Jan 30 2008

An inspiring walk through a furniture store


My new friend, her little baby and I wandered through a furniture store after lunch today. She told me she likes to look how they put things together, and gets ideas from them.

I hadn’t really spent time in a store like that before, but it was fun! We saw some interesting designs and outrageously high price tags.

But that’s beside the point.

When you visit stores that take dinette sets, beds, and sofas and arrange them as they would be in a room in your house, you can get some wonderful inspiration– and recreate looks for a fraction of the price.

For example, we saw a large, clear glass vase with a potted plant in it. The roots were completely exposed. Easy-peasy to recreate! How many large, clear vases do they have at Goodwill? Oh, a ton. For less than a dollar. Get a plant (real or fake), pop it in, and there ya go.

Or, try a centerpiece I saw: It had a funky warped-style bowl, set inside a larger dish. In the smaller dish, there were seeds and beans surrounding an artichoke. Seeds and beans, people. It looked pretty neat, and you could pull 20 or 30 cents worth out of your pantry and set them in interesting thrift shop or garage sale bowls. As for the artichoke, if you don’t want to use a real one, you could get a fake one for probably less than a dollar at a craft store. Or, set something else in the middle. Repeat the same thing x3 and group it together for an interesting effect.

We saw a chandelier hung over a bed. Not quite what you’d expect, but it looked neat. Behind the bed, high on the wall hung a drapey fabric. You could keep your eye out for sales and grab a single-wide curtain, throw a dowel rod through it, and hang it over the bed.

There were many ideas you could try, whether you want to recreate a look or use it as inspiration for something totally different.

Especially if you’re like me (and not easily able to come up with design ideas on your own) this could be a fun way to dream up frugal ways to design your home.

What inspires you for your home decor? Maybe a store, a web site, TV show, catalog?


Posted under Uncategorized | 10 Comments »

10 Responses to “An inspiring walk through a furniture store”

  1. I love looking through the Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids catalogs and then finding cheaper alternatives elsewhere (Target, Walmart etc…) Sometimes I do buy 1 or 2 things from PB or PBKs if I can’t find something I like as well (for example, the window sheers in DD’s bedroom), but then finish decorating with cheaper items or with things I already have. I use their catalogs a lot when figuring out how to hang/group picture frames especially.

  2. I like watching HGTV for ideas. They have some good shows, including “design on a dime” where they actually show you how to make low-cost decorating items.

  3. That’s a great idea. I haven’t been to a furniture store since I was a kid. I usually do what the other commenters do — look in catalogs or on TV shows. I also look at things online, including DIY and crafty sites. There are a lot of great designers (amateur and professional) that put their ideas out there to share.

  4. I enjoy furniture stores and magazines. But I don’t really try to recreate them. Perhaps I shall someday when we have more money…but frugally most definitely. As long as the furniture is attractive and functional I don’t see as much need to spend thousands.

  5. I flip through home magazines for ideas. I’m not the best at decorating, or matching colors or anything, so I need the help. The home magazines seem more realistic than the furniture stores or the catalogs- more like places that I’d actually want to live.

  6. I do research at my friends’ houses. Like when I was deciding what kind of couch I wanted, I started paying attention to where people sat whenever I was over at someone else’s house. Answer? The arms of chairs. The backs of couches. On the floor in front of couches. Weird, eh? (We were in our mid-twenties then.) I concluded it would be no big deal if it took me a while to get around to having a couch!

    I once noticed a friend’s bedroom seemed really comfortable. What was the secret? I’m not sure, but I think I like that the bed was made with a soft hunter green comforter, and there were banker’s lamps on either side of the bed for easy reading.

    You can also see just how little it takes to achieve a certain effect. You can remember a room as being red when only one wall is red. You can remember a room as having stained wood trim when it really just has stained wood switch plates (with dark switches).

  7. I love the chandelier over the bed idea!! I really want my bedroom to be like that now… I better remember this for when I actually have a house instead of an apartment!

    My apartment is furnished, so luckily I didn’t have to do any decorating… I have no idea where I would start. I think that style depends a lot on the living space, so, to me, it’s almost pointless to buy nice things when I live in an apartment. I guess it depends on how long I plan on being in the apartment though.

  8. Great ideas!

    Our bathroom is really small, I mean, closet-sized. I use a clear liner and found curtain sheers (with a fern print on them) on the clearance rack a big box chain store…to use over the liner. Because the liner is clear and the curtain is sheer, it helps keep the bathroom feeling more open.

  9. You know i love looking in furniture stores at all the designs but the problem is i drag all me kids in there and i can never get any peace … to concentrate on the designs … but i try and try ….

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife and mother of 3. I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

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