Greg Walsh’s story echoes many an entrepreneur’s tale: Talent and hard work lead from small beginnings to extraordinary success. In his case, the interior design studio he opened in his Minneapolis apartment in 1994 blossomed into the exquisitely curated boutique Martin Patrick 3.
Today, MP3’s specialties span fine men’s clothing and accessories, apothecary goods and, as of last year, women’s apparel. Walsh and partner/CEO Dana Swindler’s North Loop store boasts 20,000 square feet of apparel, home furnishings and luxury shops-within-the-shop. All of it is designed to envelop customers in MP3’s holistic approach to the retail experience.
While the pandemic interrupted Walsh’s buying trips to Paris, Milan and New York City, it didn’t stymie his creativity. The interiors business is thriving, and the pause in demand for men’s business attire spurred a long-contemplated — and highly celebrated — move into women’s fashion. As a designer and international buyer, Walsh is surrounded by inspiration.
Rooms with their own personalities. Driven in part by COVID, new residential construction reflects a desire for more compartmentalized living, “so we’re back to having spaces that evoke different emotions,” he observes. “If the dining room is part of the kitchen is part of the great room, you can’t have spaces with different vibes.”
Walsh synthesizes inspiration from many sources: Bauhaus school pioneer Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Irish architect Eileen Gray, French decorator Jean-Michel Frank, British designer David Hicks, and stage and set designer Tony Duquette. In the fashion world, he loves Brunello Cucinelli, the Italian creative director of his eponymous brand, and Missoni, the Italian family of fashion and luxury goods known for its colorful textiles and knitwear.
“My dream home would probably be a New York City prewar row house, with lots of molding and plasterwork,” he explains. He’d map midcentury furnishings and contemporary art onto that rich traditional background. “The artistry is in the mix,” he notes, pointing to his own midcentury home in Golden Valley. “I really enjoy modern architecture, but our house is warm. It doesn’t say, We’re living in 1956.”
The versatile bar cart. “You can pop a mod one in an old-school design and it feels appropriate,” he notes. Especially when people are entertaining more at home, they want a proper bar cart (like Richard Schultz’s design for Knoll) along with all the necessary accoutrements. “I like items with many layers of design to them that actually serve a purpose,” says Walsh.
He prefers textiles that bring together multiple design elements and genres. A current favorite? Pindler’s multi-hued Prism, which undergoes a printing process to give it a painterly appearance with random color variation.
Space to Design
The kitchen and the master bath. “Both are fun because there has to be a high level of organization and function; the whole form follows function,” he explains. After utility come furnishings and finishes, which he relishes as well. “How do you make the kitchen — always the center of entertainment — a show place but highly functional?” he asks. “And for the master bath, what’s the glamour? What’s the sparkle? How do you make it a sanctuary?”
Where does the owner of Minneapolis’s most inspired retail destination find inspiration? 10 Corso Como in Milan, a high-fashion boutique, bookshop, art gallery and courtyard cafe. “It’s always evolving,” he notes, “and has a grit to it that keeps it local, artful and not processed.”