Designer ‘dream builder’

Andrew Flesher was freaking out at his first challenge for the new reality TV show “American Dream Builders,” which premieres at 7 Sunday on NBC.

“I basically had to pick out the fabric for the whole house in 20 minutes,” said the Minneapolis designer, who filmed the episodes in Los Angeles several months ago. Flesher is among 12 designer contestants who compete in makeovers of multiple rooms in a house, which are completed in a fast-and-furious five days.

The show follows the tried-and-true formula of reality TV — catty contestants clash to create drama, they’re judged on their design and then someone gets voted off.

“I will be one of the most boring people on the show because I’m an even-keel person,” said Flesher. “I have a hard time getting involved in the drama.”

He landed the part thanks to the recommendation of host Nate Berkus, who grew up in Hopkins. “We had never met,” said Flesher, who was named one of 25 top young designers by House Beautiful and heads design firms in Minneapolis and New York. The 15-hour days were grueling he said, but it was worth it when the designers revealed the updated beautiful spaces to homeowners. “Some people think design is fluffy and unnecessary,” said Flesher. “But your environment really impacts the way you feel and live.”

“American Dream Builders” is slated for 10 episodes. You’ll have to watch to find out if the even-keeled Minnesota guy makes it to the final reveal.


Keen on green

Green houseplants are a refreshing remedy for drab spaces. “Houseplants: Common to Exotic’’ will explain how to grow and care for indoor plants, from foliage to flowering, including orchids. Topics include lighting, watering, fertilizing, selecting containers, repotting and insect problems. The program is from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Twiggs Home & Garden, 4301 Upton Av. S., Mpls. Cost is $10. For reservations, call 612-823-8944.


Tropical treat

Design a mini-tropical paradise at a Bachman’s container workshop from 2 to 4 p.m. April 5. A Bachman’s designer will demonstrate how to combine exotic plants like orchids, bromeliads, tillandsias and alocasias in arrangements with mosses, branches and other natural accents. Cost is $75 and includes materials. The finished planter may be moved outdoors as weather permits. Bachman’s is at 6010 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls. To register, call 612-861-7600 or go to


Fast and furious design

Need some decorating ideas but crunched for time? Gabberts is holding “Speed Design,” three 20-minute sessions by design pros starting at 1 p.m. April 5 in the Galleria, 69th Street and France Avenue S., Edina. Bring room dimensions and photos. Reservations required; call 952-928-3123 or go to