One of the requests I received in my post last Friday was for me to start doing posts of rooms I have designed, or rooms I wish I had designed, and how you can get the look for less. This is tricky for me, because while I do love a bargain, I think that a lot of what people respond to in a room are the special and usually more expensive touches. Some of those things can be replicated for less, but craftsmanship and quality costs money.
That doesn’t mean it isn’t possible to achieve a good look for less, you just have to know what it is you are trying to replicate and pay for those details and forgo the others.
I drew it up and had it made when we were in Chicago. I would be happy to share the contact of the furniture maker who built it, but the number I had for him is out of service. It wasn’t as expensive as some pieces I have seen in fancy stores like DWR, but custom costs money, and so does velvet.
This one from Room Service is nearly $4000, and is linen. You can get it in custom fabrics, and I would guess this one requires about 15 yards of fabric? A high quality velvet (though again, there are deals) starts around $100 a yard retail. So you do the math.
Or I will. That’s $1500 on top of the $4000 base price. Ouch.
I should make these and sell them through Biscuit…and maybe I will one day…but for now, here is how I would get the look for less.
So. In our couch there are a few elements that might be pleasing. Namely the tufting, the blue velvet, the mod/classic style, clean lines, exposed legs, and the non-bulky sectionalness. Counter-clockwise, here is what I think each of these pieces has to offer someone who liked our sofa:
1. The best deal, and the most like our sofa in the big picture. Same color, if not material. Same clean lines and exposed legs, same shape and seating- though lacking the tufting detail. Ikea and Bemz for $1500.
2. This is the most expensive and probably the biggest departure in style, it is more similar to the green velvet sofa I drew up for our living room, but this shows the range of cost and quality. It comes in a beautiful blue velvet, and has the exposed legs and tufting detail some might be drawn to in ours. Definitely not cheap though at nearly $3,000 from Jayson.
3. Clean lines, exposed legs, tufting, available in a teal velvet. It’s wee, but for $1,200 from Ballard you get quality construction, blue velvet, tufted, and the clean lines.
4. Probably the most similar in terms of style, details, sectional-ness. But not on the fabric. It’s $1800 from CB2, and you could always recover it later. This is probably the one I would most recommend.
So. Try to identify everything you like about a piece or a room, and rank it. Realize that each special touch costs something. Using the example of the couch, you can get something in velvet for a deal, but probably not a whole sectional. If the velvet is the most important part to you, and you are on a budget, scale back on the size. If the shape is the most important part, consider a blue linen instead. Try not to get duped by some amazing deal that promises it all. Inexpensive velvets do exist, but usually if something is cheap $ wise, something about it is cheap quality wise as well.
If you are going to spend more than 20% of your budget for a room on something, my personal belief, is that it should be real- not a cheap replica. And by that I mean (again using this example) buy a quality sofa that will last long enough to be recovered in the velvet when you can afford it. Craigslist, antique mall, ebay…Look around and find a vintage sofa with enough of the other details, and velvetize later.
In my opinion, the only way to get a true deal, is to look in the long term. If you go out and Ikea a whole room, even if it looks like a pretty good version, there aren’t any long term pieces for you to grow with. You will have to replace every piece in a few years anyway. But if you splurge on one investment piece, and Ikea the rest, you will (hopefully) have that piece forever. The next time it comes to refluff, get another forever piece and replace what needs replacing. So on and so forth until you are mostly surrounded by meaningful forever pieces. And isn’t that the point? To be surrounded by what is special to you?
And that, is my version of bliss for a bargain.
So…was this helpful at all? Trying to get back to the Peppermint Bliss that you all said you missed, and bring you what you want. I hope this was on the right track!