When Andy Higgins first opened his furniture import store, Ciel Loft & Home, on St. Louis Park’s Excelsior Boulevard in 2013, he saw an area full of potential. The area is home to several specialty home and design businesses, both old and new. With the launch of the SLP Design District, which Higgins has spearheaded, he hopes to unite the district and rebrand it as “the locally owned boutique alternative to big-box home stores”—like 50th and France, only home-specific.
“When it comes to furniture, most people either think of the Southdale area or HOM, and we would like them to know there is an alternative to those places,” he explains.
SLP Design District’s retailers run the gamut of home and design. Woody’s Furniture, which has called Excelsior Boulevard home for more than two decades, specializes in finished and unfinished furniture. Navab Brothers Oriental Rug Company has operated its Excelsior Boulevard storefront since 2001. In 2008, high-end furniture store Traditions Classic Home Furnishings opened its second Twin Cities location on Excelsior Boulevard. Last year, Habitation Furnishing + Design opened, offering design services along with furniture and home decor, and Ciel moved across the street to an airy new space. Since it opened nearly four years ago, Ciel has made a name for itself with its eclectic mix of authentic imports and goods by local makers.
“For the most part you can get almost any furniture line through the the five of us,” says Higgins.
For now, the collective is limited to just five retailers, although it’s possible it will expand. Other home retailer in the area include Filament, which specializes in lighting for the kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom, and Moss Envy, an eco-friendly home goods store.
The retailers are celebrating with a launch party on Thursday, February 9 from 4 to 7 p.m. with open houses at each store and a $1,000 giveaway.
“One day, people will refer to Trader Joe’s here as the Trader Joe’s in the Design District,” Higgins says.
Habitation Furnishing + Design: 4317 Excelsior Blvd., St. Louis Park, 952-426-3548, habitationdesign.com
Ciel Loft & Home: 4415 Excelsior Blvd., St. Louis park, 952-922-2747, cielloftandhome.com
Woody’s Furniture: 5217 Excelsior Blvd., St. Louis Park, 952-929-6300, woodysfurniture.com
Navab Brothers Oriental Rug Co.: 4409 Excelsior Blvd., St. Louis Park, 952-920-9597, orientalrugcompany.com
Traditions Classic Home Furnishings: 4245 Excelsior Blvd., St. Louis Park, 952-285-2777, traditions.com
Follow SLP Design District on Instagram @designdistrictslp