Shop Like A Designer! Where, When, How……!

One of the most FAQs I get is where I shop for Chic home decor.  My answer: EVERYWHERE!  The honest answer is that great things can be found anywhere.  It is learning what elements are critical to the look trying to be achieved, that will determine one’s success.  However, I do have my little black book of the best places and websites for certain things (I will save that post for another day).

Every designer will use elements that are a splurge and that eat up a hearty portion of the budget, as well as elements that cost next to nothing.  This high/low design strategy is used often because it keeps the budget in check, as well as provides the perfect juxtaposition that is crucial in successful design.  Now, Juxtaposition is a design buzzword.  Personally, I find buzzwords annoying.  At their best, they clarify a concept that has become mainstream; at their worst, they anesthetized us to their impact, rendering the word meaningless.  That being said, juxtaposition is a VERY important design concept.  If I had to choose only three design principles that are crucial to good design, juxtaposition would be one of them.

A leather and fur pairing creates the ultimate yin and yang

A leather and fur pairing creates the ultimate yin and yang

driftwood and glass

driftwood and glass

Williams Sonoma mixes a cozy faux fur throw with leather; coincidence?  Crate and Barrel artfully mixes rough organic driftwood with sleek glass.  The mix of yin and yang creates the perfect visual tension.

Determine what elements are crucial in aligning you with your theme.  If you are going for a Farmhouse Chic look, the accessories and wall decor will be the elements that make this look successful.  If it is a mid-century modern look you are going for, it will be the furniture that will be the star of the room.  Spend your money on the things that are crucial in establishing your theme.  Upholstery is always a wise place to invest.  Historically, January and August are the best months to buy furniture.  This is when the new inventory for the upcoming season arrives, resulting in deep discounts on last season’s pieces.  If you are looking to buy a splurge worthy piece, it is worth it to wait to purchase during these months.  A couple of my favorite places to buy furniture are Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams and Crate and Barrel.

Undoubtedly, accessories make the design.  They are the jewelry that serve as the finishing touches.  Accessories bring one’s theme to fruition, as well as add authenticity.

Below, this glam (albeit tiny) living room is well-appointed due to the shag rug, tactile throw pillows, gallery wall and table top decor.

Image via Home and Fabulous

Image via Home and Fabulous

Below, this rustic chic entertainment area features a TV mounted on a distressed white washed wall panel.  The vintage suitcases add another rustic layer to this room.

image via Rustic Crafts Chic Decor

image via Rustic Crafts Chic Decor

Here are some accessories I am loving now:

Spring is drawing near.  Rough organic elements (such as the driftwood bowl) and soft colored decor (such as the blush velvet pillow) are very on trend for Spring.  Although Spring in not here yet, it has already sprung in the stores.  Now is the time that Designer’s start shopping for elements to update client’s homes for the upcoming season.  Start making a mental list of all of the Winter accessories that you would like to put away, so you can make room for the new accessories you bring in.

I hope this post helps you to shop like a Designer!  Thanks for reading!

xo Laurie

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