October 29, 2009

First Guest Blog: Bargains from eBay

Filed under: Furniture, Interior Design, etageres — Tags: , , — michaeldelicio @ 10:54 AM

I’m no Leona when it comes to design, style, knowledge, verve…I could go on. But I DO know a bargain when I see one. I decided to hop onto eBay and see what bargains lurk there, being as though I’m searching just now for a pair of nice chairs and some occasional tables. Searching on eBay this way can be tedious, yes, but remember: all the professionals do it too!

First, the chairs. Searching for “bergère” used to offer up some great finds but now everyone’s onto it. You can’t find a nice pair of bergères for a decent price anymore. So instead, I searched “pair chairs”. This time I got over 400 “hits”, and then – as at Loehmann’s or TJMaxx – I had to pick through the morass to find the jewels. Here’s my first cut; the prices underneath reflect the starting bids unless otherwise noted:

Danish Chairs w/o cushions - $120.00

Danish Chairs w/o cushions - $120.00

Lucite Pair - $599.00 or best offer (OBO)

Lucite Pair - $599.00 or best offer (OBO)

Leopard Occasional Pair - $599.00 or best offer (OBO)

Leopard Occasional Pair - $599.00 or best offer (OBO)

Red Velvet Pair - $599.00 or best offer (OBO)

Red Velvet Pair - $599.00 or best offer (OBO)

Wassily Pair - $980.00

Wassily Pair - $980.00

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Now for the tables. I’m looking both for single tables and pairs, and when I typed “side table” I got 4,365 hits. Too many and mostly not what I’m looking for anyway. So I refined the search by choosing only the 738 items categorized as Antiques>Furniture. Here’s what I got:

Chrome Walnut Set - $675.00 or best offer (OBO)

Chrome Walnut Set - $675.00 or best offer (OBO)

Flame Mahogany Pair - $485.00

Flame Mahogany Pair - $485.00

Biedermeier Single - $590.00

Biedermeier Single - $590.00


There are a few things to bear in mind when shopping for household bargains this way, however. The first, most obvious hurdle is that because you can’t ogle – or touch – the pieces in person you’ll have to be very careful about measuring the destination in your space against the measurements provided for the piece. I have a friend who finds cushions in her home and puts them together in the room destination to approximate the size of items she’s considering. I use newspaper. The point is that, like at Loehmann’s, just because something’s a bargain doesn’t mean you should buy it if it doesn’t fit or isn’t flattering!

While we’re on the subject of fit, another important thing to keep in mind is that when buying furniture on eBay it’s helpful to have a local discount fabric store AND an upholsterer you trust and who makes it easy. My upholsterer is someone I’d definitely have a cup of tea with any time – he’s adorable. But he’s also willing to pick up and deliver anything, and he’ll go to the fabric store on the way. His prices are exceedingly reasonable and he does great work.

The final considerations with eBay bargain hunting have to do with calculating in shipping fees and evaluating the seller. To ensure you’re really getting a bargain, you’ll need to add in the shipping charges when determining your top bid. Some sellers offer flat shipping fees; some ship only via Greyhound for station pick-up; some require the buyer to make her/his own arrangements. Whatever the terms, the fees involved can be substantial, so calculate them up front before starting to bid. Regarding ease and comfort of buying, my policy is to shop only with top-rated sellers, and to check buyer comments before bidding.

It just takes a little time and research, but you too can find great pieces for your home online. You’re helping the environment – “reduce, reuse, recycle” – and joining the ranks of proud design aficionados everywhere who are loath to pay retail.

Happy shopping!


July 28, 2009

Home Design in a Recession: Robert Allen to the Rescue!

Filed under: Fabric Usage — Tags: , , , — Leona Gaita @ 4:10 PM

Times are tough and consumers are understandably being very careful with their spending. Custom decorating isn’t cheap, but Robert Allen has just introduced some very classy looking prints that I can sell for a low price, without giving up the chic look that I insist on bringing to my projects.

Susand and Russell's new house

Robert Allen Waldemere - dove

The Robert Allen @Home Collection, has always provided reliably inexpensive prints, but NOT always forward looking styling.  I think these new prints, in their patterns, styling, coloring and quality stand up beautifully among much higher priced prints from exclusive print houses.

Shades of grey plus hot pink in the above print (Waldemere-dove) give it a very current look and set it apart from other prints in its price category.  The base fabric is a smooth full bodied cotton. It  retails for $29.90 a yard!  Hey for that price, let’s upholster the walls!
Susand and Russell's new house 012polka dots poppycoastal sand color tidalmini flowers peonylore quilted snowfellowship pewterideny teaberryabear whisper snow

COLLAGE OF GREY AND PINK ABOVE kllksjdlkjfijflkdjflijflisdjfsoiljefls

Here are some co-ordinates I found to have fun with, plenty for a whole room.  All are from Robert Allen.  The pink and grey stripe is  from the @Home Collection (Kukula-dove) also $29.90 a yard.

Below  are some furniture selections, to show how I envision using these pretty, modern prints and co-ordinates.

