Above: Beson relaxes among some of his favorite finds: A reinvented Knoll Wassily chair, Mastercraft coffee table, and a Marc Chagall crocheted pillow—along with his own artwork on the wall behind him.
Q&A with the Influencer, Drew Beson
Where do you like to shop?
Omforme. [Proprietor] Carter Averbeck is very talented. I also have the sickness for estate sales and garage sales—I could spend most of my Thursday mornings shopping if I weren’t careful.
How do you stay inspired?
I like to be creative with things I already have. My dining room table is made up of a piece of wrought-iron furniture and a mirror. Giving things a new life—that could be a theme for my house.
What are your tips for incorporating art into a home?
Be very thoughtful about scale. A single piece that is large works in a deep space because you can get far enough away from it. In a shallow space, a hallway, for example, do things in a series.
To Drew Beson—artist, gallery owner, and nephew of noted interior designer Billy Beson—an appreciation of design comes naturally. So does doing it himself.
Fresh out of college when he purchased his grandma Nanny’s 1951 Edina rambler in 2004, he wasn’t daunted by the projects required to actualize his vision of what the house could be. He invited friends to move in with him, applied plenty of sweat equity, and dragged a mattress into the dining room, where he slept “longer than I’d care to admit.” Slowly, the house became his rather than Grandma’s, without losing its original character.
Left: Stacked vintage luggage doubles as a side table.
“I’d say my home is a very good representation of who I am, where I’ve been, and the people I’ve met,” he says. “It has to be livable and functional, flexible and versatile.”
This translates into an eclectic aesthetic that includes a white ostrich banquette culled from the former View restaurant, a rejiggered Knoll Wassily chair, estate-sale-rescued Mastercraft coffee tables, and rugs from Morocco, among other special finds. It’s a combination that feels homey but curated, and while the color scheme throughout the house favors the muted end of the spectrum—in contrast to much of Beson’s artwork—the textures and patterns he mixes in make the rooms feel lively.
Above: The basement bar, complete with the found-in-the-wall artwork and vintage chrome barware.
“It’s important to have a respite from boldness,” he explains. “I’ve got my artwork in my brain anyway. When I close my eyes, I see that. I don’t need to necessarily see that all the time.”
His home also is a perfect place to entertain pals thanks to his flexible vision. “I’m the only person I know who has a banquette over 100 inches in a dining room that is less than 200 square feet,” he says, laughing. “Most people wouldn’t think of that—white ostrich, no less. But I see it as a way that I’m able to recapture efficient square footage. Instead of the table floating, I’m able to borrow from an entire wall and use that as seating. That leaves a big opening and more floor space.”
Beson also finished the basement, creating a master bedroom and bathroom, a small home theater, and a bar tucked into a corner. Within the walls, he found a painted wooden hand sign predating the house (scrawled in pencil on the back: “1944”) pointing, “This way to the bar.” It was meant to be.
Is he done? Not a chance, he says: “I’m a maximizer, and we’re a long way from maximizing what the house can be. I have a big appetite for projects and improvements. I want it to look luxe and be interesting. And I’m OK with being a little unconventional.”
Above: The reclaimed banquette and table are unconventional choices that fit right in, and are Gertie-approved.
By Katie Dohman
Photos by TJ Turner