I had an interesting conversation with a designer yesterday about low-budget/DIY-design versus skys-the-limit/aspirational design.
He was complaining about there being too many "flea market" blogs out there, advising people to "When in doubt, paint everything white" (at which time, I took a small gulp...).
While we both agreed that not many can afford to have the budget that many of the homes you see in magazines do, I think his point was that when you cheap-out on all your decor and design, many times you can tell.
(Not that I think the above room looks "cheap" - I actually kind of like it - but just pointing out that you can see the difference in money spent)
Not to say that you can't have an interesting mix of high and low, or that you can't truly find bargains and deals, but that spending some money on a few noticeable things really can (and often does) make all the difference.
I am lucky that I have access to some of the most gorgeous homes, and I love looking through all the shelter magazines and blogs - it can really be inspirational, even though my own home is a far cry from all of that.
Whether it is only the use of a certain color or finish, a furniture arrangement, the use of a cowhide under our kitchen table (still my current obsession)... and even though I know I will probably never live that lifestyle, these interiors inspire me to make the lifestyle I do live just a little prettier.
*pictures from: Jan Showers Design, Desire to Inspire, Town & Country, Desire to Inspire, Elle Decor (maybe??) via Cote de Texas