Parade of Homes

Spring is still a few weeks off, but the spring Parade of Homes is right around the corner. The annual event, sponsored by the Builders Association of the Twin Cities (BATC) opens Saturday for its three-week run.

This year, there are 374 new homes on the tour (up 22 percent from last year), at prices ranging from $139,999 (for a two-bedroom condo in New Brighton) to just under $3 million (for a “castle on a lake” in Maple Grove). More than two dozen homes are priced above $1 million, and three of the most luxurious have been designated “Dream Homes,” where visitors will be asked to pay a $5 donation. Proceeds will be used to help the BATC Foundation build and remodel homes for families in need.

The Green Path Energy Efficient Home Tour, a tour-within-a-tour featuring 133 sustainable homes, also is returning. Each of these homes has been tested by an independent energy rater, and will feature a report on the home’s energy performance and other green features.

All homes on the Parade will be open noon-6 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays, March 2-24. Guidebooks are available at Holiday Stationstores, as well as at the Minneapolis Home & Garden Show, Wednesday through March 3.

For more information, visit


Vintage market

Here’s another sign that spring is near: “The Spring’s the Thing,” a vintage market at the Dunn Bros coffee shop in Eden Prairie. Several vintage dealers are teaming up and bringing their wares to the historic Smith Douglas More house on Saturday and Sunday, March 2-3.

You’ll find upholstered pieces and seasonal accent pillows, urns filled with wheat grass, and rustic and vintage gardenware. An organic farmer also will be on hand, with eggs for sale and baby chicks to watch. Hours will be 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. March 3, at Dunn Bros, 8107 Eden Prairie Rd., Eden Prairie.


On a Mission

Are you a fan of the Arts & Crafts aesthetic? Gabberts is hosting several Arts & Crafts-themed events this week. “Everything You Wanted to Know About Stickley But Didn’t Know Who to Ask” will offer an insider’s look at the legendary furniture company, presented by Mike Danial, 35-year woodworker and Stickley corporate historian, 6:30-8 p.m. Thursday. Guests also will have the opportunity to meet members of the Minnesota Woodworkers Guild.

On Saturday, 1-2 p.m., Danial will return to present “Mike Danial’s Stickley Roadshow,” introducing unsung heroes of Arts & Crafts design and explaining values and collector interest in various Mission pieces.

Also on Saturday, noon-4 p.m., Gabberts will host an Artisan and Restoration Expo, featuring a wide variety of Arts & Crafts-style artisans, from furniture makers to glass and tile artists.

All three events are free, and will be held at Gabberts, 3501 Galleria, in Edina. Reservations are requested for Danial’s two presentations, or 952-928-3123. Reservations are not necessary to attend the Expo.



Paint pick-me-ups

During this lackluster time of year, you might find some joy in a can of paint. For 2013, paint companies such as Valspar are offering a mood-enhancing palette.

“Consumers want this to be a year of change,” said Sue Kim, a Valspar color strategist. “We hope the economy will kick in and good things will happen in our lives.” As we await the rebound, Kim suggests some quick DIY paint therapy on a front door or a ceiling using Valspar Mustard Glaze, Roasted Pumpkin or Tropical Bay. We asked several designers for their ideas for painting projects that would not take a lot of time or money, and their color choices.

Paint the back of bookshelves: “Books and accessories can lose their impact against a backdrop of white shelves,” said Kirsten Kaplan of Haus Interior Design in Rockville, Md. Her choice is what she calls a rich chocolate-charcoal gray: Seal by Martha Stewart Living.

Update a boring room: Paint horizontal stripes, using alternating flat and semigloss finish in colors that are close in tone, said Kaplan. One pairing could be Worldly Gray and Shoji White by Sherwin-Williams.

Bring zest to your foyer: Jill Sorensen of Marmalade Interiors in McLean, Va., suggests a sunny yellow (using a flat finish to show off the color more) such as Benjamin Moore’s Yellow Finch or Sun Porch.

Revive a dreary dresser: Give furniture an instant makeover with a coat of fresh paint in a bold, high-gloss color. Sorensen’s picks: Red, Cool Aqua or Emerald Isle by Benjamin Moore.