April 6, 2019:


The income taxes are finished and were taken to the Post Office yesterday to send out via certified mail, which now costs nearly $16 for two 8 1/2 11 envelopes with return receipt. Yikes! But worth it because I have proof positive once I get the little green cards back that the returns were delivered and received. And just in case, there are tracking numbers that I can also tap the U.S. Post Office for to verify that delivery was made. In these times, it's better to be safe than sorry

I have been working in little bits and pieces outdoors whenever a window in our crappy weather has presented itself. Today, however, was the first day where I was able to spend an extended period of time outside. First, I cleaned up areas on the sidewalk and driveway along the edges where pine cones and branches tiny branches blown off during the seemingly wind storms we endured over fall and winter 2018-2019. After resting for a bit, and removing the winter hat, gloves and jacket, I moved to the back yard because I'm sick of feeling sick to my stomach every time I look at it through the patio doors in the dining room and window above the kitchen sink. This winter left it a true disaster zone. I worked steadily raking small areas and filled two trash can size black trash bags full of debris blown down from my arborvitaes and neighboring trees over the winter, in addition to about half a ton of nut shells. The nut shells are my fault because I feed all the neighborhood squirrels. They are so entertaining, and very smart! I also made a small dent in starting clean-up of the flower beds, where the "mild" (ahem) weather and thawed earth has encourages perennials to start popping through, whether I'm ready for them or not!

All in all, a somewhat decent start to making a larger dent in clean-up operations. I worked outdoors about 4 hours off and on. I didn't want to overdo it, and truth be told, I'm pooped! It's humbling to not be able to work as long or as hard as I used to. I can get it done, but I have to take lots of rest breaks so it takes quite a bit longer now. Good thing I'm retired


Sunday, May 12, 2019

May 2019 HGTV Magazine "Copy Our Cover" - Look for Less, Part 3

Hola!  I'm sorry I haven't been here to continue to the end of the May 2019 HGTV Magazine cover.  In between rainstorms here (which should have come in April, but we were still getting snow and freezes in April), I've been running out when weather permits to continue what seems this year to be a never-ending process of yard clean-up!  Geez Louise, is there the stuff to clean up.  I've lost count of the number of garden waste bags I've backed to about over-flowing so far, and there is still more to go.

As a reminder, here's the article:

The Striped Painting

The art piece on the cover is an original painting by Gina Julian.  She offers some prints for $150 each, and HGTV chose one of those prints for their copy of the original painting (one of a kind, no print available).  I figured I could find something that would cost less than $150.  It's not that I don't appreciate art, or art prints, but the pocketbook can't afford it!  There are lots of striped prints, original artwork and posters available, but I was attempting to limit the choices to a square painting (like the original and the HGTV pick) with most or all of the colors in either the original painting or the HGTV pick.  I also wanted something as inexpensive as possible, not wanting to pay $150 for a framed print.

I found this happy, cheerful striped canvas at Etsy.  The 16" x 16" size (same size as the print chosen by the HGTV team) is $44!  The 24" x 24" size goes for $55. It's a different style of stripes from the original painting and the Gina Julian print, but the colors are similar. Pictured below:

I found this colorful alternative at icanvas.com, Colorful Stripes II, Canvas Print, by Mareike Bohmer.  It comes in several alternatives.  An 18" x 18" unframed canvas print is $50; 26" square is $77.  A framed 18" square canvas print in your choice of 4 different colors of frames (no red or white frames offered) is $77.  There are also framed print options in 16" square and 24" square sizes for more money.  The stripes are not geometrically precise as in the original painting or the HGTV pick, but the color tones are spot on.  Pictured below:

Since these options are square, they can be hung so that the stripes run either vertically or horizontally!

An alternative version in a rectangular shape (18" x 26") unframed also at icanvas.com by the same artist (Mareike Bohmer, Colorful Stripes IV Canvas Art) is $56.  Framed canvas and framed prints in various sizes are also available.  Pictured below:  

A slightly different colorway and style at icanvas.com, Eschelon II by Gibbs Roundsavall in the 18" x 18" size is $50 in unframed canvas.  Pictured below:

The Dog Figurine

The original "Standing Welsh Terrier" by Urban Trends is so cute!  But I thought it was also a bit pricey at $45.  It's also on the larger side, being 7" tall and, frankly, to my eye it looks out of proportion size wise with the white vases it's next to on top of the credenza.  

