Decorating tip: Pottery Barn “on the cheap”

I won’t pretend that I’m not flattered.  I have had several friends tell me that they dig my taste when it comes to decorating.  Some have even asked if I would come over and decorate their houses.  I wish they weren’t kidding.  The idea of spending someone else’s money to redecorate an entire room is my idea of the ultimate fantasy.  While I am no professional decorator I have found that friends like my ideas so I have decided to share some of my favorites here on my long-neglected blog.

I get a few catalogs that I like to think of as my own version of porn.  One example is the aforementioned Paper Source catalog.  But paper isn’t the only thing that gets me hot.  Picture me turning a Pottery Barn catalog sideways, carefully eyeing the gorgeous subject of a photograph from every possible angle, mumbling “Oh yeeeeeaaahhh” to myself.  That, my friends, is the life of a home decor junkie.

But let’s be real.  Pottery Barn is generally pricey — some would say overpriced — and I sometimes just can’t bring myself to pay their prices for the objects of my desire.  So I find an alternative or — no surpise here — do it myself.

Take for example these framed photographs that caught my eye this past summer.  Lovely, yes?


But this set of six framed photos will run you around $199 (although I think they’re on sale now).  Since something like this was perfect for the family room I was decorating I decided to create my own framed photos of nature.

While on vacation in Marquette I did some hiking in the woods behind our house, snapping photos of pretty greenery.  I tried to take advantage of the sunlight whenever possible.  I also took some pictures on the beach of Lake Superior.  Back in Waukesha I took some photos of plant life while walking Steve at Minooka Park.  I am not much of a photographer, but when all was said and done I had several great photos to choose from.

I enlarged the photos to 8″x10″ and purchased simple black frames with a white mat from Kohl’s.  A grand total of $40 later, I had my own series of framed photos .  These photos are not only special because they were taken in a place that is important to me, they look pretty darn good on my wall (if I do say so myself).


I would advise that if you decide to do a similar project that you order matte prints.  They look much nicer in a frame.  I neglected to check that box when I ordered these and I couldn’t bear to waste these prints.

Anyway, if this idea floats your boat but you don’t want to wait until spring to take your own photos, feel free use these photos that I took and never used.  And if you love the look of the apothecary jars, go to TJ Maxx or Marshall’s.  They have a wide selection at very reasonable prices.

Happy decorating!






3 responses to “Decorating tip: Pottery Barn “on the cheap”

  1. Your house is beautiful. I attempted to copy a few things, but failed miserably. I like this idea. We need something in the living room.

  2. Catching up on these blog things… thanks for the “matte” tip – I’m always torn on that issue. TIA!

  3. hahahaha… i totally describe my decorating catalogs and magazines as porn. decorating blogs are my dirty little secret too. found yours by searching “pottery barn blogs”. love it so far.

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