Midwest Nest Magazine

Midwest Nest Magazine

Culture, Entertaining, Home Design, Fargo, Interior Design, DIY

Category: Design

From Our Tables to Yours [Grain Designs]

Story by Tracy NicholsonShop photography by Dan Francis Photography, Finished table photos by Grain DesignsStore photos by M. Schleif Photography Grain Designs has built their passion on embracing the imperfect….


Story by Tracy Nicholson
Shop photography by Dan Francis Photography, Finished table photos by Grain Designs
Store photos by M. Schleif Photography

Grain Designs has built their passion on embracing the imperfect. Every knot, scrape and nail hole, reflecting scarred wood that tells a unique story. This month, the team used their passion for design to ignite someone else’s; West Fargo’s Landon Solberg. At 11-years-old, Solberg has spent the last year courageously fighting brain cancer alongside his family and parents, Andrea and Travis Solberg. Although he loves sports, he also has a love of design, spending hours in the hospital watching HGTV, and expertly planning renovations for his family’s home. Recently, Landon’s family was nominated to take part in Grain Designs’ initiative, “From Our Tables to Yours”. This was Landon’s chance to gain first-hand experience at building a table with the Grain Designs team, and the team’s chance to give back to the community they love. 


From back left, Grant Koenig, Brayden Horgan, Zach Nelson, Travis & Griffin Solberg and Pat Bresnahan. From front left, Blain Mikkonen, Landon Solberg, Andrea Solberg, Emry Solberg, Cody Freestone.

Give Back & Gather
With work that’s been well-received throughout the community, Grain Designs wanted to find a way to return the favor. What transpired, was their unique table build initiative called, “From Our Tables to Yours”. This idea gave them a chance to give back in a meaningful way, and also remind people of the significance and often lost-art of gathering around the table. They asked the community to nominate deserving people to receive a hand-crafted table, then teamed up with At Your Service Clean & Cuisine to cater in a meal for a deserving family or community member. This will be the fourth project they’ve completed on behalf of community members. Landon Solberg was nominated by family friend and neighbor, Katie Sullivan.


“The community support puts food on our tables, so we want to do the same,” said Blain Mikkonen, founding partner at Grain Designs. “Since we partner with At-Your-Service Clean and Cuisine, it’s a two-part initiative; we actually gift a handmade table to a family in need, whether it’s through stewardship or hardship, and the community is able to nominate them. We’ve done this for three years now; this will be our third table and we’ve also done a large shelving project for a deserving family in South Dakota. Our first table was for a Moorhead resident who has since passed away. At the time, he was really a steward for the community and was facing some hardships.”

“Landon has a passion for design, so this project is a little bit unique in that he wanted to help design the table from start to finish,” said Mikkonen. “I met with him at the store and we designed the table on the computer – then he picked the stain and we talked about the dimensions and how the design process works. He’s also designed a bench to go with the dining table.”

To see their work in progress, we visited the Grain Designs rural workshop located on the site of their new wedding and event venue, The Pines. Between treatments and clinical trials in Cincinnati, Landon Solberg, along with his family, arrived ready and excited to get to work on the table he designed himself.

To walk him through the process, the Grain Designs team set up step-by-step stations, from the initial cutting stages to the table saw planing, then finally choosing between stain samples so he could make his final design selections.

“Landon’s really creative; you can tell he has a true passion for design,” said Mikkonen. “His parents and family were really excited for this project and they told us the story of him designing their house – he’s had a say in a lot of their renovations.”

“We have an unfinished basement, so Landon’s already put his personal touches on that space,” said Landon’s mom, Andrea Solberg. “He’s picked out the carpet, countertops, lighting and really everything. It’s a quaint, small area and he wanted Star Wars, NDSU and a little bit of Broncos. When we were in the hospital, we watched HGTV the whole time.”

“This is just icing on the cake that he gets to work on another piece for their home. When we designed the table together, we talked about functionality and how you seat the most people around a table, leg interference and the available space in the home,” explained Mikkonen.

“To seat more people, he decided on a metal, pedestal base. He chose a white pine wood, which is from the Globe grain elevator in Superior, Wisconsin,” said Mikkonen. “When it was built, it was the largest grain elevator in the world, so the wood has a ton of history. Since the base is welded metal, Landon was able to do some welding with Grant. For the top, he chose an ebony glaze, which is a grey finish and one of our most popular right now – so he’s made really good design choices.”

Sharing a Passion
“It’s hard for us to donate money as we’re trying to build our business, but donating product and time is something we can do,” said Mikkonen. “This is one way that we can give back while sharing our craft and passion with others. The beautiful thing about dining tables is that we feel it’s one of the most important pieces in the home. The dining table is the one place where you can really bring people together; it’s about creating that sense of community and family, especially in times of need. If we can bring them back to the table and talk about what’s important, that’s the premise behind this program.”

“The dining table is the one place where you can really bring people together. It’s about creating that sense of community and family, especially in times of need.”
Blain Mikkonen, Grain Designs

Counting their Blessings
Nearly one year ago, Landon was diagnosed with a grade III, aggressive brain tumor, also known as Anaplastic Astrocytomas. What began as severe headaches, quickly evolved into a much more serious condition that had doctors scrambling for answers. “It’s in his thalamus and down into his brain stem. Your brain stem is the control center of your body, so it can’t be removed and it can’t be operated on because it’s a grade III. It acts fairly aggressive and doesn’t normally respond well to chemo and radiation,” said Andrea Solberg.

One year later, Landon has undergone multiple brain surgeries at Sanford and Mayo and is now part of a clinical trial which has their family traveling to Cincinnati, Ohio, every four weeks. Although radiation has not shrunk the tumor, it remains stable which gives them hope. They may not know what tomorrow brings, but the Solbergs plan to keep fighting, praying and searching for a treatment that will provide a better prognosis.

“He’s a special kid; he’s so kind and he never complains,” said Andrea Solberg. “He missed quite a bit of school last year, so his school had a robot and it was the coolest thing. The West Fargo Technology Center brought it in; it was on wheels with a pole and a big iPad. He could control it, so he parked it in his seat and he’d walk in in the morning and the kids would say, ‘Hi Landon!’, and he’d wave back. I thought it was really cool because when we were in the hospital in Cincinnati, the doctors there had never seen anything like this.”

Landon’s Light
Landon’s Light was an idea that transpired from Casey Glandt of Go Promo while the Solbergs were with Landon in the hospital. Glandt is a family friend and attended school at Valley City with both Travis and Andrea Solberg. “He makes a lot of apparel at his company, so he and his wife made these shirts that say, ‘Landon’s Light’,” said Andrea Solberg. “Landon is a huge Harry Potter fan. So, the backs of the shirts have a Harry Potter quote.


“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light.” – Albus Dumbledore

“At the time, when we were in the ICU, it was kind of a fog; we barely remember it,” said Andrea Solberg. “But, the one thing we do remember was, all of a sudden, everyone starting changing their profiles on Facebook to Landon’s Light and tagging us in it. We just sat and cried.”

Support the Solbergs
“We’re just really lucky to have all of this support and everyone’s prayers; we never expected it. My sister-in-law does the Landon’s Light Facebook page, there’s a CaringBridge page and a friend of ours started a GoFundMe link to help us,” said Andrea Solberg. “His school (West Fargo’s Freedom Elementary) and all of the teachers have really rallied around him. I know this project is a lot of time and energy on Grain Designs’ part, but it means a lot to Landon; he was so excited about it.”Any donations to the Solberg’s GoFundMe link will help to lessen the burden of their medical bills, lost time at work, and travel expenses like flights, lodging and meals. These are ever-growing expenses that their family endures each month for trips to Cincinnati as part of the clinical trials. 

Know a family in need?
Go to graindesigns.com and click on the “Give Back” link where you can fill out a nomination form for a deserving family or individual. Each giveaway includes a custom-designed table and a full meal catered from At Your Service Clean & Cuisine.

“Whether the deserving recipients are facing hardship or being rewarded for stewardship, our hope is that a custom Grain Designs table and a catered meal will be a beacon of hope and conversation, for years to come,” Grant Koenig, Grain Designs.

For more information, or to nominate a family, contact:
Grain Designs
graindesigns.com
graindesigns.com/portfolio/giveback/

At Your Service Clean & Cuisine
701.361.2746
atyourservicecc@outlook.com
To Donate to Landon’s Light Medical Fund or follow his journey:
GoFundMe:
gofundme.com/xmth5y-landon-solbergs-medical-fund

Follow his journey on Facebook: Landons Light

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Arizona Airbnb [Trever Hill Design]

Story by Trever Hill Photography provided by Jessica Knutson, Photos Copyright Vacasa.com – Listing AZSC120 on vacasa.com  When my longtime friend, Jessica Knutson, hired me to assist her with Scottsdale, Arizona…


Story by Trever Hill 
Photography provided by Jessica Knutson, Photos Copyright Vacasa.com – Listing AZSC120 on vacasa.com 

When my longtime friend, Jessica Knutson, hired me to assist her with Scottsdale, Arizona home, I quickly packed my bag and headed south. Even though she had me at ‘Arizona’, I was even more intrigued when she told me that she was considering renting it out as an Airbnb. After a few brief trips to the always-sunny state, the result was a beautiful space that would make anyone want to extend their vacation.  

