House Beautiful

6 Awesome Pieces to snap up… Like, now.

I don’t know about you, but when I take a look in my closet and around my house, there are only a handfulla things I can look at and *truly* say, “DANG, I can’t live without that.”  Most of the time I look around and go, “Meh.  Not sure why I bought this, like it but don’t love it, can’t believe I dropped $100 on that,” etc.  And then I mentally add up what I spent on all of those “meh” pieces and want to faint.

My point is, it’s amazing what we spend on things that are “just okay”.  And I feel like a lot of stuff out there today is overpriced and just okay.  It seems really tough to find things I love that are enduring without breaking the bank.

These days, I only wanna spend money things on hardworking pieces that I absolutely love, absolutely need, absolutely will have for a long time, and/or that don’t break the bank.  So on that note, here are 6 diamonds in the rough I love that I just snapped up on the (relatively) cheap:

LINEN DINING BANQUETTE – $449 – World Market

I just bought this last week to go on one side of my dining table.  The fabric is the perfect neutral-ly beige linen – not too yellow and not too grey…  very similar to the color of Pottery Barn’s “Oatmeal” (Peyton linen drape).  For that space, for gentle use (e.g. not as a trampoline) and considering anything similar is 3x as much at other big box stores, it’s perfect (I got mine when dining furniture was about 20% off a few weeks ago, plus they give you a 10% coupon if you create an account on their website).  I also love its traditional shape but clean, modern curves..  and the fact that in the next house, I can repurpose it as an entryway bench seat or a settee at the foot of a bed.  It’s taking the place of another settee that I got on Craigslist for $100 and thought I’d save on by having it reupholstered.  But ever since I realized that piece would’ve been about $1000 to recover, it was draped in a big piece of linen fabric and was looking oh-so-frumpy and sad.  So this is my quick-fix, didn’t-break-the-bank audible.


Okay that’s not really what it’s called, but isn’t that what it looks like?  BAh!  It looks like a PARTY!  I gasped when I saw this ditty…  even if you just get the bottoms, pair it with a solid any-colored top.  Plus this suit reminded me a teeny bit of the L*Space suit I was ooh-ing over at our adorable friend Janae’s Anna Maria Island boutique, Pink & Navy:

BOATNECK STRIPED TEE – $10.80 – Forever 21

Now.  I won’t tell you what I had to go through to find this tee, because it’s too scary.  Okay I’ll tell you: do you remember that creepy nightmare scene from Labyrinth with the junkyard of toys??  It was like sifting through that.  Except the junkyard was Forever 21 on a Friday night.  With screaming teenagers swarming everywhere.  I seriously needed a stiff cocktail when I left.  But this great little number is worth it – especially when you can click the link above and avoid dredging through the trenches like I did.  I wore it out last Saturday with some beat-up jeans to watch NCAA basketball, and I can’t wait to pair it with a cute patterned skirt if the tundra outside ever melts.  Also came in a black stripe and a navy stripe, but I thought this one was super classic and easy-breezy in a, “I jest tossed zeese on to run to zee marché pour un baguette et café au lait” sort of way.

LATTICE SHADOWS IN RASPBERRY – ranges from $17-$38 per yard – by CEST LA VIV on Spoonflower

(Gasp.)  The watercolor, raspberry Kool-aid hues, and that lattice pattern?  LOVE.  So fresh and pretty.  And unlike all the super shi-shi designer fabric I have pipe dreams about at night, this one is equally as lovely but is on average $25 per yard vs. $300+ per yard (Spoonflower prices vary based on what you tell them you want it printed on – linen, silk, poplin, etc).  Which means I can still afford diapers for GusGus.  I’m using this for an upcoming DIY project so stay tuned!  And in the meantime, check out Vivian’s site HERE and whole line of beautiful fabric designs HERE – plenty of watercolor in plenty of gorgeous patterns in every color of the rainbow.


I have some things from H&M that I still love that I bought in college.  Same as Forever 21 – you have to dig and sift for quality pieces sometimes, but this is a diamond in the rough.  I got the last black one in the store, but I LOVE it in cream!  It’s nipped at the waist, super comfortable, and has a little hook & eye closure.  Transitions perfectly from office to cocktails.


This picture doesn’t do them justice.  They’re a darker shade of cobalt, sassier and pointier in person.  I was sweating the Everly Pump at J.Crew…  and those are lovely, but they’re $250-some odd dollars lovely.  I tried these on at Macy’s and was surprised how comfy and flattering they were on.  Just wore ’em to dinner last Friday with my black leather pants, a fancy little white tee shirt and a tousled bob.  Or make like OP and rock them with a more casual get-up.  Either way, those bad boys are money.

Happy guilt-free shopping!


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