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...


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, mgbwhome.com, from $1,580.  Sofa fabric is "Luxury Velvet" by Fabricut, decorativebuyingservice.com.

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, wshome.com (sofa on the left); and

Settee in blue velvet, 50"W x 32"D x 33"H, $500,  kirklands.com (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 decorativebuyingservice.com.

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

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

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 homedecorators.com (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 Overstock.com and hit paydirt!  Check out these options:

I swear these pillows are identical to the "2 of $122 from lampsplus.com" 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 Overstock.com 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 Overstock.com:
 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 Overstock.com:
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, surya.com for buying info."

I found a very similar rug at caronsbeachhouse.com 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 homedecorators.com -- 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!