Prime and Polish

Putting a fresh spin on objects for the home.

Photos by Katherine Harris

“Anthropologie meets Jonathan Adler” is the obvious way to describe Prime and Polish, the new home store at 54th and Lyndale in south Minneapolis. But while first-time storeowner Jessica Moriarty is quite flattered by the reference to two of her favorite retailers, she has her own fresh flair for mixing styles.

She’s drawn to objects that look like they could tell stories—an antique-inspired mirror, an earthy vase. But she displays them in a clean, contemporary setting where colorful graphic-print pillows also look totally at home.

The best part, as you fall for objects you didn’t know you needed, is the prices. Prime and Polish’s attractive pillows start at $28 each. Like many products in the shop, they are made by an independent artist Moriarty found through the website Etsy. It’s a great way to set herself apart from the West Elms of the world, while also keeping prices reasonable.

“I’ve done buying trips in Atlanta and Dallas. I wasn’t finding what I liked. I realized if I was going to go for it, I had to find great handmade goods,” says Moriarty, who left a master’s program for counseling psychology to follow her dream of working in design. She learned the ropes from local interior design firm Bella! Design for Living and acquainted herself with retail by working at Primp.

What she discovered is that retail and decorating are not all that different than psychology. “You’ve got to really listen to people, be empathetic, and help them figure out what will work in their home. So many things go into creating a space that you love.”

Moriarty is starting to offer classes at the store—everything from how to create your own gallery wall to how to set a bar cart. “It’s not only a fun activity, it makes design more approachable.”

Easy updates from Prime and Polish:

0813-PrimePolish_s01_100-(1).jpgPaint antique picture frames and arrange them so that they become the art. The in-store display graduates from white to turquoise.
0813-PrimePolish_s02_100-(2).jpgFresh flowers instantly revive a space. If you’re feeling crafty, glue glitter to a plain glass vase for a shot of glamour.
0813-PrimePolish_s03_100-(1).jpgAdd green to your room with small succulents. Consider a wall shelf ($115 at Prime and Polish) for an eye-catching display.

612 W. 54th St., Mpls., 612-824-1743,