Friday, June 10, 2011

I Spy ... TJ Maxx, Summer Edition

You might notice over time that my "I Spy" columns might often return to the same old haunts, like TJ Maxx and the Antique Mall. This is because I pop into these stores to pass the time between meetings, and snapping pictures with my phone distracts me from actually buying all this stuff that I know I don't have a place for in my home!

I passed about 30 minutes in the Williamsburg T.J. Maxx on Tuesday and found several perfect-for-summer steals that were worth noting. First up? $40 wood beach chairs, with a sleek moroccan pattern that came in a couple different colorways.

This particular T.J. Maxx had almost an entire aisle of Lenox china on closeout prices, possibly because Williamsburg also has a Lenox outlet. It had the entire butterfly china set, but priced to buy separate pieces, which is perfect. Butterflies are really in right now, and this set would be great for setting out bowls of fruit at this summer's family gatherings.

They also had this adorable Ralph Lauren seersucker-patterned china set, which might be the most perfect bachelor pad dish set ever. So summery, too...I picture a piece of cherry pie on the striped plate!

Always on trend, T.J. Maxx does a great (and deplorable) job of knocking off famous designers. If you love the look of Michael Aram, but can't swing the three-digit prices, the Maxx has dead-ringer cheap versions that would look so lovely holding jewelry or soap or cheese and crackers. This little tray was $19.99.

This particular T.J. Maxx almost always has some version of a mercury glass lamp, which is the closest you can come to a perfect lamp for all rooms. This one had a lovely linen shade, and went for $50 big ones.

I loved the rich look of this tufted chair, which was $229, but I have to admit it was hard as rocks. Their stuffing leaves a bit to be desired, but you get what you pay for, right? That's what people say, right?

And finally, a bit of glamorous fake white coral, mounted on fake lucite for $12.99. It's a dead-ringer for a $98 one at Williams-Sonoma. These are the perfect little props to fill in sparse bookshelves, decorate desks or fill spots on the mantle. Best part? It's fake, so no real coral was removed from a reef just to become a paperweight.

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