Margot Austin’s Favorite Finds Under $50
Who knew that despite having a degree from one of the country’s top universities, shopping would end up being one of my key job skills?
As a design editor, I’ve combed so many shops that I feel I’ve earned a PhD in shopping! I love the thrill of the hunt. Here I’ve pulled together 10 recent favorite finds that each cost less than $50. But first, check out my tips on how to get affordable gems that look as if they cost a lot.
- Train your eye. Know what high-end design looks like so you can recognize its characteristics at lower price points.
- Choose natural materials. They stand the test of time and look more luxe.
- Stick with simple. Bells and whistles can make an item look cheap (trying too hard) and can go out of style fast.
- Get the black one. It always looks more expensive than any other color.
- Shop vintage. This is by far my favorite way to get unique items for less.
- Support a local artisan. Handmade trumps mass made.
Is there any more luxurious material than marble? This dramatically veined piece would look gorgeous in any room.
There is a lot of wacky task lighting on the market now that’s trying a little too hard. I prefer this one for its classic lines and fun color (a sunny exception to my rule of black).
Tea towels are a category where I’d take the plunge with color. Kitchens have so few soft elements that a pretty tea towel set is always welcome. These are hand-printed by Toronto artisan Avril Loreti.
I love the matte finish of this minimalist pitcher. You can use it for water, juice, cocktails or as a vase.
Plaid may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it sure is mine. Etsy makers are a secret source of mine for hand-sewn cushion covers. This one is done in pure wool from Moon and Sons, suppliers of woolens to Paul Smith and Burberry.
It’s easy for me to shop vintage since my husband does it for a living. We are constantly scouring antique markets, especially when we travel. Sometimes I even shop from his store, and right now I love these planters and vases.
Trays are another must-have for styling. I like to use one to corral smaller decorative items, a matchbook and scented candle on a coffee table.
Authentic Scandinavian design for less than $50? Yes, it’s possible! Love these hooks from Muuto. The green is definitely a fave color but, yes, they come in black too.
If you have twin beds to dress you can’t go wrong with these timeless ticking duvet cover sets. I like how they are equally suited to a kids room or grown-up guest suite.
I’m hooked on baskets. They are a go-to for stashing stuff out of sight and adding warm texture to rooms. This one brings the bonus of a fun shape and a hint of color, and it’s handmade in Morocco.