Photos by Jennifer Whalen and Wing Ta
Handwoven blankets by Dianne Nordt
The American Craft Council has been making handcrafted, functional art “cool” for the last 73 years. And while the term “maker” continues to gain popularity on the hipster circuit, it’s the doer—the one who implements these handmade goods into your home and design—that deserves recognition. The ACC acknowledged this particular talent, and for the past four years has included a “Make Room” exhibit to showcase trends via the lens of local stylemakers. The designers involved in this year’s exhibit, which features room vignettes inspired by the four points of a compass, are taking their responsibility to give window-shoppers direction pretty seriously. Here, each designer shares his or her inspiration, and what visitors can expect at the April show.
Designer: Drew Beson of Drew Beson Art Studio
Drew’s Pick: Handwoven blankets by Dianne Nordt
Inspiration: My girlfriend is from Montana. When she moved in, one of the things she brought with her was a bull skull from her family ranch. I am a bit of a minimalist when it comes to my home style, and watching what happens as we merge our styles has been a big influence.
Vision: A warm sitting room you would find out west near the mountains with a modern twist.
Design style: By merging traditional western textures, colors, and materials with minimalist-modern lines and spacing, the room will feel lived-in, but with a light and refreshing comfortability.
Designer: Carter Averbeck of Omforme Design
Carter’s Pick: Metal mesh table by Damian Velasquez
Inspiration: Because the doors are wide open for interpretation, “East” could mean China or Japan of course, but also India, Africa, Malaysia, etc. My influences are design aesthetics from around the globe and how to combine them into a space that definitely tells the story of the inhabitants.
Vision: I’m envisioning a pied-à-terre setting located in the city.
Design style: My room has inhabitants with a thirst for travel. The concept is a loose one because it’s all about what the couple picks up during their travels. The room will be a mixture of modern Asian architecture mixed with urban grit and avant-garde overtones. This is a hip, young-at-heart couple so their surroundings are far from staid.
Designer: Jennifer Jorgensen of J. Jorgensen Interior Design + Architecture
Jennifer’s Pick: Design and woodworking by Tor and Robert Erickson; ironwork by Daniel Dole
Inspiration: Floating on a vintage boat in the middle of the lake, looking up at the stars after a day of laughing with friends is the energy that I am going for in this room.
Vision: A space where you are dying to have a cup of tea under a blanket.
Design style: The room will be a modern take on a traditional lake home. I have teamed up with local artist Kate Worum, who I met at an art opening and fell in love with her spirit and style, to create a custom wallpaper that will have a modern and local flair, which will set the tone for the room.
Designer: Liz Gardner of Bodega Ltd.
Liz’s Pick: Stacked ceramic bowls by Lynda Ladwig
Inspiration: It’s amazing to me how much travel influences creativity. When visiting Miami earlier last year, I absorbed a lot of inspiration. The city is a hub for both art deco color palettes, modern design via Art Basel, and a bit of tropical flair. These are all things that I want to bring into my space!
Vision: Pulling heavily from my travel photos and notes, I plan to blend my signature minimal and slightly edgy/modern design style with the grandness of Miami.
Design style: We (Bodega Ltd.) are creating a custom piece with local furniture maker Keith Wyman of Concrete Pig that will add some really great lines and texture to the space. By layering tones—maybe even the color of the year—marble and palm patterns, as well as some playful objects, my goal is to make a space that is both sophisticated and fun!
Liz’s Miami inspiration
Tickets: $12; April 8–10 at the St. Paul RiverCentre, 175 Kellogg Blvd. W., St. Paul, craftcouncil.org