where do you spend your decorating dollar?

all these awesome antique french chests are from 1st Dibs

Something old and french has my eye right now. No, not a bottle of wine. A chest for my bedroom. I found an awesome one in a local shop over the weekend but the price tag knocked the wind out of me. I think I could furnish a room or two for the price of that one piece.

That got me thinking...where do we put our large decorating dollars? rugs? art? case pieces? You know me...I delight in a bargain. But are there times when you just gotta go for it...?


the gardener's cottage said...

well i am probably the wrong person to ask b/c i am so darn cheap. but if i fall in absolute love with something and endure a cooling off period and the love is still there, then i will splurge. i think you cannot go wrong with art.


annie@mostlovelythings said...

Love all of these, but like you said...the real delight is in a bargain. But then sometimes....you just can't wait for a bargain.

My Notting Hill said...

This is a great question. I think the times to go for it are when it's a case piece (like you've shown, beautiful!),art or a fabulous rug. All of these are things you could have for a lifetime and pass on.

When I think about my own purchases,they've mostly been bargain finds or mid-range $. Our biggest house splurge was having a pool put in.

If you don't buy the french chest I hope you come across something you love as much.

Linnie York said...

I love 16th and 18th century antiques. More than food or cars. More than TV or wine. So I save and have exquisite things from the Renaissance, carving from Shakespeare's time, French marble, and peace. These items carry an essence. The patinas can't be faked. Their beauty is a type of wisdom...
Really live with pieces that have seen centuries, and you deepen.
Try it!

Sherri Cassara said...

I think it is interesting how we all have things we are willing to put out the big money for. For some it is a nice bottle of wine but they would never spend the same on furnishings. Others will buy art but not a nice table. I like the idea of buying one nice thing a year (not sure who said that) then at the end of five (or ten or twenty) you have some nice pieces. I am at the point where I only want the things I love - no more placeholders or fillers. I am going to post on this one day - I have recently moved things around (and out) keeping only what I love.
Happy Monday Donna!

Brandi@ Flights of Whimsy said...

I'm still early in finding my decorating legs but so far my splurges have been on fabric. There's so much you can do with it and it adds so much personality to a space.

3 Peanuts said...

Art and antiques. We collected both when we were young and both working professionals. It is a good thing we did it then as now we are too concerned saving for college for the kids and don;t spend much in the house!!

As an aside, I read your comment on Janet's site and could totally relate. Will is about to be 15 and I know my time with him anyway is winding down. It is hard.


Unknown said...

Oh, I love the looks of that chest. The twin white ones...wowza!!!

I have such a weakness for textiles (window treatments) and art. Doesn't really leave $$$ for a place to sit...but there's always the floor!

Happy Monday, Donna!
xoxo Elizabeth

Karena said...

A great work of art, a special piece of furniture. I am thinking about padded/ tufted headboard in the near future!

The 2012 Artist Series featuring Designer and Paper Artist Anita Rivera...(of Castles Crowns and Cottages)is on my site, please stop by! Her work is amazing!

Art by Karena

Anonymous said...

This is actually one of the very best questions I have heard asked in "design blogdom"!!!

It is such an excellent and important question!

I have thought deeply about it. 42 years as a "decorator" I do have my opinions.

Here is my answer:

You have to sit yourself down quietly in a chair. Close your eyes. Think "what is most important to me? Keep eyes closed.....Calm down.

Family times with children?
Quiet time with husband?
Party time with friends?
Showing off beautiful antiques at parties; and later donating to museums?
Lovely rooms that contain treasured antiques; however, are warm and comfortable rooms to have dogs, cats, children, grandchildren!

(there is a reason I have never applied for; nor would I be picked for a questionnaire that is unbiased!)

Choose what you LOVE!! and really LOVE! And that you can afford!!

Nothing will make your spouse and mate more unhappy than you buying some piece of antique furniture that will "cut into " the family budget!

Never borrow from Peter to pay Paul"

and when you "fall in love" with a piece.......(double check that is not some "trophy" thing....but one that you are really "in love with"; beg, borrow.....or sell stuff you have that you do not love.....and buy it!

there it is a long comment; I describe as a "nutshell"!

Everything in my house....and I mean every single item. Has a story. And when I walk by......memories come springing up when I see things........it is a wonderful way to live!

Just my opinion!

Anonymous said...

Oh. I just looked carefully at your post!

(anyone else drowning in emails? 3000 yes, 3000 in my inbox)

I just saw the photos......closely......nix on the second; nix on the third unless you are desperate.......

no...nix anyway,....you can find better old repros than those......

I am guessing the #1 is very pricey!

Don't buy it unless you can afford it and all other luxuries you need, But that is the right one. The others are "poor seconds" and you can find their counterparts in local shops and paint!

again.....unless you are a "collector" ; and believe me, I know them......don't spend a fortune unless you can afford it; and you already have wonderful places for your family to sit....and dine!


I used to spend way more for things 10 years ago.....now I have the patience to look for the bargain.....and wait!

Anonymous said...

I can so relate to this! I love a good bargain but I love a beautiful period antique even more! You would enjoy my post titled "great shopping source" where I talk about just that. Hope u check it out & have a great day!

levitra said...

this is a piece of art))) I love it)))and I wish I could have one like this))

Allison said...


I am blown away by the wisdom conveyed in these thoughtful comments. Great advise for all of us as we live our lives and feather our nest. I love antiques and like Penelope, every piece I own has a story to tell. I like the idea of buying one nice thing a year that is the advise I read recently from one of my favorites - Suzanne Rheinstein. During my recent trip to the Scott Show in Atlanta, you could buy the finest antiques at bargain prices, the only caveat is that you had to get there early and make a decision in seconds. My advise would be to do your research on 1st Dibs and go to Scott's at 6 am on Thursday in the early Fall when the dealers are just receiving their shipments from the summer fairs in France.

I love a good question...thanks for starting a great conversation-