Willie Willette Works

Willie Willette MM imagePhotos by Noelle Bakken. Graphic designed by Joanne Grobe.

I recently had a chance to stop by and visit Willie Willette, a local furniture maker and owner of Willie Willette Works. We had the chance to tour Willie’s workshop which is filled with books, chairs, beautiful wood pieces and other items that are as cool as Willie!

To view more photos from Willie Willette’s shop, read on after the jump. Continue reading

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Omforme’s New Video

Carter Averbeck at Omforme sent over this video showcasing some great before and after photos for his latest projects. Omforme transforms discarded vintage furniture into colorful, fun pieces of art! If you are in the mood to do some oohing and aahing, click play and enjoy!

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Twin Cities Tiny Homes Profiled on MPR

WeehomePhoto Credit: Alchemy Architects

How do you do more with less? There seems to be an emerging trend of backing away from McMansions to smaller, prefab homes with a thoughtful footprint on the environment and on one’s pocketbook.

Prefab homes is short for prefabricated homes, which are manufactured off-site in sections and then shipped to a location, where they are assembled.

Yesterday, Minnesota Public Radio’s The Daily Circuit show welcomed Geoffrey Warner, founder of weeHouse with Alchemy Architects, and Thomas Fisher, professor of architecture and dean of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota, to talk about the role of prefab homes in our culture. Click here to listen to the MPR story and learn more about prefab homes.

If you are looking to talk with others and learn more about constructing and living in a tiny home, there is a meetup going on at the Red Stag Supper Club tomorrow, February 17th at 12pm. Click here to view and join the meetup page.

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Midwest Home Design Week-Fiddlehead Design Group

design-weekFor part two of my Midwest Home Design Week interview series, I had the opportunity to ask Jen Zeimer of Fiddlehead Design Group a few questions about her involvement in the Design Week and what she is most looking forward to! Don’t forget to check out the complete schedule and purchase tickets by February 4th!

jinJen Ziemer from Fiddlehead Design Group

Tell me about your role in Midwest Home’s Design Week.

We are on a panel for “Get Inspired and Unlock the Secrets to Great Design”.

What seminar (other than your own) are you most excited about attending?

We are looking forward to the Happy Hour….just kidding. In all seriousness, we are curious how the Design Live will work with the general public making choices and having Lisa and Brandy pull those ideas together.  Fun!

What places in the Twin Cities do you find inspiration for your design?

We find inspiration in the Twin Cities in the local art galleries, IMS design center, local boutiques, restaurants, and most often in the people around us.


Kitchen by Fiddlehead Design Group

What is your design mantra?

Our design mantra is, “Serious about Style.  Fanatic about Function.”  What this means to us, is that while we love, and aim for the final product to be beautiful it also needs to fulfill the needs of the client and how they live.

Thanks Jen! Make sure to see Jen and all the other designers, showrooms and manufacturers at Midwest Home’s Design Week, February 10-16.

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Midwest Home Design Week-LiLu Interiors

design-weekWe’re counting down the days until the first ever Midwest Home Design Week, which lasts from February 10th-16th. The week will be chalk full of different speakers, design advice and networking opportunities! I had the opportunities to interview two smart, design focused women involved with the event; Lisa Peck of LiLu Interiors and Jen Ziemer of Fiddlehead Design Group. Today, we’ll talk with Lisa Peck and learn more about her company and role within the Design Week. Check back tomorrow for my interview with Jen Ziemer. Make sure to register for Design Week tickets today!

Design week will feature several breakout seminars from ASID (American Society of Interior Designers). I spoke with Lisa Peck, chair of the ASID Design Week Committee and learned a little more about her role in design week and her company’s design philosophies.

lisa_peck_Lisa-Peck-portrait-tiltedLisa Peck of LiLu Interiors

Tell me about the Midwest Home Design Week and your role with the event.

