Chic on a Shoestring Decorating: Catalog Inspiration and K-mart...

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Catalog Inspiration and K-mart...

I got my Ballard Designs catalog in the mail today... WOOT WOOT!  Love Love Love getting Ballards in the mail, makes my day!!!  It's like a design inspiration magazine subscription for FREE, can't beat it! 

So while I love Ballards style and find it very inspirational I find their prices to be ree-donk-u-lous!  (that's my word for extra-ridiculous) 

Seriously, I can't find anything I like in that catalog for less than a hundred bucks!  There are some under $100 items that I like but they don't pass my TJ Maxx test, which is... if I can find the same or similiar item at TJ Maxx for less, then I ain't buyin' it from you-aka Ballards, Pottery Barn, etc!  (Yes, I just said ain't and I'm from way North of the Mason Dixon line... hahaha. :)  I know, ain't ain't a word, I only use it to show sassy-ness so please don't think I have some kind of terrible grammar problem.)

Anyway, guess what passes the TJ Maxx test in the Ballard's catalog??.... umm, nothing.  Dang it!! But I know this before it arrives in the mailbox, it is simply just inspirational.   This issue really surprised me because it just happened to have an almost perfect replica of something I already have, something(s) that were one of my best deals ever. 

Here is the inspirational super cute Ballard's counter height barstool for $129 plus tax and shipping.

Here is how I got one of my best deals ever!

I was walking through K-Mart this summer, snicker snicker, (see why I'm snickering about K-Mart here) and the loudspeaker comes on and they say, and I quote "Attention K-Mart shoppers, please head over to the furniture aisle to check out our great deal on clearance items including barstools, tables, blah blah blah".  We had just moved to a house with an island and I really needed barstools but hadn't been able to find any decent ones for less than about $125 a piece, too high! 

So I high-tail it back to the furniture area thinking maybe I could get some cheapo barstools until I found the nice ones I wanted at the right price.  Imagine my surprise when I found these!

I heart you Martha Stewart.

These K-Mart Martha Stewart barstools were almost exactly what I had been looking for and they were on clearance for $8, that's right, eight dollars!!  What?!  I thought for sure they were mis-marked so I asked the lady working in the aisle and she said the price was right, they were discontinued. And by the way, can I buy the display too, yes ma'am!  I got 3 barstools for $24!!  And I love love love them!  They are perfect in my french country kitchen (which someday I will show you when I get it finished)!

Twins! (kind of)

So, I got these perfectly Ballard-like barstools for about 95% off Ballard's price, YA-HOO!!  Since it was probably about 4 or 5 months ago I'm thinking these barstools are probably long gone so I'm sorry about that.  And, I'm sorry I can't give you a tutorial on how to make your own barstools out of stuff found in the dollar store but I'm just not that crafty (yet!). 

This kind of find is a good reminder that you can find stylish pieces without paying out the wazoo!  I think the original retail price was $35 a stool and I would have been willing to pay full price for these.  I could have gotten all 3 of them for less than the price of one of Ballards, even at full price.  I wanted to share with all you bloggy friends that appreciate sweet deals as much as me! 

I'm linked to Coastal Charm!

As always, thanks for stopping by and please consider following me.  I heart comments!!


  1. So cute! I would have never guessed they were from ole' KMart! And what a lovely price to match, I guess I better pay them a visit now and then.

  2. I love your bar stools! I can't believe you got them for $8. am not a big fan of kmart but I do love their martha Stewart line. We have one really close to our house and I occassionally stop in fo a looksy.

  3. OMG I can't believe the price... LOVE them....

    thanks for following...

  4. You did good girl! You are my kind of shopper.

  5. they are almost the same!!!! i bet you were doing a happy dance!!!

  6. Now that is a-may-zing! They look nearly identical too! Judi

  7. Great find for a great price. Awesome!


  8. That was a great bargain! I know what you mean about Ballard's. I love browsing through the catalogs, but have only bought curtain panels from them. (Which I cut down the middle to make pairs from one panel, cause I knew I would never close the curtains.)
    Mary Lou

  9. What a great deal at $8.00...they look outstanding! Thanks for coming to my NIFTY THRIFTY TUESDAYS party!


  10. 8.00? for real.. ok you win the bargain shopping award for this week.. those look terrific.

  11. I'm excited for you just reading this post! I found 2 amazing chairs (linen, brass nailheads, cream finish) and a tray table (same finish, mirror included on tray)...all Country Living line... at K Mart (a store i loath) and NO ONE believes me that I bought them there (one chair was the floor model for $50...just as perfect as the in-the-box one!) woo-hoo for Ballard's look for pennies!


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