Thursday, June 3, 2010

Shop Like a Design Blogger: Journey Chic

Today's guest blogger is Laura from JourneyChic. Laura was one of my earliest followers (and I suppose I was, in turn, one of her earliest followers). I immediately liked Laura for her intelligent writing, her love of travel, and her innate sense of style. It's been a pleasure following her blog the past year or so and getting to know Laura in turn. Laura and her husband are expecting their first child in less than a month and I can't wait to read all about her new adventures in motherhood as well.

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Hello Odi et Amo readers! I’m Laura of JourneyChic, and I’m so flattered that Averill asked me to participate in this series. Moving from our 600 square foot single-floor brownstone apartment in Boston’s hip South End to a nearly 2,000 square foot 3-story townhouse in a suburban enclave of the city was quite a switch. The previous owners of our home left us all of the builder basics to contend with: loads of bare windows (not even the hardware), giant mirrors glued to the bathroom walls, no toilet paper holders or towel rods, and what seemed like miles of beige paint.

While I would love to spend all my money on high-end items, the need to furnish a much larger space has forced me to seek out stores that will allow me to achieve the look I’m after without breaking the bank. In addition to staples like HomeGoods, TJ Maxx, and Target, here are some stores and online shops that are helping to turn our house into a home.

1. Country Curtains for window treatments.

Don’t let the name fool you. This Massachusetts-based company has stores in several states and in the past two or three years has added more modern prints and styles to their repertoire. Sure, if you want lace café curtains, they have those, too. Here are some of my favorite styles at the moment. The “Linen Dot” pattern is in my bedroom, and I have “Castlehead” valances in my kitchen/dining room. While not inexpensive, the quality is excellent and provides a custom look without the custom price tag.

2. JC Penney for window hardware.

When I was little, I loved looking through my grandma’s JC Penney catalog. It was as thick as a phone book, and when I finished with the toy section I promptly headed to the home section. Thinking back, the selection was pretty horrific; think ruffled everything and fuzzy toilet seat covers. Fortunately, the selection has improved a lot over the years, and they’ve developed a great, inexpensive selection of modern window hardware that’s almost always on sale.

3. Pier 1 Imports for global accessories.

Sadly, Pier 1 has closed several of their stores in the past year and they don’t offer online shopping. If you have a store in your area, it’s worth a look. I’ve found some great deals for our home – a rug, wall décor for our mantle, decorative plates, and more. Some of these items may no longer be available, but there are oodles to choose from to add a little global pizazz to your home.

4. Ballard Designs for indoor/outdoor rugs.

If it wasn’t for the blog world, I’d never know about Ballard Designs. I’m so glad I found them! Our entryway is outfitted in two indoor/outdoor rugs from Ballard that I scored at a deep discount. They’re quite rugged and have stood up to my cat’s scratching. The selection of patterns and colors offers something for most tastes at good prices. Here are some of the patterns I love right now:

5. Lewis & Sherron for fabric.

Again, my love for this Atlanta-based shop is courtesy of blogging. It started with the suzani print, which my mom whipped into valances for our entryway. The “Alsbrook” print is in our master bath (although I bought it elsewhere for a lot more, unfortunately), and “Fretwork” is waiting to be crafted into pillowcases. Lewis & Sherron has great customer service when you call the store, and their prices are much better than other popular fabric retailers.

Thanks so much for having me! It’s been great fun reading the other posts in this series.

Next Week's Guest Blogger: Marianne from Haven and Home.


Nichole@40daysof said...

I love this post. It echoed a lot of my favorite places to shop, but I learned of a new one as well!

Jaime @ laviejaime said...

I always find unique, fun things at Pier 1- and they have good sales!:)

Hello Lover... said...

Great sources - I just saw that mirror at Pier 1 earlier today - I may have to take the leap and get it!

Design Esquire said...

Great ideas! I've never heard of that fabric store, so I'm going there now. I love the fretwork fabric.

Karen said...

I'm always looking for new sources for fabric. Many of the fabric stores in my area have closed in the past 4-5 years.

Christy said...

I love JourneyChic and am so glad she's one of your guest posters! Great sources - and I just love that Farrah rug from Ballard - I'm going to have to click on over there pronto! It's so funny that peacock mirrors are so in style now - years ago I bought a peacock statuette (it's cool, not cheesy, I promise!) from Pier One - it's been proudly displayed in my living room ever since!

Sarah said...

Thank you for this information, I am particularly interested in Lewis & Sherron...looks like a great resource. LOVE, love Ballard Designs too! They are all great places - !

Laura@JourneyChic said...

Thanks for having me, Averill! Hope you're having a blast on vacation!

Cristin // Simplified Bee said...

great list! love Pier 1 & Ballard Designs too.


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