Affordable Design

In case you’ve been hiding under a rock recently, “mid-century modern” design seems to be everywhere these days. CB2Dot & Bo, AllModern, and Etsy.com.

The thing I love most about the real stuff; the actual vintage mid-century modern furniture is that it’s incredibly well made. That’s the reason people are scrambling to collect it even today, and why it’s become so hard to afford.

One of the best ways to get the most bang for your buck is to invest in one or two vintage pieces that you just can’t live without, and add in repros and updated accessories to keep your spaces looking (and sometimes smelling) like Grandma’s house. Craigslist and local Facebook groups can be a great way to score reasonably priced vintage pieces.

As for the new stuff, Target’s new line Project 62 would make Grandma AND your girlfriends jealous. Finally, finally, finally, some decently made MCM pieces in a price range that many of us can actually afford. Project 62 is touted as being furniture for “smaller living” but there is nothing small about it. Depending on your personal style, you have the option of having both bling and total practicality as far as I can see.

Cobalt Arm Chair
Soriano Square Arm Channel Tufted Chair- Navy Velvet
Image Credit: Target
Geneva Glass Lighting
Geneva Glass Globes
Image Credit: Target

As for myself, when I stumbled upon the new line being set out in my local Target store I actually snagged the Geneva globe desk lamp off the shelf like a rioter-only I ran to the front and paid for it. Happily. Is $50 a lot for a task lamp? Yes for me, it is. But it was well worth it. The Geneva line has a timeless, high-end finish with a sturdy marble base. I imagine it will last me 50 years, just like the vintage stuff.

Esters Wood Arm Chair
Esters Wood Arm Chair
Image Credit: Target

If your style is more laid-back and you are a creature of comfort, Project 62 has something for you too. You need only look. Esters Wood Arm Chair has gone over so well, it’s currently unavailable online (a/k/a sold out).

Check out the Mid-Century Metal Wall Décor for 54.99. Beats the pants off of investing $300-$1000 for a Curtis Jere sculpture that would likely be your untimely end in the case of an earthquake.


Image Credit: Target

All of the sudden, I feel like my entire serveware game needs an upgrade. I may not EVER have dinner parties, but if I did, I’d definitely need a marble cheese slicer. No, seriously, that might be going on the Christmas list. Maybe if I had the cheese slicer I’d have more parties. Target is the answer to all life’s big conundrums. (Damn you, Target.)

Target Run

This last photo is actual proof that I can’t stay out of Target, try as I may. I even shove my children into the baskets and make them carry all the things out. I must have all the things!!! Project 62 has given even this vintage-loving gal just another reason to go. You should too.

Lookie Loo & The Emporers New Clothes

Got an email this week from Jonathan Adler appropriately titled: “Liven Your Loo.” How do those advertising campaigns always come exactly when I need them? I was just thinking this morning how very dull our downstairs bathroom is. It’s our guest bathroom, and it’s one of the few spots in the house I’ve yet to tackle. I’m still thinking about color scheme and trying to find ideas…

How quirky and cool would one of these rugs be?

Zebra bathmats available at jonathanadler.com
Zebra bathmats available at jonathanadler.com

Being that I’m ALWAYS on a budget, I decided to check out what else Jonathan Adler had to offer me at this “bath sale.”

Love the rugs….I get the price tag on those ($88). I wouldn’t pay that much for a bath mat but I get why someone else might: they’re one-of-a-kind!

However, the more I perused the site, the more I wondered if I could find affordable equivalents at one of my usual haunts…..say….Target?

Target carries designer items….certainly I could find something there. Well, friends, you know I did! Target’s version was their own basic brand “Room Essentials.” Not designer, but my in humble opinion, comparable.

Target Room Essentials Wastebasket $9.99
Target Room Essentials Wastebasket $9.99
Round Lacquer Wastebasket $68.00 JonathanAdler.com
Round Lacquer Wastebasket $68.00

No comparison you say? Well, maybe this one’s a stretch. The Jonathan Adler version is better looking. I’ll give you that. But stay with me for a moment: remember we’re talking about bathroom accessories here. I won’t remind you what goes IN TO the trashcan. When you remember its’ primary function, the materials and finish don’t quite seem to matter as much.

Check out this close call:

Target Room Essentials Bathroom Tray $4.99
Target Room Essentials Bathroom Tray $4.99
Jonathan Adler Orange Hollywood Tray $48.00
Jonathan Adler Orange Hollywood Bath Tray $48.00

This $48 bath tray reminds me of the story, The Emperors New Clothes.

The difference between the above bath trays (besides the glaringly obvious difference in price) is materials. Target’s tray is made with plastic, J.A’s with acrylic.

Do you think your bathroom items will notice the difference? Do you think your guests will turn the tray over to determine it’s maker? Um…no.

Will your bank account notice the difference? It certainly will.

My little adventure in comparisons this week serves as an excellent reminder that you don’t have to spend gobs of money to dress up a room. Don’t be a dumb diva. Shop around. 😉 A friendly reminder from my home to yours.