Monday, October 15, 2012


I do not profess to be good at decorating. In all honestly I think I'm pretty bad at it. Give me an assortment of patterned paper and photos and I can make something lovely. Or 4 PMS colors and an ad idea, no problem. Paint color and fabric patterns & textures and I crumble.

It's not that I don't know what I like. I can identify tons of furnishings, paint colors and fabrics that I like. I just can't put them together. And worse yet, I can't put them together in my own home. I think part of the issue (or a big part) is budget. Given an unlimited budget I think I'd have no problem putting my house together to look like a showroom. And let's be honest, if I were given an unlimited budget I'd hire someone to do it! So therein lies the problem. I do not have an unlimited budget. And our home is furnished with an eclectic (read mismatched mish-mash) of things that may be from the curb, family hand-me downs or a thrift store. We do have a few select things that we did purchase but those, interestingly enough, are all tables (some with chairs). And of course our beds. I also cannot decide on a style of decor that I most like. Our home is a 1950's rambler which is not exactly mid-century but I do love mid-century design. I also like a little shabby-chic and arts and crafts and traditional and some modern...and there you see were problems can arise. So I strive to make what we have work together with the limitations I am faced with. (And yes, I realize that these are all "problems" that only persons of middle class and up can be saddled with).

Which brings me to the topic of today's post...

After rearranging our living room (see left) I decided I needed a small side table to go at the end of the sofa (the end you can't see). There are several mid-century furniture dealers locally so I'd been watching their inventory. However, I only wanted one table and most of what was being shown was in pairs or just too expensive. And I have some criteria. Specifically it had to go with our coffee table.
 This coffee table is basically the piece which our living room revolves around (I think Morgan may hate it). Now that it can be out again since Owen can (mostly) walk without falling down. It was my grandparents table and I remember it vividly from my childhood. It's an original mid-century piece that I will not give up. The base is in good shape but the top is rather scratched up. I don't care. I will not part with this table. That said, the search for a side table has been difficult. I've found other pieces that I've liked but they have not complimented this table very well. And since our our style is already curbside thrift I don't want to add to the mish-mash with things that just make it worse! 

Enter Target. If you are not familiar with Target, I'm sorry, that is unfortunate. Hopefully there will be one near you soon. And no, you can't say, "Oh, we have Wal-Mart". Wal-Mart is fine for some things but it does not compare to Target. I do most of my shopping at Target which means that is where I see most of the trends in home furnishings. Whether they are current or not, I don't have any idea because that is about the only place I see the trends! Since I'm at Target weekly (if not more) I had been keeping an eye open for cute side or accent tables. They have some in store and many online but none were quite right. It couldn't be too tall or too wide. It couldn't been too shabby or too some other style. And then it happened, I saw the cutest table! Round, not too tall, not too big and it was metal with a glass top, kind of mid-century-ish. It was also $69.99 or $79.99 depending on which Target I was at. Which was not what I was willing to spend. Like most things I was anticipating it would go on clearance and since I am at Target often I just kept watching to see when it would go. And the other day was my lucky day! But it was only 30% off. What can I say? I'm cheap! I decided I'd wait for 50%. But I'm also not patient. So today after I dropped O at the bus I had to get a few things at Whole Foods (which is over by my office) so I decided I'd stop at the Target over there to check on the table. It was not on clearance there. See, the thing about Target (that isn't cool) is that different stores clearance different things and at different times and different paces. I also mentioned the different prices. Higher price point areas have higher prices. My friend Jen and I have had extensive conversations about this frustration. It would be fine if say in Minneapolis the prices were at one price point and in New York they were another. However, I live in Target Mecca. Within a 10 mile radius of our house I can get to at least 5 Targets easily. This this morning I went to 5 on the way home from Owen's bus stop to find my table! The first three had the table. As I mentioned, at the first one it was not on clearance and was priced at $69.99. At the second store it was again, not on clearance and was $79.99. Yes, a $10 difference. At the third store it was on clearance and 30% off. (I didn't go back to the original store because it no longer had the table in stock and it was in the wrong direction.) A person can look items up via the Target app but the app does not tell you if the item is clearanced and what that price may be, just if it's in stock and the original price. Frustrating. When I found the third one it had a couple of scratches on the glass so I negotiated an additional 15% off. I was also looking for a couple of accent pillows and the same thing was going on. I checked two other Targets on the way home for the pillows and ended up finding another cute table to try in the same space.

Here is the metal and glass one at the end of the sofa. I think it fits perfectly and the style works too. 

Here is the wood one in a different spot. I had another table here that was just a bit too tall and the style was wrong. I think this one works well too because the wood coordinates with the wood of the coffee table but the style is a little bit modern so it enhances the eclectic feel of the room.
 The wood table was 50% off so I don't feel bad if I keep both of them. Together they were both well under the price of the mid-century ones I had been looking at. Now I just need to keep an eye out for the pillows to drop further in price! I have friends whose homes are beautifully furnished and decorated and they've spent thousands of dollars doing so. It's just a matter of preference for where one chooses to spend ones money. We have old furniture because it works well for little boys who like to make forts. And it's okay for jumping on too. Someday when that isn't a necessity we may invest in good furniture. In the meantime we will continue on with our curbside thrift style and Target clearance! And besides, why pay full price if you don't have to!