Monday, July 2, 2012

Monday Musings: Getting a Look

Someone recently suggested my taste has grown a tad high-end.  Au contrair, mon frere!  I think the more likely explanation is I've learned to pay more attention to the details that differentiate a higher-end item from its lower-priced counterpart.   I'm always amazed when I see silly-high prices on items that could easily be obtained at a lower price point, without sacrificing the stylish look.

For example, Saturday, I was checking out the offerings on OKL, and noted a pair of nice, large brass lamps.  Then, I noted the price:  $1,199. Whaaaa?  Why would someone pay that kind of money for a set of lamps, the look of which could be easily duplicated?
I know, because I recently bought a very similar set on Ebay for $140, that's what (I'm no math whiz), nearly one tenth as much?
Now, do my lamps have a pedigree?  
Do I care?
Do I get the same look, minus some of the cost-inducing details (lucite base and finials)?
Overall, I consider it a win-win.

There's a fine line to this mentality, though, and apparently, it's the impetus behind a lot of the DIY we see all over Pinterest, etc.  Someone sees a look they like in a glossy or professional designer's site, and decides they can save a boat-load of cash trying to reproduce it.
Is it a good idea?
If you're talented, and patient, and can make it look deceivingly close to the real deal.

There's been some backlash recently to all the DIYers, and perhaps it's nothing more than snobbery on the part of the design world.  But there is something to be said for...getting it right.  Whether that means being patient until you can snag an original, or honing your deception-inducing skills, I'm not sure.
Where do you fall on the Look for Less spectrum?


life, in small chunks said...

I agree with you 100%. I am all for working on a budget (in my case a very LOW budget) and DIYing what you can, but there is a fine line, that once you go over you enter into tackyville.

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

I so agree, buying High End to say you have the label is not very smart, and you can usually find something a little lower priced that gives you the same look. However, some of the DIY has gotten to be just plain awful. Like Life in small chunks said, totally tackyville. Hugs, Marty

Kim@Chattafabulous said...

Oh, what a great post, Alison! I have decorated my own home with a look for less philosophy (out of necessity). I think the key to making it work is always always keeping your eyes open and looking for good quality clearance items and second-hand pieces. Oh, and having some patience. Although I can't afford the best, I want to enjoy my home now and I'm pretty good at finding less pricey stand-ins. I love your brass lamps and found some a beautiful pair myself at a consignment shop for a song. Apparently no one in this town got the memo that brass is back! Sorry for the long comment - this is a topic I'm passionate about!

mrs. V said...

Out of necessity I fall squarely in the look for less category but my tastes tend to prefer high-end quality rather than high-end labels for the sake of having per say. Like Kim said, patience pays off in the end as I can usually find a very similar look by constantly scanning consignment shops and antique malls or begging a cast-off from my mother. I am as impressed as the next gal with a really great DIY but it must be truly great or else it just looks janky to me.

We are on the same frequency again. My post this morning was on fantasy lighting options - at least fantasy for me...

Nancy said...

a definite win win! I have one of those same lamps from my mom's era, but it's all good. I feel like that style will always be good.