5005 Bryant Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-285-8467
Laurie Luehmann always had a thing for nature. As a kid, she wanted to be Jacques Cousteau’s sidekick. As an adult, she spent several years living in Europe where, inspired by the English-country décor of historic homes, she became a treasure hunter for animal artifacts. Luehmann’s collection now inhabits her namesake shop in south Minneapolis. The curiosities on display might give some people the creepy-crawlies: polished skulls, silver-dipped insect jewelry, and a cast of taxidermy characters—including Walter the Bear, named after Luehmann’s grandfather. But within the exposed walls of this dark, rustic space you’re more likely to find beauty in the bizarre. Luehmann uses a designer’s eye to arrange her earthly finds, layering the strange with the stylish. Among the fur pelts and glass-encased tarantulas are delicate pieces like carved ivory napkin rings, framed botanicals, horn-handled utensils, coral fans, and other decorative objects d’art. A cluster of black orbs, hand-turned from reclaimed ebony, could be straight from the pages of a Pottery Barn catalog. Luehmann describes the store’s look as Charles Darwin meets Ralph Lauren. It’s a wild and alluring destination, just waiting to be discovered.