Andréa Dixon and Jen Ziemer of Fiddlehead Design Group are award-winning interior designers based in Minneapolis. Two years ago, the duo embarked on the exciting project of designing their dream studio space at International Market Square, Fiddlehead’s creative home for almost 10 years. We chatted with the pair about their incredible new space, how they approached its stunning design and more.
How did you approach the design of Fiddlehead’s IMS studio space?
Jen Ziemer: Typically, our designs are very colorful and layered. We decided to concentrate on pulling back a bit. We kept the space as black and white as possible and used green as the accent color. Our studio is in a great location within IMS; we want people to look down our hallway and say, “Oh, what’s going on down there?”
Andréa Dixon: Our location has a lot of walking traffic, and we have a whole wall of windows, so the black and white really pops. A lot of times, we notice guests standing outside our windows staring into our space. We also ended up using a lot of texture and variation in scale.
What are some of your favorite decor and design elements in the space?
JZ: I love the graphic wallpaper. I also love the lamps we selected and the overall lighting throughout the entire space.
AD: It’s hard to pick one thing because the thing about great design is how it all comes together to create an amazing space. We have some stunning artwork, which is something that’s important to both of us. We also showcase different styles of cabinetry to display a range of how things can be organized. The cabinets may feel muted, but you can’t deny the quality craftmanship.
In what ways did the process of designing the studio feel different from other design projects?
AD: Our studio space is multipurpose-focused. A commercial space is very different from a home, yet we wanted you to feel like you’re inside someone’s home while you’re here. A mantra of ours is: Serious about style; fanatic about function. Here, we started with function first then layered on the style elements.
JZ: The process for me wasn’t too far off from our joint process on a regular project. We built a list of specific needs for each part of the studio and went from there.
If you could add any design item to your studio, what would it be?
JZ: The only thing we didn’t end up purchasing was this amazing daybed that we thought would fit perfectly in the front window. I still kind of obsess over it.
What part of the studio do you use the most?
JZ: Interior designers are messy. Every surface of the studio is usually covered with projects and constant brainstorming.
AD: Yes, every table and space in here has a project. One might have 8,000 drawings on it, while another has an entirely different project. It’s a beautiful chaos.
How does your studio space foster creativity and function?
JZ: It’s a great space to come to every day, especially during the coronavirus outbreak. We found a refuge here from everything going on in the world. We are also very happy with how this space works. Overall, this is our happy place.
AD: This studio space exceeded everything we were hoping for. Our windows here and our placement within the building is amazing. It’s gorgeous at a certain time of day when the sun starts setting and shining through the windows. It creates a different mood than in the morning. The natural light makes us really happy.
What is a design element or improvement everyone should consider when creating a home office space?
JZ: Function — it has to start with the function. Everyone works so differently in their spaces and, especially now, you may have two people that need to work in tandem.
AD: I would say function as well as incorporating at least one thing you really love. Whether it’s a great light fixture or a favorite piece of art, include it to encourage joy.