Tag Archives | dining chairs

The Gifter :: Black Friday Ops

Black Friday. Just days away, it’s the biggest (and craziest) shopping day of the year. Limited “doorbusters” attract massive crowds and can create endless lines. In many cases bargain items are snatched up in the wee hours of the morning.

So what does one do to best navigate Black Friday Sales? This is the HomeGoods and POPSUGAR mission this week for #TheGifter.

black-friday ops #TheGifter

I’m not one for massive crowds, so when I hit the stores on Black Friday I plan ahead and so should you. Here are some of my strategies on how to best navigate Black Friday sales.

Create a List

Be organized.  It’s faster and less stressful to get in and out when you know what you are shopping for. Create a comprehensive list of specific items and how much you want to spend. This way you will avoid impulse buying and going over budget.

Check Return Policies

Make sure you read the fine print regarding returns before buying. Often times, deep discounted items are final sale and therefore not ideal to give as gifts.

Go Where You Know

Valuable time can be lost when shopping at stores for the first time. For this reason I only shop stores I know on Black Friday. Being familiar with the layout, helps you locate items on your list more quickly.

Say No to the Doorbuster

This may be a little controversial, but I find it’s much easier to navigate store aisles if I avoid the “doorbuster.” These items tend to be in limited quantities, yet attract the masses. I aim for less-coveted deals that still provide real value.

Shopping at HomeGoods gives you Black Friday deals  on ever-changing products anytime.  And during the holidays, they allow you to be the ultimate gifter by offering the best value on designer gifts for everyone on your list. Here are some of the remarkable in-store items I uncovered this week at my local HomeGoods…

acrylic bamboo style chair #thegifter

Acrylic is a huge trend in home decor and can be very pricey. This chic acrylic bamboo style chair caught my eye and the price stopped me in my tracks. It’s a high-end designer look, without breaking the bank.

large-scale zebra art #thegifter

Large-scale black and white photography or artwork is a perfect way to accessorize and elevate your interiors. It also makes a fabulous gift. This beautifully framed large-scale zebra art was a steal at $199.99 compared to $400 at department stores. Love it!

hand-painted serving dishes from Portugal - holiday gifts #thegifter

This exquisite hand-painted serving dish made in Portugal would make a fabulous gift for the cook on your list. Found at HomeGoods for only $20.90 … a HUGE savings from the original $60 price-tag! Now that’s a doorbuster!

It’s your turn to get in on the action and be entered to win a $500 TJX gift card!  Simply tweet your Black Friday tips or a gift idea to any of the TJX brands (HomeGoodsMarshalls and TJMaxx)  using #TheGifter.

Happy shopping!


*Disclosure: This post was sponsored by TJX through their partnership with POPSUGAR. While I was compensated to write this post about TJX #TheGifter, all opinions are my own.

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Read full story By on November 24, 2013 in Christmas, discounts, gift guide, Holiday, HomeGoods

Book Review :: Suzanne Tucker Interiors – The Romance of Design

San Francisco’s award winning interior designer, Suzanne Tucker co-founder of Tucker & Marks Design is hailed for developing elegant, enchanting and always perfectly balanced spaces. Her timeless designs are inviting and draw us in with layered art and antiques transitioning between classic and contemporary, casual and formal.

Following the huge success of her first book, Rooms to Remember, I was thrilled to learn of Suzanne’s newest publication to be released October 15th. Suzanne Tucker Interiors: The Romance of Design by Monacelli Press is truly inspiring. Suzanne offers readers a view into her design process and intimate glimpses into her clients’ luxurious homes (including Tucker’s own home). With over 280 stunning images, selecting ones to share with you was the hardest part of of this review, however here are a few of my favorites:

Marin Living Room - Suzanne Tucker InteriorsDining Area - Suzanne Tucker InteriorsSpanish chinoiserie leather screen - living room - Suzanne TuckerEntry Hall - Suzanne Tucker Designssuzanne tucker quote18th c Spanish Vargueno desk - Suzanne Tucker Designkitchen - Suzanne Tucker Interiorsformal dining room - Suzanne Tucker InteriorsElegant Entry - Suzanne Tucker Interiorsaqua-colored grasscloth wallcovering - bedroom - Suzanne Tuckercouture dressing room - Suzanne Tucker Interiors


I’m thrilled to add this wonderful book to my design library … it’s a must for any design aficionado and would make a lovely gift!


*all images used with permission // Tucker & Marks


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Read full story By on September 30, 2013 in Bedroom, bedrooms, book, book review, chinoiserie, Closets, foyers, interior design, Interiors, Kitchen, Living Room, traditional

Interview :: Interior Designer Graciela Rutkowski

In 2003, Seattle based and self-taught decorator, Graciela Rutkowski was named one of House Beautiful’s America’s Top Young Designers. I first saw her work published on blogs and pinned on Pinterest and became an instant fan of her classic style with a fresh twist. Graciela combines old and new effortlessly and makes you believe that the process evolved over time. Each space is inviting, unique and beautiful.

I’m thrilled to be interviewing Graciela today!

airy designer dining room

Simplified Bee: When did you know you wanted to be an interior designer?

Graciela Rutkowski: I  didn’t really until I decorated my own house, let’s just say, I’m a late bloomer, but when I think back on the things I would do as play as a child.  I was always either building the houses my dolls were going to live in, or playing store.    I never actually played with the dolls, it was all about finding creative ways to decorate and build their homes.  – funny how I now do that in grown up houses 🙂

traditinal living room with large artwork

SB:  How would you describe your personal style?

GR:  I’d like to say casually elegant. Classics with a bit of modern thrown in.

pink daybed girls bedroom

SB:  Who would you most like to collaborate with on a project?

