Budget rooms: Walmart vs. Target. Living Room Price Comparison

 

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I went to Walmart over the weekend to get batteries. As I was walking through, I passed by a bunch of canisters and Tupperware storage items and thought “I bet I could blog about this.” It’s so easy to walk into Target and ooh and aah over all the cute Threshold or Nate Berkus merchandise.

Target has been under fire recently for its new trans-inclusive bathroom policy and many folks are claiming they will no longer grace the aisles of Tarjay. Well…that’s too bad. But this may be especially helpful to them. Can we pull off a cute room with ONLY walmart merchandise?

Of course, there are those who wouldn’t dare shop at walmart. That it hurts local businesses, its foreign child labor, its underpaid employees and poor healthcare offerings. I get it! But let us assume the reader, or you yourself do not care about such and are interested in budget design.

I have never been on walmart.com for anything more than a bedframe so I was shocked to find they operate more like a furniture listing site, carrying merchandise from a multitude of dealers/brands. Much of which is found on Wayfair and Overstock. It even tells you “sold and shipped through Wayfair”. How about that. Target operates the same way they just aren’t as transparent about it. Both sites offer some of the same product, like this sofa w/t).

I was interested in knowing if I could create an attractive room with only Walmart brand merchandise.

If money is tight or you’re a frugal Sally interested in design and having a beautiful living space, you do not have to compromise aesthetics (quality, yah. Not gettin’ that at WM). No matter how small the budget, you can create something beautiful. And don’t forget there’s always the thrift store!

Here is my walmart brand only room, using only Better Homes and Gardens and Mainstay brands. Those are the only brands I know for sure belong to Walmart (like Threshold is to Target). I’m assuming you can walk into walmart and buy most of this stuff right off the shelf.

walmartlivingroom

This was definitely challenging!! My goodness!! Especially limiting our selection to 2 brands. But hey, I think this room looks pretty good!

It was impossible to create an eclectic room like I would normally create because there really weren’t any vintage inspired pieces to choose from (I guess if you squint real hard, these folding chairs could be super dooper generic knock off Mies van der Rohe Barcelona chairs). So, this resulted. Bonus points if you know what movie is playing.

I hated all the coffee tables so I chose to use 2 accent tables. It’s a  pretty popular trick (1, 2, 3). Our color palette is neutral but we jazz it up with some fun throw pillows and a bright throw blanket. In real life the sofa is brown so you better jazz it up REAL good. The lumbar pillows are technically outdoor pillows but hey nobody has to know. And 2 come for the price of 1. The lamps also come 2 for 1! 2 lamps for $39. Duuuude.

The rug is walmart’s affordable attempt at a Moroccan beni ourain shag. Can’t pay $4,000? Pay $63! It’s only a 5×7 so in a real room you’d probably have all the furniture off the rug. Or maybe if you’re in a small space, the front legs on. I also liked these rugs: 1,2, 3. Not for this room, but in general.

I liked the BH&G runner a lot so I chose that to sit under our tv. I did not like any of the poopoo media stands so I went with a bedroom dresser. Dressers are beautiful and ever so useful/practical storage, why not put one in the living room!

The bookcases come in packs, ready to be assembled. I’m sure you’ve seen those in store.

We’ve got a diamond motif working throughout the room pulling all the pieces together. In the bookcases, the accent tables, the pillows, and in the rugs.

walmartlivingroomprice

Bookshelves/ sofa/ chair/ side table/ accent table (for coffee)/ blue pillow/ gold pillow/ blue lumbar/ throw/ drum shade/ table lamp/ bamboo floor lamp/ planter/ tv/ dresser/ rug/ runner

Does this look like a room created with walmart only products? Looking at this room I don’t think you’d ever know it came from Walmart! You don’t have to buy a futon or an mdf desk. So, there ya go…some affordable stuff arranged in a visually appealing way.

Now let’s look at Target in comparison. Using only Target brands.

targetlivingroom

Dannnng.  This is completely different from Walmart. I really like the slipper chairs, chandelier (so trendy right now), and those parquet tables! Again, I didn’t care for the coffee table selection so I went with 2 end tables.

I’ve always liked lavender and yellow together. What a pair. And blue and yellow never hurt my eyes either. 😉 All tied together with a nubby 7 x 10 Nate Berkus rug.

Target’s sofa selection is slim pickins. I just don’t love what’s there. This was my first choice, in taupe, but ultimately I decided against it. Who says you have to have a full size sofa? A love seat and a room full of chairs would suit me just fine. I love chairs! Got a Manhattan apartment? You need a loveseat. Don’t have a gigantic boyfriend who complains about sofa size? Get a loveseat.  If you move around a lot, or live in apartments up flights of stairs, a loveseat is great. I wish someone would have told me that the 10 years I lugged around a massive sofa (literally needed 3-4 people to move the darn thing year after year)!

I really wanted more of a muted pillow color scheme of greens, purples, browns, and yellows but that wasn’t available. So, I went with blues and yellows. I also really wanted a beautiful buffet to hang a picture over but the only thing I ended up liking was the green cabinet. I couldn’t settle for any of the generic art so I cheated and threw in a self-portrait of Josef Albers. That and the bust are not Target but everything else is.

