Splurge vs Save

Our kitchen remodel starts on Monday. I've never been more excited to see something get torn down.

As much as you try to save where you can, there just isn't any escaping how pricey kitchens are to renovate. Labor, materials and appliances, it adds up and it adds up fast. Which is why we've waited so long to take the plunge.

And like I mentioned before, this isn't our forever home so we are trying to make some budget-conscience decisions because we're financially responsible like that.

So as much as TH fell for the Aga stove, it would be a stupid decision to put something that pricey into a home we would eventually move from. Doubtful any home buyer would appreciate its beauty as much as TH.

As part of the Splurge vs. Save campaign Credit Card Insider asked me to be a part of, I thought I'd share another kitchen item we're saving on.

I love the look of farmer/apron sinks but those too can get pricey. So I came across one that looks like a long lost twin that married rich. It's three times as much. You'd think it'd wash the dishes for you. And we already have an actual dishwasher, so save it is.


splurge // save

Um, I'll take three saves please.

Happy savings!

Sandal Season

Now that the weather is warmer, it's time to show off those toes. I wear my sandals out. I live in sandals from Spring to Summer and stretch it out into October sometimes. There are so many affordable options out there as well. And today, I did some of the legwork for you.

Some cute Spring to Summer sandals.

Colorblock is still trending and I noticed a lot of clear straps out there. Interesting.

I bought no.1 and they're so comfortable.


one // two // three // four // five // six // seven

Happy Thursday!

Bargain Bin: Side Table

I was out sourcing items when I came across this wire side table at Rejuvenation for $428.00, just after I bought an identical one at HomeGoods for $129.99.

I for sure felt like a winner but then I searched for more online and found the Rejuvenation one was actually less than some of the others I found.

I win x two.

brass wire side table_edited-3

Don't believe me, look for yourself - Lamps Plus // Euro Style Lighting.

Moral of the story, buy this table at your local HomeGoods. Even if you don't need it.

Happy Thursday!

Affordable Sofas

While I think it's important to invest in furniture pieces that get the most use, like sofas, sometimes we just need to purchase that one item that will tide us over.

For the person who just moved into their first apartment, the young couple cohabiting for the first time, or the family who just bought their first home.

Here's a round up of affordable sofas listed lowest to highest, several of which are on sale!

affordable sofas

IKEA - $599.00 // Cost Plus World Market - $599.99 // Macy's - $798.00 (sale) // Plummers - $1039.00 (sale)

West Elm - $1444.00 (sale) // Apartment2b - $1688.00

Happy Thursday!

Bargain Bin: Light Fixtures

When we moved into our house, every room had either an outdated ceiling fan or a generic light fixture. Slowly but surely, one by one, they've been replaced by fixtures with more personality. Most of them are vintage, from either a favorite antique lighting shop or the rose bowl flea market. Way affordable.

Here's a round up of light fixtures that would easily add a little more oomph to your space.

one  //  two  //  three  //  four  //  five  //  six  //  seven // eight

Happy Thursday!

Bargain Bin: Gifts Under $100

Eeek, sorry I was gone for a bit there. Life gets busy during the holidays, even though people tend to get lazier. It's a weird combo.

I think I've bought a total of zero gifts, so if you're in my camp, here's a round up of gifts that are fun for him, her, kids, friends, secret santa, stocking stuffers, you get the point.

one: coasters // two: tumblers // three: perfume // four: earrings // five: bill holder // six: sweater // seven: pillow

eight: candle // nine: matches // ten: fox // eleven: book // twelve: kids rocker (I lied, this one is over $100 but I still think it's a great price. And look how cute it is!

Happy Thursday.

Bargain Bin: The Stylish Cubicle

I received a comment on the designstiles facebook page asking for affordable and cute ways to decorate a cubicle. I've never had such a request so I was excited about helping out with some tips. Even if you don't work in a cubicle, this could be helpful for you too, so read on, read on.

