Design & Living December 2019

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Merry & Bright


Designing with Joy


Advertorial: Shopping With West Acres

Our annual winter shopping guide is here! We are showcasing products from local shops that will help you and your loved ones stay cozy all season long. Whether you are looking to check off items from your gift-giving shopping list or you are looking for inspiration on how to decorate your home for the season, we've got you covered. Enjoy these merry and bright finds and get in the mood to be home for the holidays!

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 showcases her Homes for the Holidays Tour design, the vibrant and youthful Alpha Gamma Delta house.

Whether shopping for an outfit for a holiday party, for gifts for loved ones or just if you want to soak in the holiday spirit, West Acres is the place to go. To help guide you through an easy and breezy day of holiday shopping, we've created a timeline for what would make the perfect day.


To New Beginnings


Artist Feature: Susan Poitras


Why Downtown is Special


Spaces that Work: Radio FM Media

Jackson and Lindsey Strom's newly remodeled home is the perfect setting for their new baby, Sully, and Jackson's new business, Strom Architecture.

Artist Susan Poitras creates Native American-inspired vibrant pieces that are sure to brighten any room. Her use of color and pattern, while also incorporating bits of nature, make her pieces really something special.

ON THE COVER Arrow Cheese Markers from Dash & White, Hexa Stone Napkin Rings from Others and greenery courtesy of Holland's make up a snowflake of giftgiving ideas. See page 24 for our full winter shopping guide.

NEXT MONTH'S ISSUE We've got some changes coming your way! To continue to produce the highest quality content, we are changing our publication schedule to every other month, rather than monthly. This means we will be producing six issues a year instead of 12. Our first issue of 2020 will be our February/ March issue, so when you don't see a new January issue on stands, don't fret! A bigger and bolder issue is in the works!

Join contributor Paul H. Gleye as he provides insight into some of our area's most interesting architectural feats. This month, Gleye dives into what makes downtown Fargo so special, from a historic preservation and urban planning standpoint.

Gorgeous offices need love too! Join commercial interior designer Becky Muller as she tours us through Great States Construction's impactful remodel of Radio FM Media.

For more exclusive, original content,

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM @designandlivingmagazine




GOOD TIDINGS We Bring Dear Readers, Can you believe we are here with holiday decor on the cover and a gift guide inside? As I am writing this, I am looking out the window to a cityscape that is not quite covered with snow yet. In fact, I'm still wearing my "light jacket" to work and today I am in cheetah print sneakers....with no socks! We've been fortunate that winter has held off just long enough for us to guarantee safe travels for the holidays and to be able to drive on clear roads to get to the shops.

we photographed that we didn't have room for in the magazine! I'm a firm believer in shopping local. Visits to these stores to pull items for this shopping guide was such a personal and fulfilling experience. Kelsey at Dash & White put a smile on our faces, Other's fulfilled all of our sustainable and eco-friendly dreams and the team at Holland's overwhelmed us with incredible greenery smells. Everyone we came across was incredibly friendly and the environments of the stores were an experience in and of themselves.

Even though the scenery outside isn't snowcapped just yet, hints of the upcoming holidays are all around. Downtown has put up its lights, grocery stores have fresh wreaths for sale in the entryways and Christmas present displays abound.

We hope that you'll use this guide as a good hopping off point for you this holiday season. Even if you are not in the market for purchasing anything in particular, the experience of visiting area shops and being enveloped in the holiday spirit is unbeatable.

This month, we put together a shopping guide for all your holiday needs. I skipped from store to store, perusing all sorts of beautiful wares. While this was fun, let me tell you, it was no easy task. Shops in the Fargo-Moorhead area have stepped up their game and their storefronts are filled to the brim with all sorts of goodies. In fact, there are many goods that

Happy Shopping!



Design & Living Magazine

Becky Muller Social Media Coordinator North Dakota Interior Designers

Melissa Rademacher President & CEO Downtown Community Partnership

We at Design & Living Magazine want to make sure that our content is accurate, unbiased and reflects the local home industry. That is why we meet with our Editorial Advisory Board, which is made up of representatives from local, statewide and national organizations. Each month, we listen to their feedback and discuss innovations in local art, architecture, home decor, interior design and landscaping.

Photos by Hillary Ehlen and J. Alan Paul Photography

Editorial Advisory Board

Rich Lahren Hardscape Committee Member, Past Board Member & Past President North Dakota Nursery, Greenhouse & Landscape Association

Chris Hawley Licensed Architect/Member American Institute of Architects

Krista Mund Executive Vice President Home Builders Association of Fargo-Moorhead

Dayna Del Val President & CEO The Arts Partnership 12


DECEMBER 2019 Design & Living Magazine is a free publication distributed 12 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.

Publisher EDITORIAL Editorial Director Editor Art Director Director of Photography Contributors Photographer INTERACTIVE Business Development Manager

Mike Dragosavich Andrew Jason Alexandra Martin Sarah Geiger Hillary Ehlen Christen Anderson, Paul H. Gleye, John Gunkelman, Becky Muller Gary Ussery Nick Schommer

Digital Marketing Strategist

Tommy Uhlir

Inbound Marketing Specialist

Kirsten Lund

Videographers Executive Sales Assistant ADVERTISING Associate Sales Director

Patrick Thompson, Laura Alexander Kellen Feeney Neil Keltgen

Senior Sales Executive

Paul Hoefer

Sales Executives

Zach Olson

Inside Sales Representative Client Relations Marketing Designer ADMINISTRATION VP of Human Resources Office Manager

Matt Becker Jenny Johnson Christy German Colleen Dreyer Wendy Kalbrener

Account Strategist

Cassie Wiste


Jay Borland


Bruce Crummy, John Stuber, Craig Sheets

Design & Living Magazine is published by Spotlight, LLC. Copyright 2019 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.


Ehlen is an editorial photographer for Spotlight Media and owner of Hillary Ehlen Photography. She is a native of Fargo and attended North Dakota State University for visual arts with an emphasis in photography.


Geiger is a MSUM graduate with a BFA with an emphasis in Graphic Design. She is the lead publication designer for Bison Illustrated, Fargo Monthly and Fargo INC! magazines at Spotlight Media.


Becky Muller is an Interior Designer at ICON Architectural Group and Social Media Coordinator for North Dakota Interior Designers with a passion for designing commercial spaces. In her spare time, the South Dakota State University graduate travels with her husband, visits breweries and record stores and spends time with her family and friends.


