‘Spring Forward’ Fashion and Design Tips from Lake Minnetonka Experts

Stylish mother and daughter detail their favorite design, fashion and beauty items for spring 2014.
Andie, left, and Teri Mahalich enjoy a glass of wine in Teri's reading nook, located just off the master bedroom in her Deephaven home.

Springtime can be more exciting than deep cleaning and proper storage of all things winter. It can be a time of renewal and a reimagining of your wardrobe and interior design. To help give your springtime fashion and home décor a seasonal reboot, we’ve asked Teri and Andie Mahalich, a stylish lake-area mother/daughter duo, for insights into their favorite things. Their shared love of on-trend design is sure to inspire fresh ideas for your home, closet and gift list.

Teri loves design and has decorated her family home in Deephaven from top to bottom twice—once when the house was originally built and a second time after it was destroyed by fire in 2009. “It was devastating to lose everything,” Teri says. “But thankfully, our family was unharmed. So we decided to view reconstruction as an opportunity to recreate and enhance the home we loved.”

Teri has worked closely with Kate Regan, designer at The Sitting Room in Excelsior. Regan describes Teri’s design style as classic with an affinity toward warm elegance. Teri’s daughter, 23-year-old Andie, has a less traditional style—more urban, a bit bohemian. Together, they dream up impeccable style statements that can be customized to suit most any fashion palette.

For the Home

A tour of Teri’s home is an enchantment, but she insists it’s the small things that make a big impact in design. For example, she likes to change a few home décor items seasonally. To make those changes impactful yet cost-effective, Teri recommends rotating simple things like throw pillows, afghans, a kitchen rug or a themed decorative plate displayed in a prominent place.

Lighting is another way to enhance any space. Installing dimmers and under-cabinet kitchen lights creates ambiance for dinner parties. Even Teri’s laundry room has a fun and funky black lacquer chandelier she found at Wal-Mart. “I love the juxtaposition of tradition with the unexpected,” says Teri.

Teri and Andie agree that when it comes to lighting, simple candles can go a long way in creating allure. And seasonal scents can add to their appeal. “I love candles and have them all over my house,” Teri says. “When I entertain, I light candles in almost every room including small votives in each bathroom. It makes it feel special.”

Teri’s favorite candles are the brand Jo Malone. “They are expensive, but smell so good and come in a beautiful classic black jar.” Andie loves Volupsa, but she also finds great candles at Target. “I work with what I have,” says Andie, who likes to mix and match colored candles and incorporate a few with embedded crystals for added panache.

Another way to freshen a space is to add new hardware to boring cabinets. “Knobs in various designs and colors can bring a space to life,” says Teri. “I’ve found great hardware at Anthropologie and Pier One.” And if you’re replacing hardware on your bathroom cabinets, consider replacing or reviving the bathroom mirror. “Great mirrors can be hard to find,” Teri says, “so if you find one you love, make the space work around it.” Otherwise, plain flat mirrors can be spruced up by adding painted trim from a hardware store to make it look like an elegantly framed piece.

Teri and Andie both like to decorate with books. “Bookshelves should have books,” says Teri, who gathers stacks of hardcover titles from Half Price Books. She removes the dust jackets and arranges the books on custom-made bookshelves that line the walls of a cozy sitting room attached to her master suite. No space or budget for built-in bookshelves? No problem. Andie distressed wooden planks with a hammer and hung them in her apartment on iron rods to create a vintage-inspired shelving unit where she stacks books and a collection of antique doorknobs.

Teri also keeps a collection of cookbooks in her kitchen. Ina Garten, known as the Barefoot Contessa, is her favorite. And she has started Andie’s cookbook collection with a gift: Relish by Daphne Oz. “Relish is a really great cookbook for 20-somethings,” says Teri. “It has tips about entertaining, cooking and style.”

Both women have made wall art easy by incorporating maps into their décor. Andie has a map of Lake Minnetonka in a modern chunky white frame nestled on her wood-plank shelving. And Teri has a lower-level wall space in her home dedicated to a large map of Paris that’s cut and framed in sections like a collection of artwork. “Maps are always interesting and can tell a story about your life,” says Teri. “My husband and I honeymooned in Paris.” Another map, one of Lake Superior, is displayed in a den. “I saw that one at Leopold’s Gifts & Antiques in Excelsior and just couldn’t resist,” says Teri.

These simple touches can enhance any home décor. And don’t forget the front porch. Teri utilizes seasonal pots and planters as a great way to enliven her home’s exterior and make guests feel welcomed even before they open the front door.

Teri and Andie’s discriminating tastes diverge most when it comes to fashion. But both women agree that comfort is king. “You can mostly find me in simple jeans or leggings,” says Teri. “My top layer is typically a cashmere or cotton cardigan.” She’ll give a nod to trend in small ways. For example, when neon became popular again, Teri bought a camel-colored sweater with a neon stripe. By adding just a dash of trend, mature women can look classic and up-to-date.

Andie tends to take more fashion risks, like leather leggings or red pants layered with a chunky sweater. “Ripped jeans in lighter washes are also coming back into style,” says Andie. “I like to combine them with a blazer or a leather jacket, both staples for anyone’s closet.”

Meridian Boutique in Excelsior is one of Teri’s favorite fashion destinations. Andie loves Heartbreaker, J. Crew, Urban Outfitters and Target.

When it comes to accessories, Teri and Andie tend to avoid excessive jewelry. Instead, Teri chooses classic timepieces to wear as jewelry. “I have this Philip Stein watch with a variety of watchbands,” says Teri. “I can change the bands to match my outfit and wear it all the time.”

Andie chooses to accessorize with trendy nail color in lieu of expensive jewelry. “I’ll wear something cool like dark-blue nail polish,” says Andie, who also likes to change up her look by changing her hairstyle. “Fishtail braids and buns can change the entire look of an outfit. And hair accessories like decorative clips or a hair-bun shaper can help pull together these great looks.”

Another accessory that Andie freshens regularly is her spray tan from Minneapolis-based Glow. Recently featured in Allure magazine, Glow practitioners come to your house or apartment for the treatment and they customize tans for your skin tone or contour, adding dimension to your skin, giving you a more toned look. “It’s super convenient and not too expensive –they do half off tans if you do it with two or more people,” Andie says.

This mother/daughter duo have eyes for design. Their style tips can help you spring forward in fashion with some fresh ideas that spark the imagination.
Favorite three items in Teri’s handbag
•    Tom Ford lipstick in Spanish Pink, a nude with the perfect amount of pink. She calls this “a hands-down favorite”. $49, shop.nordstrom.com
•    Travel-size Lollia hand cream. It smells amazing and isn’t greasy. $7.50, lollialife.com
•    Cheaters from Eyebobs. They are made so well and come in many awesome styles. Plus, they’re made in Minneapolis; you gotta love that. Teri often gives Eyebobs as gifts because her friends are getting to the stage when a little help in the seeing department is much appreciated. Prices vary, eyebobs.com

Favorite three items in Andie’s daily beauty routine

•    Moroccan oil for hair. Prices vary, Primp Hair Salon, 18300 Minnetonka Blvd., Minnetonka, 952.475.0941
•    Benefit Stay Flawless 15-hour primer stick. Great for making makeup last all day. $32, Macy’s, 12401 Wayzata Blvd, Minnetonka, 952.591.6600
•    Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Dry Shampoo. $6, Walgreen’s, 4950 County Rd. 101, Minnetonka, 952.938.3566

Favorite websites, blogs and Instagram accounts