"I look for great design in everything," says Chris Plantan, the founder, president, and creative director of Russell+Hazel, a $1.5 million maker of high-end office supplies, which it sells at its retail shop and through stationery stores. She beautifies the business world via, for example, an understated line of folders and binders in hues like lime and robin's-egg blue.
When it comes to her home--a 2,500-square-foot four bedroom located 10 minutes outside Minneapolis--Plantan likes to mix-and-match. For her decor, she combed modern show rooms and flea markets alike. "I buy what I love, and somehow it works," she says. Plantan, her husband, David, their two children (Michelle, 17, and Stephen, 15), and a Jack Russell terrier named Beans have lived in the Cape Cod-style house for six years. Before that, the family lived in Phoenix in a sprawling 4,600-square-foot house. Moving to the Midwest meant getting rid of a lot of oversize furniture. "Some of the pieces I kept had to come in through the windows," says Plantan. But she prefers the cozier space, narrow doors and all. "We're closer together this way," she says.
The Writing Stations
"There is a desk or table in every room. It's a fetish of mine. I like to have an area to write, but I don't like to be confined to a home office."
"I love the small-town feel. I can walk to the bookstore, coffee shop, and post office. We're also walking distance from Lake Minnetonka and our Chaparral speedboat. The kids love it."
"This used to be the coldest room in the house. We painted it yellow and installed a radiant in-floor heating system. Hot water flows under the slate floor to give off heat."
"Pillows are an easy way to refresh a room and add pattern and color. I have more than 50 throw pillows that I rotate throughout the year."
"I like to mix contemporary with classics. The Battista cart in the sunroom is from Kartell. I bought an antique buffet table at the Clignancourt flea market in Paris."
"White is my favorite color. It's clean, and I see endless possibilities with it. But I'm not afraid of color. The dining room has bold red walls with an orange glaze, and the cherry living room floor has been stained a light green."
"The house was built in 1946, and the previous owner planted 70 peony bushes. Now, when they're in full bloom, we let the neighbors pick bouquets. I want every room in my house to have life--topiaries, bamboo, seasonal flowers."
"The house is constantly changing. We often move furniture between the house and our flagship store in Minneapolis, where we display our products on the antique tables. So the store feels like home, too."