Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Gone Shopping


This is the first time I have ever done any blogging. I wanted to have a place where I could post information and ideas related to interior design. On the average day I work from 9am to 7pm. I operate my business out of my home office which actually leads to longer days of working but it is worthwhile as I like to keep on top of things. I try to take weekends off but with the office so handy it is difficult not to slip into work mode.

Living on PEI, while beautiful, does have its disadvantages. Shopping for home goods and furniture can at times be an experience. There are times when I have something in mind but cannot locate exactly what I want or in many cases need to complete a project. For those of us who are passionate about design, PEI can be a bummer. If many of you PEI Islanders, like me, eat up Canadian design magazines you can't help but notice that we are often left lacking in selection. On the other hand, there are a few stores which do cater to the design conscious consumer and carry great decor and they remain on my regular visit list. For the cottage lifestyle there is certainly no shortage of small little antique shops for those who like a vintage or rustic cottage look.

I have several projects on the go, at present. One of which is a full furnishing job for a vacation home. I have been on the go non-stop shopping since Sunday. On Sunday, I slipped over to Moncton, New Brunswick for an afternoon of shopping. I like going to the Trinity Power Center where all the big box stores are located. There's something to be said for what we refer to as "off-island shopping". Seeing as Moncton is a little less than a 2 hour drive from here, it is pretty convenient. I guess the only drawback is paying the toll on the Confederation Bridge which these days runs $40.75 for a single car.

I started my afternoon browsing at Costco. I had gone in specifically looking for something but ended up purchasing other items. I'm not really a Costco person but they do have great prices on bulk food. There is a particular item, Alder Smoked Sockeye Salmon, that I look for every time and which they only seem to carry only at Christmas and Easter. For those of us who like Smoked Salmon they sell a 16oz vacuum pack for around $15.00, enough to make dinner for 4, and have leftovers(which are delicious). The first time we bought it, several years ago, we made the recipe on the package for Smoked Salmon Primavera. Now I am hooked! Parden the pun. I encourage you to try this tasty item. Smoked Salmon is an aquired taste but if you are already a lover of smoked salmon, this product is a good bet.

After getting that out of the way it was on to Homesense, Pier 1 and Bowring. I like browsing at Homesense and have at times spent up to 3 hours in the store, just to ensure I didn't miss anything. Did I mention that Summerside (the city I live in) only has a Zellers and a Walmart for home goods? With that said I guess you can appreciate how nice it is to do the Moncton circuit. I saw quite a few pieces of interesting and unique furniture yet most seemed to have damage on them, which was a real drag. The area rug section is pretty good. Where else can you buy a 100% wool rug for $199-$450? Another thing that I love to look for is the great selection of linens and throw cushions. A silk covered down filled cushion runs around $30.00. I prefer the down cushions to the synthetic polyester filled as they are way more comfortable. I have yet to find any down filled cushions anywhere on PEI(except at Winners in Charlottetown) and our local fabric stores do not even stock the down inserts. So cushions are always on my "to buy" list.

I didn't really see anything that caught my eye at Pier 1 on this visit. I think they must be waiting for new spring stock. A few months back I picked up some very real looking green apples for around $5.00 each. They are great for propping and display purposes. I absolutely love the colour, it's so fresh looking.

On to Bowrings, who have a just arrived selection of clean lined leather furniture, at pretty good prices I might add. Several hundred dollars later we closed the shop and I think I heard one of the sales people say "It turned out to be a great day afterall". She must have been referring to a sudden last minute increase in sales :)

We ran out of time as everything closes at 5pm on Sundays but all in all it was very worthwhile. I managed to cross many items off my "to buy" list and had some fun at the same time. Shopping is always fun for me except when it comes to loading and unloading. Yesterday I had to make 3 trips back and forth from the van to one store with parking several blocks away.

I think I will call it a close on this post but watch for more. I am hoping to get at this 3 times per week. My next set of posts will involve pictures of my finds.

I hope I haven't offended any local retailers because it is not my intention. I do rely heavily on local stores for many of our projects.


1 comment:

Barry said...

Hey ...

Great Blog, lot's of ideas and tips. You went into such detail about your shopping trip that it made me feel as if I were right there with you...Keep up the good work and Keep Blogging