Excelsior is feeling more and more like the North Loop of the west. The store openings keep coming; the merchandising keeps getting more refined. Right next door to Golden Rule, which brought the millennial makers, is the new Gray Gardens Home, providing the modern artisan vibe for a more established—or aspirational—clientele. Despite the name—long a fixture on Water Street—this is an entirely new Gray Gardens, run by area resident Dee Dee Lappen and her daughter Chloe.
The historic home-turned-store always had charm, but the Lappens have opened it up (at least, it feels that way) and raised the bar with a chic mix of pretty objects. There’s apparel by St. Paul’s break-out minimalist brand Hackwith Design House, beauty products from (relatively) exclusive Grown Alchemist, and bowls, vases and trays in wood and gold from Roost and others. Manos Zapotecas hand woven tapestry bags add a pop of color. It’s all about making the home a sanctuary, says Lappen, and filling it with beautiful and functional objects. Because Gray Gardens Landscaping still owns the building, you can expect the grounds around the house to come to life next spring. 366 Water St.
Also new in Excelsior:
From the owners of The Suburban—also a mother-daughter team—comes this youthful boutique specializing in women’s street wear and sneakers. (Read: Primp customers should check this out.) Find classic kicks by Brooks and Saucony, plenty of flannels and t-shirts, as well as many Minnesota references—SCARFSHOP hand dyed scarves and Mpls/STP Clothing Co. shirts and knit hats. The entrance is in the east parking lot behind Water Street. 219 Water St. Back
The interior design firm has taken over 206 Water Street, which has changed hands several times in recent years. The store is filled with furniture, lighting and smaller impulse buys such as candles, books. The Sitting Room is keeping its design studio, just around the corner. 206 Water St., 952-473-4440, thesittingroomstudio.com
Coming Soon: Que Sera Basement
Que Sera is about to double its floor space. In January, the design studio will open its lower level, filled with an expanded assortment of furniture for the entire home, as well as nursery. 244 Water St.