Gray Home + Lifestyle Joins Downtown Excelsior's Retail Renaissance

Gray Home + Lifestyle. Photos by TJ Turner.

Thirty years after opening on downtown Excelsior’s Water Street, Gray Gardens Home recently came under new ownership—and with that, a new look, a new name, and a freshly curated selection that spans clothing, home goods, and skincare. 

For Gray Home + Lifestyle, mother-daughter owners Dee Dee and Chloe Lappen built on the store’s 30-year heritage as a home-and-garden shop while mining Dee Dee’s experience in wholesale clothing and home design. 

The new store’s product selection is largely artisan-made, small-batch, and specialty-oriented, and notably includes cult skincare brand Grown Alchemist, artisan-made bags from fair-trade label Manos Zapotecas, and linen napkins and towels by Japanese textile brand Fog Linen. Clothing from brands such as Cupcakes & Cashmere (designed by popular L.A. blogger Emily Schuman) toes the line between comfortable and stylish, as does another of Dee Dee’s favorites, Seattle-based Prairie Underground. “They do a great job of taking loungewear fabrics and making them into something adorable,” she says. The store also has an entire wall devoted to candles from names such as Austin Press and SOH Melbourne. “We’re so crazy about candles that we literally have them shipped from Australia,” Dee Dee says. 

Despite the international flavor of the merchandise, the store is also stocked with a fair amount of local goods, including exclusive pieces by Minneapolis clothing brand Hackwith Design House and blankets and wraps by Faribault Woolen Mill. The Lappens also designed the store’s selection of throw pillows and custom furniture made from salvaged barn wood from Wisconsin for a look that is equal parts rustic and modern. It’s one more example of the retail renaissance happening in downtown Excelsior.

Gray Home + Lifestyle, 366 Water St., Excelsior, 952-474-9150,