Tuesday, September 27, 2011


You all were so enthusiastic about the first Look for Less that I put together, I decided to do another. This one is based on this elegant, serene office from Williams Sonoma Home:

Williams Sonoma home is probably the first place I'd choose if you told me that I had to decorate my entire space from one store. Their designs strike the perfect balance between antique and modern, and when you see their pieces in person you can feel the quality and attention to detail. And that's probably why everything is so atrociously expensive. I think this look for less retains a lot of that high-end feeling - except I've cut the price tag by up to 90%! Since this image is from a few years ago, some of the pieces have been discontinued - but with some internet sleuthing I found almost all the original prices for comparison. The real deal is on the left; the better deal is on the right!

sisal rug at Overstock and Smithsonian Archive wool rug at Shades of Light
Bed, Bath and Beyond desk
Ballard wing chair (fabric: Linen Hemp; finish: Cognac)
replica of Mies van der Rohe's Brno chair (in Camel)
Land of Nod basket
jewelry box by ExcaliburWoodWorks on Etsy
John Lewis clock
pillow by PillowMood on Etsy
Lamps Plus lamp (white shade available when you design your own)
photographs one and two by CatsMeowArt and CattieCoyleDesigns on Etsy
zebra pillow by studioei8ht on Etsy

As one commenter astutely noted on my last Look for Less, these take freaking forever to put together. And the most frustrating part is when I find the perfect lookalike for a specific piece, only to find that it's been discontinued or... in this case, is only available in the UK:

perfect, right?! Harley Desk, £359 = $560

Other times, I'll find exact lookalikes but decide against them in favor of a cheaper close second. If you want the exact same desk lamp, you can get it for $105 less here (it's made by Sonneman), and if you really like the barrel shape of the rattan garden seat, Waterworks has one for $175. Plus, even though the zebra floor cushion has been discontinued at WSH, you can get the exact same one for the exact same price at Sears


Oh, and if you really want your own piece of repro ancient Greek pottery to house your paper clips and rubber bands, this one might do nicely. I highly doubt that the piece in the photo is something that WSH ever sold; it's probably a stylist's addition. The shape of that one is called a kylix, and although the one I found has a different form, the runners motif is the same. 

Although that piece is a small accessory in the room, I felt obligated to include it because (I think) it has such a big visual impact. And that's one of the primary lessons of this "look for less" exercise: no matter the cost or quality of the pieces you buy in stores, it's the personal, unique additions that make your space reflect who you are. 


  1. Oh wow, yes, I bet this took forever to put together! You did a great job though! Lovely choices that replace the more expensive ones perfectly!

  2. I second the wow. This is really great!!!You are seriously so good at this. I said it before and Ill probably say it again. Amazing.

  3. Thank you for reminding me how much I loved looking at Williams Sonoma Home catalog. I used to get it in the mail, but haven't in a while. I like your selection, such great choices at a much better price!

  4. I love to see the look for less! It inspires me!

  5. Thanks for providing some really useful information, i will definitely come back to see your updates.