Well, by now I hope you have had a chance to discover a little bit more about your own personal decorating style. I love hearing that some of you have found out for the first time, that your taste actually has a name – just by taking the quiz last month! Admittedly, it painted us with a rather broad brush, but to continue the metaphor, we don’t want to take the results so seriously that we paint ourselves into a “style corner” either. Some of the sweetest surprises in décor are things that seemingly juxtapose our known style and give us that relief that is needed, or just make us smile.
So, this month we’re going to continue to help you on your quest for that welcoming home that we all want, by doing a little shopping! Not just any shopping, but shopping for great deals!
I want to begin our shopping trip by focusing on lighting. Table lamps, pendant lights and chandeliers in a variety of shapes and styles for less than $100. Lighting is so important to the look of a room. There should be layers of illumination that come from a variety of light sources and it should be matched to the task for which it’s used. Who hasn’t created a mood by lighting a few candles or turning down the dimmer switch (cue the Kenny G music), or maybe you wanted a chandelier that made a statement over the dining room table, but somehow it got hung at the wrong height, creating unflattering shadows on everyone’s faces at your latest dinner party or life group gathering? (Think flash light under the chin. Scary! I’ll try to help you with that later in this post.) Or, we’ve all tried to read our favorite book in a poorly lit room, or is that just my aging eyes? Oh. never mind, just forget I mentioned that last one. ; )
Which brings me to our search. I like to start my research online. Some of the websites I use are:
Be certain of what you want and know what you’re getting. For instance, be sure that the item you’ve chosen comes with a shade. Or, check to see if you qualify for free shipping and always look for a sale. They can change often, but with persistence, you can get some great deals. Like the lamps that come in pairs or the pendant light I’ve shown above, priced so well, that you can actually get three of them for just under $100.
After I have narrowed down my choices, and there are thousands, I go to stores that discount their merchandise. It’s nice to be able to see a product to judge it’s finish and scale. And, of course there’s much to be said for being able to take it home with you right away. Some of my favorite discounters are:
- P.D.’s (Open Wed – Sat. You never know what you’ll find there, but be sure of your purchase, they don’t usually do returns.)
- At Home
- TJ Maxx/Home Goods
Now, we have to be educated buyers when getting our lighting at these prices. Not all lamps are created equally. The lamp with the graphic design on the shade, I found at At Home. The base was $24.99 and the shade was $14.99. It looks good, is a nice size and I felt it was a good value. The other lamp pictured, is from SteinMart and it goes for $59.99. While the offerings were fewer, they had more weight and style for you “Vibrant Traditionals” out there, at SteinMart. Lamps were about the only lighting option I could find in these stores, but if you must have it today, they may be your only option excluding Home Depot or Lowe’s (who aren’t really considered discounters).
Given the time and space, I could add much more, but overall, I find that online shopping affords me more variety, both in quality and price, and the ability to shop many vendors at the same time, from the comfort of home. (But, you already knew that!)
I encourage you to think about the lighting in your home. After all, light makes all the difference! I have no idea how beautifully you’ve decorated a room until someone turns on the light and at these prices, maybe you can buy two!
P.S. Now about that chandelier tip I promised you; an easy rule of thumb, is to simply add the length and width of your room in feet to get the diameter of the chandelier you will need, in inches. For example, if your dining room is 11’ wide by 13’ long, a chandelier that is 24” in diameter would look terrific. Always keep the ceiling height in mind when choosing a fixture, but if you have a standard 8’ ceiling, be sure to hang your chandelier so that the bottom is anywhere from 30 to 34 inches above the table. For higher ceilings, you can add 3” to the hanging height for every foot of ceiling height over 8’. Got it? Good.
by Beth Rhora