The furniture in a room helps inform the space, providing context for its function, style and overall feel. Change a few pieces around and a room can go from casual to professional or clinical to cozy. Peder Nyhus, founder and CEO of Minneapolis-based Rypen, a design company offering lighting, custom furniture and tech pieces, experienced a similar rearrangement in his life soon after moving to the area in 2009, pivoting his profession from medical to modern décor.
“I was planning ... a career in medicine, and just had a really big change of heart,” says Nyhus.
Nyhus had always been passionate about design, and he started to think more about the intersection between good design, furniture and technology. From there, Rypen was born.
Since opening in 2011, Rypen has worked with businesses and homeowners to bring well-designed, functional pieces to a variety of spaces. The company’s name plays on the word “ripen.” “It’s the idea of wanting to grow and bloom,” says Nyhus. “[It’s rewarding] to work with furniture-makers and manufacturers to help them grow, and also help customers grow their homes.”The company has expanded from online sales only to a Minneapolis showroom. “There’s so much value in being able to touch, feel and sit,” says Nyhus. “Our showroom is nontraditional. It’s where we work, but also where we invite our customers to come, from homeowners to retail to design firms and other businesses.”
Nyhus especially enjoys working with local clients. “It’s fun to work with local customers ... because we make our ... dining and conference tables right here,” he says. “We make them based on their individual desires and it’s cool to know these pieces were made just up the street.” One custom order was a 20-foot sofa built for a house near Bde Maka Ska. Rypen also worked on most of the seating for Surly Brewing’s Pizza Upstairs, Sebastian Joe’s, coworking space Industrious Office and more.
Rypen also distributes furniture for hundreds of brands and designers, as well as designing products in-house, manufacturing them and warehousing them in their distribution center.
Nyhus is guided by one core belief: “Look for products that make you happy and create the environment you want to live in,” he says. “One’s home and surroundings are some of the only things we have full control over, and it makes such a huge impact.”
Now with a staff of about 20, Nyhus hopes Rypen will develop into a national industry leader while continuing to be a trusted local resource helping businesses and individuals build unique spaces.