You Got to Shop Around

If there is one thing I have learned about myself as an adult is that I have expensive taste, without really meaning to. I don’t like things just because they are expensive or name brand, I just happen to fall in love with things and then see the price and wince. Because while my taste is expensive my wallet….

Thankfully we live in a world with internet shopping.  I am not a very good shopper in person, I get sort of tunnel vision and I feel rushed. I am however an awesome internet shopper and have discovered I have quite a talent for finding hidden gems and for finding better deals.  Partially because I am a computer junkie, but also because I like a challenge.  If it is out there, I am going to find it.  In my situation this has been essential. You always have to shop around.  I find if I cannot get the same thing for cheaper I can get something very similar. My new obsession is getting the same look for less.

One of my proud steals came in the form of my new bathroom faucets. I love the metal cross handles, I love old fashion porcelain hot and cold markers. I like industrial but polished. So of course I was drawn to these.

In case you are wondering these all come from Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware respectfully. But RH’s Eaton and Bistro collection faucets will set you back a cool $525 while the more civilized of us can get the Lugarno at $555. Seriously, who can afford this stuff? And if you can, can you call me and tell me where I have gone wrong in life. Ever the economical choice Pottery Barn offers their Cole faucet for $299. We’re getting warmer but still not in my budget.

Lowes and Home Depot offer a bit more value or at least options to fit more budgets. I stuck to Lowes for most of my faucet searching, because Home Depot just didn’t seem to have the selection and Lowes has a better website for searching (step it up HD). In fact, in searching for bathroom fixtures HD has been somewhat disappointing and I prefer to do my business with HD — for various reasons.

Lowes had some really nice options by a company called Kingston Brass. Unfortunately I found two faucets I absolutely loved though they were just shy of $200, which I felt was pushing it. The good and bad news was they were not going to be available for months and I couldn’t find them elsewhere.  (I did, while writing this look those up, and guess what faucets are now available…damn oh well).  I was able to find one that was the same brand and very similar and about the same price from an online distributor.

For the other bathroom (which we’re redoing after the first of the year) I found a Kingston Brass faucet that combined elements of a few faucets I liked for $206, once again too much, but I paid less than $150 from an online distributor. I suppose I could have waited on the second faucet but in the end I saved myself the extra money I would have spent had I held out for the first ones I fell for. It is still in the box so you can’t see it yet.

Some other examples of shopping around:

$299

$150

My mom is redoing my old bedroom and making it a guest bedroom. She has this theme going and fell in love with this airplane panel from Pottery Barn that she wanted over the bed. Two issues: price obviously but it also was just too big for the space. I found this plane on ETSY for much less and it was the right size (they had one with a plane that is a closer match to the one from PB but I knew she would like this plane better).

My latest deal came in the form of a lamp and a lesson. I wanted a task lamp for my office area that I am slowly putting together. I wanted something kind of industrial and after going back and forth I finally decided I wanted a pharmacy task lamp. This style made famous by the french company jielde is popular and often copied which you would think would be good for the budget. Not always the case.  Here we come to the lesson. Two of my favorite companies Restoration Hardware (where I gawk but cannot shop) and Pottery Barn have child/teen companies. These companies often have cheaper prices on certain items, you just have to poke around, especially when we are talking lamps. Now of course you need to take size into factor, but often they are normal sized lamps, just check before you get too excited.

jielde-signal

Here is the inspiration a Jielde Signal Desk Lamp which will run you around $485 respectfully.

Then we have Restoration Hardware’s response to the Pharmacy Lamp, which I might add is sometimes referred to as a gynecologist lamp because of the handle and multiple angles it can achieve… I’ll leave the rest up to your imagination. Restoration Hardware doesn’t know a number under $200 when it comes to lamps, that is why it is so surprising to find their baby/child store has a very similar lamp for far less, the only difference being a slight size difference of about 8 inches or so when fully extended which there is very little cause to fully extend it.

rh1

Coming in a few different patinas, RH’s adult lamp starts at $259

rh2

The child version sitting only a few inches shorter but the same width is $99

We’re getting warmer. So this brings me to the lamp I decided on. This selection came from PBTeen, which markets to teenagers and college students so no size problem there.

Coming in a wide arrange of colors at a cool $79... we have a winner

Coming in a wide arrange of colors at a cool $79… we have a winner

Finding the look I want for the price I can afford isn’t always easy, but patience and determination have proved that it isn’t impossible.

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