Words by Tracy Nicholson House photos by Robb Siverson Photography Portrait of Trever Hill and Rebecca Knutson – J. Alan Paul Photography When Trever Hill explained his latest design project…
Words by Tracy Nicholson
House photos by Robb Siverson Photography
Portrait of Trever Hill and Rebecca Knutson – J. Alan Paul Photography
When Trever Hill explained his latest design project in Jamestown, N.D., melding traditional and contemporary stylings, we had to see this unlikely pairing for ourselves. After living in their home for eight years, Michel and Jay Grotrian were ready for a lower-level upgrade which would reflect their eclectic style and love of local art. Without the usual, marital decor squabbles, this couple was equally enthralled with both ends of the style spectrum and ready to get creative. Marrying the two vastly different tones, amidst an extensive basement remodel and complete demo, meant bringing in reinforcement. Before heading West, Hill called on designer Rebecca Knutson of Floor to Ceiling to collaborate, brainstorm and help define the space. See inside the Grotrian’s extraordinary entertainment space, custom-designed to give guests a glimpse of local talent and their native Jamestown flair.
Familiar with Hill’s past projects, the Grotrians were excited to see what kind of elements he could bring to their own space. After realizing the scope of the project, Hill decided to recruit Knutson, whom he knew would bring her expertise in flooring, tile and cabinetry.
As avid art collectors, the Grotrians worked closely with Hill and Knutson to fuse their styles and give every inch of their basement eclectic appeal.
“They’re not that transitional of people, as most would say,” said Hill. “They truly love both traditional and contemporary decor. Obviously, these are opposite ends of the spectrum, but they both pretty much have the same taste. It was such a pleasure working with them.”
“In my first meeting with the Grotrians, it was clear that we needed to have a wine cellar somewhere. They have a beautiful, curved stairwell that actually goes from the upstairs to the main floor then down to the lower, basement level,” explained Hill. “It’s a fantastic feature of the home. So, I thought, how amazing would it be to have a curved wine cellar under the stairwell and design smaller windows in between the beams.”
“We worked with Straightline Design to fabricate the interior wine storage and then decided to take it one step further and hang mini-pendant lighting that would show through the small windows. This added feature created a gorgeous focal wall for a seating area on the curved wall exterior,” said Hill. “For the seating area, we were able to use some of their existing furniture from Room & Board. We absolutely loved those two chairs that are in front of the wine cellar.”
“Michel and Jay definitely wanted the space to be ready for entertaining their friends as well as a cool family hangout space,” said Knutson. “There would need to be durable finishes for kids to play on and beverages and snacks to be served. Enter, the bar design. The size and octagon shape fills the space with plenty of standing and sitting room for guests to chat. We covered the walls in the bar with an amazing mosaic tile and tied it into the wine cellar area – a space the clients spoke passionately about from the beginning.”
“We collaborated with Straightline Design on the bar shelving making sure the metal details didn’t cover up too much of the mosaics,” said Knutson. “The cabinetry has the unique finish of a hand-brushed glaze and houses many appliances and electronic components behind hidden doors.”
“I wanted lights on the inside of the bar, shooting up onto the bar shelves, so we did glass shelves so the light really emanates through,” said Hill. Then we had puck lights installed above. The electrician initially had some concerns about this feature, but they are fully sealed and technically considered outdoor lighting, so we made it work.”RCS_6857.jpg
“All of our appliances and lighting came from Alisha Wiesshoff at Ferguson in Fargo. She’s been wonderful to work with,” said Hill. “For the flooring, we ran the laminate at a diagonal throughout the entire basement. We really wanted it to go with the line of the octagon. We also chose beautiful, Cambria countertops and hanging pendant lights that have a handblown glass effect. I really like these because each one is different and has its own unique dimension of color. I really thought these were true to the Grotrian’s style. There’s is so much that’s handmade in this home.”
“In addition to the bar and wine cellar, the Grotrians wanted this space to feature a theater and game room with shuffleboard and ping pong,” said Hill. “I felt it needed a focal wall, so I did Phillip Jeffries wall covering along with two sconces flanking the theater screen. We found our theater seats from FourSeating.com. We didn’t do elevation in the theater like you’d normally see, so we chose Four Seating because they have seats that come in three different levels of elevation.”