Unless you reaaallly love your job, most of the time you're just wishing you could go home, so why not make your confined space just a tad more tolerable and fill it with items you love. We should be inspired by our environment and if you're at work for most of your day, you should really surround yourself with meaningful items and pieces that reflect your personality. One of the easiest ways to bring some life to an otherwise drab space is with office accessories. Anyone could go to Staples and buy generic filing folders and pencil cups. This is a great opportunity to bring some pattern and color in without spending a ton of money. Look for office accessories with some pizazz, some oomph. Give yourself a budget and spend on items you love because you can always reuse them at home when you get fired quit. And maybe even bring in some items from home to make your little cubicle more personal. Cool frames with pictures from travels to remind yourself to work hard for that vacation time.

Below are some items I picked that could distract you from that constant counting down the go home minutes.


create a mood board or inspiration board for yourself. You can buy corkboard (I used artists canvas) and fill it with images, quotes, pictures you like to help bring some color and interest into your cubicle. You can just rest it beside your computer and notice the life it’ll bring.

onepencil cup, an affordable way to be playful // twotable lamp, going with a standard desk lamp is typical. It’s expected. Be different and opt for a lamp, lamp. Because, why not? Plop it on top of books for added height // threemousepad, be bold, have fun with your choices // fourletter sorter  - this polka dot version is so cute. Filing away boring papers just got a little more exciting // fivenotepads – next time you have to go into a bored board meeting, take notes on some pretty paper. They’ll be more pleasant to look at once you take them back to your desk // sixframe – buy a frame and place something inside it that makes you go, ha! Some motivation // sevenwaste basket – because even throwing your trash out should be stylish // eightrug – get yourself a cool little rug to define your space and create some visual interest down below // ninebusiness card holder – because you mean business.

You can also buy yourself some flowers every now and then to make your space feel cheerier. Nothing big, even a few small blooms from your neighbor’s yard (hee) will make a difference. Even buying your own desk chair will make your cube stand out from the rest of your colleagues’. This one is on sale. Again, you’re buying stuff you can later use. Most importantly, decorating should be fun so have fun with it.

Happy Thursday!


Bargain Bin

Good grief, November 1 st already. In only two short months this year will be ovah. 2013 seems like such an odd number. Mostly because it is, but it just seems so odd in the odder sense, which just made zero sense. Anyway, hope I didn't go jinking anyone, but most importantly myself. 2013 will be awesome. There, I just saved me.

Way back when, I tried to keep this Bargain Bin series going and I don't really remember why I stopped. I thought the name was so catchy, like a Beyoncé song. I made the executive decision to bring it back because I like finding stylish items at bargain prices, that's what we do here at designstiles. It's like I do the legwork for you and you don't even have to pay me. The ultimate deal.

That said, I bring back to you Bargain Bin.

One - this is a headboard. It's only a twin, but it's so cool for a little dude's room. And it's from JC Penny. Whaaa? I just double checked and it's not thaat cheap, but still unique enough for its price. Two - side table. Detailed base, mixed materials, looks way more high-end than Target. Three - houndstooth area rug to add a classic pattern to your space. Four - this floor lamp is on sale now. Get on it. I would but I don't have a place for it. The gold accent makes it look extra chic. Five - These chairs, I'm actually considering buying them. Their tripod base, mixed with their modern top make for an interesting statement. Their price is more of a two for one.

Happy Thursday!