Gunkelman is current Home Builders Association of F-M president. He owns Dakota Construction of Fargo, Inc., specializing in custom homes, commercial remodeling and residential remodeling.


Gleye is a professor of architecture at North Dakota State University. His fields of expertise include historic preservation and urban design, and he leads the architecture school’s term abroad program in Europe each spring semester.


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.


Spotlight's Other Magazines

To commemorate the year 2019, we decided to shake things up a bit. Rather than taking a trip down memory lane, we wanted to recognize all of our great staff here at Spotlight! Without them, you would not be reading this magazine right now. So, get to know our staff and find out their favorite places in FargoMoorhead. Find out our staff picks now!

Oftentimes, NDSU coaches and student-athletes refer to their respective programs as "developmental". Coming to campus ready to be molded into a top-tier Division I student-athletes, the next generation of Bison is forever stocked for the future. Plenty of student-athletes are already making an impact in their field of competition as just freshman and sophomores. It is these student-athletes that are on the rise at North Dakota State with success on the horizon.

There are 2.52 million businesses in the U.S. that are owned by veterans. To encourage entrepreneurism in veterans, we mailed this magazine to 6,000 veterans across the state of ND and will take a look at some of the local companies that are owned by people who served our country and are now serving our community.





























Making A House HolidayReady F

or many of us who own homes, this time of year means opening doors and arms to visiting family and friends. It’s a time to come together in a merry and warm setting, spending time making memories, reflecting on the past year and looking ahead to 2020.

ring the doorbell, probably carrying gifts and luggage. Make sure that all those surfaces are clear of ice and snow and be sure to care properly for your concrete (no salt)!

No doubt, ensuring that guests feel welcome and comfortable in our homes is a priority. Home Builders Association of F-M members and resources can help. Just check out the blog and member directory at

3. Clean

Here are my top five items to check off your to-do list this month:

4. Tidy

1. Traction

The first thing your family and friends will do is park on your driveway, walk up the sidewalk and onto your porch to



2. Cozy

Show some love to your furnace and fireplace by getting them serviced, making certain they will keep your home toasty while the wind blows and the snow falls outside. Hire some elves, also known as professional cleaners. They’ll make sure your home is spic and span so you can focus on details in the guest bedrooms and bathrooms, and most importantly, the menu! Speaking of guest rooms, do your closets make you cringe? Are they bursting at the seams? Hire a pro to give you some options for updating shelving and storage systems for some cold-weather organizational therapy.

5. Peak Performance

Nobody enjoys washing dishes for hours, and the last thing you want is an oven, fridge or freezer failing with a houseful of hungry people. Get them all checked ahead of time. Or, maybe this is the perfect excuse to finally upgrade an appliance or two! These to-dos are just a few items and services that HBA of F-M members provide. They’re local, knowledgeable and accessible, just waiting to help with all the holiday preparation you can think up. Find them at We have over 150 categories to pinpoint the service or product you want. Remember, winter is also prime time to plan and get on the professionals’ lists for home and yard projects in warmer months!

by John Gunkelman Dakota Construction of Fargo, Inc. Home Builders Association of F-M President

John Gunkelman is current Home Builders Association of F-M president. He owns Dakota Construction of Fargo, Inc., specializing in custom homes, commercial remodeling and residential remodeling.

Home Builders Assocation of F-M Nurture a thriving, innovative and diverse housing industry in our community.

For more information, contact: HBAFargoMoorhead


with joy

a very alpha GLAM CHRISTMAS BY Christen Anderson | PHOTOS BY Hillary Ehlen





he Homes for the Holidays Tour is a 33 yearold tradition for the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority on the campus of North Dakota State University. The event showcases holiday décor ideas while highlighting the talents of local designers in select homes throughout the Fargo-Moorhead community. For many people, this annual tour has become a festive tradition to start the holiday season.

This year, snow fell as participants traveled from home to home to see the season’s most beautiful decor and learn valuable design ideas to make their home more merry and bright. The Christen Joy team was thrilled to roll up its sleeves, crank up the Christmas tunes and transform the new Alpha Gamma Delta sorority home into a winter wonderland. ABOUT THE TOUR Homes for the Holidays is a showcase of holiday decor featuring local homes transformed for the season by area designers. Each year, Alpha Gamma Delta chooses a local beneficiary to receive a share of proceeds from the event. For 2019, it’s the Great Plains Food Bank. DEFINE FOCAL POINTS The Alpha Gamma Delta home is a beautiful design. It was our task to incorporate a timeless look the young women would enjoy for years to come, because some decor would remain in the home. ABOUT THE HOME Demolition of the previous home and construction of the new home began during the summer of 2018 and was completed in the summer of 2019. Construction planning was conducted in conjunction with the architecture firm Cunningham + Associates based out of Columbia, Mo. The Tudor-style home is home to 34 collegiate women and the house director. With the construction of a new chapter house complete, the ladies are proud to have such a beautiful home to welcome future sisters to for generations to come. We decided to focus on the grand entry, formal and informal living rooms and the library. A few design touches would also be added to built-in hallway shelving, artwork, restrooms and the mailbox area. While this may seem like a lot of space to cover, the décor had to match the wow-factor of this home. From there, our team gathered more elves to help accomplish our exciting holiday task. CHRISTEN JOY TIP: BUILD A HOLIDAY MOOD BOARD Gather your thoughts and ideas in a PowerPoint or Pinterest board. Look for textures, colors, themes, font styles and holiday items that spark your creativity. Then, capture those images to create your virtual mood board.


MATCH THE HOME’S STYLE Ideas ranged from large pink bows, flocked trees and elegant dishware, to cute puppies in Santa hats. Since we had to focus in on our ideas, Santa puppies didn’t make the list. Maybe next year? This home called for a mix of traditional and southern charm with a few unexpected WOW elements. Typically, we balance classic pieces because they stand the test of time, and we layer in highlights that knock your socks off. MAKE A STUNNING FIRST IMPRESSION The grand stairway is over-the-top ornate with a stunning chandelier hanging overhead and a patterned runner underfoot. To match the impact of this space we added 18 (yes, 18) strands of garland, yards and yards of navy velvet ribbon and hundreds of metallic bulbs. Stunning poinsettias from Bergen’s, our lead exterior designer and nursery partner, lined the stairs. Inspired by traditional tablescapes and design examples from Tory Burch, I chose to pull in Chinoiserie – starting with blue and white vases. The idea came when brainstorming with one of my stylists. She shared photos of designer Tory Burch’s entryway filled with vases upon vases with berry branches bursting out of the largest vessels. This became the perfect complement for the stairway and fit our unexpected, yet traditional style. CHRISTEN JOY TIP: LAYER FOR THE WOW Take your holiday decorating to the next level by adding one more layer. Add texture (natural elements, velvet ribbon or metallics work great), a different medium such as artwork, live plants or another color and an extra layer of twinkle lights or garland. You got this!

