This column illustrates that what a designer does outside of the office is often their biggest inspiration. Amber Ranzau’s keen eye for beautiful and thoughtful design takes her all over the Twin Cities and beyond, experiencing beautiful food, music and spaces. Amber’s 10 favorite things are sure to inspire you to take a break and enjoy!

Beverage: I love a good Bees Knees or anything made with gin. My perfect drink is botanical, a little sour and a little sweet!

Restaurant: My list is always changing, but I’d say 3 of my tried and trues are Young Joni, Revival, and Wakame. Wood fired pizza, southern fried chicken, and fresh, creative sushi… You can’t go wrong with any of them!

Museum: I am so excited to see Egypt’s Sunken Cities at the MIA this winter. I love the old and new art they have there and the traveling exhibits.

Places to visit: I’m game to go anywhere with delicious food, great architecture, and nature nearby!

Book: I’ve recently read My Own Devices by Dessa and I loved it. She’s been on my radar for years and I’ve been to many of her concerts, so when her book came out, I had to get it. I love the way she describes her experiences in her writing and rapping.

Guilty Pleasure: It would definitely be taking photos of fabulous food and drinks at great restaurants my husband and I visit to post on my ‘foodie’ Instagram @amberfoodiempls. Follow that account if you want to get hungry!

Chair: My ‘Orange Slice Chair’ – it was my grandma’s. It was the only modern piece of furniture in her house and it sat at her little make up vanity in her bedroom. I remember playing at that vanity when I was little. She was one of my favorite people and it is one of my most prized possessions!

Hobby: Cooking is a love of mine! I love it whether it’s just a quiet meal for two at home or for a large party with family and friends. I feel like I can really spread my joy and love by sharing a well prepared (and beautiful) meal or dish!

Accessory: One of my favorite accessories is a plant or flowers. That little burst of green or florals can really bring life into a space. Plants and floral arrangements can soften a space and add a punch of color. On my weekly run to the grocery store, I typically pick up a bunch of fresh cut flowers for my dining room table, just seeing them every day brightens my mood – especially in the winter months! (This might stem from a previous job at a floral shop!)

Favorite Project Image: It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I would say this kitchen is up there! This is not my personal style (I lean more mid century modern), but it is exactly my clients’ style. They are clean and classic and little bit ritzy! It was fun to create such a luxurious kitchen for them and to see the transformation from what it was to what it is now.