Mid-century Modification
While Jessica lives in Bismarck, and me in Fargo, we had no problem making quick trips to a warmer climate to complete her redesign. When she made the decision that it was going to be a vacation rental, we knew there would need to be some modifications to our existing design. In the original plan, we had it furnished with one-of-a-kind art, some of which was by local artist, Jessica Wachter. We needed to decide which pieces should stay, and which would need to be replaced.


We decided to keep unique pieces like the floral print we found at a local vintage shop, which was done by an Arizona artist. Another piece that stayed, is near the front door; this was purchased at a Bismarck art gala and later brought to Arizona. The home was comprised of mainly expensive furnishings and a few more affordable pieces that we knew might work well for a rented vacation home. 

Jessica and I pulled together the final look with a lot of pieces from Restoration Hardware and various other places, including Wayfair. We also mixed in a few pieces from Jessica’s Bismarck home. The Arizona Airbnb market is competitive, so we wanted to make sure every detail was perfect, but also keep a cost-effective mindset throughout the process. Since this is essentially a vacation home for others, we made sure to choose only furnishings that we knew would be able to withstand heavy wear and tear.

Meet the Owner: Jessica Knutson“Traveling from Fargo and working with Trever was a breeze. He would fly in and we would hit the ground running; usually hitting up a modern furniture store closer to the airport, and then circling back to the house. He was a trooper – just, go go go, and had a great eye that did not get distracted as we searched. He was able to find things that I would have never seen or even thought about that were so special and really tied the place together.”

“The living room was a different shape and I really wanted to highlight both the fireplace and the seating area. Trever came in and moved the furniture around in a way that really opened up and brightened the space.”

“The fun part about this home was the style. I had existing, ‘chunky’ furniture from my North Dakota house, but I wanted to incorporate the Mid-century modern and make it a bit more fun. It didn’t take a lot of money or new pieces; just the right ones, in the right places, to really pull together and blend with what I already had.”

___________
Find the Finishes: Common Area

Sofa, coffee table & accent chairs – RH ModernWhite swan chaise – Brickell CollectionDining table and chairs – Restoration HardwareArea rug – HomeGoodsDining mirror & outdoor coffee table – WayfairOutdoor furniture – Restoration Hardware,  Design Within ReachAccessories – Mixture of vintage stores, previous homes & HomeGoods


Find the Finishes: Bed & Bath

Master bedroom – Restoration Hardware
Spare bedroom beds – RH ModernSpare bedroom lighting – Vintage shopsSpare bedroom bedding – HomeGoodsSpare bedroom flooring – CoreTec Laguna OakSpare bedroom countertops – MarbleBathroom vanities – Ikea


For more information, contact:
Trever Hill Design
trever@treverhilldesign.com
treverhilldesign.com

View the Full Vacation Listing: Copyright Vacasa.com – Listing AZSC120 on vacasa.com (smaller text)
https://www.vacasa.com/unit.php?UnitID=20681

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Refreshed Retreat [Lindsey Grace Interiors]

Story by Lindsey Christie Photography by Northern Stories A few months ago the Stibbe family reached out to me to help pull together the remaining of their upstairs bedrooms, which…

Story by Lindsey Christie

Photography by Northern Stories

A few months ago the Stibbe family reached out to me to help pull together the remaining of their upstairs bedrooms, which included their master bedroom. Trisha Stibbe is a wife and mother of four littles, a talented writer and somehow also finds time to give back to several amazing causes. Her home is full of love and a little bit of chaos, which is highlighted on her blog 3mistersandasister.com. She also has great taste and a knack for design herself, which only made this project so much more fun.

The space itself had great bones, a natural sliding barn door, a gorgeous existing light fixture and tons of natural light. We started the process out by reviewing inspiration images, and I immediately knew we were on the same page aesthetic-wise. I dove into designing and presented the Stibbes with digital design boards that gave them a realistic idea of what their space would look like.

When designing, I took into account the Stibbe’s busy lifestyle. I didn’t want to sacrifice the bright and airy look that they were going for, but also knew it needed to hold up and be functional for cozy, family movie nights. I presented them with an upholstered bed frame in an ivory, outdoor-grade fabric; gorgeous, cozy and easy to clean.

To add in a bit of contrast, I went with a set of updated grey/blue end tables. The little brass accents on the feet are my favorite! Since the tables brought not only color but also texture to the space, I went with a pair of subtle, but classic table lamps. Stibbe had an existing leather bench she wanted to utilize in the space, and I love the natural tones in the area. We tied it in with a rattan and acrylic, painted accent chair.

From the start, one of the biggest goals was to make the space feel finished. Since the room was already carpeted, Stibbe and I decided that we would forgo a rug in the space. Instead, we dove into designing a set of custom draperies, and it really brought the room to a whole new level.

When it comes draperies, there are so many details that go into making them right. It starts with the selection of fabric and hardware. Stibbe fell in love with the color and texture of the fabric. We tied in the brass accents in the space with the hardware. Karen Anderson at Rose Creek Designs then set the panels into production and executed them perfectly within the space. We sourced artwork from Etsy, and I worked with Stibbe to select the bedding for the space. The final accessories to pull everything together are sourced locally from McNeal & Friends.

Finale 

If you ask any designer, install day is like our super bowl. I love creating that magical HGTV moment for clients. I got the call from my receiving warehouse that the items for the Stibbe’s home had arrived sooner than expected, and I knew that they were away on an end-of-summer family vacation before school started. The Stibbes came home to not only their own beds after vacation, but an entirely new space. These are the projects that make what I do so worth it, I couldn’t be more grateful for the trust that the Stibbe’s gave me as a designer; it definitely shows in the outcome of their beautifully finished space.

For more information, contact: 

Lindsey Christie of Lindsey Grace Interiors

lindsey@lindseygraceinteriors.com

701.330.6008

lindseygraceinteriors.com

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All Things Merry at Rocking Horse Farm [Design by Julie Alin & Steve Johnson, SCHEELS Home & Hardware]

Story by Tracy Nicholson Photography by Dan Francis Photography23   Part two of our walk through the 32nd Annual Homes for the Holidays tour takes us to the home of…

Story by Tracy Nicholson
Photography by Dan Francis Photography23
 
Part two of our walk through the 32nd Annual Homes for the Holidays tour takes us to the home of Lauren and Alex White, in Fargo’s Rocking Horse Farm development. Since design consultants, Julie Alin and Steve Johnson of SCHEELS Home & Hardware had already worked with the Whites to choose the home’s furnishings, they joyfully volunteered their time and the store’s decor to deck the halls for Christmas and a great cause.


Welcoming the White Family to Fargo
When the Whites transferred to Fargo for their careers and left their furniture behind, they recruited the help of Alin and Johnson of SCHEELS Home & Hardware, to furnish every square-inch of their stunning home, built by T&S Custom Homes. Alin and Johnson have donated their time and talents to many homes throughout the tour, all of which were previous design clients. The Whites graciously agreed to donate their home for the tour, and the designing duo was thrilled to once again collaborate with their clients that they now call friends. Sadly, this will mark one of Alin’s last professional design projects as she is soon retiring after 24 years with SCHEELS Home & Hardware.

“It’s been awesome, I love working with Julie and Steve,” said Lauren White. “When they first came in a year ago, they did our whole house; now I consider them great friends. They are amazing at what they do.”

Making All Things Merry!
For the home’s holiday design, Alin and Johnson first met with Lauren White to discuss her color preferences. Even though the tour is catered to tour-goers, they also wanted to make sure they chose decor that would fit her preference and personal style. After the Whites had decided on a classic red and green holiday, the duo spent nearly three days assembling the decor for each of the main floor rooms. The family brought in their own 12-foot tree in the great room and Alin and Johnson got to work, hauling in holiday cheer. To fill the 2,200 square-foot main level, they would need a 17-foot cube truck and two carloads, filled to the brim with Christmas decor.

“Since the Whites chose reds and greens, which tend to be more traditional, we brought in a few more contemporary items for contrast,” said Johnson. “Even though the home has more of an open concept, with the dining room, kitchen and family room sharing the same space, we chose a coordinating, but slightly different flavor for each. The dining room is full of sparkling glitz and glam with silver and metallic accents. We kept the pops of red mainly in the kitchen and a small amount in the family room. In the master bedroom, we chose a metallic and vintage look with a pale blue and green in the ornaments.”

Vintage in the Kitchen
In the kitchen, Alin and Johnson found the perfect recipe for rustic chic, inspired by the cabinetry’s more traditional detailing. “SCHEELS Home & Hardware has an entire department of Christmas decor and we wanted to showcase as much as possible,” said Alin. “Many of the pieces were purchased at market and made up, as is, so we did a lot of layering so we could more easily create that farmhouse vintage look.”

