photos by erica loeks, hair and makeup by fatima olive
Studio Nicholson duster, $660, Samuji Rammy trouser, $490, Base Range tee, $78, Diemme sneaker, $249, and Another Feather collar, $226, all @ Idun,
495 Selby Ave., St. Paul, 651-348-6104, shopidun.com
Dahlia Brue is known as the effortlessly chic, well-coiffed owner of Idun, a St. Paul boutique that carries a finely edited selection of women’s clothing and accessories with a minimalist-luxe vibe.
And she has a confession to make.
“I’m kind of a hoarder,” she admits, explaining the section of her closet filled with her fashion keepsakes. “I have so many weird things that I love but won’t wear.” For example: a jacket she bought at a boutique in Seoul, South Korea, with huge silver sequins and big pearl buttons. “It’s just the most ridiculous jacket you’ve ever seen!” she laughs.
Its style is perhaps the exact opposite of her home, a 100-year-old, Craftsman-style abode perched on a sunny, tree-lined street in St. Paul’s Crocus Hill neighborhood. The living room contains a mix of rough-hewn and Danish modern pieces, including a couch and cowskin rug from Room & Board, a vintage Eames rocking chair, and Muuto coffee tables from Forage Modern Workshop in front of a brick fireplace and built-in shelves arranged with ceramics, copper pieces, and other objets d’art from Forage and the Foundry Home Goods. In the dining room, an industrial pendant lamp from CB2 hangs over a sleek dining room table from Anthropologie, surrounded by a set of vintage Eames chairs.
“As we got older and bought a house, we wanted to invest in pieces we were going to have for a long time,” she says, “so we pared back and kept things intentional.”
She follows a similar philosophy when it comes to her wardrobe. “I’ve always loved interesting pieces, but I began investing in the types of things I didn’t just wear twice and get rid of,” she says. Her day-to-day look generally consists of a pair of loose trousers, a T-shirt, sneakers, and a tailored jacket. For an event, she’ll don a suit with loafers or a matching set of top and bottoms with flats (rarely heels). Of course, many of her favorite designers—such as the menswear-inspired British label Studio Nicholson and Swedish sneaker brand Eytys—she stocks at Idun.
Contrasting her gallery-like shop, with its unadorned white walls and tall ceilings, Brue’s home feels cozy and lived-in. Brue and her graphic-designer husband, Nick, purchased it three years ago, and they’ve made some updates to help make the house feel more fresh and modern. They painted the dark-wood interior white, took the doors off all the built-ins to open up the space, added a back deck, and updated the kitchen; but they kept the original art deco windows, brass hardware, and single-panel wood doors.
At the same time, Brue doesn’t treat anything in the home too preciously. After all, the couple has two small children (Hudson, 3, and Fiona, 1) and a 5-year-old Shar-Pei Cocker Spaniel named Bella.
“We love having an old home with a lot of character and giving it modern touches,” she says. “We want it to feel warm and inviting, because sometimes when you go minimal, it can feel cold. We still want to be able to have all of our friends over for spaghetti dinner.”
Jesse Kamm trench, $635, Rachel Comey pant, $370, Base Range tee, $78, Diemme sneaker, $249, and Neal Jewelry bracelet, $300, all @ Idun
Dahlia Brue’s Style Crib Sheet
On her hair routine
“I am really low-maintenance with my hair,” says Brue, who washes her hair two to three times a week. She uses Acure Organics shampoo and conditioner followed by a little bit of hair oil, and dry shampoo when she doesn’t wash it.
Her beauty routine
She uses Grown Alchemist cleanser and night cream at night, the Glossier routine and StriVectin concealer in the morning, and gets her eyebrows shaped and eyelashes and eyebrows tinted at Brow Chic.
On her go-to brands
“Imogene + Willie make the best jeans, and Eytys make the greatest sneakers. Studio Nicholson is so great—it has beautiful lines and is elegant without being overtly feminine. Nomia is always pulling in an interesting element to her designs. Base Range is comfortable, with great fabrics and beautiful colors, and they push limits in a really tasteful way.”