Design & Living December/January 2021

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'Tis the Season


Ask the Expert: Delta Design


Designing with Joy


Form & Function with Jackson Strom


Building with the Mullers: Phase VII


Art Feature: Steve Revland

'Tis the season for holiday decorating and gift-giving. The Design & Living shopping guide is your key to all things merry and local. Whether you're searching for that final gift or decking the halls of your home, we've got you covered. All of the featured pieces are from shops and boutiques in Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo to keep your spending local and shopping effortless.

Have you ever wanted to get in the mind of an industry expert? In this ongoing series, we sit down with experts of a certain field and get answers to some frequently asked questions. This month, we spoke with Tom Erickson of Delta Design and learned all about starting a home remodeling project.

In each issue of Design & Living, residential and commercial designer Christen Anderson of Live Christen Joy showcases a joyful project of hers. This month, Anderson reveals "The Paul and Babe," a Minnesota lake retreat that maximizes style and storage space.

ON THE COVER Cutting Board by Habitat Woodworking from Holland's, Metal Deer from Burlap Rustic Chic Boutique and an Evergreen Branch from Eco Chic Home make up a spread of holiday shopping ideas. See page 28 for our full winter shopping guide.

Architect Jackson Strom of Strom Architecture dives into a different, important design discussion each month. This month, Strom provides insight on what to consider when designing a functional and beautiful kitchen.

In the final installment of our recurring series following a custom home build from start to finish, we follow the Muller family as they work with Benjamin Custom Homes.

Steve Revland has been designing and building sculptural furniture for over 50 years. With a guiding principle to inspire joy upon entering a room, Revland describes his work process, which he is continually reinventing.

For more exclusive, original content,

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM @designandlivingmagazine


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The holidays will look different this year from what we are used to. Now more than ever, the home has become a very important space. More people are spending an increased amount of time at home, so why not pamper your abode a little extra this year. Within this holiday shopping guide, you will find locally-sourced, charming decor items for your home, gift inspiration for your loved ones and maybe even some ways to treat yourself. It feels appropriate that my first issue of Design & Living is ringing in the holiday season. I'm Jack Hastings and I'm the new editor of Design & Living. I'm very much excited to begin this adventure and carry on past editors' pursuit of discovering emerging design trends and sharing home and lifestyle inspiration with our readers. With this issue, I wanted to seek out pieces that could provide a little extra joy to help turn your home into a sanctuary. This year especially, I have learned that building your home around what

you love is an investment well made. The home is an externalization of what makes you, well, you. You go home every day, so make it a place that inspires happiness and relaxation. Sometimes the simplest pleasure is retreating to your home after a long day and appreciating the space you've created. As I ran around town selecting items for the shopping guide, I was in awe of all the holiday displays and effort local business owners have put into curating collections of whimsical and charming holiday goods. Although, I was struck more by the resiliency of our community's small business owners. This year has been a challenge, but you wouldn't know it from walking into any of these stores. Many of these local businesses are offering alternatives to traditional shopping, such as ordering over the phone or online to help ensure the health and safety of our community. By shopping small, you're not only supporting local businesses but also the artists and makers whose

wares are showcased in these stores. Dressing up your home while supporting our vibrant community sounds like a win-win situation to me! 'Tis the season for hospitality, comfort and warmth. Show kindness to your neighbors by donning a mask to shop in person or cozying up to shop from the solace of home. Just because the holiday season looks different this year doesn't mean it has to feel any different. Happy Holidays,


DECEMBER/JANUARY 2021 Design & Living Magazine is a free publication distributed six times a year. Our mission is to showcase all that the Red River Valley has to offer in terms of interior design, architecture and landscaping, profiling the people that make these possible. We also strive to provide a quality and fun reading experience and improve the way of life in our community. The publication is mailed to homes across the US and has stand distribution throughout North Dakota and Minnesota.


EDITORIAL Editorial Team Lead Editor Photographer

Mike Dragosavich

Nolan Schmidt Jack Hastings Nolan P. Schmidt, Josiah Kopp

Creative Strategist

Josiah Kopp

Graphic Designers

Christy German, Kim Cowles


INTERACTIVE Business Development Manager Videographers Executive Sales Assistant

Christen Anderson, Carlita Dietz, Alexandra Martin, Jackson Strom

Nick Schommer Tommy Uhlir, Laura Alexander Kellen Feeney

Graphic Designer

Ben Buchanan

Social Media Content Specialist

Emma Bonnet

ADVERTISING Senior Sales Executive Sales Representative Senior Business Development Client Relations

Paul Hoefer Al Anderson Judy Schwark Jenny Johnson

Senior Leader of Digital Solutions

Brady Sprague

ADMINISTRATION VP of Human Resources

Colleen Dreyer

Account Strategist

Cassie Wiste


John Stuber

Design & Living Magazine is published by Spotlight, LLC. Copyright 2020 Design & Living Magazine & All rights reserved. No parts of this magazine may be reproduced or distributed without written permission of Design & Living Magazine and Spotlight, LLC is not responsible for, and expressly disclaims all liability for, damages of any kind arising out of use, reference to, or reliance on such information. Spotlight, LLC accepts no liability for the accuracy of statements made by the advertisers.

ADVERTISING: 701-478-SPOT (7768) Send change of address information and other correspondence to: Spotlight, LLC 15 Broadway N. Suite 500, Fargo, ND 58102 or

DESIGN & LIVING TEAM At Design & Living Magazine, our goal is to create a publication that is just as much fun to read as it is to view. Here are the writers, designers, photographers and contributors who so affably use their time and talents to tell a story and give our pages purpose.


Nolan is the Co-Editor of Fargo Monthly and the Editor of Spotlight Media's Bison Illustrated publication. He is originally from Bismarck, N.D. and is a proud graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead.


German is the marketing designer for Spotlight Media. She is a native of Watertown, S.D. and Northern State University graduate with a BFA with an emphasis in Graphic Design. In addition to designing marketing materials for print, she also is the graphic designer behind Design & Living.


