Wednesday, June 6, 2012


So, here's the question of the day...which sink/cabinet combination above do you think costs $2,000.00 and which one costs under $200.00?  While you ponder over that one for a second, I'm sure it might appear to some that I have a one-shop mind because many of the great deals I find (and share) come from a particular Swedish chain furniture store.  While that is often the case in my searches, I love certain pieces at Ikea because they are available off the floor, Ikea stores are accessible to just about everyone and the prices are hard to beat!  Now I've said it before and I'll say it again..many of the Ikea items make me want to slap myself silly (have you assembled any large Ikea items lately?  If so, you know what I mean) while other pieces are far superior.  I've also said in the past that it makes me insane when someone designs a kitchen or entire home solely from one store.  Ever walked into someones house and thought you were in a Pottery Barn?  The boom in the Southern California desert seven years ago saw people snapping up mid-century modern homes for a song then gutting the kitchens and replacing them with Ikea kitchens, something that made me want to scream bloody murder because, in my opinion, they were killing the very essence of mid-century design.  Good design in any room, again in my opinion, incorporates different pieces from various sources.  Meet the bathroom design of the week.  Hired to "flip" a small, modern home in upstate New York, I was asked to spruce up the bathrooms (two) for under $5,000.  The client asked for sleek, simple, modern design elements with "country flare" so I combed local antique stores for quintessential Hudson River valley pieces (like an old wrought iron hook from a horse barn I used as a towel hook, a giant round frameless mirror from the 60's I scored for $5 and a stainless steel military storage cabinet I found for $25, perfect for bathroom necessities).  To round off my modern country-flare, I headed south to Ikea where I scored the double sink vanity above (lower one) for $199!  After the bathroom was completed, I stepped back and wondered even if I did have the extra 199,801 pennies to spend on the more expensive vanity, would I have splurged?  Then I thought about the very direct, straightforward Swedish gentleman who helped carry a mirror out to my car in Rhinebeck, New York whom I asked the same question.  His answer; NO-VAY!