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Up your home-decor game with these local off-the-radar shops

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Many of my friends are at the age where they’re buying houses and moving apartment-sized lives into way more rooms than they’re used to.

While I would love to join the esteemed homeowner ranks someday, because I love collecting and need more surfaces for the aforementioned collections, but until I make a down payment and do whatever escrow is, I’m down to help my friends find the perfect pieces for their homes at a variety of Twin Cities stores.

Here are a couple to check out if you’re looking to fill up some rooms or just change up your living room.

Z Gallerie

Z Gallerie

Z Gallerie

The Galleria in Edina is a home décor super-mall. It’s home to fancy places like Design within Reach, Arhaus, and Gabberts, as well as more accessible stores like Crate and Barrel. Add Z Gallerie to the list. The new, affordable-chic store opened in the mall this spring, and isn’t at all intimidating or frou-frou. I’m a big fan of their “fauxidermy,” none of which is over $200. Think of Z Gallerie as a Home Goods without all the weird cheesy holiday stuff and signs that say “Time for wine!” (3180 Galleria, Edina)

Books

Books are décor! They add charm and character to your home. Obviously, you need to read them and not just decorate with them (don’t get me started on people who turn the spines inward for aesthetic reasons), but books can be a fun way to play with dimensions and design on flat surfaces and shelves. The best bookstore in the Twin Cities, Magers & Quinn, is having a 20% off sale for two days only: April 2 and 3. That's off all of their books: cookbooks, poetry collections, new paperbacks for beach days to come. (3038 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis)

Southside Vintage

Southside Vintage

Southside Vintage

Southside Vintage, an occasional shop in south Minneapolis, is one of the best-kept secrets in the Twin Cities when it comes to furnishings, tchotchkes, and art. The store is always jam-packed with sofas, dining tables, and funky chairs. The store has plans to expand, so owner Susan Calvit and her team have more room for their fun finds. They’ve got Midcentury. They’ve got ‘70s kitsch. They’ve got tiki-style dining sets. It’s kind of the best, and if you haven’t visited, follow them on Instagram at @southsidevintage or Facebook for their hours. (1832 E. 42nd St., Minneapolis)

Craigslist

Spending hours on Craigslist searching for furniture and art a favorite pastime for many, and the Twin Cities is full of treasures. (Hello, rich people in Orono getting rid of their furniture for cheap!) All you need to do is get familiar with the design terms that speak most to you -- like “Victorian” or “Hollywood Regency” -- and start checking regularly. I’ve scored some of my favorite furniture via Craiglist, just be prepared to take a trip somewhere you’ve never been before and find a friend with a pickup to go with you.

Bella Galleria

Bella Galleria

The 50th & Xerxes antique corner

Everyone knows about the kooky antiques and curiosities emporium Hunt and Gather on 50th and Xerxes, but do you know about the other antique stores in the neighborhood? You should! There are several in the area and all are amazing, offering pieces from all eras, primitive to Midcentury. There’s also Bella Galleria home consignment and the lamp store, Michael’s Lamp Studio, so all your home furnishing needs are basically in one handy-dandy place.