Alexandra Martin is the former editor of Design + Living and Fargo Monthly. She hails from Huntsville, Alabama, and graduated from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, with a degree in Fashion Communications. When she's not in the office, she is busy taking care of her small zoo of pets, cooking up vegetables or listening to true-crime podcasts.


With over a decade of experience, Strom’s passion for the architectural profession led him to found Strom Architecture in 2019. Within his new firm, Strom Architecture strives to elevate the ordinary elements that exist in all projects. Outside of the office, Jackson loves to spend time with his wife, Lindsey, and their son, Sully.


Anderson is a Minnesota native with an eye for decor and design. She is the owner of Live Christen Joy and is known for her exceptional remodels, expert staging and accessorizing high-end living spaces. Anderson is also a passionate art collector, world traveler and home cook who frequently entertains friends.

MEET OUR TEAM AT BRADY - Digital Solutions

PAUL - Sales JUDY - Sales

CHRISTY - Design EMMA - Social Media

BEN - Design

AL - Sales JOSIAH - Editorial

LAURA - Videography COLLEEN - HR & Operations


NICK - Digital Services

JENNY - Client Relations TOMMY - Videography

JOHN - Distribution NOLAN - Editorial

BRADY - Editorial KIM - Design

JACK - Editorial

KELLEN - Digital Services

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by Carlita Dietz, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Premier Properties Home Builders Care Foundation President


’ve got some awesome news to share and it involves future construction industry leaders! Every year, Home Builders Care of F-M Foundation awards scholarships to students working toward careers in the trades and construction industry. This year, the Foundation presented $1,500 scholarships to post-secondary students from three schools.

Carlita Dietz is the current Home Builders Care of F-M Foundation president. She is a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Premier Properties and owns Jay Dietz Construction, Inc., with her husband.

Home Builders Care of F-M Foundation




Entzi attends Minnesota State Community and Technical College for construction management. He works at D&M Industries as a part-time hospitality estimator. In five years, Entzi hopes to be working for a remodeling contractor or operate his own remodeling business.

Homan is pursuing a degree in construction management at North Dakota State University. Last summer, he interned with Ryan Companies in Minneapolis and enjoyed his time there. In the future, Homan wants to become a project manager within an industrial, healthcare or senior living sector.

Januszewski graduated in 2019 from Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Detroit Lakes with an associate's degree in architectural drafting. Now, she is pursuing a major in construction management at Minnesota State University Moorhead. Januszewski currently interns for Wanzek Construction as an estimator. After graduation, she wants to work in drafting or project management or continue working as an estimator.

Visit for more information on Home Builders Care Foundation’s scholarship program and to access a video of this year’s scholarship presentation.


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Impacting our community through building projects, empowering students and shaping the future workforce.

For more information, contact: HomeBuildersCare


Spotlight's Other Magazines

It's that time of year again. The time of year where family and friends come together to celebrate the holidays. In most cases, this celebration takes place at the table with no shortage of food and drink to consume. To honor that timeless tradition, we asked local chefs to provide some of their favorite holiday recipes for you to make at home. No longer will you have to scramble to figure out what to make for the holidays. Enjoy our FargoMoorhead cooking guide and help it guide you through your holiday at home.

In relation to the rest of the country, North Dakota is considered "small". Within this "small" state are towns and cities that were built on hard work. They have passed down the gift of hard work and perseverance from generation to generation, carrying these North Dakota towns into the future. The population may label them as "small town" North Dakota, but the life within these areas is anything but minuscule. North Dakota State seems to find top-tier student-athletes in these areas. With the value of hard work instilled in them, they consistently thrive in Fargo. They are the pride of the prairie.

It's said too much around here and sounds cheesy, but the people really are what sets Fargo apart. In this month's magazine, we introduce you to a new member of the community, new Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce CEO and President Shannon Full, while taking a look back on the year that was in Fargo INC!





From the first nail to the last fixture, a home remodel requires experienced professionals in the construction industry with knowledge of homes typical to the area. Tom Erickson of Delta Design has been behind many of the Fargo-Moorhead community’s residential and commercial remodels. With over 35 years of experience in the industry, Erickson and his team have developed a thorough understanding of the design considerations needed to create a remodel that meets or surpasses the homeowners’ construction goals and maximizes the utility and beauty of the original space. Erickson shares his expertise and advice for launching a home remodeling project and how Delta Design can help on your next adventure and exceed expectations.

Delta Design & Construction 100 16th St N, Fargo


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What services do you offer at Delta Design & Construction? We offer expertise in two areas of residential and commercial contracting, specializing in remodeling. One area is custom design and remodeling and the other is insurance repair. We have extensive project experience in the entire design life cycle in both of these areas, from concept design and working with insurance adjusters, to material selection and all the way through the construction process.

Our remodeling process utilizes computer 3-D renderings to take clients through the entire design process of the remodel. This way clients can visualize the project before committing to a certain approach. We typically work with larger remodels that encompass a bigger portion of the home that requires more attention and varied expertise. We are usually working with kitchens, bathrooms, basements, additions, second-story additions and other remodeling projects of a larger scale. We have also completed smaller, more


detailed remodeling projects in the area. The insurance repair side of Delta Design interacts with the remodeling side. Homeowners will contact us to repair something that was damaged and will see the potential for further improvements in their homes or commercial spaces. We then perform the proper repairs in conjunction with coordinating a remodel. What is something that sets you apart in the industry? My employees, like myself, are unique in that they have a lot of detailed experience in many different aspects of remodeling. They know all of the components it takes to create and execute a successful remodel. I’ve been doing this long enough in Fargo-Moorhead that when we open up something, I will typically know what’s going to be in there, just going off of the age of the house. We know what to predict and that just comes from our experience, which in turn helps the project go smoother. How do you work alongside your customers to make their visions come to life? The design portion is very crucial if you're going to do a larger remodeling project. We use our design rendering software to first design a mock-up solution that best serves the client’s needs. From there, we pick out all the materials, taking into consideration the quality and performance of these materials and also what they bring to the space visually. This task requires an experienced eye, and we are able to recommend products that can best serve the client’s needs and values. It can be very time-consuming to

pick out everything from tile grout color, to cabinet knobs and countertops, but we pick all that out together so we can select materials that align with the client’s budget without compromising their goals for the remodel. From there, we put the numbers together from what they picked out. We collaborate with the client during this entire process to ensure the remodel meets or exceeds their expectations. You've been in this business for a while. What got you into the field and kept you here? I worked with a small construction company in my hometown part-time beginning in 1982. I then went to NDSU to be an architectural engineer. After one year in the program, I decided to become an industrial arts teacher with a construction management minor and worked my way through college as a framer in the construction industry building homes. From there, I went into the remodeling business with a local remodeling firm and have been doing this since 1987. Remodeling is very different from custom home construction. It requires different skill sets and considerations because the family is still in their home, so you have to be considerate of them while still moving ahead on the remodel. It is very gratifying to see what you have accomplished at the end of the day.