 

targetlivingroomprice

Chandelier/ parquet side table/ mid-century table/ loveseat/ blue pillow/ stripe pillow*/ gold pillow/ peach pillow/ slipper chair/ ottoman/ mid-century chair/ blue wingback/ drum shade/ lamp/ mirror/ giraffe/ vase 1/ vase 2/ yellow vase/ basket tray/ tv stand/ cabinet/ tv/ rug

*Not sold in stores, oops.

So, for a difference of only $500 I don’t know why you’d choose to shop Walmart when Target offers a better product. I assume you have your reasons!

I am pleased with both rooms and welcome your thoughts and opinions! Which is your favorite?  Are you more traditional family-friendly with the Walmart room or like me more eclectic and vintage loving and into the Target decor?

Maybe I should have gone one step further and combined both sites! There’s an idea…best of both worlds.

 

 

For fun, and design inspiration for you, I took to walmart.com and target.com and created 3 more living rooms, utilizing the vast array of brands both sites offer (no brand filter).

Our first look is sort of Traditional, with mid-century elements..

traditionalwalmartlivingroom

(Benjamin Moore Bridal Pink paint color)

I love those leather chairs, but I don’t know if I could get past the fact they’re not real leather. But the overall shape and cushiness has me weak in the knees. I also really like that peacock rug.

traditionalwalmartlivingroomprice

 

Red pillow/ yellow pillow / blue pillow/ blue cheetah pillow/ floral slipper/ alternative flax slipper/ copper plate/ woven vase/ blue and white vase/ elephant table/ mirror/ end table/ club chair/ coffee table/ floor lamp/ curtains/ rug/ sofa

Next see a Hollywood Regency inspired living space.

walmarthollywoodregency

I am in love with this amazing wallpaper.

Imagine yourself in the 1930s. You’re a famous movie starlet, traipsing about your shiny Hollywood hills mansion in a velvet gown, stirring up cocktails for your nearest and dearest. But wait! It’s 2016!

The white chairs jumped out at me because they look like these Mitchell Gold chairs. But at $277 a piece, not $1000+! This chair style is seen in a lot of designer rooms.

I would totally have a glamorous party in this room, how about you!?

walmarthollywoodregencyprice

Red crystal chandelier/ bar cart/ swivel chair/ alternative swivelpython side table/ blue floral pillow/ white fur pillow/ polka dot bolster/ black geometric pillow/ lucite bench/ shell/ bird/ peace sign hand/ chandelier lamp/ alternative gold lamp/ gold side table/ etagere/ lucite coffee table/ alternative coffee table/ wall mirror/ mirror pictured/ black highback chair/ alternative stool/ succulent art/ convertible sofa/ pink rug

 

Let’s see what Target’s got going on!

A Scandinavian Rustic living room.

targetscandinavianrusticlivingroom

 

I’m digging the blue geometric chairs with the red floral rug. It’s important to have a print and color to balance out neutral pieces. I am not a fan of gray but I think the sofa and other chair work well in the room. I don’t understand Scandinavian style to be very colorful.

Target has a couple credenzas/tv stands (1, 2) but they did not go with this room so I used 2 media consoles pushed together. I was drawn to the long brass pulls and the mahogany finish.

I could spend all day looking at coffee tables but in this exercise I pretty much chose what I was drawn to first for each room and it pretty much worked out each time. This glass table is cut in an organic shape and is held up on hair pin legs. The glass is laid with teak, a popular danish/Scandinavian wood! Tralala! Also, this table is just like those chunks of salvaged/live edge wood coffee tables that are popular which lends to our rusticness.

targetscandinavianrusticlivingroomprice

Wall mirror/ brass lamp/ side table/ alternative side tableconvertible sofa/ throw blanket/ blue pillow/ plaid pillow/ chevron pillow/ rhino/ wooden vase/ wooden bowl/ white vase/ blue bowl/ gray chair/ pouf/ marble tulip table/ coffee table/ floor lamp/ blue chairs/ red rug/ media console

This was a fun exercise in putting rooms together.

Hope it inspired you in some way! What I learned from the non-filtered walmart search is they list from sites like wayfair and overstock, and list an even lower price. Next time I’m hunting on those types of sites, I’ll be sure to price compare on walmart, too. I also learned Target does not offer much in the way of sofa selection. I was surprised by that!

 

Overall I’d say walmart appeals to a more conservative, older crowd (Better Homes and Gardens) and Target appeals to a younger, hip generation that is interested in current design trends (Threshold and guest designer series).

I personally will continue to shop Target for side tables and lamps. I’m quite a fan of Safavieh. And based on my own preference for mid-century, it is the store that suits my tastes. If only I could get them to send me those Laurel slipper chairs….:D

But I hope the take away from above is that with careful thought and consideration, a die hard walmart devotee could easily create a beautiful room on a budget. There is no need to purchase this or that!

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