“We wanted to have a bar looking into the theater on each side, so there’s a walkway in the middle and bar height counter on each side,” explained Hill. “Throughout the house and the traditional features, they have arches everywhere. So, I really wanted these pillars to have arches as well. They’re very stately, so you can’t miss them. Trying to find a way to give them some personality, I came up with an idea to add the drink rail around them and use the lit, inset area to display the same Phillip Jeffries, metallic wall covering we had used on the accent wall. I thought this was such a great feature and really serves to anchor the room.”
“We also did a guest bathroom and included a shower just in case they ever wanted to make their pool table room into a bedroom with the existing egress window,” said Hill.
For the Love of Art
“Trever and I road tripped to the client’s home last fall where I fell in love with Michel and Jay’s colorful style and love of art,” said Knutson. “We knew from then on that we needed to pack a punch into this entertainment space and tie in details with their main floor finishes.”
“The pieces that you see on the left of the wine cellar are handblown glass, they’re through McNeal & Friends, but they’re from a company called Global Views. All of their pieces are handmade,” said Hill. “There’s a story behind each piece and artisan. Also, you’ll notice when you come down the stairs, next to the bar is a piece from local artist, Steve Knutson. This was a piece that I had found at his art exhibit at Abovo in Downtown Fargo. It was kind of a fun play, because of Jay’s career, they do have people that come from out of town and visit and I thought it was kind of a fun play on Jamestown’s buffalo heritage.”
Running down the hallway, on the other wall closest to the theater, we’ve chosen Jessica Wachter paintings,” said Hill. “Those are some of the mixed-media pieces that she had displayed at her Scottsdale, Arizona residency and I just knew that they had to be in here.”
“Your art does not have to match your home, however, I felt that Jessica and Steve’s works were a fun pop of color, yet still coordinated beautifully and made it a cohesive space,” said Hill. “They have so many Walter Piehls up here in the space – in fact, the Grotrians are the largest Walter Piehls private dealer besides Microsoft.”
Collaboration & Creativity
“Rebecca and I have been collaborating now for a little while and it’s been amazing working with her,” said Hill. “It made the process much easier, being able to choose and order the flooring, countertops, cabinetry, tile and backsplash, all through her at Floor to Ceiling.
“My design studio staff at Floor to Ceiling Carpet One is an integral part of our process,” said Knutson. “We provide 3-D renderings and hand sketches to best explain our designs. My assistant, Shannon Simon, supports the design process on all levels including tile and flooring quoting, ordering and scheduling. Krystal Andersen inputs all of our ideas into our cabinetry design program and assists with ordering, while our design intern creates the 3-D renderings of the entire space. It’s an awesome experience to watch all of these creative people come together to give our clients the best experience possible by showing them every angle of the design intent. This is definitely a highlight of how we function in our Design Studio, in conjunction with the large showroom at our fingertips.”
“Trever and I had so much fun exploring finish options for this project together,” said Knutson. “Our team is a well-oiled machine and we have meshed so well with Trever. He is so imaginative in his selections and we really work well together when we collaborate on projects,” said Knutson. “Through my project management role, we were able to design and install the complete project in a timeline that allowed the Grotrians to host their first party, just in time for March Madness.”
Find the Finishes:
Appliances and lighting – Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery
Main flooring – Engineered vinyl plank by Shaw, Floor to Ceiling Carpet One
Mosaic tile for bar and wine cellar walls – Daltile, Floor to Ceiling Carpet One
Bar cabinetry – Décor Cabinets, clear alder, painted with hand-wiped glaze – Floor to Ceiling Carpet One
Bar, drink rails, and bathroom countertops – Cambria Quartz, Floor to Ceiling Carpet One
Bathroom flooring and shower tile – Syverson Tile
Metal fabrication – Straightline Design
Bathroom cabinetry – Omega Cabinetry, Maple with a painted finish, Floor to Ceiling Carpet One
Hardware – Vintage nickel finish, Floor to Ceiling Carpet One
Wall covering – Phillip Jeffries, McNeal & Friends
Chairs – Room & Board
Cowhide rug – Eco Chic Boutique
Bar stools – McNeal & Friends
Theater chairs – FourSeating.com