Aaron and Esther's Apartment Tour
Hi! We are Aaron and Esther Clark, and we're thrilled to have our apartment featured on When We Wed today! We first met through mutual friends almost five years ago. Our friendship started off slow - Aaron was interested in me right away, but it took me a long time to warm up to him (ironically, I liked another guy who ended up not being right for me). We started working together at the same coffeeshop a month or two after we met, and that's where we really got to know each other! We would spend our shifts bantering and flirting (although, for some silly reason, I was in total denial about liking Aaron), and I finally agreed to go out with him about a year after we met. By that time, we were very good friends: we had seen both the best and the worst of each other through working lots of stressful shifts together, and our friendship was strong and authentic. Since we already had such a solid foundation, it only took us four months to get engaged, and then we were married five months after that!
We met at a coffeeshop, and coffee has remained a huge part of our relationship. We did a "unity pour-over" at our wedding, and Aaron has been a barista for most of the five years we've known each other. We just opened up Botany Coffee in south Minneapolis, so that's taking most of Aaron's time at the moment! It's been his dream to open his own shop for years and years, and seeing that dream come to fruition is incredibly rewarding. I freelance full-time as an artist/designer; most of my work is doing wedding stationery and logos, and I have an online shop where I sell prints of my original artwork. Art and coffee are our things!
When we moved to the Twin Cities, we originally wanted to live in Minneapolis. That's where we planned to open our café, and we had both spent many weekends exploring in the city. However, most of the apartments we wanted to look at were in St. Paul! We viewed several in both cities and really fell for a quaint, early 1900s one-bedroom in a small building on Grand Avenue. Our two favorite things about our apartment are the gleaming hardwood floors and the bright white walls, which have beautiful moulding detail. Our apartment is also special to us because of all the character and charm that can only be found in an old building. There are lots of amazing built-ins in the small hallway between our kitchen and bedroom, and they add so much to the space with their pretty crystal handles! Both of us are very drawn to minimalism, mid-century furniture, and Scandinavian design. Most of our design decisions center around balancing clean lines and simple, uncluttered space with vintage or antique pieces that add warmth and character. We both love plants, and that is pretty evident through all the rooms of our home!
Our bedroom is the largest room in the apartment, and we wanted to keep the space open, light, and airy so that it felt as calm and relaxing as possible. Aaron built some floating nightstands for us, so those are a favorite feature of the room! We chose blonde wood and white linens and kept almost nothing on the walls - just a dried eucalyptus wreath and a couple of my smallest pieces. With the addition of our fiddle leaf fig plant, the room felt finished!
The kitchen is relatively roomy for an old apartment. The cabinets are originals, and there are more built-ins that are just so beautiful! I love styling the tops of those with plants, loose-leaf tea, and various antiques, utensils, and candles! We both enjoy cooking - and of course eating! - so the kitchen is a room we spend quite a bit of time in.
Our dining nook is probably our favorite room in the apartment. The windows let in so much natural light throughout the day, which is amazing! The light provides the perfect environment for our plants to thrive and flourish, so we have a lot of them growing on shelves and around the windowsill. I (Esther) spend most of my days here, drawing or working on my computer! We always look forward to supper together here, as well - the only time we regularly get to spend together is an hour or two in the evenings because of Aaron's just-opened-a-new-business schedule, so it's a cherished time of day!
The last room in the apartment doubles as our living room and my studio. I have a desk and some tall birch shelves in the corner, and our pet rabbit lives in the opposite corner! We have always chosen not to own a TV in an attempt to spend our time intentionally, so a shelf full of pretty ceramics, wooden bowls, and books takes the place of an entertainment center across the room from our couch. We do watch movies/TV shows on my laptop, so we'll often spend our evening snuggled up on the couch with a glass of wine and a show playing on our coffee table!
Our apartment has been our favorite home we've lived in yet. It's the perfect size, there is so much natural light, and every room has so much character of its own! In addition, the neighborhood is completely wonderful, and we spend a lot of time out walking when the weather is nice. We are so thankful for the time that we have here!