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, January 5, 2014

The Look for Less: HGTV Magazine Cover January/February 2014

This is a shorter than usual Look for Less this month.  I loved the cover look so I was excited to see if I could duplicate the look for less!

Here's the cover:

Here's the article:


I know it's a little difficult to read - sorry about that - going up to the next size pic would be "original size" of the magazine page that I scanned and way too large! 

The original sofa is the Odette Sofette,, from $1,580.  Sofa fabric is "Luxury Velvet" by Fabricut,

The Odette measures 54"W x 36"D x 36"H.  The Odette is by Mitchell Gold and Bob Willias, and the starting price (discounted from $1,520) is $1,299 at Hammertown

The selections HGTV offered are:

The Presidio, 60"W x 36"D x 36" H, brushed canvas love seat in mist, $1,850, (sofa on the left); and

Settee in blue velvet, 50"W x 32"D x 33"H, $500, (go Kirklands!)

The pillows on the cover look were all custom made.  The Zigzag fabric is Montecito by Alan Cambell in Celeste on Tint #AC250-08, Quadrille; the floral is Parcheesi 01 by Fabricut, both from

The selections HGTV offered are (from left to right):

Zig Zag 16" x 16" cotton and linen pillow in blue, $22,;
Niche Serena 13" x 22" cotton pillow, $42.50,;
Dazzling Zigzag 18" x 18" polyester dupioni pillow in blue/cream, $122 for a set of 2,;
Findlay Apricot 12 1/2" x 19" linen and rayon pillow, $60, for stores; and
Chevron Blue 18" x 18" cotton pillow, $47,

The second I saw the price for the Kirlands settee I knew it would be tough to beat, both in price and looks compared to the original Odette sofette.  Kirklands' settee has a bench seat (like the Odette) and is also upholstered in blue velvet (like the Odette). Kirklands' settee is not a Lawson style (like the Odette) but has swooped arms, and it doesn't have spool legs or casters.  Color-wise, though, I like it as a match to the Odette much better than the Presidio in mist, which looks more in the aqua or turquoise family than sky blue.  It is so difficult to determine true color tones, though, on a computer screen! 

I checked out loveseats at (and area rugs too).  I found two area rugs that had the distinctive swirl (ocean wave?) pattern of the rug in the HGTV cover, but the colors were not right so I've ignored them.  I didn't find a loveseat or settee I liked for the right price.

I next visited Target.  Now I have to tell you straight off, the settee I'm about to show you isn't anything like the Odette, but it is gorgeous -- and it does have nicely turned legs and it is upholstered in blue velvet!  The price is also great!

This is the Button Tufted Velvet Chaise Settee in Caribbean.  It has a lovely color and nicely turned legs.  Size-wise, it comes in larger than the Odette:  71"W x 28"D x 33"H, $479.99.  My question is -- who would ever sit on such a piece?  I'd have a couple of feather pillows in one corner to throw my back against and put my feet up on the opposite arm. 

I'm going to give an honorable mention to the Hudson settee in slate velvet, also found at Target, 50"W x 29.25"D x 33.5"H, $279.99!  I find this a dead wringer (including the brass tack trim along the bottom) of Kirkland's blue velvet settee:

The slate color is problematic -- is it more toward slate blue or more toward slate grey?  At any rate, while the shape and size of the Hudson is nearly identical to Kirkland's blue velvet settee (and how can I possibly beat that price?), the color is definitely NOT a match for either sky blue (robin's egg blue?) of either the Odette sofette or the Kirklands settee.

