Vivid Home


Similarities between East Coast and Minnesota landscapes, architectural and natural, inspires the merchandise mix in this bright new Bryn Mawr boutique. Here, however, traditional comfort comes with a bit of an edge: “Most of our pieces have historical reference points,” designer Amy Beale says, “but we’ve updated them slightly so they have a relevant feel for today.”

Several years’ design experience in East Coast markets from Baltimore to Boston gave Beale’s colleagues, owner/designer Danielle Loven and buyer/design consultant Sarah Nardi, the idea for a warm boutique with a classic modern feel. Wainscoting, light fixtures, and virtually all furnishings allude to traditional forms, but via more modern lines, finishes, and fabrics. Even the wall color, Benjamin Moore Hazy Skies, is a neutral with an update. “One of the most-asked questions is ‘What color is the paint?’ ” Beale says with a laugh.

The boutique, an offshoot of Vivid Interiors (the trio’s adjoining interior design business), started coming together about a year ago. But it only assumed this retail presence over the last three months. “We wanted to take time in selecting everything, to make sure we had the right lines,” says Nardi, who buys at furniture and gift trade shows in New York, Atlanta, and High Point, North Carolina. (She was off to the New York International Gift Fair the day after our photo shoot.)


“When I go on buying trips, I look for timeless pieces and then use fabrics and finishes to update them,” Nardi says. As examples, she notes tabletop boxes finished with horn as well as English-arm sofas upholstered with velvet strie fabric. “Fresh elements can change the look of a traditional piece,” she says.

Many of the boutique’s furnishings come from Hickory Chair and Vivid Interiors’private furniture label. “We’re looking for the best quality at the best price,” Nardi says, noting a medium- to high-price point for most items. (Sofas start at $2,500, side tables at $750.) “We’re doing our homes just like everyone else, and we all want longevity. We don’t want people to need to buy another sofa a few years from now.”


But carafe/cup sets, hurricane candles, and bath accouterments costing well under $100 offer a layer of luxury to those with smaller budgets. “The best thing about a hurricane candle is that you can change its contents,” Nardi says as she points to a version with a glass pedestal, “filling it with sand and seashells in the summer, then acorns and pinecones in the fall. It makes a beautiful statement for $65.”

226 Cedar Lake Rd. S., Mpls., 612-874-3282



+ Glamorously updated forms and finishes of traditional chandelier and lantern light fixtures.

+ Elegant water carafe and glass sets for $75.

+ Bright tulip prints matted in white with gold leaf-trimmed dark wood frames.