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

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Look for Less: Ballard Design's Emerson Kitchen

Shopping for a look for less area rug:


Tonight I went online shopping for an area rug as part of the Ballard Design's Emerson Kitchen challenge.  I do not have a full image of the Emerson area rug because, wouldn't you know it, except for the runner, Ballard Designs is entirely out of stock of the Emerson rug!  I also have no idea of what sizes it came in or what the prices were.  So I guestimated since it was hand-hooked 100% wool (made in India) the size I'd need -- around 7x9 so one's chair would not "fall" off the rug when dining at the kitchen/dinette table -- would run between $500 to $700 and I selected the mid price of $600 as a budget point.

But then I got to thinking hmmmm, would I really want to have a 100% wool rug in an area where food would be eaten (and no doubt spilled and/or crumbs brushed off the table top) regularly plus there will be a lot of foot traffic from and to the kitchen through the dinette into the family room (and to the garage service door that is in the near corner of that room), not to mention that my dinette area hosts the sliding door to the deck!  So I selected a few of wool and synthetic, at varying price points.

The thing about rugs is that what appeals is so subjective!  I have a picture of the Emerson rug, yes, but to find one like it for a better price -- not so easy.  I have a color description:  DARK CHOCOLATE, PEWTER AND BUTTERSCOTCH.  As you know, there are almost always many more colors used in such rugs that are not mentioned in the description!   It's got a cotton canvas backing.  I looked at it several times online in close-up.  It's a floral pattern rug that could be classed as traditional, or transitional, and it's got a medium to dark brown background, grey, and varying shades of beige and tan. I think the photograph of the rug, above, from the Ballard Designs website, is misleading, because when I first saw it I thought the rug background was GREY, not brown!  I was surprised to read it was brown, actually!  Overall, the rug appears very neutral, but without being able to see just the rug alone and in close-up -- well -- who knows! 

Here are my choices. They came from Home Decorators Online!  I looked at Bed, Bath and Beyond, Target, and Overstock.com as well, but did not find any rugs that appealed to me within the price ranges I was looking for.  I also have to say that overall, Home Decorators Online had, in my estimation, prettier rugs, although out of the price range when shipping costs were added. 

And the winner is - ding ding ding ding ding:


This is the Heights Area Rug from Home Decorators.  I selected the larger size, 6'7" x 9'6" at a price of  $440.  I didn't think the smaller size, 5'3" x 7'3", would work well with a round table and four chairs.  The price for the larger size is $440; for the latter size, $269.  Shipping charges are $57 for the larger size and $34 for the smaller size.  It's color is "Dark Brown," but in close-up you can see varying shades and tones of beige/cream, tan, what appears to be a light rust color, and grey.  I thought this rug most closely looks like the inspiration rug in both design and color.  The Heights area rug is a machine-woven synthetic, in contrast to the Emerson rug's hand-hooked 100% wool.  Price differential:  Emerson ($600  price point ) -  Heights larger area rug ($440 +$57 shipping) = $103.

My other selection is:


the Finn area rug, in the 7'10" x 10' size!  It it priced at a meager $239 for that size plus $31 for standard shipping, a total of $270.  It is a synthetic machine-made rug.  As you can see, it is more colorful that the Heights Area Rug, but similar in design spirit to both the Emerson inspiration and Amboise II rugs.  Finn's border looks light blue, definitely not the "butterscotch" color of the Emerson border), and the rusty-colored tones in the floral field are pronounced and totally absent in the Emerson.  But it would be hard to beat this price for this size of rug.  Price differential:   Emerson ($600 price point) - Finn ($270) = $330.  Soooo --

Price differential between:
Emerson inspiration rug and Heights:  17% savings for Heights.
Emerson inspiration rug and Finn:  55% savings for Finn. 

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