You have to ask yourself, “How long are you going to stay there?” and “How much money do you want to put into the house?” When people ask this question, I usually ask how long they want to live there. If they come back uncertain, I'll be honest and say I wouldn't do a large remodel. It’s a hard thing to ask yourself if you're only looking at it as an investment or a way of life. If they love their neighborhood, the area and the location, then it's less about the house itself and more about the life situation that they have come to. Many people remodel later in their life for many reasons. They now want it for themselves or to make their home nicer and bigger for when their kids or grandkids visit for special occasions. What are some of your favorite elements you've seen trending? We’ve seen a lot of kitchen remodels centralizing around an open floorplan. Most clients like the open floorplan, kitchens aren’t boxed-in anymore. They want an area where they can entertain, where they can congregate with the kids while preparing supper. The design of the remodel is primarily informed by the family’s values.

Delta Design has also worked on many large walk-in tiled showers, with no door and multiple showerheads and body sprays. We have gotten away from the jacuzzi tubs of the '80s and '90s and have moved toward large walk-in showers as a more modern approach to introduce luxury design elements into their home. I also like second-story additions. Overall, it gives the homeowner more space with a better value, rather than having pay to add footings and foundation for a groundlevel addition. Why hire Delta Design & Construction? Experience. With our many years of experience, we know what to expect because that is all we do: Remodeling. Remodeling with style! I'm always going to be honest with our clients. I have plenty of experience in the field to answer any questions the client has and tell them what they should expect. From the very beginning of the design process, I want to make sure the client is happy and excited about the results. It’s all about establishing that trust and great communication with our clients. Beauty and quality by design, Delta Design.

What makes a good remodel candidate? What homes and clients are a good fit for a large-scale remodel? Many people will ask me if it’s worth putting money into their home, and it is a very hard question to answer. Many different factors need to be considered. 21


with joy


Pineapples and Barbies for Christmas: THE PAUL AND BABE BY Christen Anderson | PHOTOS BY Hillary Ehlen


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THE NEW HOME PROJECT With the current world we are living in, we’re seeing a trend of people investing more in their homes and vacation homes as we’re spending most of our time in these spaces. This includes, of course in the Midwest, lake homes. This late summer and fall I worked with a Washington D.C.-based client who recently purchased a property in Minnesota lake country. She found it was becoming her more permanent home away from home and was ready to add her own personal style throughout. Join me as we head to the lakes to take a look into The Paul and Babe Project and see just why I think it is babealicious! THE MASTER BEDROOM The master bedroom at the Paul and Babe is located on the main floor right after walking through the kitchen and living room, which have expansive and breathtaking views of the blue waves of the lake. The master is quaint — the wall the bed sits on is roughly 118 inches long and the longer wall with the door is 172 inches with a bump-out. The floor has a rustic look and feel with its greige tones and the ceiling is a rustic shiplap with noticeable knots. Two windows and a closet complete the tour of the space at the beginning of the design process. A few needs arose as it became more apparent the client would be staying here for a longer period of time — more storage, a queen-sized bed (as a question, can we fit it?), additional lighting, a rug to break up the flooring and a TV that could swivel, as there was only one good wall for the TV and it didn’t face the bed. Oh, and we must make it fun! This client clearly enjoyed and respected the design process, giving me creative freedom to dream up the best design that fits for her. THE DESIGN We had a few key components I had to work with that needed to be included from the start — the queen-sized bed (yep, it will fit) and storage needs. With that, I started the layout with hopes and dreams of what could potentially fit. First, nightstands. We did not have a ton of room, 24 inches wide max, but we could fit a nightstand on each side of the bed if we found the perfect size. I had hoped to find one with drawers that could be additional storage should we need it — think swimsuits, socks, pajamas. Next, a dresser. We only had room for a 36-inch-wide dresser with already a smaller than preferred three-foot walkway. Finally, I planned on a tall cabinet in the nook near the entryway. The space was too narrow for another dresser and this could be the perfect solution for more storage. Below the bed, a large rug; above the dresser, a TV on a mobile arm; and behind the door, a full-length mirror.


THE LOOK AND FEEL Next up was locking down on a look and feel that we would use for selections. Since it’s a vacation home, I knew we could play a bit more since it’s a space you come to let your hair down, unwind and enjoy the little luxuries that make you smile and laugh a bit! Here are a few things I proposed to incorporate: • • •

Bring in texture via the bed, nightstands and grasscloth wallpaper. Layer in interest through fun lighting elements. Another option could be sconces. Complement the warm, cozy cabin feel by using selections that are not overly loud but still have a wow-factor to them. Think muted colors, textures, layers of yummy fabrics and brass "jewelry" in the space.

Supporting my look and feel, I pulled together a few broad selections to see where we had a knee-jerk reaction of "love that!" and the potential "okay, not that!" Either way, it's helpful to know. After this meeting, we were able to create a list that was the North Star of our look and feel. Here is a peek into that list: •

Loves – artwork, grasscloth, the idea of a window treatment refresh, monogramming, not opposed to overlapping the window with the headboard a bit, a large rug for her puppy. No thanks – upholstered bed, scalloped edges, or mint colors (See why this is important? Great nuggets to know!)

