After being gone for 10 years, entrepreneur Lindsay Frankenfeld moved back to Rapid City with a fresh mindset and one goal – to downsize. As fate would have it, a former Chevy auto showroom was being remodeled into modern lofts on the east side of downtown. Frankenfeld took a few tours during the process and fell in love.
“It’s just the right amount of space for me, and it’s a super fun place to live because I can walk everywhere,” she said.
The owner of 1977 Digital is just steps away from The Garage, where she offices out of, and Harriet & Oak, where she meets with clients.
With original exposed brick, wooden accents saved from mezzanine flooring during demo, and a ceiling that soars 24 feet (with a skylight), the industrial 1929 building has been transformed into the perfect place to start anew.
“I like [the skylight] because it helps me wake up in the morning.”
While excited for the move, Frankenfeld found it challenging to go from a duplex to a 750-foot loft.
“I came from a place that had a garage to this,” she laughed. “But I purposely wanted to minimize, and it helped me do that.”
Frankenfeld was inspired by the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up [The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing] by Marie Kondo.
“The book is about how if it doesn’t spark joy, it’s just taking up space,” she said. “Go through everything you own, ask if it sparks joy, and if it doesn’t, lovingly let it go. It’s something I’m always working on.”
One obvious thing that sparks joy in her life is her kayak, which is propped up in the corner of the living room and kitchen.
“My brother and I put it in the corner and tested it out, and it works,” she said.
Frankenfeld also had ideas from living in Japan for two years.
“There’s a lot of focus on being in small places,” she reminisced.
The hardest items to give away were furniture.
“One [item] was a big table I had bought with an ex-boyfriend, and I thought I needed to keep it because it was a substantial piece of furniture,” she said. “I had bought it for a different place, and it didn’t fit, and I didn’t need it. It was also emotional cleansing.”
Frankenfeld found it was most helpful to utilize shelving and to use baskets.
“It’s all about where to put stuff at,” she said.
“I knit, but I don’t knit a lot. Mostly I like how the yarn looks – I feel like it’s comfortable.”
A lot of tricks can be learned living in a loft. Frankenfeld uses mirrors to visually open the space more, and to add personality to the concrete floors, she purchased over eight rugs and runners.
“I was worried at how homey [the loft] could be, so I got more rugs than was probably necessary, but I found ways to use them,” she laughed. “I love a good rug, and it’s a nice way to decorate a concrete floor.”
Frankenfeld recently started hosting for Airbnb, which she says encourages her to keep it in tip-top shape for guests.
“I travel sometimes, and it’s been really cool to open my home to people,” she said. “Everyone has been so nice, and it makes me try harder to make it look nice and to share the space.”
One of Frankenfeld’s favorite features is the farmhouse sink.
Many pieces around Frankenfeld’s home have a special meaning or story behind them. Leading down the narrow hallway are shelves of memories from family and from her stint in Japan. The first shelf is a hand-me-down from her late grandmother.
“It’s kind of scratched, but I love how it’s rounded,” she said. “The year my grandma died, she gave me [the shelf].”
The Egyptian cat statue is from her grandmother as well. “It kind of looks like an Emmy or an Oscar,” Frankenfeld laughed.
An antique jewelry box is from a class she taught in Japan that was given to her as a gift, and a watercolor painting that hangs near was also a present from the school.
“This is a painting that my office gave me of Hakodate, where I was living, when I left,” she said. “Gifts are huge in Japan, and they had a ceremony for me. It really helped me make the transition back home.”
Another special memory is a sign that hangs on the wooden beam in the kitchen that faces the front door. The sign reads, “Love one another,” and was her grandmother’s.
“When we went through and they asked what I wanted from their estate, I pointed instantly and said, ‘That,’” she recalled. “I just remember that being in their house and my dad and his brothers were all loud having a great time around it. My dad and all of his brothers demonstrate that.”
Frankenfeld has a medal for running a race for her school district in Japan.
Because so many items are antiques, a lot of Frankenfeld’s loft is a mix-and-match of furniture and décor.
“It’s all from different places. The bed set was from my grandma’s estate,” she said. “I have this mix of antiques and heirlooms and modern items from places like Furniture Row.”
She also has a bookshelf from a her mother’s cousin, who passed away.
“Because I live here where both sides of my family are from, I’ve inherited some items,” she explained.
Other pieces that play off the antique look are the lamps and curtains from Target, and the coffee table, bar stools, and couches from Furniture Row.
“They have this recycled furniture line, so I got the coffee table and my benches from there,” she said.
Another eclectic charm about Frankenfeld’s loft is the array of artwork. One of her favorite pieces is above her blue couch that is a framed print she received from her grandma.
“I don’t even know what it is,” she smiled. “It’s from my grandma and was in my grandma and grandpa’s house. I just love the colors in it.”
Nearby are eight framed prints of birds that Frankenfeld says she found at a flea market on a trip to Detroit with a friend.
“I bought around 30 prints of birds, and it was my friend’s idea to put them up in my apartment,” she said. “It was $30 for all of the prints, and I spent a lot more money to get them framed.”
Next to the bookshelf in the living room is a print or painting of a city block. When asked where it came from, Frankenfeld responded, “Do you know who James Franco is?”
Frankenfeld’s parents lived in Boston and in Los Angeles before they had children. Her father attended graduate school in Boston and lived next door to Betsy and Doug Franco, the parents of the Hollywood actor.
“They had a duplex next to them and they became good friends,” she said. “When they would go out of town, my parents would watch their cats, so they gave them this as a thank you.”
Using creativity to downsize and make the space her own, Frankenfeld is excited about the changes and what is going on in her thriving area of town.
“There’s more and more happening downtown, especially in this area east of 5th,” she said. “I think there are more people moving downtown.”
For more information, visit lindsayfrankenfeld.com.