On Kimberly: Derek Lam 10 Crosby romper, $395 @ Grethen House; Maguba clogs, $149 @ Cliché. On Marty: Steven Alan shirt, $188, Levi’s Made & Crafted Jeans, $158, and Tretorn sneakers, $90, all @ Askov Finlayson. Hair & makeup by Shannon Darsow.
Photo by Erin Smith
A dozen years ago, Kimberly and Marty Senn met while working at the New York offices of Fallon advertising agency—Kimberly as an account manager, Marty as a senior copywriter—and fell in love. (And, no, it wasn’t anything like what you’ve seen in Mad Men.) They moved overseas to work for Fallon’s London affiliate for a period, and then left the agency and headed to San Francisco.
In 2009, Kimberly became pregnant with their first son, Hugo, and left the advertising world. After painting a trio of canvases to hang over her baby’s crib, she began taking commissions for original art and prints for nurseries and baby rooms—her design studio, Senn & Sons, was born. Three years ago, following the birth of their second son, Freddie, the design-savvy power couple decided to move back to the Midwest. (Marty is originally from Minnesota and Kimberly hails from Wisconsin.) While Kimberly runs Senn & Sons out of the couple’s Edina home, Marty now works as the chief creative officer for Minneapolis ad agency Carmichael Lynch, whose client list includes Subaru and U.S. Bank.
Six months after serendipitously meeting a friend of a friend whose family owns a paper product brand, Kimberly was approached by the company to design a line of planners for Target. After debuting (and promptly selling out) a year ago, a second series of Kimberly’s planners is in Target stores now under the Blue Sky label.
Translating her style and aesthetic into paper products wasn’t too much of a stretch for the designer, who admits to having always been “totally obsessed” with planners even before she designed them. “I’d buy them a few times a year, because I’d want to change them out halfway through,” she says. That high-profile collaboration gave Kimberly the confidence to expand her scope beyond art and prints. Her latest projects include a textile collection of throw pillows and stroller blankets under the Senn & Sons label and a line of ceiling fans for kids’ rooms.
On Kimberly: Frank & Eileen dress, $125, Oie Jewelry necklace, $290, both @ Grethen House; Maguba clogs, $149 @ Cliché. On Marty: Levi’s Made & Crafted Jeans, $158, and Tretorn sneakers, $90, both @ Askov Finlayson; Norse Projects shirt, his own from Askov Finlayson
Photo by Erin Smith
With Kimberly’s background in interior design, it’s hardly surprising that the Senns’ home, a 1960s rambler that was renovated in 2006, looks like it was pulled from the pages of Elle Décor magazine. When they purchased it three years ago, the couple left the house as-is structurally, only repainting the walls and doing a few minor cosmetic changes to “unfancy” it—including replacing the granite veneer covering the fireplace with reclaimed barn wood, and trading out billowing silk drapes and opulent curtain rods with simpler hardware and white linen curtains. Much of their furniture is vintage mid-century modern, including a wicker chair from Covet Consignment and wood end tables from FindFurnish. A Moroccan rug that Kimberly scored at a European market and kilim throw pillows add global touches, while quirky artwork the couple collected while living in New York, London, and San Francisco lends the home an irreverent, playful feel.
That laidback vibe carries over to the couple’s personal style. “I’m typically a jeans and t-shirt gal,” says Kimberly. “My go-to look is skinny jeans with a striped top and flats, which I can dress up for a night out with some hot heels and a leather jacket.” Marty’s uniform is similarly low-key, consisting of a slim button-down shirt, Levi’s dark-wash jeans, and classic Tretorn sneakers. (He even cuts his own hair.)
That relaxed perspective is key to the Senns’ home life. “Living in the design world and with Instagram, there’s this expectation of perfection,” Kimberly says. “So we’re embracing the idea of imperfect gatherings. I tell my friends who come over, this is as good as it’s going to get. By the time you leave, it’s going to be totally torn apart again.”
Photo by Erin Smith
Kimberly Senn’s Style Crib Sheet
On her beauty routine: Senn usually wears concealer and a touch of bronzer, coral blush, and mascara, plus eyeliner if she’s going out—but she skips the lipstick. “I love the look of bold lips, but I’m incapable of keeping it on my lips,” she laughs.
On keeping her hair color looking fresh: “My hairstylist recently introduced me to R+Co products for blondes and I love the cleansing foam conditioner,” she says. “My hair gets dry if I shampoo too much, so it’s perfect for days between washes.”
On her favorite local shops: “I live near 50th and France, so I love stopping into Equation and Parc Boutique to see what’s new,” she says. “Equation is the best at stretching my style comfort zone.” She’s also a fan of Grethen House and Mille for a splurge, and local brands Urban Undercover, Winsome, and Goldfine Jewelry.