Looking Back & Booking Forward
[ The Pines by Grain Designs ]
Story by Tracy Nicholson
Venue Photography by Dan Francis Photography, House photography by M.Schleif Photography and Dan Francis Photography, with wedding/event photography by Nicole Midwest, Haley Frost Creative and Taylor Jane Photography. Renderings by Grain Designs / Transparent venue image by Exposure Creative Group, Jay Evans, Off Color Productions
Last June, we introduced you to Grain Designs' plans for their new wedding and event venue, The Pines. Located on 17 acres of rural land including a shop and the property's house and grain silos, the team successfully "married" their woodworking talents with their eye for architectural design. With a big dream, an open field, and a little creative craftsmanship, the land they'd come to love became a destination where love blossomed every weekend. This month, we'll walk you through the latest updates, then take you on a tour of the property's revamped house turned on-site, wedding party retreat.
Field of (their) Dreams
In roughly four months, Grain Designs had used their architectural and design expertise to transform empty acreage into a spectacular destination. Fittingly, the first couple to get hitched at The Pines, last September, was Grain Design's own, Pat Bresnahan and his now-wife, Nicolette. This year, the team came full circle, proving that they can host any type of event from shopping markets, speaker series, corporate meetings and retreats, holiday parties and all occasions in between. They've made every inch of their space an experience, while modernizing the property with creative features like the handmade arch and massive wood barn doors suspended between grain bins.
To complete their 9,000 square-foot vision, the team worked with Epic Homes, Differding Electric and Zulauf Construction. Inside the venue, the team worked with Trever Hill Design on finishes and fixtures to radiate timeless appeal. Crisp white, board and batten walls steal the show, but contemporary farmhouse finishes, and beautiful, handcrafted elements from Grain Designs make their space uniquely their own.
"It's been really rewarding; the process of building the venue and renovating the house was a lot of work; many 80 hour weeks for us, so we didn't initially have time to take it all in. To now see people out here enjoying it every weekend is really humbling and gratifying," said co-founder, Blain Mikkonen. "It's fun to see the entire vision come together. We've gotten to see the power of collaboration, in how getting the right people in the right place makes good things happen. We were really happy with designing the building and how that turned out, but it wouldn't be what it is without great staff."
A Welcoming Home for Bridal Bliss
When the Grain Designs team first acquired the countryside property, they ran their woodworking and furniture design business out of the shops, but weren't entirely sure what to do with the adjacent house. Starting on the exterior, the Grain Designs team updated the outdated features and painted the home a farmhouse blue by Magnolia. The in-ground pool, decks, landscaping and patios have all been upgraded to set the perfect bridal party scene.
For the interior, the team hired designer Trever Hill to rethink the layout of the home, choose paint and finishes, then help to design a true bridal suite. The team also worked closely with Maria Bosak of Eco Chic Home to give the retreat an elegant, farmhouse appeal with thoughtful furnishings and decor. Since the house is only a few skips away from the venue, it's become the perfect on-site addition, designed for the wedding party to escape to throughout the big day.
Privacy, Prep & the Powder Room
Over the last year, the entire house was given an upgrade with new paint, flooring, lighting and furnishings. The majority of the furnishings hail from Eco Chic Home and their own Grain Designs retail store, while others, like the farmhouse dining table, "Love" art, candle block and shuffleboard table, are handcrafted by their team.
For the main floor bathroom, Nicolette Bresnahan and Grain Designs collaborated with Ashley Bakkegard of Brushed Interiors to do a complete overhaul on the smaller space. Making use of the existing textured wall covering, Brushed Interiors gave the retro design a fresh look with a lighter tone before refinishing the outdated oak cabinetry in a cool grey tone.
The main floor now features a redesigned family room, dining room, kitchen, bathroom, private mother’s room and nursery, groom's room and living room. The kitchen, which only needed minimal updates to its cherry wood facade, received simple cosmetic upgrades such as new lighting and decor. Upstairs, the team refinished the stairwell, adding white shiplap walls which lead to a stunning, private bridal suite.
Private Bridal Suite
With the demo of the original bedroom walls upstairs, the team worked with Dahl Construction, Trever Hill Design, and Eco Chic Home to redesign the space creating a new bathroom, custom stair railing, and a spacious bridal suite. The suite welcomes guests with a chalkboard paint wall which offers a creative backdrop for intimate photography sessions. Throughout the space, they've included mirrored, marble vanities, extra outlets and dress hooks to accommodate both hair and makeup stylists.
“The feedback on the farmhouse has been incredibly positive! It fills my heart knowing that our guests get to relax and enjoy their day in a space that is equally beautiful and functional,“ said Events Coordinator, Emily Finley. “Collectively, Eco Chic, Trever Hill, and Grain Designs exceeded my most optimistic expectations with the entire farmhouse execution. It’s the perfect complement to the Event Center and such an appreciated inclusion in our wedding packages.”
As the co-management team, Neil Gilbertson and Emily Finley came to The Pines with around 10 years of experience in event planning - together they have coordinated around 475 weddings and countless corporate functions. "Recently, there was a 10-day span where we were booked back-to-back with incredibly distinct events and unique layouts. Each event had different themes, vendors, food and beverage details and timelines. Successfully navigating those transitions really speaks to the tenacity of our entire staff; we are definitely blessed with hard workers, and attentive, good people,” said Finley.
Beyond weddings, their first year included an array of events such as Ladies Night Out, Eco Chic's Christmas Market, the Ladyboss FM Summit, Patrick Kirby's Do Gooders Conference, The White House Co.'s To Have & To Hold live wedding show, gatherings with Sanford and FBS -Flexmls, a Celebration of Life, Pink It Forward Purse BINGO and the list goes on.
Save the Date: The Pines
Although bride and grooms have booked dates out as far as September of 2021, according to the venue's event coordinator, Emily Finley, there are still a small handful of creative dates open for May through October of 2020. Since corporate parties and retreats typically take place during the week, the flexibility on these dates are easier to obtain, but early reservations are still highly encouraged.
Not able to visit the property in-person? Head to the website and take a virtual tour of the event center and the house. You can also obtain preferred vendor lists, date availability, and packages by inquiring via the website, calling, texting or emailing.
The Pines offers on-site catering through Chef's Table Catering and they have a partnership with Hilton Garden Inn for lodging and reserving room blocks - even collectively offering the bride and groom a complimentary suite.
Find the Finishes: The Pines House
Find the Finishes: The Pines Venue
For more information, contact:
The Pines Weddings & Events
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