Two Nickles: getting design on a…

I love beautifully designed things, the craftsmanship, the detail, the line, and the shape.  I love it, but sometimes it makes me want to cry.  The price for that level of artistry is steep, and for me, often out of reach.  It can be hard to reconcile.  I  appreciate – sometimes achingly so – don’t judge – the level of skill, and vision that must be imbued into these objects.  Still if you can’t afford it, you can’t support it.

BP skirted chair

Blue Print Store . Dallas . TX note the upholstered chair with trim.

This is where mass production and guilt come into play.  Yes, guilt, I was raised Catholic and can engender a fair amount of guilt over ginormous, and tiny infractions alike.  In this case I’m guilty of buying stuff that was manufactured in all likelihood in China.  I won’t even allow myself to think of child labor, or minimum wage, or the lack thereof.  The quality surely isn’t there.  The trick exists in selecting pieces, in combination, that resemble the hand crafted ones, or those that are small batch manufactured with strict adherence to original specifications.  I have a number of stores that I consider my go to’s for excellent knock-offs for pillows, lamps, side tables, and decorative accents.  Home Goods (obsessed), and I am unashamed to admit – Target.  Nate Burkas has turned out a low cost line for Target that’s pretty brilliant.  It leans more to the rustic, and masculine side than I do, but it’s still great, and I can pull a piece here and there, mix it in with a bunch of girlie and voila – ca marche.  Which means it works of course.

Ballard Larkin

Ballard Design . Larkin Chair . $799. add a little trim..

Another favorite trick of mine is the semi-customization of pieces.  Off the shelf curtains to which you add trim, or an eye catching tie-back can transform.  When I am just dying to have custom curtains in a fabric that would add years to my retirement age, I purchase a small quantity and add a band to the top or bottom of my store bough drape.  You’d be surprised – nobody but you will know that you made any type of compromise.

Berkus 29.99

Nate Berkus for Target . Vases $29.99

Now I am going to try something that I haven’t attempted before.  Fingers crossed.  Upholstered pieces are all the rage, and I love . love . fashion so I have fallen head over skirted slipper chair for them.  I am particularly fond of the bold striped panel that runs top to bottom down the center of a crisp white chair.  My heart literally bangs around in my chest when I lock eyes with such a handsome display.  That I cannot achieve in a semi-custom derivative unless I painted the stripe on, and don’t think I didn’t consider it, because I did.  I can however add a trim to the skirt of a much less expensive chair with beautiful lines.  I’ve selected the Larkin from Ballard Design.  It’s a glider and a swivel, again, all the rage right now, and priced at $799. in a simple white linen fabric is roughly $2200. less than the Blue Print version.  I am going to attempt to apply the trim I have left over from the curtains to the base of the skirt.  You might be asking yourself how in the heck I am going to do this – I’m asking the same thing, but I know it can be done.

White Clouds Garden Stool

Home Goods Side Table . $59.99

Once successfully executed I promise to tell how I pulled it off.  One mustn’t be made to feel bad about things that are out of your reach financially.  Creativity beats the daylights out of cash every day of the week.




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