Saturday, December 11, 2010

Must See Home Decor OVERLOAD! Bachman's Idea House 2010

Just a warning, this is a LONG, but fantastic blog. I took my first trip to Bachman's Holiday Idea House on Friday, and it was amazing! I have never been to one of their Idea Houses so one of my co-workers suggested we check it out and it was so worth it!  Bachman's is a Floral and Gift Garden here in Minneapolis, and their Idea House was their original founder's house built in the 1920's (very similar layout and details as our house!).  The company now uses the house for their seasonal Idea House creating entirely new rooms for each of the four seasons. 

Everything about each room is different for each season's idea house, right down to the paint on the walls.  When you enter the house you get a brochure that lists all the details for each room including the paint color and 'ideas'.  The cool part?  Everything in each room is for sale!  Bachman's mixes new and vintage items, so you can score some antiques if you visit the house in the first week of opening.  Sadly, most items were already purchased but now I know to go early next time!

So, please enjoy these photos from the idea house. These are actually just a handful of the MANY pictures I took but I think these are the best of the bunch. I have already finished up decorating my house for this holiday season (shown here, here, and here), but got some cute ideas for next Christmas as well as year round home decor!

Lets start in the Dining Room!
I love the ribbon around the chairback with the antique light bulb ring and initial.
The built in buffet holiday vignette.

On to the Living Room! Here is the elegant Christmas tree, looked so lovely with the shade of paint in the living room.
Here is the small room off the Living Room set up for a New Years Eve celebration (makes me want to throw a party at our house this year!).
In the Living Room was an adorable little dog bed made from a vintage doll bed (perfect for Rocco, Sadie would need a Twin size bed). It was so cute, the pillow said "Dear Santa, I've been a very, very, very good dog."
I LOVED this table made out of an old floor grate in the Living Room.
On to the beautiful mantel display. I love that they used an antique window shutter as a window box for the pointsettias.
Within the fireplace they used vintage belts to hold the birch logs together.
This was probably my favorite idea in the Living Room, vintage irons used as stocking holders!  Isn't that adorable?  I need to put those on my list for my next antique shopping trip! Note, the books in the back stacked in the shape of a Christmas tree, super cute too!
Salvaged metal pillars made for the perfect cardholders. Also, check out those vintage wood clocks with mirrors replacing the clockfaces.
Sewing machine base used as a side table.

On to the kitchen! 
I loved this cookie cutter light fixture.
Here they used flour sack towels as window curtains.  It is a little hard to see but they have cookie cutter tiebacks and clothes pins along the top of each curtain. I also loved seeing the original tub sink.
Above the stove were vintage stain glass windows with backlighting.
Aprons were hung on silverware wall hooks.
This ironing board closet was turned into an Advent Calendar.

Now to the small main level bathroom, which reminded me of our main floor mini bathroom.
They used a fence gate for the wall decor and skates as vases to hold flowers. I loved the vintage metal hooks used to hold the bath tissue and towels too.
Also loved this vintage drawer used as a shelf.  LOVE the original corner sink in here too!
Let's go upstairs now! In the stairwell vintage ceiling tiles with mirrors in the center.
There were also antique snow shovels used as wall decor. I loved the hanging vintage window and garland display. I couldn't help but get ideas for our own stairwell!

Here is the Gift Wrap and Sewing Room (which would be the most amazing craft room ever, minus the pink overload).
Vintage ladders are used for wall idea organizers, simply amazing!
 This was a fun idea too, sewing patterns used as a window valance.
Here's a cute wall calendar made from scrapbook paper and plexi glass.
 An antique restaurant cart sees new life as a work table. (this one wasn't sold yet, but it was over $600)
 I didn't take a lot of pictures in the Master bedroom aside from these vintage space heaters turned into mirrors, very cool!

Onto the Upstairs Bathroom, which again reminded me of our Larger Bathroom. The size, the beadboard and the tile all looked so similar to our redo, it made me so excited!
 Loved these vintage luggage pieces stacked and turned into a table.
 I had to get a close up of the tile, the brochure didn't say but I assume it is original to the house. I just loved this hexagon tile, made me happy we chose the tile we did for the upper bathroom.

