WE SPOTTED IT
Like many small businesses, Haupt Antiek in Apple Valley has been experimenting with YouTube as a free way to advertise. Deb Haupt, owner of the Apple Valley occasional sale, will likely post the fifth in its recent series of come-ons for customers this week. But the shop's "Dare to Compare" video (www.youtube.com/watch
?v=gpUrDuBIZZo) is worth noting for its bare-knuckled comparisons between the goods and prices at Pottery Barn with those found at her sale and others like it. Among the best bits: comparisons for lamps, alarm clocks and galvanized tin accessories. Haupt said that more home decor retailers are "copying the vintage look. We're doing vintage already. ... So we thought, let's do a side-by-side comparison."
Can newlyweds survive home renovation? A new weekly series, "Marriage Under Construction," attempts to find out. The show, which premieres at 10 p.m. March 16 on HGTV, follows Rod and Natalie through the purchase, renovation and decorating of their first home. For a slightly different kind of drama, check out the network's "Home Rules" premiere March 15 at 8 p.m., in which a relationship expert and a designer help frazzled families find peace through decor.
DO IT NOW
If you want to start some vegetables and flowers from seed this spring, now's the time to buy. Local garden centers and catalogs are well stocked. If you wait until the end of the month, you may not be able to find the hot new varieties.
Check out the annual Duel of the Design, which pits two teams (each with a designer, florist and chef) against each other Thursday. For the two-hour duel, each team has to design a table for eight, plan a menu and choose music using the materials revealed at the beginning of the challenge. Signed on to compete: Todd Pinzuti of Bungalow 6 Design, Scott DeLage of Event Lab, Philip Dorwart of Create Catering, Michael DeCamp of LaBelle Vie and Sadie's Fine Floral Design. A panel of judges will choose the winner. 5-8 p.m. Thu., Metropolitan Ballroom, 5418 Wayzata Blvd., Minneapolis; see details and order tickets at www.theduelofthedesign.com up until 2 p.m. the day of the event. The $25 ticket ($30 at the door) includes appetizers; there is a cash bar.
Minneapolis designers Rosemary Merrill of Casa Verde Design and David Heide of David Heide Design Studio have been named two of 50 regional winners from more than 1,400 entries in the biennial kitchen design contest sponsored by Sub-Zero and Wolf; the overall winner will be identified later this month.
A local designer does a masterful makeover on a traditional Edina home.