Can I Have This Job?

By Kate Riley March 10, 2011

One of my most favorite things to do in life (other than snack on Girl Scout cookies by the dozen and ignore the scale) is to surf the net or discount stores hunting for high end looking décor for a great price.  Raise you hand if you share my love of snagging something stylish for a bargain?  Oh, all of you. 

I’m a huge fan of Style at Home and I frequently pop over to see what’s new and inspiring.  There’s always something!  Seleta blogged about this space earlier this week, and it’s one of many in a favorite series over at SOH called ‘High/Low’ where they feature two practically identical spaces, one designed for top dollar, and the other at a much lower cost.

Take for example this garden room.  Here is the High version at $9,937 and Low version to the right at $3,109

high low garden style at home

Here’s another . . .style at home high low entry

. . . and another. 

Can you tell which is which? 

I want this job.

style at home high low living room

How fun is this, to find all the ‘low’ end versions of the ‘high’ end décor?

Then I start wondering, could I get the ‘Low’ down even lower?  It’s a little game I play to amuse myself.  How about knocking off a few hundred more with just this chair, this fabric, and this acrylic console?  Don’t get me started how much could be saved by a little Craigslist hunting and a few DIY projects too.  Can you tell I am easily distracted?  

All of the accessories in the spaces are listed, so the bonus is you can find a few good sites for affordable ‘look for less’ décor just by reading the source guide. 

What about you, want to play along? 

Think you’re savvy at spotting the ‘High’ and the ‘Low’ spaces? 

Take the High Low Quiz over at Style at Home.

Then feel free to blame me that there are dishes piling up, and your laundry isn’t folded. 


all images via Style at Home

.all images via Style at Home


  1. Well, now you just made it impossible to step away from the computer! I’m the same– love hunting for a designer look on a teacher budget. :) Good thing it’s almost the weekend!

  2. Kate…are you sure those two top pictures aren’t the same? They are truly indistinguishable! I love a good challenge :)

  3. I could be wrong, but aren’t the first two pictures the exact same pictures? I don’t think anyone’s photo staging and bargain scouting (not to mention flower cloning) abilities are *that* good.

  4. Ohhh…I LOVE this game! I too am gobbling my Samoas while reading this post and wondering what my local Craigslist has to offer tonight. I was 2 minutes shy of snagging a beautiful wood piano chair that had been saved from a burning church! Damn!!!

  5. I am with you, this could be addictive I love Copy Cat chics blog because she finds amazing pieces for a fraction of the cost. KS

  6. I agree with Robbyn… The first two pictures are exactly the same! I think I stared back and forth for five minutes trying to find a difference. :) Fun game though!

  7. I think Robbyn’s right. I opened both pics in separate tabs, and I can’t find even the smallest difference. The flowers don’t shift even the slightest bit. And there’s the same sticker on both lanterns. I think they goofed up with that one. Still, though, the idea of the site is cool. :) Thanks for sharing!

  8. Agreed Catherine and Robbyn! That’s some pretty fancy styling. Even the flowers are exactly the same. Check out the other ‘High/Low’ rooms, you’ll spot more differences, but this one was really surprising to me.


  9. Just finished at least 5 Thin Mints myself…nothing to be ashamed about…it’s my civic duty to consume these amazing cookies! Regarding the ‘design on a dime’ them, oh yeah! In fact, my friend told me my home smelled like Pier 1 Imports the other day and I was actually flattered. Wish it looked like it but that’s why I have Centsational Girl and all her wisdom. Surely someone will pick you up and ask you to host your own show!

  10. Fortunately for you my dishes are already drying and the laundry has already been folded! I’m on my over to Style at Home right now!

  11. STOP IT RIGHT NOW!! Ops, sorry I didn’t mean to yell but this is my FAVORITE game in the whole world :-) Now I am going to be up way too late tonight. Thanks for a great post.

  12. I know ladies, I’m starting to think they got it wrong and messed up that first series, can they really be different spaces? I’m going to send them a note just to be sure, will report back!!!

    Fun game though!


  13. I don’t think they’re different spaces. They are seriously exactly the same, just shot at very slightly different angles. But this is fun – my kind of (addicting) game!

  14. I can guess all the “Highs” on each of the other rooms. (Sales people tell my husband: “Man, is she good. She can run to the most expensive item in the store at lightning speed.”) BUT, that first one? I got nothing. I am “befuzzled” as my daughter would say. Honest to God, I want someone with computer skills (that I do not have) to lay the first picture over the second and look for the difference.

  15. Oh girl! I LOVE bargain hunting!! In fact! I just came from Salvation Army Thrift store with a Boon High Chair for my little one that I bought for $25! :O

    LOVE LOVE LOVE Thrift stores and CL!

