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