posted by on 2011.07.29, under Friday Finds

When throwing a party, it’s advisable to splurge on the food and liquid refreshments and spare in the décor department. Frugal decorations needn’t be boring, however. For this week’s Friday Finds, we’ve rounded up some festive party stuff for $25 or less.


This T-Rex piñata could eat the traditional donkey variety for lunch. $15.99 at Target.

T-Rex Pinata


These Pick Your Nose party cups only sound gross. $10 from Unica.

pick your nose, 12 oz party cups


This Bavarian tableware gives you a reason to break out your Lederhosen (as if you needed one). $19.99 from Target.

Bavarian Party Tableware Set - Blue/White


Nothing spruces up a houseplant like a pink flamingo. $14.86 on Amazon.

Pink Flamingo Plastic Lawn Ornament, 2-Pack


Oh no – who invited him?!  A cardboard cutout is a great centerpiece and photo op for just about any get-together. Have George W stop by for just $24.99. Amazon.

President George W. Bush Life-Size Standup Poster


Even Wonder Woman needs a break sometimes. Wonder Woman napkins from Party City.  $1.74

Wonder Woman Beverage Napkins 16ct



posted by on 2011.07.29, under Get the Look

Sleep No More is a totally unique immersive experience from Punchdrunk that redefines–and expands the boundaries of–“theater.” It’s a multisensory delight that will leave you feeling like a different person than when you first stepped into the McKittrick Hotel, where it all takes place.

For those who have experienced the artistic genius and went coo coo for the production design, this post is for you. For those who haven’t, get tickets here and thank us later.

The FrugalMaterialist official Sleep No More Living Room Moodboard


With over 100 meticulously staged, dreamlike rooms to choose from (which are meant for viewers to walk through and experience, mind you), we decided that doing a Get The Look feature for one room wouldn’t be enough. So here is our first installment, the Sleep No More Living Room. If you haven’t seen the show, check out extensive interior photos from Scouting NY. Listen and watch the excellent audio slideshow from the New York Times. Below, some professional stills to give you a feel for the space.


So what’s the secret to achieving a Sleep No More inspired room? Dark lighting and a motherload of vintage accessories. Any old wooden furniture will do. Scouring flea and antique markets for the best deals might be your best (and most affordable) bet for achieving a Sleep No More-ified apartment, but we make it easy for you with our online finds.


Cover your walls with vintage-inspired floral wallpaper for instant drama. (more damask wallpaper at Home Depot)

56 sq. ft. Damask Wallpaper, $39.97/roll

For floors, a decent Persian rug will do the trick. IKEA carries good quality versions at the lowest prices.

IKEA Persisk rugs, $99.99 - 399


 This interesting loveseat from Overstock is a nice budget-friendly option.

Utopia Tan Stripe Accent Chair, $337.99


Add a couple of side chairs. Live in a studio? Scrap the loveseat idea and consider using several chairs with a side table or two as your main seating. Overstock has an excellent selection of fancy chairs for under $150 a pop.


Here’s a no-nonsense side table for ya. These don’t need to be fancy…

Column Espresso Side Table, $67.99


…especially when covered with a chantilly lace table topper. Instantly add a “touch of class” to any cruddy table. From

Chantilly Lace 30" Table Topper, $22.99


Vintage apothecary bottles seem to be in high demand these days. Here is a collection starting at $9.95 on eBay. (Search terms: vintage or antique apothecary, pharmacy, chemist, and amber bottles)



For wall art, simply tack on vintage findings wherever you see fit. Ephemera Obscura on Etsy has an excellent collection of curated single photographs, or “splurge” for the photo lot like this one from Vintage Warehouse, also on Etsy.

Vintage photo lot 125+ old photos, $27.50


This vintage black rotary phone is a striking display piece. Snag one up before the few that remain end up behind glass in the MOMA design collection.

Vintage Black Rotary Dial Desk Phone, $25


You don’t need a thousand keys to appreciate this vintage hotel key rack…

Hotel Key Rack, $65

…these brass keyring tags are crucial to complete the look.

brass keyring tags, $8


It’s all about the low lighting. We’re partial to the lighting supplies from BlueMoon Lights and junkyard lights on Etsy. Whatever you do, avoid the standard apartment overhead lighting at all costs!