    Thank you so much for giving me permission to blame you for the dishes not done! lol!!! Oh and don’t even get me started on laundry!!

    Thank you for such a great post! You ALWAYS inspire me!!!!!


  16. What a fun thing to think about as I scour the web for great and fun design. I checked them out and love the looks of so many rooms. Can they take one of my rooms and do a high for me? I would love to see them do more.

  17. so right there with ya! agree that i can’t see a diff in those first two pics! even the chair has the same awkward lilt. hmm anyway.. love that site and fun to see someone else obsessing over it too! ;)

  18. Husband to me..”What’s for dinner Hon?”

    Me to Husband…”Sorry, I never made it to the market, but hey..can you tell the difference between this kitchen and that one?”

    Husband to me…” yeah..the one on the right has FOOD on the table!”

    He would notice that first ;->

    Thanks for giving me one more way to get computer sidetracked

    Janet xox

  19. This is great – I have always wanted to find a design blog where someone could find more reasonable versions of the expensive rooms! As far as the first two rooms, if you go to the blog you can see the high end room – the differences are very apparent. Thanks again for posting!

  20. Oh wow. I seriously can’t tell which would be which. This is addicting! I’m redesigning my living room to resemble a designer page for Home and Garden… so this is inspiring!

  21. Love this! It just proves yet again that it’s possible to achieve high style on a medium/low budget.

    I’m having a giveaway for a $50 shopping spree at Joss & Main! Come on over to enter!

  22. I want to the site & took the quiz. (I only got 2 wrong), but it was HARD. The difference was in the tiny details like a currve on a table leg, piping on a pillow. What fun! Thanks for sharing.

  23. Love it! This could seriously become addicting!! Can’t remember the name of it, but didn’t HGTV used to have a show that did this. I always remember being in awe of how awesome the “low” room could in comparison to the “high”. There were times I like the low better!!!

  24. …the garden stool is on a different side of the table, the picture you have up top on this post shows the same room twice, but in the quiz they are different.

  25. Kate – your post of the pics are the same…the ones on the site ARE different….look at the sticker on the light fixture on the low – a silver sticker is visible….its not there on the high version…
    Also, on the S@H site, the little pot with the purple flowers is clearly different. Just a little mistake copying pics I bet.

  26. Great game! And I do see very subtle differences between the spaces. But it’s very minor. Although the first pic I can’t find anything different at all.
    And Yes KATE you can have that job and ROCK it out like you do everything else :-)))

  27. yeah… if you follow the link they have two photos of the garden scene and they’re a little different. Still super cool but I think you have the exact same pictures for the top one.

  28. Hilarious Janet! I got word from SOH that they think their intern goofed on that garden scene . . we will wait to see if they switch it out for a different pic.
    Glad you’re all enjoying this game as much as me! Sorry about the lost time . . . heh heh.

  29. You should totally start a new feature… Have people send you inspirational rooms they love, and you give ideas on how to recreate for less! (paint colors, furniture sources, DIY ideas, etc)

    That way, you CAN have that job!

  30. I do the same thing..look at a room a wonder if I could do it for cheaper. What a fun job that would be! Off to check out the game…

  31. My friend Christine is one of the stylists who does this series for Style at Home. She gets paid to shop, prop and return items and even she will admit it’s the best job in the world.

  32. How did you know that i did neither laundry nor dishes today? Well thanks for the handy excuse! It just sits here and mocks me and i just want to read blogs! LOL. hope your day is more productive than mine!

  33. For commentor Lauren-
    The show on HGTV was called Sensible Chic! I wish they’d bring it back. I’m all House Hunter’d out. And I agree, most of the time I liked the “low” version better.

  34. Guys, the Garden Room DOES have different stuff on either side.

    Here’s the list:

    1. White tables are different. Rounded ball base on one, another one is double rounded smaller balls base.
    2. Blue chinoiserie stools are different (one is lower than the other, other one also has holes in it)
    3. One side has chairs that have a base which is straight, the other side has chairs that have a curved base.
    4. One vase is narrow and short, the other side has a vase that is tall and fat.
    5. One side has a lamp that’s pagoda-ish cuboid rectangle. Other side has a regular cuboid pendant lamp.
    6. One side has a bowl with flowers that is opaque blue, another one is blue+white.

    If I had to guess, the one on the left side is the more expensive one.

    They did a great job though. Fooled everyone, LOL.

  35. I love that feature of Style at Home too! I just got a killer offer in the mail for subscribing, and you might be tipping the scales. So often I actually like the cheaper version better!

  36. I enjoy decorating. I have just moved to Canada and I practicall furnished my entire house with FREE kijiji stuff and garage sale finds.I can always replicate a high end decor.

    Like I bought a wassily chair and slice chair at $25 each with free delivery. Can u beat that.

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