[Ruki Modern + Radiant Homes + Brandi Youngmark Interior Design ]
Story by Tracy Nicholson
Photography by Dan Francis Photography
Jamie and Nathan Evenson are part of a growing population that works entirely from home, but, we didn't say it was only one home. For the past few years, the two have been splitting their time between their Las Vegas and Fargo home. When they decided to build near the Oxbow Country Club, while working from Las Vegas, they knew that managing the build remotely could be a high stakes game. To create this stunning dream home, the Evensons needed their own on-site dream team. Their home inspiration: the contemporary mountain homes they fell in love with in California, fused with a high-style version of Vegas glam. See how Radiant Homes, Ruki Modern, and Brandi Youngmark Interior Design were able to give the couple the best of both worlds.
While their Oxbow home doesn't quite fit into traditional country club style, it's an eye-catching testament of how contemporary architecture can be adapted to work within any environment. "We knew we were going to hire Radiant to build the home; what they were building around here was totally unique compared to other homes we saw," said Nathan Evenson. "We spend a lot of time in the mountains in Truckee, California, and we got married in Squaw Valley. This modern mountain look is something we've seen a lot of out there."
To complete the home, David Reid of Radiant Homes, brought in an architectural designer he knew leaned toward this particular style - Brent Behm of Ruki Modern. "I showed them what I had already drafted. Brent really listened, and the first drawing was what we have now; there weren't too many iterations," said Jamie Evenson. "We asked Radiant and Ruki to take a different approach and use materials that they wouldn't normally find around here; materials you'd only see in Montana, California, or Las Vegas, and they were willing to work with that."
"We were enlisted to create something contemporary, but we're also in a neighborhood that's somewhat restrictive in their approach to contemporary architecture," said Behm. "We had pitched a completely different roof design, but we scaled it back to appease the more traditional covenants. While it is definitely more contemporary than the neighboring properties, it's not jarring, visually."
Designing from Afar
"We were in Las Vegas throughout 95 percent of the project, so almost all of this came together based on a couple of in-person meetings for design, then email communication back and forth," explained Nathan Evenson. "My parents live here, so they'd come out if there were questions, and they'd send us photos. We also hired a drone company to take video and photos whenever a new stage was happening."
"We felt very comfortable being away from the project while it was being completed," said Jamie Evenson. "Radiant has an excellent superintendent, Andy Strom; he had great attention to detail and was very open in communicating with us. Also, there were a lot of design decisions, and Brandi was critical in the process, really helping us think through our selections. The nice thing about this team is that everybody was still very cost-conscious."
Take a Tour!
At the entrance, guests immediately get a feel for the Evenson's bold style. While Interior Designer, Brandi Youngmark, worked with the couple to complete the look, Jamie Evenson added a few personal touches, like the dramatic foyer lighting she found in Las Vegas. "From the beginning, we worked to identify what they wanted and we meshed so well, as far as personalities and style," said Youngmark. "We really understood what they were trying to achieve. I knew they wanted something different; a modern, mountain-inspired home, but with clean, contemporary finishes."
"The great room has very sharp architectural and multi-dimensional lines, starting with the concrete tile fireplace," said Reid. "It really helps give the house those clean, contemporary lines." The expansive windows bring the outdoors in, especially with elements like the limestone hearth that extends from the interior to the outdoor patio and pergola. To the left of the fireplace, custom canvases were created by the homeowner, Jamie Evenson.
"The rooms function in such a way that the scale is appropriate to the use," said Behm. "There was also a really strong consideration about live/work space in this house." To make sure everyone was on the same page, the team gave them a full 3D model so they could, in a sense, walk through their home. "Having a 3D model was a definite game-changer in helping us to visualize things like the fireplace design," said Nathan Evenson. "I'm not sure we would have understood how it was going to come together without it."
Throughout the great room, Youngmark helped them choose finishes like the wide plank maple floor, charcoal stained maple millwork, and a floating staircase that serves as a focal point from every angle. "Jamie would send ideas from Vegas, then we'd bounce our creativity off one another. They wanted to be minimal with the overall design, so this layout really spoke to them - not overcrowding the back windows, and making sure nothing obstructed the pathways," said Youngmark.
Giving the house a rarely seen, modern element, the team opted to paint the baseboards to match the walls and replace traditional window trim with sleek drywall returns and simple wood sills. Keeping the lines clean allowed the eye to center on the more distinct architectural details of the home. "It was the dream team, we couldn't have asked for a better group to work with. Brandi knew our style and really helped us think through and narrow down the selections," said Nathan Evenson.
Drama in the Kitchen
Dramatic design elements draw guests to the heart of the kitchen - an impressive space perfectly outfitted for the Evenson's love of cooking and entertaining. "We designed this to be a large, minimalist kitchen, including flat-panel, stained charcoal cabinets, a back-painted glass backsplash with accent lighting and black stainless touches throughout," said Youngmark. "The beauty of the wiscon white granite and a sapele mahogany island is great for entertaining."