ADD HOLIDAY JOY TO FORMAL SPACES This is where the Southern sorority girl in me came out (okay, I went to school at UND but I was in a sorority). We wanted chic and sophisticated vibrant color, velvet and tassels. Think Kate Spade meets Lilly Pulitzer — what a perfect match! This style called for monogrammed stockings nestled underneath vibrant garland flanked by blue and white vases. A punch of color and personality shines through with layers of tassels that pull in the colors of the room. A lush flocked tree holds playful glass ornaments with a fun youthful vibe any sorority sister would adore — including floating flamingos, coffee, watermelon slices, puppies and more.



Gifts wrapped in blue and white with pops of green and exotic tigers are adorned in velvet-textured bows flowing freely down the sides of the packages. They look almost too pretty to open. The buffet is home to a colorful forest that looks as if it just had its first snowfall. Above, the NDSU bison is wrapped with the largest seasonal bow. CHRISTEN JOY TIP: PUT A BOW ON IT Add bows to unexpected items in your home to make a big impact and unite your holiday decor.

DINE-IN THE LUXE LIBRARY The AGD ladies use this space as a library because the table doesn’t accommodate 35 for meals. This space became an opportunity to show guests what’s possible for a holiday tablescape in their homes. Blue and white continued in the china and a stunning blue velvet tablecloth. We set gold chargers under the china, the fancy silverware and fresh greenery sprigs on the plates and on the chairs featuring metallic trees matching the chargers and bulbs in the entryway. For a wow factor, we purchased stunning faux arrangements that can stay for years to come. And, the stars of the room were custom-designed bundt cakes with gingerbread antlers and velvet bows to match the tablecloth. Thank you to Nichole of Nichole’s Fine Pastry for bringing this to life! CHRISTEN JOY TIP: ADD SOME SWEETS Designing a memorable table for family and friends doesn’t stop at dishware and floral arrangements. Work with a local bakery to dream up your own festive and unique take-home gift or dessert.

GIVE THANKS Thank you to Alpha Gamma Delta for the pleasure of designing a look they can enjoy for many years, and the opportunity to participate in the Homes for the Holidays tour. As always, I give thanks for you and wish you a joy-filled holiday season. Cheers to a fantastic 2019, and all that is to come in 2020. See you in the new year! Credits: Exterior design and interior poinsettias provided by Mara Bergen’s of Bergen’s Greenhouses, Detroit Lakes.

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.

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




Merry &Bright


ood tidings we bring! Our annual winter shopping guide is here, featuring products from local shops that will help you and your loved ones stay cozy all season long. This time of year brings us into our homes, as we have time off of work and school and we are lead to host family and loved ones for celebrations. Whether you are looking to check off items from your gift-giving shopping list or you are looking for inspiration on how to decorate your home for the season, we've got you covered. Enjoy these merry and bright finds and get in the mood to be home for the holidays! STYLING BY Alexandra Martin PHOTOS BY Hillary Ehlen


Meg Spielman Peldo Mustang and BigSky II Dakota Fine Art $75 Mortar and Pestle Mint & Basil $16



Small Dry Vase Dash & White $12 each Bud Vase Dash & White $58


Holiday Mugs Eco Chic $11 each Holiday Dish Eco Chic $9



24� Pine and Berry Wreath Eco Chic $65


Kazi Mustard Fringed Coaster Set Others $26 Kazi Soleil Kazi Medium Bowl Others $30 Kazi Fruit Bowl Others $39.99



Smeg Red Toaster Dash & White $159.95



Viski Champagne Saber Dash & White $118


Valhalla Silver Red Stone Ring Dakota Fine Art $300 Valhalla Silver Star Ring Dakota Fine Art $100 Valhalla Silver Ring Dakota Fine Art $100


Creative Co-Op Wood Bead Garland Burlap Rustic Chic Boutique $14 Red and White Pillow Burlap Rustic Chic Boutique $32 Table Runner Burlap Rustic Chic Boutique $18

Nest Fragrances Holiday Candle McNeal & Friends $42 Copper 4� Glass Ornament McNeal & Friends $9



Vintage Wire Basket Burlap Rustic Chic Boutique $36 Ewe-Nique Country Candle Burlap Rustic Chic Boutique $30 10� Round Cedar Wreath Burlap Rustic Chic Boutique $24


Bloom & Give Betty Napkin set of 4 Others $48 Hexa Stone Napkin Rings Others $24

Gerald Zimmerman Locally Made Black Ash Bowl With Live Edge Holland's $44 Driftwood Ball Holland's $9.99



Benamor Lotion Set O’Day Cache $28




Fondue Set Dash & White $72

Bellsnickel Bells Tear Drop Black McNeal & Friends $36 Bellsnickel Bells Taupe Ring Ends McNeal & Friends $105 Bellsnickel Bells Red Small Bells McNeal & Friends $24


Barefoot Dreams Waffle Throw McNeal & Friends $119 18" Fir Wreath McNeal & Friends $24

Magnolia Home Caddy Lotion & Soap Set Eco Chic $38 Magnolia Home Bar Soap Eco Chic $9 Magnolia Home Bagged Candle Eco Chic $18


Zanzibar Recycled Glass Canisters Others $24, $20, $16



Hexagon Concrete Planter The Plant Supply $12


Piccadilly Turquoise Ovenproof Ramekin Dash & White $$16 Piccadilly Turquoise Oven Dish Dash & White $46



White Deer Head O’Day Cache $24.95


Creative Co-op Bottle Brush Tree Holland's $12, $4.99, $3.99 Sullivan Gift Bell Garland Holland's $12.99 Creative Co-op Wood Pedestal Holland's $12.99



