February 10, 2012

HomeGoods Manhattan

I heart HomeGoods.  As the name implies, they sell "home goods", but at lower-than-typical-retail prices which a bargain hunter like me can't help but appreciate!  The neat thing about HomeGoods is that the inventory changes frequently, and varies from store to store, so you never know what you're going to find!  Like its affiliate stores T.J. Maxx & Marshall's, the inventory at HomeGoods can be hit or miss, so you never know whether you'll strike the big time or come home empty-handed, which is part of the fun of it.  ;)

Last year, a new HomeGoods location opened in Manhattan's Upper West Side (right around the corner from my old apartment in fact!) that I'd been curious to check out so when I read that Apartment Therapy's Maxwell was going to make an appearance in late January, I decided that was a good of a time as any to go.

The store is gorgeous.  It's huge and new and really well-stocked with throw pillows, wall art, mirrors, lamps, cook books, bake ware, pots, pans, bathroom accessories, furniture, rugs... you name it!  Ahhhhh, if only this mecca was in the 'hood when I lived there...

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As luck would have it (I typically have the worst luck ever so this was super exciting for me!), I was one of the first 25 people to respond for the event, which earned me a free autographed copy of Maxwell's book!

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Maxwell's presentation was informative and interesting -- he gave helpful and budget-friendly tidbits specifically applicable tor smaller-sized home (a.k.a. apartments) and even took questions from the audience!    For example, using a larger area rug or accent furniture in smaller spaces is better than keeping everything on the small side (which makes the room feel even smaller than it really is).  The use of mirrors to add depth and open up the space in a room is an oldie but goodie trick as well.  Finally, creating an artificial "divide" such as an island between an otherwise combined kitchen and living area help gives definition to each space, although adding to the "footprint" of a small space might be counter intuitive to some.  I haven't had the chance to read the book yet, but I'll definitely share any other great insights when I do!

February 9, 2012

Splurge or Save?

The hubby and I have been searching for a rug for our master bedroom for a while now.  We definitely want something blue, and soft, but other than that we're stuck.  We're trying to avoid super-detailed patterns (a la oriental rugs) but also don't want anything too plain since the room is big and right now in serious need of some eye candy.  One day while searching I came across this beauty...

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It was nice, but I wasn't looking to commit to a rug that was $763! (Even if the so-called "list price" on Amazon was $1187!).  Then, I came across this one from Home Decorators Collection:

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Look familiar?  Yep -- same pattern but slightly lower price.  HDC charges shipping, but it's also relatively easily find coupons for that site, so I could've probably saved $100-$200 compared to the Surya on the Amazon website.  I still wasn't satisfied though.  But when I saw this beauty, I knew I'd found "the one"...

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Could it be???  The exact same pattern on Overstock.com for a fraction of the price?!?!  The regular price was $362, but the item was on sale for $308.  I quickly found an online coupon for $30 off, plus free shipping, bringing the total down to $278!

Now whether all 3 of these rugs are from the same manufacturer, I cannot say for sure.  However, when it comes to rugs I prefer to judge a book my its cover and not its author, so to speak.  ;)  As long as it looks great in the room and feels cozy, I'll take it!

February 4, 2012

Splurge or Save?

As I've been (obsessively) combing the internet for home decoration and organization tips, I've noticed that most every item out there is available at multiple price points.  Take this pillow for example...

World Map Pillow

I stumbled upon this while meandering through cyberspace one day and thought it was neat.  As you all know, Shep and I looooove our vacations, so I thought this throw might make a great addition to a chair or sofa in our new apartment!  But at $110 (for a pillow?! yikes!) I quickly decided to pass.

My bargain-hunting self, filled with curiosity, took the reigns of the keyboard thinking there must be something comparable out there on the world wide web for a lot less than $100.

And I found this...

Vintage Chic World Map Accent Canvas Pillow

A hand-made canvas and linen pillow cover for...$10?!  Now that's what I call a bargain!  This splurge or save quiz seems like a no-brainer to me.  Not only is the Etsy version a lot more affordable, but it's hand-made, which makes it a tad more special.  The low cost makes it easy to replace when we decide to change our decor up a bit, so I definitely think the "save" option in this instance is the clear winner.

Are you a splurger or a saver?  Which pillow would you choose?  Have any favorite bargain-hunting sites you care to share?  :)
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