I had fun hunting for what I call a "Scottie dog." And I found a few.  I found several rather small (a couple of inches tall) for good prices at Etsy and Amazon, and vintage options at e-bay, but I thought they were a bit too small.  Below are my picks:

From Amazon, this cutie, a Black Scottish Terrier by Kotobuki Ceramics, size approximately 5.2" high, 6.75" long, and 2.2" wide, for $34 plus free shipping.  You could spray paint him turquoise or aqua but I like him just fine in black.  Pictured below:

From Etsy, this looks to be the identical dog to the Urban Trends turquoise Terrier, only in white - it is even the identical size (8.5" long x 3.5" wide x 7" high) - for a much lower price of $13 (12.49) (shipping separate), pictured below:

image 0

From e-bay, here's an option in a planter version - how cute would he be with a small air plant or artificial succulent "planted" in him!  Described as Vintage Scottie Dog Ceramic Planter, he measures at 7" high x 7.25" long x 3.4" wide, for $7, but shipping is $15, so total cost (rounded up to nearest dollar) would be $22.  Pictured below, he could be spray painted to turquoise or aqua (or black):

Vintage Scottie Dog Ceramic Planter Scottish Terrier Westie Japan

What's left?  The vases - including a couple that HGTV didn't include in their "copy the cover" article, and the little bowl.  Stay tuned.  

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

May 2019 HGTV Magazine "Copy Our Cover - Look for Less, Part 2

Hola!  Here's the cover for the May 2019 HGTV magazine:

HGTV Magazine  may 2019

The Artichoke Lamp

The lamp is from straydogdesigns.com and costs $695, 30" tall, described as "paper-machine and glass lamp in white."  I don't know about you, but even if I had that kind of money, I wouldn't be spending anywhere near $695 for a single lamp!  I checked the website and right now, this lamp is on sale for $520.  It's handmade by artisans in Mexico and uses all non-toxic materials, 4-6 weeks to delivery.  

There are several options available for artichoke lamps - which shocked me, because it's not exactly what I think of when it comes to "design," LOL!  

1.  Lowest priced Option 1

At Kirklands, one of the places I start when shopping for lamps online, here is a 27" tall off white artichoke table lamp with faux wood base, made from polystyrene and polyurethane.  The lamp finish includes a distressed finish with gold on the edges of the leaves.  The color is not white, though, and the shade is an "oatmeal" color.  Regular price is $90, on sale right now for $72, not including shipping (pictured below):

2.  Lowest priced Option 2

Also from Kirklands, a more petite artichoke lamp, 24" tall in an off white distressed finish with gold edges on the leaves, also made of polystyrene and polyurethane with an oatmeal colored drum shade.  The price is the same as for the Option 1 (above), $90 regular price, $72 right now on sale, not including shipping (pictured below):

3.  Low priced Option

Offered at Amazon (which includes free shipping on orders over $25), this is the Kenroy Home Outdoor Artichoke Table Lamp, 30" tall in a Roman white finish on resin and off-white tapered drum shade.  It is built to be used outdoors with a heavy duty cord and bulb cover but there's no reason it couldn't be used inside, priced at $120 (pictured below):

4.  Mid priced Option 1

Also offered at Amazon (free shipping on orders over $25) is the Crestview Collection Artichoke White Glass Lamp, 28" tall, which includes a clear crystal round "footer" on top of a black square base, and it appears the round finial is glass.  The finish is true white and the shade is white linen.  Priced at $152 (pictured below):

5.  Mid priced Option 2

From Ballard Designs, this lamp gives you the option of purchasing the base only if you don't care for the tapered shade it comes with (lamp with shade $159).  The base alone of this 31" tall white finished resin lamp on sale for $111 (regular price $139).  Shipping is charged at 15% of the full retail price on total order value of $200 or less, so the shipping would be 15% of $139 or $21, for a total cost of $132.  The lamp, pictured below, is shown with a different drum shade than the one it comes with for $159:

6.  Higher priced Option

The color on this lamp and shade - certainly not white!  The shade is beige and the body is called "almond."  I included it in my options because I like the size and shape of the lamp.  I would spray paint it gloss white and get a new white straight sided drum shade.  Pictured below is the Pacific Coast Light Artichoke Table Lamp offered by 1-800Lighting.  Minimal information was offered on this lamp, it appears to be made of resin and has a clear round base that is either acrylic or glass, priced at $199 with free shipping:

The next post will look at options for the bright rainbow-striped painting.

