Interiorssneak peeks

Sneak Peek: Chris & Dave Plantan

by anne

Chris and Dave Plantan have lived in their Minneapolis, Minnesota, home for the past 15 years. It has survived two children, two dogs and loads of entertaining. Even with their children off in California now, it’s a place they’ll always call home and a comfortable space to recharge. Chris describes their style as whimsical traditional and full of things they hold near and dear, and with two working fireplaces, the house is “like a big hug.” Chris was founder and creative director of Russell + Hazel where she worked for 12 years. Currently she’s in a “what’s next” phase of her career, moving beyond work/office supplies and into the realm of home decor and personal accessories. We’re looking forward to what she cooks up next. Many thanks to Chris and Dave and to Vickey Weiss for the photos! — Anne

Image above: The dining room side table holds my collection of small perpetual calendars. I found the table in a flea market in Paris, discarded because it didn’t have a top. So lovely . . . but could not imagine it with a wood or stone top. So I decided to top it off in glass, even though it is unfinished on the top.

Image above: I love desks. I love office products. This is a beautiful partners desk and home to puzzle solving, modeling building and book reading. And it makes a great surface to host cocktails and small plates. Just like buildings are crowned at the top, I like to cap off my stacks of books with finials I find.

See more inside Chris and Dave’s home after the jump . . .

Image above: The sunroom with our moss giraffe! It’s one of those things I just couldn’t live without. After attending architectural school in England, I fell in love with formal gardens and topiaries. The children in the neighborhood call it the “giraffe house.”

Image above: The living room. The mantel is a collection of family-generated art work: My son created the framed work after studying Keith Haring in primary school, my daughter’s black and white self portrait, my husband’s wire sculpture of himself from 3rd grade and a clock I found at a flea market in Paris. I heard this beautiful chiming sound in the back of a stall and couldn’t leave without it. Hand-carried it on the plane! The paint color in the room is Igloo from Behr Paints.

Image above: Books and bookmarks everywhere

Image above: Living room. I love pillows. Always changing and adding more, depending on the mood, or the season.

Image above: I love rulers. I love numbers. Some of my favorites are displayed on a vintage drawing table where I decided to use a glass top instead of the wood top. The construction and function of the table are too intriguing to cover up.

Image above: The top of the stairs between the children’s rooms. The sign identifying it as “Michelle and Stephen’s floor” still hangs proudly on the mirror.

Image above: The sunroom is the favorite room of the house. Duchess reigns over the room and has a view of the backyard. I found her in the back of an old shop, on the floor, and felt so sad. I just had to give her a new home. She was in our design studio for years, and I brought her home last year and like to think she is in retirement.

Image above: The dining room is simple; a painter’s canvas tarp tops the table with table legs as candle holders, topiary trees and a grand finial in the center. This changes monthly!

Image above: We love to entertain, so we always have small forks and picks ready and waiting!

Image above: Ahhhhh! My favorite small, delicate and demure martini glasses. I just love the color and the blend of contemporary giving context to the antiques.

Image above: My office at the top of the stairs. I need a big work table and love this one by Kartell. The toy ducks make me laugh.

Image above: Office supplies can be so beautiful. I like to have them at the ready! Not hidden or discarded in drawers.

Image above: The kitchen is charming. Because it is the gateway to the rest of the house, we went with a slate floor to keep up with the traffic demand. And the island is perfect for food prep. The scale holds our dish and hand towels and was a gift from my husband. I love numbers!

Image above: Stephen’s bedroom under the eaves. I painted stripes on the walls when he was young to make the room feel bigger and visually lift the ceiling a bit. The stripes are still there! He is now over 6′ tall but still fits.

Image above: Our bedroom is an oasis. Our house is small, and I wanted a retreat when the kids loaded it up with friends. It really is a lovely space, great architectural bones. We painted it a warm taupe/gray: Aspen Gray from Valspar. And another desk and more books!

Image above: The back hall. I love small spaces, and this was where the boots, umbrellas and lacrosse sticks ended up. The window always made the space feel more special than it was.

Image above: Our Folly! The treehouse and storage shed I built for the kids. The top functions as the fort and sleeping loft. Access by ladder and ropes! It has hosted sleep outs, private club meetings and now keeps the time for us. Beans, our Jack Russell terrier, loves playing by the gardening supplies and hides his ball in the pots.

Suggested For You


  • Really great home! I wish you had revealed a paint color for each of the rooms- very inspirational!

  • Love the laurel wreath sculpture in the first picture – is that another flea market find?

