Midwest Nest Magazine

Midwest Nest Magazine

Culture, Entertaining, and Home Design

Category: Design

Las Vegas to Little Cormorant [ Sugar Island – Little Cormorant Lake, Minnesota ]

Words by Tracy Nicholson / Photography by Dan Francis Photography Fargo native Jack Lavelle is no stranger to creating hospitable surroundings. His company, PWI Construction, recently completed the remodel on…

Words by Tracy Nicholson / Photography by Dan Francis Photography

Fargo native Jack Lavelle is no stranger to creating hospitable surroundings. His company, PWI Construction, recently completed the remodel on the last of 7,000 high-end hotel rooms on the Las Vegas strip. While he’s lived in Las Vegas for the past 18 years, Lavelle has since retired and headed home to the more serene surroundings of his lake home on Little Cormorant. Follow along as we take a tour of his “Sugar Shack” project that’s become a family affair.

Sugar Island on Little Cormorant Lake has been a prized getaway for Lavelle’s family for the past nine years. Returning to the area after an accomplished career managing the construction for a long list of high-end hotels, restaurants, nightclubs and prestigious boutiques, Lavelle wasn’t quite ready to hang up his hard hat.

The Making of the Sugar Shack

Four years ago, Lavelle’s family of contractors drew up a sketch and asked Designer Brent Behm of Ruki Modern to assist with the contemporary, lakefront build. Managing the project was Lavelle’s son-in-law, Eric Berg of Eric Berg Construction and son, Ryan Lavelle, of Invecta Construction Management. With a family of experienced contractors at the helm, Lavelle’s lake home became exactly what he asked for – an informal retreat centered around family, friends and fun.

From left, Brent Behm of Ruki Modern, Ryan Lavelle, Jack Lavelle (not shown, Eric and Jessie Berg)

Architectural Ambitions

“The whole front of the house is all public space and the bedrooms are just a minimal line of five bedrooms along the back,” said Behm. “It’s a super simple concept- everything is about the social aspect and communal space overlooking the lake. The form of the building really followed the program of the building – the lake view first and then the bedrooms being secondary in the purpose. This is what evolved out of that purpose.”

“Ryan and Eric really simplified the construction and kept the project at a reasonable budget. The guys didn’t have any grand vision of what the exterior should look like, this is just how it evolved after all of the plan elements were met,” said Behm. “The goal for this home was pretty loosely defined, it was mainly about providing as many bedrooms as we could and a large space to entertain. From the back, when you’re driving up, the house doesn’t look like anything extravagant, but it really climbs up toward the lake.”

“I think he’s got the right idea for how to live at the lake. Most people want their bedroom window overlooking the lake. For Jack, he said the opposite, ‘Why would I want my bedroom overlooking the lake? That’s where I sleep’.”

Brent Behm, Ruki Modern

The More, The Merrier

With three grown children and seven grandkids, Lavelle’s lake home is typically hopping with family, friends, kids and dogs. Between the home, the camper he parks in the side yard and the three sheds, his lakeside property easily sleeps 30. Not only does he not mind the crowds, he encourages them. Each summer, Lavelle throws a “Sugar Shack” bash for 150 of his closest friends and family, complete with a food truck and his son Ryan Lavelle’s band, Three Legged Horse, entertaining the crowds.

To accommodate the guests he’s happy to entertain, the bedrooms were kept modest and efficient, tucked away in a quiet corridor at the back of the lake home. “In terms of the bedrooms, it first started out as an idea for a separate building, but that’s kind of what it is,” said Ryan Lavelle. “The five bedrooms, two bathrooms, mudroom and laundry located in the back, can be completely closed off from the common space. Guests who are visiting for the day, usually don’t ever see that part of the home, which isn’t all that common.”

Sugar Shack Shakedown

Residing on acreage equivalent to three spacious lake lots, Lavelle doesn’t waste an inch. One-level living and a commercial-sized deck, with Western Sky rocks from Wyoming, wraps the entire front of the 2,996 square-foot lake home, stretching out to a massive front yard. Entertaining the crowds is made easier with a spring-fed lake on 400 feet of beach, a treehouse, volleyball court, pickleball court, guest sheds, fire pit and enough space to accommodate multiple campers and tents.

Entertaining well is a top priority for Jack Lavelle and his family. Not surprisingly, he’s even designated a theme song for his Sugar Shack retreat. “I lived in Vail for a year-and-a-half and became a fan of the band Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats. I’ve decided our theme is, ‘I Need Never Get Old’,” laughed Lavelle. “Now, my kids listen to them and Ryan even learned one of their songs – it’s his band’s most requested song.”

Garden Shed Getaways

The Lavelle family built the three sheds four years ago and the grandkids named them the Eagle’s Nest, Bear’s Den and Butterfly Cabana – the Bear’s Den is where Lavelle prefers to sleep. “The Bear’s Den was originally a garden shed that we made into my bedroom,” laughed Lavelle. “In the others, there are two queen beds in each and they’re for guests and mainly the kids. Jay Ray from West Fargo, did the custom chainsaw carvings in front of each one.”

Swanky Interiors

“We knew we would have a heavy traffic flow in and out between the common space and the exterior space,” said Ryan Lavelle. “That was the factor that helped define this room to make it big, tall and provide the best view possible to see the sky and the lake.”

If the furniture looks familiar to you, chances are you’ve visited one of the hotels that Lavelle has built or remodeled. The majority of the furnishings and materials used in the house were salvaged from remodels in high-end, Rodeo Drive boutiques and swanky resorts.

Lavelle’s daughter, Jessie, and wife to Eric Berg, spearheaded the interior’s design with with assistance from her brother, Ryan Lavelle. Jessie chose all of the finishes including lighting, cabinetry, paint and fixtures, while Ryan added interesting features like the green-stained dooring throughout. Jessie was also tasked with the challenge of figuring out how to place all of her father’s salvaged finds and fuse them with newer decor items.

“Our dining room table came from a designer boutique on Rodeo Drive,” said Lavelle. “They had painted it shiny black, almost like a granite. We didn’t even know what was underneath until we got it from L.A. to my shop in Vegas where I had my guys strip it down and we realized it was wood.”

In the Lavelle lake home, even the kitchen makes use of some unexpected materials. “The granite came from a Las Vegas jeweler that had tried it out as flooring, but then changed their mind when they did the slip testing,” said Berg. “I worked with Granites Unlimited to template, cut and install it for kitchen countertops.”

Low-Maintenance Lake Living

Although Lavelle just recently retired, he still loves to travel, so for the exterior, durability and minimum maintenance was necessary. Everything on the exterior is done in a maintenance-free Azek composite material that was special ordered through Crane Johnson. Since this material had a little more natural variation of color like real wood, the team also used Azek as horizontal siding to distinguish the side entrance.

Due to the height and the way the roof pitches upward, the team used commercial storefront windows to achieve an unobstructed view. “Really, the best part of this design was bringing the outside in with that 30 feet of glass looking toward the lake,” said Eric Berg. “It had it’s challenging times, but it was really rewarding because our whole family now gets to enjoy it.”

Find the Finishes:

Design – Ruki Modern

Contractor – Eric Berg Construction, Inc.
Contractor – Invecta Construction Management

Cabinetry – Quality Cabinets

Chainsaw carvings – Jay Ray (jayraycarves.com)

Aztek siding and decking – Crane Johnson

Millwork – Simonson’s, install by Eric Berg Construction, Inc.

Countertops – install and template by Granite’s Unlimited

Tile – I’ll Tile & Stone

Carpet – Floor to Ceiling Carpet One

______________________________________

 

For more information, contact: 

Eric Berg Construction, Inc.

1257 3rd Street North, Fargo

701.306.1812

 

Invecta Construction Management

Ryan Lavelle

701.371.7141

invectabuild@gmail.com

invectabuild.com

Ruki Modern

Brent Behm

701.730.0060

rukimodern@gmail.com

rukimodern.com

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Midwest Nestled [ Roy Lake, Minnesota ]

Words by Tracy Nicholson / Photography by Scott Amundson Located on Roy Lake near Nisswa, Minn., this weekend getaway is a trompe l’oeil dream home that would pique anyone’s interest….

Words by Tracy Nicholson / Photography by Scott Amundson

Located on Roy Lake near Nisswa, Minn., this weekend getaway is a trompe l’oeil dream home that would pique anyone’s interest. Once deemed an unbuildable lot, the site was one of the last lots available in the Gull Lake chain, and not without reason. Never one to turn down an impossible project, the homeowner’s hometown friend and college roommate, Chris Hawley of Chris Hawley Architects, gladly accepted the challenge.