Monday, April 29, 2019

May 2019 HGTV Magazine "Copy Our Cover" - The Look for Less!


Time for another "Copy Our Cover."  This is the May 2019 magazine:

This is a bargain cover this month!  The total for HGTV's picks is a skinny $1,168.  The art work and the painted console on the cover are "custom" and not priced; some of the vases in the photo are "props" and also not priced.  Here's how the prices for the "Copy Our Cover" picks by HGTV add up:

Two white vases: 70.00 ($37 and $33)
Lamp:                695.00
Server:               156.00
Blue dog:             45.00
Tall vase:             45.00
Bowl:                     7.00 (Set of 4 at $26.50)
Art:                    150.00

The Console/Credenza/Server

When I start my searching I begin with the largest/most expensive item first, so I looked for a console/credenza.  The original piece is custom and (I believe, if I'm reading the "sources" correctly) by Deary Construction in Brooklyn, dearyconstruction.com.  No dimensions, size or cost was listed.

I was disappointed that the HGTV pickers didn't find something that looked closer to the original credenza/server, other than being red.  The original piece reminds me of French Provincial/Provencal design, with the curvy inset carving on the doors and the swirly/curvy bottom skirt.  Options I found to consider:

1.  HGTV pick look-alike:  

From Target Marketing Systems, the Montego Collection Buffet Cabinet in red, 39.3" x 15" x 36" H, for $128 plus free shipping (Amazon).  The HGTV pick is $156 with free shipping (Joss and Main) and whiile I'm working on this it's currently on sale  at Joss and Main for $134 with free shipping, so some slim savings from either vendor.

2.  Off the rails pick:

From Home Depot, a larger server offering 3 drawers plus two cubbies worth of storage and shapely legs that I think would look great painted red (leaving the dark top in place):

Above is the Litton Lane 48" x 17" x 33"H Farmhouse Wood Cabinet, $347, but that doesn't include shipping to your door.  "Curb side" delivery to my place would be an additional $55, so a total cost of $402.  You can opt to have it delivered to a nearby Home Depot location and pick it up for free if you have the means to do so (I do not - no vehicle and don't drive).  I like it for its country French design that features a darker contrasting.  A couple cans of apple red gloss spray paint and voila, a masterpiece!

3.  Priciest option:

From Wayfair, the Loon Peak Lockwood Server, $640 with free shipping (to door delivery; in home delivery is extra), it comes in two finishes black (cherry) and nutmeg (rich honey light oak), 37.5" x 18" x 31" H (pictured below):

The Lockwood server has arched carved doors and the swirly/curvy bottom apron, and also offers two drawers for additional storage.

4.  Middle priced option:

If you have the room for it, you might fall in love with the true French Provincial style of this piece, sold online by The Simple Stores, made by Pulaski Furniture, Antique White Carved Door Console, $549 and free delivery to doorstep (in home delivery extra), 60" x 12" x 36" H (pictured below):

I also found this identical cabinet at Birch Lane, although not identified as a Pulaski piece, for $521 plus free in-home delivery!  

5.  Lower priced option:

I don't like the finish on this credenza/server at all, but I like the overall carving and love the country French style of this piece, with its curvy legs and bottom apron, and floral/geometric carved motif on three doors.  Pictured below is the Mistana Ottinger Server offered by Wayfair, 47.25" x 15.75" x 30" H, for $427 and free shipping (to door):

Birch Lane offers a 2-door version of this identical cabinet in a more petite size:  32" x 15.5" x 33" H for $376 with free 2-day shipping, which looks much cuter than it's larger brother, also featuring wood construction.  I think a slightly toned-down red finish on this piece would make all the difference in the world, and I'd put a mahogany or very dark cherry finish on the top.  However, be warned: this has a very rustic and aged textured wood finish, not smooth wood.  

Next post will be options for the expensive artichoke lamp.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Temptingly Cute Finds at TJ Maxx

Hola!  The tail-end of that nasty big storm front is now leashing my home town with thunderstorms, which are promised to blow out of here by rush hour tomorrow morning.  We'll see.  As a positive, the rain NOW is melting away the snow that fell yesterday, in a massive blizzard-like bombardment of hummingbird sized snowflakes that coated and stuck to everything!  Wowsers!

