Mirror, Mirror on the Wall – Home decor that reflects who we are

Although the mirror in your living room is unlikely to tell you who is the fairest of them all, the type of mirror you choose may still say something about you. From a demure antique bench in a mudroom to a brilliant, modern vase in a foyer, room décor not only enhances the home, it is an opportunity for self-expression.

0006A Country Life Shop

Sherry Albertson, owner of A Country Life Shop in Plainview, describes decorating with home accents as more than placing objects in a room. “Women are having a love-affair with their homes because decorating it is a process and, often, the home reflects who they are.”

    When adding personal touches to a home, Albertson advises, “It is important to have conversation pieces…pieces with a story.” Such a piece can be anything from pictures of a special vacation to a family heirloom.

    Albertson, who has owned A Country Life Shop since 2008, bought it from its previous owner because it was her life-long dream to own a store filled with unique, American-made home decor. Located in a century-old hotel, the shop is a cozy mid-winter haven filled with rich, New England-style heritage art work, candles, linens and decadent furniture. Contact them at 507-534-4282 or thecountrylifeinc.com.

0017Uptown Furnishings and Floral

A half a block down from A Country Life Shop on Broadway in Plainview you’ll find the welcoming home décor of Uptown Furnishings and Floral. Among its alluring silk and fresh florals, fine furniture and “shabby chic” accent pieces are many different wall signs, including one that reads, “Home is where your story begins.”

    As owner Sherri Norton explains, it’s easier than you might think to use home décor to add personality to your walls. “Adding a few things like wall art or accessories can make a big difference. Even resetting items you already own can give them a whole new life.”

    Norton and her husband, Jeff, bought Uptown Furnishings from its previous owners in 2010 because the Nortons were looking to begin a new life of their own after Sherri’s 20-year career at Mayo Clinic. Contact them at 507-534-2012 or uptownfurnitureandfloral.com.

0016The Mouse

Tucked into the Miracle Mile Shopping Center in Rochester is a warm and cheery home décor shop with a name that’s just as charming…The Mouse.

    “People come here because it is an experience,” says owner Wendy Byers,
who bought the store 11 years ago from her mother, Jeanne DeBruin. Jeanne opened the shop in 1987 and still works there with her daughter.

    The eclectic décor at The Mouse ranges from heartwarming items like candles and potpourri to inspirational wall art and sculptures to contemporary linens, dishes and gourmet kitchen items. They also carry scarves, jewelry and purses, “so you can decorate yourself as well as your home,” says DeBruin.

    The varied décor has broad appeal and follows the women’s philosophy to “love the little things in life” that allow your home to tell your story without costing a fortune. Contact them at 507-282-7711 or at themouseonline.com.

0026Cut Above Home

One area of home décor that speaks volumes about a homeowner’s personality is wall art, from framed collages of family pictures to mixed media pieces that meld wire and oil-paint on stretched canvas.

    What hangs on our walls often indicates what comforts us or occupies our thoughts. Perhaps that is why Cut Above Home, a unique boutique in Apache Mall in Rochester, carries such a vast array of artwork. “There is never the same piece on the wall twice,” says store manager Ashley Haeska.

    Julie Schrimpf, owner of Cut Above Home, strives to keep one-of-a-kind art on the walls of her five different stores to suit her customers’ varied tastes. “Customers will visit the other stores in search of a unique picture,” says Schrimpf who started selling home décor out of her Goodhue home in 1999 before opening the Apache Mall store in 2005.

    She also has Cut Above Home stores in the Mall of America, Ridgedale Mall, Burnsville and Red Wing. All stores carry candles, pillows, pottery and accent furniture, in addition to wall art. Contact the Rochester store at 507-288-3808 or cutabovehomes.com.


Whether you are looking for a conversation piece at A Country Life Shop, a “shabby chic” console table at Uptown Furnishings, an inspirational sculpture at The Mouse or a unique picture for your walls at Cut Above Home, each store offers scores of treasures that are sure to invigorate your home and help you tell your tale.

Marlene Petersen is a Rochester writer who is looking forward to redecorating much of her house this winter.