Monday, June 11, 2012

Attainable Design

It is easy to get caught up in this ideal world of interiors especially when there is so much beautiful design right at our fingertips.  Many times, I need to step away and remember 'my reality'.

I am a firm believer that when it comes to design you can't have it all - "good, fast and cheap."  I will always fall into the "good and cheap" categories, because quite honestly, I can't afford "good and fast."

And, so I am even more blown away when I see designs that are not only beautiful, but are also attainable.  And, I'm not talking about a house entirely furnished by Pottery Barn.  (Nothing against PB.  I own pieces by PB, but I think interiors should have a mix of furnishings and styles.) 

The other day I revisited one of my favorite designs from the talented blogger, Bryn (Bryn Alexandra Interiors).  I think she mastered designing a beautiful and collected space that encompasses both affordable and attainable pieces.  This is not as easy as it looks.

A nice mix of traditional and modern.  The patterns, colors and textures all work well together and are balanced.  

Ikea glass candlesticks act as mantel decor and framed plates in shadowboxes serve as art.

A Home Decorators bookshelf gets a custom touch by painting the backs navy blue which echos the navy blue used in the dining room. Antique chairs gets a fresh and modern look with new upholstery.

A flea market mirror gets an update by being silver leafed.

The TV console was kept, but was updated by adding new nickel pulls.

It was just really refreshing to take a look at this beautiful space again.


  1. It is so nice to see a home that looks updated but won't outdate itself in 5 years. This design has longevity which is what I love about it. I love that chair and lamp in the corner.

  2. Love Bryn's work! Great feature!

  3. I was just thinking about that this weekend--it's easy for us design lovers to get caught up in the latest and greatest, but I agree, the best designs have a mix of old and new. It's kinda annoying to me when I visit blogs that have all this top-of-the-line stuff and they think they're great me anyone can shop out of a catalog. A great designer take antiques and mixes them with new pieces, "cheap" with quality, and yardsale finds with Pottery Barn goods and it looks seamless/timeless--kinda like Bryn up there. I think we're on the same page, Fran;) Okay I'm stepping off my soap box now...enjoy your day:)

  4. I love this post, Fran. I don't have the luxury of being able to afford everything I would love to have but I am no stranger to modifying vintage pieces or finding a knockoff to stand in for a more expensive piece. I want to enjoy my home now and not save for 3 years for a coveted piece! I love the glass candlesticks on the fireplace. So pretty and understated!

  5. Yes, I have to do a reality check every once in a while too. I can't change everything with a whim, so I have to work with what I have and just make the best of it. Great post and great room to show that it all works with a little thought and planning. Hugs, Marty

  6. I remember "oohing and ahhhhing" at this home when Bryn shared it because, just as you said, it balances antique pieces/treasures with pieces from Ikea. I totally agree that it's so easy to get caught up in the world of designer fabrics and $5,000 couches when you read blogs regularly, but for the average person who loves design that Hermes throw or Leontine Linens sham is just absurdly expensive. I know I often feel like I'm behind other bloggers when I see their beautiful homes filled with spendy stuff because I assume that's what luxury means. But, really, luxury is having a home in the first place!

    But, like Kat, I'll get off of my soapbox now and continue to shop thrift stores and continue to save, save, save for my dream house.

  7. I totally agree. I am always having to remind myself that we can't have everything and that I must make "good" out of what we have. And adding in some good cheap things too.
    I loved this house when Bryn posted it awhile back....thanks for the reminder on what a great design it is!

  8. I remember this post. It's such a great room.

    I can't afford good and fast either, Fran. On the other hand, sometimes good comes in the form of thrift and revamping. So now we have good, cheap, and slooooowwwww. I'm not making any sense, am I? Time to go to bed.

  9. Agreed. I loved this room too, and it *was* good to see it again and get that reminder. Not everything has to be new and expensive. Sometimes it's hard to accept that in your own space though. We see so much new (and expensive) stuff out there and want it all!

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