Minneapolis City Guide

Minneapolis City Guide graphic

When my husband and I were first married in 1980 he was looking for a new job. Now I’m a Texas girl, so the only place I said I didn’t want to go was snowy, cold, arctic-like at times, Minnesota. Of course, where did he get his job offer? Minnesota. I was less than thrilled of course, but after 36 winters in this state, I have come to love the Twin Cities. And thanks to down coats, award-winning restaurants and spectacular shops I can make it through the few sometimes-dreaded winter months with plenty to do and see.

Here are some of my favorites:



Native Minnesotan with New York experience, Gavin Kaysen, operates one of the toughest restaurants in town, Spoon and Stable. The interior is absolutely extraordinary with an open kitchen concept, white marble throughout and high ceilings with a beautiful wine cellar as the focal point of the dining room. The food is magical; think scallop crudo, excellent pasta and risotto dishes, a pot roast to dream about and crispy potatoes layered with butter and garlic. If you can’t get a reservation, get there when they open at 5pm and snag a seat at the charming bar.

Spoon and Sable

For crispy fried chicken and a cheeseburger that will knock your socks off, try Revival in Kingfield. Order the macaroni and cheese as a side and try all the hot sauces.

If it’s too nice outside to be inside, stop by Sea Salt Eatery in Minnehaha Park (open April through October). Bring blankets and make it picnic style, or enjoy the terrace while you snack on scallop tacos and peel & eat shrimp. Save room for Sebastian Joe’s ice cream.

For brunch you can’t go wrong with The Kenwood in the charming, lovely Kenwood neighborhood of Minneapolis. The space gives off a masculine feel with tufted leather, hardwood and plaid wallpaper. But the food is warm, inviting and never disappointing. Think huevos rancheros with braised pork, a signature burger with pork belly, gruyere and a fried egg, and jewel-toned roasted beet salad with ancient grains. Take a walk around Lake of the Isles post brunch and admire the spectacular houses that line the pathway.

To spice things up, step into Venezuelan street food heaven at Hola Aprea. What started as a food truck is now a darling stop in South Minneapolis with inviting turquoise doors and even more colors and fun inside. Traditional handmade arepas, (cornmeal “pockets” stuffed with meats, veggies, cheese and topped with homemade salsas) are delicious and fun to order a few kinds to taste, take bites and pass with friends. Yuca fries and guacamole can’t be denied, and you’ll sip some of the best cocktails in the city.

Hola Aprea



Distilleries and taprooms are all they hype right now in Minneapolis.
A must stop for beautiful craft cocktails and friendly bartenders is Tattersall Distilling in Northeast Minneapolis. Try the Clover Club Cocktail, a gorgeous shade of pink, carefully mixed with Tattersall Gin, lemon juice, raspberry syrup and an egg white. The foamy white egg white top is like a pillow on top of pink silk.


After cocktails at Tattersall skip over to Bauhaus Brew Labs for refreshing, local Midwest IPAs and Bohemian Pilsners among others. The outdoor patio is large, complete with strings on strings of white lights, bean bags, and picnic tables big enough for lots of friends.

For classic cocktails in a cozy downstairs, speak easy type feel head to Parlour in the North Loop. Be sure to order the Old Fashioned, by far one of the best in the city.

An old school 1906 restaurant with booths and a copper-topped bar serves up Negronis, Side Cars, Sazeracs and Bubbles. The Monte Carlo is situated in the North Loop Neighborhood of Minneapolis. Post up at this classic bar for the perfect night out.

Bauhaus Brew Labs



MartinPatrick3 in the North Loop has become one of the most distinctive shopping experiences in the Twin Cities. The shop specializes in men’s clothing, but also has a large enough footprint for a significant furniture selection and interior design services. They have great merchandise, a small beauty section and some women’s accessories as well. There’s even a bar for drinks where customers (or husbands) can relax.

One of my favorite accessory shops of all time, The Foundry Home Goods are so thoughtfully curated you’ll want to take home one of everything. From porcelain gold dipped spoons, Spanish wine glasses, grey linens and beeswax candles, I’ll say it again; you’ll simply want to take home one of everything.


Across the street from Martin Patrick 3 and around the corner from the Foundry Home Goods, you’ll find DNOLO, a destination of shops within shops. You’ll find many favorites for women’s clothing and upscale accessories. Plus, DNOLO is attached to a couple fabulous interior design and accent stores: Ciel and Witt and Bliss.

Cial and Witt

On Saturday mornings peruse the Mill City Farmers Market for local produce, pastries, granola, flowers and cheese. Among food vendors you’ll find organic cotton dresses, handmade soaps, high-end rugs and one of a kind ceramics and jewelry.


Spoon and Stable // sheadesign.com
Hola Aprea // holaarepa.com
Tattersall Distilling // tattersalldistilling.com
Bauhaus Brew Labs // bauhausbrewlabs.com
The Foundry // handfulofsalt.com
Witt + Bliss // wittandbliss.com

I Picked Four Shades of Gray so You Don’t Have To

Four Shades of Gray graphic

Gray has become quite the trend, and it’s safe to say it’s here to stay. It’s the perfect complement to white trims or wood trims, interior walls or exterior, walls in the bedroom, the bathroom, the dining room, the kitchen… even kitchen cabinets are getting a gloss over of gray. Which means, at this point, there are more gray paint chips at Home Depot than hammers. The options are endless. To help you narrow it down a bit, here are few of my favorite grays.


