It’s always disappointing to browse through a decorating magazine,  fall in love with a room or a specific look and then realize that everything you love isn’t in your budget.  The idea here is to find the look and find it for less.  If you spend enough time browsing the internet and looking for a bargain, you’re bound to come across a good deal.  All it takes is a little patience and time- which, i know, most people don’t have.  Here are a few examples of finding the look for less:

Jonathan Adler X Bench – $495

Ballard Designs X Bench – $179

Antique Louis XVI Chairs – $1,000+

Wisteria Louis XVI Chair – $279

TK Collections French Bistro Chairs – $700+

Beaufurn French Bistro Chair – $395

Kravet Tilbury Lapis Fabric – $59.80 per yard

Schindler’s Tilbury Fabric Lapis – $14.95 per yard

Geometric Fabric – $80+

Calico Corners Diamante Flax Fabric – $17.84 per yard

If you can’t find what you’re looking for but just have to have it (for less) - don’t be afraid to ask the experts!





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The technique of Ikat weaving is centuries old.  It is not certain exactly where it originated, but it has roots in India and South East Asia and is still produced today in countries all over the world.  Ikat weaving is a process of  resist dyeing the threads used in order to create a pattern once the threads are woven together.  Different cultures are known for their different techniques and the intricate patterns are passed down through the families of the weavers. Today I am going to show you how some designers in NYC and all over the country are using the amazing fabrics and where you can get them for a fraction of what those designer’s would charge you (Ebay!)

2682418905_e7a9e334a8 by jen west

I love furniture upholstered in Ikat fabrics like this French Louis chair by Jen West that I found on flickr! It is a very simple DIY project!

Madeline Weinrib started this trend and carries an entire collection of French furniture upholstered in Ikat fabrics  available at ABC Carpet and Home in NYC shown here…

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LucePurple_FrenchRegency

Plum_WingChair, madeline weinrib

DaphneBlue_HR-SlipperChair

I pretty much adore all of these chairs and am thinking about doing something similar as the head chairs in my dining room, but I am going to do it the budget-friendly way…Ebay (with some help from my other pal, Craigslist)!

So here is what you do…

Go onto craigslist and put in “french furniture” or “french chair” and this is an example of what you’ll find…

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$250 for the pair!   I found an UNBELIEVABLE upholstered French wing back armchair for $100 two weeks ago on craigslist and didn’t end up getting it and am now kicking myself, but my husband would have killed me if I brought home another chair with nowhere to put it!

Anyway… this style is very good for this project because it is easily reupholstered. I did a pair myself and they came out amazing! I am not so good at sewing and these chairs require NO SEWING which is perfect. All you need is a staple gun ($15 at Home Depot) and some nailheads which you can order online or buy at an upholstery shop, and a can or two of spray paint. (FYI,  the primer is the MOST important thing when refinishing furniture and I only use B.I.N’s Shellac based primer because it will stick to anything previously applied to the chair and your new paint job won’t chip off afterwards!)

I love the gold painted frames that Weinrib does on the chairs and you can get that look with a can of gold metallic spray paint also available at HD! Only use the metallic paint with the can tops that look like gold foil (super shiny gold…can’t think of the brand, but you’ll see it)- don’t use a matte gold, it doesn’t turn out so great looking!

Next Step: Take a little virtual trip to Ebay! Type in “Ikat fabric” and you will have a plethora of options to choose from. Make sure that the width of the Ikat will work with the furniture you choose because Ikats are made in shorter widths 16″-24″, but sometimes come larger. You MAY have to sew two pieces together which is what Madeline Weinrib does on hers, so I apologize for saying NO SEWING was involved!

Here are some of the fabrics you will find…

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You can purchase these for around $8-$18/yd. Another great budget-friendly place to find Ikats is at this online store Uzbeck Craft where they also have pre-made pillows in all of their gorgeous Ikat and Suzani fabrics…

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Here are how some of the big wigs are using Ikats in today’s interiors…

jeffrey bilhuber

Jeffrey Bilhuber, a designer in New York City, used a beautiful ikat pillow on the sofa in this room to pull together the color palette in this understated space.  The ethnic pattern adds an eclectic aesthetic to the room.

house beautiful, 2009 march

In the March 2009 issue House Beautiful featured this room with the Ikat fabric roman shades and accent pillows.

ny apt of robert burke, by todd romano

This would have been a great room for my Masculine Decor blog! Todd Romano designed this apartment in NYC for client Robert Burke. Ikats are totally Man-Chic!

-Hilary White Interior Design





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I have been a little obsessed with Home Goods lately.  In case you don’t know, they are owned by TJ Maxx and Marshalls so it’s the same concept, designer pieces at insanely discounted prices! I think I have been going there at least two times a week to shop for clients, shop for myself, and just to look around when I have nowhere else to put all of their beautiful “Home Goods”.  My favorite part of shopping there:

THE PRICES ARE UN-FREAKIN’-BELIEVABLE!

