Lifestyles of a talk-show host

Comedian Ellen DeGeneres is known more for her dance moves and clever quips than for architecture and interior design. But the talk-show host has revived and decorated nearly a dozen homes over the past two decades. Her new coffee-table book, "Ellen DeGeneres Home" (Grand Central Publishing, $35), invites her fans, as well as design aficionados, into seven of her residences.

The dozens of sumptuous photos make you feel like you can touch her collections of rustic vintage accessories, aged antiques and African artifacts filling gorgeously lit room vignettes. In the book, DeGeneres admits she's "addicted to architecture." And it shows. She's lived in a 1930s Tuscan villa overlooking the Pacific Ocean, a 26-acre horse ranch and a famous midcentury modern masterpiece near UCLA.

The book is written in DeGeneres' breezy conversational style, sprinkled with juicy tidbits about celebrity dinner parties and tongue-in-cheek references to hosting the Oscars and decorating with her Emmys.

DeGeneres believes that "you don't have to have money to have good taste." But the expansive improvements and exquisite furnishings inside her high-end California properties obviously cost a pretty penny. So just gaze at the spaces and maybe get inspiration from her sidebars on "What This House Taught Me."

If DeGeneres ever held an estate sale, it would be legendary.

Plenty of poinsettias

Find out how Gertens grows more than 100,000 poinsettias every year at a greenhouse tour during the Poinsettia Open House, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 5 and 6, 5500 Blaine Ave, Inver Grove Heights. The event features refreshments, Santa and his reindeer and store specials. The greenhouse tour is at 11 a.m. Dec. 5. For details, call 651-450-1501.

Holiday how-to

Gabberts pros will share tips on "Holiday Decor and Entertaining," from 2 to 3 p.m. Dec. 5, at the Edina store, 69th St. and France Av. S. The event is free; register at


Smile for 'Bad Santa'

What holiday is complete without an "awkward photo"? Omforme, the destination for upcycled vintage modern furniture and decor, is hosting an irreverent take on an old holiday ritual. Bring your pet cat, dog, iguana or significant other to Omforme on Dec. 6, between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., for a photo opp with Bad Santa and mischievous elves — plus a free "Breakfast of Non-Champions" (doughnuts from "rebel" bakeries and "mean" Bloody Marys). Omforme is located at 613 W. 24th St., Mpls.

Holiday craft hop

Get a jump on holiday shopping at Holiday Craft Hop, a new holiday-themed craft show on Dec. 5 at Grain Belt Brew House. More than 50 local artists and artisans will showcase their handmade creations, including furniture, textiles, jewelry, gifts and more. Holiday Craft Hop is free and open to the public noon to 5 p.m. Grain Belt Brew House is located at 1224 NE. Marshall St., Mpls.