Thursday, May 6, 2010

Shop Like a Design Blogger: Holding Court

This week's guest blogger is Marija of Holding Court. I was only just recently introduced to Holding Court a few months ago, but I immediately knew it would become one of my favorites. A former attorney, Marija is now a full time interior designer -- a transition that I admittedly daydream about on a semi-regular basis these days. Not only is Marija incredibly knowledgeable about interior design, but she's also got impeccable taste and a witty and relatable writing style that keeps me glued to my computer monitor.

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To say I was excited when Averill asked me to contribute to this fun series is a total understatement. Odi et Amo is one of my favorite blogs and Averill is easily one of the most talented and generous design bloggers I know. I am thrilled she has asked me to share some of my favorite shopping destinations with all of you! I appreciate the high and low in design, and I know Averill does too. Keeping that philosophy in mind, here are my favorite shopping destinations at a variety of price points....

1. BEST ALL AROUND SOURCE - Baker or Jayson Home & Garden

Baker Furniture has in recent years made high end design accessible to the public without purchasing through a trade professional (though keep in mind purchasing through a trade professional comes with the added bonus of proper space planning, experience, knowledge and a trained eye). ;) If the project allows, I like to incorporate a solid, classic piece of furniture that can be used for years in each project. A beautiful cabinet, an elegant light fixture, or a simple table from a company like Baker can last a lifetime. If your budget allows, a Baker sofa is money well spent and reupholstering down the road will be worth every penny. And don't dismiss a place like Baker for beautiful accessories and rugs. Carefully selected by skilled designers and manufactured mostly in the U.S., these pieces are extraordinary and the splurge can turn into an heirloom. Keep an eye out for sample sales and clearance sales. I've seen floor models discounted as much as 80%!


Jayson Home & Garden is like mecca. For those of you who aren't local, trust me when I tell you that their website is but 1/10 of what is in store at this beautiful place. And what you see on the floor is only about 1/3 of what is available. From the interesting lighting and character-filled accessories, to the unique sofas and chairs in a wide variety of price points, you can't go wrong. (Most are reasonably priced and manufactured by reputable companies such as Lee Industries and Mitchell + Gold). The casegoods are often one of a kind or specially designed for Jayson Home. And their "Flea Finds" which range from large furniture to delicate tea cups are nothing short of inspiring. It is honestly hard to get me to leave once I'm there and the last time I dropped in someone thought I worked there because I kept re-arranging a vignette on a large table. Not that they need any help with their vignettes or their "Flea" finds, but I think I would be the perfect addition to one of their shopping trips. Sort of a "Guest Designer Buyer" series. Are you listening, Jayson?


Jayson Home Accessories

2. FAVORITE UPHOLSTERY DESTINATION - Room & Board

While I think a good sofa or a beautiful chair can indeed last a lifetime, I can honestly say that I prefer to invest in casegoods and purchase more reasonably priced upholstered pieces that I won't feel bad about replacing down the road. My selections are most often dictated by price and quality. For basics: sofas, occasional chairs, and area rugs, I cannot say enough good things about Room & Board. While the aesthetic is certainly more contemporary, there are plenty of classically tailored pieces and styles that can easily be incorporated into a traditional interior. It's all American made, the customer service is outstanding and the prices are reasonable - particularly given the quality and the wide assortment of fabric and stain options. In fact, R&B prides itself in offering the lowest available pricing. As a result, they offer absolutely no discounts whatsoever except for the occasional floor model and the annual year end clearance that begins on December 31 every year. Mark your calendars....

3. ADD PERSONALITY- Mecox Gardens or CB2

Every space needs something that shows the personality of the people who occupy it. Mecox Gardens and CB2 are my favorite spots to pick up anything from coffee table books, accessories, interesting tables, funky decorative objects, reasonably priced rugs or one of a kind small furniture pieces. Try it...find something you like, don't think about how you'll use it but just select something you like from either store and picture it in your home. I swear it will transform your space, inspire a cool vignette or change the tone.

Pritam Navy Grasscloth Coffee Table - $825

Pick up things you love because you love them or are attracted to them and you'll never have to "find" a place for them. You'll also rarely have to worry about whether or not they "go together". Inevitably, the things you are attracted to and the things you love will work together. Try to find a specific item for a specific space and you'll end up with a purchase that works for only a specific amount of time. Trust me.

4. INCLUDE A CLASSIC - Highbrow Furniture or Overstock

I've included a classic chair in every project I've ever done. I firmly believe that in every space, adding one classic chair, whether it's authentic or not, can change the mood of a space. I love to see a modern chair in a traditional space or a classic piece in a contemporary space. Even a small chair, placed slightly off center on a wall beneath a collection of photographs, can make a bold statement. If the budget allows for authentic pieces, I always turn to Highbrow Furniture. Free shipping, no sales tax, lightening fast delivery and excellent customer service and a comprehensive selection. I have purchased so many chairs from Highbrow Furniture for clients that they actually sent me a complimentary book called "Chairs" at one point. Though I think I would have preferred an actual chair.

