Believe it or not, this home’s redesign centered around a daybed. Not just any daybed, but an authentic, locally-sourced, vintage Mies van der Rohe Barcelona daybed, in a beautiful camel leather. “It’s the perfect place to land during a cocktail party, lounge during book club, or nap on a Saturday afternoon,” says Victoria Sass, founder and principal designer of Minneapolis-based Prospect Refuge Studio.
The homeowner, fresh off a move back to her hometown of Minneapolis after years in New York City, needed her home to function for all of those activities, from get-togethers both big and small, to the quiet morning after. While her turn-of-the-century tudor, in the historic Minneapolis neighborhood of Lowry Hill, had been lovingly restored by the previous owners, the new homeowner’s furnishings were all wrong for this space.
Enter Sass. “What looked charming and eclectic in her well-worn artist flat in Chelsea now looked out of proportion and out of place,” says Sass.
Due to the homeowner’s leading roles in the art world, she often opens her home up for work events and parties, so she needed spaces that accommodated larger soirees as well as more intimate gatherings for out-of-town friends and artists. “At the end of the day, however, a comfortable spot by the fire with a good monograph was what she craved most,” says Sass. “Our challenge was to create a flexible space that could serve all these needs while showcasing her art collection in an approachable, everyday way,” says Sass.
Challenge accepted. Sass was tasked with reconfiguring a long, narrow room that did not easily lend itself to a single, unified seating arrangement. Through the use of rugs and furniture placement, the space was divided into three distinct areas that would also feel natural hosting a larger group. The low profile furniture of the central arrangement kept sightlines clear – perfect for parties – and fostered an air of la vie boheme. The room is grounded with a 1930’s deco Persian rug and plaster bongo-shaped tables that complemented the subtle bohemian reference in a mature way.
Arguably though, the most special design pieces in this home are the homeowner’s diverse and eccentric pieces of art. “The homeowner’s art collection is displayed with such thoughtfully offbeat charm that you might think it was in transition,” says Sass, nodding yet again to an upscale bohemian vibe. A pair of typographic pieces are casually leaned on the fireplace mantle, traditionally a formal location to highlight art, and nestled among a collection of found and handmade wooden objects.
“Breakout areas include a pair of chairs and bar cart, ready to host an evening tete-a-tete or morning tea by the window,” says Sass. “Behind the sofa was a solitary space dubbed the ‘listening lounge,’ which houses a generous jazz record collection and a dangerously comfortable Falcon Chair we restored in collaboration with Danish Teak Classics. Meanwhile, the Cado wall unit also hosts a rotating collection of books and beautiful craft work, allowing the space to remain evergreen.”
Time to party, and then to kick your feet up in front of the fireplace. This space functions for activities of all kinds. “The end result is a room that allows for reinvention without losing its sense of purpose,” says Sass.