Jewelers are no strangers to being featured in major magazines, but it’s something special when a designer like Larissa Loden shows up in Midwest Living or Jenna Blake in Architectural Digest.
So, what’s it like to have your home highlighted instead of your jewelry? Pretty amazing, says jewelry designer and St. Paul, Minn., store owner Loden, whose midcentury lake home is featured in the winter 2022/2023 issue of Midwest Living.
The story of how Loden ended up in the pages of a magazine celebrating the Midwest spans over years, includes a successful collaboration with an architect and interior designer, and involves a frigid wintertime photo shoot that required bribing Loden’s two children to get it accomplished, she admits.
The whole process started in March 2020—that’s when Loden, who was four months pregnant at the time, began her home renovation project. She and her husband loved their home, but it was dated and closed off. Loden knew interior designer Allison Lee Landers, who had recently joined Joy Architecture as a partner, and they all collectively got to work.
As Loden notes, the home “had great bones, it just needed some of us put into the design.” The result is a more open floor plan that takes advantage of its serious site views—come on, there’s a lake nearby—and creates more space for entertaining, something Loden enjoys when she’s not making her architecturally savvy jewelry.
The crafty decorations seen on the Christmas tree in one of the main photos is what Loden says she enjoyed the most—the magazine stagers used her signature jewelry to design cardboard, midcentury inspired ornaments for her home and tree. Loden says she can see doing similar projects as an in-store event at her retail location in the future.
Joy Martin, owner of Joy Architecture + Interior Design in Minneapolis, pitched Loden’s house as a compelling design project to a freelance writer. That writer then pitched it to a variety of publications, and Martin says Midwest Living wanted to feature it in its holiday issue. That meant not only cleaning up the family home to the point of perfection, but also creating holiday decor that suited the structure and the Loden clan.
Martin, who does mostly residential work, says she loved working with Landers as well as Loden on the house, which she calls a place that “needed a lot of love,” and ended up creating great spaces for the Loden family.
“It was the 1970s all over the house and not in a good way,” Martin says. “It was fun for us to go in there and read the bones of the building. We let it evolve into the next generation of its life as a family home.”
Martin met Loden when they were in a women’s entrepreneur group together, and they clicked both personally and professionally. Loden had already done some spaces in her home, like the lower-level bedrooms, and she hired Martin and Landers to finish the rest of the structure.
Landers says she is proud of the midcentury elements they added, including a classic slat bench in the entryway. They also added all new exterior and interior elements, such as more windows and a new roof, to refresh the entire home and “celebrate the view,” she says.
All in all, the experience was excellent, Loden says. Oh, except for shooting the magazine’s cover photo in below-zero temperatures while pulling her two kids on a sled. That was a Midwestern form of torture that involved a lot of cajoling and some bribery. Still, the result was worth it now that the magazine is out in the world.
“[The home] was a jewel waiting to be loved,” Martin says.
Loden agrees. “It’s all about creating connection,” she says. “Whether it’s my home and the design work done there to what we do in the studio, it all inspires me.”
Top: Larissa Loden’s kitchen truly is the heart of the home, and it features prominently in her Midwest Living feature story, “True Potential” (published with permission from Midwest Living. Photography by Josh Grubbs. Meredith Operations Corp. All rights reserved).
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