Wednesday, July 21, 2010

DIY versus Aspirational Design


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

8 comments:

boops said...

what does this designer suggest for those of us with not alot of cash? does he look down on the "rest of us"?

Rachel said...

No, not at all. In fact he was bragging about some swing-arm sconces he got at Home Depot.

I think he was just expressing that not all "cheap" design ideas/DIY projects are good ones.

Like murals on walls, a la Design Turd.

Mrs.LifeAccounts said...

Yeah I've definitely seen some DIY projects that seemed cheap.

Our process was to decorate and design our space for us. Not copy anything else or try to do it with cheap substitutes but just to slowly piece together a place that reflected us and that we love. And if other people don't like it or think it's cheap design, well, it won't matter because it is just our design, not an attempt to copy something else. (hopefully that makes sense).

Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

This is an interesting topic. My philosophy is to start out by buying well made upholstered pieces and going with thrift store/flea market finds for accent pieces until you can afford what you really want. It's also possible to have wood pieces dipped to remove the finish and restain and replace the hardware for an updated look without the white paint. Some of the older pieces are constructed better than today's pieces.

dawsonfelicia張君dawsonfelicia均 said...

你不能決定生命的長度,但你可以控制它的寬度..................................................................

Emily @ GEORGE Interior Design said...

I'm glad you posted on this... I have friends who love the HGTV design shows where they make it look so easy and so cheap to obtain great design. I feel like such a buzz kill when I say that i don't think good design and cheap really go together. Don't get me wrong... I love using incorporating a steal whenever I can but usually you get what you pay for and you can tell the difference. I also think the most important part of good design is having a plan. If mixing high end and low end works out within the plan then by all means... go cheap! Just my 2 cents!

Emily @ GEORGE Interior Design said...

I'm glad you posted on this... I have friends who love the HGTV design shows where they make it look so easy and so cheap to obtain great design. I feel like such a buzz kill when I say that i don't think good design and cheap really go together. Don't get me wrong... I love using incorporating a steal whenever I can but usually you get what you pay for and you can tell the difference. I also think the most important part of good design is having a plan. If mixing high end and low end works out within the plan then by all means... go cheap! Just my 2 cents!

Mary @ RoomPolish said...

such a polarizing topic, right??!! My motto is all things in moderation. I've always believed it's the proof of being a good designer if you can make things work with zero budget. It all depends on what the client wants and can afford! And if you're going to go DIY, just make it look as good as possible, otherwise--wait for the real deal : )

 
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