From the category archives:


One of the benefits for those who build distinctive luxury homes is the financial ability to include fantastic designs into their home. Some relatively easy accessories to add are unique lighting features that set a home apart from the normal metal fixtures available in today’s market.
Unique Lighting Fixtures from Elk Lighting
Bi-Plane Fighter Pendant Light from Elk Lighting

Take for instance the above light from Elk Lighting. Their novelty lighting fixtures range from airplanes, sports, space ships, and of course my husband’s favorite, the hockey rink with nets and scoreboard included. Elk Lighting is based out of Pennsylvania and has been in business since 1983. They offer a huge variety of lighting fixtures that pay attention to design and value, striving to provide anything but ordinary. If you get a chance, look through their website at the variety of lighting option available for your project.



While most of us that live in the  Twin Cities know that the first place we think of to find high end goods is Edina’s Galleria, the Mall of America, or MOA to us locals, is revamping its style to include some luxury brands previously only reserved for the West side. For those of us that now cringe to travel to the Galleria because traffic is just so dog gone annoying, we can now take a detour to the shops at MOA.

The “South Wing” of the mall is getting a face lift to draw in high-end brands, including porcelain tile and crystal chandeliers, all to a luxury price of $5 Million. Current tenants include Burberry, Hugo Boss, Betsey Johnson, Nordstrom, with more to come in the upcoming months. The true test of keeping these brands here will be sale driven, as rent in MOA is pretty high. Only time will tell if true Lux can survive in Bloomington, the shopping ugly step child of beloved Edina.

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Ever want to know what an expensive home will cost you in the Twin Cities? Well if you are looking for a historic home and you have a couple of million dollars to spare, here are three great choices scattered across the Metro area.

St Paul Historic Italianate Home for SaleBuilt in the 1860’s, this Italianate Farmhouse in Saint Paul boasts 4000 square feet, four bedrooms, and two acres of land/gardens – all for $2.5 Million. Listed with Coldwell Banker Burnet. 

Cedarhurst Historic Mansion in Cottage GroveThe Cedarhurst Mansion in Cottage Grove will only cost you $2.5 Million, but you’ll get a historic home built in 1911, 10 acres of land, and over 12,000 square feet. Listed with Edina Realty.

Historic Frank Lloyd Wright Estate for Sale in Stillwater

For a simple $2.4 Million, you can own the Lovness Estate in Stillwater, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built by the home owners in 1957. Sitting on 20 acres, the home has two bedrooms, a separate cottage, and comes with original plans to build three more small cottages, all designed by Mr. Wright himself. Listed with Sky Sotheby’s Realty.


Check out this luxury mansion in the Hamptons that has been dubbed “The Sand Castle” and boasts over 31,000 square feet!


Guiness Book of Records Largest Gold coinOn June 25, 2010, the world’s largest gold coin will be auctioned off to a really wealthy bidder. Minted in 2007, the Canadian Maple Leaf weighs 220 pounds and 20 inches wide, and is heavy enough that two men cannot pick it up. Yikes!

The coolest tidbit about the coin is the fact is is made of the purest gold on earth, roughly 99.99% pure. Currently face valued at $1 Million, experts believe it will fetch the current gold rate. So that means since gold is currently priced at $1256/ounce, the coin could go for as much as $4.42 Million.

Any takers out there in Minnesota?


If you need some high quality furniture for the room you are redecorating, or you just moved into your brand new home and need some goods to fill the space, then look no further than the International Market Square in Minneapolis.

For three days, November 5-7th, the American Society of Interior Designers is presenting the Annual Designer Sample Sale, where luxury furnishings are being sold at a 50-80% discount. Admission is free and open to the public so make sure to save the date and have fun shopping!


It looks like this past week saw a high end luxury home sell in minutes. Well, not literally. But the home sold “before print”, which in Realtor speak, means the home sold before it was placed into MLS. Us Realtors, when a home is sold this way, place it into the MLS database to not only supply information about the home’s amenities, but also get credit for the sale.

The home, located at 1695 Hunter Drive, in Medina sold for $1.85 Million. What land lover would hate this home, especially since it sits on almost 10 acres?

