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Archive for the ‘Home & Garden’ Category

Jonathan Adler Uptown Update

Friday, February 17th, 2012

It’s been the worst kept retail secret for months, but finally, Jonathan Adler, the home furnishings and design company, has confirmed that it is building a store in Uptown at 1436 W. Lake St.–across the street from American Apparel. It could open as soon as March. A splashy opening party is in the works, too, and Mr. Adler intends to be there. Stay tuned for more details.

Jonathan Adler Flirting with Uptown

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Jonathan Adler is currently hiring an assistant manager and sales associates for a Minneapolis store listed on the company website as “coming soon.” Two local retail authorities have told me that Jonathan Adler plans to open a store in Uptown, near Lake and Hennepin. A company spokeswoman said this week that discussing it would be premature since the deal is not finalized. But the job listing does suggest negotiations are headed in the right direction.

Jonathan Adler is a home design company known for colorful, modern home furnishings and accessories. A company store would be a coup for Minneapolis, and in particular for Uptown, which is trying to position itself as a destination for contemporary design.

Nola Home Closing

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Before you get misty about the closing of Bryn Mawr design store Nola Home, know that owner Kelly Dorsey sounded almost giddy on the phone this morning–”like a kid on the last day of school.”

After five years at the store (and a whole career in retail and merchandising), she’s understandably burned out by the endless grind of bricks and mortar retail. But this is a transition more than an end for Dorsey, who is already fired up about her next project. All I can tell you now is it will involve home furnishings and exclusive imports. Stay tuned for a big announcement in March.

Meanwhile, a closing sale is on at Nola Home–50 to 90 percent off everything in store including furniture, accessories and gifts. Shhh: Another batch of sale merchandise will arrive on Saturday. Nola Home’s final day will be Jan. 17.

Look for a few Nola Home artists to move over to Honeyshine, the fab new home/design/gift store a couple of doors down in Bryn Mawr.

Nola Home, 404 Penn Ave. S., Mpls, 952-451-7802
414 Penn Ave. S., Mpls., 612-377-7300

Que Sera is Moving

Monday, January 9th, 2012

After 14 years at the Galleria in Edina, Que Sera is moving to downtown Excelsior. It’s not a move away from the Galleria as much as it is a move to Lake Minnetonka, which is home to owners Mary and Tom Lauer. Their successful Oh Baby! store will remain at Galleria, with an expanded design center.

“We’ve been looking at Excelsior for a long time,” said Chief Financial Officer Tom Lauer. “Excelsior hasn’t always had its retail act together, but it’s getting better and better all the time.”

Que Sera is taking over the Cynthia Rae storefront on Water Street. This is not the Lauers’ first lakeside storefront: They used to have an Oh Baby! store, which became an outlet, in downtown Wayzata. Rennovation is currently underway at 244 Water Street in Excelsior: the floor is being replaced with reclaimed hardwood, the tin ceiling is being refreshed, and the original brick walls will be revealed. The overall look, like the merchandise, will reflect designer Mary Lauer’s aesthetic: comfy, organic, handmade and luxurious. In Excelsior, Que Sera will continue to sell impulse items: jewelry, pillows, small accessories. But there will be more emphasis on design, and more space for larger pieces and textiles. Que Sera offers complete interior design services and handmakes much of the merchandise it sells, from window covers to furniture.

“I think the customers are here,” Tom Lauer said. “They just need a place to go.”

A floor sample sale is on now at the Galleria store–save 30 to 70 percent on all in-stock lighting and furniture through Jan. 28. Que Sera will re-open at 244 Water Street in Excelsior in early February. And–sorry, can’t resist–whatever will be, will be.

Accidental Barista

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

I am not a coffee drinker. Too bitter, too hot. For years, I started my morning with water or a splash of juice. I ordered steamed milk with almond flavor when forced to meet at coffee shops. Then my 30s happened. Kids. Career. Second career. I began to crave 12 ounces of  comfort and caffeination to kick start my day.

I like a non-fat vanilla latte. I don’t like the price.

No, I can’t learn to like plain coffee. I’ve tried. I didn’t even replace the coffee maker we got as a wedding gift when I dropped it on the floor a few years ago. What’s the point? I’ve looked at machines that would make me a fancy drink, but they seemed, well, fancy–too expensive and too complicated for my amateur taste. I don’t grind beans.

Over the holidays, my parents surprised me with a Mr. Coffee latte maker. It’s possible I’m more excited about it than my new iPad. Ground coffee (or espresso — although I still haven’t figured out where to buy ground espresso), water, milk and a splash of vanilla. It brews! It froths! My perfect latte is ready in two minutes. Even my relatives (coffee drinkers, the lot of ‘em) were impressed.