Bargain Bin: Back to School

Sometimes (all the time) I get a little lost in this virtual world I live in and virtually buy things for my virtual closet. Like for my Back to School post. It's so easy to point and click that I forget how outrageously expensive some of these items are. Totaled, these items probably cost more than an average semester, including textbooks. My mission was to find similar items on the cheap(er). Hope you still find them as appealing.

https://cache.net-a-porter.com/images/products/94474/94474_in_l.jpg https://images.asos.com/inv/y/18/132/1039287/tan/image1xl.jpg

The Proenza Schouler PS1 is highly coveted and SOLD OUT on Netaporter. Life is cruel when you know people who can drop that kinda dough on a handbag. Save yourself 1,800 dollars and buy the ASOS version. Just try not to think of the soft, buttery suede of the PS1.

https://images.asos.com/inv/media/0/5/1/8/1288150/tan/image1xl.jpg https://resources.shopstyle.com/sim/52/c0/52c008d1862bf828f10a304db091d181_medium/diba-dsw-boots-pilot-107022-bootie.jpg

The DSW version of the ASOS pair are only $44.95. Plus, you get a side buckle at no extra cost.

https://media.topshop.com/wcsstore/TopShopUS/images/catalog/11O07XBLK_normal.jpg https://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41jdsqexzDL._AA260_.jpg https://cache.net-a-porter.com/images/products/95872/95872_in_l.jpg

So the Mossimo Leather Moto Jacket is a little different from the Topshop one, but a complete knockoff of The Rick Owens one and a great deal at $39.00. Get on it.

https://cache.net-a-porter.com/images/products/95884/95884_in_l.jpghttps://media.topshop.com/wcsstore/TopShop/images/catalog/27B40XBLK_large.jpg Scoop Back Maxi Dress

Who needs an 800 dollar wool-blend maxi skirt anyway? Topshop has a more basic one for $36. They also have this scoop back maxi dress. Zexy.

https://i3.farfetch.com/10/04/55/64/10045564_219447_330.jpg https://www.ssense.com/photos/02001F108016_1_2.jpg

The Diesel dress/sweater is about $120 less than the McQueen cable knit sweater. It's still kinda pricey at $250, but if you really think about you're actually getting a two for one.

https://cdn.my-wardrobe.com/images/products/5/3/537705/p4_537705.jpg https://www.gap.com/Asset_Archive/GPWeb/Assets/Product/772/772124/main/gp772124-02p01v01.jpg

This Joseph one from Mywardrobe is $140. Compared to the $19.50 GAP one, the purchase is a no-brainer.

https://www.openingceremony.us/pimg/main_22262_1bracelet.jpg https://g-images.amazon.com/images/G/01/Shopbop/pcs/media/images/products/giles/giles2020210070/giles2020210070_prod_zoom_detail_v1_m56577569831728999_254x500.jpg

You'll save yourself a hundred bucks if you go with this one versus that one.

Hope this helped some of your financial woes.

Irene Lovett

PS - I entered our Home Office in the CB2 The Selby is in Your Place contest. If you haven't done so already, you can vote for me here. If I win, they'll be something in it for you, pinky promise with a scouts honor on the side. Thanks!

Bargain Bin: Polaroid Art

I love how Polaroid pictures make any shot look like you've stepped back in time and give even the most amateur of photoggers (me) picture-taking credibility.

If Polaroid film wasn't so freaking expensive, I'd buy boat loads of it and dedicate an entire wall in our house to all my aimless shots.  Because the cost-per-picture is about two dollars, I have to be selective about the images I choose to capture and it pains me to waste it on a practice shot, so I've relied on my handy ShakeIt iPhone app to help improve my (lack of) skills.  It's been way more fun to see ordinary pictures look a lot more artistic.

If you're into Shaking It Like A Polaroid Picture too, here are how the pros do it.  If you also happen to be looking for an inexpensive way to add unique art to your home, these images are way affordable. Your walls will thank you.

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0005/5681/products/alaundry3a_medium.jpg?1280195609 https://ny-image2.etsy.com/il_430xN.82964110.jpg

https://ny-image0.etsy.com/il_430xN.99388640.jpg https://ny-image1.etsy.com/il_430xN.141648557.jpg






Irene Lovett

image one via Alicia Bock, image two via TheLightFantastic, image three via futurowoman, image four via RiciS, image five via isofoto, image six via pocketmemories, image seven snapco - all via Etsy