Home furnishings

A reason to get to West Elm Saturday morn

Friday, June 19th, 2009

West Elm (3821 Gallagher Dr., Edina, 952-835-8332) throws open the doors an hour early Saturday for customer appreciation. In addition to a free breakfast, three free, short seminars will be offered: “How to re-style a room for less than $500 without buying new furniture,” “How to take a dining room table from afternoon casual to formal evening,” and “How to style a bedroom.” Attendees also get free space planning on the computer, so bring dimensions of your room and furniture pieces. A printout of the design is provided.  One-on-one design service in the store is also free.

Topping it off, everyone gets 10 percent off purchases made that day. Even sweeter, many summer enteraining pieces are already discounted 25 percent.

Home furnishings sales this weekend. Where to begin?

Friday, April 17th, 2009

The biggest crowds of the weekend will show up at the annual Blu Dot warehouse sale. It runs from 9 a.m. to noon at 3236 California St. NE., Minneapolis. I haven’t been to their sale in a while but am told the best stuff is gone within an hour. Get in line by 8 a.m. or earlier to get a good spot. Unfamiliar with Blu Dot? Consider it a step up from Ikea in price and quality and a step down from Ligne Roset.

As long as we’re on the subject of Ikea and popular sales, Sunday is the last day of April’s Seize the Day specials. Sunday’s special includes the 60-piece tableware set, including complete service for 6: Flatware, porcelain plates in three sizes, mugs, red wine and drinking glasses. Regularly, Ikea sells the set for $90, but it’s on sale for $40 Sunday only. Again, be there when the doors open because it will sell out. Grab one and then take advantage of the free breakfast (also while supplies last).

 Natural Built Home at 4020 Minnehaha Av. S., Minneapolis, 612-605-7999, helps the home remodeler who wants to think green. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday April 18, NBH brings out overstocks, samples, returns and discontinued merch for its warehouse sale. There will be deals on flooring, tile, sinks, countertops, and other items.

A couple of sales in progress (may be picked over): Hunt & Gather Antiques (4944 Xerxes Av. S., Minneapolis, 612-455-0250) has a storewide 20 percent off sale through Sunday. Bjorling & Grant home accessories is a high-end store (4906 35th St. W., St. Louis Park, 612-827-3000) which on a bad day looks like Pier 1 and on a good day looks like an international art museum. Everything is discounted 50 percent through Saturday.

Is Bed, Bath & Beyond losing its competitive edge?

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Competition is a good thing for consumers. When the competition fails, things start to change. Case in point: Now that Linens N Things is closing, Bed, Bath & Beyond is  strictly enforcing the expiration dates on its “20 percent off one item” coupons. Remember when you could let the coupons stack up because BBB accepted its own expired coupons? You could buy 10 items and use 10 coupons, eight of them expired. But no longer. Now the coupons have a big yellow warning to “Please use before the expiration date.”

I contacted BB&B to ask the reason for the policy change and was told by Catherine Gentile, PR manager, that customers should use the coupons before they expire. In other words, she dodged the question. Anyone else noticed any recent changes, good or bad, at Bed, Bath & Beyond?   

Restoration Hardware’s 20 percent off storewide sale

Friday, November 14th, 2008

Now through Sunday, Nov. 16, everything’s discounted 20 percent at Restoration Hardware, including clearance and sale items. The last time RH had a sale, only regular-priced merch was on sale. Online shoppers at www.restorationhardware.com should use the discount FF0817 or just walk in to the store on Grand Avenue in St. Paul or in the Galleria in Edina.

Ikea specials and a free breakfast Saturday (expired)

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

Ikea’s Seize the Days specials Saturday through Sunday (Oct. 11-13) are worth a serious look, especially if you’re considering flooring. The Tundra wood laminate (seven color choices) is normally $1.15 per square foot, but it’s discounted to 49 cents a square foot starting Saturday. It’s while supplies last, 25 boxes per customer. If you’re at all interested, I’d check it out before Saturday so you can consider color and amount needed.

Other great deals: Ikea’s 365+ cookware set for $20, regularly $60, the Norden dining table for $199 (regularly $400) and the 17-pc. Pruta food saver set for $2, regularly $5.

 Go to the link above and print out a coupon for a free breakfast Saturday until 10:30 a.m. These deals are part of Ikea’s biweekly specials. Sign up online if you’d like email notification.  

Two bargains at the Home & garden show

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

The fall Home & Garden show (Minneapolis Convention Center, 1301 2nd Ave. South, Minneapolis) has a couple of bargains for early birds.

 The National Kitchen & Bath Association has its annual high-end garage sale with items marked 35 to 90 percent off retail. Examples: a large tile assortment priced from $1 to $5 per tile including some Italian limestone that sold originally for $30 per piece; stainless steel sinks for $60 to $90 that were originally $600, whirlpool bath tubs for $700 that were originally $2,400; plus front loading dryers, stainless steel backsplash panels, misc. cabinets, and kitchen and bath sinks and faucets. 

A new event at the show is the sale of furniture items from the recent Luxury Home Tour. Discounts range from 50 to 80 percent. In the past, I have not been impressed with the Luxury Home Tour sales, so check carefully. If you haven’t shopped the item before, it might be worth checking online unless you really love the piece.

 It’s best to shop today (Friday) for the best selection on any of these items. The sale runs from 1-7 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Admission is $8 at the door or $6 at Cub Foods.  

Is Restoration Hardware on the decline?

Monday, August 18th, 2008

I’m a passive aggressive fan of Restoration Hardware. The clearance prices can be exceptional at 60 to 70 percent discounts. The towels and bedding are pricey but an exceptional value on sale. Still, I worry that the brand is slipping. Many of the items are made in China now. Some items, especially lighting, are plainly overpriced compared to similar or identical items at the competition. The fantastic selection of drawer pulls, which never go on sale, can be nearly duplicated at Menards for much less moolah.

The Fall Furnishings event in progress includes 20 percent discount on all drapery hardware. Not a big discount, but it’s the first time that the entire stock of drapery hardware has been discounted. All drapes are also discounted.

The current sale continues through Sept. 3. I’ll be watching for more cracks around the facade. (At least they dodged the bullet being bought out by Sears.) Anyone else think this traditional home furnishings store has peaked?  

Carpet deal

Friday, August 1st, 2008

Regular readers of my column Dollars & Sense (www.startribune.com/dollars) know that I think Jack Rubenstein Wholesalers (952-922-4781) offers the lowest prices locally on carpet–certainly lower than Empire Carpet, which may be fast, but not the value its TV ads claim.

But here’s an even better deal that started today and continues through Aug. 9. Building Materials Outlet, 2795 Hwy. 55 East, Eagan, 651-365-1141, (www.buildingmaterialsoutlet.com) currently has hundreds of rolls of carpet and remnants priced between 49 to 99 cents per square foot (about $4.50 to $9 per square yard). That’s an amazing value. The carpet is marked down because BMO is switching carpet vendors. If you haven’t been to BMO before, it’s a hidden treasure for building materials ranging from carpet and windows to wood trim and bath vanities.
Caveats: The selection isn’t as extensive as a showroom and you’ll have to find your own installer.