Oh, Christmas Tree!
For the tree that would be the transition between each of the styles, Alin and Johnson chose a dash of glam to complement the rustic metals, wood tones and pops of classic red. “The birch ribbon adds a great texture, but it also lends a woodsy look while pairing it with our galvanized ornaments and adding contrast with some of Lauren’s Mercury glass ornaments,” said Johnson. “It’s nice to have the rustic base, but then have that glint of finer ornaments.” For a finished look, Alin and Johnson also added in branch sprays and red Mercury bulbs in two different sizes to give the room a hint of color.

To spruce of the family room, Alin and Johnson adorned the furnishings (all from SCHEELS Home & Hardware) with warm and cozy textures like Mongolian sheep wool, faux furs and soft, cable-knit throws.

____________________________________________________

Tips & Tricks for a Designer Christmas
[Julie Alin & Steve Johnson]

1. Design in threes. When it comes to holiday tablescape vignettes and layering, Alin suggests working in threes and making sure to allow for a high, medium and low height in items. Creating those peaks and valleys helps add interest and depth to your design.

2. Create easy, walk-by whimsy.  Alin and Johnson add simple garland and sprays to everyday items like wall sconces, mirrors, door knobs, coat hooks and stair railings. “We love long garland because it can easily wrap around things like chandelier chains and then we can spruce it up with bulbs, floral, sprays, twigs or lights,” said Alin. “One of our biggest tricks of the trade is using long pipe cleaners; they’re soft, they bend easy and they don’t scratch your wood banisters or metal decor. We can pull a whole house together for Christmas with one bag of pipe cleaners.”

3. Brighten up dull displays. Complete your design and vignettes with candles, faux candles or mini LED light strings to create a warm glow. “Now you can add lights, where you couldn’t in the past,” said Johnson. “Sometimes the bulky cord of traditional string lights can ruin a look, so I love how the fine wire of the seed LED lights work so well in table arrangements – the wire itself looks like part of the design.”

4. Let the home’s craftsmanship inspire the design. In the kitchen, Alin and Johnson took note of the more traditional details like the cabinetry’s braiding and moldings to inspire the surrounding design. “The exterior has a modern farmhouse look, while the interior is more of classic, cottage-style with a twist of traditional,” said Alin. “To make this design work, we brought in a lot of things that looked like they had been collected over time, such as vintage or flea market-style finds.”

5. Go big and unbreakable. Where glass ornaments were once the only option, they have since been replaced with plastic that looks identical to glass. This allows the duo to display larger sizes without adding unneeded weight. “With bigger trees, you really do need bigger ornaments,” said Alin. “On a tree this size, it’s nice to have a mixture of small, medium and large.”

6. Transform everyday elements. Since the home already had a base of farmhouse decor, Alin and Johnson used some of the on-site items like herbs and ferns, which could easily transition to holiday decor. “We pull a lot of everyday merchandise before we even start installing the holiday decor,” said Alin. “We typically gather as many big urns, pots, tins, buckets and baskets as we can.”

7. Find your Christmas contrast. If you’re taking a rustic farmhouse approach, Alin and Johnson suggest using a variance of textures for high-contrast holiday design. Where they’ve used duller finishes like birch, galvanized metal or rustic woods, they’ve also used hints of shimmering metals, Mercury glass or sparkle.

8. Appeal to seasonal senses. Once you’ve brightened up the space with string lights, LEDs or candles, Alin suggests finishing the ambiance with Christmas music and holiday aromas to match the decor. One of her go-to scents for this time of year is Scentsy’s Fresh Cut Christmas Tree, which can also be found at SCHEELS Home & Hardware.

________________

For more information, contact:
Homes for the Holidays
Facebook at fmhomesfortheholidays
homesfortheholidaysfm.com
info@homesfortheholidaysfm.com

SCHEELS Home & Hardware
Design Consultants: Julie Alin & Steve Johnson
3202 13th Avenue South, Fargo
701.232.8903
scheelsdesign.com

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From the Mountains to the Midwest [Basement Remodel with studioBARRED architecture & interiors]

Story by Reyna Bergstrom Photography by Dan Francis Photography Although the Midwest is not known for mountains nor rustic chalets, this Horace couple wanted to bring their love for the…

Story by Reyna Bergstrom
Photography by Dan Francis Photography

Although the Midwest is not known for mountains nor rustic chalets, this Horace couple wanted to bring their love for the great outdoors and passion for skiing and travel, into their 1994 home. They entrusted the 1,778 square-foot basement overhaul to architect and interior designer, Elizabeth Medd of studioBARRED architecture & interiors. To the homeowner’s delight, Medd fused both talents to give them more than they could have ever imagined. Their open-layout basement is based on beautiful craftsmanship with a Spanish, mountain-lodge influence, that is every bit as light and bright, as it is warm and cozy.

Raw Beauty Underfoot
Heading downstairs, guests are likely to take their time, admiring the sturdiness and raw beauty of the custom staircase. Solid steps made from three-inch-thick reclaimed wood from Dakota Timber Company can be felt underfoot, accompanied by a curved, sleek steel railing from Fargo Fabricators. This design was the brainchild of Medd and created a seamless flow from the original first-floor to the redesigned lower level. To help with the construction, Medd and the homeowner recruited general contractor, Dan Savageau. Recessed lighting illuminates the handrail and Spanish-inspired arches lead the way from room to room.

Open Floor Plan = Endless Options
Designed to capture the natural light, Medd worked with the homeowners to create a cozy, travel-inspired escape using Spanish elements with beautiful wood and stone, accompanied by soft textures and colors. The new layout allowed for a redesign of the kid’s bedrooms, as well as plenty of extra space for entertaining. “With two kids sharing the lower level, I wanted the space to be able to take a beating; be durable enough for running around and playing, yet still look beautiful and elegant for entertaining,” said Medd. With an open floor plan and nine-foot ceilings, the kids requested to keep the long hallway unobstructed and the homeowners obliged. This hallway was the perfect spot to let their two kids, 10 and 11, kick the ball around, especially in the winter months.

White textured walls accent earth-toned furnishings and provide the perfect balance of light and airy with warm and cozy. Wood ceilings and arches add dimension and character to the newly reopened floor plan. A wine bar, pool table area, movie theater and family room all flow effortlessly through the open space. Medd’s goal was to create a space that was every bit as comfortable as it was aesthetically appealing.”It is fairly rare to be a licensed architect and hold an NCIDQ certificate,” said Medd. “Because I am passionate about both fields (architecture and interior design), it was important for me to pursue both. It allows me to design projects that tell the client’s story through the entire language of the project, from the very beginning and down to the last detail.”

Wine & Dine
Just beyond the stairs, the wine bar makes a stunning first impression with it’s warm, wood ceiling tiles and illuminated space. Medd designed the bar to be fully functional with a sink, full refrigerator and freezer. The woodwork and cabinetry were completed by Fargo Cabinets, Inc. with details executed by Dan Savageau Construction, along with custom, built-in cabinets Medd designed for wine storage. Floating shelves accented with lighting are accompanied by a backsplash made of a geometrically patterned, porcelain tile from TileXDesign.

The blue-grey pool table, which is ornamented with Buffalo nickels, is a statement piece that Medd came across at Hot Spring Spas & Pool Tables in West Fargo.

 

Movie Night + Tee Time

A few steps from the wine bar and pool table is the family’s sunken movie theater with nearly 10-foot ceilings. Comfy loungers, side tables and plenty of pillows make the space cozy and inviting. Instead of typical home theater seating, Medd opted to install a more versatile design with specially-designed benches and one large, custom-made cushion.

One of the benches is designed to transform into additional bedding for guests. “The idea was to have one large cushion, custom-made, so it wouldn’t slide around and have uncomfortable separations between cushions,” said Medd. “We included a large screen for the theater, and soon this space will also accommodate a golf simulator, so the extra space will definitely be used.”Stained, knotty alder wood continues throughout the space with deep Benjamin Moore tones on the walls. To hone in the room’s acoustics and manage any potential moisture issues in the basement slab, Medd chose Kinetics flooring from JJ Flooring; an ideal choice for a lower-level movie theater.

It’s not just the home’s design that was mountain-inspired; their dog, Alta, takes its name from a ski resort in Utah.

