For Eminent Interior Design principal Brandi Hagen, the past few years have been a roller coaster. She and her husband/business partner, Jeremy, operated the firm out of their home for 16 years. Just as they were ready to make the leap to a commercial space, the pandemic hit and their plans got paused.
As restrictions eased — and clients who’d been stuck at home powered a shelter industry boom — Eminent leaped back into growth mode, building out a 2,300-square-foot space in Plymouth and developing a team of eight full-time employees.
Hagen was itching to expand. An interior designer for 25+ years, she cut her teeth at Billy Beson Company. “He taught me everything I know about design — the good and the bad,” she laughs. Shortly after her older son was born, she launched Eminent. Now that her kids are teenagers, she is doubling down on business.
Eminent doesn’t have a look, and that’s by design. Hagen loves the variety, whether contemporary, modern, traditional or farmhouse. Her favorites, in turn, reflect her penchant for the fun and functional.
Walrus, an artist-led North Minneapolis consignment shop that features original and vintage art. “You can find something unique and also very affordable,” she notes. The shop has clearly homed in on a successful formula; since its 2021 debut, Walrus has sold a quarter of its inventory every week.
“I love the new white finishes,” she says. “Everything is coming out white, from light fixtures to doorknobs to plumbing. It’s fun and an excuse to pop up color elsewhere.”
“Kitchens, because of all the details that go into the layout,” she notes. Not only does the heart of the home let her use her creativity to design custom details, it’s also where people spend the most time. “Even if they don’t use their kitchen to cook, they do their work there,” Hagen adds. She’s also been relishing design work on subterranean bars, noting that clients are asking for spaces that truly feel like their favorite bars.
Timorous Beasties, a Scotland-based studio that designs hand-printed fabrics and wallpapers. Hagen is drawn to the company’s edgy florals and fantastical patterns. “You have to look really closely as there’s more than meets the eye at first glance,” she explains. “The florals aren’t so happy; they’re half dead or there’s a bug in them.” It’s a go-to resource for fabulous wallpaper, fabric for dining room chairs or the occasional throw pillow.
Her Bandolier phone case and strap. “It’s all I use for a purse anymore,” she says. “My outfits don’t have pockets; my bathrobe doesn’t have pockets. I can’t even walk around my office without my cell phone. It’s by far my favorite thing.”
The timelessly elegant Barbara Barry. “She has a look she runs with,” Hagen explains. “That’s different from me. I don’t have a look people come to me for; our goal is to make clients happy. But personally, I’ve always been drawn to her aesthetic. Her femininity and sophistication come through in her designs.”
The Hagens haven’t traveled much recently, so their Annandale lake home has been their escape. “We love being on the water — skiing, surfing and wakeboarding with our 14- and 16-year-old,” she says. “It’s been one of the best ways to engage and connect with our boys.”