Cheerful Frugality, Catalogued
Do you groan when another new catalog arrives, all fresh and smooth and irresistibly styled?
I do. There's nothing like the latest issue of Pottery Barn to make your homey surroundings seem dull.
That is, until you learn to use free catalogs as a resource. This is Frugal Hacks you're reading! Pull out your November/Holiday Pottery Barn, pour a cup of coffee, and let's see what inspires us.
(p. 7) Large frames. Do you have any old pictures you can tuck among the branches of the Christmas tree? SAVINGS: $29 a frame.
(p. 11) Silk magnolia wreath. Real magnolia leaves dry beautifully. Staple to a cardboard ring. Gild with spray paint. SAVINGS: $69 a wreath.
(p. 15) Paper party cones. Roll your own and tie to backs of chairs. SAVINGS: $0. This is one of the handcrafted details that makes PB furniture look better in the catalog than it does in a generic apartment.
(p. 28) Rolled paper wreaths. Recycle ruined books or old sheet music into incredible gifts. SAVINGS: $0, another style prop too unique for the PB manufacturing machine.
(p. 35) Door swag. If you can't make a wreath, you can make this. A bundle of white sticks, a clump of greens, a red ribbon. SAVINGS: $0. Again, the best things in the catalog are not for sale. See also: firewood decoratively arranged in front door pots.
(p. 63) Antler, pomegranate and pheasant collection. Does your husband hunt? Set the ultimate Thanksgiving table with his trophies as a centerpiece. At least the ones without eyes. SAVINGS: $39 for antler candlesticks, $24 for 5 feathers.
I've only skimmed the first few pages, but I could go on and on! This type of brainstorming will bring out your creativity.
There's nothing wrong with ordering from the catalog--if you have the money. Some items, like the paper stars, are not a bad buy when you consider the time and materials cost. But if you don't have the budget? Be glad! You can imitate the originals for much, much less.
- Note the color trends. (LOVE the red chairs.)
- Study the shapes and forms of furniture. (Hello, yard sales!)
- Examine painted finishes. (Antique black is easy to copy.)
- Pay attention to hardware. (Light fixtures and handles can be painted at home.)
Now for your assignment! Give us your best Pottery Barn frugal hack. Flip through this season's catalog, find something you like, and tell us how you could get the same look for less. I can't wait to see what you come up with!