Midwest Nest Magazine

Midwest Nest Magazine

Culture, Entertaining, and Home Design

Category: Design

Smart Space + Transitional Redesign

Words by Trever Hill Photos by J. Alan Paul Photography     Throughout my career, I’ve always been flattered when people in the industry ask me to be part of…

Words by Trever Hill
Photos by J. Alan Paul Photography

 

 

Throughout my career, I’ve always been flattered when people in the industry ask me to be part of their home building process or remodel. It’s really one of the highest compliments a designer can get. To this day, I’ve gotten the honor of working on two home builder’s personal homes and countless other homes. When Ursula Hegvik, owner of Smart Spaces approached me about remodeling the main level of her home, I said yes before the words had even left her mouth. Ursula already had great ideas of what she wanted in her new space, so together, our goal was to make it happen in ten short weeks.

Our Own Independence Day

Just one day after the 4th of July, we began the remodel of Ursula’s main level at her South Fargo home. This project was really fun for me. She’s a professional closet designer, so she acted as her own general contractor and did all of the space planning and the cabinetry, which was really cool to see. For me, this was a unique way of working, because typically I’m the one throwing out ideas to the client and figuring out the direction of the space plan. In this project, she already knew exactly what her layout would be, which walls to knock out, and what rooms would be redesigned for new functions. She was able to use her own software from Smart Spaces to do renderings of the original space, then renderings showing what it would look like after the remodel.

I came into the project to help choose all of the finishes, paint colors, cabinetry colors, and flooring. What you see here are the island and perimeter countertops, paint swatches, flooring samples and cabinet sample. Placing all of your finishes together is a simple way to make sure that all of your color tones can live harmoniously in the same space.

Ursula’s Remodel List:

* Give the space an open floor plan

* Reconfigure the stairwell

* Turn the original dining room into a large mudroom

* Create a large kitchen Island with interest

* Turn the original laundry room into the pantry

* Create a wall of windows

* Create a home office

* Update the foyer

In Ursula’s kitchen, we chose a unique, matte aluminum hardware paired with her custom, melamine cabinets in “Arctic”. This combination really set a sleek and contemporary tone for the remaining remodel. Melamine is an extremely durable and versatile material Ursula often uses in her closet designs at Smart Spaces. Drawing on her organizational expertise, Ursula was able to plan for hidden storage solutions throughout the kitchen, adding upright pan storage under the second oven, as well as three cool, pull-out accessories from Rev-a-Shelf; a knife block, utensil containers, and a full-height, spice storage rack.

A Bright Idea

If you notice something looks different about Ursula’s stunning island, you’re absolutely right. On a mission to find the island countertop at Stone Holding Co., I walked up to a piece of Quartzite only to be hit with “bright” idea. I placed my phone behind the slab to show Ursula how it illuminated the stone, it was amazing. With that, we decided we needed to build a light-box underneath the island counter, using mirrors to reflect light from LED strips. Northern Stone was able to do the fabrication, along with the quartz countertop on the perimeter.  We found the LED strips, controllers and remote at American Lighting through Border States Electric.

Taking the island’s wow-factor one step further, we added a controller on the side that allows her to change the color of the lighting. This proved to be her son Oliver’s favorite feature. He’s a Viking’s fan, so on game day, Ursula’s island goes purple.

Challenging Views

During the process, we had varying challenges to overcome, but as with every remodel, we figured out a way to make it work. We had the wall of windows installed, but due to their size, we needed to do other things to get it up to code, such as quartz window sills to make sure we could get outlets below the windows.

What was once the formal dining room just off of the kitchen, Ursula transformed into one impressively organized laundry and mudroom. Using Smart Spaces, melamine cabinetry she created an array of custom storage solutions for shoes, coats, accessories, laundry baskets and hanging items.

Keeping the existing brick fireplace meant refacing the top, and modernizing the design. This is something she had seen Amanda Schenfisch, one of her designers at Smart Spaces do in her own home. So, Ursula asked her to do the same here. The top of the brick was then refaced which completely covered up the arch. I suggested painting the brick black around the actual fireplace to make it appear larger. The lower brick was then painted to match the updated built-ins and white trim throughout the home.

The very first meeting we had, Ursula said, “The rest of my home is more on the traditional side, and I want a very contemporary kitchen. How are we going to blend the two?” So, we worked within a style that’s now referred to as Transitional. As you can see by the fireplace reface, the style Ursula used could be construed as traditional, but because of sharp lines and fresh color, it blends perfectly with her contemporary kitchen. We even used her existing, traditional lamps, but updated the lampshades for a great, transitional look.

Meet the Homeowner:
Ursula Hegvik, Owner of Smart Spaces

“Trever’s fabulous. He’s so talented and so fun to work with. This whole thing has just been awesome. He brought so many aspects to the project that I couldn’t. I was afraid to pick the paint color, and he had it picked in around a minute.  He has such a good eye for everything, and he just makes everything about a project easy and fun.”

“For this project, I worked with some really great sub-contractors. I’ve done thousands of closet projects, but I’ve never taken on a project of this scale before, so acting as my own general contractor was a brand new experience. I got a lot of advice and asked a lot of questions. The subs I chose to work with turned out to be good people who would show up when they said they were going to (for the most part), do quality work, and clean up after themselves. It’s come together really beautifully, and honestly, Trever helped me with every decision, definitely all of the really important ones.  I can’t even choose throw pillows without that guy!”