At Christmas I received a Gift Card that is usable at Homegoods, TJ Maxx and related stores.  While I'm listening to Rachel Maddow's show on MSNBC on internet radio, I'm browsing TJ Maxx for their "New Arrivals" and have come across some really cute cute cute stuff!

Succulents Anyone?

It was hard for me to believe that these are actually artificial succulents (they look like jade plants to me).  They are the cutest things!  The set is available at TJ Maxx online right now (no saying how long) for $14.99 for the pair of black ceramic with wood base containers filled with non-removable succulents (darlings - everything is removable if there is a will to remove it, as we know) in gravel base, 3 inch diameter, 4.25 inches tall, $14.99. 

Who Doesn't Love Soothing Healing Crystal Energy?

Also under "recent arivals," this heavy (16 ounces) Calcite Blue Crystal, 4 inches wide, 2 inches high and 2 inches long,  for $7.99. I have two major hunks of crystal in my living room, at present resting on the fireplace mantel.  I also have a small crystal dangling from a chain on the center loop of my mod-style French Campaign bed, so it bathes me with healing energy at night while I sleep. 

Who Can't Use a One-Drawer Mid-Century Mod Vibe Side Table?

I LOVE this table, simple, elegant, industrial, rustic finish and mod, all in one.  Wish I had room for one or two here but alas!  Hand-made from India, it is wood in a natural finish on a metal base, 25.5 inches tall, 18.5 inches wide and 14.5 inches deep, $69.99.  This is a great option for a bedside table (or pair if symmetry is for you), flanking a sofa, or a comfy chair in a reading corner. 

For the Gardeners!

This is beautiful - a great size ceramic planter made in Portugal at a great price, 10 inches wide and 9 inches tall, $12.99.  The glazed finish highlights the "ruffled" edge at the top and the subtle fern design on white background. I see cute-to-gorgeous planters in HGTV's "Curb Appeal" feature in their magazines at prices far beyond what I ever spend, even if I could afford it - it's a PLANTER, for pete's sake!, and I'm always on the lookout for larger planters that will hold their own size-wise on a concrete front stoop, side stoop and patio - but for as low a price as possible. 

On Trend Tropical Print Shower Curtain

Check out this Envogue tropical floral print cotton shower curtain, machine washable, 72" x 72", $14.99.  This could inspire you to redo your bathroom by adding different paint, complementary colored bath mat(s) and towels. 

Wow - I can go on and on, but my bed is calling my name.  Thanks for shopping along with moi. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Snow, Snow Go Away!

Hola everyone!

Well, as predicted, SE Wisconsin has caught a clip off the chin from that massive storm out to the southwest.  Initial forecasts were for up to an inch of snow that would not stick and would melt upon hitting the ground, followed by up to an inch or so of rain tomorrow.


We had bits of tiny snow flurries off and on all morning, but nothing to speak of; the ground was wet, that was all.  And then about 3 p.m., BAM!  The flakes were coming down, large, fast and furious, and they piled up in less than half an hour.  So much for the forecasters being accurate, at least on this call, although they were right about the snow coming after all.  It's still snowing out now, but much finer flakes.  There is about an inch already piled up outside.  Tomorrow will be above freezing by several degrees, though, if the forecast is correct, so this won't last.  Thank goodness.  I jumped the gun because we had a 70 degrees plus day on Monday, and even yesterday was nice enough to be able to sit outside and enjoy some reading for awhile in the sunshine, although it was getting windy - a sign of the approaching storm front.

I took some pics.  I sure hope this is the LAST of snow for this year, please Mother Nature!

Just catching the beginnings of the storm - it hadn't been snowing more than 20 minutes or so when this photo was taken, so you can see how fast it accumulated!  That's one of my chubby little squirrel buddies munching on a hazelnut, sort of wet and straggly looking, sitting under my Shezebo where she's out of the snow.

Lots of snow piled up quickly in the yard not sheltered by tree branches.  Can you see the squirrel tracks in the snow on the patio, and all the nut shells piled up just since last evening's and this morning's feedings?  They pile up fast!

This is the view to the southwest out of my front door.  Yikes!

The view from the door that leads to the kitchen of the driveway.  The trees are all coated with white sticky snow 
and are so pretty! My poor irises!  I cleaned the beds out Saturday and now they're unprotected from the snow.
They really popped up a lot during the two day stretch of nice weather we had on Monday and yesterday!

