Reef madness

I’m driving my husband crazy. My mind is overflowing with creativity- I’ve rearranged the mantle, nearly finished decorating the guest room, and devised numerous lists, shopping strategies, and projects plans over the past few weeks. In 17 days a good girlfriend from my college years is coming to stay for 6 weeks, and I want to be able to relax & enjoy the fruits of my decorating frenzy with her.

Full-steam ahead = two consecutive evenings of shopping, husband in tow. I usually know better! I dragged the poor man around Pier 1, Hobby Lobby, Big Lots, Walmart, and TJ Maxx, all within two days. It’s a miracle we’re still together. I’m exaggerating a bit, he was actually a good sport, and still had energy to put up curtain rods and blinds. Be jealous=)

My most recent case of drool-inducing product lust occurred while I was viewing an entry to Apartment Therapy’s Small Cool Contest. If you’ve read my pages you know that Apartment Therapy is one of my favorite inspiration websites, and yearly they hold a contest where you can vote for your favorite “Small Cool” space. The entries are divided by square footage, ranging from a teeny-tiny (under 400 sf) to small (800-1000 sf). For example, we could enter our home in the small category- if I felt like it would survive the scrutiny. People can be brutal! Anyway, I viewed what has become my favorite entry and found this jaw-dropping picture of a 300 square foot New York apartment:

Ah! So beautiful! The layout, the paneling, the furniture, the pictures, the CORAL. Yes, there is not one, but TWO pieces of beautiful coral in this picture. Must. Have. Coral. And so I went on an internet scavenger hunt for the coral of my dreams, which led me to:

Pottery Barn’s Faux Coral collection. But there was a problem-

Top-to-bottom: Faux Prickly Coral at $99, Faux Spike Coral at $39.50, and Faux Antler Coral at $24.50 (the last one is a mere 6x4x7). Those prices are a little up there for my budget, especially considering that they are pre-tax and don’t count shipping costs. Not to mention I hate paying full price for anything (only exception is if I’ve been drooling over it for at least 6 months).

Disappointed, I looked further, and found:

Z Gallerie’s collection of faux coral. These pretty babies go for $59.95 for a large (13-inch) and $24.95 for a small (7-inch). Still much too expensive, and so I resigned myself to having an unrequited love affair with coral. So sad.

This brings me to last night! An impulse run to TJ Maxx (rules for an impulse run: I set a timer on my phone, head straight to the clearance aisles, and if I have time, browse decor until it dings) led to the most fantastic discovery.

Why yes, that is my very own piece of coral. Sitting pretty on the shelf at TJ Maxx was a  faux coral mounted on a large glass block, painted a soft, glistening gold. I held my breath and picked it up- things at TJ Maxx can either be super cheap or waaay out there and I’ve learned not to get attached until I actually see the tag. $16.99! SCORE! It came home with me=)

One word: LOVE

Oh, hello silver coral! THERE WERE TWO CORALS AT TJ MAXX. I asked my husband which one I should get- and then realized it was obvious, I was buying both. I also scored a 20% discount as the gold coral had the tiniest chip out of it. If a item has even the tiniest bit of damage, always always always point it out at the counter, they can and will discount it! This silver one goes perfectly with the cool color scheme of our master bedroom. I even rearranged the dresser top in its honor.

And so my previously tragic love story had a happy ending! And TJ Maxx is reaffirmed as the best store in the world (Pier 1 had been creeping up there, but does Pier 1 sell coral? NO).

P.S. After adding this post I looked online to find a source for the coral I found at TJ Maxx so I could add it to my “Products We Love” page. I stumbled across this site. Not only does the “Porties” coral style (far right in the picture below) look almost exactly like a white version of my spiffy coral, it is over 8x the price of my find and weighs in at $138. And it is currently out of stock. Craziness.


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