An Uphill Battle 

For CHA, turning an arduous hill into an award-worthy design took a bit of architectural mastery. “We were able to design this on a really steep site with some crazy topography and only 100-feet of lakefront. Getting the septic system and everything else to fit was a real challenge,” said Hawley. “There are basically four levels; the roadside where the bridge is, the lower level platform which is the main house, then the fire pit level and the last level down by the lake. They’re all tiered, so the fire pit is somewhat buried in the hill – it’s quite the perch where he can take in some awesome lake views.” To distinguish the varying levels, the team used split-stone, boulders and retaining walls.

In order to navigate the hillside, CHA had to do a lot of topography and the bridge became necessary to the design. “If you were to measure where the setbacks are from the lake, and look at the buildable area for the site, you would find about 16 feet of grade change from where you would typically have a house from the front to the back,” said Hawley. “To make this an efficient design, we had to tier it just to get the parking to work and make sure it still looked like a home from the roadside.”

If you sat down and made a list of all of the things this home needed to have, then told someone how much space they had to do it in, most people would politely decline the challenge. “It seems like an impossible task, and we certainly pushed the constraints of the lot lines, but it worked out so well and achieved everything he wanted with a really seamless design,” said Hawley. “It also helped that the homeowner was so open-minded, he loves great design just as much as I do.”

Bridging the Gap

If you’re lucky enough to be invited, you’ll have to walk the plank…so to speak. As a visitor, guests park in the driveway, walk over a charming cedar bridge and enter on the second floor.

“Guests have their own little entryway and there’s two bunk rooms and a secondary master bedroom. His mom and dad stay in the secondary master with a murphy bed that can be converted to an office,” explained Hawley. “When the homeowner arrives, he pulls into the garage and walks down the stairs to the main level where his master suite and the main living areas face the lake.”

Exterior

The extraordinary exterior ties contemporary grey steel and black metal panels, with warm cedar and naturally rusting elements like the corten retaining walls and fire pit. The roof line is a gable with a pitch-break which was altered mid-way through the build to accommodate a bump-out for the second level rooms. The bump-outs gave them an additional two feet for the murphy bed on the second floor and the bunk beds. From left lakeside is the master bedroom, kitchen and great room, all with a remarkable view of Roy Lake.

Architectural Interior

“A really cool feature for guests is when they’re walking over the bridge, they can see all the way through the window to the sputnik lighting and the lake,” said Hawley. “Then you come downstairs and you’re struck with the larger view of the lake. Spatially, it’s a really fun space to be in. I love how three-dimensional his home is – it’s not like you are on an upper or lower level, you are living in a spatial volume. The interior is pretty wild when you consider how all of the rooflines fit together. ”

Throughout the lake home, reclaimed wood extends to accented areas from the great room ceilings to the powder room, master bedroom and sliding barn doors. Giving the home a modern and minimalist flair, the homeowner chose heated concrete flooring, mid-century modern lighting, colorful artwork and industrial metal elements to define the spaces.

A fun find for guests is the reading alcove underneath the stairwell. If you follow CHA’s work, you’ll recognize the cushion and upholstery work which is always done by Chris Hawley’s mom.

The fireplace in the great room is wrapped in steel-panels with four symmetrical boxes including wood storage, fireplace and media storage.

The stairwell to the second level bunkrooms feature vinyl plank treads with steel risers to coordinate with the raw steel paneled fireplace wall.

Intimate Efficiency
“The idea was that the homeowner wanted a really intimate space, but the irony of the design is that even though the rooms are on the smaller side, he can still have up to 40 people over and they will all have a place to sleep,” said Hawley. “In the upstairs alone, he can have 12 people between the bunk rooms and secondary master. Then he has additional space like the alcove under the stairs, living room and main level of the garage which can serve as an overflow room.”

Park at the Top, Party on the Bottom… 

For CHA, one of the project requirements was to create ample lake storage. What you see from the roadside is actually a pre-cast two-story garage, and the roadside represents the top floor. The homeowner parks on the precast deck, just like a parking garage made for two cars.

Below, on the lakeside, the main floor of the garage acts as storage and an occasional entertaining space. “His garage, facing the lake, can have 20 to 30 people there for entertaining and it becomes kind of a party room with heated floors and a sauna right next door,” said Hawley. Here, you can take a sauna and run straight to the lake. The homeowner loves cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, so this is a year-round lake destination for him with plenty of storage for his outdoor hobbies.

“It’s a classic Minnesota way of thinking to build a lake home and then want a Morton building for storage across the road. With this precast garage, we designed it connected to the house and it just looks much better since it’s integrated into the home’s design,” said Hawley. “It’s basically a concrete box, but a huge, practically indestructible space for him to store everything he needs.”

“You have to pour concrete to build a garage like this, and in most cases, people will work really hard to cover it up. We thought it was an awesome raw finish, so let’s just let it be the finish. It’s very contemporary, but I think it works well with this design,” said Hawley.

“He has a nice condo in the city, but he tries to spend as much time at the lake as possible, so this is more of his weekend home right now,” said Hawley. “We made sure to design it so that down the road, it can become more of a year-round residence. In my mind, his lake home is the best of everything, but it’s nice because nothing is super fancy, there’s not a lot of high-end finishes – it’s just really well put together.”

Find the Finishes:

Architect – Chris Hawley Architects

Builder – Vercon, Inc. (Baxter and Menahga, M.N.)

Landscape architect – George E. Prine III, DIG Garden Design
Landscape designer – Jamie Lipke, Backyard Reflections

For more information, contact:

Chris Hawley Architects

2534 University Dr #3, Fargo

701.478.4600

info@chrishawleyarchitects.com

chrishawleyarchitects.com

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Optical [Design] Illusions – Inside the New Aspire Optical Co. of Fargo

Words by Tracy Nicholson / Photography by Dan Francis Photography When we heard Trever Hill was collaborating with Grain Designs on the design of the new Aspire Optical Co., we…

Words by Tracy Nicholson / Photography by Dan Francis Photography

When we heard Trever Hill was collaborating with Grain Designs on the design of the new Aspire Optical Co., we couldn’t wait to contact owners, Ashley and Gillian Freeborn. It didn’t take long to see that guests at their stunning eyewear boutique were destined to get the VIP treatment, complete with an integrated guest experience right at their fingertips. With over 30 eyewear lines and 2,000 frames and sunglasses ranging from high-end designer to affordable and stylish, their eyewear begged for the perfect backdrop and distinguished displays. Take a tour with Midwest Nest as we check out the custom displays with a few unexpected design twists that will make you want to kick back and bury your toes in the sand.

Visualizing a Dream

The Freeborns moved from Canada to Fargo five-years-ago, relocating for Gillian’s residency at the VA Hospital where she now works as a Psychologist. With a new business and baby number three on the way in early August, the Freeborns have a life they are passionate about.

“I have worked in the optical field in sales and marketing for the past 13 years in Canada, and this has always been a dream of ours,” said Ashley Freeborn. “It was my job to work closely with accounts on the brands, inventory and marketing, which is now a culmination carrying over to my own optical boutique. I took note of all of the good things my accounts were doing and ideas that I had spent years counseling them to pursue. It’s really exciting to be able to bring that experience forward and finally open the doors.”

Optical Design Illusions

To come up with their design inspiration, the Freeborns spent late nights and many hours scouring Pinterest. “We brought everything together for the boutique’s design and decided to work with Trever Hill Design who was fabulous at making our vision come to life,” said Gillian Freeborn. “Trever chose all of the furniture, countertops, lighting, wall coverings and accessories. We love the furnishings that he chose, they’re beautiful, but also extremely comfortable and well-made. You can really see the detail in the stitching. Our contractor was Rogness Contracting and they were phenomenal to work with too; I would recommend them to anyone.”

“I knew from talking to Ashley and Gillian that I needed to add in multiple textures and keep the overall space cohesive, yet still distinguish the stations and unique spaces,” said Hill. “I also worked closely with Grain Designs to create the concepts for the freestanding and wall displays where I needed to figure out function and storage, texture and wood finishes. It was such a pleasure working with Aspire and Grain Designs on this project. I love anytime a project starts from a dirt floor to the last accessory being placed,” said Hill.

Ray-Ban Red? 

“I actually felt bad for Trever – initially, this space was going to be a lot different. Think Ray-ban red in one area and a man cave in another area. There was going to be so many competing concepts and he somehow, very tactfully, toned it down and changed my mind,” laughed Ashley Freeborn. “He took all of those ideas and managed to distill them into what you see now. Our partnership with Grain Designs was formed through Trever and the idea of that rustic and refurbished wood was always something that I feel like we wanted, but he really facilitated that for us.”