“My sons were so excited about the remodel. Oliver prefers the kitchen and loves changing the island color to Viking’s purple. Dexter thinks the mudroom is super cool because he likes to be able to easily find his socks and boots so he can run outside and play faster. I think they pretty much love everything, as do I.”

Find the Finishes

Engineered hardwood flooring – Floor to Ceiling Carpet One

Carpet – Cheney Carpet

Melamine cabinetry – Arctic, Smart Spaces

Perimeter counter and island fabrication – Northern Stone

Quartzite Island countertop – Stone Holding Co.

Lighting – Elan, Border States Electric

Windows, doors – Home, Design & Supply

Appliances – Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Hardware – Smart Spaces

Paint color – Mega Greige, Sherwin Williams

Barstools – Unclaimed Freight Furniture

Dining table – Room & Board

Dining chairs – HomeGoods

 


 

Trever Hill Design

701.235.0031

trever@treverhilldesign.com

treverhilldesign.com

Smart Spaces

5226 51st Ave S. Fargo, N.D.

701.200.8770

ursula@smartspacesorg.com

smartspacesorg.com

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Sophisticated Comfort

“A designer makes all the difference. We knew what we wanted, but our designer (Rebecca Knutson) had the skills, vision, and taste to make it happen. We couldn’t be happier…

“A designer makes all the difference. We knew what we wanted, but our designer (Rebecca Knutson) had the skills, vision, and taste to make it happen. We couldn’t be happier to see our dream come true.”  -Homeowner

Inspired Entry

Having that trust from the homeowners allowed me to introduce a variance of textures, patterns, and materials from the entry to the kitchen. One step through the front door and guests are overcome with a sense of comfortable sophistication and the breathtaking view of the valley beyond.

In this project, the entry helped set the tone for the homeowner’s style. We chose two styles of arabesque tiles intersecting to form this visually appealing foyer floor. Terracotta tiles have their rich brown stain applied with a brush and then hand rubbed with a varnish coating for a unique patina. The arabesque floor tiles provide a certain design interest that evokes both comfort and sophistication. It also gives guests a taste of the many textures and patterns they’ll see throughout the home.

Throughout the main level, I chose an engineered oak, wood flooring in a 7.5 inch-wide plank. This style has a wonderful, linear graining and low-gloss finish which calls to mind vintage, European oil-rubbed flooring. The richness of the warm, wood flooring pairs well with the grey tones throughout the home.

Lighting the Way

No room is complete without proper lighting and the entry is no exception. We chose two sconces which house a beautiful combination of glass and metal which are materials that trickle throughout each space. Adding substantial lighting fixtures were the key to drawing the eye up to the many details in the custom, coffered ceiling beams.

Recipe for Success

This home’s kitchen was designed for a chef. The appliances needed to answer to their calling and the materials had to be able to withstand everyday use and entertaining, equally. I love that the home allowed so many textural elements to come together. Rich woods, patina metals, depth-defying crystal quartzite, Carrara stone, and even mercury glass appear throughout. Each brings a uniqueness to its selection, pattern and placement.

With the island as our focal point, we chose a stunning Quartzite. I loved the transparent, crystal appearance with waves of chocolate, grey and canary yellow. The rich grey tones created an interesting contrast without competing with the warm wood flooring and stain of the perimeter cabinetry.

On the back perimeter counter, we opted for a Quartz with a unique blend of deep browns and light colored veins. For the perimeter cabinetry, I chose an interesting Pumice finish that’s hot and on-trend. This tone can lend itself toward a warm grey but still allow the beauty of the wood grain to shine through. The Pumice stain coordinates well with the trend of rustic or reclaimed wood while resulting in a more sophisticated style.

For the kitchen backsplash, I used a honed Carrara marble mosaic which wraps the sink and range wall. I chose this because the honed stone pattern accented the Pumice stain and repeated the curve of the glass doors on the range wall.

Prepping Perfection

For the final kitchen element, I decided to add in a sense of sophistication by designing a custom, coffered ceiling, painted white to coordinate with the interior windows and door casings. To unify the two entertaining spaces, we carried this timeless ceiling detail through to the nearby dining room. The finished space is cohesive, beautiful and high-functioning, with a unique design made to effortlessly accommodate two or twenty.

Elevated Style

For the final kitchen element, I decided to add in a sense of sophistication by designing a custom, coffered ceiling, painted white to coordinate with the interior windows and door casings. To unify the two entertaining spaces, we carried this timeless ceiling detail through to the nearby dining room. The finished space is cohesive, beautiful and high-functioning, with a unique design made to effortlessly accommodate two or twenty.

In this kitchen, some of the most useful spaces are the ones guests cannot see. We’ve added a warming drawer below the oven and spice organizers hidden behind wall cabinetry doors. A chef’s storage cabinet is located in the island, placed directly behind the range. This allows for easy access to commonly used items like oils, vinegars and bulk spices. Dish storage near the sink and dishwasher allow clean up and meal-prep to happen in one discreet space.

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