Design & Living February 2017

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A Work

in Progress...


lthough I am very grateful for the life I've been given– including the good, bad and sometimes stressful–I like to occasionally step into the world of someone else. It's a bonus if that someone happens to work in the building or design industry. There is just something intriguing about seeing first-hand how people work, then going into their personal space to see how they live. Sometimes their home is a reflection of their work, and sometimes it's just their own, free of judgement, personal space that reflects their passion and family. Either way, I love being surprised. In the past two years, we've gone into many of the personal homes of area designers and builders. Although it was exciting, this series wouldn't feel complete without visiting a few local architects as well. This month we went into the personal space of Joel Davy, Chris Hawley and Phil Stahl. All three are well known for doing extraordinary work in the field of architecture, both commercial and residential. We couldn't wait to see how their awardwinning work translated into their personal lives. I went into this story assuming that these architect's homes were going to be otherworldly, meaning completely lacking flaws and totally finished without a trace of a honey-do list. Well, I'll happily admit I was wrong. For them, going to work requires a standard of perfection most of us cannot begin to imagine. But at home, they're not much



Photo by Paul Flessland

different than us. In fact, all three architects we interviewed lived a fairly modest lifestyle. They didn't have the biggest house on the block, and even though they could likely build and design whatever they wanted, they humbly chose the challenge of remodeling older homes, keeping within the designated footprint. Chris Hawley bought what he described as the ugliest house on the block, convincing his wife and daughters that he could, without drastic measures, make this home into something they loved. Keep reading and you'll see why we consider this challenge won. Joel Davy has spent decades remodeling his older South Fargo home, and Phil Stahl showed us inside his garage studio project in his backyard in Hawley, Minnesota. After interviewing all three, I learned a few things. First, architects consider their homes a "work in progress" just like the rest of us. Second, just because it is their job to design multi-million dollar homes or office spaces, doesn't mean that they want that at home. Third, they do feel the pressure and know they'll be judged by their home, but refuse to be influenced by other's expectations. Lastly, if you're married to an architect, expect

that your home will likely revolve around art and just know that you might never get to pick out the furniture. Again, keep reading for further explanation. As always, thank you to those that have allowed us into their personal lives and homes. For anyone who may be pondering the idea of sending us your projects, just do it already. We love to show homes, landscapes, DIY projects and everything in between. This year, we've vowed to put more of our readers' stories in our pages, so now's the time to help us show off your creativity. If you're ready to get inspired or share some story ideas, make sure to come visit our booth at the Red River Valley Home & Garden Show, February 24-26. Sincerely,

TRACY NICHOLSON Associate Publisher/ Editor








With a career devoted to drawing up dreams, architects let their passion for design and function influence every project they work on. Intrigued by their character and creativity, we asked three local architects to give us a personal tour of their lives beyond the drawing board.



West Fargo homeowners Diane and Gary Johnson found themselves at a crossroads: Should they continue to love their home or possibly list it? After making the decision to love their home, Diane Johnson contacted Trever Hill Design to infuse their home with new life.



Artist Karman Rheault is a master of all mediums. For the past 20 years, her passion for creating new and eccentric works of art has lead her on a path of discovery through different forms of artistic techniques.



An architect's work is often featured at completion, but rarely shown in its entirety. To see just how the process begins and ends, we sat down with Chris Hawley of Chris Hawley Architect who still believes the best designs begin with a hand-drawn sketch.



DIY project expert Kate Sullivan shares her experience of creating a bedroom and bathroom that properly reflected the adults in her home. The goal: a sophisticated, restrained and zen retreat.




On this month's cover, we featured award-winning architect Chris Hawley of Chris Hawley Architects. The photo was taken by J. Alan Paul Photography in the Hawley family's kitchen in South Fargo.

Love Thy Neighbor(hood) If you're in the market for a move, don't miss this issue. We've mapped out the area's newest neighborhoods and will show you what's beneath the snowy landscape. Get a birds-eye view into the new builds, the perfect ponds and the urban themes that will make your neighbors green with envy.


DESIGN& LIVING FEBRUARY 2017 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.


Spotlight Media LLC


Mike Dragosavich


Andrew Jason Tracy Nicholson


Sarah Geiger, Brittney Richter, Ryan Koehler


Tyrone Leslie, Krista Mund, Trever Hill, Katie Sullivan, Samantha Stark, Tracy Nicholson


Erica Rapp, Andrew Jason, Samantha Stark




Samantha Stark Nicole Houseal

Heather Hemingway Tracy Nicholson, Paul Hoefer, Tank McNamara, Jenny Johnson Tracy Nicholson Paul Flessland, J. Alan Paul Photography, Chris Hawley, Gilbertson Photography, Joel Davy, Lonnie Laffen, Paul Crosby, HBA of Fargo-Moorhead, Katie Sullivan, Robb Siverson Photography, Greg Kilwein, Karman Rheault Mitch Rapp, Hal Ecker, Nolan Kaml

Design & Living is published 12 times a year by Spotlight Media LLC. Print quantity exceeds 22,000 per issue. Printed in the U.S.A.