Display Design  

Within the boutique, each display needed to be custom-designed to suit the space and provide optimum storage and shelving. For a clean look with a reclaimed appeal, Hill and Grain Designs chose a white pine with a distressed finish, sourced from a 1880s church. Metal bases, trays and shelves were powder-coated along with industrial plumber’s pipe to give the displays sleek function with rustic style. Their team also custom built the free-standing displays and two digital monitor displays with touchscreen technology.

At the LED-lit counter, Hill chose a textured, stone-look wall covering as the backdrop for Aspire’s laser-cut, metal sign by Grain Designs.

On the back wall, Grain Designs built a slat wall featuring reclaimed wood with interchangeable metal shelving. “We wanted a wall that you could manipulate and change the display so that it’s a different feel for the customer every time they come in,” said Ashley Freeborn. “It’s kind of a take on an old slat-wall concept using reclaimed wood and powder coated metal shelving. It was an idea that I had, but really it was Grain Designs that developed the concept into what it is.”

The Interactive Guest Experience

With so much in-depth information behind their brands and lenses, Ashley Freeborn designed this touchscreen display concept to create an interactive guest experience right at your fingertips. “We realized that the younger generation focuses a lot on social and corporate responsibility – they want transparency,” said Ashley Freeborn. “With brands like Toms, you can see their collection, the lens features and also watch a really dynamic video on their charitable work across the globe. This really helps us to communicate what is generally a lot of information about each brand.”

Ashley Freeborn found the 1900s barber chair, originally from Toronto, Ontario, in an old optometry practice in Winnipeg. “We loved the chair, so we took it to Audubon Upholstery to refurbish the piece – we think it weighs around 350 pounds,” said Ashley Freeborn. “It’s a really fun chair to sit in and everyone who comes in comments on it.”

Paddleboard Paradise 

Distinguishing the sunglass displays are three paddleboards affixed on the wall with integrated shelving by Grain Designs. The boards were a fun idea that Ashley Freeborn had envisioned from the start, but worked with Hill to perfect.

“Ashley had originally wanted multiple zones for clients, but I was a little concerned about how busy it may be if all of those zones had a different design and varying bold colors. I thought he was on the right track though, so we did incorporate many of his ideas, but we made the colors more cohesive to unify the space,” explained Hill. “So, instead of going with the red paddleboards like he had intended, we changed the boards to white which helped unify the design. This also created a crisp, clean slate for the sunglass display.”

“You’ll see even with the wallcovering and leather on the furniture, we chose similar materials throughout the space to pull those areas together,” said Hill. “The wall covering is from the Phillip Jeffries collection at McNeal & Friends, while Weyer-For-Hire did the installation.”

At the Blink of an Eye

A competitive advantage over online shops, Aspire Optical Co. has over 2,000 frames, cuts their own lenses and is able to process common prescriptions often within the same hour or quicker. Their team of five, including two opticians, are all trained to find the best frame and fit, usually opting to have two team members assist every guest. This fall, they hope to bring an optometrist on-site to complete their team.

Seeing in Style

Aspire Optical Co. truly has something for everyone, but being located in a neighborhood that lends itself to luxury, the Freeborns have taken note and pride themselves on the array of lines from affordable and funky to high-end designer and exclusive frames.

“Right now, I believe we carry more designer lines than any other area boutique,” said Ashley Freeborn. “We also have our own Aspire Collection which starts at $189 with a single vision lens and anti-reflective coat, which is really competitive to most online offers. The idea was to allow people to stay on budget yet still purchase multiple pairs. We need eyewear for so many different tasks now, compared to what it used to be. Here, you can find a great designer pair of glasses and then also find something that would be more of a daily lifestyle choice.”

Aspire Optical’s Brands:

Coach, Swarovski, Vaurnet, Maui Jim, Ray-Ban, Tiffany & Co., Kate Spade New York, Oakley, Jimmy Choo, Rag & Bone, Polo, Guess, Alexander McQueen, Vanni, Prada, Toms, Gucci, Fendi, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Kliik Denmark, Tom Ford, Michael Kors, Monoqool, Evatik, Derapage, Etnia Barcelona, Fysh and many more.

Find the Finishes:

Contractor – Rogness Contracting

Interior Design- Trever Hill Design

Shelving, display and wood fabrication – Grain Designs

Furniture – McNeal & Friends

Accessories – SCHEELS Home & Hardware

Laser-cut logo sign – Grain Designs

Herringbone wall tile – sourced from Floor to Ceiling Carpet One

Countertops – Northern Stone

Cabinetry – Braaten Cabinets

Lighting – Noir, Perigold

Wall coverings – Phillip Jeffries, McNeal & Friends

Wall covering install – Weyer-For-Hire

For more information, contact:
Aspire Optical Co. Fargo
3265 45th Street South, Suite 104, Fargo
701.404.5172
aspireoptical.com
Follow @aspireopticalco on Instagram and Facebook
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Built for Family, By Family [Krueger Construction]

Words by Tracy Nicholson / Photography by Dan Francis Photography For the Krueger family, making dreams come true is all in a day’s work. Founded by Greg and Bonnie Krueger…

Words by Tracy Nicholson / Photography by Dan Francis Photography

For the Krueger family, making dreams come true is all in a day’s work. Founded by Greg and Bonnie Krueger in 1984, today their custom home-building team is spearheaded by all three Krueger siblings and their spouses. Kristi Krueger-Roscoe and Clayton Roscoe, Corey Krueger and Kim Krueger-Tehan with her husband Jimmy Tehan. This month, they took us on a tour of their recent model home in the beautiful Rocking Horse Farm neighborhood of West Fargo.

The Style

A custom home-builder by trade, it’s rare that the Krueger team builds the same home twice, but this is the second time they’ve built “The Lila” plan as a spec home. Model homes are meant to be shown, but the first time they built this particular plan, it sold before it was even listed, so it never quite got its time in the spotlight. “All of our homes are completely custom, so this is a great example of a larger footprint rambler,” said Krueger-Tehan. “The plan itself was originally designed by Jimmy and my dad, then Kristi selected the finishes. We love it because it’s a little out of our traditional wheelhouse. Kristi did an awesome job with more modern finishes and features like the floating vanity, flat cupboard fronts, waterfall island, five-panel doors and a horseshoe staircase design. I think it’s a great mix of styles, I don’t think it’s too stark or modern. That was kind of the goal when Kristi set out to design this – she wanted it to have modern elements but still be warm and inviting,” said Krueger-Tehan.

“Modern and edgy is a different style for us. We were used to building in a more traditional and craftsman style like our own homes, but it’s fun to do something like this with more of the geometric patterns incorporated,” said Krueger-Roscoe.

Shiplap Envy

In the open concept main level, the living room offers 11-foot coffered ceilings, contemporary built-ins and large-plank shiplap. This accent wall gives the room a more modern focal point with high-design using bold neutral tones.

Mid-century Modern Dining

The Krueger’s kitchen design centers around a nine-foot island with a stunning, waterfall-edge, quartz countertop. The team worked with Wendt Custom Cabinets to lend the kitchen a more modern appeal with high-dimension details like the raised hexagon backsplash tile. Mid-century modern lighting and waterproof, laminate flooring extend through to the remainder of the home for a unified design approach.

“Although many homeowners are buying their lighting online, the Krueger team has done their research, finding competitive pricing locally from Valley Lights in Fargo. “It’s really beneficial to have the company right here in town. They deliver it to the house, take care of all of the bulbs, and if something’s wrong with it they come and pick it up and warranty it,” said Krueger-Roscoe.

Mudroom Magic

Typically, we see mudrooms which are designed to accommodate just the homeowner with a location only accessible to those entering from the garage. With Krueger’s unique corridor design, this mudroom can be accessed from both the garage and the front entrance. As a custom design by Corey Krueger, vice president of Krueger homes, it offers the locker and cubby space homeowners want with barn doors on each side to close off the space. This design also eliminates the need for a separate coat closet near the main entrance. Krueger worked with Wendt once again to create the mudroom and drop zone cabinets in a black-stained poplar.

Master Suite + Functional Flow

With a larger footprint than the average rambler, the Krueger team was able to accommodate a more functional flow through the master suite. This layout leads the homeowner on a full-circle walk from the bedroom to the master bath, walk-in closet and laundry, which is then connected to the back entry and mudroom. “We do this a lot in our two-stories, but most of our model ramblers end up being under 1,800 square feet. It’s nice when we have more square footage where we can incorporate some of those interesting elements for a more convenient flow,” said Krueger-Tehan.