Bloomingville Let it Snow Teapot Mint & Basil $20


Seagrass Basket with Handle Eco Chic $12.50 Llama Ornament Eco Chic $8 4” Birch Ornament Eco Chic $6 Gold and Creme Felt Garland Eco Chic $16.99 Wool Lamb Ornament Eco Chic $9 Cement Ball Eco Chic $3 5” Wood Snowflake Eco Chic $6.75 Sage Wood/ Cloth Ornament Eco Chic $4.50 Medium Embossed Star Ornament Eco Chic $8 10” Cypress Branch Eco Chic $5






Magical Day At West Acres

From festive events to useful amenities, we’ve listed all you need to know for a perfect holiday shopping trip in our hour-by-hour guide for a day at the mall. So whether you’re hunting for a great gift, exploring the seasonal pop-ups, or even looking for a Christmas card-worthy photo op, we’ve included it here. Check it out: West Acres Shopping Center 3902 13th Avenue @westacresmall



10 A.M. - ARRIVAL Start the day out strong and park near the main entrance, where you will be greeted by 8-foot cut-out letters reading "Joy Starts Here," located next to the Guest Services counter (Perfect Instagram opportunity!) Once you've arrived, the first thing to do is to shed your coat and get comfortable. With West Acres’s complementary coat check at the main entrance Guest Services, you don't have to worry about holding your jacket while sifting through racks. To make sure you are fueled for the day, head over to locally owned Cinamen Roll Company to indulge. There's no better time of year to satisfy your sweet tooth than now, and the smell of cinnamon rolls can be smelt throughout the whole wing! (Our go-to sweet treat: Caramel Roll Bites) For the caffeine kick to send you on your shopping journey, swing by Lighthouse Coffee and grab your cup of joe to-go. (Give the White Chocolate and Mint Mocha a try – our favorite!)

11 A.M. - SHOPPING It's time to start checking things off your gift list. Let’s get started. Favorite local finds: • Minn Dak Market: Hot find: Maple River Winery Daiquiri Mix. Actually hot find: Grubbersputzel's Fire Hazard Pretzels • Real Good Bath and Body: Their Foaming Bath Salts are to die for! • Aptitude: A hand-crafted mug from Fermie Studios is always a good bet. Favorite holiday pop-ups: • A favorite part of the holiday season at West Acres are the seasonal kiosks that come around this time of year. Longtime favorites include See’s Candies, Hickory Farms (say hello to the gourmet gift basket of your dreams) and the Personalized Ornaments kiosk. This year, add a new stop on your list, stopping by to see the artists at Aptitude (a creative incubator by The Arts Partnership and West Acres) as they will be holding pop-up holiday markets throughout the season!

By Alexandra Martin | Photos by Gary Ussery and provided by West Acres


ith cookies to bake, trees to decorate and presents to buy, even the happiest of holidays can get a bit hectic with all the hustle and bustle of the season. No matter how many things you have to check off your list over the next few weeks, the team at West Acres has you covered for it all.


AMENITIES • Gift wrapping • Coat and package check • Cart rentals • West Acres gift cards Best way to “tech the halls”: • Best Buy: Best Buy is full of impactful gifts, from Sonos speakers to the newest AirPods to an Instax Instant Camera, there is something for everyone on your list. 1 P.M - LUNCH Checking so many gifts off your list burns some serious calories! If you're shopping with a group of friends, the food court is ideal, as it has options for everyone. For lunch, we love heading to Rising Bread Company for a Turkey Mushroom and Swiss sandwich or a bowl of Knoephla Soup. Cozy up with your lunch near the Food Court fireplace and rejuvenate for the afternoon ahead! 2 P.M - REST AND REFLECTION Before you return to finding those perfect gifts for loved ones, be sure to take advantage of some of the festive spaces and events that West Acres has this season. To take a moment to feel grateful for the people whom you can buy gifts for, stop by the Cozy Corner by Gathered Rentals & Events near Center Court. This cozy, cabin-themed oasis is expertly styled and includes a number of mailboxes labeled with different organizations. Customers are encouraged to write letters to those in need in our community to brighten up their holiday season. 4 P.M. - MORE SHOPPING For those final few gifts you’re struggling to find, the West Acres team is here to help! For your very own digital concierge service, direct message West Acres on Instagram (@westacresmall) and tell them what you are stumped with. The team will offer personalized gift ideas, including price points and locations of each gift. Plus, keep an eye on their Instagram Stories as they post their top present picks, with weekly gift inspiration and ideas. To further help guide you, here are some of our favorite gift ideas: Favorite stop for him: • Halberstadt’s: With their recently expanded store, their selection of menswear can’t be beaten! One stocking stuffer we recommend? Fun socks from a new brand of theirs, Stance.

Best personalized gift service for her: • Evereve: Whether you know your lady’s style to a T or you’re feeling a little lost, the Evereve team always leads us in the right direction. You can find anything from dainty jewelry to popular brands like Sorel, Free People, Sanctuary and more! Perfect place to stock up on the cutest items for kiddos: • Stride Rite: Their newly expanded store carries everything from toys to pajamas to snow pants, and of course, their huge selection of specialty kids’ shoes. Their kid’s sized UGGS make for a comfy and oh so cute gift.

• Cozy Corner by Gathered Boutique Rentals & Events. • Giving Tree of Hope by First Link • Personalized gift ideas and advice via their digital concierge service by direct messaging them on Instagram @westacresmall • For all things holiday, including hours, visit

Place to find hot-holiday items: • JCPenney: They have a well-stocked assortment of Disney items on their second level for the kiddos on your list + don’t forget about Sephora inside JCPenney for the best beauty finds! Tip - Sephora carries amazing value packs during the holiday season! 7 P.M. - DINNER TIME Shopping during the holiday season can be a workout! Celebrate your hard work with dinner at newly opened CRAVE American Kitchen & Sushi Bar. CRAVE isn't just a restaurant in the mall, it is a destination in and of itself. With a chic ambiance, diverse menu (vegan and gluten-free options are available!) and outstanding service, this is the perfect dinner to end your successful day with, and maybe even cheers yourself with a glass of wine (they have over 120 different kinds on their menu!) Favorite menu pick: Mexican Sushi Roll - made with tuna, escolar, jalapeño, avocado, cilantro, spicy mayo and soy citrus sauce. Favorite drink option: Ginger Pear Martini, Grey Goose La Poire, Cointreau, house-made ginger syrup and white cranberry...yum! What a day! We hope you are fully prepared for all your holiday shopping needs this season. From established stores we all know and love to new-onthe-scene local boutiques, West Acres has a store for everyone on your gift list. When you're ready to have an easy, enjoyable and memorable shopping trip, West Acres is ready to welcome you in.

