... when you're constantly on the move, few things remain unchanged.

v is for variety

Saturday, April 26, 2014

My first visit to an American shopping center (mall) left me wide-eyed and speechless.  Despite coming from a first-world country, I felt like somewhat of a barbarian because I had never seen some of the decorating items for sale, nor had I ever seen such an enormous variety of everything.

Some of the decorating items I'd never seen include a variety of wall hangings.  Americans love filling empty spaces on their wall with art or these metal, Celtic looking designs (above is a picture of one I really like from JCPenny). Then there are those salt and pepper shakers and napkin rings.  They come in every shape, size, colour, animal, tree, flower or artifact you could ever imagine!  Here are some from Cracker Barrel and Pottery Barn:
Mushroom S&P Set
Mt Rushmore S&P set
Rain boot S&P set
Another thing that's different is how Americans make their beds.  Aussies have duvets - a fancy blanket that you can use for sleeping.  Americans have comforters - a blanket that's just for show to cover up the bed and make it look pretty during the day, but one that comes off at night for sleeping.

Decorating my house in America has been quite an overwhelming process.  There are so many shops that sell objet d'art, each one cheaper and larger than the first.  It takes me ages to decide on a theme anyway, but once I have it takes even longer for me to decide to buy something because of the sheer variety in that category and because I'm always worried that I could find it cheaper somewhere else! 

Here's an example: let's say you want a set of blue towels.  Where do you do?  How about Bed Bath and Beyond.  Ok, you've walked in and found the bath towel section.  Now what?  What colour blue, every blue-hue you can imagine is in front of you and which one is right for you? Light blue.  Ok.  Now do you want light blue with a pattern or light blue plain?  The pattern is white ikat and it's rather pretty. How about you get the bath towels and washers in plain but the hand towels in blue and white ikat?  Will that go with the bathroom?  Maybe one of each will be nice?  Maybe since the ikat is white you should incorporate white as well.  A set of blue, white and blue & white ikat towels.  That'll be nice.  How much are they?  Oo, that's not bad... Although you wonder if they'd have these at Target or Marshalls for cheaper... so you go for a look.  You find the bath towel section and it begins all over again because here the pattern on light blue is yellow zig-zags and you think that's nicer than white ikat anyway!  It's seriously hard for me.  I wish I was firmer in my tastes because Will and I are still wiping ourselves with the hand-me-down towels his mother gave us when we first moved here!

So that's variety and it's killing me!  Now let's talk price.  Everything is so much cheaper here than in Australia, it's like IKEA prices everywhere you go.  Example: Ralph Lauren lamp, brand new: $49.99 at Marshalls!  Handmade 5X7 Kilim Rug: $130 at World Market.  Full stainless steel bar set, $70 from Williams-Sonoma.  Oil paintings for $30 from Kirklands and all of that objet d'art is dirt cheap at department stores and Home Goods too!  Photo frames from $3, figurines from $10, mercury glass candle sticks $15!  Don't even get me started on clothing!!!

If variety really is the spice of life then I think I'll stick to plain potatoes for now, hold the salt!

1 comment

  1. Hi Lena - it's overwhelming isn't it .. good luck with it all - go simple and put some fun pictures up ... and then see .. lots of ideas for Christmas presents for years to come .. cheers Hilary




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Sharing my stories of migrating from Australia to the US | travel adventures | married life | furry kids | new experiences | lessons | and loving life despite always missing home. xo.


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spring in Austin TX

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