Why Rocking Horse Farm? 

“This is a really unique neighborhood in terms of character; people have really liked the different approach that Ken and Jan Promersberger took with their planning. Most standard lots are 80×120 but their standard size is 90×140,” said Corey Krueger. This is the sixth house their team has built in Rocking Horse Farm in West Fargo. They currently have two models in this neighborhood and a handful of other lots here that they’ve either optioned or purchased. “I think we just feel like this neighborhood is a good fit for the types of homes that we build in this type of community. There are a lot of great amenities and site planning. We also love the architectural review process through Chris Hawley Architects that they offer with each new build. Ken and Jan have been great to work with,” said Krueger-Tehan.

Transparency in Numbers 

“The majority of the homes we build are in the $450,000 to $600,000-plus range. This home is a model home and is listed at $374,292 plus the lot price of $67,700,” said Krueger-Roscoe. “Our pricing breakdown is meant to be very transparent and breaks down different finish upgrades based on what type of home it is and where you choose to build. We can do any type of custom finish, but since most of the homes we build are pre-sold, we really focus on staying within the homeowner’s budget.”

All in the Family

“We have been working with my dad since we were little kids,” said Krueger-Roscoe. “We scrapped sites, we cleaned for a long time then painted. We all went to college for something else but eventually came back to the family business. We each have our own areas of expertise; I work on the finishes, layout and interior design. Kim’s greatest strength is that she’s very meticulous, which is perfect for her role as a realtor and director of sales and marketing. Kim’s husband Jimmy is our project manager and came on board with an aviation background and masters in business. My brother Corey is our vice president and has become our top seller as a realtor – people really enjoy working with him. My mom also used to work in the office, but these days, being a grandma is her main priority. So, I think we all have something different and unique that we bring to the table.”

 

Find the Finishes:

Builder – Krueger Construction

Interior Design – Kristi Krueger-Roscoe

Staging – Kim Krueger-Tehan, Kristi Krueger-Roscoe

Mudroom, bathroom and kitchen cabinetry/countertops – Wendt Custom Cabinets

Flooring and tile – Imperial Flooring

Accent wall paint color – Black Fox, Sherwin Williams

Lighting – Valley Lights

 

For more information, contact:

Krueger Construction

1133-A Harwood Drive, Fargo

701.239.0015

kruegerbuilt.com

 

MLS #: 18-2025

 

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Happy Camper Overhaul [Somethings Borrowed]

Words by Tracy Nicholson / Photography by Dan Francis Photography Overlooking Hoot Lake in Fergus Falls’ Godel Park, mom and daughter-duo, Kim Olson and MacKenzie Anderson, set the perfect summertime…

Words by Tracy Nicholson / Photography by Dan Francis Photography

Overlooking Hoot Lake in Fergus Falls’ Godel Park, mom and daughter-duo, Kim Olson and MacKenzie Anderson, set the perfect summertime stage. With their wedding and event rental company, Somethings Borrowed, the two spotted this old camper online and knew it would be the perfect addition to their business. Spending six weeks on renovations, with their family’s help, their old pull-behind is now a charming conversation piece. Mix in a dash of fun chalk art, a sprinkle of vintage decor along with their family’s favorite Key lime pie, and these two have stirred up a recipe for success.

Borrowing Bliss
When the Olson family had three daughters get married in a two-year span, they found themselves sitting on a gold-mine of wedding decor. In the aftermath of wedding bliss, an idea for renting out their inventory was sparked and their new business Somethings Borrowed was born. “We rent out a lot of decor and centerpieces for events and we also decorate for weddings,” said Olson. “With three weddings over two years, we had all of this stuff so we thought we could either get rid of it or do something with it. So, we have it all on display at Olson’s Furniture in downtown Fergus Falls, making it convenient for brides to go in and choose what they like.”

Vintage Camper Overhaul
Coming across a fixer-upper camper on a buy, sell and swap site, the two decided that a vintage camper-overhaul might be the perfect addition to their rental business. With the help of their husbands, Keith Olson, Kris Anderson, and Anderson’s brother, Brandon Olson their camper flip was completed in a mere six weeks. Now, they have a working sink and proper wiring for lighting.

“When we finished work on the camper last July, we named her Martha Barnaby and decided we wanted to be able to rent it out for mostly private events like weddings. It can be used as a bar, candy or ice cream stand and photo booth,” said Olson. “MacKenzie and Kris, at their wedding, had an ice cream truck. It was a novelty and something different, so we just wanted to be able to offer something unique and fun to our clients. Since then, we’ve done birthday parties, weddings, a dental office summer party and we’re looking forward to being the ticket booth at Junk Market in West Fargo this September. We’ll also be at Shop, Move and Groove in downtown Fergus Falls, which we did last year as well. Currently, we don’t have a food or liquor license, so private events are much better for us.”

Summer Vibes
“When we decided on making Key lime pie, we correlated our lake setting with limes and lemons to add that summer vibe,” said Anderson. “We also wanted to include some greenery and some flowers for summer – fresh flowers and greens add such a great pop to any staged event. We also have a beautiful collection of assorted china dishes that we’ve accumulated for wedding rentals. We used old wine barrels for the pie display and created a coffee table out of wooden boxes for something a little more interesting and whimsical.”

Chalkboard Art
“A really good friend of ours and artist, Vera Carlson, does the special chalkboard writing for us. If any of our clients request something written on a chalkboard, we usually contact her – she does a phenomenal job,” said Olson. “Since she’s located in Alexandria, Minn., we take the chalkboard to her and get it picked up so the bride doesn’t have to. We have three of these large chalkboards available for rent.”

Sharing a Vision
When it comes to decor and events, Anderson and Olson rarely disagree. “My mom and I work really well together, we can pretty much finish each other’s sentences,” said Anderson. “She can be thinking something, and without speaking, I can step in and finish it – we just get the same vision. There’s not much that we disagree on as far as how we think something should be set up.”

“When we work together to decorate a wedding, we’ll work for hours, straight through and kind of feed off of one another and finish each other’s projects,” said Olson. “It works out well because MacKenzie has a full-time job and I just retired from my career, so I can more easily take time to go meet with a bride or run out and pull things together for the event.”

Need to Know!
Although their camper can be seen at events all around the area, most people don’t know that the two also specialize in wedding decor and have a vast inventory to rent. “In most venues, you cannot get in until the morning of because a lot of places have been double-booking,” said Anderson. “Friday weddings have become a big thing, so we come in the morning or day of the event and get it decorated while the family is getting ready for pictures. Also, a lot of people don’t realize that they can rent the camper and we’ll bring it to them and pick it up after the event, so they don’t have to deal with it at all. We really want people to see that vision of what it can be. It can be a really fun central space for people to gather at during social hour for any type of event. We see it as a great conversation piece, photo booth, a serving bar, a candy bar – really anything you can imagine.”

Overhaul…again!
Just completing their work on Martha Barnaby last spring, you’d think a vacation would be in order, but these two have already started their second overhaul. “We have another camper that we’ve already gutted, so we’re getting ready to take on a new camper remodel,” said Olson. “I’m going to turn this one into Cousin Camp for the grandkids. It’s in pretty bad shape right now though, so we have a lot of work ahead of us.”

_______________

Summertime Key Lime Pie
“This is a recipe that I’ve probably had for 20 years. It’s really simple but delicious – we make it all summer long and the whole family loves it,” said Olson.

1 – Shortbread crust
1 – can sweetened, condensed milk
1/2 – Cup lime juice
8 – Ounce extra creamy Cool Whip
2 – Teaspoon lime zest

Mix together and fill crust.
Garnish with lime zest or slices, then refrigerate.

_________________

For more information, contact:
Somethings Borrowed
Kim Olson, MacKenzie Anderson
218.205.1609
SomethingsBorrowed1@gmail.com
somethingborrowedmn.net
somethingsborrowed.net

Facebook:
Martha Barnaby
Somethings Borrowed
Chalkboard Art
Vera Carlson
veracarlson1@yahoo.com
218.770.0671
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Higher Education: Interior Design & Retail Merchandising

Words by Tracy Nicholson / Photography by Dan Francis Photography / Digital files provided by Sydney Fritz and NDSU Interior Design Program One of the first things I learned while…

Words by Tracy Nicholson / Photography by Dan Francis Photography / Digital files provided by Sydney Fritz and NDSU Interior Design Program

One of the first things I learned while writing for this industry was the distinction between interior design and interior decorating. Last fall, I was introduced to an NDSU student by the name of Sydney Fritz. Although many may consider her an interior design student, I soon found out that her major was one that I was not familiar with; Retail Merchandising. It was perfect timing because Fritz had just completed a lengthy project for one of her required interior design classes. So, we headed back to school to find out how her area of expertise translated to the design world.