Kravet Andante Recamier

Kravet Andante Recamier

Cb2 Smart Marble Round Coffee Table

Cb2 Smart Marble Round Coffee Table

Duralee Riverside Chair

Duralee Riverside Chair


The brilliant,  joyful coloring used in this new print (Les Fauves-grasslands) from the @Home collection, gives this traditional pattern a fresh and up-to-date look.  The highly saturated cheerful spring palette is just the right medicine for tough times.  The pricing at $39.90 a yard doesn’t hurt either!  The base fabric is a wonderful full bodied linen blend that absolutely belies the pricing.

Robert Allen

Robert Allen Les Fauves-grasslands

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Susand and Russell's new house 009bayville alabasterhullabaloo skybedford damask butternutflwoing leaves minkDSC_0029leisurely bonerob al antique art azure
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The green and white geometric (Cat’s Cradle-grass) in the grouping above is also from the @Home Collection.  It’s printed on the same wonderful linen blend, and comes in 8 smashing colors.  It  retails for $39.90.  This particular print , can take the lead to create a modern look, or be combined with the floral as part of an updated traditional setting.  All of the fabrics above are from Robert Allen.

I’d like to see these new patterns used on some handsome, time honored traditional furnishings.  The bright upbeat take on the prints, would give the classic furniture styling a good shaking up.  Don’t you think?

Petite Serenade Sofa

Petite Serenade Sofa from Kravet

Lyon Chair from Duralee

Lyon Chair from Duralee

Carrioll cocktail Table from Hickory Chair

Carrioll Cocktail Table from Hickory Chair

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In this new collection, Robert Allen shows that with great styling you can get a beautiful, chic and current look, at the right price.


All of the @Home prints come ina a gorgeous array of colors. Give us a call anytime, for sampling or pricing and availablity on the various fabrics shown here:  Gaita Interiors (914)834-8282

July 3, 2009

Let’s Copy a Deluxe Room on the Cheap! III

Deluxe living room from the 2009 Kip's Bay Show House by Drake

Deluxe Library from the 2009 Kip's Bay Show House by Jamie Drake

The Kip’s Bay Decorator’s Show House was fabulous this year! This library-sitting room by Jamie Drake in particular really turned my head. I love the relaxed yet glamorous blend of textures and the free use of lush sexy colors.  Every piece in this room is top shelf.  Typically a professionally designed room of this caliber will cost in the range of $50,000.00 to $80,000.00.  Let’s see if we can get this look for under $15,000.00.

Here we go!

We’ll need some basic but classy furniture.  The pieces shown below fit the bill.  They’re not as high-end as the furniture in the show house (nor anywhere near as costly!), but you’ll be able to put your feet up on the coffee table without a worry!



eclipse nesting tables

cole chair $749 R&Bimfors coffee table Ikea $129Hahn Sofa $1899  R&BTLG6675.fpxmercer square ottoman mg&bw

MixSdTblW2Shelves3QS9 $250


Gray Sofa-Room and Board Hutton Sofa $1799.00; Nesting Tables-Design Within Reach Eclipse Nesting Tables $398.00; Club Chair-Room and Board Cole Chair $749.00; White table- Ikea Imfors @129.00;  Chaise-Room and Board Hahn Sofa $1899.00; Lamp- shoptablelamps.com #TLG667 $189.91; Ottoman-Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams Mercer Square Ottoman in leather about $1400.00; End table- Crate and Barrel, Mix Side Table $249.00
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We'll need floor, wall and window treatments:


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Purple Jute Rug-HomeDecorators.com Premium Tile Jute Rug eggplant 12' x15' $699.00;  Linen Drapes-Gaita Interiors $199.00 per panel;  Trim for Drapes- Kravet TA5151-10 $35.00 per yard;  Wall covering - DL Couch Riptide color metal JA11-561

Here are some affordable ideas that pack a punch for wall art.  Marimekko sells kits for stretching their gorgeous large scale prints to be used as wall art.  The one below, Pythagoras, hangs in the United Nations in the orange version.  It's sold by the panel $750 per panel.

Marimekko, Pythagoras-blue

Marimekko, Pythagoras-blue

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I’d use this pretty square print on stretched canvas from Ikea in multiples (Pljatteryd $79.99 each), tightly spaced, and create a Do-It-Yourself Andy Warhole.  They’re 36″ x36″ each, so that would give you a lot of impact for the money!  I LOVE purple flowers!



Now we need some brilliant accessories:

The glass pieces are all from Pier 1 Imports.  They range in price from $16.00 to $35.00 each.   Fresh flowers, supplied by you!


decorative glass bowland vase $30 and $35Italian glass vase $35thumb_0_1231173170_30tulipsMykonosVasesSmS9 $12.95 C&B

yhst-81115173642111_2061_118007181roco pillow $65yhst-81115173642111_2061_165004316yhst-81115173642111_2061_157908166
The pillows are all from www.pillowsandthrows.com. They range in price from $36.00 to $65.00 each.

So, including a generous budget for wallovering and installation, rug, window treatments and hardware, TWO full size sofas, chair, large ottoman, multiple coffee tables, a pair of end tables,lamps, pillows, decorative glass pieces, and BIG art, I come up with a grand total of….


So, you see, it can be done! We need super-high-end interior design for INSPIRATION!  For our everyday real lives, we can keep it real, and still have our own very personalized and luxurious sanctuary.


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