Archive for the ‘Home & Garden’ Category
Nadeau didn’t instantly wow me when I walked in the door at the corner of 27th and Hennepin in Uptown. It’s a big, plain room packed – and not very artfully so – with a whole lot of wood furniture. I was surprised to learn this is not just another local shop giving it a go, but the 15th location for a fast growing Santa Monica, Calif.-based company with stores in New York, Chicago, Miami and Dallas.
Tom and Ryoko Nadeau started importing hardwood furniture and decorative accessories from Indonesia to a Los Angeles warehouse in 1991. Now, they have relationships with suppliers around the world. They call it “furniture with a soul,” and stick to certain standards: Not mass produced, no laminates, no assembly required and not what you’d find at a chain store. Best of all, prices seemed extremely reasonable – from tables and chairs to trunks, shelves and dressers. The manager of the Minneapolis store told me Nadeau typically receives two containers of goods per month. Definitely worth checking out. 2756 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, 612-208-1540
Autumn Cottage, the Stillwater-based resource for New England cottage furniture, has moved back to its original space in the Brick Alley Building at 421 South Main Street in Stillwater. Although a smaller indoor space, the company will be designing an outdoor area in front of the store to showcase its growing Autumn Cottage Outdoors furniture line. Outdoor furniture is a growth area for the company – don’t be surprised if the line shows up at other stores soon. While retail will continue to be a focus locally, Autumn Cottage plans to push its manufacturing business beyond Stillwater.
A Grand Re-Opening Sale is on now through April 5. Save 20 percent storewide. Mention that you read about it in AliShopsBlog for a double discount on select items (see store for details).
Garage sale shoppers, take note: Haven Maven opens Thursday in a small, second level suite in downtown Excelsior offering home décor resale – up to 90 percent off retail. No digging required – the mix is quite manageable and consists mainly of small accessories – vases, pillows, decorative pieces. Perfect for those who don’t want to put in the time bargain hunting, but want the deals. Owner Nancy Muller calls herself the “thrifty” interior designer. She has over 25 years experience. 436 Second St., #204 (upstairs), Excelsior
The new ID/Inside Design and martinpatrick3 are, quite simply, stunning. This is just the urban lifestyle laboratory Minneapolis has needed to finally make the Warehouse District a shopping destination. You won’t just want to buy the furniture and menswear, you’ll want to soak it in – to become this effortlessly cool human who wears Fred Perry shirts and Naked & Famous jeans, carries a bright blue Marc Jacobs messenger bag and flips through photography books on a Ligne Roset chair. At least the store invites lingering. There’s even a manly bar.
Owner Greg Walsh of Walsh Design Group has always been respected for his interior design work, but these stores reveal his true talent, which goes beyond pairing the right chair and lamp to cultivating a mood at once luxurious and laid back; modern and timeless. And then, having all the brands and objects needed for those who aspire to aesthetic. “It feels like Soho,” I heard shoppers gushing on Saturday. Who needs Soho? Walsh has raised the bar for Twin Cities retail – let’s hope others join him.
Visit ID/Inside Design and martinpatrick3 at 212 Third Ave. N., Mpls. (across the street from the Monte Carlo).
Full disclosure: my dad (Joel Kaplan)’s art show was the main reason I visited Nola Home on a recent night. And in my unbiased opinion, I’d say his watercolors are worth the trip. But I was also enchanted by the festive atmosphere at this Bryn Mawr gem. Kelly Dorsey is a master merchandiser – able to mix jewelry, books, textiles and decor in an original way that makes you want it all. (Interior designers are known to shop Nola for inspiration). Known primarily for home goods, you’ll find the shop brimming with affordable gifts including scarves, locally made jewelery, candles, ornaments and, of course, original artwork.
Fresh destinations, fresh inspiration for gift ideas. Before the holiday shopping panic sets in, I’ll steer you to some unique spots for clever prezzies.
First up: Casa Verde in South Minneapolis. This luxury kitchen and bath showroom stocks its sleek space with home furnishings, artist creations, and gifts in keeping with Casa Verde’s commitment to promote stunning, sustainable design in everyday objects.
Just a few examples of what’s currently in store:
Birch Bark Napkin Rings, $55 for set of four
Hand Carved Olivewood Salad Scoops, $35.00
Windsor Tankard (handblown glass), $55.00
If you’re missing Ligne Roset’s breathtakingly sleek presence in town (I liked just knowing it was there, should I ever happen upon a pot of gold), good news: ID Inside Design will become the exclusive dealer of the high-end contemporary furniture line when the store moves in February to the old Riverwalk Antiques space at 212 Third Ave. N. The current ID store will remain open through January. A big sale is already underway. Details here.
Got a question on Shop Girls last week that led to an unexpectedly lively discussion about how to keep whites white. I’ve long subscribed to the advice of my best gay friend (yes, the gay is relevant in this case. Can you recall ever seeing a gay man in yellowed whites?): fill the washer with warm water and mix in bleach before throwing in the clothes to ensure an even wash. But my listeners are laundry pros – several called in with these suggestions:
Mrs. Stewart’s Bluing – An age-old, non-toxic, biodegradable blue liquid that doesn’t clean, but adds a microscopic blue particle to whites, which makes them appear brighter.
Blue shirt remedy – An even lower tech alternative with the same basic idea, one caller suggested throwing a blue shirt in with whites.
Soilove – An expensive laundry detergent with a cult-like following, said to be especially good at removing perspiration stains and whitening whites.
Eat your heart out, Martha Stewart!
We interrupt your regularly scheduled updates on boutique shopping and clothes to bring you this stunning, Made in the USA hardwood floor from Wisconsin-based Stang-Lund:
Oh, I’m still shopping, but truth be told, I haven’t one new pair of boots this fall and am in dire need of sweaters because hardwood floors have become my obsession. We’re doing a room for the first time in, well, ever, and while I could pick a dress with one eye closed, I’m finding myself confoundedly indecisive on home design decisions. Started out thinking I wanted dark dark floors, but after numerous warnings about the difficult upkeep (scratches, dust more obvious), plus the issue of trying to add light to the room without adding windows, which I can’t afford, I started gravitating lighter. I fell for (falling on would have been cheaper) a whitewashed oak on the Parade of Homes tour (I go to torture myself). It’s cool, casual and little bit rustic, but the overall impact is entirely contemporary. The key is the white/gray undertone and getting rid of the yellow/orange hues that pervade Home Depot’s flooring department….and the rest of my house. Good taste is a curse: apparently whitewashed pre-finished floors are an emerging trend, currently available only in high end lines. I’ve been told by numerous flooring resources it will likely take a year or two before the finish trickles down to budget brands. Buying unfinished and trying to achieve the look could be even more expensive, I’m told. Where is the H&M of hardwood floors when you need it? I’m a shopper on a mission. My contractor had no idea what he was signing up for.