Category Archives: Window Shopping

Diamonds in the Ruff

A question I often get asked as a stager is, “Where do you shop for the best deals?” There is definitely not one place. In fact, a key in the process is to diversify your shopping and to be open-minded to stores you wouldn’t necessarily think of first. One of the first staging jobs I did was for a couple that was on a limited budget. After repurposing everything I could that they already had, I purchased 90% of the accessories from (wait for it)… Wal-Mart!

Who knew, right? In recent years, Wal-Mart (probably trying to compete with Target in all its design glory) has brought brands such as Better Homes and Gardens into its home department. I decided to do a little window shopping there to show you some diamonds in the ruff.I’ve had my eye on this super cute 5×8 rug for months now. I love how it has an intrinsic design, yet with neutral colors which would make it work in almost any space. The best part is its mere $69.96 price tag!I know it’s a little difficult to focus on the black and white framed art with all that annoying particle board in the background, but stay with me. You know how you have those small, odd wall spaces in your home that you aren’t quite sure what to do with? A couple of these framed prints would add some style for only $10 each.Pillows, pillows, pillows! I’ve been known to make the Marge Simpson groan whenever I find adorable pillows in stores and the price tag says it costs more than a tank of gas (which is a lot these days!). At Wally World, you can find a variety of colors and shapes that average around $10-13.How fun are these brushed nickel finish table lamps? These would be perfect for a nightstand in a guest bedroom, child’s room or an accent table that you need to add some height to. I really like the different colors they come in and think it would be fun to find bedding that would match either the orange or green one. The black could add some drama and of course there’s always the standby cream if you’ve got bold patterns in the rest of the room – and they’re only $13.97.I ventured over to the tabletop section and saw these dishtowels that would be perfect for adding a pop of color to a neutral kitchen. I actually got a couple of the yellow and green print ones on the right to stage a client’s kitchen. I hung one on the stove handle and draped another one over the edge of the sink. That, coupled with a small ivy plant in a red pot, added just the right amount of color I was going for and broke up all the beige.This last weekend I was on babysitting duty while some of our friends loaded their moving truck to move to Florida. I told Ben afterwards that when we have kids, we’re going to need baskets… lots and lots of baskets (to organize all the toys that would otherwise be scattered on every square foot of our home)! These beauties would organize in style at only $10 a pop.Do you all remember this post about our guest bedroom make-over? I talked about buying some pillowcases that were a different design than our sheets to add a fresh pattern to the mix. I actually got those brown paisley ones on clearance, but even regularly they are only $10 for queen and $14 for king pillowcases in the BH&G brand. A simple upgrade on the cheap.I decided to save the best for last – this was my favorite find of the trip! I’ve been looking for a leaning floor mirror to use in our master bedroom to make it appear bigger, but they are always SO expensive (like this one). I took one look at this beautiful oil-rubbed bronze one and wanted to jump up and down in the aisle. Not only was it exactly what I’ve been looking for, but it was only $44! That, my friends, is a steal.

I don’t mean to sound like an episode of Growing Pains by wrapping up with the lesson we can all learn in this, but my advice is to not write Wal-Mart off when it comes to home decor. Sure, their displays and store staging leave a lot to be desired, but if you find that item you’ve been looking for then it can be totally worth your while. Has anyone else ventured out of the groceries over to the home section at Wal-Mart? What unexpected places have you found great decor? Any requests on other stores you’d like me to window shop at?

Spring Decor Is In The Air

It’s official, we had our first severe thunderstorm of the season complete with tornado sirens and our favorite TV shows being preempted by the overly excited weathermen. Just a few simple pieces can transform your home into that scene in Snow White where all the creatures of the forest are singing and frolicking about. I decided to stroll the aisles of Target to get some spring inspiration.I always begin on the clearance endcaps which is where I stumbled upon these beauties for $13.99. These vases are made out of bamboo instead of plastic which I love! I’ve noticed a lot more bamboo home decor items lately AND it’s the national plant of St. Lucia (one of the most beautiful tropical locations I’ve been to). I have a crush on the teal one on the left paired with some beach grass or even skinny bamboo sticks.One of the easiest ways to brighten up a living room is to invest in new throw pillows. I really liked the fresh prints of the three on the top, although their $24.99-29.99 price tags made me cringe a bit. A little DIY birdy told me that you can make pillows yourself pretty easily which is something I’d love to try.I’ve been eying these candle holders for months now patiently waiting for them to go on sale. I may have staged them with those cute candles, but think how easily you could switch out the look with different colors of candles. Teal or yellow for spring/summer and maybe orange or red for fall/winter. Just $22 for the pair won’t break the bank either.Now THIS is my idea of having a green thumb! I’m especially partial to the bottom welcome mat because it’s sitting on our doorstep right now. Don’t forget to add a little something to your outdoor spaces when the seasons change. The bottom mat was $12.99 and the top one was $19.99 and I know these go on sale pretty regularly. I’m beginning to sense a teal theme to my shopping…I am a sucker for cloth napkins – especially super cute ones in fun patterns like these! Not only can they add pops of color to a beautifully set table, but think of all the other possibilities. You could frame them as art like I did with a table runner in this post, stick them in glasses or vases on a kitchen countertop, hang them over other towels in the bathroom, or lay them on top of a side or dining table as part of a centerpiece.I can’t wait for the Farmers Market to open back up this season! I think food is one of the most overlooked decorating items out there. Why buy overpriced vase filler when you can use coffee beans or fun shaped pasta? Opt for a bowl or vase of bright green Granny Smith apples instead of flowers for an edible centerpiece next time. Lemons and limes are some of my favorite longer lasting food items to use for staging (like I did for a dining table in this post).

There you have it, some of my wish list items for spring! What are some season changing decor items that you use? Anyone else out there get a little Mission Impossible adrenaline rush when snapping pics in stores with your camera phone? Who actually does spring cleaning anymore – didn’t that go out with Leave It To Beaver?