Life by Design

These Twin Citians all share a love of fine craftmanship.

Life by Design
Photographs by Jake Armour
Built for 2 Twin Cities collectors John Oliva and Nancy Krant have this Tom Oliphant-designed chair at their beach house in Connecticut.

Their Eyes Have It
“Our life is our work, and our work is our life,” says John Oliva, who, along with his wife, Nancy, owns and runs Specs Optical on Hennepin Avenue. By that he means that the same appreciation for functional beauty that makes the eyeglasses they sell so unique also informs the rest of their lives. “There is no separation,” he says. The couple’s shop, house, and various properties are all filled with beautifully crafted furniture, tables, lamps, and other accessories fashioned by top designers. The necklace Nancy is wearing were made by Korean designer Myung Urso.

Stylish Seating
St. Paul furniture designer Scott McGlasson makes a variety of “slab benches” like the one above. The woods he prefers are blackened ash, walnut, and yellow birch, which he attaches to a strong but simple base, giving the wood center stage.