Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Historic Mansions of Summit Avenue | Saint Paul, Minnesota.

It was one of the last weekends of late summer in Minnesota, when the heart yearned to spend every warm minute outdoors soaking up the beauty of the season. 
The Twin Cities which consist of Minneapolis and Saint Paul have distinct personalities. Saint Paul is influenced by early Irish, French & German Catholic heritage.
We decided to explore Summit Avenue which is the preserved heritage neighbourhood of Victorian mansions. It extends from the very majestic Cathedral Of Saint Paul with it's copper dome to a 5-mile length of the avenue.
There are many organised tours held by the Minnesota Historical Society, since ours was an impromptu trip we just decided to walk as far as our legs would take us, enjoying the weather and marvelling at the 19th century architecture.

Most of the mansions were built in 1860's by Railroad and Lumbar Barons.

The gateway to a bygone era.

As we passed each Victorian style mansion, we realised they very so unique and distinct in design.

 Come sit a while and watch the season making an exit.

The walk was so breathtakingly beautiful with fresh tender vines entwined around age old rusty iron fences.
 One single puffy cloud.

The Old Smith 'Vine' Masion
This mansion covered with vine was built 1858 and probably one of the oldest in the neighbourhood.

 Our vibrant path.

There are many notable buildings like the James J. Hill HouseF. Scott Fitzgerald House and Frank B. Kellogg House in the neighbourhood.

Addison G. Foster Home 

 Mrs. Porterfield's Boarding House and George W. Freeman House.

The George W. Freeman was built in 1884. The blended style of the orange stone home is called Romanesque Revival, but they took it to a new level replacing stone columns with white Corinthian period Roman columns and even capped it off Spanish style red terracotta roof.  For its day the blending of this many differing styles must have made the house a great statement piece of art.

 Cyrus B. Thurston House

Mrs. J. W. Bass House was built in 1891 as a Victorian style home but soon remodelled it into a Colonial Revival style by adding Roman columns.

 The elusive Monarch butterfly poses for me!

The famous F. Scott Fitzgerald row house. This is the place where he spent most of his youth and apparently wrote his first novel 'This Side of Paradise.'

 The delights of summer!

The House of Hope Presbyterian Church

Hope readers of Rang Decor liked the historical walk on Summit Avenue with it's rich 19th century architectural styles. While researching I learnt a lot about the Victorian, Colonial Revival, Classical Revival styles.

Do click on the links to read in detail about the history of various mansions. If you find yourself in Saint Paul, Minnesota. The historical tour of Summit Avenue is a must do:-)

(Photographs by Arch & are copyrighted. Reference from Wikipedia, Minnesota Historical Society)

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Khazana: Curated treasures on Lyndale Ave | Minneapolis

Serendipity it was!
One weekend we were walking around, exploring the streets of Lyndale Avenue in Richfield and next minute we were entering the door to a store with a giant hot pink lotus painted on the wall.

Walking into the store we were enveloped in the fragrance of floral incense and a welcoming smile by Kelly the hostess at Khazana.
As we got talking she mentioned that she followed Rang Decor on Facebook.
Serendipity it was!
The exterior view of Khazana.

Prayer flags fluttering at the entrance.

Khazana was born out of a passion for collecting art and stories.

Here is the story of how Khazana came into being...
Anju Kataria grew up in India, but traveled extensively with her family from a young age, always collecting things from her travels.
Khazana was born on Nicollet Avenue downtown in it’s first incarnation.  For the last twenty five years, Anju and her husband Ashu have continued to add to their incredible and unique collection, preferring to work directly with artisans and support local craftspeople, both in India and locally.

Khazana literally means 'treasure' and the store is a curated collection of treasures brought here to help tell the story of the people and places they come from. Khazana has a wide array of pieces but is known for textiles, bronzes, exotic jewelry and original artwork.

Three years ago Khazana found it’s final home on Lyndale when the Kataria’s bought a space Anju had loved for twenty years.
Fun Bollywood-inspired products.

Vintage Mirrorwork Textiles.


Madhubani art and textiles.

Fair-trade handcrafted silver jewellery.

'In the last year we have begun to add more classes and interactive activities in an effort to expand how we can tell our story in the community, and provide a space for others to come and tell theirs. 
We plan on offering a travel component this year and are looking forward to being able to take people to the source of these incredible pieces. We have tried to create a beautiful place where people can walk in and feel as though they have stepped into a calm and inviting, and inspiring space. 
We invite you to come experience it, and we look forward to seeing you!'
~ The lovely people at Khazana

So if you find yourself in Lyndale Avenue in Minneapolis or are looking for unique gifts do drop by Khazana~ A true treasure trove.
You can follow them on Facebook at Khazana.

( Images by Arch)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

MN Home Feature: Holiday Decor at Home.

With just a week left for Christmas, the festive mood is on the ascend. Yesterday's snow showers have got our hopes up for a white christmas.

Last two Christmas' we were away from home, travelling, visiting new places. 
This year we are enjoying the holidays at home here in Minnesota and hence I have had the time to put things together in our home that brings holiday cheer and festivity.

The stores are buzzing with a mind-boogling array of holiday decorations, ornaments, wreaths and what-nots. 
Miniature Christmas trees grouped together at the entryway mirror.

As for me I am drawn to vintage, hand-crafted and simple one of a kind decorations. I love picking up things that have a special meaning to me and my family.
We live in a place where we are covered in snow almost six months of the year. White trees are special.

I like to spread the holiday spirit through our home and not just to one room.
Our guardian angel spreads her rosy glow in one corner.

Our 1968 built home has a beautiful exposed brick fireplace, which is a perfect backdrop for our family stockings.

Mr. Vintage Santa was a lovely find from The Cottage House

Wooden blocks can convey so many happy emotions.

Holiday decor on our centre table.

Continuing the holiday decor onto our kitchen table. I decided to bring few branches of an evergreen tree, placed it in a glass bottle filled with water and hung some miniature wooden ornaments on it.

Silhouette of the miniature Christmas tree on the kitchen table with winter morning light filtering through.

Moments of happiness derived from such frames forms a large part of the holiday spirit. Sitting on the table planning recipes for cookie parties with large mug of masala chai by my side or lighting twinkling candles at dusk everyday when the sky turns a deep shade of cerulean blue.

A vintage handcrafted mitten ornament for our christmas tree from the holiday market.

Support local artists, buy handmade, buy from small business' or just DIY! There are so many simple holiday DIY's. If you plan to try then do check out my Pinterest

A Swedish Dala horse ornament from American Swedish Institute holiday market.

Add your own style to decorating, change the bedspreads to red, white or gold. A fresh dishtowel with holiday prints or even a simple star on the shelf can bring in the holiday spirit.

Our christmas tree shimmers adorning vintage and hand-crafted ornaments.

A season to reflect on the year gone by, a deep sense of gratitude for all the good that happened this year, of all the accomplished tasks, life lessons learnt, of first snowflakes softly falling to the ground, a prayer for peace in the world, more appreciation for family and friends who touch our lives in so many ways and to be a better person.

The glittering lights at dusk always brings a sense of calm.
Reflection of the christmas lights on the mirror.

Wishing all lovely readers of Rang Decor a very merry Christmas & Happy New Year. May each one of us find the strength to make a difference in this world of ours in our own way.
Citrus season wishes from my home to yours!

As I sign off for the year, I share this quote that totally says it all:-)

'Maybe Christmas,' he thought, 'doesn't come from a store. 
Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more?'

~The Grinch from, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas

( Images by Arch and are copyrighted. Please do not use without permission)