[ Monica Hart Interior Design ]
Story by Alexis Swenson
Photography by Micah Zimmerman, Amdak Productions
3-D Renderings by Max Pickett, MHID
When Jon and Lisa Hanson decided to complete their home's basement, contacting Monica Hart Interior Design, was at the top of their list. The family had lived in their South Fargo home for over six years, working with Hart to complete the design upstairs, as well as the interior design of their lake home. While the Hansons requested a brighter and more modern upstairs, they felt the downstairs needed a little more drama, starting from scratch to create a modern, rustic-inspired space with equal parts drama and function. This month, we'll take you underground for a tour of the family's newly completed basement, with the help of Hart and her design assistant, Max Pickett.
Since the Hansons had previously worked with Monica Hart Interior Design (MHID), they knew the process would be effortless. "She was our son’s confirmation teacher for four years, and Jon has known Monica for many years - so, we have a history. We all know each other well and are all on the same wavelength when it comes to design,” said Lisa Hanson.
The main project goals included being able to seat 15 people comfortably in the family room, as well as achieving a completely different look and feel than the more modern, clean look of the upstairs. “We wanted something cozy, homey and warm. We also wanted more space for our two kids to hang out; when they have friends over we don’t want to feel like we’re on top of each other,” said Lisa Hanson.
Anything but Basic Bar
Just beyond the stairs, the bar area makes a stunning first impression with its one-of-a-kind lighting and fusion of warm and cool tones. The bar is designed to be fully functional with a sink, full refrigerator, freezer and ample cabinet storage. A Cambria countertop, featuring just a hint of sparkle, flanks the nearly 12-foot island and perimeter with floating bar shelves.
While Hart found the bar stools and much of the room's furniture at HOM Furniture, Lisa Hanson spotted the elaborate lighting display on Pinterest. Crafted in Colorado, the industrial-inspired fixture was custom created to showcase real antlers, repurposed pulleys, reclaimed railroad ties, and an abstract hanging of varying Edison bulbs.
Look up even further to find tin tiles, custom-designed to mimic the look of a dropped ceiling. “The room has a more modern, industrial look, so I wanted the tin to be really clean looking. I didn’t want anything too ornate. Jon suggested we add thin borders between the tiles and I think it worked out beautifully,” said Hart.
Continuing their fusion of organic and industrial warmth, they chose galvanized metal sconces to the left of the bar and stacked slate from Hebron Brick to the right. The room's finale is a fantastic, embossed Rock and Croc wallcovering, sourced from MHID; a subtle texture that's showcased behind the 75-inch TV and also behind the bar.
From Napa to North Dakota
The wine cellar features a thin-brick, double arch with another arch extending to a tunnel designed with a nook to display a traditional, vintners wine opener. Inside the wine cellar, they chose a dark walnut wood to give the smaller space a rich, and moody ambiance. It was Lisa Hanson's vision to capture the style they'd seen in different wineries while they were in Napa. To recreate the look, she spent time researching ideas on Houzz, figuring out how to achieve the most authentic feel.
Magnificent Man Cave
While Jon Hanson's "man cave" was intended to be a space of his own, it's quickly become a favorite hang out for the entire family. With two 65-inch TVs, a massage chair, and a custom poker table, this room is every man's dream. To display his most treasured sports memorabilia, they had a custom wire and glass display case made by Frontier Glass.
To help define the space, MHID used a hammered metal-looking wallcovering behind the double TVs and chose a dark wall color to offset it.
Precision Style Poker
In the furthest area of the man cave, the biggest draw is a custom-built poker table designed by the Hansons and MHID, through a company in Los Angeles, C.A. Since Jon Hanson is the co-owner of Precision Plumbing, they opted to have the Precision logo imprinted on the center of the table, and inset LED lighting installed underneath. Monica and Lisa found the seating for six at HOM Furniture and the lighting at Valley Lights.
Black stained wood paneling rises three-quarters of the way up the walls and is topped by a tan Stella wallcovering from MHID that resembles delicately stitched leather. “We chose a darker paint color on the ceiling to make the space a little more intimate and brooding,” said Hart.
Polished Powder Room
In the powder room off the man cave, Monica and Lisa chose sleek black plumbing with a hairpin leg vanity and coordinating mirror through Ferguson Bath, Kitchen, and Lighting Gallery. Black granite and an asymmetrical gold vessel sink give the space a masculine vibe, while a grey Rock and Croc wallcovering further enhance the drama.
Function & Family
One of the initial goals was to figure out a way to seat 15 in their family room while working with an 85-inch TV display. MHID overachieved, finding seating for 16 via cleverly placed swivel chairs, a sectional, sofa, and hair on hide poufs. Through properly placed furnishings, accessories, and an oversized rug, Hart and Pickett were able to create beautiful and functional flow in the wide-open space.
To design a feature wall, they chose a larger, linear fireplace by Hebron Brick with a dark, gunmetal grey paint, surrounded by stacked stone, LED lighting and floating shelves. While MHID sourced the room's artwork, pillows, and some of the accessories, the greenery, rug, and other accessories were found at SCHEEL’s Home & Hardware and HomeGoods.
Reflecting on the Redesign
For both Hart and the Hansons, the project serves as a fun expression of creating a comfortable space for hosting, while playing with different design elements. “I think it's amazing that we have so many different things, yet they all meld perfectly. Between the countertop, lighting, ceiling tin, and the wallcoverings, you'd think it would be too much, but somehow, it all works,” said Lisa Hanson.
“They are so wonderful to work with," said Hart. "I’m so grateful they trusted me and asked me to be a part of this. It was an incredible opportunity to get to do something so fun and different. Everybody that comes down here instantly feels comfortable and at home; it means a lot to me to be a part of that. It’s not just for looks; it’s for using and being really functional and cozy."
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Monica Hart Interior Design
Midwest Nest Magazine features home designs in its monthly print and online publication.