Living in color
Before the makeover, Rik Lalim's Minneapolis condo was plain vanilla with white walls and built-in bookshelves made of maple. To give the bookshelves a more distinctive, updated look, Lalim and designer Maureen Haggerty had them painted, lined the back with grasscloth, then added glass shelves and lighting to highlight Lalim's collectibles. The rich blue walls were inspired by a color in one of Lalim's favorite paintings. He furnished his home with pieces he'd collected and had in storage, then finished with bold new accents, including pillows with leather trims.
Rik Lalim didn't change the footprint of his kitchen, but he did update the finishes. The maple cabinets were refaced with new doors, oak with a cerused finish (treated with lime, then waxed). "Usually the grain goes vertically, but we laid it horizontally, to counter the high ceilings," designer Maureen Haggerty said. Lalim also added an "Ethel cabinet" with pull-out drawers that hold food and water bowls for his Jack Russell terrier, Ethel. To separate the kitchen from the dining area, Haggerty proposed a tall étagère, or baker's rack, above the island. "It's such a tall open space; we needed to delineate areas so it becomes more intimate," she said. The étagère provides a bit of separation between the dining area and kitchen without closing it off completely, plus it provides display space for color-coordinated dishware.
When Lalim moved in, the bedroom, which is raised and opens into the living room, was painted stark white, with a metal and cable railing. "It was very industrial. I didn't want that look anymore," he said. He replaced the railing with a partial wall of clear glass. The other walls were covered in grasscloth, but in squares with the grain going in alternating directions, to add texture and visual interest. A clean-lined canopy bed added height, while a pair of traditional-style chests, used as nightstands, are topped with modern lamps that Lalim had in storage.
Lalim converted his spare bedroom into an office filled with personal memorabilia. "My vision here was to create a memory wall," he said of his full-wall collage of family photos and heirlooms. Other treasured items — from a quilt made by his mother to a historic photo of his great grandfather's farm in Norway — were incorporated throughout the room. The unusual bookcases, filled with a rainbow of horizontally stacked volumes arranged by color, draw the eye like a work of art. Lalim saw similar bookcases in a showcase house, then found a woodworker to replicate them.
Hall of mirrors
To brighten the condo's long narrow entry hall, Lalim and Haggerty chose three massive mirrors from Restoration Hardware to line the wall. "The mirrors mimic the beautiful windows he has, and carry that motif into the hall," Haggerty said. A grouping of botanical prints, also from Restoration Hardware, create a focal point inside the front door, while a custom-made rug introduces the condo's blue-and-orange color scheme.