Meet Minneapolis: First off, we have to ask…As a renowned interior designer, did you design something special in your house to hold your Emmy?
Mark Brunetz: Winning the Emmy was an unexpected joy so I decided to house it in a similar way. When you enter my office, the first thing you see is an oversized abstract painting in charcoal hues done by one of my favorite artists. Then you turn the corner and up on a built-in wall unit sits my golden statue. Every time I see it, I feel like a homeowner taking off his blindfold and opening his eyes. It’s a wonderful reminder of life’s little surprises.
MM: Do you find that interior style tastes differ by region? Here in the north, do we have different preferences than other areas of the nation?
MB: Certain regions of the country do take on a design flavor all to themselves. I think much of this is due to the cultural influences and the outdoor elements. For example, coastal living certainly borrows from an aquatic color palette and less formal furnishings whereas desert living places an emphasis on cooling tones and clean lines. Hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, where I spent many cold winters, warm, jewel-toned color palettes and more ornate, substantial pieces of furniture were always in season. Although that’s slowly changing as people in general are moving towards more of a contemporary look, these Traditional or English influences remain just as popular in the North today and back then.
MM: You aren’t a big fan of clutter. You wrote a whole book on it, so it’s safe to say you feel strongly about the subject. How does making a home “clutter-free” impact a homeowner’s life?
MB: Living clutter-free does exactly that; it frees you to live. I always ask, ‘If opportunity knocked at your door, where would you put it?’ The extent to which there is clutter in your physical and emotional worlds is the extent to which you are saying I’m not ready for all the wonderful things life has to offer me. And since nothing (as in no thing) is worth more that your happiness, the true impact of eliminating things you don’t need, use or love and cherishing only the things that you do is immeasurable. It truly is a magical process that harnesses benefits unique to each and every person.
MM: What kind of “behind-the-scenes” renovation tricks can we hope to hear from you at the Home and Garden Show?
MB: After nine seasons on show and designing a 1000+ rooms, there actually is a method to my madness and I’ve managed to streamline the process so that anyone who hears it can go home and make immediate, cost-effective changes. A good example: Never leave your ceilings white. Most people think it’s a clean look that expands the look of the space, but the opposite is true. Leaving your ceilings white is an unfinished look that visually lowers the ceiling, especially in contrast to neighboring walls that are darker. The key is to slightly lighten your wall color and use it for the ceiling in order to create a more seamless, visually-expansive look. I plan to share a lot of design tricks like this and answer any questions attendees might have.
MM: Got any places you want to visit while you’re in Minneapolis?
MB: I grew up in the restaurant business and have always been into good food so I want to check out the food scene in Minneapolis. I love fresh, local, organic cuisine but I’ve also been known to devour a cheese steak off a corner street cart. Basically, I see every meal as an opportunity and every city as an culinary playground. I’m excited to take a big bite out of Minneapolis.