Interiorssneak peeks

D*S Team Tours: Shannon’s South Minneapolis Home

by Shannon Grant

After almost five years of sharing countless homes on Design*Sponge, I’m excited to have the opportunity to open the doors of my own home today. As Lauren said in her peek, when Grace first approached the team about editor home tours, I was excited — but a bit overwhelmed. A home is so personal, and to share it with the world made me nervous. But that’s what I’ve loved about featuring homes on Design*Sponge over the years: the fact that it is so personal. We are initially drawn in by the design, but we stay for the stories.

Not that long ago, my husband Mark and I made the tough, yet not uncommon, decision to move out of Brooklyn. We loved the city, but yearned for something more (or less, depending on which way we looked at it). We discussed this possibility off and on for a few years, tossing around different cities, initially as far away as Paris, then kept it U.S. specific: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Philadelphia…maybe Minneapolis? Mark is from Minnesota, and when we considered why we wanted to move (more space, closer to family, better cost of living), Minneapolis started to make a lot of sense. We were still dragging our feet, until the day almost three years ago when my mom suddenly passed away. Immediately, everything was put in perspective. It was on that day that we decided it was time to move closer to Mark’s family in Minnesota and my father in Wisconsin. Thus started the arduous process of moving as a grownup (much harder than as a 22-year-old, I learned!), saying goodbye to friends and extended family, finding jobs, moving to a new and unfamiliar city (I’m originally from Connecticut), and driving again after a 12-year hiatus, all under a cloud of immense grief.

The whole process took a full 12 months, but by December 2013, we were in our new home in South Minneapolis. Settling into our apartment was one of the easiest parts of our move. With a backyard, room for visiting guests, and extra storage space, it was such an upgrade from most New York City apartments. It was hard not to love. Filled with our favorite art, travel artifacts and reminders of our old New York life, we’ve spent the last two years making this space feel like home. Similar to previous apartments we’ve lived in, we love melding the existing, traditional architectural details with our collection of new and vintage furnishings to create a casual yet considered home. As renters, we are limited as to how much we can alter the space, of course, but it is also fun to work within those parameters. We love living in Minneapolis, with its balance of urban living and green space, art and design scene, and overall quality of life. Mark is an artist, and I work as a design director during the day, so it is ideal to come home to a space that allows us room to create. It has been nice to stand still for a minute, feel settled and have a fresh start.

I once read that a person should try to avoid going through more than one life change at a time because of the stress it causes. Unfortunately, life doesn’t always work out that way. But of the many things I learned through a few years of tumultuous transition is that change is good, time (slowly) heals, and home isn’t always where you expect it to be. –Shannon