Here are some of the many treasures I found…

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I love this turquoise color in this ceramic piece. This was $29!

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I ended up taking home this very large green ceramic pot and am going to put it next to my fireplace and fill it with logs for the winter! I love to use a piece out of context.  It makes it so much more interesting! It only cost me $59!

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I really liked this black urn. Every time I go in there I try to think of which one of my clients could use it. Eventually I’ll buy it for myself out of desperation and then have nowhere to put it!

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And the same thing is going to happen with all of these glam geometric patterned wooden boxes. They are around $16.99 ea! I may end up filling my office with them.

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Speaking of offices, I ended up buying this huge silver mirror for a client’s office and am going to hang it above his desk.  I prefer big statement pieces when accessorizing rather than zillions of little picture frames that clutter up a space. This mirror is 40″ round and only cost $79.00!

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This large dresser is in perfect condition except that it is missing some knobs (easy to replace, and I like replacing them with clear glass knobs anyway, but I’ll try to talk them down on the price regardless!). It is $599 and I want to get it for a client’s bedroom.  So pretty!

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I wish I had taken a better picture of these! They are faux crocodile leather ottomans in a perfect color orange. $79 ea! I bought one in chartreuse for my living room….

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My living room :) The starburst mirror on the mantel is also from Home Goods. I had bought it for a client and am procrastinating on dropping it off at her house because I love how it looks there on my mantel and I can’t find another one that I like! It was $29! Seriously, $29!

PS: Isn’t my little yellow table so cute! I bought it at a garage sale and spray painted it and then distressed it. It was a stained dark finish before and now it is so sunny and bright! I want to get a cowhide rug to go under this little vignette. I think it will finish it off nicely! I’m trying to talk myself out of a zebra print one because they are SO trendy, but I LOVE THEM! I can’t help it!

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The other side of my living room (you don’t get much space in NY for your $…I mean your $$$$$$$$$$$$) But I did what I could with it! The lamps are from Home Goods too, of course. They have the BEST lamps for the prices. These were $59 ea! You can see the interior of the shade is lined in metallic silver to match the bases. They are really beautiful and very well made! Unfortunately, they are also going out to a client’s house soon! :(   I always find the best things for my clients and never for myself!  So frustrating! I’ve decided that I am going to search every Home Goods within 50 miles to find this exact pair! I don’t want to give them up!

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Another Home Goods find. $299.  You can’t really beat that and the lines on this are complemented beautifully with the neutral fabric and natural wood finish.

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This little side table would be perfect in my Masculine Decor blog I wrote last month. So “Man-Chic”!

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You can’t really beat this chair for $99. It would be cute in a bedroom in a corner, something to throw all your clothes on!

I feel like I didn’t even do a good job of showing all that they have to offer, looking back.  Their linens are great, mirrors are spectacular, accessories are AMAZING and like I said earlier, the best part is that it is all so ridiculously affordable!  They also have the best holiday decor.  I see things there that I recognize from Z-Gallerie all the time! If you’ve never been, do your self a favor and GO! You’ll end up obsessed, just like I am, frantically re-doing your home every two weeks, just like I do!

Happy Shopping!





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So all my clients love black and white lacquer ( and many other colors) and they want their picture frames to be ornate carved frames in a glossy ebony ,white, or colorful finish, but WOW that is hard to find! Eveywhere I go they only have baroque style frames in gold leaf. I finally realized what I had to do.  Break out a can of glossy spray paint! Otherwise you will pay a fortune at some super expensive high-end boutique!

Where do you find the frames to paint? Go to the absolute cheesiest art store you can find with the tackiest art in the windows and an in-house art frame shop in the back. (don’t worry, you aren’t buying the art, just the frame….they have the best prices, and they won’t snub you when you mention you are going to paint it black!)

When you are trying to find a good deal, you have to be able to visualize the final product. Only look at the lines of the piece and ignore the finish because you want to change it anyway.

Here are a couple I found online…

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800-90l

Now imagine this in an extra large (they max out at 36″x 48″ interior dimensions) in a high gloss canary yellow , or maybe fuschia, or turquoise!

GORGEOUS!!

To make it very “artsy” use a large white matte  to frame a small picture inside (metallic silver or gold is great too…Micheal’s has special paper that is super reflective for this). Maybe frame a toddler’s first painting! How chic would that be! Art is all about the frame! It will turn a two year olds finger-painting into a work of art! Hang it in your kitchen and voila! Instant pizzaz!

HINT: Make sure that you prime it first with a good coating and make sure you get the right kind of primer that can cover oil based paints in case there is any polyurethane over the gold leaf! Do not try to paint the frame with a paintbrush either, it will look terrible! Spray paint is the way to go and if you use a high gloss finish on the final coat you will be amazed at how good it turns out! Keep an extra can in the pantry for any touch-ups!

Have Fun and Liv-Chic!

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