Above: Charlie Brackney Love and Brent Love at home in their bright, airy Minneapolis Victorian.
He’s north loop, and I’m Bancroft,” Brent Love says, giggling, as he points to his husband, Charlie Brackney Love, comparing their styles to Minneapolis neighborhoods. That contrast could create marital or interior design strife—hip and cosmopolitan vs. homegrown bohemian—but instead the couple has turned it into their strength.
They bought the 1883 three-story, sun-drenched Victorian in the heart of Loring Heights in Minneapolis just before their wedding in the backyard, instantly making their own history in the house. “We are just surrounded by memories and a sense of joy here,” says Charlie. “We feel like we are the stewards of this home.”
Then they turned to the blank canvas of their entirely white walls, wood floors, and soaring windows and ceilings. “As we fell in love, we fell in love with each other’s spaces, too,” Charlie says. “I started to embrace more color.” Brent adds, “I was looking forward to paring down.” The common denominator? “We both acquire things with a story; we’re both really intentional,” Charlie says.
The Loves insist on stories behind their belongings; thus, a display that features both a guitar Charlie has owned since 8th grade, a gift from his father, and Brent’s great-great grandfather’s fishing-net knitting needles.
They’ve worked to create an atmosphere of creation and exploration. They both have multiple creative pursuits: Charlie as co-founder and creative director of Haus Salon, Brent as a roving correspondent for the Minneapolis-based American Refugee Committee. In a true combination of their skills, they even collaborated through their respective organizations on a professional project: Educating hair stylists in a Thai refugee camp on both new styling skills and recognizing the signs of domestic violence, teaching them how to improve the lives of the people they literally touch everyday. Another collaboration: Brent vowed to dye his hair ARC orange as an incentive for a workplace competition; the team surpassed the goal, so a Haus colorist obliged.
Both cultivate artistic pursuits at home—jewelry design, pottery, quilt making, and more. In fact, their dining room, which gets great light, serves as a place to eat and a place to create. “We wanted this to be a place conducive to children dreaming,” Charlie says.
“This might not be a traditional family home,” he notes, owing to the busy urban location and steep wooden stairs. “But as a gay couple, we know who we are and who we want our family to be. This is us intentionally creating the family we want.”
Where do you love to shop—for inspiration, for gifts?
Brent loves to shop at I like you. Charlie’s favorites include The Foundry Home Goods and Mille. While the styles of the shops differ, all of them carry handmade objects and artists’ works that speak to the Loves.
As Texas natives, where do you think you get the quintessential Minnesotan experience?
“Everything is bigger in Dallas,” says Charlie. “People, hair, values.” Brent agrees, but adds, “I think on peacekeeping every day, worldwide, in my job, and I’m really not so sure that any place values peace so much as Minnesota.” To that end, they say, the relaxed vibe of the Kenwood restaurant embodies that peaceful, pleasant feeling that Minnesotans have cultivated.
Where else do you go for surprise and delight?
Brent enthuses about the occasional sales at Your Lucky Day in south Minneapolis. “You’ll never know what you’ll find,” he says of the themed weekend sales. And they can’t stay away from food meccas like the Wedge, Kingfield Farmer’s Market, and Lowry Hill Meats.
By Katie Dohman
Designed by the homeowners