Photography by Canary Grey

DesignSponge Home Tour
Our cat Frida, in a rare moment of repose. She's usually a little terror, so we had to immortalize this serene moment. The dresser was my first major furniture purchase, bought on Craigslist from a woman on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, whose mother-in-law had been the original owner. I knew I wanted something vintage, and I still love it as much as I did the day I bought it. The framed silkscreen was made by an old classmate, Niki Kelce. It took me a few years to frame it, but I'm so glad I did. It reminds me of my early art school days in New York. The basket, plaid blanket and some pillows are from Mille. The rest of the bedding is a mix of family heirlooms, and a duvet cover from Zara.
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Bedroom corner, with a painting by my Aunt Kat. Growing up, she was one of a few family members who were a huge influence on me taking a creative path in life. She spent most of her career painting faux finishes in historic interiors and now, in retirement, has dedicated herself to floral still-life paintings.
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The framed artwork is a drawing by local artist Jesse Matthew Petersen.
DesignSponge Home Tour
Mark's dresser. When we moved into our first apartment together, he wanted to get a dresser similar to mine and scored this one on Craigslist. Atop the desk is a photo that we took on a backpacking trip through Sequoia National Park a few years ago.
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Our bathroom is teeny-tiny, but gets nice natural light. By day I work as a Design Director at Aveda, and though it's hard to tell from this photo, my bathroom is essentially a mini-Aveda store. On the right are just two of at least 10 oils I have that I like to mix into lotions or use as perfume. The wooden rack and towel are from Foundry Home Goods, and the acrylic shelf is from The Container Store.
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View into the bedroom from the kitchen. I used to volunteer at the Museum of Modern Art, and before we moved I bought this Eames Hang-It-All at a pretty big discount from their gift shop. It kind of goes with everything and nothing at the same time, and we love it. We like the artist Chris Ofili and bought this print of his (on a tea towel) at LACMA last winter.
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The windows in our kitchen. One of the things that we love about this apartment is how big and bright the kitchen is, which is great since we cook all the time. Mark has the green thumb and the plants thrive in this window. The plant stand is from Terrain, terrarium from Sprout Home, and curtains from Urban Outfitters.
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Our kitchen sink. Living in an old apartment, you don't always get a dishwasher, but you get a charming sink like this. We painted the walls pale blue in the kitchen and bathroom, which is a color we've painted in almost every apartment we've lived in. My mother used to paint the same color in every house she and my father lived in. We love pale, almost-white wall colors. The silkscreen print is by Claire Nereim, tea towel is Heather Taylor Home from Mille and a mix of Jonathan Adler, Heath and vintage Russel Wright for the ceramics.
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The kitchen is bright during the day, but not so much at night, so we bought this light online at Burkelman. The Calder poster is from LACMA.
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We buy art postcards every time we are at a museum or on a trip. This is just part of the collection. The L&W card is a wedding invitation I designed for a friend this summer and to the right of the fridge are messy piles of cookbooks.
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Buffets are pretty common in South Minneapolis homes and apartments. I love that it's been well-maintained over the years. We bought the mate cup on our honeymoon in Argentina. The vase is IIttala and the basket was a gift from a friend.
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Our ever-growing gallery wall, with a mix of family and travel photos. Below is our record console (Craigslist score) and turntable - we love to collect records. The Prince album is a little shout-out to Minnesota!
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The view of the dining room from the living room. The painting is by local artist and friend, Jeremy Szopinski. We also love these built-in bookshelves. Between the buffet and the bookcases, it meant less furniture was needed when we moved in.
DesignSponge Home Tour
DesignSponge Home Tour
We are very slowly starting the process of looking for a house, but are pretty comfortable at the moment, in part because we have an amazing landlord. He replaced every single window in our apartment at the end of last summer. Living in Minnesota, it made a huge difference in our heating bill, and we still have all the old charm of a historic apartment.
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The two artifacts on the left are from Morocco. One is a piece of Argan wood with an ancient wedding contract written on it. We sat with the shop owner for a couple of hours the day we bought it while he tried to read it to us, as it's written in an ancient Berber Arabic dialect. The Hamsa is a good luck token. The framed print is by the local artist and friend Sean Connaughty.
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The driftwood was found on a hike in Argentina, the votive holder is from Heath Ceramics in San Francisco and the vase/pitcher is IIttala.
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Our reading corner. The painting on the wall is one of Mark's.
DesignSponge Home Tour
For a while we thought we needed side tables and then recently decided against it. The less furniture, the better (more room for book piles). The Tord Boontje light is from the MoMA store, floor lamp from Craigslist. One of Mark's paintings from his grad school days is on the left and the black-and-white photograph is by Alexandra Roche. The rug is from Morocco. I wanted a velvet couch for the longest time and we found this one at West Elm. We heard cats don't like to claw into velvet, but that's proving to be untrue.
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We can never have too many art books, or flowers.
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The studio. This little four-season room is where Mark creates his work. We love that it has so many windows, but it would be great to have more wall space. After years of having a separate studio space, it's nice to have one right in our home.
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A few of Mark's recent works.
DesignSponge Home Tour
DesignSponge Home Tour
The guest bedroom. Coming from extra-small living in New York City, it has been such a luxury to have a bedroom for guests, and it has been put to good use. The front pillow and rug are from Morocco (we did a lot of shopping on that trip), the vintage kantha bolster is from Mille and I made the curtains.
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Floor plan
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