From assembling inspirational idea boards, (above), to sniffing out and tracking down killer deals—follow along with A Life Designed as we attempt to replicate the West Elm/CB2/Restoration Hardware look at a fraction of the cost!
Like so many people navigating the post-2008 economic landscape, I possess champagne tastes but operate on a beer budget. Yet despite this, living with style is important to me, especially when it comes to my living space. A recent relocation for work presented me with a clean slate and unique opportunity/design challenge; Create the industrial chic/boho loft look I so love, but on the cheap, cheap, CHEAP!
One of the first things I do for any design project is scour the internet, design magazines etc., (shown above), looking for trends and inspiration. Pages of magazines are torn out, websites are bookmarked and before long I have a direction in mind. Now the real fun begins!
Step .2 – Creating an ‘Idea Board’
Whether you choose to go ‘old school’ and simply assemble clippings on a board or use sites such as Pinterest to collect your ideas, putting together an idea board is a great way of visualizing your design approach and testing to see if it all works together. For my design challenge, I created the idea board shown in the top image of this post. At this stage, price was no issue, that comes later. This is all about dreaming and visualizing. Here is a breakdown of my idea board;
- Eames Lounge Chair – $3500-$4,000
- Restoration Hardware Bar Stool – $295 ea
- Z-Gallerie Wall Art – $599
- West Elm Side Table – $249
- Crate+Barrel Petrie Apt.Sofa – $1,599
- West Elm Pebble Area Rug – $349
- CB2 Club Chair – $799
- West Elm Floor Lamp – $179
Total cost = $8,079!! YIKES!
Clearly, $8k to outfit one room will never do… not here at A Life Designed. Let the challenge begin!
My new rental condo is your fairly typical affair; approx. 900 sqft, two-bedroom, two-bath with a great room approach that combines the living/dining and kitchen space all in one area. One bonus of this unit is that it was recently remodeled top to bottom and I was lucky enough to be the first inhabitant since the face-lift. As designers like to say, this unit has ‘good bones’. Its close proximity to my work, trendy shops and dining also make it a great place to land. For this design challenge I will focus on the living room area, (pictured above) and try, through clever shopping and an eye for detail to see if I can recreate the general look and feel of my idea board for a fraction of the ‘designer’ cost.
Challenge Progress Update…
The design challenge is well under way and I am happy to report that several terrific deals have been discovered and implemented and before too long, the results will be posted here at A Life Designed of the finished room. I hope that this little exercise will provide inspiration to those looking to inject a little style and personality into their own living space without breaking the bank or ending up looking like a total Ikea/Target floor display. Have faith… It can be done!
Randy – A Life Designed