posted by on 2012.09.27, under Store Profiles

I was never much of a craft-y person, so I didn’t think of arts and crafts giant Michael’s as a resource for me as an interior designer. But when I needed cork for a custom bulletin board, I ventured into my local store and was surprised to see a Home Décor section, and even more impressed with the selection of products to stage and finish as space.

These faux diamond studded black and silver trays are a great bit o’glam to corral keys and mail on a drop table by the front door.

studded trays


These glass plates add another elegant touch. At $4.99 each, they can be used for candles or as coasters for glasses.


If storage is an issue, try using these velvet lined Book Boxes. They’re perfect for hidden storage and add a touch of vintage to a lonely tabletop.

vintage velvet book storage boxes


Along the same lines are these Library Book inspired folder holders, which are functional in an office and will look like books on a shelf.

storage folders


One of the hottest décor trends is mercury metal. It goes great with silvers or gold schemes and adds a touch touch of glamour without being too traditional. These types of accessories could go for as much as $12.00, but at Michael’s this accent piece is $3.99.

mercury glass vase


Hurricane vases, when filled with decorative bamboo or tall grass,  are versatile pieces for any room design. $27.99.

hurricane vases


A cluster of these small vases could cost over a $100 from other stores but at Michael’s, you can easily add a burst of color to the anywhere without breaking the bank.

red white blue vases



posted by on 2012.08.28, under Design Around...

When a client recently asked for design help in brightening up her living, the only constraint she gave was that her husband’s current favorite artwork, Crate and Barrel’s Earthen Abstract, must remain in the space.




Pulling from the painting’s color palette, we started with a pale yellow, Little Angel from Benjamin Moore, on the walls. The yellow is sunny and light but still muted enough not to be overwhelming.

The right sofa for this space was one in a neutral tone but classed up a bit with piping detail. And this one from Bob’s Furniture at only $450 is practically a steal.

Zachary Sofa


Using armless accent chairs in a bright color keeps these pieces from feeling too heavy and weighing down the room. The same piping detail also coordinates well with the new sofa. $235 from Overstock.

Noho Orange Lounge Chair


Accent pillows that have both the orange and grey colors and pairing them with pillows that work with the wall color work to bring everything together. These solid yellow pillows from Target are 2 for $25.

Target Yellow Suede Quarter Panel Pillow


cb2 audra pillow


The landscape style subject of the painting allows for some different textures to be incorporated in the space. Using the Pebble Table from West Elm is a great way to add natural materials. Accessorize the space with rustic planters in different sizes for additional texture.

Pebble Side Table, $149

Round Planter, Rustic Gray Finish, $63


An area rug like this low cost one from Pier 1 in a simple stripe but with all the design’s colors and tones is the perfect way to anchor this grouping. $120.

Bright Stripe Rug



posted by on 2012.08.09, under Get the Look

Adding depth to any design is crucial to avoiding that “just off the showroom floor” look and making a space feel personal like combining modern and vintage antiques. Layering contemporary and rustic pieces like this factory wagon cart featured in Better Homes and Gardens with differing patterns create a pretty and homey feel. But between the sectional and the coffee table, this room could cost a pretty penny.


You could get the look for less, with these lower cost finds…


One of the ways this room creates depth is to use picture molding on the walls. If actually adding the molding isn’t an option because you’re either a renter or not so powerful with the power tools, use painter’s tape to create picture boxes and paint a pattern to mimic the idea. Start with Blue Heather 1620 from Benjamin Moore as the base color and accent with a basic white for the molding.

Benjamin Moore Blue Heather House Paint


Sectional sofas can be the perfect seating solution for the right space, but they can also be expensive. This one from IKEA is under a $1000 with a removable cover for easy cleaning. Stain or paint the legs to better match your interior.

Ikea KARLSTAD Loveseat in Sivik Dark Gray, $829


The perfect contrast to the modern contemporary sofa is this rustic factory cart table. It’s an unexpectedly opposite selection that adds further dimension to the classic look of the walls of the clean sleek look of the sofa.

Industrial Maison Coffee Table, $429


This lamp base from is so low cost, you can splurge a bit on a separate lamp shade to get a unique piece just right for the space.

Hitch Antique Gold Finish Table Lamp, $42.49

Iridescent Feather Giclee Lamp Shade, $70


Use to add a spin to a personal photo. Including the frame this look is under $200 and turns any photo into museum style print.

photowow pop prints


For the textiles, use mismatched patterns on the pillows with a central color to continue adding depth and an area rug with all the accent colors to tie the whole thing together.  Style with coffee table books and a low plant for the perfect finish.

ALVINE GÃ…VA Cushion cover, $5

Pier 1 Embroidered Paisley Pillow, $26

Xhilaration Yellow Sequin Tile Print Pillow, $18.99

Home Exploded Floral Rug, $199-399




posted by on 2012.07.24, under Get the Look

This clean and contemporary bedroom designed by Brian Watford is the definition of “city chic.” The Atlanta-based designer successfully blends modern sophistication with vintage luxury pieces to create spaces that are warm and inviting. By incorporating organic patterns and fun accents of teal in this bedroom, he was able to keep the crisp lines and the grey neutral background from being too cold, adding brightness and personality.



Use this moodboard and the frugal finds below to recreate your own little piece of the city.


Start with the dark grey Deep Indigo wall color from Benjamin Moore. $35.99/gallon

Benjamin Moore Deep Indigo


While dark colors could make a space feel smaller than it is, use light colored furniture that contrasts well, drawing focus away from the walls and making them recede into the background.


The white Nordli Bed frame from IKEA is $280 and has the same lines as the inspiration bed.

Ikea Nordli Bed


Dress the bed with the Jacquard Pattern duvet cover ($70-111) and Zebra Pillow covers ($39.00) from West Elm to soften the hard lines of the bed frame. Finish with a leaf throw pillow from Target ($30.00) for a low-cost and unexpected accent.

Jacquard Leaf Duvet Cover

Zebra Pillow Cover

Palm Leaf Pillow


The Armen Living 5th Ave bright blue ottoman from ($227) at the foot of the bed is both functional and way to add a bright accent color to this otherwise neutral room.

Armen Living Cerulean Ottoman


Recreate the two-toned dresser with the Frugal Shopper’s best friend, a simple DIY project. Use the incredibly versatile and inexpensive IKEA Rast dresser ($35.00), along with some dark walnut stain, high gloss white enamel paint and finish with some satin circle drawer pulls for $5 each to get just the right look.

Ikea Dresser Hack

Ikea Rast 3 drawer chest, pine

Circle Drawer Pull


Use lighter grey window treatments for $70.00 from Sears to contrast the wall color and dress up with windows.

Storm Grey Vintage Faux Textured Dupioni Silk 108-inch Curtain Panel


This area rug from Home Goods was only $50.00. Look for one with a repeating pattern that isn’t too geometrical to work with the bedding.

Home Goods Geometric Area Rug


Accessorize the space with white frames filled with your favorite black and white prints, and a blue lamp like the one below from Home Goods for $20 to tie the color scheme together.

Home Goods Blue Lamp

Ikea Ribba Frame




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