Roots is a series covering cool ass people, where they've decided to lay a foundation for their lives and of course, their plants.
Minna is originally from the suburbs of Indianapolis, Indiana but always dreamed of living in the city. She moved to Chicago during college while completing her degree in Interior Architecture, and now works as an interior designer. Minna, her partner Derek who is an audio engineer and dog Harley now live in a 1920's 3 bedroom + 1 bath apartment just west of Pilsen, Chicago.
How would you describe your style and home?
This is so hard! Being a young designer, my style is constantly changing so it’s difficult to pinpoint my exact aesthetic. Our house style is…. Eclectic? It’s a collection of pieces that we love and think are beautiful. I really admire people who have one set style, but for our house I see a piece that I think is cool and it always ends up working in our space. I love Kelly Wearstler, so I look to her designs for inspiration. Derek is more mid century boho. Our trip to Morocco last year also informs a lot of the design decisions we’ve made. I also love the resurgence of 80’s + 90’s design and have been slowly trying to add more pieces like that to the home. We also love the cozy vintage vibe of upstate New York. Haha not the most concise answer but if you look at the pictures I think you’ll see what I mean.
Favourite area in your home and why?
My favorite area in the home is the dining room. We have a classic Chicago built-in on one end and a beautiful arch detail on the other end. We’ve created a cool gallery wall right by the entrance with a collection of pieces from our travels and thrifting adventures. I recently found a Mactan stone dining table and recovered thrifted cane cesca chairs to complete the space.
Favourite decor piece, where you got it from?
My favorite piece is our dining table. It’s reminiscent of the Mactan stone tables that are having a comeback. It was such a cheap find from offerup but it makes the space look really expensive and trendy.
Favourite vintage piece, where you got it from?
This is hard too! Almost everything in our house is vintage/thrifted. I would have to say that our living room accent chairs and our bar are my favorite vintage pieces. They were passed down to us from my partner’s grandma. They’re perfectly midcentury and in amazing condition.
Favourite plant(s) and why?
We are sadly not the best plant parents. However, there are two plants that we try really hard to keep alive. I love our money tree in the living room, it adds so much life into the neutral space. We also love our monstera. I gifted it to Derek a few years ago and I think it’s the longest living plant we’ve had. It has its own dedicated corner and has such a large presence in our dining room.
Favourite planter, and where you got it from?
Sadly we don’t have a lot of cool planters. Most of them are classic terracotta… I love it when they kind of patina and age on the outside. I also like the one our money tree is in. It’s just from Home Depot but it has a minimal white plaster look. We definitely need to step up our game, I love the new Viridi cane collection.
Coolest feature of your home?
This has to be a tie between the archway that separates the dining room from the living room and the built-in. I’m obsessed with arch motifs, it’s a huge reason we got the apartment. The built-in is really a sought after feature in Chicago, it’s like a beautiful custom piece that was already here.
If you DIY, favourite DIY?
My favorite DIY is probably the plaster table for our record player. I did a lot of plaster work when I worked at Anthropologie building displays and for projects in college, so I was already comfortable with the process. We already had the table and loved the shape, but the finish needed a refresh. After I saw the Leanne Ford plaster side table at Crate & Barrel was selling for $300, I knew I could hack something similar for way less.
Nope... I can’t choose. Hahah I have like 5 dream houses. I would love to have a city apartment and a remote weekend house. We visited the Catskills during quarantine and now I’m obsessed with the idea of having a Brooklyn apartment and a Catskills home. I also wouldn’t mind an LA apartment and a Joshua tree home. Also, Montreal, Ibiza, Marrakesh, Madrid, Paris, etc.
Do you want to stay in your place for a while? If not, where to next?
With Covid our whole life seems up in the air. Chicago is so much fun and if I was older I could see this being an amazing place to settle down, but we’re still young and have a lot more to explore. We’ve been in our place for 2.5 years. It’s sad because we love the apartment, but every few years we’re ready for our next adventure. I think NYC or LA is where we’ll call home next.
Ending words from Minna
I started a website during quarantine to share some of my DIY projects, so it would be amazing for people to follow my adventures on Instagram and check out the blog at taupe-stories.com. More professionally though, I am an interior designer and would love to do more freelance projects. You can book my services on the website too!
Roots is a series covering cool ass people, where they've decided to lay a foundation for their lives and of course, their plants. If you would like to be apart of Roots, or know someone with a cool ass home, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.