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This Midwestern Home Celebrates the Art of Collecting

by Garrett Fleming

This Midwestern Home Celebrates the Art of Collecting, Design*Sponge

I’m currently in the process of moving into a larger apartment with a special someone. My first apartment, while sentimental for various reasons, was my home during a time when I didn’t have the resources to make it look exactly how I wanted it to. I had to scrounge up affordable finds from here and there and compromise because of its size and layout. But this new apartment is going to be designed precisely to my liking once it’s finished.

Fellow design-enthusiast and jeweler Annika Kaplan totally relates to my eagerness. For years she was bridled by having to honor roommates’ and family members’ opinions of her living space. Two years ago, however, she set out on her own for the first time, and she too was finally given the chance to decorate a space as only she saw fit. The result of this uncontrolled design is a colorful and eclectic space that I’m so happy she’s letting us share with y’all today.

Most of Annika’s Minneapolis, MN home’s pizzazz comes courtesy of her collector’s sensibility and a backlog of finds that were just waiting to be seen once she had her own place. These aren’t simple prints or mass-produced accessories either. Whether made of paper, woven or kilned, nearly every piece is one of a kind or a limited-run creation. And nearly every one has a story behind how it was made, the artist who made it, or how it came to be in her home. I can honestly say that there isn’t one decoration inside this home that I recognize from another. How exciting is that?!

These curated details and design originality are all a part of what Annika calls her “museum of beautiful memories,” and you have to see them all. P.S. Did I mention her apartment’s located inside a 100-year-old commercial baking facility? Be sure to click through. I know you will enjoy it! —Garrett

Photography by Zoe Prinds-Flash

Image above: Annika scored this console from Blu Dot after posing in one of their catalogs. She says it’s one of the best trades she’s ever made.

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For years jeweler Annika Kaplan collected pretty artwork and decorations, anxiously waiting for the day when she would finally live somewhere in which she had complete control over bringing her creative vision to life.
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“I love the idea of showcasing all kinds of found objects, garments, ceramics, magazine clippings, post cards, photographs and bits of fabric alongside framed art, creating a living museum of beautiful memories,” Annika says. Many of these cherished accessories — including this paper-cut piece by Christopher Allen — sit on a dresser against the apartment’s 3/4 wall. The wall provides a great divider between the living room and Annika’s bedroom without totally chopping up the space.

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The apartment boasts a large closet, but Annika keeps some of her most colorful pieces on display in her bedroom for daily inspiration.
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Annika’s bedroom is situated in the old bakery’s office. The sliding windows above her bed — now painted over in a crisp white — is where employees would clock in and out of work each day. She made the wall hanging while staying at New Mexico’s Ghost Ranch.

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Annika wanted to infuse her space with what she calls "happy hippie" vibes, so she added this painted arch to the doorway that leads to the kitchen and plopped a watermelon plate from a thrift store near its peak.
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When it came time to decorate, the apartment’s age proved to be the most difficult challenge for Annika to overcome. Drilling through the kitchen’s brick walls, for example, was both loud and messy. Once she did break through them, though, she was able to pop in color and artwork to give the space a refresh. My favorite aspect of this room is her antique range, but a close second is the island she’s painted in Benjamin Moore “Amelia Island Blue.”

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Artwork by Isa Gagarin hangs above a Salvation Army table and chairs chosen for their New Mexican vibe.

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The “old-and-dirty” fridge that came with her home was in need of a major makeover. Luckily a quick coat of Benjamin More “Fiesta Yellow” has done the trick, and it’s now the star of the kitchen.

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A Blu Dot prototype, Annika's couch is her favorite piece of furniture. The textile draped on it is from Merida, Mexico, and the rug on the floor in front of it was a Craigslist gem. It's from the Bani Hamida mountains in Jordan.
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This plant stand is a garage sale find and wasn't teal until Annika got her hands on it.
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Annika installed this plant shelf in the living room so her clippings from the Southwest would thrive.
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"I am a jeweler by trade, but I love to weave the occasional rag rug (particularly in the cold winter months). I bought the loom years ago, and having it set up full-time in my living space is my greatest extravagance," Annika tells us.
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A vintage bathtub painted in Benjamin Moore “Tropical Pool” sits amongst a collection of vintage jewelry from friends, family and of Annika’s own making. These additions have helped take this room — initially her least favorite — from drab to fab.

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"What I love most about my home is living among so much color, texture and light," -- Annika Kaplan
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Annika's apartment lies in an early-20th-century commercial bakery building that's been converted into artist studios, apartments and multi-use workspaces.

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