Welcome to Arie + Co., a decorating blog that helps you discover designer inspired decor for less. I’m Kristen, wife, mama, bargain hunter, interior stylist, and lover of all things creative.
I love a good buy. When Adam and I first got married, it drove him crazy that when I was complimented on part of my outfit, I reflexively blurted out the cost of said item. The better the bargain, the prouder I was. Although I’ve learned that the entire country doesn’t need to know the cost of each item in my wardrobe, I still adore getting a steal of a deal.
I frequently tell people I’m a stay-at-home mom with no domestic skills. I am not a good cook. Or baker. I am not gifted in the area of cleaning or organization. My house is rarely spotless. Ok, lets be honest. My house is never spotless. And I kill everything I try to grow. Which is really very little, because I don’t love gardening.
The one passion I have that could be considered remotely domestic is for decorating. It makes sense, because from an early age, I have always gravitated toward the creative… Writing my first fictional story at age four, crafting with my mom throughout childhood, a stint with jewelry making early in our marriage, and always having an idea of what I wanted my personal space to look and feel like (pink-washed hardwood floors and porcelain masks adorning the walls in my childhood bedroom; a black comforter and bright colored throw pillows in my college dorm room). There is something comforting about having a space to call your own, that feels like a reflection of you. I like to think that my taste has matured a bit since my porcelain mask days, and it is continually evolving.
A couple of years ago, my husband and I built the two story family home I’d dreamed of for years, with a white kitchen, dark hard wood floors, and thick white baseboards. I’ve been slowly filling the space, trying (but not always succeeding) to follow the one rule I have for myself, that I will not bring in anything I don’t love.
I’ve also carried my love of a bargain into decorating. For years, I’ve admired a leather chesterfield sofa from a popular big name store. I knew that gorgeous masterpiece would look perfect in my new home, and I would definitely love to splurge on it. But the bargain hunter in me, and a realistic decorating budget, determined that I find a much less expensive steal. And I did. Which launched my addiction to finding less expensive alternatives to some of my favorite looks from different designers and high end stores. I’ve also learned to create DIY versions of certain items, such as pillows, wall art, and even sometimes furniture.
I don’t believe that you have to be a millionaire to live in a beautiful home, and I’m trying to prove that as I decorate my home on a budget. My hope is that by sharing my splurge/steal thoughts, I can offer up some ideas that will help you do the same!