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Shop Like a Design Blogger: Odi et Amo

Today I'm thrilled to announce the beginning of a new weekly guest blogger series entitled "Shop Like a Design Blogger". Each Thursday, I'll be inviting one of my favorite design bloggers to detail their favorite design resources, be they for fabric, furniture, trimmings, art or accessories. But ultimately, I think what these ladies will show you over the next few months is that home decor shopping isn't just about having access to "under the radar" boutiques (though those are great fun to discover) or trade-only items, but ultimately about being creative and thinking "outside the box", keeping your mind open to surprising sources...and even about having a little patience.

I thought I'd kick off the series myself and round up some of the resources that I've had the most success with in decorating my own homes (both old and new). While many of these have been featured on this blog in the past, I hope at least one or two will be new to you.

1. Plum Cushion: For pillows. If you want beautifully made pillows made out of gorgeous designer fabric (and for a reasonable price!), look no further than Plum Cushion. Melanie's Etsy store is usually well-stocked with some of the most popular fabrics (think KWID's Imperial Trellis or Chiang Mai), but Melanie also accepts custom orders and your own fabrics. But perhaps the best part of all is Melanie's personal (and prompt!) service.

2. Avid-Home: For great prices on trendy favorites. I scored the Windsor Smith fabric that I used to recover this stool from Avid-Home for about half the price of retail. If you're not looking for fabric though, Avid-Home also has a great selection of on-trend furniture and home accessories. If you're in the DFW area, Avid-Home also let's you pick up your orders, saving you the cost of shipping.

3. One King's Lane: For steals on just about everything. I'm a huge fan of sample sale sites: Gilt Group, Ideeli...I'm a member of them all. As an avid decor enthusiast, my favorite though is OKL. Sure, the selection can be random, and you have to act quickly if you see something you love, but just like a great outlet or discount store, if you're patient and keep checking in regularly, you're bound to find an amazing deal on something you love (like when I found this Anglo-Indian inspired coffee table for my living room last month!). Like all sample sale sites, OKL is members'-only, but if for some reason you aren't yet a member and are interested, just e-mail me and I'll hook you up.

4. Mod Green Pod: For eco-friendly fabric and wallpaper. One of my major pet peeves is that so many great fabric lines are trade-only so I'm always fond of fabric manufacturers who sell directly to retail. And even better if the fabrics are eco-friendly, colorful and feature great patterns. I purchased MGP's "Grand Jubilee" in cream (now discontinued) back in 2008 and used it to recover a very sad-looking wingback. Now, this once hand-me-down is our favorite chair in the house. MGP also sells a great line of vinyl-free wallpaper, and their "Grand Jubilee" pattern in Earl Grey is classic and modern at the same time. It's definitely the kind of pattern that would appeal to wallpaper-phobes.

5. Osborne & Little: For wallpaper. Is it just me or do the Brits seem to do wallpaper best? There are few patterns in O&L's extensive collection that I don't love, but my favorites include Summer Palace (shown above), Walk in the Park (how amazing would that be in a laundry or mud room?!), Coronata (for a dining room ceiling!), Bedlam (I am loving purple right now), and Banswara (also loving peacocks!). Unfortunately, O&L only sells directly to trade in the US (not so in the UK!), but you can always find a friendly designer to hook you up. In fact, I had Susie over at Maddie G. Designs purchase 3 rolls for me and she was a total doll to deal with and gave me a good price.

6. Williams-Sonoma Home: For everything, but especially linens and small accessories. There's little at WSH I don't love. Yes, it's not cheap, but it's quality and I'm becoming increasingly convinced that it's better to go without until you can afford what you love (at least up to a point) than to have a house full of a bunch of crap. Last fall I splurged on WSH's pagoda bedding for my master bedroom, as a housewarming present to myself. And I gotta say, every night that I get into bed, I'm thankful that I did it.

7. Benjamin Moore: For paint. I've used just about every major brand of paint available, painted more rooms than I'd care to remember, and I can honestly say that BM (especially their no-VOC paint) is my favorite. The coverage is great, the color range vast, and even using a deep purple (Purple Lotus, shown above) or red (Moroccan Red -- in the old house), I didn't have to do more than two coats. I know the prevailing belief is that Farrow&Ball is the best you can get, and while I love the colors and their depth, I don't think the coverage is as good with just one or two coats as dear old Ben.

8. Ethan Allen: For quality furniture at mid-level prices. I remember when my folks moved out to the 'burbs in the late '80s and my mom had most of their new, much larger home filled with (almost entirely) Ethan Allen. So when it came time to decorate my own house in the 'burbs, I had a (perhaps unfair) association of Ethan Allen as stuffy, traditional and terribly dated. And I suppose there are pieces there that fit all of that description perfectly. But there's also some amazing, on trend pieces (like the Rand chair, above) that are priced on par with the likes of Pottery Barn and Crate&Barrel, but are of far, far better quality. And, unlike both of those retailers, Ethan Allen has a much broader selection of fabrics, trims and finishes. So the end result is a look that's far more custom than anything else in Ethan Allen's price range.

9. TS & Company: For vintage furniture at a great price. Over the past few years I've bought several pieces of furniture from TS and Company (an Ebay seller out of Gainesville, FL). Not only are their prices reasonable, but they ship to you door (none of this Greyhound freight business!). Particular strengths are midcentury and Hollywood Regency, but they often have great campaign and chinoiserie finds as well (like this great dresser I scored back in January).

Next Week's Guest Blogger: Holly from Things That Inspire!

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