THE FUN REALLY BEGINS – SELECTIONS Wallpaper — this was going to kick off the room selections, so it needed to be right. Multiple soft pink grasscloth samples were selected as options, finally nailing down the perfect shade that was not too bright or too red. We hugged all the walls with this beautiful grasscloth knowing it would be soft with a clear presence. Next, large pieces of furniture! The bed made from rattan and raffia was both casual and striking. It overlapped the window a tish but not an uncomfortable amount. To complement the rattan, I found white nightstands with a hint of texture and brass "jewelry" (hardware) to start to pull in a bit of sizzle to the space. Though it was only a single drawer, we had no concerns with this considering what we found next.


The cabinet we found to tuck into the corner was PERFECT! 72 inches high and 36 inches wide, it had four shelves that were eager to be filled with Vineyard Vines, Lily Pulitzer and cozy winter sweaters should the storage space be needed. Another win, brass knobs to continue our brass metal theme. Lastly, we opted for a white dresser to balance out the natural materials of the bed and cabinet. In a faux Belgian linen, the white is anything but ordinary and the brass knobs are a shiny reminder of that. While selecting the furniture pieces we also came upon a fantastic mirror that was even larger than your average "full length" — 72 inches high and 24 inches wide — it fit like a glove behind the door and, you guessed it, was rimmed in brass to ensure the other neighboring selections would approve. Let there be light! My client already knew she had to have lamps that are truly their own artwork. We opted for a matte white color to complement the room’s aesthetic and then paired the two beauties with a flush mount, beaded and brass light fixture that would be sure to balance out the lamps' favoritism based on looks alone! Let there be time for sleep! We agreed on blackout window treatments to ensure a great night’s sleep. Though, these treatments would be nothing that would put you to sleep. Linen "Pineapples Chintz" fabric layers in both comfort and luxury. As you look at the treatments, see how the valance and the roman align? The detail that had gone into constructing these is incredible and beautiful. Based on a rare 18th-century Indian document, the delicate fruit is placed against a solid background for a head-turning effect. Fun fact, pineapples are the symbol of hospitality, according to Schumacher design house. I love this as my client oozes hospitality and generosity and, I must agree, it has quite the effect.


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A large rug with soft blues was a nice introduction of a new color, which we also pulled into the bedding. The bedding adorned with duo stripes, carefully selected "Anna" font for the monogram detail and a quilt in solid blue ensured the blue did not feel unwelcomed in the space. The bed also doubled as a space her pup would for sure enjoy extra cuddles in! The room would not have been complete without a bit of sand and waves. After seeing the three Barbie girlfriends enjoying a carefree day on the beach — we knew it was the perfect piece. With the addition of a brass bamboo frame, it was ready for its new home.

Meet Christen Anderson of Christen Joy: Inspired Interiors & Events Anderson is a Minnesota native with an eye for decor and design. Christen Joy specializes in new-construction commercial projects, exceptional remodels, furnishing high-end living spaces and creating memorable special events. Anderson is also a passionate art collector, world traveler and home cook who frequently entertains for friends.

TIME TO TURN DOWN THE SHEETS AND SAY GOODBYE! The Paul and Babe has become a bit more babealicious, if I may, with this beautiful transformation of a traditional lake home bedroom into a space that feels like a slice of Palm Beach meets Lake Life. At the end of the day, we succeeded in meeting our client’s needs, needs that have shifted a bit with our new normal, and that is what makes us the most joyful at the end of a project.

Join me on Instagram and Facebook to see my latest projects and email me at for design inquires.


BY Jack Hastings | PHOTOS BY Nolan Schmidt



'Tis the season for holiday decorating and gift-giving. The Design & Living shopping guide is your key to all things merry and local. Although the holidays may look a little different this year, it is still just as important to bring joy into your home and safely surround yourself with the ones you love. Whether you're searching for that final gift or decking the halls of your home, we've got you covered. All of the following pieces are from shops and boutiques in Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo to keep your spending local and shopping effortless. There's no place like home for the holidays, so bring some extra joy and holiday spirit into your home with a little help from our annual shopping guide.


Cutting Board by Habitat Woodworking Holland's $38


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Cheese Board by Habitat Woodworking Holland's $18

Floral Bowl Burlap Rustic Chic Boutique $11

Floral Plate Burlap Rustic Chic Boutique $18

Brass Bell with Leather Strap McNeal & Friends $26


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Floral Mug Burlap Rustic Chic Boutique $13

Gold Glass Lantern O'Day Cache $35

Faux Tree with Paper Wrapper Burlap Rustic Chic Boutique $6

Metal Deer Burlap Rustic Chic Boutique $8

Felt Wreath with Berries Burlap Rustic Chic Boutique $13

Mushroom Nutcracker Stabo $19.75


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Citrus Floral Recipe Box Eco Chic Home $34

Round Salt & Pepper Shaker Eco Chic Home $12

Cutting Board Eco Chic Home $45


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Citrus Floral Market Pad Eco Chic Home $9.50

Citrus Floral Recipe Cards Eco Chic Home $10


Viski Crystal Mixing Glass Baker Garden & Gift $34.99 Viski Beechwood Muddler Baker Garden & Gift $14.99

Wood Stove Mulling Syrup Baker Garden & Gift $13.99

Wood Stove Hot Toddy Baker Garden & Gift $13.99


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BruMate Wine Tumbler Mint + Basil $19.99

Medium Spectrum Tree - Winter Green McNeal & Friends $10 Small Spectrum Tree - Winter Green McNeal & Friends $6


Berry & Thread North Pole Scalloped Dessert Plate McNeal & Friends $188 - Set of 4 Puro White Dinner Plate McNeal & Friends $30

Berry & Thread North Pole Napkin McNeal & Friends $15

Isadora Evergreen Placemat McNeal & Friends $35

Table Runner Stabo $47.50


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Rising Dawn Ceramic Mug Baker Garden & Gift $28 Rising Dawn Ceramic Spoon Rest Baker Garden & Gift $10

Holiday Cloth Napkin Burlap Rustic Chic Boutique $5

Mouse Lamp O'Day Cache $29.99

Cotton Tea Towel Burlap Rustic Chic Boutique $7

“Let It Snow” Pillow McNeal & Friends $49 Flurries Frosted Tree Pillow McNeal & Friends $49