Now to what they called 'The Girls Room'.
I loved these vintage metal hangers arranged as wall art. I would love to use this idea for our Spare Room redo (since it will include a closet).
 This piece made me kick myself for not going to the idea house right away. This awesome vintage metal table with pull out files was priced at $39.00!!! Who ever purchased it got an awesome deal, I love it!
 Here they used a vintage crib rail as a magazine rack.
 This was a very unique idea for a headboard, a pipe frame covered with lace and canvas.
 So this isn't a decor picture, but in the upstairs 'Boy Room' (which had a mega hockey theme) there was a door that went out onto the roof.  Just like in our house and all the other old houses in our neighborhood (discussed in this blog). Why do the 1920's homes in Minneapolis have this?!?!  Does anyone out there know? I am dying to find out! I asked the staff working in the house and they all had no idea either.
Here is the last photo from the porch as we left the Idea House.  I loved the lamp shade (with no shade) frame that had red beading at the bottom.
So that's it! I ended up stopping in their store on my way out and got some antiques that were similar to ones featured in the Idea House, so I will post another blog with those items once I find a home for them in our house. I can't wait to go next season for more ideas!  Hope you got some fun ideas too!

The Lettered Cottage


  1. You weren't kidding, inspiration galore!

  2. Carla,

    I've always wanted to go to this but haven't made it there yet! If you make another trip in future seasons, I'd love to join you!

    It's funny to see all the pictures since I've done some similar things in our house and past rentals. The wall color in the room with the white Christmas tree is very similar to our new living room color. We have a sewing machine side table in our living room too! The top is wooden though, not glass. And although I used cookie cutters in my kitchen wreaths, I love the light fixture idea! Too bad we have a fan in the kitchen that wouldn't convert well. I've also used ice skates before in Christmas decor, although never as a planter.

    I've seen book trees like that at West Elm and another retail store (?) this season too and considered making one. But I love the books we own too much to possibly ruin the spines!

    I agree with you that the grate table and shutters are awesome ideas!

    The dining room chairs reminded me of yours (which I love) and make me wish for more modern chairs someday.

    Ok, I could comment even more since this is an awesome inspirational post! I'm so glad they let you take pictures! Thanks for posting.


  3. I love this post so much I worked in a link to it for our next blog post (Wed.) I posted the picture of the card display and a link to your blog! And Ikea had three of the rack things if you're interested!

  4. Carla,

    There's a store/house near us called the Cottage House that I think you'd like. It's on Chicago and 43rd in an old house and it's only open 5 days a month. I'm not sure what they're next open weekend is (I drive by it daily so that's how I know if they're open!) but the link below includes a phone number. You may be able to find something 'perfect' for your porch! Happy Hunting!


  5. Coming from Layla's and so glad I did this is really a spectacular post...I have never seen an idea house before and just such a big huge treat...thanks for sharing new *friend*

  6. Could it be possible that the doors leading to the roof from the bedroom were used as fire escapes?? I am totally guessing here!!
    Gorgeous idea house! Thanks for sharing!

  7. I love the metal table with pull out files...where is a good place to find one??


    1. as long as you get in the house before your half hour block ends then you are fine. They don't kick people out but I think if you were in there for like 2 hours they will get suspicious that you are doing something weird. You should check it out!

  9. Good to know. I am bringing some eldery ladies down and 30min is not going to be long enough :) Thanks for the quick reply.

  10. The door probably leads to an old "airing porch." They used to have a flat-roofed porch and they used the upstairs to hang out bedspreads and carpets and stuff to "air" them since cleaning them was not practical due to lack of equipement "back then." My house has one and most of the houses in my neighborhood have them.

  11. Sounds like the door to an "airing porch." Used for airing heavy things that were not practical to clean "back in the day." Rugs, bedspreads, etc...


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