Looking toward the southeast, the trees are covered in snow frosting.  Look at those flakes coming down!

The rest of the week will be in the high 30s/low 40s and gloomy.  This snow will melt away quickly enough, but winter isn't ready to give up its grip here yet.  UGH!
Updated April 29th:

We got another late season snow fall - but this time we dodged a bullet.  The forecast on Saturday April 27 called for as much as 8" of wet heavy slushy snow in our area, depending upon how much - if any - lake effect snow we would get.  But all depended upon where the front hit.  As it happened, the forecast was revised at least twice by the National Weather Service and they still got it somewhat wrong; the storm ended up starting around 3 p.m. not 10 a.m. as originally forecast, and not 12 noon as revised.  The bulk of the front slid further south of us and even spared Chicago from getting more than 2 1/2" of snowfall.  We got about an inch to 1 1/2" here.  Since Sunday dawned sunny and clear (but cold and still), the snow melted and once the temperature rose above 34 or so the snow melted quickly; it was almost all gone by noon and totally gone by the end of the day.  You would never know it had snowed here at all! 

It looks like all my perennials sending up shoots and budding shrubs survived without any damage.  WHEW!  But my heat is still turned on, for pete's sake!  It's almost May Day and my furnace is still going! 

Friday, March 29, 2019

HGTV's April 2019 Copy Our Cover - The Look for Less! The Finale

Hola!  As a reminder of the cover I wanted to High/Low:

The total cost for HGTV's picks:  $2,517.50 (includes 3 yards of fabric at $17.50/yd)

(1)  Carrara marble top and wood double vanity with oval sinks:  $1,599
(2)  Two bath mats in palm leaf print on white 20 x 30 at $29/ea.:  $58
(3)  Roman shade fabric by Boxwood Press, Scalloping Circle Ikat cotton fabric in green and blue (yardage needed not listed) at $17.50/yd. (estimating 3 yds):  $52.50
(4)  Three patterned towels in teal/green and white floral pattern at $13/ea:  $39
(5)  Dip-dyed teak stools, one each at $68 and $78:  $146
(6)  Two polished chrome cross-handle faucet with arched water spout at $291 ea:  $582
(7)  Two glass with cork top cannisters at $15 and $14:  $29
(8)  9 x 13 plastic tray in aqua: $12

My picks:

Total cost for my picks:  $1,624 (includes 3 estimated yards of fabric at $12 a yard)

(1)  Home Depot Stufurhome Marla Vanity in white with oval sinks, 6 drawers and framed mirror included:   $1,174 with free shipping.
(2)  Two bath mats from Target's Opalhouse Collection, Soft Solid Bath Mat in Dark Green, 20 x 32 at $12/ea:  $24.
(3)  Joann Fabrics Premium Wide Cotton in Blue and Green Watercolor Triangles, $12/yard (estimated 3 yds):  $36.
(4)  Target's Opalhouse Collection Sheared Floral Fringed Cotton Bath Towel in teal green, 3 at $13 ea.:  $39 (same as HGTV's pick and homeowner's pick as listed in the Sources).
(5)  Bob's Discount Furniture Teak Top Nesting Tables (pair):  $100.
(6)  Wayfair Kingston Brass Millennium Widespread Bathroom Faucet with Cross Handles, 2 at $108 ea:  $216.
(7)  Ikea Saxborga set of four glass clear glass jars with cork lids (2 large, 2 small) and cork tray, $15.
(8)  Home Depot Studio California Mauna Green Crackle Decal Melamine Serving Tray, 13.5" square, $20.

John-Richard Sutton Place Sideboard (Perigold) - The Look for Less

Hola!  So there was I was this morning, peacefully reading my Washington Post online when an ad comes up on the side from Perigold featuring this drop-dead gorgeous sideboard that just took my breath away!  Let me introduce you to the John-Richard Sutton Place Sideboard:

I tracked it down, thinking (1) that it was painted wood and (2) wouldn't this be a great hack for somebody who can hold a paint brush and knows how to use it on a less expensive sideboard!  The possibilities...