“Living My Best Life” Mug Eco Chic Home $13 43

Illume Balsam & Cedar Candle McNeal & Friends $28

Nest Holiday Scented Candle McNeal & Friends $42

Natural Soy Candle Holland's $14.99

Thymes Fraiser Fir Candle Eco Chic Home $29.99

6” Flocked Tree Eco Chic Home $7

2” Porcelain Tree Eco Chic Home $2.50

Fabric Cone Tree on Wood Base Holland's $10, $16

Flocked Tree Eco Chic Home $15

Gnome Holland's $9

Red Wood Bead Garland Eco Chic Home $15

Soberdough Artisan Beer Bread Mix Mint + Basil $10

Fern Favorite Sweater Candle Mint + Basil $24

Bee’s Wrap Food Wrap Mint + Basil $21


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Creative Co-op Dish Cloth Mint + Basil $15

Everything on Everything Seasoning Mint + Basil $6

Savannah Bee Lotion Mint + Basil $16

Le Bon Shoppe Her Socks Mint + Basil $12

Rising Dawn Ceramic Hair Clips Baker Garden & Gift $8

Via Mercato Peach, Fig, Blossom, Rose Liquid Soap Zandbroz $16.50 Via Mercato Peach, Fig, Blossom, Rose Bar Soap Zandbroz $8.95

Gnome Coaster by Hello Lucy Unglued $12

Rising Dawn Ceramic Earrings Baker Garden & Gift $8


Wild Rose Notebook, Set of 3 Eco Chic Home $15

Howard Soap Co. Bath Salts Eco Chic Home $14


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Pot with Wooden Legs O'Day Cache $14.95

Howard Soap Co. Body Scrub Eco Chic Home $18

Candy Cane Ornament Handpicked Goods $2.25 Hand-Painted Paper Mache Ornament Eco Chic Home $5

Acrylic Dove Ornament McNeal & Friends $40

Paper Tree Ornament Eco Chic Home $4

Plaid Ornament McNeal & Friends $10

Paper Ornament Handpicked Goods $2.50 Hand-Painted Paper Mache Ornament Eco Chic Home $5

Wood Snowflake Ornament Stabo $6 52

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3-D Printed Wood Chipper Ornament by Parker Jacobsen Unglued $12

3-D Printed Fargo Theatre Ornament by Parker Jacobsen Unglued $9


Pandemic Social Club Stickers by Sandwich Club Design Co. Unglued $6

Plant Pick by Jenny Sue Unglued $8

“Oxygen” Print by Designed by Hannah Unglued $20


DESIGN & LIVING | D EC E M B E R /J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 1 CONTACT US 701-361-2498 5622 53rd Ave. S. Fargo, ND 58104

Reserve your spot


the snow comes!

Always In Our Element 5 5

Mini Tree Burlap Rustic Chic Boutique $24 Pail Burlap Rustic Chic Boutique $28

Handwoven Basket O'Day Cache $11.95


Pom Pom Throw Burlap Rustic Chic Boutique $30

Flying Santa Lighted Water Lantern McNeal & Friends $55


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Ceramic Zipper Vase by Fermie Studios Unglued $28

Hansel House McNeal & Friends $30

3-D Crystal Ball, Moon O'Day Cache $32


Shag Fabric Tree Burlap Rustic Chic Boutique $14 Multicolored Felt Garland Burlap Rustic Chic Boutique $25 Pink Tealight House Burlap Rustic Chic Boutique $8


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creating the

ideal kitchen BY Jackson Strom, Principle Architect at Strom Architecture PHOTOS BY Jill Ockhardt Blaufuss Photography


rchitect Jackson Strom of Strom Architecture dives into a different, important design discussion each month. This month, Strom provides insight on what to consider when designing a functional and beautiful kitchen.


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With the holidays fast approaching, we wanted to share some of our thoughts and considerations that go into planning a room you will likely be spending a large portion of your time in during this season, the kitchen. As with most things in design, there are endless possibilities when it comes to planning a kitchen, but there are a few specific topics we tend to discuss more often with our clients. In this edition of Form & Function, we will review two areas that will not only help make your kitchen a great place to cook your next meal, but also help create a showpiece, welcoming guests and family. Layout Kitchens come in all shapes and sizes: galley, U-shape, island, etc. No matter the layout, we feel strongly that it should always feature the “work triangle.� The work triangle, which was developed in the 1940s, simply states that the cook should not have to take more than four to five steps between the three main work areas of the kitchen: the preparation (sink), food storage (refrigerator) and cooking (range). As this triangle also represents the traffic flow, nothing should block this circulation path. Keeping the work triangle in mind, we are often encouraged by our clients to include a large island in the design. Whether it is eating a meal, grabbing a snack or engaging in conversation while other family members cook, this is where the family tends to congregate. Like all other aspects of a home, the requests for the island design vary from client to client. In our past projects, islands have included any and all of the following: a sink, range, higher (42 inches) bar countertop, lower (30 inches) dining countertop or simply


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one large counter height slab. Put some thought into how you envision your island working best for you. Things to consider when laying out the kitchen: • Sink Location – Do you prefer to keep an eye on the family/guests (located at the island) or would you rather be looking out through a window (located at perimeter cabinetry)? • Island – Will the island be used mainly for congregating or prep work? If mainly for congregating, you may rather have your dishes pile up at a sink located at the perimeter cabinetry of your kitchen. If for prep work, it may be most convenient to locate the sink front and center at the island. • Range Location - As you approach the kitchen, is there an opportunity for a focal point, such as a decorative hood surround? We often try to develop a relationship between the island, range and lighting, ensuring they all complement each other. The range might be aligned with a fireplace that is located on the opposing wall of the great room, creating an opportunity for ceiling beam work to join the two,

ultimately tying the space together. Regardless of the style of your home, we suggest you study the layout and look for these hidden opportunities that may exist. Appliances Technology is continuously advancing our appliance options, but there are certain decisions that our clients are currently making when it comes to planning the kitchen. Many of these decisions revolve around the refrigerator and the range. Refrigeration In our opinion, there is nothing that makes your kitchen look sleeker than a built-in refrigerator. With sizes often ranging between 30 to 48 inches, these refrigerators sit flush with your cabinets and can include a front overlay panel, making these appliances disappear as they blend seamlessly into your cabinetry. Although pricey, we would encourage the builtin option if you’re considering one splurge to change the look and feel of your kitchen. If this is not an option for you, consider a freestanding counter-depth version that costs less, but provides a similar look.

