Hometours

Home Tours 2012

Tour six houses full of creative people and energy for our ninth-annual Home Tours edition.

Home Tours 2012
Photographs by Steve Henke

SOUTH MINNEAPOLIS

Chris Riemenschneider and Michelle LeBlanc

STAR TRIBUNE MUSIC CRITIC AND PRETTY MOMMY SHOP OWNER

LeBlanc in the loft-bedroom-studio where she spends nearly 30 hours a week buying and shipping dresses, scarves, jewelry, Senegalese baskets, and more to customers across the country.

TURNING AN OUTFIT INTO A ROOM COMES NATURALLY to Michelle LeBlanc. On the day of our shoot, the soft-spoken curator behind online fashion boutique Pretty Mommy is wearing a silk Tucker poppy-print dress, which hits just the right bohemian note against a living room decorated with John Robshaw pillows, vintage furniture, and a Moroccan pouf. Her towheaded daughter Lila, 5, big sister to 1-year-old Louisa, decides to accessorize with a pink puffy tutu and fairy wings. LeBlanc’s husband, Chris Riemenschneider—longtime music critic for the Star Tribune—keeps it casual in jeans and a denim shirt. “I never try to look as cool as the musicians I cover—it’s a losing battle,” he jokes.

The couple met in Austin, Texas, when both were attending University of Texas (she asked him to go see a Nirvana concert—“hard to turn down,” LeBlanc says wryly). When Riemenschneider took a job at the Star Tribune in 2001, the couple headed north and settled into a 1920s bungalow near Minnehaha Creek.

Eight years later, LeBlanc, a former buyer and manager for boutiques, started her Pretty Mommy shop and blog. “I was a stay-at-home mom for two years and was still schlepping around in my ratty cutoffs and nursing tanks, so starting Pretty Mommy was about getting my groove back,” she says. She works out of their loft-bedroom-studio space, which she recently renovated with the help of friend and interior designer Nadia Haddad. With its funky arrow-print accent wall, floral Indian quilt, and open rack of patterned dresses, it captures LeBlanc’s self-described “organic-hippie-pretty-modern-bohemian” style to a T.—Megan Kaplan

We’re Mad For . . .

Louisa’s crib, with sweet writing on the wall above it.
Carefully curated kitchen shelves.

LeBlanc’s style of mixing ferns, succulents, baskets, and candles.
Riemenschneider and Lila playing in the entryway and dancing to the Tangled soundtrack—one of the many albums on his iPod. Louisa and Lila in their playroom, where the picture books are artfully color blocked. The cozy master bedroom takes up the back half of the loft, where every corner is decorated with stacks of books, extra blankets, and beaded tiebacks.Riemenschneider has a 10,000-strong collection of CDs, thousands of records dating back to his early teens, and framed posters of Wilco and The Replacements.

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