The Look for Less – Home Furnishings Part 2

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Today, let’s talk shopping tips!  I’m continuing the series The Look for Less with a few more of my favorite finds that have a high-end look at an affordable price!  I mean, let’s be honest, most of us shop with a budget in mind and it can be discouraging when you find something you love but it’s not within your budget.  Thankfully, with a bit of persistence, you can almost-always find a less expensive version of a home decor item that will fit your budget!

One caveat to this post….often times {but not always}, there’s a reason one item costs less than another, whether it’s material quality, size, construction, details, etc.  Before buying a less expensive item, give thought as to whether the quality is good enough to suit your needs.  Sometimes, it really is necessary to go with the more expensive piece, but if not, why not score the look for less!  For more information on this topic, you can view {THIS POST}.



Wayfair – Makena TV Stand

I’m listing this one first because I literally just purchased this cabinet for my family room and I am in LOVE with it!  I’ve known for a while that our old TV stand just wasn’t the right fit for our room anymore because we upgraded to a larger TV and our old stand was too small.  I first saw this style of media cabinet in the Ballard Designs catalog and it was love at first sight!  Unfortunately, my budget didn’t love the price tag.

Instead, I purchased the Makena TV stand, which is 68″ long and 36″ tall, so this is a significant piece of furniture.  Plus, I’m a sucker for a cremone bolt, and although the Makena doesn’t have a true working bolt {it’s a decorative pull}, the look is perfect.  What’s nice about the Makena cabinet, too, is that it includes a mix of closed and open cabinets, allowing for hidden storage.

Get the look for less! Cremone bolt media cabinet


Shopping Tips:

  • For media cabinets, make sure the piece you’re considering includes cut outs in the back for cord management and for air circulation, to keep your components from overheating.
  • Double-check the height of your cabinet to ensure that your TV will be positioned at the appropriate viewing height for your room.
  • If your cabinet doesn’t include open shelving or glass doors, you’ll need a work-around in order for your remotes to work with your components.  {Here is one example.}


Satin Banded Sheet Set

Not all sheets are created equal, which I think most of us have unfortunately learned that the hard way!  When choosing sheets, the material and the thread count are very important, as they play a role in the feeling of the fabric, how warm they get when you’re sleeping, how much they wrinkle, and how long they’ll last.  I love the satin banded sheets from Pottery Barn, but for myself, I just couldn’t justify the price even though I knew the quality would be great.  Instead, I found similar-looking sheets at Wayfair for a fraction of the price.

These sheets are 55% Egyptian cotton, 45% polyester 1,0000 thread count.  They DO wrinkle, though, so if you want a crisp look on your bed, you’d need to iron the banding.  Also, keep in mind that thread count refers to the number of horizontal and vertical threads woven together in a square inch.  You’ve probably heard that the higher the thread count, the softer the feel and the better the quality.  In general this is true; however, the more threads that needs to fit within a square inch, the thinner each individual thread needs to be, which in some cases, can lead to wear issues and create holes.  I’ve had these sheets since August with no issues thus far, but I’ll keep you posted!  You can’t deny, though, that if it’s the look you want, these sheets are a steal!

Get the look for less! Blue satin banded sheet set

Shopping Tips:

  • Cotton sheets are generally the most popular because they wear well, are breathable, and soft.  Cotton sheets will wrinkle, though.
  • Long-staple cotton tend to create the softest feel {often referred to as Egyptian cotton, Pima, or Supima}.
  • While thread count is important, the type of thread is equally important.  A low thread count quality fiber will often feel nicer than a high thread count, low quality fiber.



IKEA – EKTORP Slipcovered Sectional Sofa

After 10+ years working as a sofa, a fort, a trampoline, a dog bed, and more, our poor sofa needed to be replaced,  but my goodness sectionals are expensive!  I love the look of the PB Comfort Roll art sofa, but not the price tag.  For a similar look, I decided to purchase the EKTORP sectional for just a fraction of the price.

For upholstered pieces in particular, quality plays an important role, especially for something that will endure a lot of daily use.  For everything I’ve read online, though, the EKTORP holds up as well, if not better, than the Pottery Barn sofa, so for $800 I decided to give it a try!  It’s supposed to be delivered Friday, so I’ll let you know!  But you’ve got to admit, the look is almost identical and to me, the price difference is worth taking the EKTORP for a test drive.