Pillow shopping is such a chore!  I quickly checked through the stock at Target online and didn't find anything.  I next visited and hit paydirt!  Check out these options:

I swear these pillows are identical to the "2 of $122 from" offered as a less expensive option in the HGTV comparison.  But the "twofer" I found are $77.99 (today only?); an identical single pillow is offered for just under $46:

Contemporary Poly Dupione Blue Zigzag Square Pillows (Set of 2), 18" x 18":

While the pillows, above, are dead wringers for the HGTV pillows selected as lower-priced options for the "look," I really fell in love with these "ikat patterned" pillows that I also found at
 I like the color tones of these pillows much better in terms of coordinating but not being matchy-matchy with the blue settees, and notice the green tones in these pillows -- I think they coordinate so much better with the floral lumbar pillow (Parcheesi pattern in the HGTV magazine cover photo).  This is another "twofer" deal:  Sea Foam Woven Ikat Printed 18x18-inch Throw Pillows in polyester (Set of 2), $26.99! 

In looking for options for the lumbar-shaped (rectangular) pillow, I discovered another "twofer" at
This pattern is Fairington Corded Aqua Rectangular Throw Pillow (Set of 2), actually an outdoor pillow, in aquas/reds/oranges/yellows on a white background, polyester, 11.5" W x 18.5" L, and 5.5" thick.  The price: $ 30.03 for the pair!  Use one on the settee and use the other somewhere else.  I chose this pattern (1) the colorway looks good with the Ikat-patterned square pillows I picked out in the image just above; (2) the pattern has all the colors in it as the inspiration pillow, except a leafy-green, but more importantly to me, the pattern density looks to be about the same (lots of white background); and (3) the pattern is suggestive of "floral" without being "flowers/leave/vine."

Here is a close-up of the Parcheesi fabric by Fabricut (in "Candy" colorway) used in the original HGTV cover photo:

The colors are pink, fuchia, creamy yellows, bluee, various greens, goldish tones, on a white background.  Seeing this, it explains the cover photo's use of "hot pink" (fuchia) colors in the florals on the left and the fabrics sitting on top of the woven basket on the right.

I like my choice for the floral patterned pillow a lot better, LOL! 

About that area rug -- HGTV magazine's Shopping Guide (p. 138) identified it as "Lighthouse Collection #LTH-7007 8' x 11' wool rug, $1,488, for buying info."

I found a very similar rug at for $1,023.60 for 8' x 11':  Yacht Club Collection from Surya! 100% wool flat woven luxury area rugs in a fun whimsical wave pattern of peacock blue and ivory:

Caron's Beach House also offers a hand-tufted version of the wool rug in blue, the 8' x 11' ix $1,566:

Herre is one of the two rug patterns I found at -- NOT 8' x 11' and the field is not cream or white!  But they could work if you went with a darker colorway in the settee/loveseat (and throw pillows):

Image above is the Tradewind Area Rug (indoor/outdoor) in dark blue, 7'6" x 9'6", $639.00, hand-hooked out of synthetic non-allergic "wool-like" fibers (fibers not described).

Also available is the Shore area rug (not shown; pattern looks the same as the Tradewind Area Rug, above) in green and blue, and what looks like a lavender blue and light yellow pattern.  It offers an hand-hooked synthetic  8' x 10' area rug for $539. 


  1. This is so fun! I see lots of rooms I like on Pinterest and it would be fun to try to put the same look together by window shopping online. And isn't it true - whatever you find, you can find nearly the same thing at other stores.

    1. Hi Deb, thanks for commenting. Yep, I find it fun to do this, and challenging, too. One of the reasons I like HGTV magazine so much is that every month it features a "high/low" section where the designer takes a high end item and then offers a lower cost option for it. On a beer budget like I have, it's been an eye-opener to see what it available if one shops around enough. It also gets the imagination going, which can be a good thing :)

  2. You found some fabulous alternatives! Those pillow selections are awesome - especially for those prices. It was fun to see what you found. laurie

    1. Hi Laurie, thanks for stopping by. I really liked the pillows I found too. I especially like the ikat pattern and colors, makes me want to redecorate just so I'd be able to use them in the room -- and I've barely begun the family room that I started nearly 2 years ago (in March, 2012). No one can say I make hasty moves, LOL!