Range The range has become the crown jewel of the kitchen. Whether it’s the custom color of a French luxury oven or the red knobs of a professional range, these appliances set the stage and help create the aesthetic in many of the kitchens we design today. Ranges at this top-tier are all high-performing, so with the specifications aside, our clients are often basing their decisions on the look of these beautiful appliances. One of our clients shared a story of an acquaintance who had a French oven delivered to her upper floor condo in NYC, and to the installer’s surprise, there was no gas line installed – the wife had known this, and instructed the installer slide it in and not notify her husband – although not functional, it still looked amazing! We are not advising you to install a gas range without a gas line, but are simply making a point that this look is a current desire in the kitchens we are designing! As with refrigerators, there are many appliance manufacturers that are making professional models that have a similar aesthetic of the higher-end options mentioned, without the price tag.

Things to consider when selecting appliances: • Mix and Match – There is nothing wrong with splurging on one or two high-end appliances, and allowing the rest to not break the bank. • Pocket the Fridge – One trick we often do with a counter-depth refrigerator is to create a small recess at the back wall (if there’s room), so that we can slide the refrigerator back a few inches, creating the sleek look of the built-in, without the additional cost. • Focus on the Hood – Regardless of the appliance package, the kitchen design can always be enhanced by an exhaust hood over the range. Whether it’s a stainless hood, or a hood insert with

wood or custom metal surround, this is a surefire way to bring a pop of flair to your kitchen. Conclusion There are endless possibilities to kitchen design, and as long as you start out with the right pieces in place, you will not go wrong. Spend the time upfront on your layout, and put some thought into your appliance package. There are still many options from here, but getting these two decisions right based on your lifestyle will set you up for success. Happy holidays!

With over a decade of experience, Strom’s passion for the architectural profession led him to found Strom Architecture in 2019. Within his new firm, Strom Architecture strives to elevate the ordinary elements that exist in all projects.


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Building with the Mullers: The Final Phase

BY Alexandra Martin PHOTOS PROVIDED BY Josiah Kopp


e’ve watched HGTV, we’ve created mood boards on Pinterest and we’ve, of course, carefully perused the pages of this very magazine to gather dream home inspiration. With such access to options and styles, many homeowners are attracted to the idea of going the custom home route, starting from scratch and having a hand in every step of the home-building process.

The Team Homeowners: Evan and Becky Muller Builder: Benjamin Custom Homes Realtor: Mari Santoyo Perry- SoliMar Real Estate- BHHS Premier Properties


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But where do you even start? Sure the idea of a custom home sounds great, but that certainly sounds like a big undertaking for a novice homeowner. If you’ve ever considered building a custom home, or are just curious about the process, this series is for you. Join Evan and Becky Muller as we follow them from beginning to end of all that goes into creating a custombuilt home.

PHASES I - VI In case you missed it … in the first six phases of “Building with the Mullers,” we discussed who the homeowners are, as well as everything from getting financially preapproved, choosing Benjamin Custom Homes as the builder, the bidding process and breaking ground. We’ve been with the couple every step of the way, watching as they make their choices and seeing how Benjamin Custom Homes has made it all happen. To briefly recap, the homeowners Becky and Evan Muller are highschool sweethearts from rural South Dakota, now living in Fargo. Currently, Becky is a commercial interior designer at ICON Architectural Group and Evan is a financial planning analyst at Aldevron. They initially intended on Fargo being a brief interlude, but as they now both have jobs they love and are happy with the community here, they’ve decided that their “five-yearplan” of living here is now a forever plan. And with this plan to plant roots in the area, they’ve decided to embark on building a custom home. Since Becky is an interior designer and works in the industry daily, the couple had a head start on what to expect and what they wanted out of this process. This month is the phase we’ve all been waiting for: the completion. After over a year of planning, drafting, brainstorming and dreaming, the Mullers’ Kindred in the Newport Ridge Development house is now “home.” Come with us as we see how it all shaped up.

THE BIG DAY As planned, October 15 was the closing day for Becky and Evan. After all this anticipation, the papers were signed and the keys were in their hands. But before all that, some hiccups in the last two months of the process added some stress and extra spice.

The evening before closing, the Mullers and their realtor, Mari Santoyo Perry, did the final walkthrough at the Kindred house. While the Mullers expected a sparkling and ready-to-go home, they were initially surprised and a bit nervous at what they found. Appliances weren’t fully installed yet, the railing wasn’t in and a final cleaning hadn’t begun. With a 10 a.m. closing time the next morning, the homeowners felt uneasy. But a timeline is a timeline, and the builders had a plan to ensure all was complete by the next day. After the walkthrough on October 14, their realtor encouraged them to come back the next morning and check on progress to make sure they were 100 percent comfortable and ready to close. The morning’s unfinished status led to a slight delay, pushing the closing time back a few hours. Additionally, the unfinished back deck had to be put into escrow. In hindsight, the couple reflected that the closing date ideally would have been moved two to three weeks back, but with COVID, the moving truck lined-up and family in-town and ready to help move, that much of a delay wasn’t attainable. While this wasn’t ideal, the homeowners came into the big project knowing things like this would happen. “In


the grand scheme of things, we have a house that we love and we look around and we are happy,” said Becky. Evan echoed that walking into a process like this and knowing it’ll never be perfect is half the battle. Delay and all, the couple got their keys, and with the help of friends and family, were able to exhale and start settling in.

