Forage Modern Workshop


Fragments of a Home + Hannah

Inspiration, Interview, FeaturesKelsie GerstlComment

Featured: Hannah Martin of It's a Mod Life 

Hannah lives in the East Town neighborhood of Milwaukee with her partner Harrison. She recently visited Montréal's Café Pista and is now obsessed with what she calls "Café Pista Green" which don the walls of this beautiful cafe. She can be found drinking coffee, having picnics and blogging on

What does Home mean to you?

Home is a reflection of yourself. Home is you. You can take all aspects of your identity and express that in your home. Because of this, home is just a place where you can truly be yourself.

Talk about an item/items in your home that you love most and why.

My plants. I don't have any pets so my plants are kind of my pets. It's a way to really make my space, mine. Caring for them is kind of a ritual and that process puts my mark on my place.

What is your favorite source/sources for interior design inspiration? or Where do you find inspiration for your home?

Without a doubt, Swantje Hinrichsen. Her Instagram account is full of endless inspiration. She's mastered the Scandinavian modern/rustic/eclectic look. When I was in Scandinavia last summer, I made sure to hit up all the local interiors and home-ware shops along with HAY. I was heavily inspired by my travels there and I think that's truly reflective in my space. My friend Solveig has an amazing flat in Oslo and here family lives lose by in a typical homey and rustic Norwegian house.

What is your favorite room and why?

Kitchen. I live in a 300 sq. ft. one bedroom that's almost just a studio and I have a kitchen to match. It may just be a glorified closet but it's where I make coffee and cook almost all of my meals. I have always loved cooking especially for others so, my kitchen is the heart and soul of my space.

If you could move anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Scandinavia. If I haven't already made that clear enough. When I arrived in Oslo last summer I was waiting on the train platform for my train and a beautiful tall woman came up to me and spoke to me in Norwegian. She assumed I was Norwegian too until I unfortunately had to tell her that I don't speak Norwegian, although I'm trying to learn. It was that moment that I knew this was probably the place for me.

Where are your favorite places to shop for home-related items?

HAY, Ikea and vintage/thrift shops. Most of my furniture and home-wares are re-purposed Ikea or thrifted/vintage. There's a lot to be said for finding something and making it your own.

What are some of your favorite items from Forage that you have in your home?

Stationery. There's an amazing stationery selection including items from HAY which is great because it's a bit hard to get a hold of in the US. I'm a stationery and a magazine fan and Forage is a premiere supplier of my collection.

Current Forage wish list?

Michelle Rondelli Cotton Blanket in Fuji - this would be the perfect picnic blanket.

Tivoli Audio Model One Digital - to complete my record player setup of course.

(To shop Hannah's picks, click on the images below.)

You can find Hannah here on Instagram. Also, check out her blog, It's a Mod Life,  here.

Fragments of a Home + Kyndra

Round Up, InterviewKelsie GerstlComment

Featured: Kyndra James

We have always been inspired by Kyndra's motivation and hustle. She has shown time and time again that working hard and sticking to your goals gets you where you want to be. Although she moved to Hawaii in 2016, we still consider her part of the Forage team (and miss her dearly.) Check out her killer taste, FMW wish list and her comments on the idea of "home" as we kick off our "Fragments of a Home" series. 

What does Home mean to you?

I've always been somewhat transient and have been single for most of my life, so my home is my sanctuary.  It's the place I go to decompress and sort through all of the thoughts and feelings I have when I was not inside these walls.  It's where I go to rest my mind and body, un-chaos my life and become inspired.

Talk about an item/items in your home that you love most and why.

Well, I just moved across the country (and the ocean) about six months ago so it's been somewhat of a slow build.  I only brought two suitcases and didn't ship any of my belongings.  At the same time I have a clean slate to start with for anything and everything.  My favorite item I've purchased so far was over craigslist from an elderly man who was practically in tears when he sold it to me because he loved it so much, I think his name was Simon.  He and his wife were moving into town into a much smaller place. I was telling him how much I loved the bench and he said "Yes, I really love it, too.".  It's this really beautiful Danish mcm bench.  I'm currently using it as a desk/vanity/bookshelf since I don't have a lot of other places to put things yet.  I love it so much and I'm so appreciative that he sold it to me.  I promised him that I'd take really good care of it.

What is your favorite source/sources for interior design inspiration? or Where do you find inspiration for your home?

