Recession Proof Shopping with Amy Lau

After watching every single episode of America's Top Model during my sick time this week, I decided it was time to reintegrate myself into the working world with a little intellectual stimulation.  After visiting some of my favorite blogs, I cruised on over to the New York Times Life and Style pages.  Baby steps, people, baby steps. Anyhoodle, my mushy brain was jerked back into action after reading Amy Lau's (shown below checking her pulse) tips for shopping sensibly during the recession

Ms. Lau is an interior designer in New York and co-chair of the annual sculpture objects and functional art fair, which, admittedly, is supposed to be pretty badass.

I think running around with all those high-society artsy-types may have clouded Lau's vision a bit, as she seems blissfully unaware that a recession-minded shopper may not want to spend $900 on a watch suspended in a resin purse.  Go Figure.

On the right is Yeni Mao's Porcelain Siamese Bird Vase for $250, on the left, our aforementioned artbag (it's a lamp, too!) for $900

This is all well and good and if someone would like to buy a $900 purse/lamp/broken watch, please be my guest.  But if you are going to write an article about a $900 purse/lamp/broken watch, please do not include any of the following:

“Just because something has a higher value or a big name doesn’t mean that it’s more special,” she said. When carefully selected, affordable pieces can offer as much sculptural appeal as big-ticket ones.

To make her point, Ms. Lau went shopping in Manhattan and online for everyday objects that deliver a visual punch.

Let's see what else she found!

On the far right: a leaded-crystal Paro Double Wind Goblet by Achille Castiglioni for $150.  According the the article: When one side is filled with liquid, the rim of the other acts as the base. It is "pure sculpture," she said. “You can just imagine the conversations people will have about it."

Seriously?  So, we're suggesting that I forego my family's grocery shopping this week so that I may invite, what appears to be, the most conversationally-challenged guests over to discuss a crappy glass that has a hold-your-liquid side and a hold-the-glass-up side?  Someone needs to get new friends.

Also shown above: Michael Geertsen's Closely Separated Vase for $225 (I actually really like this vase, but probably wouldn't suggest it for anyone who's looking to save their pennies) and Piet Houtenbos $55 Hand Grenade Oil Lamp.  Again, like it, but not suggesting it.

What is this?  I can't believe I'm showing this picture on our beautiful blog. Ok, according to my notes, it's a brass Lehti tray by maria Jauhiainen.  It's $800.

I believe this is a picture of several ceramic lamps (clarify yourself NYT caption!) by Danielle Pianezzola.  These recession-friendly lamps range in price from $2,555 to $2,970.

Did I tell you about the time I found an arc lamp on the side of the road?  Maybe they should have interviewed me for this article. 

For those of you wanting to combat the recession by retreating to your cabin in the woods to write your manifesto, please remember that you will need this set of 3 graphite writing instruments for $198.  You want to be taken seriously, don't you?

Hmm, well, it looks like I've reached the end of Ms. Lau's list.  Let's do some math to see how much money we've saved by taking the designer's advice:

Turn it either way! Wine goblet= $150

My Tray looks like those leaves in the yard Tray = $800

Holy Cra-lamp: $2,555 (I went for the least expensive one)

headless birdy vase: $250

take down the man writing instruments: $198

cute yellow vase: $225

would look better in gold grenade: $55

purse / lamp thingy: $900

Add it all up, and, look!  We've only spent $5,133.  For a similar amount, I had considered putting down hardwoods in my house, or getting a jump start on the kitchen remodel.  I might have even started up a little college fund for our yet-to-be conceived kiddos.  Thank god the New York Times had Amy Lau intervene on their behalf, now I can have all these really great "conversation pieces not tchotchkes" instead of doing something really stupid with my money.