GR:  I should probably throw out a really pretentious sounding artist that I came across, but I love collaborating with contractors and tradesmen, I know this doesn’t sound very glamorous,  but they are the people actually building the things we imagine, they work with the materials all day long and have so much experience.   I’m always amazed at the skill level, dedication  and the patience that they have to complete a job beautifully, true artisans always make me look good!

black cabinets home office

SB:  Do you have “go to” paint colors? If so, which ones?

GR:  Yes!  My favorite paint – especially for the northwest is Benjamin Moore, Revere Pewter,  It’s a warm grey color and looks great against white trim.  It’s one of those magic colors, that take on the characteristics of what is around it.  So if you’re not sure if your palate will be grey or beige, it will work with either.  Hale Navy is a great navy  – also by Benjamin Moore. Racoon Fur is a great dark grey/black, it looks especially nice on metal. Pratt and Lambert Seed Pearl is a beautiful white for trims.

I also love BLACK.  I joke with my painter that my house is slowly getting painted black, my dining room has black walls, as well as my sun room, and all the doors are slowly getting painted black also.  Maybe I’ll get to the end, then start all over again, lightening it all up again.

styled designer bookcase

SB:  Which of today’s interior design trends are here to stay and which ones will we see fade away?

GR:  I think the classic tried and true will always be around, leopard prints are always fun and add a bit of glamour.   Lucite, fur, I love painted furniture, in a single solid shiny color.   I hope color stays around, I can’t stand a room without it.  Even if it’s just a pop here and there.

Oversized airplane part furniture – hmmmmm? Too much of the industrial look.

Mustaches?  I’m sorry, I don’t get it , maybe I’m too old.

foo dog lamp in contemporary living roominterior design tip

SB:  Where do you recommend clients splurge versus save?

GR:  Splurge on your family room sofa!  It will be the most used piece of furniture you own.  Splurge on pillow fabric.  Not everyone can afford Fortuny drapery, but give yourself a little luxury and buy a few yards for pillows, they are like fantastic earrings on the little black dress.

elegant designer bedroom

Splurge on fine linens for your bed.  You will never spend as much time as you do in your bed, and they touch your skin, splurge on the best sheeting and have some pretty embroidery or monogram put on them, it’s not as expensive as you think.  Don’t be fooled by thread-count, it doesn’t mean anything.  Go for what feels the best.

pearlized lamp shades

Splurge on beautiful shades for lamps.  They can transform a simple lamp, into something fantastic.  Our new obsession is pearlized fabric. We are making shades out of it, and it,s like a thousand sparkly lights coming out of the shade. (see above image)

Save on the custom tiles, there are so many fantastic designs and creative ways of using existing designs, unless it’s a very personalized design I’m not sure when I would use it.

Save on the furniture in your bedroom.  I know, we all want to think we will use that beautiful Chaise, but it’s probably going to just hold clothing.

traditional living room with lantern

SB:  Fill in the blank. No room is complete without…

GR:  a bit of leopard!! GRRRRRR

traditional family room in blue and yellow

SB:  What’s next for Graciela Rutkowski Interiors?

GR: We recently opened our first retail store near my home in the University District of Seattle,  I’m hoping it becomes a fun place for people to stop in for inspiration whether it’s furniture, accessories or a fun gift.

purple and orange flower arrangement

Flowers are in our future – we are expanding to offer special events and seasonal floral in our store.  We had a lot of fun this last Christmas with greenery for the home.  Customers could pre-order their wreaths and Catherine our fabulous floral designer was there during pick up and she embellished the wreaths with ornaments, ribbon, birds, and other fun accessories.  It was so much fun and we loved the fun holiday feel.  We’re hoping to offer more seasonal quick pick ups for mothers day, birthdays etc.

We are also working on offering our store online, that’s a giant project, but hoping to have it up and running later this year.

We also have expanded our studio offices and should be opening in Mid March, we’ve moved around from my tiny basement to the store to now, our new offices.  – yes we have leopard carpeting!


Thank you Graciela for sharing your time, expertise and inspiration!


*images via Graciela Rutoski Interiors

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Read full story By on March 6, 2013 in bedrooms, color, Design Tips, dining rooms, Features, girl's bedroom, interior design, Interiors, interview, Interviews, living rooms, Tips/Tricks

Top 5 Favorite Dining Chairs

With the holidays fast approaching, for many the focus will be on the dining room. A special place in a home where family and friends come together to eat, converse and pray. We all want our guests to be comfortable, and providing just the right chair is the first step.

When selecting chairs for your dining table (and they don’t have to match styles), there are several things to consider. First, make sure that the dimensions of the dining space are congruent with the size of the dining table and chairs so that the room’s size does not overpower the furniture (or vice versa). Second, make sure that the chair’s seat height isn’t too high or low for the table: There should be around 12 inches between the top of the seat and the top of the table.

Now that you know what size chair would best fit your table and space, the fun part of selecting a style begins. With tons of styles to choose from, it might be hard to narrow it down, so I’ve rounded up my favorite dining chairs in an Ideabook on Houzz and am sharing my top five here.

white chinese chippendale chairs

1. Classic Chinese Chippendale Dining Chairs :: 1st Dibs

Thomas Pheasant Dining Chair for Baker2. 1940s inspired Thomas Pheasant Chair :: Baker

Swedish Gustavian Klismos Chairs

3. Antique, Swedish Klismos Chairs :: 1st Dibs

orange loop back chairs by Frances Elkins

4. Lacquered Loop Back Chairs by Frances Elkins – 1st Dibs

colorful wishbone chairs5. Colorful Wishbone Chairs – Room & Board

 What’s your favorite dining chair?


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Read full story By on October 17, 2012 in antiques, chairs, chinoiserie, dining rooms, furniture, houzz, Interiors