Midwest Home Design Week is a entire week celebrating home design. I am super excited for this week heating up my passion for design during these cold winter months. The kickoff day is Sunday February 10th and Thom Filicia, who I love to hear speak, is the keynote. We are all in for a treat. The rest of the day and the week are filled with seminars, open houses and informational session meant for design enthusiasts, fans and newbies. I am serving as the chair of the ASID Design Week committee.

ASID is one of the sponsors of Design Week and we are putting together two seminars for Sunday and a stand-alone event on Tuesday February 12th. On Sunday I will be presenting Design Live along with Brandi Hagen, another award-winning local interior designer. In an interactive session, we will create a living room design along with the audience who will vote on what pieces to include in the vignette that will be revealed during a happy hour after the seminars.

Also on Sunday, meet local designer stars, Jim Nobel, Jen Ziemer, Mary Jane Pappas, and Lucy Penfield, who will share what really inspires them and how to turn inspiration into a finished design. (*Make sure to register for tickets to Sunday’s event ASAP! Click here to register for Sunday’s event*)

On Tuesday February 12, join ASID Minnesota for an exclusive adventure where you will explore the interior design scene in the Twin Cities. First stop: a luncheon featuring a panel of top local designers answering the questions you’ve always wanted to ask. Panelists include these well-recognized, award-winning, interior designers, Renee Hallberg, Bruce Kading, Laura Ramsey Engler, and Martina Willegalle. Tips and tricks will be shared. A designer at every table will then reveal an inside peek at what’s trending during showroom tours at International Market Square. Our committee has put together an experience for design enthusiasts who want to know more about how designers work and what the most fabulous resources in the Twin Cities have to offer. (*Note, the deadline for this event is fast approaching. Make sure to register for tickets by February 4th!*)

The entire agenda is is available here.

Besides your own seminar, what seminars are you looking forward to attending the most?

I am looking forward to the whole week. It’s not often we get to celebrate what we do and invite the public to see the insider’s view of our design world. If at all possible I am going to as many events as I can. In particular, I would love to see all the new offerings at Uson and Hickory Chair.

Photo by Susan Gilmore Photography-from LiLu Interiors Photo by Susan Gilmore Photography-from LiLu Interiors


If you could list just one way to pull a room together, what would it be?

Start with one item that expresses the inspiration for the room, either a wonderful rug with just the right feeling or a “magic fabric” that brings all the colors you want to use in the room together with just the right feeling.

What is your mantra at LiLu Interiors?

We have a few mantra’s but here are two:

  • Our clients dreams come first, we must create spaces that help them create the life they are dreaming of.
  • If everything in a room is special then nothing is.

Thanks so much Lisa! Make sure to visit the Midwest Home Design Week from February 10th-16th and say hi to Lisa and the rest of the gang from Lilu Interiors and visit all of the other great designers, showrooms, manufacturers!

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TCDS Design Roundup

I guess it’s the time of year Minnesotans begin to realize that there is only so much hibernation one can do in the winter before cabin fever begins to set in. Luckily there are plenty of design news and events to keep you busy! Here’s the round up!

MidModMen Pop Up to Perm Party

pop-up_to_perm_promoThe folks at MidModMen are throwing a perm party. No, it’s not a celebration bringing back the perm hairstyle, but I’m sure you’ll get mad props if you show up sporting the famous 80’s hairdo! ModModMen has resided as a pop-up shop…until now! The shop, offering mid-century vintage and modern decor, has found a permanent home along the future Green Line light rail on University Avenue. Join the gang at MidModMen to celebrate their new home and enjoy discounts ranging from 10-50%, giveaways and cupcakes!

The Deets:
MidModMen+friends Pop Up to Perm Party
2401 University Ave, St. Paul
Saturday, January 26th
Click here for the Facebook invite

Unfinished Spaces Documentary Film Screening 124919428_640

Docomomo US/MN, a non-profit dedicated to the preservation and education of Mid-Century Modern architecture, in partnership with the Heritage Conservation and Prevention Program at the University of Minnesota’s School of Architecture in the College of Design is hosting a film viewing of Unfinished Spaces on January 28th at 6pm. (Full disclosure: I serve on the board of Docomomo US/MN and am helping to organize this event).