EVENTS Want to make your visit to West Acres even more special? Plan your trip on one of the many days where they have scheduled events happening. Inbetween shop stops, be sure to take time to relax and enjoy some music, drinks, crafts and more. • Holiday Tap Fest - Saturdays, Nov 30, Dec. 7, 14 and 21 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. • Holiday Art Markets at Aptitude - Every Thursday (5 - 9 p.m.), Saturday (1 - 6 p.m.) and Sunday (1 - 6 p.m)from Dec. 1 to Dec 22. • Santa Story Squad - December 3rd from 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. • Quiet Hours with Santa December 8th (9 a.m. – 11 a.m.) and 15th (9 a.m. – 10 a.m.) • Free Holiday Photos - December 14th from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.


Beginnings TO NEW



ou might not know it, but you've seen fingerprints of architect Jackson Strom all over town. From commercial spaces like Scoop N Dough and the opening soon, Beer & Fish Company to many of the homes we've featured in this magazine, Strom has been working within the architectural tapestry of Fargo for over a decade. Having got his start working at Helenske Design Group and then CHA Architecture, this fall he branched out on his own and founded Strom Architecture. Setting the stage for starting a new business and welcoming their three-month-old son Sully into the world, Strom and his wife Lindsey enjoy their newly renovated home.

BY Alexandra Martin PHOTOS BY Jill Ockhardt Blaufuss




In His Blood Starting a new business, renovating a home whilst living in it and raising a baby might seem ambitious, but this ambition is just in Strom's blood. "I always wanted to do my own thing and have my own [architecture] firm eventually. This last year I became licensed and then having a child seemed like a good jumping-off point. Better now than ever," he said. Strom is the son of a South Dakotan farmer and grew up in that environment. "The tie-in of my dad running his own farm, running his own business...maybe something of that is instilled in me," he said, noting that running his own business someday was something that was always in the plans. As one of the first students in his architecture class to land an internship and, in turn, one of the first ones to land a job in the industry, Strom is dedicated and driven. He began his career in architecture cold-emailing local firms and inquiring about internship opportunities. Craig Helenske of Helenske Design Group was one to receive such an email and brought a young Strom on board. "Sometimes you don't get what you don't ask for," added Strom. In the Plans The 1927 South 9th Street home that the Stroms purchased in the summer of 2016 was the first home they looked at on their home search. They knew they wanted to be in that neighborhood and it was the natural sunlight that really drew them to make an offer. But from day one, they knew they were taking on a renovation project. "It seemed like there was potential. There were little things we could tweak here and there. I think looking back at it now, we were probably hoping that it was smaller things that we would have to tweak," he jokingly said. As a professional in the industry, it wasn't in the cards for Strom to have a simple renovation. "I think we touched every inch of the house, whether that be painting or scraping the ceilings or adding new lighting," he said. Major edits were a complete kitchen remodel, two bathroom remodels, installing new windows and restoring the original hardwood that was hidden under layers of other floorings.



While they structurally didn't change anything, it was the combination of many little things that made the remodel a big bite to chew. The tweaks they wanted to be made seemed small, but it was the couple's thoughtfulness in ensuring everything was done the best way possible that lead the process to span over eight months. "We wanted to do everything in what we considered was the right way. With a lot of the things that you think there's one step to, there are probably three or four steps and they are done by three or four trades," Strom said. From heading the project himself, Strom learned a lot about the inner workings of home projects and gained a new respect for each profession and management involved. A New Kitchen The kitchen is where many of the big renovations happened. Changing the footprint of the kitchen made the space more practical and smart. For instance, what used to be an empty space created from a 1960 addition onto the house got turned into a very useful pantry. Where the sink and dishwasher used to be is now a glass door leading to the backyard. Also, vinyl plank flooring was replaced by sleek, grey heated tile flooring, perfect for our winters. Kitchen selections were clean and crisp, with Strom focusing on the finished product as a whole, rather than separating standout ingredients. Selections included quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances and traditional white cabinets paired with contemporary hardware. One standout feature of the kitchen renovation is a two-foot by four-foot opening in the wall separating the kitchen from the dining room. "Some people feel that to make these two spaces feel open to each other you'd have to take the whole wall down," said Strom. However, not wanting to move existing ductwork in the wall and willing to take on a problem-solving challenge, Strom found a successful middle ground by adding a window between the two rooms. The spaces are not entirely open to each other, but the open window diretly above the counter allows the rooms to feel connected and whole. "Providing a little opening, if it's done in the right way, can make a really big



Credits Contractors: Radiant Homes, Dan Savageau, Dave Wagner, Robert Gibb & Sons Cabinetry: Woodland Cabinetry Appliances: Rigel’s Plumbing Fixtures: Ferguson Electritian: JDP Electric Audio and TVS: SMART Home Fireplace: Home and Hearth Kitchen Flooring and Backsplash: Carpetworld Painting: Grant's Painting

difference," he added, hoping that he can even use this as an example to future clients who might need help problem solving similar situations. A Transitional and Contemporary Finish Looking at this finished product in comparison to other projects he has worked on, Strom's styles and taste vary. The tie between them all is the great service, valuable results and wellresearched details. "I wouldn't say I have a signature style. I'd like to think that whatever style, whether it is traditional, contemporary or modern, you could come to me with that. And I like to dig into the details of what all that entails from a historical standpoint, to dig into who does that style well and take inspiration from that," he said, adding, "I wouldn’t say there is necessarily a style that I wouldn’t touch." An academic, Strom enjoys researching those who came before him and learning from them. While he dances between styles, clean lines and a lack of unnecessary details run throughout this work. In fashion, there is a well-known quote attributed to Coco Chanel that goes, "before leaving the house, a lady should look in the mirror and remove one accessory." Strom follows a similar ideal, sharing a point of inspiration that he once heard and continues to carry with him: Take a project and think of it as a small model version. Then take the model of the project and shake it. If anything falls off, that shouldn't have been there to begin with. The end result of this remodel is a crisp and clean transitional home with a contemporary twist. From using connections from his career, Strom worked with familiar faces who helped it all come together. Strom experienced first-hand all the steps it takes to take an existing build and update everything necessary, from aesthetic finishes to new plumbing. "The words, 'oh, that will be easy,' don't come out of my mouth as often now," he joked. There is no doubt that Strom will take what he experienced from this remodel into his new business and the home will be the perfect backdrop to nurture their family for years to come.


