LAB Talks: How To Design For Life

Moderated by Kate Nelson (Artful Living) with Chris Plantan, Kate O’Hara (Martha O’Hara Interiors), Amy Hendel (Hendel Homes), and Lea Johnson (Creekwood Hill).

We’ve been spending a lot of time at home lately, and our homes now need to do double duty as workspaces, workout studios and sanctuaries. Now more than ever, it’s vital that our abodes are designed around our individual lifestyles. This robust conversation with acclaimed local architects, designers and tastemakers will provide plenty of inspiration as well as tangible tips and tricks for designing for life.


Kate Nelson

Artful Living | @arfullivingmag

Kate Nelson is the editor-in-chief of Artful Living, an award-winning independent luxury lifestyle magazine with national appeal. A storyteller through and through, she grew up in a small Minnesota farming town before making her way to Minneapolis. When she’s not busy interviewing interesting personalities or uncovering untold stories, she enjoys horseback riding, traveling and scouring the Twin Cities’ vintage shops. Earlier this year, she was named a Folio: Top Women in Media.


Chris Plantan

Plantan Inc.

Real world entrepreneur, creative director and product designer with experience in leadership, brand creation, product development and compelling go-to-market strategies. From concept to commerce, Chris strategized and leveraged her entrepreneurial skills to create world-recognized consumer brands, innovative ventures and segment growth opportunities for large startups and established retailers/brands, leveraging her design, consumer awareness and retail prowess. She transformed existing consumer product categories into multi-million dollar business segments, building pilots, prototypes and physical testing formats. While developing marketing strategies for products, sales strategies for organizations and brand lives for businesses, she also managed a multi-person design team and spent time leading in the classroom and speaking engagements.

Anywhere there is a table is a great place to gather or work.

– Chris Plantan


Kate O’Hara

Martha O’Hara Interiors | @ohara_interiors

Kate is the CEO + creative director for Martha O’Hara Interiors where she pioneered the interior design firm’s expansion to national markets and international clientele. Today, MOI is one of the most well-known interior design studios in the country whose award-winning work has been featured on The Today Show, HGTV, Better Homes and Gardens and beyond.

Named one of Austin’s Social Influencers and Minnesota’s Top 32 Under 32 Marketing Professionals, Kate is a sought-after speaker on topics ranging from social media, to women in business, to online branding.

“If you are uncomfortable in your space, change it. Life changes and so can your home.”

– Kate O’Hara


Amy Hendel

Hendel Homes | @hendelhomes

As head of marketing and a designer with award-winning Hendel Homes, Amy’s design expertise and experience, passion, hands-on approach and constant communication with clients create a trust and personal connection that ultimately lends itself to “peace of mind” during the process. Known for the depth of commitment and detail that each team member gives to every project, living and breathing it, is just part of whoHendel Homes is.

Hendel Homes has been published nationally and locally in a variety of publications: Better Homes and Gardens, Architectural Digest, Beautiful Kitchens and Baths, Kitchen and Bath Ideas, Artful Living, Midwest Home and Garden, Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine, Dream Kitchens and Baths, Country Living, and Lake Minnetonka Magazine.

“Start with some sort of inspiration to move forward…Color, fabric, a favorite item or picture.”

– Amy Hendel


Lea Johnson

Creekwood Hill | @creekwoodhill

An interior stylist, who loves to mix old and new and curate spaces to reflect a well lived-in and bespoke home and lifestyle. Lea has been featured multiple times on Style by Emily Henderson as well as Apartment Therapy, Schoolhouse Electric and others. In addition, Lea curates an online shop full of one-of-a-kind and vintage finds.

“When you walk into a place that feels good, take note.”

– Lea Johnson


What element is a must-have in your home?

What are your go-to resources for home accessories?

  • Schoolhouse Electric, local makers and vintage shops. – Lea
  • Interior designers…They have the best access. – Amy
  • Faye + Belle, Nest Candles, Ampersand and Wildflower Organics in Austin, Texas – Kate
  • 1stdibs, Tortoise General Store in Los Angeles and stores you stumble upon while out walking. – Chris

Thank you to the following businesses for their generous giveaways:

Hennepin Made / Louie & Harry / Ampersand / Louise Gray / O’Hara Interiors / Artful Living x Bye SheShe

LAB Talks is a free monthly event curated by LAB in partnership with Hennepin Made and Parallel Cafe. Currently a virtual affair designed to kickstart your day and get you fueled on inspiration and passion, LABTalks celebrates local connections and perspectives – simply, people doing great things. Candid inspiring conversation and good company are always guaranteed.