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Tracy Melton’s Tree Ring Art

14 Dec

Tracy Melton's Tree Ring Paintings...colorfully rustic! (image via FocusLineArt on Etsy)

I know that I often feature Etsy products on my blog, and that doesn’t always scream “high design.”  Yes, it’s super to have a few high-end paintings studding your wall and a $4,000 sofa flanked by Murano glass lamps, but not many people can hang a month’s salary above every console table.  This is one of the reasons I truly adore the QUALITY products on Etsy:  unexpectedly exceptional products at affordable prices, and you’re helping the actual crafter/maker/artist earn a living!

But I digress. I am in love with the Tree Ring Paintings by artist, Tracy Melton.

More of Tracy Melton's Tree Ring Paintings. (image via FocusLineArt on Etsy)

Based out of Knoxville, he sells them in his Etsy store called FocusLineArt.  They’re about $100 for three and worth every penny.  The measurements are about 5-6” in diameter and 2.5” deep; there are holes pre-drilled in the back for hanging, but you can also display them flat.  I own a few of them and would be elated to have more added to my collection each year!  I could browse these for an hour and still not be certain about which color I want (perhaps this is because I want ALL of them).   Also, I should say that I try to either own Etsy items myself or consult a source that does own a particular Etsy product before I recommend it.  I don’t want you to get stuck with something less than desirable that just happens to look good in a photo: trust me when I say that these are as awesome as they look in the images.

Still more of Tracy Melton's Tree Ring Paintings...the feminine version. (image via FocusLineArt on Etsy)

It’s always a joy to me when I can show a client or a reader something new and cool without forcing them to break the bank.  If you have some tried-and-true Etsy, or other, finds please share!

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.


Design Within Reach…For (Much) Less!

18 Nov

I just got the November 2010 Design Within Reach (DWR) catalog in the mail.  As usual, it’s filled with tons of gorgeous things at prices within a questionable reach.

The November 2010 Design Within Reach Catalog. (image via DWR)

Some of the items at DWR are such one-of-a-kinds and of such exceptional quality that there just aren’t any suitable “do it for less!” substitutes.  However, other things in the catalog just scream at me “you could get virtually the same thing for 75% less somewhere else!”

So without further ado, I’m going to show you some of those things.  Don’t get too excited, there are no Arne Jacobsen chairs on this list, but there are a few fun fake-out items.  Enjoy!

If you're willing to get more saturated colors and hang this on a door instead of the wall, you've got it for $161 less. Saturnus Door Hook, Urban Outfitters, $18 OR Eames Hang It All, DWR, $179 (L image via Urban Outfitters, R image via DWR)

Ok, so the CB2 version is "Carrara-style" marble, but other than that, seriously, they're identical. Smart Round Marble Top Coffee Table, CB2, $299 OR Rubik Round Coffee Table, DWR $900 (L image via CB2, R image via DWR)

This isn't a trick. They're the same book. This is just my very serious public service announcement to never, EVER, purchase a book through a catalog company. Always look at Amazon or a similar retailer for the best price. Handcrafted Modern: At Home With Mid-Century Modern Designers by Leslie Williamson (2010 edition),, $29.70 OR the same thing at DWR for $45. (both images via

That’s just a few things, but if you have any other catalogs this holiday season that you’d like me to explore alternatives to just send me an email.   I’m certainly not claiming that you can get all of the furnishings at DWR from West Elm, and you certainly can’t find a life-sized leather stuffed rhino anywhere for less, but for some items “the look for less” is definitely an option.

There are some things you can't put a price on, leather rhinos and Barcelona Chairs among them. Omersa Leather Rhino, Superking Size, DWR, $3,800 (image via Design Within Reach)

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.