Fun by the Fire

The large, see-through fireplace is the primary focal point of the connected rooms and was selected by Medd, then sourced by the homeowners. With a reclaimed, timber mantel from Dakota Timber Company, the clean, simple design is larger than average and placed closer to the floor for a more authentic and connected look. On the pool table side of the fireplace, an additional fun detail includes two arched inlets with chalkboard paint (Benjamin Moore Ebony King) that flank the stone hearth. “Using chalkboard paint allows the homeowners a fun design element where they can keep track of game scores or write fun notes for birthdays or other gatherings,” explained Medd.”Growing up in Arizona, I was exposed to a great deal of desert architecture. When I design, I like to incorporate some of those unique elements that I grew up with and studied early in my career,” said Medd. “It’s a part of who I am, so it always comes out in some way in the design process.” As an architect and interior designer, this remodel was Medd’s first residential project in the Fargo-Moorhead area, but she has worked extensively with many residential projects in Arizona, Utah and Georgia before she returned to the area.“It is important for me to really understand my client and use my knowledge and experience as an architect and interior designer to deliver a design that reflects who that client is, and what that client is passionate about.”
Elizabeth Medd, studioBARRED architecture & interiors

Travel-Inspired Retreat

On the opposite side of the fireplace, the family room’s design is centered around the stone hearth and their mountain-top travels. Deep-stained, wood built-ins flank the fireplace and warm wood extends to a coffered ceiling. According to Medd, the empty wall facing the fireplace was originally designed to have built-ins and bookcases, but after further discussion, they decided to keep the wall open. This would allow them enough space to eventually create a gallery wall, filled with art pieces and photos from their family’s travels.12
For the family room furnishings, Medd needed to provide ample seating and textures that would reflect elements that were reminiscent of a ski chalet. While the family owned the sofa previous to the renovation, Medd worked with the homeowners to find elements like the back table and coffee table from Pottery Barn, and the side table from West Elm. The nesting tables and chair underneath the stairwell are from Ashley Furniture Homestore and the pottery was found at Scheels Home & Hardware, Eco Chic Home and McNeal & Friends.

“Although basements are typically thought of as being cold, I think we’ve done a good job to ensure that’s not the case,” said Medd. “We’ve brightened and refined it with the furnishings and incorporated pieces from their travels. It’s an eclectic mix, but it’s intentional to reflect their personal life, and balance those elements with the natural warmth of what one would think of at a ski chalet.” Although more pieces and artwork will be added, Medd has opted to be patient and wait for the right pieces, rather than rush the remaining details.10
“I’m obsessed with layers, details and multiple levels in houses. I love the textural aspect of space and material, and I enjoy the challenge of creating a balanced space that has a defined textural quality. It’s nice to have nooks and crannies and places where you can escape and yet still be a part of the bigger group,” explained Medd. A perfect example of this concept is the sunken theater and cozy reading nook that she designed under the stairwell.1

Although we don’t show all bedrooms and side rooms, their daughter’s newly expanded room also received a makeover with a few simple requests; soft pinks, ruffles and a chandelier. To carry over the light and bright feeling from the rest of the remodel, Medd made sure to incorporate recessed lighting, instead of just one central light. According to Medd, when designing for the kid’s basement bedrooms, proper lighting was the most important element.

Then & Now

The homeowner’s once dark and segmented space left Medd with a few challenges before she could even begin the remodel. Due to moisture issues, the entire concrete slab had to be removed and repoured, while the first-floor fireplace was also removed. “When we started digging into the project, it was clear that the first-floor brick fireplace was too heavy for the frame of the house, so it had to go,” said Medd. “The house had started sinking and bowing with floor height differences up to three-inches across a room. The contractor, Dan Savageau, worked over the course of a couple weeks to get the structure level again. Dan did such a great job on this project and he was fantastic to work with.”To make the kid’s bathroom more efficient, they opted to move the existing sauna to its own room; a plan which helped open up more space to expand the bedrooms. Tackling the basement first was a strategic move in order to secure the foundation. For her next project, Medd will be working with the homeowners on plans to redesign the home’s first floor and repair the damage that was caused by the original brick fireplace.

About the Architect + Interior Designer
Originally from Arizona, Elizabeth Medd is the lead designer and architect at studioBARRED architecture & interiors. After earning her Undergraduate at Arizona State University and later her Masters at NDSU, Medd worked on world-class commercial, as well as hospitality and luxury residential projects throughout the country. Ten years ago, Medd and her husband, Todd Medd along with their two children, moved from Utah to Fargo in order to be closer to his roots; he’s also an architect, principal at JLG Architects in Downtown Fargo. Upon the return to Fargo, Medd worked as a job captain and commercial interior designer for JLG for six-years before eventually opting to start her own firm.

Central to Medd’s design philosophy is the belief that designers must be able to understand people in order to design for them. “I am fascinated by the human mind and how people think; what drives people and makes them do certain things,” said Medd. “As an architect and interior designer, it’s really important for me to fully understand my client and deliver a design that reflects who that client is and convey what they’re passionate about. After all, the client is the one using the space day in and day out, so I want them to feel connected. My role is to be a creative and technical guiding force that wrangles the aspirations and intentions of the client into a successful, and beautiful architectural work.”

 

Find the Finishes
Architect & interior designer – Elizabeth Medd, studioBARRED architecture & interiors
General contractor – Dan Savageau Construction
Tile and flooring subcontractor – Floor to Ceiling Carpet One

Lighting – Henricks, Ferguson Bath Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, Pottery Barn

Reclaimed wood – Dakota Timber Company

Stair railing – Fargo Fabricators

Woodwork, cabinetry contractor & custom mirror frames – Dan Savageau Construction
Cabinetry – Fargo Cabinets, Inc.

Backsplash tile – TileXDesign

Movie theater flooring – JJ Flooring

Paint – Benjamin Moore (colors: Deep Space, Ebony King, Glacier White)

Tile – sourced from Syverson Tile

Pool table – Hot Spring Spas & Pool Tables 2
Pool table light – Valley Lights

Interior painting  – The Painting Girls
Concrete – Cash Concrete

For more information, contact:
studio BARRED Architecture & Interiors
Elizabeth Medd – Architect, NCARB, NCIDQ | Design Principal
801.347.3663
emedd@studiobarred.com
studiobarred.com

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32nd Annual Homes for the Holidays [Design by Christy Brawner-Riley]

Story by Tracy Nicholson Photography by Dan Francis Photography To kick off the 32nd Annual Homes for the Holidays tour, by NDSU’s Alpha Gamma Delta Alumnae, we visited the 1923…

Story by Tracy Nicholson
Photography by Dan Francis Photography

To kick off the 32nd Annual Homes for the Holidays tour, by NDSU’s Alpha Gamma Delta Alumnae, we visited the 1923 character home of Sara Oltvedt and Dan Olson, in Fargo’s Historic Hawthorne neighborhood. Each November, this tour partners area designers with local boutiques and homeowners to create stunning holiday scenes ready to inspire. This year, we followed local designer, Christy Brawner-Riley who showcased her recent refresh with holiday decor from Eco Chic Home.

Oltvedt and Olson moved into their 1923 Fargo home just three years ago and have recently been working with Christy Brawner Interiors to refresh their home’s layout and furnishings. As the fifth family to reside here in 95 years, the home had already gone through a handful of remodels and upgrades, many of them dating back to the 50s and 90s. When they moved in, they brought their own heirloom furnishings and so started the challenge of what to keep and what to respectfully set aside. As beautiful as their furnishings were, many of their existing pieces did not fit the light and bright look they wanted to incorporate. Very carefully, Brawner-Riley worked with the homeowners to update furnishings and room layouts to better suit their family’s needs.

Holiday Design
For the tour, Brawner-Riley worked with decor from Eco Chic Home in Fargo, to complete the homeowner’s nature-inspired holiday design. “Eco Chic has such beautiful greenery and some of the more natural elements that I wanted to bring in here. I didn’t want to go over-the-top Christmas, but I wanted it to have that classic Christmas feeling with warm and cozy elements,” said Brawner-Riley. To complement the Eco Chic Home decor, she also incorporated a few of her own holiday-inspired pieces.

Holiday Entertaining…Redesigned
Previously, this room was underused, but Oltvedt wanted this to be an area where she could have friends and family and entertain. “By changing the entire layout of the room and making the fireplace the focus, they will get a lot more use out of it and be able to sit comfortably and enjoy the space,” said Brawner-Riley.

“The pillows on the sofa were kind of our jumping off point – I found that fabric and loved it; it also had some of the turquoise in the chairs, so we had those pillows custom-made,” she continues. “This pattern was also the inspiration for some of the colors and more natural aspects of the tree in the nearby sunroom. They have a beautiful garden all around the house, so it’s kind of nice to bring that nature in. The house just lends itself because it’s so classic and centered around simplicity. All of the furniture in this room is new, except for the piano. I found the sofa and chairs at McNeal & Friends. Some of the smaller pieces like the side tables and coffee table were found on Wayfair.”

“Since it’s been done, I come out here every morning and I’m amazed that this is our house, it’s not just something from a magazine that I’ve seen and want,” said Oltvedt.

With subtle changes in furnishings and layout continuing in each of the rooms, the homeowners have a running list of areas to update in their historic home; including the fireplace’s stone surround and kitchen. To respect the home’s original charm and high-end finishes, each decision is a balancing act of new and old.

Treasured Tree
After Brawner-Riley had designed a new layout for the adjacent living room, it was decided that the Christmas tree would be better served in the sunroom, near their son’s chess table. “The new layout of the living room was designed as a space for entertaining, so we wanted to keep that as is and not obstruct the flow,” said Brawner-Riley.


“Sara had wanted to replace all of her Christmas decor, so, shortly after I found out that I would be doing the holiday design here, I stumbled upon everything I needed. I was out thrift store shopping (I’m an avid thrift shopper), I found all of the jewel-toned ornaments on this tree,” said Brawner-Riley. “I ordered the pompous grass from Hornbacher’s to bring in that feather element and I also brought in the peacock feathers.”


