Inferior design: Orla Kiely housewares for Target

This past weekend, the new line of Orla Kiely housewares made its way to Target stores. I, along with many other bloggers, was excited about this new line, which includes bright and boldly patterned textiles, organizers, canisters and many other items. However, I wish I had previewed this line before I excitedly wrote about it here.

That’s because I am disappointed with the quality. The coasters and certain placemats are made of material that reminds me of jigsaw puzzles; if you placed a condensation-soaked glass on the coaster, I think the sticker-like overlay would likely peel off. And while the dishtowels are pretty, they are made of cheap, coarse material that would not soak up any droplets from your wet dishes.

While it is certainly cost-efficient, I feel it is more appropriate for students moving into their first dorm room or on-campus apartment. The cloth shoe organizer, magazine holders and melamine dishes would have been perfect for college! (The full line does not appear to be on the Target web site yet, otherwise I'd link to the other items.)

I haven’t checked out the full line yet, but I am fairly sure I will be disappointed all around. That’s why, going forward, I will try to only feature products I really stand by, with quality I can attest to… because otherwise, what’s the point?


Low-cost lookalikes

I was browsing through the Pottery Barn sale yesterday and came across this white bench, which looks almost exactly like two others from JCPenney and Overstock.com. While I can't vouch for the quality of any of the benches (nor any of the products I feature here, for that matter!), the less expensive benches may be a good deal if you're not willing to pay $299 or $399 (depending on the color) for a bench. Plus, you crafty types could totally sew your own cushion and make it your own--while saving money!

Overstock.com, $114.99

JCPenney, $249.99 (comes with a wall shelf)