February 16, 2012

Pottery Barn Look, Wal-Mart Budget

When it comes to furniture, I have very expensive taste. Not Hollywood-level expensive, mind you, but definitely Midwest-level expensive. You know, places like Pottery Barn, Ballard Designs, Frontgate, and my beloved Restoration Hardware. Basically, if it was a set piece on Friends, I want it in my house.

The question, then, is how do I achieve the looks I really love on my meager little pittance of a budget? Not to mention that my small town isn't exactly the Mecca of high-end or high-quality stores. Don't get me wrong, I love Dollar General, but sometimes you've got to go out-of-town and splurge. The key is to splurge on big-ticket items, like furniture, and fill in the decor with less expensive items. Sure, the $50 throw pillow from Pottery Barn is pretty, but I can get a similar look from Big Lots for substantially less. Yes, Big Lots.

Sometimes, though, even the splurge items need to be budget-conscious, and that's where places like IKEA, Target, and my favorite, thrift & antique stores are your friends. You can find similar-looking items for much less money. If I'm looking to buy a chair that's going to be mostly for show, why would I ever pay $1000 for it? That's just silly. Now, a couch that gets plopped on every day by me, Mr. K, and our three dogs? That's the item you save up for and buy super-high quality.

So, I'm starting a little feature called "What I Wanted, What I Got" with the hope that I'll save a little money, get expensive-looking cute stuff, and give you some ideas, too. Up first, this little beauty from Pottery Barn:

What I Wanted:
Source: Pottery Barn

The PB Basic Armchair from Pottery Barn
Price: Starting at $799. That's the starting price, folks...oh, but it's on sale now for $639. That doesn't include the throw pillow. Or shipping. Or...ouch, my wallet hurts.

What I Got: (Ok, I technically haven't gotten it yet, but for the sake of blog content, let's pretend I have!)
Source: IKEA

The Ektorp Chair from IKEA
Price: Starting at $299. And the cover's machine washable? Awww, yeah. Very important feature when you have lots of dogs.

Now, will the quality of the IKEA chair be the same as the PB chair? Not even in the same league. But, what I'm going for is The Look for Less. (Isn't that a TV show?) And in that regard, these two chairs are practically identical, so yay!

Incidentally, I am going to IKEA this weekend with one of my favorite people...for the first time EVER. I'll be getting friendly with Mr. Ektorp up there, and maybe I'll even bring him home with me. I'm super-excited about it, obviously.

-Mrs. K

Weekend Bloggy Reading


  1. Love it, love it, LOVE IT!!
    Keep the groovy money saver ideas coming, Mrs.K!!

    1. Thanks, Em Jay Bee! I will do my very best!

  2. I feel the same way!! My husband is sooo traditional when it comes to furniture and he wants quality(!), but I try to make him understand that if we waited until we could afford quality furniture, we'd never have any. ;) I've tried out the Ektorp, and I think they look great...don't know how well the cushioning holds up, but you can't beat the price!

    1. Thanks so much, Amanda...for reading AND for hosting! Trying to find that balance between quality and price is not the easiest venture, but it sure is fun to try. ;-)

  3. i've had that exact chair from IKEA for a year and i LOVE it - you won't be disappointed. we have the green slipcovers ... have washed them once with great results (can't even tell). i also got the ottoman, with the removable top, and i love that too. happy IKEA shopping!

    1. Just posted about my IKEA adventure...it was AMAZING. I think I'm going to need an Ektorp, an Ektorp Jenni Lund, a Hovås, and pretty much everything from the Hemnes line. I foresee spending a LOT of money at IKEA. Thanks for reading!

  4. We have Mr. Ektorp couch. After 6 years of two kids, two parents, and a dog, we are still going strong. The cushions aren't as sturdy as I would wish, and I needed to buy it a new slipcover, but it still looks fine and we flop on it, sleep on it, cuddle on it, play games and eat pizza on it!

    1. Thanks for reading, Laura! And thanks for the mini-review. We have three dogs, and neither Mr. K nor I are what you'd call svelte, so I'm glad to hear it holds up! Haha! And cushions are MUCH easier to replace than the framing...