Building with the Mullers: Phase I

BY Alexandra Martin | PHOTOS BY Hillary Ehlen SKETCHES PROVIDED BY Benjamin Custom Homes


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. 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.

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



This month, get to know the couple, learn about the pre-approval process, see how they selected their lot and dive into how they chose what builder to go with.

MEET THE MULLERS Evan and Becky Muller are high school sweethearts from the small town of Wessington Springs, S.D. The couple moved to Fargo in the summer of 2015 for an internship of Becky’s and when that led to a full-time job after her graduation, Fargo became home. 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-year-plan” 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. When they first moved to Fargo, they settled in an apartment. However, when they were told that their rent was going to go up a significant amount, they decided that a better use of their money would be putting it towards an equity-building mortgage, instead of rent. With that decision, they purchased a twin home that they have been living in ever since. However, as they have made the decision that this region will be their long-term home, they are now ready to move into a property that’ll allow for the eventual growth of their family and a more personalized feel. Since Becky is an interior designer and works in the industry daily, the couple had a head start in what to expect and what they wanted out of this process. With this background, a custom home just made sense for the Mullers.

GETTING PRE-APPROVED One of the first steps once they decided they wanted to build a custom home, was getting pre-approved by their bank. During this process, they learned just how much they could afford, an important step before even looking at property options. Before the Mullers made any big decisions, they went to get pre-approved by their bank First Community Credit Union. Those who have never been through the pre-approval process and are not familiar with the concept might be intimidated at the idea. To be pre-approved for a mortgage means that the bank or lender has looked into your financial history and has determined how much of a mortgage you can take on, or if you are even suitable for a mortgage. Debt to income ratio, credit history, outstanding debt, bankruptcy history and current income all get factored in. In this process, the bank or lender can also offer advice on how you can get to where you want, based on your ratios. “It seems like a very scary topic, but it’s not. I think the main reason it seems so scary is that when it comes to finances, a lot of people don’t necessarily understand them. It’s a difficult subject to talk about and it’s not necessarily a fun subject to talk about,” said Evan.

“It seems like a very scary topic, but it’s not. I think the main reason it seems so scary is that when it comes to finances, a lot of people don’t necessarily understand them. It’s a difficult subject to talk about and it’s not necessarily a fun subject to talk about.”

Since Evan and Becky are not first-time homeowners, they knew a bit about this process already. The couple shared that during their first home buying process, they knew the amount they were pre-approved for their first home, so they came in knowing they’d be pre-approved for the much smaller price point of a lot purchase. The Mullers opted to go with the bank they already had an existing relationship with for this process. However, it is not uncommon for people to shop around for a bank they feel most comfortable with before making this big decision. “All it is is a conversation. Going to the bank and saying you’re interested. It helped me to understand what it is we can afford or cannot afford and what we can do to afford it,” Evan said. The couple agreed that step one is to establish a relationship with a bank and step two is to just ask questions. No one goes into the process knowing everything and the bank doesn’t expect you to either. The Mullers agreed that the most important part of this step of the process is just starting the conversation with your bank. Just because you start the conversation does not mean you’re already locked into anything. The bank is here to help you and if you ever feel that they are not, it is a good time to step back and reassess your relationship with them and wether or not you want to consider a new bank.

LOT SELECTION After they knew they what they could afford, it was time to decide on where they wanted to build. The family began looking at properties in Horace and Kindred, attracted to the price of the lots and the smaller-town feel. After looking casually, they came across a new development in Kindred that was perfect for them. “We fell in love with Kindred right when we saw it. It just felt like home,” said Becky. With a population of just under 800 people, Kindred is much smaller and quieter than Fargo, but the drive into the city is less than 30 minutes. Evan added, “To have that space to be able to disconnect from the hustle and bustle. [...] It reminds us of home, the values we were raised on.” The lots they were interested in were affordable and selling quick. Evan and Becky weren’t initially in a hurry to start building, thinking they might find the land, pay it off and build on it when they were ready. But with the lots they loved moving fast, they knew now was a good to begin the process. With their Realtor Mari Santoyo Perry of SoliMar Real Estate - BHHS Premier Properties, they purchased the lot they had been eyeing. The earnest money for the lot was put down in June and they closed on the property at the end of this July.


CHOOSING THE BUILDER Once they were pre-approved and had a lot ready to go, it was time to select a builder. Fargo-Moorhead has a plethora of custom home builders, making this decision a bit overwhelming. The Mullers gathered some suggestions from their Realtor and shopped around, meeting with a number of builders. However, nothing felt right until they were recommended Benjamin Custom Homes. What made the home builder decision process unique for the Mullers was Becky’s industry connections. As a commercial interior designer, she has access to discounts and special offers with suppliers of flooring, countertops, tile and more. With such unique relationships, it would be foolish for the couple to not take advantage of these money-saving connections. However, some of the custom builders they met with had contracts that did not allow them to honor these offers. But when it came to meeting with Benjamin Custom Homes, they were more than happy to work with Becky and her contacts to give the couple their vision, and at the right price. “They were really excited. When we met with them I already had a floorplan ready and I showed it to them and was like, ‘can we do this?’ And they were so excited about it!” said Becky. As she designs spaces as a career, Becky had a good idea of what she wanted her home to look like and how she envisioned the layout. “It was a really good first impression and connection and it felt right,” she said. “I think the biggest thing with Ben [Anderson] and his team is they are just really friendly and welcoming and warm.

They wanted to showcase as much as they could to give us an idea of their quality and what they can do and what you can look forward to when working with them,” said Evan. At one point early in the process, they were even invited to company founder Benjamin Anderson’s own newly built home to explore some details and see what all was possible. The ability to be shown options and reasonings behind options in such a personal way really appealed to the Mullers. “We also were looking for someone who was a little more personable, in the way that they don’t build 80 homes a year. But they know who I am, everyone in the company knows who we are and they know our house. It’s closerknit,” said Becky. When going to build a custom home, they wanted the process to be tailored and hands-on, not just another project the company had to get finished. They are happy with their decision to have Benjamin Custom Homes build their home and are confident that they will provide this level of service they desired. Beyond their industry expertise and personability, the Mullers enjoyed that the Benjamin Custom Homes process was not going to be too overwhelming. Becky has her home inspiration Pinterest board shared with the team at Benjamin Custom Homes, sharing with them aesthetics and details that she is drawn to so that they know what types of options to present to the couple. Starting on this basis, they are not beginning at square one, but rather the Benjamin Custom Homes team knows their tastes and style and won’t overwhelm them with hundreds of options.