Mini Industrial Vintage Style Table Accent Light, $69

Reproduction Style Double Twin Socket Pendant Light with Antique Style Edison Bulbs, $78


If you’re gonna splurge, splurge on the taxidermy props. Here is a quality specimen from our new favorite store, Evolution. Although a bit pricey, it’s on the cheaper end of the taxidermy spectrum.

Mounted finch, $379


If you saw the show, we’d love to hear about your experience. Stay tuned for other Get The Look rooms, coming soon!


posted by on 2011.07.26, under Store Profiles

Evolution on Spring Street in Soho is a goldmine for all things natural history. This is eclectic home decor at its finest.


Have a hankering for a human skull? Evolution has a handful to choose from…

Assorted Skulls, pricing varies


I’d buy anything from this adorable raccoon, including a raccoon penis bone.

Raccoon Penis Bone, $8


Deer antlers stuffed in a bowl might make a striking centerpiece. Have this mini-me skeleton greeting guests at the entrance for a mere $89.

Deer Antlers, $19. 33" Human Skeleton, $89


Looking for a gift for your significant other? Nothing says I Love You like a tiny handcarved antler skull.

Antler Skulls, $19


Evolution has numerous displays of natural malachite and other minerals and stones. We especially like the pyramid-shaped malachite pieces in front. Place one on a desktop or coffee table and keep the rest of the space free of clutter to maximize its presence.

Malachite Pyramids, $19-29


Embrace the true New Yorker in you with a mouse. Freeze dried, of course.

Freeze Dried Mice, $69


Genuine ostrich egg with wooden stand for $29. Cheap!

Ostrich Egg w/Wooden Stand, $29


Looking to impress someone? Get them a siamese twins candle.

Siamese twins candle, $29


Painting your bathroom walls in deep red and hanging a framed tarantula in there will guarantee you the most “interesting” bathroom in your apartment building.

Giant Tarantula Display, $59


The Evolution Store


120 Spring Street
New York, NY 10012
United States


posted by on 2011.07.25, under Design Around...

Building a look around a quality statement piece is a good way to anchor a room. When augmented with lower-cost pieces, it’s also a good way to achieve a look that’s greater than the sum of its parts (i.e. looks more expensive than it is).

The space-age pendant from Diesel (via Conran Shop) has all the makings of a great statement light: it’s fun, unique and has a distinct presence. At $752, it also ain’t cheap. Add these budget friendly complementary pieces for an overall price tag that’s a little more Lower East Side than Upper.

Set the tone with this Diesel rock pendant from the Conran Shop. $752



This settee from Urban Outfitters fits just about anywhere and pairs nicely with additional seating. $579.

Daydreamer Settee - Charcoal

The wooden top of CB2’s Tux coffee table softens the room’s look while the metal legs tie into its modernistic tone. $299.

Tux Coffee Table


Nature and technology play nicely on this wooden cube clock from Seltzer Studios. $28.00

Wood Cube Clock

This black & white IKEA Stockholm rug is a versatile classic. $199.


Straight from Marrakesh to you—a red & black leather Moroccan pouf, available on $110.

Moroccan leather ottomoan



posted by on 2011.07.22, under Friday Finds

Happy Friday everyone. I don’t know about you, but I seem to have an inordinate number of friends with summer birthdays. As a result, here are some cute small gift ideas, all for $25 or less.

This camera case looks like it’d double as a great wallet too.  Burke Decor, $24.

Big Business Camera Case by Thomas Paul


These cardboard iPod speakers are marked down to $20 ($40). Perfect for your friend that likes music at the beach but doesn’t want to lug the real deal along.



She said it all right. Get a set of these tile coasters for your funny friends. Someecards, $7.99 each.

TGIF Motherfuckers Tile Coaster


Have a friend who’s always misplacing his keys? Get him this catch-all leaf tray. Moma Store. $12.95

Leaf Tray


This sassy pill key chain from Jonathan Adler really unscrews! $19.95.

enamel pill keychain



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