The film documents spotlights Cuba’s National Arts Schools, designed in the wake of the Castro’s revolution. The movie profiles the architects who originally designed the buildings as they venture back to see what has become of their creations. The film explores Cuba’s preservation efforts. Join Bob Mack of MacDonald and Mack Architecture after the movie as he discusses his own perceptions of Cuban preservation and the Cuba’s Art Schools based on his visits to Cuba in 2010 and 2011.

The Deets:
Unfinished Spaces
Rapson Hall Auditorium (#100), 89 Church Street SE, Minneapolis
Monday, January 28th
The movie begins at 6pm
Cost: Admission is $5 for the general public and free to students and Docomomo US/MN members.
Click here for the Facebook event page

Midwest Home Design Week


Join design professional from across Minnesota for Midwest Home’s Design Week. Activities will kick off on Sunday, February 10th with a luncheon with keynote speaker, Designer Thom Felicia. Some of you may remember him from his helpful tips on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. He now has two published books and is running his own successful design business, Thom Felicia, Inc.

Spend the rest of the week attending seminars and learn design tips from local design professionals. The design week has seminars from February 10th to the 16th.

The Deets
Midwest Home’s Design Week
Various Locations (See event schedule)
February 10th-16th
Various times
Cost: All day ticket is $40. A partial day ticket is $25.
Visit the Midwest Home’s website for full details

Honeyshine is Moving


Honeyshine recently opened in the Bryn Mawr neighborhood, but is relocating to Linden Hills this May. The store is known for their quirky gifts and stylish design services. The shop will open up next to Wild Rumpus Bookstore, in the location formerly occupied by a yarn shop. I had the chance to profile Honeyshine earlier this year. You can read the full article here. Congrats to owners Daisy Mitchell and Adam Braun!


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How To Be A Minimalist, In Design & In Life

minimalistIt’s easier than you think. Just a thought to get you through your day! Posted from Design Taxi.

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The “Mary Tyler Moore House” is Up for Sale

MarytylermoorehouseImage from the Star Tribune

Who can turn the world on with her smile? I think most Minnesotans might know! It turns out the Lake of the Isles house used for the exterior shots for Mary’s apartment on the Mary Tyler Moore Show is up for sale.

The house is listed by the Barry Berg Group/Coldwell Banker Burnet for $2.895 million.
For all of you who are curious as to what the house looks at inside, click here for the listing and photo tour.

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Interview with Jackie Wulf of JK Interiors

Interior by JK Interiors

There are many folks in the Twin Cities who love with good design and local interior designer, Jackie Wulf, is definitely one of them. She has been in the design business for 20 years running her own interior design company, JK Interiors. I recently had the opportunity to interview Jackie via email and learn more about her business as well as her favorite design trends and local design resources. Click after the jump to to view more. Continue reading

Omforme Pop-up Shop Opening Party

If ever there was someone who had a knack of taking the old and turning it into something new and beautiful, it’s Carter Averbeck. His company, Omforme, takes old pieces of furniture and breathes life into them by adding painted finishes and bright upholstery. His creations are a fun adaptation on classic designs and are a statement piece for any home. To see my story on his business from this past summer, click here.

For those of you who have yet to see Averbeck’s creations, you are in for a treat. Omforme’s first pop-up shop is opening at 211 1st Street, Suite 150 in Minneapolis. There is an opening party this Saturday, December 1st from 6-9pm at the same location to give you a chance to view all of his creations while enjoying a glass of wine and treats from South Minneapolis’ Patisserie 46. The shop will also feature the colorful pieces from nationally beloved artist and local homeboy, Drew Beson.

The pop-up shop’s location is co-located with Smile Network International, and a portion of Omforme’s sales will go towards their mission to help individuals born with birth defects, including cleft lips, cleft palates and other conditions requiring surgical interventions.

Omforme’s pop up shop filled with funky fresh furniture will be open daily from December 2-15 from 10am-8pm at 211 1st Street, Suite 150 in Minneapolis.

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