Meet the Student
Sydney Fritz is a retail merchandising student with an emphasis on interiors. She will graduate in the spring of 2019 with a degree in Apparel, Retail Merchandising and Design, with a minor in Business at NDSU. Her major carries a heavier emphasis on the aesthetic side of interior design. Although the assigned project required space planning and construction documents, her retail merchandising emphasis does not rely on advanced qualifications to draw up construction documents like interior design majors. Regardless, this class will help her to understand this important aspect. Her degree is equally divided between interior design classes and business classes with over half the remaining classes taken in retail merchandising. With her retail merchandising major, Fritz is on her way to mastering the art of buying and merchandise planning, global retailing, promotion, global trade, consumer behavior, trend forecasting and the analysis of textile products.

The Project:
The Martin Residence
Assigned by NDSU Professor Ann Marie Ragan, this fictional project is a residential design assignment based on the needs of a retired couple, Clark and Ava Martin. The students were told that they had purchased a two-bedroom condominium in the 300 Building located in Downtown Fargo.

Project Requirements
The Martins requested the design of their home to have a more “urban” feel with Post War/Mid-century Modern influences incorporated throughout the home. Students selected a Post War/Mid-century Modern designer chair to incorporate into their final design solution.

Aging in place and universal design solutions had to be incorporated via finishes, furnishings, layout of the furniture, types and location of cabinetry and plumbing fixtures. As part of the assignment, students were told that sustainable design was to be an important component of the project. This would impact the material selection and use throughout the home. Students were asked to select and incorporated three works of art from at least one local or regional artist into the design.

According to Professor Ragan, students were also responsible for designing a custom light fixture for the Martins. “They began by sketching clothing from the same time as the Post War/Mid-century interior design style. These were provided by the Emily Reynolds Historic Costume Collection located at NDSU,” said Professor Ragan. “Students were responsible for selecting the furniture, finishes, materials, artwork, lighting, furnishings and window treatments for the project.”

In-Class Activity: Designing a Custom Light Fixture

Getting Started
“Getting this interior design assignment was really overwhelming at first; especially trying to figure out where to begin,” said Fritz. “The description laying out the project was pages and pages of details. We started with an empty shell, laying out where we thought bedrooms should go. Then we had to get more technical with our math, figuring out the square footage that we had to work with.”

Since Fritz has chosen retail merchandising as her major, it’s important to note that her major does not typically require this type of detailed space planning. Out of the 19 students in this studio course, only one other person shared her emphasis in retail merchandising. Regardless, the class itself and knowledge of the concept is required for her degree.

Challenges & Limitations
Before Fritz and her classmates could get started, they had to understand the requirements and limitations. “There’s an atrium in this project, so we had to make sure all of the plumbing was on a certain wall. The space planning was the most challenging side of this project,” said Fritz. “What I learned was to keep it simple. I initially wanted to do a lot of angles and curves, but I realized that these would have also made it difficult to place the bed, nightstands and lighting. Even though I wanted to be different, I learned to keep it simple and focus on creating an easy flow, not putting too many obstructions to have to walk around. Each floor plan takes many hours to complete with several hours to copy the rough draft onto the vellum. It’s kind of like a puzzle figuring out how each space should function with the given square footage.”

“I thought picking out the furniture wouldn’t be that challenging, but it was,” said Fritz. “We were limited to furniture that fit the room but allowed for space to move around it. We also kept in mind that the older tenants would require furniture that was firmer and it had to be in the required Mid-century Modern style. If the furniture was overly cushioned it would be hard to transition from a sitting position. Along with space planning, we each had to design our own custom island, custom light piece and custom drapery.”

Professional Presentation
For Fritz’s classmates, this interior design project required designing floor plans, elevations, custom cabinetry, light fixtures and room layout – along with design details like accent pillows, throws, wall coverings, lighting, drapery and flooring. According to Professor Ragan, students in retail merchandising complete all the same work for the project except for the presentation drawings used on the final presentation boards. “Retail merchandising students are not required to complete rendered perspective drawings since they are not required to take the course where the students learn how to do these drawings,” explained Professor Ragan.

Mid-century Modern Influence
“I wanted more of a classic and timeless Mid-century Modern design, instead of the bright geometric design most people immediately think of,” said Fritz. “The version I chose is more of an upscale take on Mid-century Modern versus the more casual bold colors. I did a lot of neutrals, then I would be able to add in the colors through my custom drapes and artwork. I chose a local artist, Jessica Wachter to represent the art pieces for the entire design. I chose brushed gold finishes and lighter wood flooring, knowing that the other wood finishes would be darker. We each picked an heirloom piece and I chose a wire chair piece which will be covered in the muted red fabric to coordinate with the blinds.”

Design by Lifestyle
Keeping in mind the profile of the tenants who were nearing retirement age, Fritz and her class were asked to create a space that would be accessible with a designated guest space for the tenant’s visiting parents. This apartment would be their primary home and last residence before moving into an assisted living facility. With this lifestyle in mind, Fritz designed her extra-large, walk-in, tile shower with a floor that would be level with the bathroom’s tile floor to avoid complications. She also kept this in mind when choosing the bed heights and space on each side of the bed.

Fritz and her classmates were asked to create bubble diagrams, adjacency matrices, and circulation diagrams. The primary purpose of bubble diagrams and adjacency matrices is to analyze the room/space adjacencies, while circulation diagrams consider the flow of the rooms/space.

For the research portion of the programming binder, each student compiled articles on Mid-century Modern design and universal design. Students completed annotated bibliographies about the articles and reaction papers on different businesses that were visited during the studio course.

Coordinating Color
“A lot of students chose different eras of Mid-century Modern, many of them focusing on the version with geometric patterns and bright colors like oranges and lime greens,” said Fritz. “I chose an era that I felt was more suited for this older tenant. I used a lot of sophisticated navy blues, darker olive greens with just a little bit of muted red and lighter blues. I added a lot of texture with my throw blankets and pops of more vibrant color with Jessica Wachter’s art pieces. I definitely used more accent or interchangeable pieces for the bold colors.”

Inspirational Mentors
When she’s not in school, Fritz works for a Fargo-based interior decor, furnishing store, and design firm, McNeal & Friends. This gave her the added benefit of accessing the store’s vast inventory of fabric and wall coverings. She also had access to their team of designers including, Trever Hill who suggested the concept of having the carpet inset into the living room floor, creating a level transition. “This concept worked to help make the living room two separate spaces even though it’s actually one large room,” said Fritz. “I also consulted with another designer at McNeal & Friends, Jayne Wilson about my drapery choice. Picking out the materials was definitely the most fun for me.”

Styling Spaces
For much of the furniture, lighting and accessories, Fritz opted for pieces by Restoration Hardware with additional pieces from Room & Board and Pottery Barn. “Since a lot of my furniture was in neutral tones, I had to be careful not to add too much color, but just enough to give it character,” said Fritz. “I found the wall coverings at McNeal & Friends and chose two different grasscloth textures by Phillip Jeffries. The grey-toned one is for the master bedroom and the lighter covering is for the guest bedroom. I thought the texture really gave it class and more of an upscale look. I also chose brushed gold hardware for a really authentic, Mid-century Modern finish.”

Objectives of the Project
“By showing this project, I want people to know how technical this field is, it’s not just picking out a cute bed frame or fun pillows,” said Fritz. “In our process, we need to understand how that furniture or kitchen island is going to fit and function for the space. It’s researching fabrics and coordinating textures as well as deciding the right amount of space between furniture for proper flow and function, all based on the tenant’s needs and lifestyle.”

“Some of the questions we ask ourselves are; can a wheelchair fit in between the furniture pieces and does the kitchen island allow for seating as well as ample walking space on each side? We also have to be aware of where all of our drawers in the kitchen are being placed. Should they be pull-out drawers or doors and does the client prefer soft-close options? ”

For every square inch of a home, there are endless options to choose from, so for this project, it’s Fritz’s job to really think about the client’s needs and figure out which of those options will work best for them and the space. “Sometimes that means adding things like pocket doors in place of a normal door to save space and provide better flow. We would also educate the client on the pros and cons, noting that this type of door might not keep as much sound out and discuss if that will be a problem for them based on the room,” explained Fritz.

