Historic homes of St. Paul

Some of the best-preserved Victorian homes in St. Paul will open their doors Thursday evening for public touring as part of “Celebrate the Charm,” a candlelight tour of nine houses located on or near Summit Avenue.

The self-guided tour will cover a wide range of architectural styles. One entry is Dove Hill, a massive Beaux Arts-style house originally built for Louis Hill, son of James J. Hill. There also are some newer homes on the tour, including a historic reproduction on an in-fill lot and an architect-remodeled rambler designed for one-floor living. And, if you missed this year’s designer showcase home, that newly remodeled Victorian, built in 1882, also will be open for touring.

The biennial tour is sponsored by the Ramsey Hill Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the architectural history of the neighborhood. Tour homes will be open 4-9 p.m. Thursday. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 the day of the event. Ticket books can be purchased at the following locations: Kowalski’s, Bibelot, Mississippi Market, Hirshfield’s, Subtext Books, Common Good Books, Solo Vino Wine and both Grand Avneue locations of Frattallone’s Ace Hardware.

For more information or to buy tickets online, visit www.ramseyhill.org/housetour2013.html. Will-call is located at the Germanic-American Institute, 302 Summit Av., St. Paul.


Free kitchen seminar

Contemplating a kitchen makeover? Crystal Kitchen Center is offering a free seminar, “Top 10 Common Kitchen Design Mistakes.” Design experts will reveal the top 10 mistakes, as well as share guidelines from the National Kitchen and Bath Association. Code issues and the latest in cabinetry, appliances, universal design, green design and warranty services also will be discussed.

The seminar will be offered twice, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 to 3 p.m. on Saturday. Seating is limited. RSVP by calling 763-544-5950. Crystal Kitchen Center is at 3620 Winnetka Av. N., Crystal.

Handmade tile event

Artisan tiles will be in the spotlight at the American Swedish Institute on Saturday, when it hosts its 12th annual Minnesota Tile Festival. The event is the largest handmade tile event in the country, attracting more than 30 exhibitors including tile artists and galleries, showrooms, designers and architects.

New events this year include designer rooms by local design firms and an installation gallery. The festival also includes the second Project Runway Tile Fashion Show, featuring one-of-a-kind fashions created with custom-made tiles.

The festival will be held 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, with the fashion show at 2 p.m. Drawings for tile gift certificates will be held at noon and 1 p.m.

The cost is $7, which includes admission to the institute’s Turnblad mansion, as well as the tile festival. The American Swedish Institute is at 2600 Park Av. S., Mpls.

Arts and Crafts show

Mission style will rule next weekend at the 14th annual Twin Cities Arts and Crafts Show and Sale.

It’s the largest event in the Midwest dedicated to furnishings from the American Arts and Crafts movement (1890-1920). Visitors will find Mission-style furniture, metalwork, pottery, textiles, art and lighting, from manufacturers including Stickley, Roycroft, Rookwood and the Minneapolis Handicraft Guild. High-quality reproductions, as well as vintage pieces, will be available, and more than 50 dealers from across the country will be on hand.

The show and sale will be held at the Progress Center building, State Fairgrounds, Falcon Heights. Admission is $7, and hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 22.

For more information, call 651-695-1902 or visit www.twincitiesartsandcraftsshow.com.

DIY bridal floral

Want to add a personal touch to your upcoming wedding? Bachman’s is offering a floral design workshop, designed for the DIY bride.

Participants will learn professional designers’ tricks for making dream wedding flowers, including a hand-tied bouquet and techniques for arranging flowers at parties and the reception. Bachman’s bridal consultant and award-winning floral designer Karen Ortiz will lead the workshop.

The workshop will be offered twice, from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday and 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday in the Design Room at Bachman’s on Lyndale, 6010 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls. The cost is $40. To register, call 612-861-7311 or visit www.bachmans.com.

Sample sale

Looking for designer home goods at a discount? The Minnesota chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) will host its annual sample sale this week, offering 50 to 80 percent price reductions on designer furniture and one-of-a-kind home decor items. Sale items will be available in many showrooms throughout International Market Square.

During the sale, roving ASID members will be on hand to provide one-on-one consultations and advice on everything from accent colors to room concepts. Shoppers also can sign up on-site for free 30-minute appointments with a designer each day of the sale, and are encouraged to bring floor plans, room dimensions and clear photos of their space.

Sale hours are noon-7 p.m. Thursday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at International Market Square, 275 Market Place, Mpls.

Free carpet squares

Fall is a good time to refresh home decor. But no one wants to buy a big rug and bring it home only to find that the colors don’t quite match the space.

If you’d like to “test-drive” a floorcovering before you make a purchase, carpet-square design resource Flor is offering “sample square Saturdays” every Saturday in September and the first Saturday in October. Anyone who visits the store can choose two free carpet squares to try at home, in preparation for Flor’s coming sale, Oct. 7-29.

Flor is located at 1426 W. Lake St., Mpls.

Kim Palmer