Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Chandeliers at 84% off!

I've been helping a friend with her living and dining rooms for a while now. A single mother who can't devote much time or money to decorating things all at once. The changes have come slowly, but in ways that she and her small family are very happy with. When we started, she challenged me with finding pieces that were beautiful, but also within a very tight budget. She wanted something she'd get life out of, but would not suck the life out of her, and her bank account.

It hasn't been the easiest process. So, when I happened upon some gorgeous chandeliers at some incredible bargains I had to share them with all of you - in the event you find yourself in the same boat as my friend and me.

The catalog and internet based Shades of Light is a great source for well designed lighting. Often, their prices are lower than the suggested price of the manufacturer, and they offer all sorts of incentives for discounts (like email sign up) and monthly and quarterly sales. They also have a trade program, so if you're a designer and can pass along discounts to your clients, there's some options for good friends like mine there too.

She latched on to a particular fixture on the site, and really didn't want to let go.

She adored this rustic cage 4 light chandelier sale priced at Shades of Light for $406.30. I wasn't going to argue with her. It really is a wonderful choice for her look. However, $406.30 plus tax and shipping was going to blow her budgeted decorating allowance for the month - so I wanted to try and find a version of it that was less expensive.

And I did! And it isn't a "version" of the chandelier she so loved, it is the chandelier she so loved. And how much? $76.25! You are reading it correctly. I've even linked it here:

What was once listed as being $478.00 on the Shades of Light website, is available with FREE Prime 2-day shipping for 84% off! She was shocked, and delighted. So was I, as now we got to work on picking out the other necessary fixtures a little earlier than we expected. We ordered this one first, and because she loved it so much when it arrived, we actually just ordered the large version for the dining room, with 8-lights instead of 4. 

This one a mere $87.50, and just as gorgeous! So I kept digging. I mean, why not, right? How many other items could be had for such drastic discounts? I was looking for a chandelier for my own place, would I find one?

I did! (Spoiler alert, it didn't actually look great in my space because I just didn't have the room for it, but it was a gorgeous find!)

Out of stock at Shades of Light, this classic lantern comes in nickel or brass finish for up to $390.00 depending on the size and finish. I found the same lantern on Amazon in brass for $99.95! 75% off the sale price! 

I can't tell people I like (which includes all of you) enough, shop around! Check Amazon before you click buy on sites that are simply reselling products. If you're buying custom or antique (and believe me, I'm a proponent of that!) then you're sorta paying what you have to pay ... but for lighting and other things sold to the mass market, it always pays off to do a little research! 

Here's a good first step! Reverse image search. This is far easier if you have Google Chrome on your computer. Take a minute to download that, and use it when you're doing your searches. When you're on a site, like Shades of Light, and you come across your favorite new light you just have to have simply right click on the image.

You'll have a pop up box, and near the bottom you'll see "Search Google for image", that's what you want to click! I really like this little pendant. It comes in gold patina or in silver patina. It's a great size, and if you read further along in the description, it tells you it comes with four lights. Now, once you click on the "Search Google for Image" tab of your pop up, it's gonna look like this:

Now Google isn't perfect. It thinks that this is a french country flush mount fixture. It clearly isn't. But if you scroll down the page a bit, you're gonna see "Pages that include matching images."
This is typically where you'll hit pay dirt! There are plenty from our friends at Shades of Light, obviously. But if you click through, you'll come to a link where we find out that the pendant is branded the Rochester 4-Light Pendant, by Savoy House.

At this point you can feel a little like a super sleuth. You type that in your google search bar and click "Shopping", it will kick back some stores with different prices on that fixture: 

$418.00 on Shades of Light, this one could be bought for $376.20 from more than 25-different stores. But I like to go a bit further! Sometimes you can find something that's branded 20 different ways. And this particular pendant actually is. On Wayfair, it's called the Cranston.

And it's available with free 2-day shipping $273.99 which saves you $203.01 after Shades of Light adds their $59.00 shipping charge. 

Save a little more if you purchase through Joss & Main (a Wayfair brand) which gives you a $10.00 discount, at $263.99.

P.S., you can often find promo codes on these Wayfair websites. Google search that before you buy for even further discounts!

For instance, here, I've saved an additional $25.00 with a promo-code found online. Total with tax and free shipping: $259.90. That's quite a bargain on the $477.00 plus tax at Shades of Light!

So, shop smart my friends! If you're looking at something and want my help - shoot me an email, and I'll do the best I can to see where you can get it for a bit less!

Happy Tuesday! 

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Book Review: Friends* *Bearing Gifts by Joseph Cicio

What feels like a million years ago, I blogged about Joan Rivers' Connecticut kitchen, designed by her friend Joseph Cicio. Before being known as the designer responsible for this house, Joseph had been a long-time Vice President for Macy's, and more recently an executive with the fashion designer Donna Karan. A fascinating man, who prior to his high profile positions, had spent three years as a monastic monk. 

His memoir, FRIENDS* *Bearing Gifts, is a look into the many different relationships that he built with his famous and influential friends, many of whom gave him gifts which he still cherishes today. While the stories are interesting, what I enjoyed most about the book,
 was the look into Cicio's Connecticut home. 

As I mentioned, Joseph was a close friend of Joan Rivers. He says: "Joan Rivers had a wonderful smile that could light up a room - because it was real. She loved being with people, but perhaps even more than that, she loved being with her dogs, including Max, one of her rescues."

It was Joan's kitchen that first brought my attention to Joseph. The beautiful vaulted ceiling of that space, giving towering walls that could be clad in anything imaginable.

I was gobsmacked. I still would give my right arm for this kitchen. It was in this moment that I curiously wondered what Joseph's own home may have looked like. If his penchant for displaying collections was brought out here only because Joan had so many wonderful things, or if he chose to live this way too. 

Then I saw his own kitchen. Stunning. I adore the bar set up in that low profile bamboo and wicker basket. Those glass cabinet doors with their sheer curtains behind, the roe buck antler collection, and the delftware. Be still my heart! 

Thankfully, in FRIENDS* *Bearing Gifts we get a chance to look even further at his stunning Connecticut home. Here in the addition, a staircase hallway is lined with his collection of French intaglios. 

Mr. Cicio at a book signing in Manhattan, at the prestigious Lowell Hotel.

His home in Connecticut had been featured in Connecticut Cottages and Gardens in 2011, and I remember loving every single frame. It was so wonderful to see it again in his new book. Take a look: 

Such an interesting man, with some fascinating stories and even more fascinating collections - if you're an avid lover of books, design, and stories of famous and influential people, this book is definitely one you'll want to add to the collection. Take a closer look, and purchase a copy on Amazon via the link below.