Thursday, May 20, 2010

Shop Like a Design Blogger: Emily A. Clark


Today's guest blogger is Emily from the eponymous blog Emily A. Clark. I came across Emily's blog a few months ago and I've been hooked ever since. If you're looking for some great low cost/high style DIY ideas that look anything but DIY, then Emily's blog should be your go-to resource.

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I'm happy to participate in Averill's "Shop Like a Design Blogger" series, and since a big part of my design business consists of creating rooms for online clients, I am always looking for reliable, budget-friendly sources that are accessible to everyone. I am also a firm believer that you can achieve a high-end look on a tight budget if you're willing to be patient, look and use a little creativity. While my sources may seem rather practical, it's all about how you use the pieces in your home.

1. Craigslist. If you read my blog, you'll know that Craigslist is my #1 go-to for great furniture finds. While you do have to be willing to search, some wonderful pieces are out there for a fraction of what you would pay elsewhere. Some of my best scores for my own home include this almost new sofa for $150 (as well as the huge original canvas art for $125!):


I also refinished these bookcases for our family room that I picked up for $20 each:


2. Consignment shops/furniture warehouses/yard sales. Along the same lines of Craigslist, I believe unique pieces are worth getting out there and looking for. While I'm shopping, I am always thinking "what color can this piece be painted?" or "how could I use it in another way?" By thinking outside the box, you may score a wonderful piece that others have passed up. I found this campaign-style dresser (originally painted in a dull gray) for $40 and brightened it up with a kelly green. I now use it in my office for storage.


3. Mary Jo's Fabric. I am lucky enough to live within 10 minutes of this 32,000 square feet mecca that has every fabric you can imagine (and at very reasonable prices). They also offer a selection of fabrics for sale online. I recently picked up this bright floral there for $12/yard:


4. Overstock.com. With its frequently changing inventory and extremely low shipping, Overstock is a regular source for me as I search for pieces for online clients. Some of my current favorites:








5. Ross Dress For Less. While I like HomeGoods and TJMaxx as much as the next person, I have come across some surprising finds in the home section at Ross, as well--and usually for even less then the other chain home decor stores. This is where I look for the trendier pieces, ceramic pottery, and a few weeks ago, I spotted 5 x 7 seagrass rugs for $35.


6. Etsy. While you can find just about anything on Etsy, I especially love to search for art. If I'm working on a wall gallery, I like to search for notecard sets to frame. I used these from Etsy seller Matou en Peluche for my bedroom:


7. IKEA. While it sometimes gets a bad wrap in the design world, I still say IKEA is one of the best sources for inexpensive, basic pieces like pillows, frames, and curtains. My general rule of thumb when shopping there is to buy only those items that aren't IKEA-specific. Instead, I like to buy the items that can easily blend into your decor and mix with more expensive pieces. I used their $3.99 throw over my chair and their 98" grommet panels as a neutral back drop in my family room:


Averill, many thanks for allowing me to participate in such a fun series!

Next Week's Guest Blogger: Skyla of Sanity Fair.

24 comments:

Bromeliad said...

Your place is gorgeous, especially the living room.

Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

I love this series. I've been looking for some inexpensive white panels for my kitchen. I'll have to check IKEA. I've never purchased anything there because I assumed the quality wouldn't be very good.

A Perfect Gray said...

wonderful piece......

Liz @ It's Great To Be Home said...

I hadn't read Emily's blog before so I'm thrilled to be introduced to it. Gotta go check it out now!

SogniSorrisi said...

Great tips! Love Emily and her blog.

Laura@JourneyChic said...

I love Emily's style - her craigslist sofa and art look like something out of a magazine! I've now bookmarked Mary Jo's Cloth Store for future fabric purchases.

Emily A. Clark said...

Averill--thanks for allowing me to guest blog and thanks to everyone else for the kind words. I just posted a link with some of my favorite "Averill designs" on my blog :)

Marija said...

Great sources, Emily, with equally perfect project pics to showcase them! Yes to Ikea...love it so much, I think I speak Swedish. And you can bet I'll be checking out Mary Jo's online!!

Christy said...

Wow great guest blogger Averill! I've never heard of her but I'm in love with her personal style - that bedroom is gorgeous! And her affordable sources are awesome. LOVE this series - can't wait for next week's post!

Anonymous said...

Wow, Emily has amazing taste!

Fran said...

I'm off to check out Mary Jo's cloth online store. I love Emily's style too - she is so talented and makes it look so easy (and it totally is not). Her blog is a must when it comes to daily reads!

Couture Carrie said...

Fab guest post!
Splendid ideas, especially Craigslist!

xoxox,
CC

Janell @ Isabella and Max said...

It is really an exciting time to be in design, resources for goods are becoming limitless and I love the mix of "High" and "Low" shown in so many great spaces. Good list!

LindsB said...

Such a great list from Emily. I love her blog and I love her work, she has a fantastic eye!

So glad you found me today, I love your blog!

The Zhush said...

Emily's ideas and interiors are fabulous! So creative, loved this.

Crystal @ Plush Palate said...

Lovely post! Thanks Averill and Emily! I love all the shopping tips!

Cristin said...

I have to agree with most of her list... yikes. Might have to re-think my own "shopping list".

xo,
cristin

Acanthus and Acorn said...

Emily,

Wonderful sources and fantastic pictures! Yes, to consignment and thrift stores...could not manage without them!

And, I really love the little birds from Etsy that you framed!!!

Sarah said...

This is such a good series, Averill! I've loved learning of some new places, as well as confirmation that some of the same places I shop are used by the real guys:)

Mary Ellen said...

I am such a fan of yours, Averill and a fan of this series! I look forward to it each week. Emily has such a lovely sense of style, doesn't she? I can't wait to see what Skyla has in store for us next week!
-ME
P.S. Stop by my humble, little blog to get in on my very first giveaway! So excited about it!

Hello Lover... said...

Great post! I really love when designers are able to find really great pieces at really affordable prices - these are all great sources!

The Shiny Pebble said...

Emily - WOW! Where have you been all my life. You have a fantastic design aesthetics made even more fabulous buy your ability to spot these incredible finds and blend them into your ubber elegant house. Some people just have it... Others like me just wish we 'had it'.

Averill - in essence the burberry blue label is LESS expensive than the traditional burberry, but not by much, considering the materials used. You will still end up paying several hundred dollars for a canvas purse or over one hundred bucks for a flimsy cotton scarf.

Kellie Collis said...

Such lovely fabric! xx

L.Duncan@Home23DuncanBoys said...

What a great list! I love Emily's blog! Hmmm...I'm wondering why I never followed you? Well, I'm a new follower now;-) I'm loving your blog too!

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