You know, one pet peeve I have about the entire design field is the snobbery that shows up from time to time. Luckily, I am paired with a partner who shares my belief that good design can exist in all budgets.
Unfortunately, not all who work in design feel the same. Some feel that it is not good if it is not exclusive, expensive, and one-of-a-kind.
We totally disagree. Sometimes we view a room that has been designed from head-to-toe with the best textiles, custom-designed and hand-crafted furniture, and antique Persian rugs that cost a small fortune to travel from their origin to their final (mansion) destination.
These rooms do not appeal to me and I doubt they ever will. On the rare chance that the homowner purchased these items and hired a designer because they truly love and admire each piece, well–I can understand and respect that.
What I see more is a homeowner will hire a designer with “a name” and spend loads of money, for lack of a better term, to show off. My mom reared us with an innate knowledge that style is about mixing and not about name brands. Ever.
Even after our parents divorced in the ’80s and we were living on a shoestring, my mom would still truck down to Lenox and Phipps Plaza (two of our fancier shopping destinations in Atlanta). She would go to their backrooms and hit the sale rack. She would only do this once a year, maybe twice if she made a little more that year decorating model homes and condos.
Let’s see if I recall the brands that meant quality in those years–Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Halston still in the early part of the decade? I can’t remember them all. What I do remember is she would buy two or three solid outfits: cream blazers that fit her like a glove (with shoulder pads no less), black crepe dresses that would transition from day to night, to church or a funeral or a wedding with a pretty cream shawl, cream wool pants with a perfet drape and seasonless quality. It always seemed a fortune at the time, but she was smart.
She would effortlessly pair these with tanks from Marshalls and off-season clogs from Loehman’s. Her few pieces of pearl and/or gold jewelry would fit most occasions, and she would switch her bag as the occasion required: robin’s egg leather blue satchel for a lunch meeting with builders, a large yellow tote at her kids’ football game, a woven shoulder number for the beach. She had “it” without even trying. And, I think I learned from her via osmosis, style isn’t found automatically with money and a huge house on Riverside drive, style is confidence, knowing who you are, trusting your instincts, and mixing classic, well-made pieces with something fun, light & affordable.
Regardless of what blessings God may or may not bestow upon our family, I know I will always live this way. Anisa and I love “junkin” and the hunt too much—yard sales, antique stores, Target, Hobby Lobby, and, yes, IKEA.
Woo, that was a long introduction.
I just wanted to share how this IKEA hater has learned to appreciate it. Usually, when our projects require a trip to IKEA (and most do), I beg Anisa to knock out that part of the list and I’ll do something she may dislike. However, I have slowly and begrudgingly learned how to shop in Swedish-style, and here are some of our faves:
a great little mod table lamp
modern hardware (we paired with anthro knobs on the cabinet uppers)
Jennifer Kesler Photography
great Stockholm rug
a great knock-off tulip table
we used it here (Christina Wedge photo)
And in one of my all-time faves.
IKEA has some great bedding….
Loving the gingham in our boys’ room
I am still in love with this vintage-look floral from IKEA
Sometimes you have to break down and buy an IKEA sofa (not the most comfortable, but great for 5-8 year sofa IMO)
Here in Anisa’s living room (Jennifer Kesler photo)
an inexpensive baroque mirror from IKEA
Anisa recently painted one and placed it in her entry:
Another classic mirror from IKEA
We had a tight budget for this bathroom, so it was a perfect choice!
I own this throw below, and I love that it is soft & stretchy
One of my top 10 bedrooms of all-time.
a great source for inexpensive shelving…as seen below in Anisa’s nook:
Jennifer Kesler photo
and our always-go-to-Ribba-frames
We love our “fur babies”–bad name we’ve given them
infatuated with their gingham rugs!
A few more new things I’m digging…
their cowhides–always a good idea
getting this metal cart for my bathroom this week–need it!
They are always sold out.
what a great chair!
Can you deal with IKEA? My husband cannot!
What is your fave?
Is this post long enough?
Have a great week….