The Final Project
The final project submittals included a detailed programming binder with an explanation of the design solution, programming information, diagrams and information gathered from research. This is where the students referenced specification information for the furniture, fixture, artwork, accessories and finishes. Detailed construction documents (floor plans, elevations, reflected ceiling plans, cabinetry sections and wall sections), study models and presentation boards were also required for the final design solution.

Reviews on Sydney Fritz’ Design Project:
“Sydney seemed to have a great understanding of the design style which can be seen in her furniture, material selections and in her programming information,” said Professor Ann Marie Ragan. “Her selections incorporated furniture pieces that were representative of the Post War/Mid-century designs and upholstered in rich colors and textures. Sydney’s selections of artwork provided vibrancy to the space and helped to connect the many interior design elements utilized throughout the space.”

A Student’s Perspective: Investing in Design
“If people are willing to put money into building a house, I think they should also set aside a portion of their budget for having the house designed professionally,” said Fritz. “If it’s done right, you won’t be buying new furniture every two years, you’ll be buying statement pieces or good, classic pieces that will last a long time and fit the scale of your house. Some people fill large spaces with furniture that’s too small and it can really diminish the space being used and limit the liveable space.”

“I think homeowners should also gain a designer’s advice on where light switches and lighting should go. The electricians will do what is most functional for them, but not always what is needed for you or the home’s design,” said Fritz. “Working with a designer can open up a world of new furniture lines and brands that most people have never heard of. Some of these lines are only available to designers and what they can offer can really transform a home. Designers work with many of the local and national stores to gain access to furniture, rug, drapery and fabric lines that can open up far more options than what you see in the stores.”

________________________________________________________

Interior Design vs. Retail Merchandising
“There are technically students from two different majors who currently enroll in the ADHM 251 Interior Design Studio I: Residential Studio course, interior design and retail merchandising with a focus in interior merchandising,” said Professor Ragan. “While these students take some of the same classes, these are very different majors, but both happen to be in the Department of Apparel, Design, and Hospitality Management.”

The Degree:
Interior Design

Distinguishing between Fritz’s major and interior design degrees, is the program coordinator for the interior design program, Dr. Susan Ray-Degges. “The interior design program is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA). Here, students study design fundamentals, theory, process, communication, research and technology to identify and solve problems for a wide range of physical, interior environments for all individuals regardless of socioeconomic background or situation.”

Three Career Paths of Interior Design
As Dr. Ray-Degges explained, “There are three main career paths that are typically chosen by the design professional; residential, commercial and specialized design. Residential involves the design of personal living environments while commercial design deals with public and work environments. Design professionals may also pursue career opportunities in such specialized technical design areas as lighting, codes, product design or product representative.”

Sydney Fritz’s Major:
Fritz’s area of study is Retail Merchandising with Interior Merchandising focus in the Apparel, Retail Merchandising and Design major. To explain Fritz’s focus, we spoke to the Apparel, Retail Merchandising, and Design (ARMD) program coordinator, Dr. Jaeha Lee at NDSU. “The retail merchandising option in the (ARMD) program provides students with a firm grasp of retail business strategy. Graduates hold positions as buyers, store managers, visual merchandisers, marketing managers, sales and account executives, and trend forecasters with many retail companies. The course of study includes classes on buying and merchandise planning, global retailing, promotion, global trade, consumer behavior, trend forecasting and the analysis of textile products. Students in the retail merchandising option can choose a focus in the areas of textile product merchandising or interior merchandising. If students choose a focus in the area of interior merchandising, they take several courses in interior design that provide the knowledge needed to enter retail interior careers.”

Interested in a career in Interior Design or Retail Merchandising?
Contact North Dakota State University, Fargo
Academic Advisor
Connie Eggers
E. Morrow Lebedeff Hall 270
701.231.9847
Connie.eggers@ndsu.edu

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Edgewood Estates Elegance

Words by Tracy Nicholson / Photography by M. Schleif Photography You don’t have to wait for an open house to see inside Designer Homes’ latest listing. Before guests arrived at…

Words by Tracy Nicholson / Photography by M. Schleif Photography

You don’t have to wait for an open house to see inside Designer Homes’ latest listing. Before guests arrived at our ribbon cutting, we took a quick tour through their stunning home in the beautiful Edgewood Estates of North Fargo. This luxury, craftsman-style rambler with finished basement, is a rare find in any well-established neighborhood.

Home Stats:
3708 Aspyn Lane North, Fargo
Square Footage: 4,080

Bedrooms: 5

Bathrooms: 3

  • Main floor master bedroom
  • Home is pre-wired for surround sound
  • 3-stall, insulated and sheet-rocked garage with floor drains and gas heater
  • No specials
  • Within walking distance of Edgewood Golf Course and Trollwood Park

With the open-concept layout of the main floor, the home’s great room boasts 10-foot-high ceilings with inset wood detailing. Designed to draw attention to it’s immaculate, craftsman detailing, the fireplace is surrounded by stone and crisp-white shiplap, a floating shelf mantel and custom built-ins for added storage and display.Perfect for a growing family or retirees, the main floor offers two additional bedrooms with two baths, mudroom, laundry and a custom locker system and message center, just off the garage entrance.

The master suite features custom wood ceiling details, a tiled shower, dual vanities and a spacious walk-in closet.

Designer Homes went above and beyond with this gourmet kitchen that’s custom-designed for both entertaining and daily function. A walk-in pantry, maple cabinetry, quartz countertops, subway tile backsplash and high-end appliances complete the space.The home offers a fully-finished basement with 9-foot ceilings, beautiful wood insets, stone accents and full-service wet bar. The lower level also features a theater area and two additional bedrooms with a full bathroom.

Want to attend an open house or request a private tour?
Office: 701.492.5057
Cell: 701.492.5055
info@designerhomesfm.com

See more photos and take a virtual tour at:
designerhomesfm.com

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A New Way of Redefining Value with Thomsen Homes

Words by Rebekah Stoll / Photos by Rebekah Stoll and Robb Siverson / Team photo by Dan Francis Photography Back from left: Heidi Toso, Britten Churchill, Shelby Gustafson, Josh Caroon…

Words by Rebekah Stoll / Photos by Rebekah Stoll and Robb Siverson / Team photo by Dan Francis Photography


Back from left: Heidi Toso, Britten Churchill, Shelby Gustafson, Josh Caroon
Front from left: Alyssa Asheim, Rebekah Stoll

The process of building your new home is an exciting time with a lot of decisions to be made. At Thomsen Homes, our goal is to make the building process fun and simplified, while still offering numerous selections. From the layout to the finishing touches, there are choices abound. When it comes time to decide on the selections that will turn your new house into a home, we have a professional team ready to help you make the decisions that best suit your lifestyle.

Wanting to ease the exterior design process by offering several curb appeal options, our Design and Studio Lead, Heidi Toso, Project Estimator Lead, Josh Caroon, and Architectural Drafter, Britten Churchill got to work. With the focus being able to present the client with different options, the goal was to introduce four new elevations for each of our floor plan offerings. These elevation options include a Modern, Craftsman, Colonial and Traditional style – the Traditional being the original style we offer.

The inspiration for this project came from multiple resources including the International Builders Show in Florida, common customization of client’s homes and upgrades of clients looking to have a more appealing or custom curb appeal. With both a challenging and rewarding task at hand, here were some of the obstacles these three faced.

 

“The most challenging aspect of the project was the task of coming up with a handful of visibly different elements for the designer to choose from while remaining cost-effective.
It’s a delicate balance between finding what people want and what they’re willing to pay for.”
– Britten Churchill, Architectural Drafter

“The first challenge was deciding on which three exterior options to design. Coming up with a Modern, Craftsman and Colonial elevation option, apart from our Traditional, was the goal. I wanted to present options that would appeal to any type of buyer. The second challenge was to make each floor plan its own, but to share common elements. I did this by incorporating different windows, materials, architectural details and colors.”
– Heidi Toso, Design and Studio Lead

“Trying to bring many of the details together from the design stage to a buildable product, all while keeping our ‘affordable luxury’ was the most challenging part, yet also most rewarding. We are expanding our product market and constantly innovating. This is one more way we are able to do that for the market.”
– Josh Caroon, Project Estimator Lead

Modern:
Our Modern-style home is a favorite of many. The incorporation of a bold front door and black trimmed windows is an immediate attraction. The stark, clean profile of this exterior style gives it a contemporary feel. Bold, black garage doors with frosted windows containing clean straight lines create, yet another, major statement piece on our modern elevation. Featuring trimmed out doors and windows, our Modern-style homes give the feeling of being crisp, spare and sharp. The special finishes of this option include EFIS, which is similar to stucco, board and batten, upgraded exterior lights, and metal or wood accents.