THE RESULT Comparing the initial renderings and the final result, it’s exciting to see how it all came to life! While there were changes along the way, the end result stayed true to the overall vision and the couple is oh so happy. One of the big changes that happened along the way came with downsizing the overall square footage. A lot of this square footage was taken away from the bedrooms and the Mullers were admittedly nervous about them feeling small. But now living in the space, they can see that the square footage is perfect for their needs. “All the rooms feel really good space-wise. And the furniture that we ordered back in June also fit really well. Which was good, because that was a nerve-wracking thing!” said Becky. Anytime you build, there are going to be things that you wish you’d done differently. But to the Mullers, the only thing that comes to mind is perhaps some different outlet placements. All things considered, that’s not too bad at all. The end result is a space that is modern-meetscontemporary. A chic and sophisticated color palette feels timeless but on-trend. And the sleek lines throughout really

tie it all together. Crisp blacks and whites are anchored by warm and cozy natural tones of wood and leather. The photos speak for themselves, but all in all, it’s apparent that a career interior designer lives there.

TIPS FOR FUTURE CUSTOM HOME BUILDERS The new homeowners couldn’t be happier with their end result. However, it was important to them that this process be portrayed as realistic. A project of this size means complications will come up and there will be stressful times. To help future custom home builders, the Mullers shared some pieces of advice: Frequent check-ins “I really, truly believe in every step in this process, when any milestone is hit, there should be a walkthrough. It doesn't need to be a two-hour walkthrough, but simply a half-hour walkthrough is great. [That way,] the builders are set up for success, the bank is set up for success. And obviously, the buyers set up for success,” Evan said. Most importantly, this includes making sure you have a walkthrough two weeks before closing. This way, there will be enough time to address any areas of improvement and both the homeowner and the builder are on the same page.


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Understand expectations The couple agreed that setting clear and upfront expectations about the end of the process wasn’t something they’d discussed much. Identifying expectations along the way can ensure success on all ends. With this also comes identifying and defining what the consequences might be if expectations are not met. The specifics of this are important. How much of a fee will incur from delays? Is it a substantial number? Do the penalties match the gravity of the error? These are all things to take into account. Know your contract Really read through your contract and have multiple meetings about it before signing. Because of COVID and their time frame, the Mullers admitted they wished they had followed this advice more. There were some gray areas where they assumed something that was not the reality. Take your time and ask any and all questions you have! Shop around for banks Within the last month before closing, the Mullers decided to switch banks. For a while, they anticipated going with whom they had their pre-approval from, but after shopping around and doing their research, they found a better

offer. The new bank offered lower interest rates, a waived origination fee and had generally lower closing costs. “[The banking] part is always going to be dynamic. Obviously, the variables in the market will always be changing. [...] If you don't ever look around or try, well, you're certainly not going to have any options or identify any opportunities of potential savings on your end,” said Evan. Do your own research - save money! Rather than spending money on a state-of-theart complete smart home, Evan and Becky opted to do a lot themselves. By researching online and doing some extra reading, Evan was able to convert many of the home’s outlets and switches to be automated or controllable with Wi-Fi ... and for an extremely affordable amount. “If you’re just a bit of a do-it-yourselfer, you can save exponentially. Some people don’t want to do anything, they want the be handed the keys and be done. But for those people who are maybe a bit of a DIYer, go for it. The amount of money that can be saved is huge,” he said. Future-proof your home Similar to doing your own research, be sure to future-proof your home. Life happens and things

will change over time. Aspects all the way from lifestyle to technology will shift. To ensure your custom home will be perfect for you for years to come, think about the future. This can mean setting up plumbing for an addition of a water softener or running speaker wiring to additional areas, just in case. Really think ahead and try to save yourself from tearing into the walls later down the road. Evan’s top tip for this? Don’t run anything less than a CAT6e for Ethernet. This ensures that you won’t be limited by your wiring. As technology advances, you don’t want something as important as wiring to make you settle for less. Interview builders as if it’s a job interview

Custom Homes had them taken back and replaced, knowing they wouldn’t be up to the homeowners’ standards. Small things like this mean a lot. “When you’re looking for a builder, do interviews and propose scenarios. Like, ‘if X happens, what are you going to do about it?’” suggested Becky. A good, lasting relationship with subcontractors means everything Are your subcontractors constant, or are they constantly changing? A trusted set of contractors means good rapport, trust and reliability. When choosing your builder or contractor, this detail means more than you’d think!

You want to make sure you have a builder who has the same vision as you and who is willing to defend you every step of the way. For instance, when their doors arrived damaged, Benjamin

What's Next

So what’s next for the Mullers now that they are moved in and decorated? A sprinkler system and grass are set to be added in the spring and Evan awaits completing his home gym in the basement. But most importantly, the Mullers look forward to growing their family here. With their dream home as the backdrop, the couple moves into the future, ready for their next chapter. Evan shared, “We will be able to focus on family and it will be really cool to have this house to do that in. And to have it set up the way we want. We have everything we could ever want right now, so I think it’ll be so nice to focus in a different direction now.” With this chapter ending, Becky and Evan can confidently and happily prepare for whatever lies next ... all in a gorgeous, perfectly custom home. If you have any questions about the custom home building process, the couple has offered up their experience to anyone who has questions. Feel free to reach out to Becky (@ beckylmuller) or Evan (@evan.a.muller) on social media and have them share their stories. Thanks for coming along with us throughout this process! CREDITS Builder: Benjamin Custom Homes Cabinetry: Wendt Custom Cabinets Countertops: Northern Stone Plumbing Fixtures: Goodin Company Flooring Install: Barker’s Flooring LLC Tile Install: Interior Tile Design Siding Install: Great Plains Construction Electrical: Red River Electric Plumbing: Crossroads Plumbing Living Room Custom Artwork: Rando Living Area Furniture and Decor: Article, Target, Woven Nook Master Bed Furniture and Decor: AllModern, Crate & Barrel, West Elm Mirrors: Crate & Barrel, Joss & Main, Target Light Fixtures: West Elm, MODCREATIONStudio (Etsy) 72

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BY Jack Hastings | PHOTOS COURTESY OF Steve Revland


teve Revland has been designing and building sculptural furniture for over 50 years. Revland’s work is perpetually evolving and taking on new meaning as he continually reinvents his process and three-dimensional art pieces. With a guiding principle to inspire joy upon entering a room, Revland describes his work process, from ideation through execution.