Well, turns out it is NOT wood - it's glass and steel, no wood mentioned at all in the Specifications, which I find strange; are the sides, bottom, back and top all glass, too?  Are they painted steel?  What about the inside shelf?  The front glass doors are painted on the inside (reverse painting) with "continuous golden dunes."  And it's huge:  34.5" H, 84" W (length), 20" D.  Regular price is $4,948 with free shipping and assembly; the sale price is $3,793.

That is more than what I paid for the furniture in my living room and dining room combined.  I love a challenge, so I thought rather than starting work on my 2018 income taxes (YUCK!), I would look for something to give me the look/feel of this piece for less money, something more in the range of "feasible Jan skimpy budget." 

For those of you who are daring with a paintbrush, let me propose this piece as a possibility: 

Yes, its an iconic Ikea piece - the Stockholm Sideboard in walnut veneer and solid ash.  More petite than the giant size Sutton Place Sideboard at 31 7/8" H, by 63" W, 15 3/4" D, it is available to order online at a price of $449 (but you pay for shipping and have to assemble) or you can check the stock at an Ikea bricks and mortar store if you have one within reasonable travelling distance and pick it up yourself.  This piece off the look of four doors; one door on the right opens separate and features a drawer and shelf; the other door on the left end opens and the two doors in the center open as a single (hinged together) unit to reveal a longer drawer and a single longer shelf.  While the grain does not run horizontally, I can imagine that a brave soul with a paint brush could replicate the look of the "continuous golden dunes" on the Sutton Place Sideboard.

Or, another iconic Ikea piece at a lower price that features horizontal wood veneer doors (but only 3 doors, not 4) and three shelves behind each of those doors - the Besta Storage Combination with doors in white, Inviken ash veneer, at 29 1/8" H, by 70" W, 15 3/4" D, at a price of $305, this finish is available only in store, not online.  You have to assemble.  The same unit with the doors finished in Inviken black-brown with white sides and legs is available at the same price, can be ordered online (you pay for shipping and have to assemble).  Here's the Besta in the Inviken ash veneer finish:

There are several different finishes (color and material combos) available, including several with glass door inserts if you wanted to try your hand at reverse painting on the glass. 

But - if you're like me and have zero talent with a paint brush and/or are chicken to try it (I'm both), then you'd want an already finished piece.  Like this beauty, that I found at AllModern:

It's the Terresta 4 Door Sideboard by Hooker Furniture.  It is poplar and hardwood solids with birch veneer.  The description does NOT, however, indicate what the finish is on those doors!  There are 4 doors with one adjustable shelf behind each, as well as the shelf running across the bottom of the unit.  Dimensions are 34.25" H, by 68" W,  18" D, regularly priced at $1,648, on sale for $990 with free shipping.  It is unclear, though, whether the piece is delivered fully assembled - or not.  Because there is a something called "Full Service Delivery and Assembly" for an extra $120 that is listed separately with another "check" box right underneath the "check" box with the listed price.  However, under "Assembly" beneath the Description and Specs, it says No Assembly Required.  Confusing.

Wayfair, LuxeDecor, Hayneedle and Bellacor offer the same product for the same price with free shipping.  I did a quick Google search for "Hooker Furniture Terresta Sideboard" and up popped more than a dozen different mini photos of the same sideboard with links to different sellers at different prices, some indicating it included free shipping.  

The bargain is at AFA Stores for $770 including free shipping, two man delivery AND assembly in the room of your choice.  This particular sale ends later today, though, at least according to the "countdown clock" at the website.  It also indicates at this website that there is a "wallpaper wrap" on the inside and outside of the piece.  Is that some kind of translation for "wood veneer?"  Perhaps this is an applied finish similar to what Ikea calls it's "foil" applied finishes.

A less expensive option with a faux marble look in a more petite size is Mercer 41's Selzer Console Table, 28" H, by 60.25" W, 16" deep available at Wayfair, AllModern and Walmart all for the same price of $338 (Reg. $629) with free shipping, assembly is required.  The piece is constructed with brass metal work, solid and manufactured wood with ash wood veneer and a faux marble finish:

Buyer Beware:  I read the reviews on this credenza/console table at Wayfair and several of them included photographs of the assembled piece in the homes of the purchasers.  The unit looks beautiful and the doors appear to have a sheen to them as if they were covered in polished stone veneer.  That being said, purchasers generally had a lot of issues and problems in assembling the product, particularly with getting the doors all leveled and even, and many returned products that arrived damaged inside their shipping boxes.