When I first met Rita Mehta at the end of last summer, she had just launched , a website focused on celebrating American-made style. After lunch, we lingered in the street for a solid thirty minutes chatting about our favorite designers, with Rita recommending countless local boutiques for me (a Minneapolis newbie at the time) to visit. Her passion for small business and consciously-made products was palpable. Since its launch, Rita says the community response to her site has been very rewarding. More and more, people want to know the story behind the products they buy and connect with the makers. Since she obviously practices what she preaches, it was such a treat to peek into her South Minneapolis home. Even though she and her husband Matt are technically long-term house sitters for friends living abroad and the space was mostly furnished upon moving in, they have taken the time to meld their style with their friends’, by investing in one-of-a-kind rugs, bedding and even making a standing desk – all things that will endure and can go wherever they live next. Though this isn’t their permanent home, they live by the notion of consumption karma; by bringing products into their space that were made and sold thoughtfully and carefully, Rita believes this brings good energy into the home. After seeing her space first hand, I would have to agree. Thank you, Rita and Matt! Special thanks to for the photos and for the florals. –Shannon
Image above: The entry way… in the mornings, the light kind of explodes in here and it’s just the happiest little corner. I typically hate pink, but this wallpaper is helping me change my mind. I came across the African basket at Mociun in Brooklyn and knew it would be perfect in this space – I guess I really am starting to like pink!
Image above: The dining room is my favorite part of the house – there are few things I like better than having it filled with all of our favorite people. Matt and I tend to be overambitious in the kitchen and haven’t perfected the fine art of timing a meal perfectly just yet, so we always have plenty of wine on hand in case there is a bit of a wait between courses. The Moroccan rug from Mille is probably my absolute favorite piece in the house – the medallions make it feel even more special. However, they do fall off, and we find them all over…
See more of this Minneapolis home after the jump…
Image above: Living room – I love that the living room is airy and neutral – and then the entryway has the pop of color to add some energy and interest. Good taste and a little bit of vulgarity, right?
Image above: John and Lindsay painted the fireplace black and the surrounding bricks white when they moved in. The plant stand is a vintage favorite from Forage Modern Workshop.
Image above: I think someone said you aren’t supposed to hang personal photos in your living room – but we love this wedding photo by Max Wanger too much not to display it. (Also – that seems like a silly rule, right?!) Most people don’t even realize it’s a wedding photo until we tell them!
Image above: We came up with the idea for this plant wall and table because it didn’t make sense to invest in the traditional console + framed art setup we would have wanted for this non-permanent space. Now it’s one of my favorite parts of the house – and the plants help to brighten up the place during our crazy Minnesota winters.
Image above: I bought these Rebecca Atwood pillows from her very first collection and we’ve since become friends… I love how beautiful but also comfortable and functional they are. I’m always cold, so Faribault blankets have a permanent place on the couch.
Image above: The kitchen is fairly large considering how old the house is… it’s nice and open which is helpful when we are trying to cook far too much food for our guests!
Image above: We don’t currently use the breakfast nook that often, but when John and Lindsay and their girls are in town or our nieces and nephew are in town, this is where the kids congregate and it’s basically the cutest thing ever. John distressed the table top with an axe, hammer and chains and then stained and sealed it – the thing is indestructible and perfect for kids.
Image above: Matt and I built my desk because we couldn’t find any affordable, aesthetically pleasing standing desk options. I write better sitting down but everything else – editing, googling, talking on the phone, emailing, etc. – I prefer to do standing. We love Lindsay Adelman’s work, so when John was visiting from Singapore, he and I spent a day making this chandelier. I’ve typically been more of a buyer than a maker, but that’s starting to change – I get such a sense of satisfaction every time I flip the switch for this light! I’d been in love with this Madeline Weinrib rug for years – denim is my favorite material – so I had to have it for the office.
Image above: I spent the better part of my adult life in corporate cubicles, drowning in decks and financial reports. Now I try to keep my desk clean and simple, with just a few inspiring – but functional – pieces. The books tend to rotate based on my mood and the “Breathe. You are alive” print is from the Thich Nhat Hanh exhibit at ABC Carpet & Home. I read a lot of his work while I was “resetting” after leaving my corporate job – this is a nice reminder of what really matters.
Image above: Before we lived in this house, I’d always been of the mindset that your bedroom was the last place you focused on when it came to decorating. In this case, the bedroom is the only room that is entirely our furniture, so we paid a little more attention to it. I commissioned Trilby for the wall hangings after finding her work online – we discussed colors and I sent her a picture of the space and I love what she came up with. The wall hangings, combined with our linen bedding, kind of make me feel like I’m at the beach or in our favorite room at Coqui Coqui – which is always a good thing!
Image above: It’s funny to me how much money we spend on our clothes – and how little money we spend taking care of them or storing them so that they will actually last. I’m still not perfect when it comes to hanging things up right away after wearing them, but the cedar lined closet and our black velvet hangers help to keep our wardrobes intact and our closet neat. In The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin said something about having an empty shelf – I prefer to have a few extra hangers at all times!
Image above: A typical weekend morning – some espresso (our N’espresso is a favorite kitchen tool) and fruit in a cobalt pour bowl by my friend Lindsay Emery of Suite One Studio – like Rebecca, Lindsay and I became friends after I profiled her on TAE. I took several ceramics classes in high school but never mastered the wheel – so I have an enormous appreciation for experts like Lindsay.
Image above: The downstairs bathroom has gorgeous original tile and the previous owner installed black wallpaper with pheasants on it. John and Lindsay were planning to change this, but it eventually grew on them… and it’s a great conversation starter when we have new friends or guests over. Again, good taste and a little bit of vulgarity!
Image above: I’m constantly seeking out products that are natural, effective, well designed and easy to apply – I’m not at all talented when it comes to makeup application! If the packaging is black, white or gold, I’ll probably try it. My regimen isn’t 100% natural just yet, but brands like RGB & Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics are raising the bar – for all brands – in terms of effectiveness and design.
Graham & Brown wallpaper
Woven African bowl from
Mirror is vintage
John bought the Eames lounge chair and ottoman at an auction, but you can buy it new at
Vases on the mantle are vintage
Fort Makers candle holders from
Wedding photo by
Vintage metal and concrete plant holder from Forage Modern
White and gold canvas home plate (and sage) from Foundry Home Goods
– Amanda Talbot
Table top is repurposed salvage bowling alley
Hans Brattrud for Hove Mobler dining chairs vintage and refinished by John
Moroccan rug from
Hanging planters – Boskke Sky planters from
Crumpled paper vase –
Vintage (mid-century) salad bowl from
Matt’s extensive collection of glassware is vintage, Riedel, etc.
Dinnerware – Canvas Home from the foundry Home Goods
Coffee mugs –
Knife block is from West Elm, but ours is no longer available
vase – by LA Design Director Adam Silverman
marble platter from Mille, but no longer available
cobalt pour bowl
John built the table using legs from an old table. He bought a pine table top and distressed it by hand (using hammers, axes, and chains!) and then stained it dark – this was meant to be an indestructible table for the kids.
Cushions are custom.
Standing desk – we built it – white washed wood top, b12 legs from
Believe in Yourself & Your Friends Banner –
Hakusan by Mori Tiny Cup –
wallhangings – custom
rug – this is 6 years old at least
Restoration Hardware garment dyed textured linen bedding (the RH linen is by Matteo!)
Nelson bench is vintage
Photograph of Matt is a gift from a friend