I find this happening a lot with me, expecially in stores or catalogs. Collectively, a store display or a page out of catalog will draw me in and get my attention, but when you break it down and look at each piece separately, they’re pretty ordinary. Which means, as far as I’m concerned, that most often when it comes to interior design (or fashion, for that matter), it’s not the products themselves that are awesome but the person (or marketing team or stylist) behind them putting it all together.
I’ll use West Elm as an example. I love, love, love their catalogs, but the only time I ever stepped foot in one of their stores, I left empty-handed. I found no one single item that I felt was worthy enough to purchase, especially at their prices. For instance, I just pulled this picture below off their website:Is this room beautiful? Absolutely. But what makes it so special? The orange wall. Take that wall away, and you have something fairly boring. And guess what? West Elm doesn’t sell orange walls, but Walmart and Home Depot do!
I guess my opinion is built out of necessity. My decorating budget has always been extremely limited, but I think I do ok. If you put cheap stuff together in the right way, it can look just as nice as that room above. You just have to define the “really special” elements and cut corners on everything else. Would I shop at places like West Elm if I could afford it? Sure. But I can’t, so I don’t. And that doesn’t mean that my house is any less cute.
So, back to the whole Orla Kiely-thing. I ended up finding one of those reusable shopping bags back in the grocery section that had the cute little pear print on it. And for $2, I thought it was my answer to needing to own something Orla Kiely (even though I already have enough bags to kill an army). And then this happened:My blasted Mt. Dew can broke right through the stupid thing. What a crock. That’ll teach me not to buy something just because of the name brand (I still love you, Orla!).