Get the look for less! The IKEA EKTORP sofa versus Pottery Barn PB Air


Arched Wall Mirror

I just can’t seem to resist a gorgeous mirror, so when I needed to fill the space on either side of my living room fireplace, I  went in search of the perfect arched wall mirror.  I was thrilled when I came across the Huaijiu De Nostalgic mirror and purchased two!  They are large, heavy, lovely, and so much less expensive than others I’ve come across!

Get the look for less! Arched leaner metal wall mirror


If you missed the first post, you can find it {HERE}.


Looking for a less expensive alternative to something!  Share the product with me and if I find a “Steal” I share it in the next update!







12 Creative Ideas for Decorating with a Wreath

Decorating with a wreath doesn’t have to be limited to your front door!  In fact, if you want to get the most bang for your buck, you might consider using a wreath in other areas of the house to give it a fresh look and add some greenery to your decor.  So before you put that holiday wreath back in storage, check out these 12 ways to decorate with a wreath.


 1. Door


Well, okay, this list wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t list the obvious.  While wreaths are often reserved for the front door, though, maybe consider placing one on an inside door, like a pantry!

{via ZDesign at Home}


And here’s an easy way to hang a wreath!

How to hang a wreath with a command hook


2. Place Setting

A small 6″ wreath is the perfect size for a pretty place setting.  You could even add a place card to the center with each guest’s name!

Mini boxwood wreath place setting
{via EAB Designs}


3. Chair Backs

I love to dress up the backs of my dining chairs with decals, ribbon, fabric, etc. and have found that small wreaths give an unexpected look and pop of greenery!


4. Centerpiece

A wreath can make a beautiful centerpiece for your table, whether as part of a tablescape or just year-round decor!  You can leave the center opening bare, or add a few candles, or a cake plate, or maybe even some pinecones!  Here’s a gorgeous example from The Small Stuff Counts.

{via The Small Stuff Counts}


5. Cabinet

I often hang a large boxwood wreath on my dining room hutch to break up the wood with an organic texture…

Spring French style dining room


…but smaller wreaths also look nice hung on the doors of a smaller cabinet.


6. Picture Frame

One way to give a wreath a bigger impact and larger presence, is to frame it!  You can hang it inside an empty frame…


…or even “frame” it by placing it on another backdrop, giving it a larger presence.  Perhaps a chalkboard like this example from A Delightsome Life


{You can learn how to make this hydrangea wreath at A Delightsome Life}


…or even a window pane as shown by Practically Hippie

{via Practically Hippie}


…some shutters, as shown by DIY Beautify

{via DIY Beautify}


…or even a tobacco basket like this one from Our Crafty Mom!

{via Our Crafty Mom}


“Framing” a wreath is a great way to give it a larger presence when hung on the wall and help to tie it in with the rest of your decor.


7. Mirror

Similar to the concept of framing a wreath, you can hang it on top of a mirror to add a bit of dimension and texture to the glass!  Tip: If hanging on a mirror, make sure the back side looks nice as well, since it will reflect in the mirror.

{via While I Linger}


8. Window

Whether hanging inside the house or outside, a wreath is a beautiful way to dress up a window!  Here’s a pretty porch from A Tattered Pew.

{via The Tattered Pew}


9. Kitchen Hood

Adding a wreath to the kitchen hood is a fun way to bring in a pop of color and texture!  Be sure to clean it regularly, though, to keep dust and grease from building up.

{via Miss Mustard Seed}


10. Ladder

My old orchard ladder that sits in the corner of my family room usually has a 6″ boxwood wreath hanging from it because I love the contrast between the wreath and the time-worn wood.


You can of course use a large wreath, though, for a bitter impact!

{via French Country Cottage}
{via Miss Mustard Seed on Decor Steals}


11. Vignette

A small wreath can easily be tucked into a display in a basket, a tiered server, a side table, and more to add some color that will last year-round.


12. Above the Bed

Knowing what to hang above the bed can be tricky, but if sized appropriately, a wreath can make a beautiful addition!  I love the simplicity of this example from The Brown Dog Vintage.

{via Brown Dog Vintage}



So before you pack away your wreath this holiday season, see if you might find another use for it in your home!


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15 of the Best Hostess Gifts – Under $25

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience.  You can click here to read my full Disclosure Policy.


This time of year in particular, there seem to be dinner parties and holiday gatherings every single week {not that I’m complaining!}.  While showing up with a bottle of wine for the host or hostess is always thoughtful and appreciated, today I’m sharing with you 15 of the best hostess gifts, and as a bonus, they are all under $25!

