Feed your obsession for interior décor with blogs
By Jennifer Wutz-Lopes
Up until just a few years ago, I never much cared about home décor. Maybe it’s because I lived in Boston for too long. During my first few years of college, I had barely enough room for a twin bed and desk; I had to hang my bike from giant hooks nailed into the window frame (for which BU hilariously tried to charge me $500 in damage fees). That first apartment junior year? Full of random castoffs that our relatives donated and were promptly trashed. After college, I hopped from one crummy apartment to the next, with my particle-board armoire and ubiquitous framed Monet Water Lilies print moving around town in the back of some dude’s truck. My first condo was 700 square feet and cost $162,000 (which is actually pretty cheap for Boston). There was not room for much, but I did splash out with the cash my parents floated me as a housewarming gift and bought a high stainless-steel topped table with retro-looking bar stools from Williams-Sonoma. I hung my Monet print directly over it. I was living large with some furniture that was made of real wood and metal. And I liked it.
Unfortunately for me, our mortgage payments, along with the high price of owning not one, but two cars in Boston, prevented buying much more. So we lived with what we had and I circled things I liked in the catalogs, and I planned for a future home where I might have an actual separate kitchen, living, and dining room.
After our son was born (and after another condo purchase), we moved back to Western New York, to a beautiful old Tudor with an actual separate kitchen, living, and dining room, plus four bedrooms to work with as I pleased. The Williams-Sonoma table had to go; it just did not fit in. Two years later, I’m still working on some of the rooms; I could probably use some assistance from someone who does this type of thing for a living, but I don’t really have the patience or extra cash, so, as always, I rely on blogs to tell me what to do.
Lovely Things (www.lovelythings.typepad.co.uk) is “dedicated to bringing you fabulous finds for your home and life.” They are based in London, and everything they profile is priced in pounds, but the content truly is lovely. If you simply must have the funky manhole cover bathmat, you can pay for trans-Atlantic shipping or just hop on a plane. Who couldn’t use a springtime trip to London?
Home Graffiti (www.homegraffiti.com) is authored by Kamelia, who is addicted to pretty things. One recent entry reads: “Yes, your bathtub is small and uncomfortable and you hate cramming yourself into it. The next step is coming to the realization that you deserve better. It’s time to make a worthwhile investment that is sure to last you for years.” I think she is addressing me directly, and I’m in love with the tub she suggestsan enormous and beautiful copper bathtub for the low price of $55,000. Free shipping for orders over $75.
Perhaps you’re not in the market for an expensive tub. Or anything that costs a lot of money. Check out the Thrifty Decorating Blog (www.thriftydecorating.com) for antique-hunting finds and tips on decorating your home for any holiday without spending a lot. I’d love to get my hands on some of those metal locker binsthey’d go great in my son’s playroom.
Environmentalists can shop green on design blogs as well. Treehugger (www.treehugger.com) reviews products like a chest and coffee table, made of wood that is “responsible forestry” certified, and uses environmentally friendly glues, stains, and construction materials. Another blog entry on this site has inspired me to make my own Christmas tree next year, with all the cardboard and polystyrene packing products I can collect throughout 2007. I’ll miss that nice evergreen scent, but not the messy pine needles.
Things that look way too slick for me are showcased on Design Milk (www.design-milk.com), a site “dedicated to modern art and design.” The sleek and minimalist designs might have you drooling or saying “ugh.” You can also browse by categories: appliances, children, lighting, and more.
Dress Your Nest (www.dressyournest.blogspot.com) offers one woman’s advice for simple, straight-forward, and affordable modern design. Several times a week, CeLee reviews a cool item for the home. She’s jonesing for a convex mirror from New Zealand and offers her step-by-step instructions on refinishing some gorgeous chairs she found on Craigslist.
It took me awhile to realize that I could find beautiful things for my home other than at Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel. And I still do miss my Williams-Sonoma table sometimes.
Jennifer Wutz-Lopes still has that framed Monet printit’s somewhere in her garage. She lives in Lockport with her husband and son, and blogs at www.Jen14221.com.
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