I gotta be honest, I'm a tumblr maniac. I find that I'm inspired by photos of well sunlit homes with clean lines and a lot of plants.  I've become somewhat of a neat freak so I'm a nerd for organizational solves and ideas.  Nature is also a huge factor, as much as I love clean white space, I'm a sucker for a lot of plant life and natural wood.  I've also become obsessed with mauve and pink increasingly over the past year, so a pink wall with a large philodendron and I'm tingling in my bones.  Even visiting shops and restaurants that have these qualities get my gears grinding for ideas in my own home. I also cruise AirBnB and get inspired by all the beautiful homes up for short term rentals, or boutique hotels like Camp Wandewega or Urban Cowboy.  I guess I basically want my home to look like a boutique hotel on AirBnB.

What is your favorite room and why?

My favorite room is either the kitchen or my bedroom.  I always joke that if I had a kitchen in my bedroom I would probably cook a lot more.  I'm also a sucker for an awesome bathroom (however my current bathroom is not awesome so it is not my favorite room).  I work long and late hours in the hospitality and retail industry and have rarely ever not had a roommate.  My bedroom is my own space that I can go where I don't feel pressured to engage.  (It's also where I put all my favorite things.) I also find that cooking a great meal is soothing to my psyche and has a great reward (most of the time haha).

If you could move anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I'm kind of already living the dream right now but wouldn't argue about a beach front rental... I also have dreams of Greece or pretty much anywhere on the Mediterranean Sea or I want to live in a bright pink stucco house in Argentina.  I also wouldn't mind having a cozy cabin in the mountains or maybe a studio in the French Quarter. I don't know. I kind of want to live everywhere. 

Where are your favorite places to shop for home-related items?

I have yet to find a shop in Honolulu that's comparable to FMW, but I have a few boutiques I visit regularly to see what new items they get in. (Ginger 13, Owens & Co, Echo & Atlas, Olive & Oliver, Hound & Quail, Paiko). There are many brands there recognize from FMW and new ones that I've never heard of.  A lot of Australian companies have product in Hawaii as well.  Not to forget, there's plenty of thrift stores here and people are constantly moving off the island so it's a great place to find quality goods if you know what you're looking for. I've found Craigslist to be the best source for larger items at reasonable prices. 

What are some of your favorite items from Forage that you have in your home?

Like I said before I only brought two suitcases with me.  I managed to squeeze in my golden and pink rug by GUR, a beautiful golden palm throw by Happy Habitat, a vintage brass pineapple lamp (that I cannot find a shade to match for the life of me) and my Tivoli AM/FM radio. 

Current Forage wish list:

How do I say everything without saying everything?

Once I have somewhere to put them I'd like to grab myself some of those stackable colorful boxes Box Box by HAY. 

With lack of storage atm, I'm obsessed with woven baskets, so yeah, pretty much all of Doug Johnstons collection.

The BOX by Naknak in PINK

Q Hooks by afteroom in PINK or the Hex Key J Hooks would also be great to hang my denim.(Basically if it's pink I probably want it.)

The Dots by Muuto

Also I have a 4 legged cohabitant now, I'm not sure if you still have but am looking for a dog bed, so the Rake Dog Bed by Dusen Dusen.

(To shop Kyndra's picks, click on the images below.)

A little help from our friends

Features, InterviewRebekah CookComment

We had a customer that really, REALLY (really, really) wanted the Modernica Case Study Platform bed. Who wouldn't? Its clean and classic design make a great fit for so many different style homes. So what's the problem? This platform bed ships in one piece, and she needed it in a king size, and it had to fit up these stairs (which it couldn't).

We looked for other bed options, but nothing was really the right design. So we called upon our good friend, Willie of Willie Willette Works to see if he could help us cut the piece in half and figure out a way to put it back together again, without comprising the design.

It literally took just a phone call and an hour in his (super fun) workshop and bam. Problem solved.

Willie, the man himself.

Willie, the man himself.

Bingo, bango!

Bingo, bango! find some sweet bedding. find some sweet bedding.

Mike, of course, made time for some ping pong.

What did we learn from this situation? 

1. The customer is always right (again).
2. Measure, twice (even three times) before deciding on a dream product
3. Think outside the box
4. We are reminded of how many amazing makers and artisans live in the Twin Cities and are always willing to give a helping hand. Thanks again, Willie!

