John F. Saladino
Whenever I see that (rather snarky) quote, I always think of Sarah Jessica Parker, and her design ambitions in The First Wives Club!
Ah yes....the DD just about all of us can relate to at some level or another: Budget. Budget is what it is - and therefore, this post probably won't be all that enlightening, BUT, look on the bright side - our budgets act as built-in editors. If my pockets were deep as the abyss, and money were no object - I'd REALLY never be able to make up my mind! ;)
We've all seen the DIY shows on HGTV, and heard legendary tales of fabulous finds at the Goodwill and Salvation Army stores (see Eddie Ross), but seeing the potential "diamond" amongst a pile of "rough" IS a skill - one that takes time and practice to hone.
To acquire said skill, my suggestion is to read, read, read. Look at the shelter mags or books that represent your particular taste; dog-ear, make tearsheets, scan images - do whatever it is you need to do to impress upon your mind what appeals to your aesthetic sense. Once these images are ingrained in your mind, items that can be transformed into similar looks (on a budget) should become easier to spot.
And don't discount places you would've never thought to check for deals... Look what I spied on ShopNBC...after seeing the go-to suggestion in a mag...
So, be smart and savvy...and have the huge satisfaction of creating great design on a budget!