As for the most expensive home to be placed onto the market? Well, the winner of that award goes to a Wayzata home, 722 Widsten Circle, for a cool price of $3.2 Million (Remax listing). Clicking close on its heals is a Shingle inspired home built in 1940, 1446 Delaware Ave, in West St. Paul, coming in at $2.995 Million (Coldwell Banker listing).


While the rest of the nation neglects to even look to the northern states for any reason at all, (you would think we lived in Siberia according to some southerners) we here in the north realize we have a good thing going. Not only are we home to some very large Fortune 500 companies and their corporate offices (UnitedHealth Group · Target Corporation · Supervalu · Best Buy · Travelers · 3M · U.S. Bancorp · CHS · General Mills · Medtronic · Xcel Energy · Land O’Lakes · Ameriprise Financial · C. H. Robinson Worldwide · Hormel · Thrivent Financial for Lutherans · The Mosaic Company · Ecolab) we can also boast having great luxury communities to feed those executives high end life style.

In and outside Minneapolis and Saint Paul, you can find numerous options for luxury homes. Many times, luxury homes are also historic, as the cities are well stocked with 70-120 year old grandiose homes. If you don’t believe me, visit my historic home blog where I photograph these homes and their stories. In Saint Paul, the place to go for higher end historic homes is the Summit Hill, Ramsey Hill, Crocus Hill areas. In Minneapolis, you can find most of them surrounding Lake Harriet, Lake Calhoun, and Lake of the Isles.

If you want to look at newer construction luxury homes, just north of Saint Paul is the City of North Oaks, a private community that has large parcels for sale. Yep, you can still find some areas that offer acreage. Some other beautiful areas near Saint Paul with high end homes include Mendota Heights, Sunfish Lake and White Bear Lake.

Of course you can’t get too far away from lake living here in the Twin Cities as there is a lake about every 50 feet. (Just a joke by the way) Every town seems to have their own lake. Needless to say, but the most desirable place to live in the Metro area is on Lake Minnetonka, just a few minutes west of Minneapolis.

Lake Minnetonka is surrounded by small towns which were settled well over a hundred years ago. Most of these have a full range of various architectural styles to please any luxury home buyer. On the eastern shore, towns like Greenwood, Wayzata, Excelsior, and Deephaven are closer to downtown Minneapolis, but if drive time doesn’t bother you, then venture further into the Lake Minnetonka area and look for fine homes on Tonka Bay, Mound, and Minnestrista. Obviously I cannot list every little nook and cranny on the lake as there are dozens of bays for your luxury home pleasure, but please know that currently there are 252 homes for sale in the Lake Minnetonka area priced above $1 Million.

Want new construction? Well, let’s leave it at “the sky’s the limit”…and a post for another day.


Last week I had the chance to tour the recently listed historic mansion on Lake of the Isles, located at 2427 Lake of the Isles. It is a beautiful Spanish Revival home that was built in 1911 by architect Frederick Soper. Most of the homes surrounding Lake of the Isles are priced above $1 Million and vary in architectural style. You’ll find Tudor Revivals, Queen Anne Victorians, Spanish Revivals, and more, all with-in a short distance from the Lake. Two of the most expensive homes, including the one photographed above, are priced above $5 Million. Inside these homes, the interior details are just as extraordinary as the exterior facades.

Lake of the Isles is a high demand area, what with the luxury homes and the short commute to downtown Minneapolis. It also offers an extensive trail system around the lake and down to Lake Calhoun, which is part of the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway.

Below are some of the luxury historic homes currently
for sale in Minneapolis, on Lake of the Isles.


At first glance, you would think this small Victorian home looks charming, and some of you might want to move right in. But if you were to walk up and knock on the door, you will have to stoop over to walk through the door. Now if you were a four year old, then this miniature home would be right up your alley.

Confused? Well, don’t be. If you have the land and want your kids to have a playhouse in the back yard, look no further than the luxury playhouses built by Lilliput Play Homes out of Pennsylvania. The Grand Victorian pictured above is their top of the line home, priced at just $20,000. Of course if you want to upgrade the square footage, increase the height, etc, that can be done as well for a little more. Don’t forget to look at the furniture they also offer on their website.

If your child really wants a miniature version of your own mansion, you can custom design the building…the sky’s the limit. I am not kidding. Check out some of the special creations that Lilliput has put together for clients.