Bachman's Idea House offers inspiration

  • Updated: April 12, 2011 - 1:14 PM

Bachman's Idea House is in its spring incarnation. Watch the video for some great inspiration. Also, the grande dame of local craft shows, the American Craft Council Show, marks its 70th anniversary this weekend.


Bachman's Idea House, now in its fifth incarnation, has been a success largely because of "the R words: reuse, recycle, repurpose," said Larry Pfarr, director of merchandising and store design.

Pfarr is the driving force behind the Idea House, which is decorated to inspire visitors to steal the decorating ideas. In the spring house, those ideas range from the oh-so-simple (using a colorful belt as a hanging organizer) to the wish-I'd-thought-of that (converting a vintage child's chair into a dog-dish holder).

While many of us would have a hard time replicating the elaborate tablescape, there are some elements almost anyone can try at home: using a nest-like basket to hold a flower arrangement, dressing a plain napkin with decorative pin, or even using an old creamer as a container for a blooming plant.

"What's made this house work is that the ideas we show are easy and attainable," said Pfarr. "People walk through and say 'I could do that.'"

The Spring Idea House, 5936 Lyndale Av. S., Minneapolis, is open Tuesdays through Sundays through April 17. Tickets are $5. Call 612-861-7311 or visit


Get crafty

The grande dame of local craft shows is marking its 70th anniversary. It's the American Craft Council Show, this Friday through next Sunday at St. Paul RiverCentre, where you'll find more than 240 fine craft artists and their handmade jewelry, clothing, green craft and home/garden decor, as well as live demonstrations showing pottery, sculpture and weaving. To celebrate this year's milestone "Rebirth Day," the council has invited local cake designers to create confections inspired by artists' handmade jewelry, pottery, glass or fiber art. The cakes will be on display throughout the show. For a sneak peek, you can attend the welcome reception Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. The $75 ticket price includes shopping tours, a show pass and refreshments. The show itself is open 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $12 or $20 for a two-day pass. Ages 12 and under and ACC members are admitted free. Admission is also discounted $5 after 5 p.m. on Friday. RiverCentre is at 199 W. Kellogg Blvd. For more information, visit or call 1-800-836-3470.



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    Bachman's Larry Pfarr, shares some of his spring organizing ideas from the Bachaman's Idea House.

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