coverings sold separately.

    Linden Street Marlon bedding is polyester with polyester fill. Washable. Imported.

  • I liked the pillow shams of the Chaps Allistair Bedding Coordinates, Kohls online.  I thought both the Euro paisely-printed shams and the dark blue-on-blue striped shams would go beautifully with the Linden Street Marlon Comforter (above), but I could be wrong because the blues might clash; I thought, however, that the relative pattern size of the paisley to the floral print was a good match-up:

    Kohls' Chaps Allistair Euro pillow sham, regularly
    price $49.99, sale price $34.99.

    Alas, the blue on blue stripped standard pillow sham only comes with a duvet set (again, a duvet cover, not a comforter -- how naive I've been!). So, I've not included it here since it cannot be purchased separately.

    Another Chaps set at Kohls Online caught my eye.  The queen-size Camellia set is a duvet cover and two shams, on sale at the time I found it for $153.99 (regular price $219.99):

    Chaps bedding is budding with beauty. Featuring a romantic floral print, this duvet cover set conveys undeniable charm. Add breathtaking elegance to your bedroom with this enchanting duvet cover. In blue/white.
    • Durable cotton construction ensures lasting quality.
    • Details:
      • Includes: duvet cover & 2 shams
      • Cotton
      • Machine wash
    Keeping in mind that I was shopping for blue and white or blue and cream, and not black/charcoal as the primary dark colors, I saw this set and thought it was so beautiful and ethereal, but definitely NOT a Jacobean print.  Nonetheless, I selected it because of its colorways and overall pattern.  I think it would take a long time before I ever got tired of looking at this set:

    Pyranees Bedding Coordinates, found at Kohls online:

    Queen size set description:
  • Vermicelli stitching lends a luxurious touch.
  • Details:
    • Includes: Queen comforter, bedskirt & 2 standard shams
    • Comforter cover/shams: cotton
    • Comforter fill: polyester
    • Bedskirt: cotton/polyester
    • Machine wash

  • Regular price is $369.99, sale price was $258.99.  While the color description was not given, I think it's light blue, dark blue, some turquoise blue in there, some charcoal, maybe some black, some lighter brown to tan or taupe tones, on a gorgeously quilted creamy background.  Soooo beautiful!  This set rang my chimes :)

    Oh yes, woman, you've strayed a long way away from that inspiration bedding! 

    I found a very expensive set at Wayfair, the queen size Jardin Bedding Ensemble, for $949.00 - which I would not pay even if I was rich, but it sort of has a Jacobean feel to it, although not as deep, dark or rich a print as Ballard Design's Calais bedding:

    • Queen size includes comforter, 2 euro shams, 2 standard shams, 2 pillow shams, 3 bed skirt with 21" drop, 6 fiber and feather filled accent pillows
    • Face and back material: 100% Polyester
    • Color: Navy
    • Reversible comforter
    • Dimensions: 92"-110" Width x 100" Depth  
    How adventurous are you?  I found this set at Aliexpress (an offshoot of Alibaba, I believe) that is a duvet cover (I think), or perhaps it is just a sheet set?  The description of the set is inadequate, not to mention you'd be ordering from mainland China, but if it IS a duvet cover with two shams the price (which includes free slow shipping), is modest at $79.99, and for a blue and white floral comforter in the Jacobean style I thought it was very nice -- but -- who knows for sure???  Here it is, for your inspection:

    100% cotton dark blue flower white background floral pattern queen bedding set 4 pieces with sheets bed linen.  Huh?

    Scrolling down the website page I came across this description:

    This set includes(1- 2cm error is permitted):
    1 * Duvet/Quilt Cover * 79 x 91 * Inch = 200 x 230 cm
    (Reversible Pattern, the cover comes with zipper closer, you can put your own duvet or quilt into it)
    1 * Flat Sheet * 91 x 98 * Inch = 230 x 250 cm
    2 * Pillow Shams * 20 x 30 * Inch = 50 x 76 cm (Due to the pillow shams fabric cuts from the full duvet cover, so maybe is not same with the pic, but always same with the whole bedding sets)

    That last part -- I think that means that pattern on the cut-out pillow shams may not match-up exactly with the pattern in the duvet cover, but it will be the same pattern and color (???)  Or it means something entirely different...  LOL! 

    I don't know - maybe I missed the boat entirely on this one.  Well, I've still got shopping to do for the lamp, the mirror and that gorgeous demilune table.  Whew!

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