In 2018, when Woodbury-based interior designers Shannon Knutson and Brittany Meidinger decided to go into business together, one of their first creative challenges was choosing a name for their new company. “Originally we both said, ‘Write down a list of words that you like and we’re gonna sit down and just kind of hash it out,’” says Meidinger, whose list notably included the word “Twiggy.” “Shannon just kind of laughed and said, ‘What the heck is Twiggy?’” says Meidinger, explaining it was her nickname as a kid. At that point, Knutson mentioned her own childhood moniker, Lucy Brown—and thus Twigg + Lu was born.
The personal nature of the company’s name is representative of Knutson and Meidinger’s work. When designing a space, they try to bring out each homeowner’s unique personality, often showcasing a client’s existing pieces in a new light. “I had a client I just worked with recently and I had them take me out back to their man cave and so I could pull a set deer horns off the wall to hang in their dining room,” says Meidinger. “They might never think to do that, but I’m always searching to incorporate their personal stuff.” The pair also asks questions and provides inspiration photos from the very beginning of the design process to make sure they are reflecting the homeowner’s wants and needs.
For Woodbury homeowner Kristine Glancy, that desire was for a beautiful but functional living space. “We were looking for a space that was most importantly livable,” says Glancy. “I didn’t want a house that we can’t be a family in.” She also wanted the redecorated space, much of the main floor, to feel inviting and warm with the vibe of a modern farmhouse. “She had a lot of vintage farm stuff,” says Meidinger, “So we were able to accessorize with all of that.”
In the redesign, Glancy’s home received custom-stained wood floors, a two-story fireplace, and new lighting fixtures in addition to paint, draperies and other decor additions. The formal dining room was turned into a hangout spot for boys Liam and Oliver. It turned out to be Glancy’s favorite part of the home and is a place for music practice, puzzles and homework that can adjust to the boys’ needs as they get older. “We now spend more time in this room than we ever have before,” she says. “The kids love the space, and so do we.”
The variety of work in Glancy’s home includes only some of what Twigg + Lu Design Company is able to provide. “We offer full service interior design, meaning a room design from start to finish,” says Knutson. “Kitchen and bath design, furnishings and custom window treatments, working with existing furniture or starting from scratch.” The pair teams up with remodeling companies as needed and also offers mini-sessions and paint consults for people looking to get better insight on their home’s design potential. “We look at everything from paint to furniture, cabinets and hardware to flooring,” says Knutson. “We want to include what the client wants to keep and change what they want to change. We don’t need a total blank slate.”
When it comes to creating the actual design, Knutson and Meidinger each bring something different to the table. Knutson worked previously in hospitality and tourism management, and first became an entrepreneur running her own childcare business while she and her husband were raising their two kids, Ava and Parker. “After my youngest entered kindergarten, it was time to pursue my true passion—interior design,” she says. She opened her own decorating and concierge business before joining an interior design firm, pre-Twigg + Lu. She has also completed the kitchen and bath design program at Century College. Meidinger has loved interior design since childhood, often rearranging her friends’ childhood bedrooms. She attended Century College after high school and earned a degree in interior design. She then began assisting at an interior design firm before taking on clients of her own.
The pair varies in their preferred aesthetics as well, and sees this as a strength of their partnership. “We do have different styles, but working together we’re able to push each other and provide feedback” says Meidinger. “It adds value that we’re not stuck in one style.”
Knutson likes to pull rustic pieces into her designs, and enjoys coastal, fresh elements that make spaces feel comfortable and cozy. One of her favorite recent designs was a coastal master bathroom that featured shiplap, brushed gold sconces, mixed metal hardware and new wavy shower tiles. “The homeowners were so fun to work with and they allowed me to take my whole vision for the space and make it reality,” she says.
Meidinger’s style is more glam and eclectic, and she enjoys mixing vintage pieces with modern, unexpected elements. She can often be found thrifting at vintage stores and estate sales when she’s not designing or spending time with her fiance and their son, Hugo. It’s hard for her to pick one favorite design, but there is one bold client that stands out. “I told them to paint their dining room black and they said yes,” she explains. “We softened it with traditional furniture and it looked amazing.”
As for design inspiration, Knutson and Meidinger say it’s everywhere. “I’m always taking pictures of tile in a bathroom because I’m thinking, ‘Oh, this is so cool.’ As a designer your mind is constantly running,” says Knutson.
So what’s trending now? “A lot of natural and organic materials and textures, lots of greenery, statement light fixtures.” Wallpaper, which has regained a following in the past few years, is still a good choice for pop. “We love to use wallpaper in foyers, powder bathrooms or master bedrooms.”
Looking to spruce up a room or two in your own home? “Of course our biggest tip would be to hire an interior designer before starting a refresh,” says Knutson. “Your home is likely your most valuable investment and a place you will spend a majority of your time for years to come,” she says. Knutson and Meidinger created their mini-sessions for people looking for guidance but wanting a smaller commitment.
“Just try it,” says Glancy, the Woodbury homeowner and a now repeat client of Twigg + Lu. “You will learn how to approach a room, not making impulsive one-off decisions, but waiting until you have a full plan for a room, ultimately saving you money in the end.”
When decorating their own homes, Knutson and Meidinger allow their individual styles to truly shine. Meidinger particularly enjoys the juxtaposition of her mother’s old dining set. “It’s that comfortable piece I grew up with, but with a different twist,” she says. “My walls are black, I have glitter art and a bohemian chandelier. It all comes together into my style.” I interviewed the women in Knutson’s home, which is true to her coastal rustic style and immediately comfortable. My only concern was about the gorgeous white sectional sitting in her living room. “Don’t worry,” she says. “It’s red wine-proof.” Another perfect design choice.