The Bar Harbor Room
The room where they spend most of their family time was dubbed the Bar Harbor room, long before their day. Recently, the homeowners were told by a local expert that it was likely built in the 50s, judging by the brickwork on the fireplace. The floorboards were predicted to have come from the original carriage house.

For the holiday decor, Brawner-Riley complemented the warmer wood tones and chose classic comfort with plush pillows from Eco Chic Home. “With this room being more of a family room, I wanted to go with a classic red for the tree and decor, and I designed for the little niches and kept it simple,” said Brawner-Riley.

2-2 (optional if needed) If not, pls put this sentence with the paragraph above.
The red bird on the coffee table is a treasured piece the homeowner bought for her very first home, many years ago at the first Junk Market held in Eco Chic’s parking lot.

Elegance at the Table
The dining room’s floral wallcovering and custom built-ins were originally designed by previous owners who lived in the home for 28 years. Working with the home’s historic charm, Brawner-Riley adorned the heirloom dining table with new, more stylized captains chairs and nature-inspired bird prints; tying in the nature print from the formal living room’s pillows. Fur placemats, aspen branches, fresh-cut greens and her own vintage bone china, set the tone for timeless tradition and elegance. Near the built-ins and console, she chose pine tree accents from Eco Chic Home.

Gallery Galleys
The Sara Oltvedt’s father is a well-known artist and former MSUM Art Professor, Carl Oltvedt. Nearly every piece of their collection is local or regional, with a few favorites from Bob Crowe, Kay Ornberg, Charles Beck, Dan Jones and many more.

Brawner-Riley found the console table near the front entry at SCHEELS Home & Hardware. The artwork behind the floral is a piece by local artist, Kay Ornberg. “Kay used to travel with my dad; this is a tree that she painted from a trip that my dad led in Scotland. My husband, Dan had this painting before we met, so when my dad came over for the first time to his house and saw the painting that he had, he said, ‘I know what tree that is!’ So, later he went home and dug through his photos and brought the photo of the actual tree.

Embracing Historic Character
“The bulk of what we’ve done is bring in the artwork and bring a more classic style into the home, just to maintain some of the character and integrity of the original finishes,” said Oltvedt. The entry, hallway, living room and kitchen were all updated by the most recent previous owners, who lived here for around five years. Linen and textured wall coverings were added throughout, and nearly all of the windows have been replaced in the style of the home’s original character. The hardwood floors near the front of the home are original and the window upstairs on the front of the house, French doors and entry all have original glass panes.

__________________________________________________

Giving Back by Design
“What really brings the designers, volunteers and homeowners together, in one collaborative effort, is knowing that the work we do gives back to the F-M community,” said co-chair Brenna Naseer. “Each year, we choose a different local charity to receive a share of proceeds from Homes for the Holidays. Last year’s event supported the Great Plains Food Bank BackPack Program and this year we chose Churches United for the Homeless. That is one of the biggest reasons why I love being a part of Homes for the Holidays – playing a small role in something that has made an impact for local people over so many years; it’s truly a great feeling.”

For more information, contact:
Christy Brawner Interiors
916.956.5330

christy@christybrawnerinteriors .com

christybrawnerinteriors.com

Eco Chic Home
3265 45th Street S. Fargo
701.356.6600
iloveecochic.com

Homes for the Holidays
Facebook at fmhomesfortheholidays
homesfortheholidaysfm.com
info@homesfortheholidaysfm.com

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That’s a Wrap! [ Behind the Scenes Remodel & Journey to HGTV ]

Story by Tracy Nicholson Photography by Dan Francis Photography For designer Trever Hill and contractor Ben Anderson of Benjamin Custom Homes, this was a remodel project they would never forget….

Story by Tracy Nicholson
Photography by Dan Francis Photography

For designer Trever Hill and contractor Ben Anderson of Benjamin Custom Homes, this was a remodel project they would never forget. Earlier this year, the two had spent months being interviewed by a production company that worked with HGTV. Finally, they were given the green light to take on a local remodel in the Horace home of Autumn and Steve Hareland. For 14 days this spring, a crew of cameramen followed their every move, documenting the remodel progress to create a sizzle reel and pilot episode that would be presented to HGTV executives. Although the pilot episode, which was given the name, Fargo Fabulous, would unfortunately not see its day on TV, the end result of the remodel was nothing short of fabulous.The Hareland’s home was built in 1999, and naturally, golden oak was a dominant feature throughout. The outdated floor plan left them longing for a more open and cohesive living space. The couple had initially recruited Trever Hill Design to redesign their main floor and kitchen; then as the major construction began, Ben Anderson of Benjamin Custom Homes entered, to help them overhaul the space.

“We did the entire main level, aside from the laundry room and the pantry,” said Anderson. “If you walk through the door you can see the stark difference between what it originally looked like.” Since the home had golden oak trim and doors from top to bottom, Anderson and Hill opted to install new painted oak trim in the remodel; this way the wood grain would still show through and tie in the new oak to the old oak. “It can be difficult because so much graining shows through, but Shawn Weyer of Weyer-for-Hire did a great job,” said Anderson. Inside the remodel, all of the floorings were replaced and the lighting was updated with new fixtures including pendants, sconces, chandeliers and square LED ceiling lights.

TV Timeframe
Typically, a project of this magnitude would take six weeks or more, but with a TV timeframe to work around, Hill, Anderson and a team of local talent completed the entire main floor remodel in 14 working days. This meant a lot of late nights and early mornings for every subcontractor involved. The house was constantly bustling with many of the subs and fabricators making it their top priority. Even city inspectors and engineers worked around their fast-paced schedule to keep the process running smoothly.

Suspended Style
One of the biggest challenges of their remodel was redesigning the staircase. It’s a major focal point that’s front and center at the entrance and within the living room area. Removing walls to create an open floating staircase meant dealing with a few structural issues that required new engineering and a fabricated H beam.

Before the team could install the new staircase, they had to tear down the ceiling downstairs and create structural support that ran all the way down to the concrete flooring. “We wanted to make the beam tie into the design, so we had it powder coated by Powdercoat Specialists, then Grain Designs cut the post’s wood inlay. Hill and Anderson then worked with Bob’s Custom Hot Rods to fabricate the metal staircase which weighed in around 850 pounds and took a team of ten guys to install.

Gorgeous Gathering
Beyond the showstopper staircase, Hill designed the gathering space so the eye would be drawn to the fireplace and custom floating shelves built by Grain Designs. This feature was designed with extra long, dry stack bricks from Hebron Brick to create a more contemporary finish. “The Harlands wanted ample seating in the living room, but because of the short time frame, we were not able to special order anything,” said Hill. “Despite the extra challenge, we managed to find this beautiful sectional at Gabbert’s.”

Kitchen Overhaul
With a total overhaul in the kitchen, golden oak cabinetry was donated to Habitat ReStore and replaced with an Arbor glaze cherry cabinetry designed by Hill and Rebecca Knutson of Floor to Ceiling Carpet One. The perimeter received a new quartz countertop, while the island now displays the biggest slab of Glacier quartzite available. Hill and Anderson worked closely with Robby Wysuph of Northern Stone to install and illuminate the natural stone with backlighting, while Grain Designs created the stunning butcher block feature.

“This island is a natural stone; it came out of a quarry looking like this and it was just polished,” said Hill. “In order to backlight it, Robby at Northern Stone had to miter and drop down the edges; so if you feel underneath, there’s a big piece of steel metal where the LEDs are. This is there to provide a gap so the stone wouldn’t crush the LEDs.”


The custom features don’t stop at the island – Hill fused an oversized raw-edge subway tile seamlessly with handmade ceramic tiles by local artist, Tara Fermoyle of Fermie Studios. Hill visited her studio to personally handpick and lay out the pattern for these beautiful tiles.

Inspired Dining
“This is the art that I had envisioned for the dining space from the very beginning,” said Hill. “Color-wise, this piece by local artist, Jessica Wachter, was really the inspiration for the entire space, which trickled into the kitchen and living room.”


As a central location between the kitchen and living room, Hill wanted to do something extraordinary for the dining table chandelier. He came up with an idea that would require brainstorming with Anderson and a little extra help to fabricate. The room’s birch-log chandelier was sourced from Anderson’s father-in-law’s property in the lakes area and hand-picked for color and width; all while TV cameras trudged through the snow behind them. Red River Electric was on site late into the night helping the two assemble it and get the LED strips trimmed and routered into the logs.

Anchoring the space, a 600-pound custom concrete table, created by landscaper Mike Nicholson, took six men to haul into the dining room. The custom steel base added another 120 pounds, making it roughly the weight of a pool table. “The table itself is art, it’s another one-of-a-kind piece that makes the room special,” said Hill. “There are so many stories behind every custom piece in this home; the Harelands know all of these stories and I think that creates great conversations for family and friends that visit. ”


Quiet Getaway
When the kitchen wall got bumped back into the den, Hill and Anderson reconfigured the den space to provide an intentional design and quiet space for guests. Calming elements like the wood bead chandelier and raffia wall covering, installed by Weyer-for-Hire, set the tone for the perfect transitional space that can easily double as an office.