And in a couple of weeks, I’ll be able to justify a new sweater with the money I’ve saved. Cheers.

Mr. Coffee Cafe Latte, $99, Bed, Bath & Beyond

CB2 Sneak Peek

Friday, December 9th, 2011

CB2 opens Saturday in Uptown and if tonight’s hopping preview party was any indication, people are excited to welcome Crate & Barrel’s urban contemporary sister store to Hennepin Avenue. What’s nice is the Chicago-based retailer seems equally excited to be here–buyers were planning to check out their competition–er, neighbors–this weekend. There’s a nice little contemporary scene brewing in Uptown, with Roam‘s new store, Design Within Reach, and now CB2′s sprawling one-level store anchoring the corner. This is CB2′s 11th store nationwide.

I was living in Chicago 11 years ago when the first CB2 opened, targeting, well, me. It was clearly a level below Crate & Barrel, focused on inexpensive, but well designed accessories for city dwellers. The store has grown up with me–more clearly defining its contemporary aesthetic and adding furniture, lighting, tableware and accessories galore. Prices are by no means IKEA cheap, but there are fewer 1s in front of the sofa prices, which is reassuring…even all these years after college. 3045 Hennepin Ave. S., Mpls.

The Bee Cottage

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

On a rainy day in downtown Excelsior, shoppers showed up for the opening of The Bee Cottage, a new occasional store in a quaint old home just off Water Street. It was easy to see why: owner Jennifer Finlay and partner Nancy Koch clearly have keen eyes for pretty objects of desire, old and new, and an ability to display them artfully, which adds to the appeal. Finlay also owns Jennifleur soy candles in repurposed wine bottles. Koch was a buyer for Dayton’s Paris Flea Market. The two met selling their goods at Guild in St. Louis Park. They’ve brought together some of the vendors who used to sell in this Excelsior space and found several new artists and unexpected lines to round out the mix of accessories, home decor and furniture with a vintage, romantic charm. Blink, and you’ll miss it: the store will be open the second Wednesday-Saturday of every month (additional dates between Thanksgiving and Christmas) and every month, Finlay and Koch plan to reinvent the two-level store with a new batch of lovely goods. 421 Second St., Excelsior

Chic on Selby

Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

Allee Metro Chic seems like it just got out of jail. Technically, it was a hidden alley, which in retail, is sort of the same thing. The new storefront is bright, welcoming and spacious–a new situation for the store that crammed its dresses and shoes into a matchbox space. Right now, there are a lot of smart sweaters and jackets from familiar brands like French Connection and Free People. But more from the small, European lines that make this boutique tres enchante is on the way, co-owner Kelissa Stempski promises.

One of the best surprises is Assez Bon, the new home furnishings and accessories store on the lower level of Allee’s space. Owner Rebecca Schissel, who used to have a store in Mankato, offers a mix of new and used pieces with a romantic, vintage feel sure to suit the Allee shopper. 493 Selby Ave., St. Paul, 651-414-0274

Roaming for Bargains

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Nothing like a moving sale to bring in shoppers (oh, the irony). Roam, 813 Glenwood Ave., Minneapolis, has cleared out a ton of merchandise in the last couple of weeks, but great deals on contemporary furnishings and accessories remain – and they’re about to get better. Another round of markdowns will be taken Wednesday, bringing everything to 50 to 70 percent off. It’s a great chance to get discounts on current Alessi accessories, which rarely go on sale (like this watch, which I could not resist). Some larger pieces remain – sofas, dining tables, lamps – including a few from Ligne Roset. Roam will close at its current location by mid-August and will reopen in Uptown in September.

Parmida Home Signs at West End

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Parmida Home, a rapidly expanding home decor chain new to the Twin Cities, has signed at lease at the Shops at West End.

It brings in a new category to West End, and will take up a considerable chunk of real estate:  The 11,000-square-foot store is expected to open across from RAZE in Spring 2012.

“It’s great to bring in another unique, first to the Twin Cities, retailer to the Shops at West End,” senior property manager Michael Landstad said in a statement.

According to Parmida’s website, the store offers wine and cheese accessories, imported coffees and teas, bath and body, kitchen accessories, candles, gourmet and gifts with furniture and decor for a variety of tastes, from formal to beach house.

Parmida has seven stores in Texas, Colorado, Missouri, Ohio and suburban Chicago. | Mpls.St.Paul Magazine © 2008 MSP Communications, Inc. All rights reserved