Tag Archives | interior designer

Book Review :: David Hicks Scrapbooks

David Hicks // David Hicks Scrapbooks @simplifiedbee

David Hicks, the iconic English interior designer, is best known for his bold use of color and geometric pattern as well as his famous clientele including British royals. His inspiring career spanned nearly five decades – from the 1950s to the 1990s, Hicks carefully and thoughtfully chronicled his vast work and accomplishments in scrapbooks. Clips from shelter magazines featuring his designs, newspaper articles, ticket stubs and personal letters from clients were just some of the memorabilia collected in the twenty-five volumes he created.

David Hicks Scrapbooks // Book Review @simplifiedbee

The precious scrapbooks became his legacy and his son and interior designer, Ashley Hicks pared down over 3,000 pages to just over 300 of the best that are featured in a newly released book, David Hicks Scrapbooks by Vendome. First off, the book’s cover is a stunner – it’s coffee table worthy for sure. And as you flip through the collage style pages with drawing and handwritten notes, you get a personal glimpse into the fascinating world of David Hicks. This beautiful book is a must for any Hicks fan and a great addition to your design library.

David Hicks Scrapbook page // book review @simplifiedbeeDavid Hicks Scrapbook page // book review @simplifiedbeeDavid Hicks Scrapbook page // book review @simplifiedbee

*all images used with permission // Vendome

**this post contains affiliate links


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Read full story By on September 20, 2017 in book, book review, Features, interior design, pattern

Interview :: Interior Designer Cynthia Collins

For over two decades, Dallas, Texas based interior designer, Cynthia Collins of Collins Interiors has been creating beautiful  interiors that are inviting, timeless and functional. I first saw her work pinned on Pinterest and became an instant fan of her classic style with a fresh twist. Collins Interiors pride themselves in working closely with clients on the smallest of  details resulting in designs that is unique and personal. For a timeless, curated look, Cynthia and her team are also known to hand pick antiques, lamps, art or other accessories for clients while traveling abroad.

I’m thrilled to be interviewing Cynthia today!

wishbone barstools in kitchen

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

Cynthia Collins: As a young girl, I was always keen on my surroundings.  It wasn’t until later that I realized at an early age I was responding differently to spaces — I could immediately feel the difference between a pleasant room and an uninviting room.  Also, my grandmother collected Asian inspired pieces (she was ahead of her time!) — I just took an interest in her collection at an early on and still love all things with an Asian influence.  I think this may have spurred my interest in all things design related!

coastal chic living room - Collins Interiors

SB: How would you describe your personal style?
CC: My style evolves — I appreciate a lot of different looks.  But I like things to look clean and timeless.
sofa side table lamp and artwork - Collins Interiors
SB: Who would you most like to collaborate with on a project?
CC: Matisse!  If only, right?!  I’d love to commission him for one of his pieces during his Fauvism movement.  The colors are brilliant!
coastal chic living room
SB: Do you have “go to” paint colors? If so, which ones?
CC: One of my favorite whites is Benjamin Moore Linen White.  It seems to have the perfect combo of soft and crisp.
blue and white moroccan wallpaper
SB:  Where do you recommend clients splurge?
CC: I’m a big believer in art!  Art is the best way to get such a diverse range of colors and mediums into your home.  In most cases, great art only appreciates.  I also think it’s important to splurge on trims (flanges, cords, tapes, etc) —  they are guaranteed to separate your home from your neighbors.  So often we see client’s with a big room and a standard size rug.  Splurge for a custom-size rug to fit your room.  Your room will grow beyond measure!
pink and blue girls bedroom
SB:  You have embraced social media and write a blog in addition to being on Facebook. What is your advice to other interior designers who are timid about trying social media marketing outlets?
CC: Do it!  I have gotten a wealth of great feedback from our social media efforts — it’s just the nature of the marketing landscape these days.  It’s such a helpful tool to connect one-on-one with my clients and followers.  We have an instagram too, come find us! @blue_print_store
casual modern dining area with cluster chandelierinterior design tip - lighting sets the mood
SB: Fill in the blank.  No room is complete without…
CC: good lighting!!!  Great lamps and overhead fixtures are key to setting a comfortable mood in your home.
chic home office in bedroom
SB:   Tell us about your store Blue Print and how it came to be.
CC: Four of my dear friends and I traveled for years to the UK and France for own design firms and in 2010 decided it was due time for a storefront!  Blue Print is a home design shop specializing in custom upholstery, lighting, rugs, accessories and original art set in a restored 1920s home in uptown, Dallas, TX
Phillip Jefferies Wallcovering in Powder Room
SB: What’s next for Collins Interiors?
CC: My staff and I are just buzzing along — we have several projects out of state right now which is keeping us mighty busy!  I’ve challenged my team to design new pieces for Blue Print’s custom furniture line.  It’s all very fun and exciting!


Thank you Cynthia for your time and we will be on the look out for your new furniture line!
*all images courtesy of Collins Interiors


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Read full story By on August 8, 2013 in Bathroom, Bedroom, Features, Girl, interior design, Interiors, interview, Interviews, Kitchen, Living Room

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