Here, we ask designers to take a selfie and give us an inside look at their life.
Occupation: Designer and owner of Prospect Refuge Studio.
Studio location: Minneapolis.
Describe what you make: We design interiors—largely private home spaces—and we have a niche passion for “Old Homes, Young Families,” among other things.
The most important thing you’ve designed to date: We recently completed Ontologia, a lighting collection consisting of four interactive fixtures with fellow Minneapolis studio Hennepin Made. It explores how we can foster relationships and stay engaged with the objects in our lives long-term.
Describe the problem your work solves: We enjoy storytelling through space. Composing interiors is like conducting a symphony—we’re bringing together so many skilled craftspeople, trades, artists, and objects to create a holistic and emotive environment. We’re simultaneously thinking about the most minute details and the grandest moments to create a nuanced but palpable narrative.
Describe the project you are working on now: We have a few beautiful old home projects coming up that are rich with intimate details. There’s one kitchen in particular I’m very excited to share that features a tilework collaboration with our friend Kristen Falkirk, who took it upon herself to research and represent Minnesota lakes in the outlines of her hand-painted tiles. It’s a little love letter of sorts and the kind of story you can feel, but might not fully understand unless you ask the homeowner about it. These are my favorite kinds of moments.
A new or forthcoming project we should know about: We’re also working on a few national properties with unique stories including the reimagining of a historic newspaper building in Emporia, KS, into a restaurant, residential, and workspace. There’s kind of a Wes Anderson quality to Emporia that’s very endearing—it’s insulated but worldly at the same time. The existing building features cut glass windows and wenge wood paneling alongside massive industrial printing-press room infrastructure. The whole thing is an interesting mix of cosmopolitan grandeur combined with stoic Midwestern charm, an intoxicating combination and one I’m excited to see play out.
What you absolutely must have in your studio: Our studio is designed to change and evolve. Nothing is permanent. I like to keep a good number of books around that I’ve never read for when I need to see something new, as well as a decent cookbook collection. We have a little record collection that includes Hank Mobley, Lauryn Hill, Hall & Oates, and some vintage country rock. There’s always plenty of chocolate and a rotating collection of inspiration by local artists which at the moment includes Bobby Rogers, Tara Austin, Ginny Sims, and a few of our Ontologia lights for good measure.
What you do when you’re not working: Nap with my kids or drink coffee. Most of my weekend revolves around some process of trying to sleep or stay awake.
Sources of creative envy: I’m in awe of someone like Ralph Lauren who has held true for decades of consistent creative vision, or Patricia Urquiola—she’s a genius with such a singular perspective. I’m very interested in people who’ve run the marathon of living a creative life and what it takes to stay the course for the long haul.
The distraction you want to eliminate: Ugh, don’t we all have a love/hate relationship with social media? I love to see beautiful things, but sometimes I get frustrated with how homogeneous it all is. I could also live with less comparison in my life.
Concrete or marble? Marble. Every piece is like a little universe, a moment captured in time.
High-rise or townhouse? Townhouse. I love intimate spaces with old-world vibes.
Remember or forget? Forget. Every day is a new day.
Aliens or ghosts? Ghosts. So much more romantic.
Dark or light? Light, but make it candlelight.