A home improvement hero in our midst, Muenster can play all the DIY parts: interior designer (his degree in it is from UW-Madison), licensed contractor, and, of course, wholesome, flannel-shirted, ruggedly bearded sweetheart. He’s essentially the homecoming king of Twin Cities bathrooms.
You’re a Wisconsin boy who’s been here for a while. How has Minnesota influenced your designs and your renovation projects?
Matt: I’m always thinking about comfort. It’s bitterly cold in Minnesota, and in a bathroom where you’re naked and wet a lot, winter can be even more uncomfortable. There are amenities that can alleviate that discomfort like heated floors and heated towel warmers—things someone in Florida or Arizona may not have on their radar but are essential amenities here.
How has the market influenced renovation and remodeling?
Matt: Before the recession, we were living a lie. Homes were seen as nomadic—people bought houses and flipped them, wanting the next best thing. When that reality check hit, we had to take a step back and realize our current home may be our forever home. You make different choices when you renovate your forever house, like buying materials that have more integrity, and making smaller incremental changes but you do them correctly.
How can someone make “small incremental changes” to bathrooms?
Matt: I’m always thinking about ways to make the bathroom less of a utility space and more a space where you want to spend time. That’s why you see me putting espresso machines, a fireplace, under-counter wine fridges, heated floors, TVs behind the mirrors, music—all of that—in bathrooms.
How do we get your style without being on Bath Crashers?
Matt: I have my line of bathroom vanities [the Matt Muenster Collection] available from Decolav. Right now there are seven vanities and mirrors out, and there will be additions in 2016.
What if I asked you to reimagine the new Viking’s stadium bathrooms?
Matt: When you go to the bathroom, you worry about missing the game, right? I would push the bathrooms up against the inside of the stadium and do one-way mirrors so you’re standing there and you’re looking out over the field. It’s like the bathrooms in high-rises in Hong Kong where the urinals are right up against the outside glass. There’s something creepy but kind of awesome about that.
And for women?
Matt: Turn the toilets around! Maybe each stall would have its own vanity so you’re doing your thing in a private area. I think in a stadium as upscale as ours it would work. And that thing is massive! You can’t tell me in a space that size you couldn’t set aside space to make those bathrooms bigger.
Catch Matt Muenster on the Main Stage throughout both weekends of the Show. Check the Main Stage schedule for when.