Archive for the ‘inexpensive design’ Category

shopping trip of the week

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Posted by Rebecca, March 18th, 2010

I haven’t posted in a while, but that’s okay because I also haven’t told anyone about this yet!  We’ve been working a little bit on the design and direction of the site.  But I’m back!!

I spent this past weekend at what is becoming one of my favorite stores: Ikea.  Ikea used to be known more for their quirky items, swedish meatballs, generally low (meaning in height)  and cheap (meaning in price) furniture.  But recently it seems that Ikea has been able to distinguish between cheap and inexpensive design, with even their furniture stepping up it’s game recently.  Every time I go there, and we’ve been going at least once a month, I manage to find some treasure that I didn’t discover the last time I was there.  This visit was unplanned and we didn’t expect to find anything, as we were just there about 2 weeks before.  We went mainly to accompany my brother and sister-in-law and hang out with the nephew.

Our first find was these Merete curtains in brown for an affordable $39.99.

ikea curtainsThey are the perfect taupe-ish color we are looking to paint our living/dining room area.  Window treatments for an entire house are a biiiig expense, so we were happy to find something reasonable that perfectly matched the style, color and vibe we wanted in our dining room.  Plus they are a nice, heavy material that my curtain climbing cat will not be able to pull.  After thinking about it, we want to pick up another pair for the opposite window in the living room.

My beef with Ikea curtains is that, out of convenience, you have to hem the bottom with their iron-on hemming strips.  We already own these Ikea Stockholm Blad curtains from our condo, which I still love.

ikea leaf curtainsI had to perform an Ikea hack of sorts on these.  First the opening for the curtain rod, that top part that looks unattractively scrunchy, was too small for our chunky rod.  I hand sewed some tabs onto the back so that our rod would fit and bypass the opening.  I also used the iron-on hemming strip on the bottom, only to have my cat pull it out in a week.  Since I didn’t have a sewing machine, I brought them to a tailor who permanently hemmed them, and also machine sewed the tabs I made.  Luckily the Merete curtains have oversized metal eyelets at the top to avoid the curtain rod issue and looks so much neater.  And I have since gotten a sewing machine (thanks mom!)

My other great find was these Dinera dinnerware sets…

ikea dinnerware beige
ikea plates

These are listed on the Ikea website for $14.99 for 6 place settings.  We picked up the brown and the beige to mix and match.  The funny thing about these ridiculously inexpensive plates is that we registered for a Calvin Klein set which exactly resembles this.  One (that is 1) place setting of the CK version was $49.99- on sale.  We registered for 12 and only got a few.  So we were able to pick up 12 place settings of this Ikea version for a whopping $30!!  Here is the CK version in the beige….

calvin klein platesYes, they matched right down to the color choices.  The only difference was that the Ikea sets did not include mugs, but who really uses them when entertaining? Our guests prefer booze.

Until next time, Ikea!

good design in strange places

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Posted by Rebecca, February 10th, 2010

I recently fell in love with this tissue box from Walmart…

tissue box

If I had a daughter, I would be all over this.  I love the color scheme- it’s a mix of grays, purples, browns and creams that somehow looks wonderful together.  The graphic is simple yet so modern and sophisticated, with that little hint of whimsy that I think would be great for a kid’s room.  So often, people assume a little girl’s room has to be pink to be girly.  A little outside the box thinking could make a really unique room.

Looking at this pattern reminded me of some prints I bought from Ikea for our condo about a year ago.  They were different variations of a simple pattern….

Picture 2Unfortunately, they are no longer available from Ikea’s website for me to link.  I paired them with a frame similar to this simple matted Fjallsta frame.

ikea frame

I’m not sure of the size of the frames I have, they are currently in a storage unit with the other 90% of my belongings.  But I would say they were about a 10″x10″ square.  I then hung 3 of the prints on top of one another and placed them on a long narrow wall space we had. I absolutely loved them and plan on hanging them again in our new house.

I am wondering if there are other variations of this tissue box scheme.  But even on it’s own or the same image multiplied by 3, it would look great with a cream colored mat and a dark brown frame.  Using a mats and great frames arranged in multiples can make even the most ordinary image into a piece of art.  Why not get artwork for the price of a tissue box!

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