  • Seconding the love for the laurel wreath! Does anyone know where I could find one, or a a bronze/gold laurel wreath for a wall?

  • Really inspiring. A little more posh-feeling than I usually see here on Design Sponge, which I loved. I’m going back to look at it all again right now.:)

  • Love the Moss giraffe. Where did you get it? Also do you have to do alot to
    take car of the moss?

  • This home reflects all things valued: family, memories of things past, creativity explored & adored, permission to try!

  • Elegant and welcoming, adult and whimsical–a balance not everyone wants or can achieve. So much here to appreciate overall and in details that it’s worth repeat viewings. Special thanks for this tour, Design Sponge.

  • I never, ever, ever see a kitchen I would totally trade mine for or try to recreate in totality. This kitchen is the first. I just want to know if slate flooring shows scuff marks and such. Sometimes dark fllooring shows marks more easily and other times it seems to conceal marks.

  • Love the combination of traditional, whimsical, and modern. We have a slate floor in our kitchen which I love–however I had it sealed with a matte sealer. Is yours a glossy sealant?–I may have to consider that. (In addition to changing the cabinets to white : )–adore the kitchen, would swap out mine for that in heartbeat, and ours is only 4 years old

  • This has to be the loveliest home ever featured on Design Sponge. Thank you for sharing.

  • Really a house full of life. I love to see a classical House without the hard aspect and severe that we see often. I Love these.

  • LOVE THIS HOUSE! The way the collections are displayed make it both visual and functional. The touches of traditional French decor mixed with contemporary American sensibilities, make for enviable eye candy. Overall, a treat for the spirit.

  • So refreshing! I needed this after a hard day at work and too much news showing darkness and flooding. Congratulations on your beautiful home.

  • The house does not feel small at all! Very beautiful mix of classic and whimsical, love it!

  • I love your house!! This was a very inspirational sneak peak. This family’s collection of art and furniture is one to aspire to. I especially love the robin blue settee with gold leafing in the master bedroom and the simple, yet elegant and beautiful dining table center piece.

  • I laughed out loud when I saw your rulers! I thought I was the only one who had them on display!
    Lovely home!

  • In the giraffe room, I’d love to know more about the window dressing. Roll up shades? Beautiful home.

  • This home is totally fab! I love everything about it. Quirky, cheerful, delicious, inviting… not to mention visually addicting! Job very well done!

  • Love this house and especially your folly, the shed/treehouse, boy would I love that in my backyard. Very homey and lived in and normal. Great inspiration, I am just redoing my kitchen and you have it , the one I want to do!!!! Read the entire thing and will refer to it often!!

  • I still feel sadness for Duchess . . . may she have an abundance of solitude gazing to brighter pastures.

  • This is so lovely and inspirational! After the chaos from the storm and the heartbreaking losses what a wonderful calm visual. You are so talented. I would also love to know all the paint colors you used, the home does not seem small, just elegant.
    Thank you for sharing.

  • Love the feel of this house. And the giraffe is my favorite. Where did you buy the giraffe?

  • Wow. At first glance, I thought to skip this sneak peek because it is mot my style. The images, however, drew me in. Tasteful, well-planned and very lovely!

  • So beautiful! It really represents Chris’ joyous spirit and curious, creative eye for design. Very excited to see what’s next for her. I was working in the R+H studio one day, a family walked in and the little boy couldn’t get enough of the zebra, it’s been around for a long time so he’s a dear friend and coworker of Chris’. She couldn’t let him go now, he has so much character!

  • Chris,
    Do you know what happened to the orange chandelier from the R+H store? I have always been in love with it and would love to purchase it! Thanks much!

  • Chris,
    I am in love with the orange chandelier from the R+H store. Please let me know if you are interested in selling it!

  • So beautiful! It really represents Chris’ joyous spirit and curious, creative eye for design. Very excited to see what’s next for her. I was working in the R+H studio one day, a family walked in and the little boy couldn’t get enough of the zebra, it’s been around for a long time so he’s a dear friend and coworker of Chris’. She couldn’t let him go now, he has so much character!

  • Loved the video on how to get organize for Traditional Home. Would it be possible to obtain information on the mobile workstations showed? Trying to un-clutter a home office. Thanks!

  • Do you have any more photos (interior or exterior) of the treehouse/storage shed you built? We are looking to build something very similar, but with a slide from the deck balcony!

  • I too would love additional photos or information about your beautiful shed/treehouse. What a great idea!

  • This all looks so wonderful. I especially love the wreath on your dining room side table. Where did you find that. I searched the internet already but could not find anything similar…