CURRENT STEPS As they’ve checked off the big essentials in the process, the couple is now beginning to narrow it in some. Right now in the process, they are finalizing the floorplan and ensuring it will work structurally and within their price point. As they work side-by-side with Benjamin Custom Homes in this process, they put down a design deposit, so that the company can ensure their time is covered. A design deposit is standard in the industry and this design fee goes into the total cost of the project.

suggestions they offered up will end up saving them thousands of dollars and are things that the couple never even considered. “They really keep the budget in mind. They tell you if they think you’re getting too carried away. They don’t try and skyrocket your house price so that it will be better for them, it’s all about you,” said Becky. Right now, they are working together to estimate the cost of goods, entering new territory as they estimate the discounts that Becky will receive through her job. As this is uncommon ground, they are taking their time and being aware of the fluctuations and adding that into the budget.

As they work together, Benjamin Custom Homes offers up suggestions on how to cut costs in certain areas and how to achieve efficiency. Becky noted that some of the

Phase II

This month we met the homeowners, covered bank pre-approval, selected the land and chose a builder. For our second phase, the Mullers will discuss exterior renderings, product selections and the bidding process. Stay tuned and get excited to follow along with the process of what it takes to build a custom home, from ideation all the way to moving in.


warm and transportive



rtist Susan Poitras works in largescale oil paintings, mixed media and still-lifes, bringing a southwestern warmth to North Dakota. BY Alexandra Martin PHOTOS BY Hillary Ehlen




Warmth is felt as soon as you take a step into Susan Poitras's studio space in the old Dakota Business College building on 8th Street South. Besides the tricky heating system in the historic building, it's Poitras's vibrant work that transports you into a much warmer climate. Inspired by Native American art and color palettes, her work showcases a mix of patterns, natural elements and warms tones. Some imagery often repeated in her work includes animal skulls, flowers, bead-work and Native American rugs, creating mixedmedia feeling pieces with depth. Across her studio are stacks of finished pieces alongside multiple works in progress. Mixed in with the art are parts of the process. There's a table of neatly organized shells, animal skulls and bones. Plant matter sits near the generously sized windows and photographs of even more plants and flowers lay printed out. Materials and parts of the process, from pigments to tracing paper to canvases to paintbrushes, are organized throughout the ample space. From the excess of supplies, finished products and process pieces, you can tell that this has been her passion for a while now. Originally from Minneapolis, Poitras began working in the Creative Arts Studio within Clara Barton Elementary School when she moved to Fargo with her husband. Here, she worked on her own pieces, but also worked as a contract teacher, teaching art to children in the region's schools that did not have art teachers.

After some time of teaching in a contract setting, she craved stability. From there, she moved to where she would spend much of her professional career: working as a florist. For over two decades, Poitras worked at area floral shops, starting at Town and Country Flowers then moving to Cash Wise and then to Hornbacher's. While she was working full-time as a florist, she had this same studio that she would work in on weekends or during her spare time. Just last year, she retired and has enjoyed getting to dive back into art full-time and work at a more suitable pace and schedule for her liking. Throughout her childhood and into her professional life, art and creativity have always been with Poitras. From creating pieces to show in town to teaching children to creating works of art with flowers, she has been honing her process for years now. "I’m very process-oriented. Otherwise, I am lost. I feel like I need a plan. But then I divert from the plan too," she said. "I think a lot of doing art is creating problems and then solving them. That is kind of a challenge, getting it to all come together in the end." Evidence of her dedication to the process can be seen throughout her studio. Her pieces often incorporate geometric shapes and rigid lines, demanding a need for precision and planning. To create flawless repeating patterns, Poitras makes stencils. And to execute symmetry, she often draws half of a piece and reflects it back to create a whole. Another part of her process

includes creating smaller-scale versions of the large pieces and gridding them out to transfer them to the large scale. All these steps are parts of her meditative process of creating these highly detailed works of art. When creating, inspiration comes easily to Poitras. "I don’t have trouble with inspiration. One thing seems to lead to the next, so that is really nice. I was sort of afraid of not knowing where to go. But it seems to be happening pretty easily," she said. After having worked on her art on and off while she was a full-time florist, she was unsure if she would be able to create on a day-today basis without running out of ideas. However, this has not been the case. For inspiration, she pulls from the Smithsonian Native American archives, textiles, gardens and books. She joked that she has stopped going to the library for inspiration because she thinks she has pulled from every book that interests her there already. In her studio, she has archives of photographs, printed out pages from museum webpages and reference books. Even with clear inspirations from Native American art and nature, Poitras's work remains unique and original. "You have to look at what’s been done and take what you like out of what’s been done and put it together in a new way," she said. With the arsenal of references she keeps on hand, her nods to other cultures are accurate and authentic. Balancing the natural and the man-made, Poitras has perfected the relationship between the two with her colorful, transportive works. Now that her art is her priority once again, we will look forward to seeing the large-scale still lifes she is so gifted at producing.

Susan Poitras Studio 11 8th St S #202



DOWNTOWN IS SPECIAL Contributor Paul H. Gleye is a professor of architecture at North Dakota State University, his fields of expertise including historic preservation and urban design. As of late, Downtown Fargo has seen some exciting changes, as Block 9 reaches its peak height and new businesses are reimagining old spaces. Join Gleye as he delves into why Downtown Fargo makes such a great anchor to this community from an urban design perspective. BY Paul H. Gleye | PHOTOGRAPHY BY Hillary Ehlen 71

Downtown Fargo has emerged once again as the heart of the city after suffering decades of neglect. Downtown Moorhead is generating new excitement as plans emerge to re-imagine a true city center to replace the one lost to urban renewal a half-century ago. Why are downtowns being rediscovered as special, when everything is already available along the suburban shopping boulevards with plenty of free parking? Downtowns offer an intense experience that rests on four qualities. The first is human scale, as a place to be experienced while walking rather than driving. Most downtown storefronts are 25 feet wide, so as you walk along the street you encounter a new “experience” – a new shop or restaurant – every few steps. And most downtown storefronts are built right up to the sidewalk, rather than set back behind lawns or parking lots, so you can see everything up close as you walk along. Second, successful downtowns convey a sense of time. Most buildings in vibrant downtowns are historic. They have been around for a century or more, and they exhibit the materials and craftsmanship of their era – much of which would be impossible to re-create today. Historic buildings often have tall ground floors, again very expensive to build today, that allow for expansive show windows. And above the ground floor, you see carefully-fitted bricks and stonework, decorative cornices at the tops of buildings, and fine examples of the sign-makers art. Some of Fargo’s most beautiful signs are historic, like that of the Fargo Theatre, while others are indeed new, such as the striking neon sign in front of BernBaum’s.