Find the Finishes:
Design – Trever Hill Design
Contractor – Ben Anderson, Benjamin Custom Homes
Staircase wood fabrication – Grain Designs
Staircase metal fabrication – Bob’s Custom Hot Rods
Staircase powder coating – Powdercoat Specialists
Staircase engineering – Adam Adams, Liberty Structural Engineering
Interior wall & trim paint – Weyer-for-Hire
Fireplace – Cozy Heat, Hebron Brick
Kitchen butcher block – Grain Designs
Kitchen countertop install and lighting – Glacier Quartzite, Northern Stone
Quartzite supplier – Level 9 Quartzite, Stone Holdings
Kitchen cabinetry, flooring & tile – Rebecca Knutson, CID, Floor to Ceiling Carpet One
Handmade, ceramic tiles – Artist, Tara Fermoyle – Fermie Studios
Kitchen pendants & main floor sconces – Wayfair
Custom concrete dining table – Mike Nicholson, Custom Landscaping
Dining & living room art – Artist, Jessica Wachter
Dining room rug – Hom Furniture
Dining room captains chairs – recycled rag design, Hom Furniture
Living room sofa – Gabbert’s Design Studio & Fine Furniture
Den furnishings – Hom Furniture
Den wood bead chandelier – HomeGoods
Blinds – Budget Blinds
______________

PART 2  OF 2

Q&A
Trever Hill and Ben Anderson

[Behind-the-Scenes of their Journey to HGTV ]

When designer, Trever Hill of Trever Hill Design and Ben Anderson of Benjamin Custom Homes were confronted to create a pilot and sizzle reel for a potential HGTV show, Fargo Fabulous, these two could not have imagined the adventure they were in for. We sat down with them both to get the behind-the-scenes outtakes on their nearly one-year journey to TV and the excitement and challenges that followed.

Q: How did this project with the Harelands get started?
Hill:
Autumn Hareland reached out regarding a bathroom remodel before the production company and I had even met. She didn’t feel like her space was functioning very well and after we talked, it made sense to invest in the main living area that’s primarily used by her family. Meanwhile, the producers were talking to me about doing a show; they had seen my work online, in magazines and the newspaper. I thought it was potentially a scam at first, but eventually, I could see they were serious about moving forward.

Q: What was the beginning process like and how did they choose a contractor?
Hill:
They interviewed many people via Skype to potentially be part of the show, including my business partner in The Private Collection, Susan Hozak-Cardinal, and various contractors. Eventually, they decided on partnering me with Ben as the contractor; he’s amazing. After our Skype session, they decided to pitch us to HGTV to get the paid sizzle. We started at the end of June 2017, and then Ben started work with us in September.Anderson: We were contracted on October 5, 2017. They did a sizzle reel in December, right around Christmas. That was pitched on February 16th, and they filmed in April 2018.Q: Have you always had ambitions to be on TV?
Hill: I remember telling my friend, Jessica Wachter, that I wanted to design at a national level and she asked if I disliked living in Fargo. My response was, “No, I love Fargo; I want to stay here.” She said, “Then just stay in Fargo. It will come to you.” A couple months later, boom, they came to us.

Q: What was your favorite part of filming a TV pilot?
Anderson:
Filming with a great crew felt very natural and fun! Also, what made this project exciting and unique, was the time frame it was completed in. The entire project was done in two weeks with one day of pre-filming, 12 days of construction and part of a day for staging. It was fun to see things happen so quickly; there were usually two or three subs around all the time.

Q: What was it like completing a six-week remodel in only two weeks?
Hill:
Ben had it all laid out, hour-by-hour, of what was going to happen on a 24-hour schedule. There were many people who made it their top priority and worked around the clock to complete their part of the project. Some donated or discounted their product and many of them donated extra time to help us stay on schedule. Toward the end, Ben even pulled off a 37-hour shift to make sure the project got done.

Q: Did the homeowner or production company front the remodel costs?
Anderson:
The Harelands had a significant investment in this remodel, but it definitely helped us to do more and stay within budget when the subcontractors donated material, volunteered extra time or offered additional discounts, with the idea that it was being taped for a potential show.

Q: Were there any unique challenges to filming while working?
Anderson:
Definitely. We would have all these people working, and then the camera crew would need to start shooting, so everyone would have to leave. For two to three hours of a workday, you might have 15 people just standing outside waiting to go back to work.
A city building official came on a Saturday at 6:30 am to do an inspection and a structural engineer had to wait for over an hour during filming; that is not typically how construction goes. We had some structural things we had to overcome during construction, but Shawn Weyer came in with his crew and cut a day out of the schedule to get us back on track. I think that was one of the coolest things, to see how our community comes together when you need them.

Q: What was life like after shooting the pilot?
Anderson:
It was weird when they left. It was like making the best friends in the world; you get to know these people really well, and then they vanish.

Hill: It’s almost like we went to camp, but professionally. For 14 days, you eat, practically sleep, work really long hours with them…and then poof, they’re gone. I think Ben said it best, “Did we just dream that?” It’s so strange and there’s so much energy. I went right back to meeting with my clients again, but couldn’t tell them what we had just been through. The network and production company asked that we not speak of the project, so we had to pretend like nothing happened.

Q: What did you think when you finally saw the pilot episode?
Anderson:
They did a fantastic job on the sizzle reel which was about three-and-a-half minutes; it took them three days to film. When we finally got to see the sizzle reel, we were wowed – they did a great job and it had such a fun tone. Many of these elements were carried through to the pilot, but it was certainly disappointing to know that the cut we saw would not be aired.

Q: What was it like spending months preparing for a TV series, then finding out that it would not be aired?
Anderson:
I think the whole experience was amazing and surreal, it didn’t feel like it was really happening. There was a period afterward where Trever and I were pretty bummed about the outcome. But then again, at the same time, we’re super grateful we had the opportunity.

Hill: There was never a 100% guarantee that the show would get picked up by HGTV, but the conversation around the project, from day one, was pretty much, “There’s no way they wouldn’t air this.” To hear the news that it wasn’t going to air was really disappointing to us, but the worst part was knowing how much everyone else had put into this project, then having to tell them that it wasn’t going to air.Cozy Heat, a division of Hebron Brick donated the fireplace, Grain Designs discounted the wood products and volunteered countless hours, especially with the staircase install. Robby Wysuph of Northern Stone donated money, product and time to the kitchen countertops, while Mike Nicholson of Custom Landscaping donated his time to create the concrete dining table. It was sad to see it not air, but it was still an amazing experience that we were so excited to be part of.Q: What was it like the day of the final reveal?
Anderson:
We were four or five hours behind on the last day. While they were setting up cameras to do the final filming and reveal, we were vacuuming the steps and still in a scramble to make things look great. I would say we had it television worthy, but there were still a few things that needed to be done.

Hill: It was an intense experience. I don’t think people realize how much work goes into one episode. That night, after two weeks of shooting and three hours of sleep, you’d think I’d never want to do something like this again, but when I was driving away, I really loved the idea of this potentially being my new life. I loved all of the people, the process and the idea of working hard towards a goal.

Q: If you were approached to shoot for a network again, what would you do differently?
Hill: Ask a lot of questions. We’re hoping moving forward that we’re going to find a company that wants to show Fargo for what it really is. And I think it’s a special place with people who care about one another and that’s what we would want to portray.

Anderson: The process would change; from us being interviewed, to us doing the interviewing. Now that we’ve experienced the process, we know what to expect from the production company. In the end, I believe everything happens for a reason and I’m super grateful for the experience and relationships that came out of it.

Q: Is there a chance a TV series could still happen?
Anderson:
There are some 80 hours of footage that were filmed. There’s always a possibility that the footage could be purchased and a new show could be completely remade. Our contract with the production company was up last month, so anything could happen.

Hill: When we flipped over the Jessica Wachter painting in the Hareland’s dining room and the title was, ‘You Can Always Come Back To This’, it definitely resonated with us. Maybe our journey in entertainment has just begun.

For more information, contact:
Trever Hill Design
trever@treverhilldesign.com
treverhilldesign.com

Benjamin Custom Homes
4025 4th Avenue South Suite 1, Fargo
701.388.9172
benjamin-homes.com

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Restoring Rural [Casselton, N.D.]

Story by Tracy Nicholson Photography by M. Schleif Photography Arriving at a home in rural Casselton, N.D, the home’s exterior was unassuming; like most 1950s ramblers, that at one point,…

Story by Tracy Nicholson
Photography by M. Schleif Photography

Arriving at a home in rural Casselton, N.D, the home’s exterior was unassuming; like most 1950s ramblers, that at one point, had received a few subtle upgrades. It didn’t take more than one step inside the door before we realized that our unassuming rambler, had a stylish story to tell. This was a Mid-Century Modern gem, which had recently been updated and preserved to perfection. Giving us a tour of their extensive remodel project, was design consultant Cassandra Grenz of Casselton, N.D., and contractor Brock Dickson of Harwood, N.D.