Finding juuuuuust the right gift can be especially hard if you don’t know your hostess well enough to pick things she might wear or display in her home, so some of my favorite gift ideas are things that can be used.  All if the ideas below would make lovely gifts for anyone hosting you at their home!  I have hand-picked these personal favorites just for you.  You can click on the product title or the image for location and pricing of each item.


1. Marble & Copper Cheese Board

I bought this as a gift….for myself!  I couldn’t resist the lovely mix of marble, wood, and copper.  I actually just used it for the first time over the weekend and can attest to the fact that it works well!  I comes with extra wires as well, should yours even bend or snap.Marble and copper cheese board


2. Personalized Address Stamp

Sara Luke Creative makes these beautiful, self-inking personalized address stamps.  She has several designs to choose from so you’ll easily find one that fits the style of your hostess!

Personalized Address Stamp


3. Set of 12 Hemstitch Cocktail Napkins

Hemstitch linen is one of those classic design styles that has both a tailored and elegant look.  You can purchase an entire set for your hostess for under $25!

Set of 12 Hemstitch Cocktail Napkins

4. Mini Chalkboard Stand

I have a set almost identical to this and use them ALL the time.  What’s nice about these mini chalkboards is that they are freestanding, meaning that you can use them as placecards or food labels.  I highly recommend using a chalkboard pen when writing on these, though, as opposed to a standard piece of chalk.


5. Marble Coasters

These coasters are very refined and timeless, yet neutral enough to coordinate with any decor.  Stored in a beautiful, gold holder makes them even more perfect as a gift.

Marble Coasters in Gold Holder for under $25


6. Flatware Caddy & Cooking Essentials

This is a gift I give quite often, but they key is filling the caddy with something your hostess will love.  Recently, I gifted a friend who loves to cook with a flatware caddy filled with Himalayan sea salt, a nice bottle of balsamic vinegar,  and some lovely olive oil.  A few sprigs of fresh rosemary completed the look.



7. Live Topiary

Live plants or fresh flowers always make a nice hostess gift, but for a spin on the traditional, try a topiary!  You can often find rosemary or cyprus topiaries at the grocery store {seasonally}, but these sweet Creeping Fit spheres would make a beautiful gift!

Live creeping fig topiary hostess gift


8. Gold Stamped Sentiment Servers

A fresh take on a traditional server are these gold stamped servers that are sure to get noticed at dinner!

Stamped Serving Fork and Spoon - Set of 2



9. Herb Garden

If your hostess loves to cook or garden, she’ll especially appreciate this live herb garden kit.  What’s nice about this one in particular is that even if she kills the plants {oops!}, the containers themselves are lovely!

Herb Garden Planter Kit Gift Set


10. Kitchen Soap & Lotion Set

Doing dishes certainly isn’t at the top of anyone’s list, especially after hosting a party, but it’s more enjoyable when your dish soaps smells wonderful and your hands don’t get dried out!  This set comes with dish soap, hand soap, and lotion, all contained in a nice caddy for easy access and beautiful display.



11. Tea Sampler Set

Whether setting out beverage options for guests or trying something new for herself, your hostess will appreciate having a sampler set.  As a bonus, the tins are adorable and could be repurposed once the tea is gone!



12. Scented Candle

Not all candles are created equal.  I’ve learned that the hard way!  Some smell wonderful in the jar but the scent doesn’t fill the air once you start to burn them!  Well, that’s not the case with this candle.  It truly smells wonderful from the moment you light it.

Anthropologie Scented Candle


13. Faux Fur Throw

A cozy throw is always appreciated, especially during the winter months!  This throw is soft and elegant with a classic, faux fur style.Faux Fur Throw Under $25

14. Personalized Stationery

Yes, please!!! CurioPress has many, many designs available that you can choose from and personalize just for your hostess.

CurioPress Personalized Stationery


15. Skeleton Key Bottle Opener & Wine Bag 

And if a bottle of wine is really more your style, try giving it a twist on the traditional by including a sweet skeleton key bottle opener and thank you wine bag!

Skeleton Key Bottle Opener

Thank You Wine Bag


Need to save this list for shopping later?  Just PIN IT!

The Best Hostess Gifts for Under $25


For more of my favorite items, you can visit the Shop My Look page.


Did I miss one of your favorite gifts?  Please leave a comment below so that I can update and add!