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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Buying New vs. DIY

On my recent shopping trip to Dallas, it was so fun to explore both vintage/antique shops and big box retailers like Ikea. Every so often I would spot something and remember seeing the DIY version on someone’s blog. I thought I would do a little comparison of some of the things I saw.

These first three pieces were spotted at Lulu B’s Antique Mall:


Look familiar? Here’s my DIY version in our guestroom:

IMG_0311I really like how they painted the top black, and it looks like they kept the original hardware and painted it black to match.

How about these fine chairs? I can only imagine the condition they were in when someone scooped them up, gave them a fresh coat of paint and some beautiful new fabric.


They reminded me of Kate’s chair re-do on Centsational Girl:

I spotted this birdcage and remembered seeing them all over blogland (they’re not just for birds anymore!). I know lots of you are finding them at yard sales and thrift stores. I wish I would have written down the prices of everything. I think this was in the $40-$50 range.


The Nester found this one at a yard sale for $10:

In fact, The Nester just might have a little addiction to said birdcages:

Not that I’m judging or anything.

Moving on….I spotted this cute lamp at Anthropologie for $198: How easy would this be to DIY for a fraction of the cost? Can you imagine turning some of your vintage china or some mis-matched thrift store teacups into a cute conversation piece? I found several tutorials online:

Associated Content

Country Living

Decorator Secrets

Finally, I spied a light fixture at Ikea and instantly thought “now that would be so easy to DIY!!”IMG_2321At $89.99 for the 24” size, I thought the price was a little steep and set out to find some bloggers who have made their own. Paula at Two Ellie made her version for $30:

********************************************************** Now, I know there are more of you talented ladies out there that have done projects like these, so leave a comment and I’ll post your photos or links as well!


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  1. your desk looks fantastic! thanks for including me.

  2. What a great feature - what fun! I love DIY ... some of those I hadn't seen! Thanks so much for the "tour"! :)


  3. Love your post today with all the comparisons. I'm just getting back to DIY projects after years of working too much outside the home. Thanks for the links to other resources. They all get the creative juices flowing!

  4. actually I keep saying I am going to do something clever with a light fixture but never do! thanks for the inspiration....

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  6. Wow I love your comparisons....what great recycles..I love to re-purpose or recycle to new and better have shown some great inspirations..

    check my blog at 8/6/09 will be a new recycle so check me out..

  7. Great tips, it's so much fun to envision how you can makeover something yourself. I'm in love with those painted cane chairs. Been on the lookout for one, or two, for quite some time.

    Glad you like my new blog design!!!

  8. Great post! I love that lamp with the tea pots and such. I think DIY is the way to go!! One man's trash is another man's treasure.

  9. It really is amazing at all the talent in blogland, and you can copy most of these ideas with a little creativity. Love the birdcages and the teacup lamp. Great ideas. Hugs, Marty

  10. It is amazing what everyone in blog land can do isn't it? You get major brownie points for finding the examples too. There are so many projects that it can be tough to find specific ones online.

  11. love the birdcages and the basket lighting! :)

  12. Great Post!!! So glad I found your Blog...

    If you get a chance stop by and see my new post and say hi!

  13. Nice comparisons; I'm surprised that Ikea light was so expensive!

  14. Or, to be clearer, I guess I should have said, it seemed expensive compared to Ikea's normal range. I agree, generally they're fabulous value - I was so happy when we moved here to find the blue and yellow giant was 20 minutes away!

  15. Oh wow. I am so glad you posted photos of your dressing table - I've been checking your blog for a while now but I hadn't seen that yet. It's amazing! I like yours way better than the in-store version. I think my jaw dropped open when I scrolled down and saw that.

  16. What a great Met Monday post and some fantastic ideas!
    ~Really Rainey~

  17. I love this post! I am going to bookmark it for all the neat ideas. Your silver vanity is FAB-U-LOUS! I have vowed to never buy new furniture or decor again. Most new furniture is not even wood. Now to figure out how to get rid of the musty smell that a lot of vintage fruniture has. Thanks


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