Preservation on the Prairie
A preservation and remodel unlike any other, this rural rambler was once the home of the owner’s grandparents. Built in 1951, the home had good bones with a layout that’s unusually spacious. Inside, it held a treasure trove of Mid-Century Modern appeal that simply needed a little T.L.C. To recreate and update the homeowner’s childhood retreat, they requested that the original 50s details be preserved, restored and fused with modern amenities.

Getting Started
Back in 2011, Dickson had been hired to do improvements on the exterior, updating the windows, siding and roofing. So, when the homeowners decided to remodel the interior, nearly two years ago, they once again reached out to Dickson. Realizing the extent of the design and preservation, he decided to collaborate with his high school friend and design consultant, Cassandra Grenz. While Dickson took on the work of moving walls, reframing and updating the electrical, furnace, trim, flooring and doors – Grenz managed the entire main floor’s design and finish. After the main living space had set the tone, Dickson would go on to overhaul the basement on his own. Together, the two would successfully fuse the home’s 1950s elements with modern amenities and high-design.

Preserving the Kitchen
At the heart of the home, Dickson and Grenz were tasked with preserving her grandparent’s 1950s metal cabinets. These retro cabinets would become the inspiration for the entire remodel. Before they could get started, Dickson gutted the area, reframed the space, added central air and updated the flooring, plumbing, electrical and trim. The original floorplan stayed the same, but the overall finishes were a major upgrade.Keeping the metal cabinetry intact, Brock and Grenz did their research, going online to find new hardware that would mimic the 1950s style they needed. They also recruited Grenz’s dad, Harold Lemar, to wet sand and refinish the original metal in a more modern tone. Silestone quartz countertops from Northern Stone were added, along with a textured, Walker Zanger mod-inspired backsplash. Since the tile had a heavy texture, their installer, Tile Tec, opted to mount and hide the electrical outlets underneath the cabinetry.Embracing the curved counter and sharp corners near the dining room, Grenz and Dickson had IMS Decorative Ironworks fabricate floating stainless steel shelving for a 50s diner feel. Near the dining room, small details received extra attention; after updating the furnace and adding central air, they no longer needed the radiators, but instead, opted to keep them and have Lemar repaint and preserve them in place.Continuing their retro vibe with the appliances and fixtures, the homeowners chose industrial faucets from Ferguson, a La CornuFe range from Williams and Sonoma and Sub-Zero refrigerator.

“The homeowner’s favorite part of this project was definitely the kitchen. It was really the inspiration for the entire remodel. She has so many childhood memories with these metal cabinets; being able to restore them for her own family, is a great feeling.”
Cassandra Grenz, Design Consultant, Sassi Cassi Designs

Powder Room Pretty
Directly off the kitchen, Grenz redesigned the small powder room in an exquisite, Birds & Butterflies wallcovering from Schumacher. Adding to the retro look, Grenz chose clear globe lighting, a pedestal sink and Julia Mosaic Field tile from Walker Zanger.Another treasure worth preserving in the foyer, was the 1954 Rittenhouse Sheffield, Westminster doorbell chime in brass. “I had reached out to Lamps & Repair in Fargo – Dale had done lamp repair work for me in the past and I had proposed the restoration to him. He was open to the challenge, and took the old oil and cylinder construction and completely rebuilt a computer board for it to function; it turned out awesome,” said Dickson.

Art Deco Inspiration
Taking on the living and dining room remodel, Grenz looked no further than the family heirlooms and art deco collector’s pieces that remained. After moving a wall and updating the electrical, new COREtec flooring and carpet were installed, along with placement of a custom rug. Grenz found new furnishings from West Elm, Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware to complement the home’s original 1950s vibe. Grenz also had the original, curved velvet sofa fixed and re-upholstered to suit the refreshed space. The original wood-burning fireplace got a more convenient insert and the home’s lighting was replaced with timeless globes, pendants and mod chandeliers, similar to the original fixtures of the era.A fun find, that is now a treasured keepsake, is the home’s original cork and mahogany coffee table by designer, Paul Frankl. Using art deco pieces like these as her inspiration, Grenz chose walnut side tables from Rejuvenation, and a matching, walnut shelf from West Elm. Custom linen drapery, made of exquisite Schumacher fabric, finishes the living room and displays a traditional, Japanese dye technique referred to as Shibori.

Monochromatic Master
Typical of the home’s era, the original master bath was cramped and closed off. Dickson opened up the small space by eliminating excess walls, while Grenz gave the room a crisp, monochromatic tone. Lighter and brighter, the new bath features custom glass and subway tile, walk-in shower, and a unique herringbone tile accent in marble. Since they had removed much of the original character to manage the remodel, Grenz made intentional design choices like the Schoolhouse globe lighting and Restoration Hardware vanity with a similar look as the 1950s kitchen cabinetry.

The homeowners nearly disposed of their old bedroom furniture, but Dickson and Grenz quickly intervened; recruiting Paul’s Furniture Restoration out of Buffalo, N.D., to refinish the solid wood pieces with modern appeal. Five-panel sliding doors lead the way to redesigned walk-in closets by Lampert’s Lumber._____________
Lower-Level Love
After the main floor was completed, Dickson took over the remodel of the lower level, gutting the space and removing an entire floor’s worth of white tile. New COREtec flooring extends down the stairs, while new carpet was installed in the communal area. The original fireplace was also updated with a more modern and convenient insert. Beyond the communal space, two bedrooms were reconfigured for more space, with a back hallway hiding the new mechanical, electrical and water softener system. This hallway gave the owner’s sons easy access from their bedrooms to the newly renovated bathroom.At one point, the home’s lower level featured a kitchenette with 1950s elements. Having access to these original pieces gave Dickson an opportunity to refurbish the original cast-iron and porcelain sink for use in the new bathroom. He also added in decorative, stainless steel shelving behind a sliding barn door, cleverly hiding the linen closet. To utilize more of the space, Dickson added a side quartz countertop with a small vanity and shower area.This was the original wash sink and washing machine dating back to the early 50s.
Dickson had the washing machine repainted by a local body shop. Above the wash sink, he opted to keep the water lines exposed for added character.


Find the Finishes:
Contractor – Dickson Design & Construction, LLC
Designer – Sassi Cassi Designs
Countertops – Silestone Quartz – Niebla, Northern Stone
Shower door- Frontier Glass & Mirror
Sinks, bathtubs & plumbing fixtures – Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery
Custom stainless work – IMS Decorative Ironworks
Tile installer – Tile Tech
Flooring & tile supply – Tollefson Contract Flooring
Carpet – Tuftex: True Inspiration, Misty Taupe
Sofa reupholstery – Rocky Performance, Velvet Asphalt by Schumacher
Dining table & chairs – Restoration Hardware
Side upholstered armchairs – West Elm
Custom drapery – Andromeda, linen by Schumacher
Closet systems – Lampert’s Lumber
Hard flooring – COREtec Plus HD, Klondike Contempo Oak planks

Painting – Harold Lemar, H&S painting – Casselton, N.D.
Stove – La CornuFe, Williams and Sonoma, France
Fridge – Sub-Zero, Wolf
Drop glass pendants – Room & Board
Dining chandelier – Restoration Hardware
Powder room wallcovering – Birds & Butterflies by Schumacher
Powder room tile – Julia Mosaic Field, 6th Ave, Walker Zanger
Globe lighting – Schoolhouse, Shades of Light
Doorbell chime restoration – Lamps & Repair, Fargo
Furniture restoration – Paul’s Furniture Restoration, Buffalo N.D.

For more information, contact:
Sassi Cassi Designs

Cassandra Grenz / Design Consultant
Casselton, N.D.
701.730.6165
sassicassidesigns@hotmail.com
Facebook: Sassi Cassi Designs

Dickson Design & Construction, LLC
Brock Dickson
Harwood, N.D
701.238.9371

dicksondesignandconstruction@gmail.com

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Mudroom Makeover

Words by Kelly Schulz Photography by M. Schleif Photography   When my husband and I moved into our North Fargo home five years ago, the mudroom had more than enough…

Words by Kelly Schulz
Photography by M. Schleif Photography
 

When my husband and I moved into our North Fargo home five years ago, the mudroom had more than enough space for us. A countertop with cabinet space below and closet proved to be adequate storage for our every day in-and-out needs. Fast forward five years and two children later, and the room grew small in a hurry. We knew that increasing the square footage of the space, which doubles as our laundry room, wasn’t an option for us or our budget. That meant we had to get creative to maximize the current space. To do this, we consulted with Rebecca Knutson of Floor to Ceiling Carpet One to lend her expertise in cabinet design; and she did not disappoint.

The Coat Closet

When we started the project, I wanted the room to be practical and functional. To me, that meant a lot of coat hooks instead of coat hangers. I’ll be the first to admit that hanging coats on hangers is a huge pain to me. That’s why our coat closet was eliminated from the room – it was never used for our day-to-day items, but instead, for storage of things that rarely got used. The closet was transformed into an open space with hooks and bench seating. Preston Flaten from Floor-to-Ceiling, designed a piano-hinge opening in the bench seat, allowing us to utilize the space below for storage.

