I am a bargain hunter. A recessionista. A hardcore frugal shopper through and through, down to my very pith and marrow. Without the holy trinity of Craigslist, Ebay and thrifting, I would own a rug, some pillows and sheets. Oh, and those all came from Overstock — bought with internet coupons, of course. Most of the time, I get high off scoring big ticket items on a budget, but lately I’ve been feeling a little resentful of my staunchly middle class life. I kinda wish I was born rich. Hell, while I’m outing myself as a class traitor and a jackass, make that stinking, filthy rich.
Before I launch into this embarrassing ridiculousness, let me first apologize and say: World, I know how lucky I am to be solidly middle class. Really. I honestly, truly do. However, there is nothing like house hunting to give you a case of the green meanies. Once you really start looking, “I can make do” turns into “I want,” and then “I NEED,” super ultra fast. Ok, I’m done with the bourgeois guilt. Let’s play: pretend we’re rich old money. On a budget.
Step 1: You are probably going to need a Chesterfield sofa.
Y’all, Chesterfield sofas are expen$ive. Coming in at under $1100 including shipping, this version from Zuo Modern won’t (totally) break your piggy bank. Yes, the black is perfectly serviceable and moneyed, but the silver option would be Kapow Zing. Of course, bling like that is for tawdry nouveau richies, only. (Thanks, Raina, for the tip!)
Now, add in a couple of pastoral accessories and we’re in business:
Beth Dow 11×14 print, $50 at 20×200
Pendleton 5th Avenue Throw, $128. Looks so casual fancy you can practically smell the Benjamins stacked high in the safe behind Grandma’s portrait.
Step 2: You definitely need an old family portrait. At least to hide the safe.
What’s the matter? Don’t have an antique oil painting of great great great grandfather Alistair McScarypants? Yeah, me neither. I come from a long line of farmers and drunken Irishmen, which is charming, but not so heavy on the heirlooms. How about a painting of your loyal servant in Grandpa’s stead?
Aw, Baxter never looked so handsome. Bonus: rich people love dogs! But don’t bother getting Scruffy the pound puppy’s portrait painted. Pedigree matters. Custom oil painted portraits of your pet by Johnspaintings on Etsy, $120.
Step 3: Get a pony. Preferably one that wins prizes and things. Or catches foxes.
What, fools? Did you think I was going to tell you how to buy a horse on the cheap? Sorry, I’m a blogger, not a magician. But I can direct you to these fine equine inspired products:
Wary Meyers Horse print, $75. Lewis and Wood Equus print wallpaper and fabric. Priced in pounds, so don’t ask me how much it costs. I’m a blogger, not a mathematician. Oh, and don’t forget to buy Karly’s horse print. It’s extra nice.
Urban Outfitters Equestrian Rainboots, perfect for navigating horse poop and rain puddles, $48.
Step 4: You’re going to need more wallpapered and upholstered prints. Way more prints.
I will always have a soft spot for crazy scenic prints, but for the love of all that’s British tinged Americana: no toile de jouy. This look is more English country or Connecticut Regency (yes, I just made that up) than Marie Antoinette. Lewis and Wood papers and fabrics keep the hunting look alive. Let’s hope the foxes fare as well.
Also, prints should swath everything that can be swathed. Ikea’s Hovas chair is the perfect candidate for an obnoxious floral print. Plus at $499, it’s keeping (most of) your hard earned, middle class money in the bank. Bonus: the slipcovers provide ready made patterns for all you folks with sewing skills. Kaching! That’s the sound of all the money I just saved you.
Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. I kind of love the way it makes my eyes vibrate.
Step 5: Get an indoor pool.
No, your membership to the Y is not going to cut it. Rich people like to summer away… away from what, I’m not sure. Away from their mansions? Away from their servants and beautifully kept grounds? It defies logic, but there it is.
I’m afraid this is where I become markedly unhelpful. Dammit, y’all — I’m a blogger, not a third generation investment banker, or an oil tycoon, or a Mayflower descendant. If I were, I’d invite you over to my indoor pool for cocktails and water polo. But you see, there are some things that just can’t be faked in the quest to live like old money. Indoor pools — along with owning your own airstrip, having a township named after your ancestors, or knowing how to play squash — belong only in the provenance of the super duper rich.
Whatever. I don’t need to be rich. I’ll always have… something.
I’ll let you know what that is as soon as I figure it out.