Steve Revland is an artist in many respects. The sculptural furniture designer and builder has been an artist since he was a child, with beginnings as a musician before pursuing furniture design and construction. Revland’s work is characterized by solid slab wood sculptural furniture pieces that balance functionality with artistic values, many of which are tables and chairs. “Early on, I specialized in more traditional early American design in the ‘70s,” Revland said. “That progressed in the ‘80s into a more modern, contemporary style, with a Scandinavian twist. The design has morphed into simplicity and a more universally appealing style that the majority of the marketplace can enjoy.” Today, Revland’s work comprises largely of pieces that feature a combination of solid wood and epoxy. The union of these materials creates an illusion reminiscent of a bird’s-eye view of a shoreline, the live-edge of the wood representing the organic formation of fjords on a Scandinavian landscape and the deep blue epoxy depicting the northern waters. “I've always had to reinvent myself over the years,” Revland said. Beginnings Revland’s career began in 1969 with his high school woodshop class. What he initially took as an easy course to get credit for graduation turned out to be a blessing in disguise. “That's when the light bulb was turned on in my head,” Revland said. “That's when I said, ‘I really dig this.’” In the late ‘70s, Revland discovered the story of his great grandfather Isaac Strinden. Strinden, a shipbuilder from Städ, Norway, immigrated to Minnesota following the Civil War and began handhewing lumber into floors and furnishings. Revland carries on the tradition of his ancestors, sculpting wood into functional and beautiful forms. While he still gleans inspiration from his heritage and the carpentry of his ancestors, Revland’s confidence has risen to the point where he can create the work he wants to, to construct his vision of a functional built environment with artistic value. The Wood “I lean toward wood species of color, which would be the exotics from Costa Rica, Mexico, Brazil,” Revland said. “The closer you get to the equator, the more colorful the wood species.” Revland’s pieces are largely constructed from monkey pod, parota and mango wood imported from countries near the equator. The wood of these trees is so rich in color that Revland opts out of the staining process in favor of featuring the natural coloring of the woods.

The Revland Signature Chair, created in 1988, was initially part of a limited edition run. In 2018 Revland refreshed the Signature Chair with a revised design.

The rise of the internet as a bridging tool across the planet has had a tremendous impact on Revland’s work. After being limited to native woods like oak, maple, birch and ash, Revland now had access to the exotic, colorful woods of Central America. Revland has put significant effort into developing strong relationships with these suppliers, and in turn the world has opened up for him. “They have become like family to me,” Revland said of his lumber suppliers. “That was very important as I developed these relationships with suppliers, from Costa Rica, Guatemala, Brazil or Mexico, you have to become friends with them so what they send you is the good stuff. That was something that I worked really hard at, making certain these folks became like family.” The lumber purveyors Revland works with must harvest their trees responsibly and sustainably. He is selective about the purveyors he works with in order to promote the continued health of forests well into the future. The wood he uses comes from diseased or fallen trees or from a forest that needs thinning. Many of these exotic trees, like mango and monkey pod, grow very fast and close together, so the health of the trees is dependent on occasionally thinning the forest.

The Strinden Hill Chair, created in 1984, is one of Revland's earliest high back chair designs.

The Furniture “Furniture can be sculptural, but still be functional,” Revland said. “Every piece I make has to have an artistic value to it.” Revland utilizes sculptural furniture as a tangible art form that observers can directly interact with. The tactile nature of furniture allows for a direct connection between artist and observer. “They're something that you can walk in a room and go, ‘Hmm, that makes me feel good.’ That's the whole key behind anything I design,” Revland said. “I want to make people feel good when they walk in the room. That's what art is all about.” Most of Revland’s chairs aren’t sitting chairs, but sculptural pieces intended to inspire conversation and connection among individuals. The Revland Signature Chair was designed in 1988. Described as a sculptural conversation piece, the chair’s high slatted back fans upward to capture natural light and creates configurations of shadows that are a work of art in themselves. This limited edition chair was featured on HGTV’s “Modern Masters” in 1999 and Revland has recently revived the series with a newly revised Signature Chair. The Strinden Hill Chair has a live-edge high back that narrows as it rises. Revland seamlessly unites sleek, modern design with the organic elements of the natural world with the Strinden Hill Chair, originally designed in 1984. A more recent addition to Revland’s portfolio are pieces that introduce an eco-friendly epoxy into the mix. Some of his pieces are tables with blue epoxy streams running down the center that Revland manipulates to create waves and swirls. Other tables of his are burls encased in a translucent black epoxy. Revland is continually


experimenting with the epoxy, never ceasing to learn new techniques and applications for the material and lumber. “My tools are like my best friends,” Revland said. “My table saw, my bandsaw, I’ve become so close to them, because they could take your finger off in a second if you don't treat them with respect. And I fully intend on keeping my fingers.” Revland averages one piece a week, about 50 pieces a year. In just the last six years he has made and sold over 300 tables and chairs. Looking back on his career, Revland estimates he’s made 2,000 pieces of furniture. Importance of Art One of the major driving factors of Revland’s work is enriching people’s lives through art. It is evident through viewing Revland’s work the care, precision and heart that goes into each piece. Every piece is informed as much by Revland’s past as it is by the community. “What a cool gig,” Revland remarked. “It's been a process, trust me the first 10 years were no picnic, but it's like the snowball that you roll down the top of the hill. By the time it gets to the bottom it’s turned into a large ball of snow. That's how my career has evolved.” In 50 years, Revland has built an impressive portfolio of thousands of pieces, no doubt bringing joy into thousands of homes. With no plans of stopping, Revland’s next goal is hitting the 75-year mark. There is a bright excitement in his voice as he talks about what designs and pieces the future may hold. “I just feel like I'm getting going, and I look forward to it,” Revland said. “If it means another reinvention at the age of 75, I'll do that.” Revland's pieces are on display and sold at: Dakota Fine Art 11 8th St. S., Fargo


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