The Lockers 

Opposite the closet was a narrow countertop that, especially in the winter, became a chaotic mess of jackets, hats, gloves, kids daycare artwork, coffee tumblers, purses, keys, wallets – you name it, and it was on that countertop. A lack of hooks, organization and designated space for each family member created the perfect storm of a mudroom catastrophe. I was certain a locker system would solve all my mudroom problems. That was until we received the estimate and my financially prudent husband put the kibosh to all my locker hopes and dreams. That’s when thankfully, Rebecca came to the rescue.Since the first estimate was more than we (ahem, my husband) wanted to spend, Rebecca suggested that we go with a mock-locker system instead. This would eliminate the physical dividers between each section and instead, we would place trim board to create a visual divider, providing significant savings.A 4.5-inch shelf above, lends storage for small items and each section has two rows of hooks; the lower row is the perfect height for our kids to reach. Beneath the locker bench are two rows of shoe storage. I wanted the bottom row slightly taller so that larger items, like winter boots, could easily fit beneath.

Feedback from the Designer: Rebecca Knutson, Floor to Ceiling Carpet One

“When Kelly and I first met, we discussed everything their family needed to function, then we dreamed up a mudroom chock full of organizers and locker dividers. We threw the book at it, knowing this was our ‘go big or go home design.’ Once the visual met the budget, it was time to scale it down. We discussed with Kelly their true needs and budget max and we chipped away until their budget was comfortable and the space was perfect.””Even though lockers were out of the budget, Kelly still wanted to keep a visual divider between each family member’s wall hooks. To do this, we created a wainscoting look by applying trim pieces to the flat wall paneling. The paneling is extremely durable and dresses up the look of the wall. Sometimes I feel the locker dividers can be stuffy in a tight space so I was happy to suggest cutting them out and saving money.”

The Laundry

The laundry area of the room included a sink that was never used as a sink; it amounted to more of a laundry basket. We removed the sink, and installed a large countertop area that now has…take a guess…a real laundry basket! I also use the space, which includes a pull-out garbage cabinet, to stage items that need to go to daycare the next day and to fold clothes.

The previous wall cabinets, above the washer and dryer, were tall and placed too high on the wall so I couldn’t reach the top shelf without using my handy-dandy little step stool. The new cabinets were installed at a lower level so my five-foot, four-inch self can reach everything in the cabinet and even baskets above, should the need for more storage arise.

Saying goodbye to mudroom madness has been a lifesaver. These rooms are often the entrance and exit points for families, meaning functionality is crucial for saving time in our busy lives. Now, if I could just figure out how to get the laundry to fold itself.

FUN FACT: I have a love for junking – most of the décor in the room has been thrifted.

Find the Finishes at Floor to Ceiling Carpet One:
Cabinetry Design – Rebecca Knutson, CID / Interior Designer & Cabinet Dept. Manager
Cabinetry Install – Preston Flaten

Countertop: Black Forrest Cake finish by Pionite

Cabinetry: Diva finish by Decor Cabinetry

 

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Minimalist Makeover

Story by Tracy Nicholson Photography by Dan Francis Photography Deciding to make a lifestyle change, minimalist and local photographer, Miranda Roen, did what so many homeowners dream of, but so…

Story by Tracy Nicholson
Photography by Dan Francis Photography

Deciding to make a lifestyle change, minimalist and local photographer, Miranda Roen, did what so many homeowners dream of, but so few have conquered. She swapped her big mortgage for a smaller space with even bigger potential. Two years ago, Roen and her son Eli made the move from a 2,500-square-foot, four-bedroom home in Moorhead, to a cozy, 520-square-foot home in South Fargo. Built in the 1940’s, the small home lacked the character Roen was looking for, but with its functional floor plan and large detached garage, she knew she had found a fixer-upper that would be worth the work. Once considered a tiny home in shambles, Roen’s minimalist redesign is now the picture of perfection.

A Radical Remodel
One of the deciding factors to make the move was the realization that in their large home they only used the upstairs; the downstairs was completely untouched. “The mortgage and utility expenses were insane, so I decided to make a radical change; sell the big house, and move into our current home,” said Roen. “This was the best financial decision I have ever made. Now the mortgage is next to nothing. I’m really passionate about minimalism and living within your means, even if it means going small.”

At the time, Roen was married and the two bought this house for $125,000 with a down payment of $60,000. With the remodel beginning two years ago, there’s been about $10,000 worth of equity put into the home with additional remodel projects still in the works.”I’m really passionate about minimalism and living within your means, even if it means going small.”
Miranda Roen, Homeowner

To figure out a feasible game plan before moving in, Roen researched minimalist design ideas and new concepts geared toward living efficiently in small spaces. Online, she found a wealth of knowledge that helped her transform their two-bedroom home with a bonus loft space, into a minimalist’s dream home. With a $15,000 budget in mind, Roen has perfected every inch to suit the needs of her photography business, her six-year-old son Eli and their wiener dog, Lincoln.

Throughout the home, the worn-out carpet was replaced with bamboo veneer flooring that would be durable enough for kids and pets. Since the original layout didn’t provide the space she needed, a side entrance door near the kitchen was removed and the kitchen itself was completely reconfigured to add more cupboards and counter space. Since each room was minimal in square footage, Roen needed to her design to be aesthetically pleasing and functional.

“When you have a house this small, it can be tough in the winter to be inside all day, so I wanted something that I would feel was beautiful right when I walked in the door and would love being here. So, the overall look was really important to me,” said Roen.

Minimalistic Modern
In the main living space, Roen kept her style simplistic and meaningful. Her personal style blends modern design elements with vintage character and a touch of archeological influence. A serious car accident had derailed her archeology career but eventually led her to her current passion for photography. In her home, hammerstone, fossils, skulls and other artifacts reside alongside local art and photography.

Kitchen
Roen finished her remodel just over a year ago, with four months of that time spent solely on the kitchen redesign. Before the remodel, the kitchen was comprised of three cupboards and Roen could hardly find the space to prepare a meal. One money-saving tactic she used to free up cupboard space was replacing the huge water heater tank in the cupboard with a much smaller tankless version. “I actually researched minimalists who live in buses and smaller spaces to see what they had done to make it more livable for them,” said Roen.

Since she didn’t have a designated laundry room or basement, the kitchen had to play double duty. As a clever solution, Roen found a Haier washer/dryer combo that took three months to ship from China. “Trying to maximize the space and fit in four appliances was a big challenge,” said Roen. “This is the only washer/dryer combo in the world that would fit into this space, otherwise, we would have had to eliminate some of the cupboards.”

Extending her artistic eye beyond the lens, Roen had custom-built, curved-edge shelving made by Dakota Timber Company. She also took on the project of installing new tile with a raw-edge stone backsplash, laminate countertops and new cabinetry. In line with the kitchen counter, Roen had a dining table custom built to make the most of the space.

Designing for Dogs
Since they had removed the side door near the kitchen, it created one major problem; there was no longer a doggie door. As a hidden solution, Roen designed a lower cupboard to tunnel her dog through to the doghouse and backyard space.

Mastering Small Spaces
In the master bedroom, Roen kept her style simple and functional. A sliding door to her closet gave her an aesthetically pleasing wall feature and preserved space for proper flow.

Roen’s office is an ode to her travels, local art and photography. She found her desk at an online garage sale and tested her DIY skills by refinishing the piece, painting it a more modern grey and updating the hardware. Near the desk, she displays work from her travels in Jerusalem and art by local talent, Karen Bakke.

Lofty Goals
With the bonus loft space on the top level, Roen’s home equates to roughly 720 square feet. This smaller space made the perfect bedroom for her six-year-old son Eli. The steps leading to the loft also got a makeover, and since there was no closet, Roen created an organized storage space for his clothing and toys.

A Dog’s Life
Outside, this fun space-saving solution allows their dog to enter a hidden doggy door from a kitchen cupboard that leads to the exterior’s attached dog house and fenced-in backyard. Last summer, the yard was given a new look by adding an array of new plants, the custom doghouse, cedar fence, and now this summer, a chicken coop. Roen loved the idea of fresh eggs but she also wanted to teach her young son to learn how to take care of animals.
__________

Find the Finishes

Kitchen floating shelves – Dakota Timber Company
Custom dining table – F-M Pallet Furniture & Decor
Bamboo laminate veneer flooring – Home Depot
Kitchen cabinetry – Lowe’s
Porcelain tile – Lowe’s
Art – Deborah Mae Broad, Karen Bakke
Chandelier – Lowe’s
Sectional & TV stand – Hom Furniture
Feather art – Hobby Lobby
Master dresser – Furniture Mart
Master barn door – Lowe’s
Master bedroom paint – Morning Fog
Main area paint – Filtered Shade
Office desk stain – Leathered Grey

 

For more information about Roen’s remodel or photography business, contact:
Roen Photography
701.330.0881
mirandaroen@yahoo.com
roenphotography.com

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