Benjamin Moore Berkshire Beige

If you’re just dipping your toes into the gray trend, this is a perfect place to start. This soft neutral hue is a warm beige with taupe and gray undertones. It’s lovely in any size room and pairs perfectly with a warm honey or dark hardwood floor.

Benjamin Moore Berkshire Beige


Benjamin Moore Aura Chelsea Gray HB-168

Benjamin Moore’s Chelsea Gray is the perfect shade of green-based gray. Green-bases can make for a warm and smooth look. In the case of Chelsea Gray on these cabinets, they almost look like they have a velvet finish. I just love that.

Benjamin Moore Aura Chelsea Gray


Restoration Hardware Slate

Restoration Hardware’s Slate paint takes Berkshire Beige to the next level. It holds onto the versatility of taupe, but adds a bit more depth to any space. Another classic shade for any room.

Restoration Hardware Slate


Sherwin Williams Peppercorn

Go bold of go home, right? Something like that. This matte, satin shade stems from a rich blue-base gray. In certain lights it can appear as a deep charcoal, but a few hours later it could transform into a dramatic blue gray. Creamy whites, oranges and brighter blues look spectacular with Peppercorn as the backdrop.

Sherwin Williams Peppercorn


Benjamin Moore Aura Chelsea Gray // House Beautiful
Berkshire Beige // Houzz on Pinterest
Restoration Hardware Slate // One Kings Lane on Pinterest
Sherwin Williams Peppercorn // Apartment Therapy on Pinterest

Refreshing your home in seven simple steps.

Refreshing your home in 7 simple steps

Ever wonder how interior designers pull off those stunning room makeovers? With the right tools and inspiration, you too can transform your home into a fabulous design-influenced space you’ll want to show off. Read on to learn some of my favorite tips for freshening up your home. They’re quick, easy and inexpensive — and I’m really excited to share them with you!

TIP 1: Rearrange your furniture for an easy refresh.

TIP 1: Rearrange your furniture for an easy refresh.

Rearrange your furniture for an easy refresh.
As much as we love to pore over glossy design magazines, it’s not always budget-friendly to spring for new furniture each season. But you can create a fresh new look in a room by simply moving the furniture you already own! Swap sofas for easy chairs or end table and more. An easy way to get the job done is with Furniture Super Sliders. These handy tools easily slip under your furniture to help slide it to its new location. Then, ta-da: A new room awaits!
Link: Super Sliders

TIP 2: Use a dimmer switch to create the perfect ambience.

TIP 2: Use a dimmer switch to create the perfect ambience.

Lighting is a biggie. Sometimes it gets overlooked when designing a space, but it shouldn’t be. I love dimmer switches because you can choose your own level of brightness. In a re-build or new build, they’re easy to install. But even if you aren’t building, you can still attach dimmers to existing lamps and lighting. They’re an inexpensive upgrade that can make a huge impact. Get ready to set the mood!
Link: Lamp Dimmer

TIP 3: Install a remote control in your lamps.

TIP 3: Install a remote control in your lamps.

Wouldn’t it be lovely to walk into your home, click a button and your entire mood-lit lamps flicker on? You can…just plug your lamps into a remote-controlled light switch. It’s an upscale update that makes entering your home seamless. (For an extra dose of mood, look for remote controls with built-in dimmers.)
Link: Wireless Appliance Remote Control Lamp Light Switch

TIP 4: Add color in those hard-to-reach areas with Paint Behind.

TIP 4: Add color in those hard-to-reach areas with Paint Behind.

It strikes all of us — the desire to change the look of our homes. One weekend it’s the kitchen, the next time, perhaps the bathroom. And though you may have the motivation, your toilet may pose a problem. But it doesn’t have to with Paint Behind. This valuable painting tool makes getting in those hard-to-reach areas so easy, you’ll want to paint every room in the house! Get behind toilets, radiators and more. Nothing’s out of reach with Paint Behind.

TIP 5: Removable Wallpaper and Wall Decals

TIP 5: Transform a room with removable wallpaper and wall decals.

Make over a room without making a commitment! Temporary wallpaper or wall decals are easy-to-use art appliques that can quickly transform a space, yet allow you to be a quick-change designer when needed. There are many companies out there, but a few of my favorites are Chasing Paper and Walls Need Love. Go ahead, give your walls a change — the beauty of removable design means it’s always an easy fix.
Link: http://wallsneedlove.com/collections/wallpaper
Link: http://www.chasingpaper.com

TIP 6: Keep your rugs in place with Hold-It rug/carpet tape

TIP 6: Keep your rugs in place with Hold-It rug/carpet tape.

A rug can seriously make the room with a vibrant dash or color or a cozy dose of warmth. But what if the rug is slippery or bunching up under furniture? Not a good look at all! That’s where Hold-It for Rugs by Duck Brand comes in. This amazing product helps put rugs in their place — and keeps them there.
Link: Hold-It Adhesive for Rugs

TIP 7: Make the ordinary extraordinary with patterned extension cords.

TIP 7: Make the ordinary extraordinary with patterned extension cords.

Extension cords. Every house has them…every house needs them. They’re functional, but not a lot of fun. Until now. Conway Electric designed unique extension cords that are so cool-looking, I think you’ll actually enjoy seeing them peeking out of corners or workstations. The cord-wrapped fabric comes in a variety of fun patterns and colors, so you can find the perfect one that suits your — and your home’s — personality perfectly!
Link: Black and White Extension Cord