The kitchen backsplash is another strikingly modern detail, although it created a challenge when it came to execution. The backsplash consists of back-painted glass panels surrounded by LED lighting, which emits a glowing border. Radiant worked out the design and installation details and ended up self-performing the install after finding there was no one locally that had experience with this application, nor was too eager to take it on.
In the Evenson's home, lifestyle and organization were key components in the design process. "We have really effective storage throughout, and additional storage around both sides of the 10-foot island. The perimeter was designed with deeper drawers, allowing for two layers of storage within. Eliminating excessive drawers and hardware gave the cabinetry more of a furniture feel; reminiscent of a large armoire or something you would see in a skyrise loft in New York," said Youngmark. "It was important to them that we bring a mountain lodge aspect, yet contemporary feel to the kitchen - I think using more natural stone and wood finishes helped achieve that."
"The way we use and design pantries has changed. We don't see as many corner pantries anymore - people are really utilizing more square footage to have the butler pantry with the extra sink and appliances that are part of your daily routine, like coffee makers, blenders and toasters," said Youngmark. Their pantry was designed using a minimalist mix of lower cabinets and open slider shelving, along with a microwave and sink. Finishing the space with a pop of color, the Evenson's chose an art piece from Karla Gallager.
"They wanted to bring a little Vegas back with them, as it’s their second home; so we designed the powder bath with a matte black hexagon floor, a custom Corian floating vanity with an integrated sink, and matte black accents," said Youngmark. The powder room also features metallic textured wallpaper on walls and ceilings, with a complimenting crystal chandelier.
With the powder room's pass-through doors making the mudroom visible from the front foyer, Youngmark made sure to stylize the space with artwork-inspired coat hooks that adapt down as needed or revert back to art when out of use.
Modern Mountain vs. Midwest
The team worked with Straightline Design to create an architectural staircase that leads to an office, loft and guest room. Connected to an exposed structural beam on the second level, the stairwell uses 4-inch thick, solid maple treads and is held in place by a c-channel frame.
"We have two bedrooms upstairs on the north side, the master isolated on the south side of the main level, and two bedrooms on the north side downstairs - so you never have that room-heavy noise," said Jamie Evenson. "It's also really nice that we were able to have our office spaces, but not feel like we're always at the office," said Jamie Evenson. "It was designed beautifully, to accommodate our lives."
Mastering the Suite
The master closets proved to be one of the most adapted areas, with the team opting to take a foot from the bedroom and space from Nathan's closet to create Jamie's dream closet. "In our old house, I had a whole room for my closet, so with this house, it was very important that we each had our own large, walk-in closets. I did not want to share a closet with Nate," laughed Jamie Evenson. "Our bedroom is a bit smaller than you'd expect, but we also wanted it to feel cozy. We didn't want there to be a lot of other furniture besides the bed."
To create the master bath's extraordinary floor, Youngmark used five different tiles from various manufacturers, then put together scaled drawings to lay out each tile, one by one in an ombré hexagon design. "We used flat-panel, natural hickory cabinets and white solid surface countertops. The custom shower features glass tile, built-in niches and a heated shower bench," said Youngmark.
Since the master bath does not have a linen closet, Youngmark made sure the cabinetry had plenty of storage and cleverly etched spaces to hide things like blow dryers and curling irons. "We designed the master bath with my needs in mind, and it's my favorite space. I love that it's so spacious and organized - also, the shower is perfect and really beautiful," said Jamie Evenson.
While Nate works for Microsoft, Jamie Evenson is the founder and CEO of Najaxa Software. Look closely at the company name and you'll see she cleverly combined Nate, Jamie, and Xander, their nine-and-a-half-year-old Biewer Terrier. "For the past five years, it's really been the best of both worlds. We don't love being in either place all year round, plus, Jamie has a lot of business in the southwest, so it works well to have both places," explained Nate Evenson.
With the Evenson's career-driven priorities in mind, the team designed their home's exterior using durable commercial-grade and low maintenance materials, such as architectural metal panels and a wood-look aluminum. To ensure all of the home's functions were accessible from afar, they worked with Smart Home Technologies to set up a system to control everything from audio, security, utilities and the Crestron lighting controls. "We also made sure they didn't have to use various apps to control the features; they're all integrated under one platform," said Reid.
"The success of every project is about putting together the right team for the good of the client - that really makes all the difference. But, also being dedicated to working together on the interior design, structural integrity, and all of the areas that need to come together," explained Reid. "Clients play a key role in the process, and even though they weren't physically here, Nate and Jamie made it really easy to do our job well."
Find the Finishes:
For more information, contact:
1 - 2nd St. N., #122, Fargo
422 37th Ave South, Moorhead
Brandi Youngmark Interior Design
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