Joss & Main, a sort of sale-priced designer warehouse, is frequently mentioned on a lot of blogs I regularly read. You have to sign-up in order to buy from them, which is something I don’t normally do, mainly to keep my e-mail traffic down. Over Christmas break, when I had some downtime, I finally bit the bullet and signed-on to see what all the hoopla is about. There are a lot of pretty, pretty things on there, that’s for sure. I sat and drooled, lightly touched my computer screen and fantasized about where I could put all of these pretty, pretty things. That’s as far as it got, though – fantasizing. There’s about as much chance of me buying these things as there is I will become Mrs. Sean Connery (circa 1967). So, definitely still a chance, I’d say, totally. It did get me thinking about my more realistic IKEA-budget, though, and how I can still have the sort of look I want without going broke. Here are some things I found on Joss & Main with their more affordable IKEA counterparts.
These ghost chairs are cool and I’ve seen them all over the web in a variety of settings and they always look great. We need two additional chairs for our dining room table for when guests come over and I think these would be perfect. It’s the clear acrylic that really does it for me. They’re modern and sleek, which I really like. However, even at the discounted price of $1,240.00 for a set of 4 ($310 each), they’re still way out of my budget. IKEA has an acrylic chair that I’ve been considering that is way more budget-friendly at $79.99 a piece. I’ve seen this chair in person and it’s a substantial piece that I think would work in our house.
Seeing this pillow on Joss & Main reminded me a lot of the one I bought a couple of weeks ago at IKEA. Obviously they are different colors and I do love this color of blue. However, the black and white one I picked-up at IKEA has the same feeling as the one from Joss & Main, if that makes sense. The blue one is available in two sizes but the one pictured is 18X18. It’s 100% cotton and includes a down insert, which is nice. The one I got from IKEA is 20 X 20, 100% cotton, with two available insert options. I bought the synthetic one for $2.99 but a nicer down one is available for $6.99, making the black and white pillow a really great buy.
If you’re into Audrey Hepburn, as K is, both Joss & Main and IKEA have artwork that’s right up your alley. Joss & Main has a nice framed print of her that isn’t a bad price for the seeming quality of the piece. It’s a generous 24X36, framed and matted.
IKEA has a canvas print that is a little more “artsy”, clocking in at 35 1/2 x 35 1/2. It’s nice too and I actually prefer it to the framed print, personally. K is totally into Audrey Hepburn right now as a style icon and loves both of these. She’s in the planning stages of re-doing her bedroom and if she wants some Audrey art, she can save $17 by going to IKEA.
Finally, I saw this rug on Joss & Main and immediately thought of the popular Gislev rug from IKEA. Granted, the one from Joss & Main is 100% wool and the Gislev is 100% polypropylene (which actually sounds scary but is apparently used in a wide-range of products and applications). They are roughly the same size, though, in the 5X7 range-ish.
I guess the determining factor here would be whether I was going for long-term commitment or quick fling. If it’s long-term commitment you’re after, the wool rug is going to last longer, look nicer longer and is probably bio-degradeable over the very long term. If it’s just a fling, the Gislev wins, hands-down. At only $19.99, it’s a winner, although I’m not sure about bio-degradeable.
IKEA is not the only place to find some good buys. ebay, Craigslist, Target and Goodwill are other places I frequent to find the things I want at prices I can afford. I love looking at sites like Joss & Main to get ideas. I find my inspiration and then go searching for more reasonably priced alternatives. It’s a necessity if I want my home to look the way I envision. Also, it’s a lot of fun to create a look on a budget. It’s a challenge and I like that. A few months ago K confided to me that her friends told her they thought she was “rich” because her house is so nice. She laughed and told them that our house isn’t nice because we’re rich, it’s because her mom is crazy, cheap and has no other creative outlet (she didn’t use those exact words, but I’m sure that’s what she meant). She told them about my blog reading, idea gathering and bargain hunting. She told them how all of our furniture is either IKEA, hand-me-down or from Craigslist. She also told them how all of our artwork is inherited or from thrift stores and that all of our paint comes from the mis-tint shelf for $5.00 a gallon. We make our own curtains and pillows and buy our wool rugs from Ollie’s Bargain Outlet (always Cheap Ollie’s to me). K thought it was funny since I had just been complaining about having to send in yet another $5.00 to school for something or the other. (Yes, I think $5.00 is a lot of money, especially when both kids have their hands out every week for something.)
So, where do you bargain shop? Spill your secrets!