Design Aficionado, Rik Lalim, Shows Off His North Loop Loft

Stylemaker: Rik Lalim

Your favorite local places to shop:
Historic Studio, Architectural Antiques, studios at International Market Square, shops at the Galleria

You chose a wonderful blue for your walls. What color is it?
Restoration Hardware’s Dusk Crepuscule

Most surprising place you’ve found/bought a piece you love?
I found a railroad fragment and spike in the road in front of my loft. I cleaned it up and have it as a sculpture on my bookshelf.

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(Alex Steinberg)

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Architectural etchings line the steps up to the bedroom.  (Alex Steinberg)

After just a year, Rik Lalim has settled into his North Loop loft with the collection of a lifetime. “This house is like my autobiography,” he says. “Everything has been collected: inherited, given to me, found, or coveted.” And every item has a story behind it—it might have been salvaged from his grandparents’ North Dakota farm, found in a Paris flea market, spotted in a showcase house, or brought home from Venice.

Some of his collection represents the bounty of his marketing career in the design world, spent working for high-end showrooms, interior designers, architects, and builders. “When I worked for [International Market Square showroom] Holly Hunt, every year I’d buy one thing that I thought was really amazing,” he says. Thus, he owns several Karl Springer pieces, including the waxed stone box with bronze detail that rests on his Christian Liaigre coffee table. His love of fine design, further honed working for legendary Minneapolis interior designer Tom Gunkelman, informs his preference for clean, classic pieces.

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He fell in love with this painting at a showcase house, searched it out five years later, and bought it. (Alex Steinberg)

When he bought this 10-year-old, generic loft, Lalim knew it would take some work to transform it into home for himself and Ethel, his beloved Jack Russell. In the end, not one square inch was left untouched. Interior designer Maureen Haggerty of Mint helped him choose the deep blue paint and warm accents—both inspired by the Cornelis Rutenberg painting in the dining room. Pindler & Pindler fabric in a modified Greek key pattern and brass-detailed nailhead trim revived his A. Rudin sofa, and new, luscious throw pillows gave it personality.

The built-in bookcase was a project in itself. It began life as a maple with a built-in rail and ladder. “It was perfectly fine,” says Lalim, “but it didn’t fit the direction I wanted to go.” Warmbier Contracting did new trim work, added lighting, and swapped wood shelves for glass; custom painter Darril Otto transformed it with with lacquer, wax, and a faux-iron finish; and Haggerty found the perfect shade of gray-blue grasscloth for the back. Now the bookcase hits just the right note.

Lalim frequently entertains when he’s not out and about at his favorite North Loop haunts, and, these days, he is devoted to his favorite charities, Smile Network and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. “That’s how I love to spend my time,” he says.

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A petite oil purchased in the south of France is mounted on the curated bookshelves.  (Alex Steinberg)

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