Lake home preservation

Journalist Bette Hammel and photographer Karen Melvin have spotlighted many of the impressive historic lakeside residences in their book "Legendary Homes of Lake Minnetonka." They will speak at a two-part series about the teardown trend — as well as preservation efforts of houses around Lake Minnetonka. The free program, hosted by the Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Historical Society, is at 7 p.m. Nov. 9 and Dec. 14 at Excelsior Brewery, 421 3rd St. Go to elmhs.org or call 952-221-4766.

Festive homes on tour

Get in the holiday spirit by visiting Twin Cities residences creatively trimmed for the season — and help raise money for a good cause.

"Home for the Holidays" is the North Oaks Guild's annual fundraiser for the Children's Hospital Association. Professionals from area businesses, such as garden centers, home decor stores and gift shops, have decorated three homes in North Oaks. Tour participants can visit a clothing and gift boutique at the North Oaks Golf Club during the event. Tours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 20 and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 21. Meet at the North Oaks Golf Club, 54 E. Oaks Rd., to board a bus to the homes; buses depart every 20 to 30 minutes. Tickets are $30 for home tours and $23 for lunch at North Oaks Golf Club. For details, go to northoakschaguild1.org or call 651-481-6729.

"Christmas Tour of Homes" features four decorated private residences and the historic eight-sided 1850s Octagon House Museum in Hudson, Wis. Homes range from Arts & Crafts style to a 2010 passive solar dwelling in the woods. Tours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 21 and noon to 4 p.m. Nov. 22. Tickets are $20 in advance; $22 after Nov. 12; includes shuttle transportation. Evening Dazzle Tour is from 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 20; tickets $35 (no transportation provided). A craft marketplace is from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Nov. 21 at Hudson House Grand Hotel. For tour tickets, go to the Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce site at hudsonwi.org or call 1-715-386-8411.

Tradition with a twist

Each room in the Bachman's Holiday Ideas House is chock-full of decor inspiration with fresh ways to arrange your collections, centerpieces, lights and garland. Designers have trimmed the historic family home with festive repurposed, new and vintage furnishings and accessories. The "tradition with a twist" palette goes beyond silver and gold by mixing in bronze, copper and other shimmery metals. In the dining room, the table is set for a holiday buffet with classic plaids and holly and ivy patterns. Look for the latest trend of text written across pillows, glasses and other accessories in each space. The house is open for self-guided tours through Dec. 13 at 5936 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls. Tickets are $5; part of proceeds benefits Washburn Center for Children. Go to bachmans.com or call 612-861-7311.

Christmas preview

The sights, sounds and scents of Christmas will fill the air at Gertens' Christmas Preview Open House next weekend. Gifts and holiday plants will be on display, with free seminars on different aspects of holiday decorating. Offered Nov. 14 and 15 will be a "Spruce-tip Pot Demonstration" at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.; "Decorating With Luminaria Candles and Lanterns" at 12:30 p.m.; "Using LED Lights and More" at 1:30 p.m.; "Decorating With Lifelike Wreaths, Garland and Accents" at 2 p.m.; and "Creating Ice Globes" at 2:30 p.m. A greenhouse production tour, showing what goes on behind the scenes with poinsettias and other holiday plants, will be held at 11 a.m. Nov. 14.

Gertens is located at 5500 Blaine Av., Inver Grove Heights.

Granlund originals

Sculpture fans, here's an opportunity to check out — and take home — an original Paul Granlund. The homegrown sculptor, known for his bronze figures, was sculptor in residence at Gustavus Adolphus College, his alma mater, in St. Peter, Minn., from 1971 to 1996. His works also have been exhibited at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Walker Art Center and the American Swedish Institute.

When Granlund died in 2003, his wish was that no additional sculptures be cast from his remaining molds. Now sculptures from the artist's estate will be sold at a Granlund Sculpture show and sale Nov. 12-14 at Hennes Art Co. showroom, 1220 Glenwood Av. N., Mpls. Hours are 5 to 9 p.m. Nov. 12 and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 13-14.

New digs for Nadeau

– Furniture With a Soul has a new location in Edina. The Uptown store will remain open for a short time as Nadeau transitions to a larger space across from the Galleria. Nadeau offers solid wood and metal pieces from around the world, featuring an eclectic mix of coastal, industrial, French farmhouse, contemporary, rustic Indian and British Colonial influences.

The new Nadeau store is at 3525 W. 70th St., Edina.

Como centennial

The Como Conservatory turns 100 this weekend. On Nov. 8, the conservatory will open two hours early, at 8 a.m., so that artists and photographers can bring tripods and easels to capture the beauty of the gardens. It's also an opportunity for families to snap a holiday photo with the gardens as a backdrop.

At 11:15 a.m. both Nov. 7 and 8, Anniversary Cake will be served. At 1 and 3 p.m. both days, a history of the conservatory will be presented in a garden talk. From 2 to 3 p.m. Nov. 8, visitors can experience performances by local artists sharing work inspired by the conservatory, in poetry, prose and music. Other activities will include postcards to decorate, make-your-own buttons, a trivia game and a time-capsule station. The conservatory is located at 1225 Estabrook Dr., St. Paul.

Vintage holiday pop-up sale

Nostalgic for the holidays of yesteryear? The Vintage Ivy is hosting a vintage holiday pop-up event from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 14-15.

You'll find vintage wares, furniture, holiday decor, handmade items, accessories, gifts, greenery and outdoor holiday decor.

The Vintage Ivy is located at 3001 Utah Av. S., St. Louis Park. For more information, visit facebook.com/thevintageivy.

Retro warehouse sale

Retro Wanderlust in Hopkins, a mecca for fans of vintage furniture, decor and accessories, is hosting its first warehouse sale featuring finds from its four storage units. Vintage pieces from Lane, Broyhill, Baughman, Baker, Dunbar and Probber will fill the sales floor. The sale will include bar carts and bar stools, chairs and seating options, Danish modern pieces, sofas, artwork, lighting and more. To preview items, follow Retro Wanderlust on Facebook and Instagram. Sale hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 13-14, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 15. Cash preferred. Retro Wanderlust is located at 1415 5th Av. S., Unit D, Hopkins.

Trimming the tree

The White House Historical Association has released its annual Christmas ornament, in partnership with the National Park Foundation. This year's ornament honors the administration of Calvin Coolidge, who served as president from 1923 to 1929. Coolidge was the first president to preside over a public celebration of Christmas with a lighting of the National Christmas Tree. The 2015 ornament is a depiction of that first tree, crafted from shiny brass plated with nickel and 24 karat gold, illuminated from within by LED, a new feature. The ornament costs $18.95, and is available at whitehousehistory.org. For every purchase made through Dec. 30, the White House Historical Association will donate $2 to the National Park Foundation.

KIM PALMER and LYNN UNDERWOOD