Saturday, May 02, 2009

Not Quite The Real Thing, But Pretty Close!

I’m not know for my skills at bargain hunting; in fact it is usually quite the opposite. I’m a fantastic shopper, but I’m the one who can never find anything in the sale racks and almost always ends up paying retail.

Bearing all that in mind, I found a very clever imitation of the absolutely gorgeous Swarovski candle holder (in the top photograph) in the home department of the UK retailer Next (in the second photograph). I was amazed at how similar in appearance their version was. The photograph does not really do it justice - sitting on my dining room table it really does look like the real thing.

Now this is where I do have to point out that there is nothing like Swarovski. Their beautiful crystal is something I love to collect, and I’m lucky to have a number of their pieces. Their candle holders are still very much on my list of things I would be very happy to add to my collection. Also, I have held the Swarovski version of these candleholders and of course there is a weight to them that lets you know they are the real thing. But just for the moment, the ones from Next are looking very beautiful on my dining room table and, provided no one picks them up, it is unlikely the fact they are an homage to the Swarovski version would be apparent. (Except for the fact that I am now admitting it here!)

It just shows that you really can decorate beautifully on a budget. The Swarovski version above come in at £122 each (about $182 US at today’s exchange rate) and the Next version cost £7 (about $10US). So - and this is something I can rarely say after a shopping trip - buying a pair I saved over two hundred pounds (nearly $300US)!

The other thing I find interesting is that I had put a photograph of the Swarovski candle holders on my vision board, and suddenly I found the ones at Next. Okay, they are not “the real thing” but for the moment I’m very happy with the “next” best thing. (You’ll have to forgive me that one, it’s my first pun in ages!)

I think a pair of these would make a beautiful addition to any dining room - or a lovely house warming gift for that matter.

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