Craftsman:
Charming us with intricate, hand-crafted details, our Craftsman-style home is another new exterior option that has caught the eye of many. This style home features gable roof lines, overhanging eaves, exposed rafter tails and finishes that blend with the surroundings. A front door and porch that provides a gentle transition between the outside world and a cozy space inside. Reflecting a mixture of textures, these finishes incorporate elements such as shake, timber trusses, band accent details, and stone based or wood columns giving it a natural and hand-crafted feel.

Colonial:
Representing one of the most familiar styles of homes is our upscale, Colonial option. Using a decorative crown over the front door including a covered front entry supported by columns, our Colonial-style homes give the feeling of a “warm greeting”. The Colonial’s elements give these homes a fresh feel. Featuring multi-paned, double hung windows, corbels, shutters, window boxes, flower boxes and other small characteristics lead into the Colonial style.

Traditional:
The Traditional style includes a variety of elements such as upgraded LP siding and 4” band around all windows and doors on the front of the home. This style offers a classic appeal for any home buyer. White short panel garage doors, brick and custom window grids on the front of this home style for some great curb appeal.

Everyone has a style in mind when thinking of building their dream home. The challenging part is communicating that image, to watch it be brought to life. “These exterior options truly offer clients opportunities to turn their classic-style home into their own,” said Toso. To launch these new elevation options, Thomsen Homes built three winter models, two of them each featuring the Modern, Craftsman and Traditional styles. In a matter of just 15 days, all three sold. With the 2018 Spring Parade of Homes right around the corner, we have another great set of these elevation options waiting for you. No matter what your style may be, Thomsen Homes is sure to assist you every step of the way to achieve it, picture perfect. These elevation options are just the start of bringing that dream home of yours to life.

For more information, contact:
Thomsen Homes LLC
3168 41st Street S. Suite 1  Fargo
701.478.3000
Facebook: Thomsen Homes LLC
Instagram: thomsenhomes
www.ThomsenHomesLLC.com

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Family Retreat + Finnish Tradition [West Battle Lake, Minnesota]

Words by Tracy Nicholson Photography by Scott Amundson Photography When this Fargo family first sat down with Chris Hawley Architects to discuss their West Battle Lake build, the conversation got,…

Words by Tracy Nicholson
Photography by Scott Amundson Photography

When this Fargo family first sat down with Chris Hawley Architects to discuss their West Battle Lake build, the conversation got, well… a little steamy. Their new home’s design had to start with the sauna, the same way it had been done by the Finnish for centuries. For the homeowners, having a sauna was not just an amenity, it was a necessity and a time-honored tradition of their Finnish family tree. See inside the award-winning family retreat, that’s bound to inspire guests to sweat it out and run for the lake.

As Hawley explained, “Fins tend to be crazy about their saunas. Most of the time, these are detached buildings, but our site didn’t allow that, so it became a part of the house, which is pretty awesome,” said Hawley. “The sauna conversation drove the project. In terms of its location, it was a really important part of the project and was discussed in our very first meeting.”

Sweat it Out
“The sauna is my favorite part because it has an amazing view of the lake when you’re sitting on the bench,” said Hawley. It’s part of the home, but immediately accessible to the outside. From the exterior, it’s located just behind the black, spiral staircase to the side of the master suite, so guests can come and go as they please. The area consists of the master suite, sauna, laundry and three-quarter bath, all connected so they can come right in from the lake without having to walk through the house.

__________________________

Great Room:
Coordinating with the rustic, stone entrance details, the great room’s fireplace extends nearly 20 feet to the second level’s living space and Moso bamboo ceiling fan. As a unique design element and extension of the heated concrete flooring, a poured concrete firewood storage area was built near the bottom and doubles as a sitting bench.

Near the main entrance, Hawley and contractor, Jackson Strom, worked with Straightline Design to fabricate the custom staircase and railing.

“If you look at a classic, 1950s cabin at the lake, the way that they used to be built was, they’d build a masonry fireplace, then build a wood house around it. That’s kind of here, but it’s done in a very 2018 way. It’s evocative of an old-school cabin, but meeting far more of the needs of the homeowners.”

Den:
Entering from a sliding barn door in the great room, this room has been designated as the den and sunroom, with a stunning view of the lake. From the exterior vantage point, this is the left, cedar-sided box facing the water. A two-sided, stone fireplace with custom steel detailing creates the focal point for their more casual living space. Cedar ceilings match the room’s exterior siding with polished concrete flooring for a more natural approach. 

Award-Winning Design
Recently, this project was awarded Juror’s Choice by the North Dakota Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. “This was one of our first projects where we did the construction management on it as well,” said Hawley. “We designed and built it all in-house.” While Hawley was the main designer and did the initial front elevation and the floor plan, Strom managed the 3-D models of the home and the construction drawings. As the project progressed, Strom assisted Hawley in making tweaks to the original design, customizing it to meet the needs of the family.

Kitchen:
One idea that the homeowners presented to Hawley, was the concept of the kitchen being located at the back of the cabin. “Typically you see people come straight into the kitchen at the lake, but what’s cool about this is the fact that the door to the lake is wide open and the dining room is almost outside,” said Hawley. “When you’re standing in the kitchen, it still feels like you’re part of that lake scene. We typically don’t lay out houses this way, but it’s awesome.”

A major focal point in the kitchen, this column wrapped with steel and 2×2 cedar sections, was fabricated by Straightline Design and provides a transitional wall, dividing the kitchen and the main entrance.

“If we’re going to be honest, it seems like pretty much everything Chris Hawley Architects is a part of turns out awesome. This project was just remarkable and it was an absolute blast to be a part of it.”
Eric Soyring, Straightline Design

For the kitchen design, Chris Hawley Architects worked with Bill Tweten, a Certified Master Kitchen and Bath Designer from Western Products. Wall-hung cabinetry in a sleek, contemporary design, flows seamlessly with high-end Cambria countertops to an adjacent wet bar. The family chose their own Mid-century Modern-inspired, lighting throughout the home.

Dining Room:
A stand-out feature on the main floor is the 12-foot-wide, bi-folding door panels which completely open the dining room setting to the exterior’s private patio and lake view. “We designed this with a motorized screen that comes down at the touch of a button, creating an interior, screened-in porch,” said Strom. “The bi-folding wall of doors is a great feature, but they don’t work well for going in and out throughout the day, so we made sure to include a swing door to the side of it.”

“Classically, a dining room table doesn’t get used unless it’s in a place where it should be used,” said Hawley. “In this case, it was front and center. The homeowners love to entertain and have dinner parties. They actually use their table and really enjoy each other’s company.”

(Cedar Wall)
This is the actual cedar from the exterior that was designed to flow through to the interior wall, creating the backdrop for the kitchen. The doorway on this wall is the entry to the master suite.

Master Suite:
“There were a lot of design elements that were indicative of a classic, Minnesota, shed-roof cabin,” said Hawley. “The stone chimney has a 1950s type of cabin approach, but they have the contemporary wood boxes that extend from the inside to the exterior. That’s really one of the coolest features in the design, especially the master bedroom. The master suite has a prime location facing the lakeside in the right hand, cedar-sided box.”

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Upstairs:
According to Hawley, the homeowner bought this entry light fixture back when she was in college, with the intent to put it somewhere, at some point in her life. “It’s a 1950s or 60s fixture but looks like something in a Mid-century Modern style you’d find now. So, she’s been saving this for about 20 years,” said Hawley.

Open-Concept Bathroom Design
With efficient design in mind, Chris Hawley Architects created a singular, yet spacious bathroom with an open concept, designed for sharing. The only private, doored spaces are the shower and toilet. The shower is a room in itself with an area designated for changing. The vanity area with double sinks and coffee bar is considered a large, communal space in a centralized location accessing the three upstairs bedrooms.

“We do a lot of these at the lakes, it’s a great solution for people who don’t want to clean three separate bathrooms for guests,” said Hawley. “What people always do with bathroom design is create one doored-off space which holds the shower, toilet, tub and sink area. So, that is a design where you can only have one person in there at a time. This is only one bathroom, but three people can easily be using it at one time. At the end of the day, it saves a lot of money and works just as well.”