An Interview with AELFIE

Interview, New ProductsRebekah CookComment

I recently had the opportunity to visit Brooklyn-based design AELFIE's studio and was totally inspired! Owner and designer, Aelfie Oudghiri is ‘dedicated to creating, sourcing, and honoring the coolest textiles in the world’ which is clearly defined in her curated collection of punchy eye-grabbing hand embroidered pillows, giganto-paintbrush-like duvet graphics, and playfully modern while traditionally handwoven artisan rugs. What more is there to say? We are absolutely ecstatic to welcome Aelfie’s designs to Minnesota!

1. How did you get started and why did you decide to do "Aelfie"?

I bought my first rug when I was a teenager in Turkey and have been in love with craft ever since. I decided to do "Aelfie" in the summer of 2012 after having worked for 2 years in vintage and antique rugs and textiles. 

2 - What’s one of the challenges you have with the business? 

The weight of the rugs can be challenging, especially when I was pregnant. 

3 - What's your favorite item in the collection right now? Anything you have in your own home?

I have the Selma rug in my living room and the Lounah in our nursery. Aelfie pillows are everywhere in my home, but my favorite is the Jungle Eyes, which was the doodle that spawned the whole collection. 

4 - What's been a consistent best seller? 

The Heatwave in Rajasthan. We had guests over when I designed that rug. There was actually a small party. I'm not generally so impolite, but I really wanted to get that design out and on paper before the idea disappeared. 

5 - What inspires you?

Inspiration is a funny thing. I'm not totally sure what inspires the designs, but it generally happens while walking or preoccupied with my hands.

Interview With Benjamin Rogers

InterviewJosef HarrisComment

We are so lucky to have two of Benjamin Rogers choice paintings hanging amongst our collection of curated goods. Both striking pieces carry strong punches of color and layers of depth. That once fixed to any wall, move you to stop and really examine the texture, the mood, and just how stunning they really are. Benjamin, having sought out years of education and then teaching for sometime himself, really knows how to be very thorough and explain his vision directly on the canvas. Makes sense as to why his work has been featured on the covers of 'New American Paintings' and 'Fresh Paint Magazine', hey?

You're not from Minneapolis originally - tell us about your journey here.

I was born in Cincinnati OH and grew up in nearby Kentucky. Studied Painting there and developed a SLIGHT southern drawl. I then went to graduate school studying painting at Louisiana State University and Arizona State University where I received my MFA. I moved back to Cincinnati and taught college kids how to draw during the day and worked for the post office at night. I did that for two years and then I was offered a full time teaching position at Normandale Community College so my wife and I moved to Minneapolis.

How long have you been painting? What it always something you thought you'd do?

I've been painting for 14 years, but I've only taken it seriously for the last 11 or so. I was interested in art as a young lad, but I thought I'd be a writer or a musician early on. At a certain point I had to make a decision and I was most passionate about making art so I decided to pursue that wholeheartedly. The sometimes frustrating thing about making art is how long it takes to make something truly original. I was painting for about eight years before I started making paintings that felt like they were really mine, but I feel like my work is much stronger because I had to endure that process of searching for my voice.

Whats your favorite rainy day song? 

I don't have a favorite rainy day song, a rainy day is just another day to me. Because I lived in Arizona for three years I didn't get to experience rainy or even overcast days very often, so I usually like rainy days. I suppose if I had to choose one it would be Elliott Smith's "Twilight" or J. Tillman's "I will return" just because I love sad music and sad music seems to pair perfectly with a rainy day.

What's the best meal you've had in the last year? 

The best meal I've had in the last year was probably the meal at my wedding last June. We had a small ceremony, about 40 people, and we all had a picnic together before we walked into the woods to get hitched. My brother-in-law made the star attraction of the picnic, the nashville hot chicken. If you haven't had nashville hot chicken, I'm not going to explain it, i'll just say that if you ever go to nashville find Prince's Chicken Shack and eat you some. Anyway it was the juiciest, crispiest fried, most flavorful fried chicken I have ever had and I was surrounded by people I love about to marry my favorite person. So it's kind of hard to beat that.

Any plans for the upcoming year for your work?

I have a Solo Exhibition at the Soo Visual Arts Center in August and this summer I'm going to be making a lot of work. We have a 2 month old son now, so we'll also be taking care of him a little bit. But other than that I have no idea what is next. My contract with Normandale is complete, it was only for one year, so I may try to live off of selling art for as long as I can.