Third, downtown has different shops and restaurants from those found in outlying areas. Downtown shops tend to purvey unique and high-quality wares so that shopping, and window shopping, become experiences in themselves. In fact, the French term for windowshopping is “window licking.” Show windows can be even creative works. The storefront of Unglued is redesigned by the owners every few months with new patterns made from adhesive film. Zandbroz displays its creative selection of goods to attract the eye as people pass by. Fourth, successful downtowns have many shops, restaurants, and other experiences in walkable proximity. Marketers call it the “agglomeration effect” – when many similar types of businesses congregate together, they tend to all do better than when scattered about the city. And downtown is a good place for locally-owned small shops and restaurants. A boutique that might be overlooked along a wide traffic street fits elegantly among the shops downtown. Today, downtowns are proving to be successful neighborhoods as well. In Fargo, most downtown buildings include apartments or condos above the ground floor, so that the old image of downtowns being vacant after work hours no longer applies. Historic surroundings, locally-owned shops and restaurants in a walkable environment and an opportunity for urban living are what make downtown Fargo and other downtowns so successful today.




BY Becky Muller, Interior Designer at ICON Architectural Group | PHOTOS BY Hillary Ehlen


Each month, we are excited to feature spaces that work. Design & Living has always been a community resource to all things home and design. As more and more outstanding commercial spaces throughout town have caught our attention, we cannot overlook them any longer! 75


adio FM Media is the number one reach medium in the market, offering multiple radio stations, digital services and events twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. In the existing 10,000 square feet that they originally had, employees were on top of each other, sitting on the floor during meetings and crammed into every square inch available. With employees, clients, coaches, prize winners and listeners coming in and out of the building at early mornings, late nights and overall odd hours, they wanted a new space that allowed their staff to work more efficiently. Whether brainstorming as a group, focusing individually, consulting with clients, hosting events or broadcasting live, they needed a new space to make this all happen. With a complete renovation and addition of 7,000 square feet, Radio FM Media, in collaboration with Great States Construction, Inc. and Trever Hill Design, now has a new and improved home after multiple years of working on this dream. Design Process It posed to be a little tricky making a seamless transition from a building originally built around 1999 to a brand new addition. However, with coordinating brick, a new roof, updated metal colors and new signage, Great States did a phenomenal job connecting the two. Such a seamless job that most do not even know they were built around 20 years apart! Between working with the city on building codes and keeping Radio FM Media operational during the entire construction process, communication was key. Nancy Odney, C.O.O. of Radio FM Media, and Brooke Ingstad, Radio FM Media's Event Director, had a great eye for color schemes, functional furniture and appropriate finishes. Their ideas, combined with Great States’ design and Hill’s finishings and furniture selections proved that teamwork is the most important part of any successful project. The flow of the space was very important to the team: how the offices surround

Meet the Team Nancy Odney, C.O.O. Radio FM Media Brooke Ingstad: Event Director, Radio FM Media



collaboration areas, the various “welcome” points for clients and visitors, the new studios and how to design the entire building in one smooth transformation to better accentuate their work ethic. The Addition Odney knew exactly what spaces they needed with the additional square footage they were gaining. It was imperative to add more offices and another set of restrooms, design a more impactful entry and, most importantly, have a large multi-purpose space that allows all of the employees to be together in one spot. Right off the bright and airy lobby are large glass doors that lead into this much-needed multi-purpose space. With a fantastic sound system, full kitchen, large 17’ island, flexible furniture and multiple TV screens, they now have the capability to do more webinars, seminars, live broadcasting, morning shows, social media videos, concerts, brainstorming sessions and much more. Being the voice of the Bison, they recently hosted a Coffee with the Coaches where they had over 100 people in attendance — something they would have never been able to do before. A design element that was very important to the team was giving each person access to natural light - whether it was an employee, someone being interviewed, or even those walking through for a tour. Putting all new sales, internal operation and programming offices along the perimeter of the building, they used glass walls to allow light through the entire space, creating a brighter work environment and boosting overall employee morale. Each office has new furniture with sit-to-stand desks, a meeting space for clients and artwork that ties it all together. The Existing Building



The existing space also underwent a complete renovation to better harmonize with the addition. In the end, new state of the art studios were created. Each studio was rearranged into existing office locations along the perimeter so they could have access to the natural light. Large spans of insulated glass were added to the studios to brighten up the corridors and create a more open atmosphere. One of the most impressive parts of this entire remodel was that during the entire construction process, Radio FM Media was never once disrupted. Even when they were expanding the server room by punching through the adjacent — no equipment was affected. Multiple programming rooms, creative collaboration zones, large TV walls, cubicles for their internship program, a beautiful new break room and additional offices fill the rest of the newly remodeled space. With consistent paint colors, updated trim and coordinating carpet, your eye easily flows from one side of the building to the other. A New Home For anyone getting to work at four in the morning, it can be quite the challenge to be awake, inspired and energetic. Standing at the reception desk early in the morning, you get a beautiful view out the front doors of an orange, pink and yellow Fargo sunrise. With calming and inviting finishes, large spans of glass filtering light through the entire building, new offices and additional collaborative work areas, Radio FM Media has felt and seen the change in their work environment. Spirits have been lifted, work has become more productive, and employees are more excited to come to work every day. Finally having an office that encompasses their team-based work culture and welcomes their clients and guests, Radio FM Media will continue to grow in the types and quantities of events and services they offer our community.

General Contractor: Great States Construction, Inc. Project Manager: Luther Holm Superintendent: Blake Madson Interior Design: Trever Hill Design Furniture: Hannahers Workplace Interiors Furniture Walls: Hannahers Workplace Interiors Specialty Wood and Metal Signage: Grain Designs Countertops: Northern Stone Cabinetry: Swenson’s Cabinetry & Clearwater Custom Cabinets Electric: JDP Electric Plumbing: Precision Plumbing Glass: Rusco Window Company Brick: Hebron Brick Supply


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