Classic Cabin + Contemporary
The homeowners chose one of the last available lots on West Battle Lake with a 100-foot shoreline and a wooded lot that could accommodate their design. “We basically maxed this lot out – but we have to remain 10-feet from the lot lines,” said Strom. “If you looked at the lot from an aerial view, you’d see that the home is almost touching that 10-foot line at four different spots. The lot consists of 100 feet on the shoreline and it trails back to about 90 feet on the roadside. It’s parallel with the lakefront but then angles back to accommodate the smaller part of the lot.”

From the roadside, Hawley designed two intersecting mono-pitches with cedar soffits. On the left, the black dryvit garage has a custom cedar door and bonus room above while the other side represents the main form of the house. The two are connected by a more traditional, cabin-style, stone accent and custom steel trellis with inset 2×6 cedar boards.

Lakefront Hideaway
“A design perspective that I try to do on a lot of projects, is to create a pocket or a u-shape with the building,” said Hawley. “So, when you’re sitting on your patio, you’ll have ultimate privacy and the neighbors can’t see you.”

Hawley achieved this by using two mono-pitched rooflines with two cedar boxes that extended out toward the lakeside. This created a private, courtyard area between the two. The right side cedar box is the master bedroom with a rooftop patio and access from the black spiral staircase, while the left side features and den and sunroom.

Elevating the View
A Jack-and-Jill patio for three upstairs bedrooms, the homeowners’s rooftop space is custom-designed with guests in mind. Hawley and Strom worked with Straightline Design to create the spiral staircase and steel-fabricated railing which incorporates lighting within the handrail. The exterior’s spiral staircase is their own entrance to that living space and direct access to the lake and sauna. Not missing a detail, they also ran a line up to the rooftop, allowing for a gas fire pit for their upstairs guests to enjoy.

Carrying on a Finnish Tradition
If you want to learn more about the health benefits and long-standing sauna tradition, Hawley suggests a book called, “The Opposite of Cold” which he considers the “bible” of saunas. He’s also done his research, sharing information about how the Fins immigrated to the United States and set up shop in the Duluth, M.N., area. “Back in the turn-of-the-century, you’d walk down Main Street and every three storefronts was a sauna or bath house. That’s how important it was to their culture,” said Hawley. “When the Fins first moved here, they would build a sauna first – live in it, bathe in it, give birth to their kids in it; it was like the center of Finnish life back then and still is for many.”

Find the Finishes:
Architect and contractor – Chris Hawley & Jackson Strom – Chris Hawley Architects
Steel fabrication – Eric & Tami Soyring, Straightline Design
Cabinetry & Countertops – Bill Tweten, CMKBD – Western Products
Great room ceiling fan – Haiku, by Big Ass Fans
Lighting – Homeowners

For more information, contact:
Chris Hawley Architects
2534 S. University Drive #3, Fargo
701.478.4600

info@chrishawleyarchitects.com
chrishawleyarchitects.com

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Perfecting the Patient Experience

Photography by J. Alan Paul Photography When we think of healthcare and virtually any clinical environment, blinding fluorescent lights and ill-designed, sterile surroundings are typically what come to mind. Recognizing…

Photography by J. Alan Paul Photography

When we think of healthcare and virtually any clinical environment, blinding fluorescent lights and ill-designed, sterile surroundings are typically what come to mind. Recognizing a change in the way healthcare is approached, Dr. Fadel Nammour and his wife Heidi Nammour of Dakota Gastroenterology Clinic worked closely with Paces Lodging architect, Kim Matteson to redefine the patient experience.

From the exterior, the South Fargo clinic is reminiscent of a contemporary spa with its clean lines and varying textural elements. “We just looked online and drove around and took different pieces of buildings that we liked,” said Heidi Nammour. “Then I would take pictures and get them to Kim Matteson, the architect at Paces Lodging. I wanted the exterior to have dimension as well, so we were able to do that using varying materials for the siding.” Inside, Heidi Nammour designed the space’s 6,500 square-feet to be a soothing sanctuary for incoming patients.

Clinical Comfort
In this business, Dr. Nammour knows that putting patients at ease with a comfortable environment is a prerequisite for better healthcare. “It’s a Gastroenterology clinic. When people hear colonoscopy, they flinch,” laughed Dr. Nammour. “We tried to create a warm environment prior to the procedure so they will be comfortable here in the waiting room and the suites. A lot of patients have been telling me that when they come here, they feel like this is a spa or a home. They wait in comfort and when they go into the procedure, they are much more relaxed.”

These days, even hospitals are rethinking their decor in their new construction and remodels, veering away from the more sterile, institutionalized environment they’ve been known for in the past. “We wanted a more modern, contemporary look, trying to stay away from that cold, clinical feel one would expect,” said Heidi Nammour.

Waiting Room I
In the Endoscopy waiting room, Heidi Nammour chose a modern, Scan Design sofa accented with beautiful statement pieces from online sources, Wayfair and Joss & Main. High ceilings and expansive windows bathe elements of reclaimed wood, glass and stone in natural light.

Waiting Room II
To create a contemporary space with warmth, Heidi Nammour favored rich textures like marbled quartz, stacked stone and comfortable furnishings.

For the room’s rustic elements, she chose a Grain Designs magazine rack coffee table, floating shelves, side tables and custom barn doors.

To get the custom barn door hue, Grain Designs used a whitewash finish with an ebony stain. “I wanted something unique for the ceiling, so I spent a lot of time looking online, at different magazines and on the Houzz app for inspiration for the round ceiling details,” said Heidi Nammour.

“I had a vision of white countertops with marbling to help create a modern look to complement the rustic feel of the barn doors. I got ideas for the reception desks by looking through magazines and going online searching out reception desks,” said Heidi Nammour. “I gave Paces pictures of what I wanted based on what I found, and eventually came up with a design which incorporated reclaimed wood for the front of the desk to match the custom barn door. I knew from the very beginning I wanted barn doors and a reclaimed wood wall. For the flooring, I chose a distressed, vinyl laminate in a wider plank design.”

The Doctor Will See You Now
On the clinic side, a long hallway consisting of exam rooms is designed with custom barn doors from Grain Designs.

Beyond the exam rooms, patients can relax in one of the many La-Z-Boy-style recliners chosen to provide comfort for the patients.

Architect, Kim Matteson of Paces Lodging
“From the very beginning, Heidi and Fadel had a vision for what they wanted their contemporary building to look like. They had photos of design elements, materials and colors that they showed me and wanted to be incorporated into their building. Those were so beneficial and became a starting point for the design of the exterior and also as a basis for the interior finishes,” explained Matteson. “We utilized three-dimensional modeling as we worked through the exterior elevations and how the various materials would look and be arranged on the building. Then we were able to present those ideas to them from all possible views. We even used 3-D modeling when we worked on the design of the curved reception desk and its varied elements. The interior finishes are also a contemporary arrangement of materials and features that incorporate their design style into distinct and appealing spaces for their patients.”

Dakota Gastroenterology Clinic
Dakota Gastroenterology Clinic is an independently-owned clinic specializing in digestive health since 2014. The clinic offers diagnosis and treatment of digestive conditions as well as a non-surgical weight loss procedure.

About Dr. Nammour
Dr. Fadel Nammour is a board-certified gastroenterologist. He is originally from Lebanon and moved to Fargo in 2002 after completing his internal medicine and gastroenterology fellowship in New Jersey. When his career took him to Essentia Health, he met Heidi, who was a nurse at the time. Today, the couple resides in West Fargo with their three sons.

Find the Finishes
Contractor – Paces Lodging
Architect – Kim Matteson, Paces Lodging
Barn doors, side tables and floating shelves – Grain Designs
Fireplace – Home & Hearth
Flooring – All States Flooring
Quartz countertops -Fabricators Unlimited
Artwork – SCHEELS Home & Hardware, Kirkland’s
Recliners – A&B Business Solutions
Roofing – Herzog Roofing
EIFS – OTXteriors
Landscaping – Pro Landscapers LLC
Painting – Weyer for Hire LLC
Casework and plastic laminate countertops – Woodside Industries
Aluminum windows and doors – Galaxy Glass and Caulking
Doors and millwork – Builders Millwork, Inc.
Plumbing & HVAC contractor: Midwest Mechanical Construction, LLC
Electrical contractor – JDP Electric Inc.

For more information, contact:

Dakota Gastroenterology

5049 33rd Avenue South, Fargo
701.356.1001
dakotagi.com

Paces Lodging
Kimberly Matteson – Senior Project Designer, Associate AIA

4265 45th Street South, Suite 200, Fargo

701.499.0212
paces-lodging.com

 

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