Wegner Wishbone Chair at Highbrow - $880

Wood Chair with Temp Seat at Overstock - $190

If I'm looking for the same pieces on a budget, I tend to have fairly good luck at Overstock. Always worth a look (and don't forget about them for rugs, tables and outdoor furniture). And while I'm at it, I always pick up coffee table books from Overstock. Typically a few dollars less, they are always in stock and drop shipped quickly. And it's just so easy to shop Overstock! Check out their design books here. You'll be impressed.


Whatever the budget, I truly do believe that the beauty in a space comes through when it is filled with meaningful objects...not just filled. I also believe good design is in the mix. Mixing styles, mixing periods and mixing price points over time can result in a truly collected space that is not only beautiful but really reflects you! Have fun and happy shopping! ~Marija

Next Week's Guest Blogger: Susie of Maddie G Designs.

24 comments:

Acanthus and Acorn said...

Marija,
I really enjoyed reading your favorite non trade go to's and of course your thought process and insights of how and when you shop these sources. The points you make about Baker as well as the classic chair placement are so good!!!

I had a little chuckle about the re-arranging the vignette confession! I could relate...

paula said...

what a gorgeous room. love all the suggestions.

Design Esquire said...

Marija, I loved reading all your sources. The next time I'm visiting my brother in Chicago, I have to go to Jayson (and hopefully grab lunch with you!).

Karena said...

Marija, wonderful tips and sources!! Averill thank you for featuring her on your site!!

Karena
Art by Karena

Cristin said...

Love you list Marija! I had no idea Baker was selling to the public. Also, just wish I lived closer to Jayson's - blogger get away anyone?

xo,
cristin

Dumbwit Tellher said...

Marija bravo! Your list is terrific, down to the grasscloth parsons table. I tend to not give Overstock enough attention. I peek but never really delve. Room & Board = ♥
Thank you for the magnificent inspiration.

Averill - another great post as always. FYI - the fabric for my curtains was IKEA (!). I wish I could of gone a step darker towards a deep navy on the walls but the room wouldn't allow for it. The desk is too small, but hey when your about to sell you can't spend where it's not required. Hope all is well in Sugar Land? Are you getting excited for Scotland?!! I am for you x

Kathysue said...

Two of my favorite blogs on one page!! Marija what a great post as always, I will have to check out some of your suggestions. Averill, thank you for having Marija on your blog. You two are a perfect mix in my opinion. Great post!! Averill, finished the porch and it is finally posted today!! Have a great Thursday,Kathysue

Couture Carrie said...

Another fabulous guest post! Love that sofa!

xoxox,
CC

Nichole@40daysof said...

Thanks for the great sources, some I'd never heard of.

The Shiny Pebble said...

I love Marija, her house, and her blog. She is one of the sweetest bloggers I've met so far. I am so glad you featured her.

On a side note: OMG we are totally neighbors. We looked in Sugar Land when we moved here, but ended up in Sienna because it was more the "speed" we were accustomed to in Tulsa. I love y'all's town square, though. How do you do it? Keeping up with such a demanding career and still maintain such a successful blog... Amazing!

Dayka (Life +Style) said...

i love this feature--always great resources!

The Zhush said...

This was so great! Learned so much here as well. New to Highbrow, can't wait to check it out. That navy table is over the top good! And, one day I would love to see Jayson's shop in person, as I am fully addicted to the site, adding you as a design guest blogger would be brilliant! Love your taste and style Marija!

Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

Thanks for all the suggestions. I love Jayson Home and Garden, but some of these sources are new to me.

The Buzz said...

Love all the sources listed, especially Jayson Home and Garden - I do miss Chicago!

ashlina {the decorista} said...

oh wow. super fun post. i love that chinese chest!!!!

SogniSorrisi said...

Great post. Love Marija and her blog!

jamigoldsmith-imagine said...

Great finds. I love the color on the sofa! And the yellow artwork really caught my eye. Nice post! -jami

Susie @ Maddie's Nest said...

Such great resources. I am new to Highbrow furniture and am off to check it out. I've never been to Jayson but have heard excellent things and love their site. Such great advice....thanks!

Marija said...

Thank you again, Averill, for including me. And thank you all for the very sweet comments! I had so much fun. And I'm more than happy to host a Chicago blogger shopping trip: destination - Jayson Home! xo Marija

Poindexter said...

thank you for the suggestions - I've already got my eye on something!!

pve design said...

Great tips!
Thanks!!!
pve

Emily A. Clark said...

What a great list--love her blog! What's with all of your super creative attorneys? :)

Averill--working on my list this week!

LindsB said...

I think I need a Hutton Sofa now

LindsB said...

Just came back to read this post again and I'm crushed all over again- she really was an amazing person!

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