Chloe Daley, editorial production assistant — The Dollar Store
"Some people thought I got the short end of the stick having to go to the dollar store, but secretly, I was pumped! The 99 cent store might be one of my favorite places to shop, because it's full of so many treasures. I wanted to go a little crazy and create a very whimsical, colorful space for an illustrator or designer. I decided to keep the clipboards their natural color, but they could easily be painted and used in kitchens or laundry rooms, too! I couldn't find a un-tacky container for holding papers and magazines so I ended up just covering one in brown paper to keep with the theme. Also, I might go back and get more of the polka-dot drinking glasses for my kitchen — they're such mood-lifters!"
Diana Nguyen, senior editor — IKEA
"My personal aesthetic is clean and modern, and, lucky for me, so is IKEA's, plus it's known for being super-affordable. Easy-peasy, right? So wrong! A four-hour shopping excursion through a labyrinth and $1 ice cream cone later, there were a few extra items I wanted (a perfect $5.99 rug) but couldn't afford. Thankfully, frames are a great and cheap way to infuse personality (with my favorite fashion editorials, a personal photo, and a collage of cartoons from my bible, The New Yorker) into the mix. With a neutral color palette, the pops of color in the frame and the orchid were worth almost a fifth of my budget. Minimalism all the way!"
Kristian Laliberte, senior editor — Kmart
"I wanted to create a desk aesthetic for a creative, very visual person. Obviously, some of the clutter of my own life carried through. I'm not a fan of spare spaces — I like being surrounded by a lot of 'stuff.' I was really surprised by how expensive Kmart was, to be honest! And, the Astor Place location felt a little depressing and confusing. It was hard to have a real strategy in place, because I am unfamiliar with what Kmart sells — while I had this colorful vision in my mind, it took some effort to find all the moving pieces. I ended up discovering a whole plant section in the basement, though, and the violets were only $1.99, which was one really amazing bargain I found. I'll be shopping there for plants more often in the future!"
Photographed by Erin Yamagata