(“Maybe a ficus?” image: www.istockphoto.com)
There is a wonderful post entitled Less is More at The House of Beauty and Culture. It sprang from a response to a hypothetical question posed by Decorno in her post “Decorating for Beginners.” Both the original post and especially HOBAC’s response are worth a read. HOBAC amortizes the cost of some seriously stylish furnishings that would set any new graduate head and shoulders above the crowd. And as she gently reminds me “… this is a loose recipe – make substitution where appropriate according to resources and needs.”
Mrs. E.’s grandmother made a point of skimping on a few luxuries while she and her husband were attached to the Embassy in London following the war. She bought a Regency silver teaset, for example, by placing it on lay-away for a year.
The ever-frugal Mrs. E and I have done the same thing with a few antiques that are scattered around the joint like so many heirlooms (well, I suppose they were somebody’s heirlooms…) Sometimes it’s best to do without until you can find exactly what you’re looking for. During Mrs. E.’s grad school days at Georgetowne, our guests sat on a futon (or the floor) and ate at the coffee table. No one seemed to mind.
I once waited for five years to find the exact style of club chair that I coveted. And it has been much commented on (and loved) ever since. I think that it’s easier to buy something that’s right for you the first time than to have to get rid of things later.
A final note. “Making do” always sparks creativity. Don’t underestimate the power of a good paint job, great music collection, low lighting and plenty of champagne for ambiance. A few second hand oriental carpets scattered around wouldn’t hurt either.