Spotlightmedia ADVERTISING: 701-478-SPOT (7768)

Design & Living does not necessarily endorse or agree with content of articles or advertising presented. Design & Living assumes no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or photographs. Send change of address information and other correspondence to: Spotlight Media Inc. 15 Broadway N. Suite 500 Fargo, ND 58102 or






Meet Spotlight Media's Other Magazines BRADY



From drone technology to virtual reality, February's issue of Fargo Monthly dives into a few popular sectors of the technology industry that are quickly growing and being developed right here in our region. And you may not know it yet, but it impacts people like you, the average consumer, in more ways than one. NATE














The NDSU Bison football team's loss to James Madison in the playoffs was bittersweet. On one hand, NDSU's run of five consecutive national championships had ended. On the other hand, the loss allowed fans, players and coaches to reflect on the most successful half-decade of football in the history of college athletics. The February Collector's Edition of Bison Illustrated immortalizes that run of success.

How can a light bulb be more than a light bulb? That's the question Fargo entrepreneur and founder of GoodBulb Tom Enright started asking himself after a series of personal tragedies. He found his answer in a commitment to giving back to others—to his customers, to his employees, to anyone in need of a little "good."

Spotlight Media is a publishing company out of Fargo. Learn more at


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





Tyrone Leslie founded Heritage Homes in 1995. It is a custom residential homebuilding company serving the FM metro and lakes areas. He serves as Home Builders Association of FargoMoorhead’s president this year. He is also a director on boards for the North Dakota Association of Builders and National Association of Home Builders.

Katie Sullivan is a freelance writer with a passion for interior design. She writes about the rewards and challenges of decorating and customizing her family’s first home on her lifestyle website, Her formal training in journalism at the University of Minnesota, combined with her husband Daren’s carpentry skills, results in dynamic DIY content for their website’s readers. Katie’s work has been published by various media outlets, including the St. Paul Pioneer Press and Scary Mommy. Connect with her on Facebook at Pretty Domesticated and on Instagram at PrettyDomesticated.

Samantha Stark is the web editor for Spotlight Media. She manages the websites of Design & Living, Fargo Monthly, Fargo INC! and Bison Illustrated magazines. Stark graduated from Minnesota State University of Moorhead with a bachelor's degree in multimedia journalism. When she isn't researching the latest web trends, Stark is rereading Stephen King novels, exploring Pinterest for DIY projects and collecting enough newspapers from around the world to clutter every inch of her apartment.

Trever Hill has been the owner of Trever Hill Design in Fargo since 2009. He was also the Specialty Shop Manager of Scheels Home & Hardware. Hill works on both residential and commercial projects around the FM and lakes areas. He has been a valuable contributor, and an award winning designer nominated in various local polls. Hill was recently awarded 'Best Interior Decorator' in Design & Living's People's Choice Awards in 2016.











f you live in the Fargo Public School District, you should be aware of a very important vote coming up March 7. Fargo Public Schools will hold an election for approval of a specified mill levy. Passing the measure will give the school system the funds necessary to maintain its current standard of education. Providing this authority ensures that the District can continue to cover the costs of offering a comprehensive educational experience for all students. It is not a request to increase property taxes. The HBA of F-M supports approval because our leaders feel strongly that a thriving, quality school system is a key driver to economic vitality for the city of Fargo. We also firmly believe in investing in our youth for the future of our community. Visit and click the Fargo Public Schools Vote 2017 banner to learn about this issue and view a short video.

By Tyrone Leslie, HBA President, Heritage Homes

March 7 for continued quality education of Fargo’s students

Here’s a little background for you: the vote on March 7 is not a request to increase property taxes. I can’t stress that fact enough. Approval of a specified levy simply allows Fargo Public Schools to collect property tax on the true assessed value of a taxpayer’s property. Due to legislative action in 2009, Fargo Public Schools must gain approval from its voters to maintain a specified mill levy. Currently, Fargo Public Schools cannot receive any additional revenue through property valuation increases to offset annual rising costs of providing education to its students.

Mill Levy Tax example

Homeowners would only have an increase in property taxes as a result of a property valuation increase as set by Fargo’s Assessment Department or a levy increase by the other taxing entities (i.e., city, park district or Cass County). We’ve included a table below, provided by the Fargo Public Schools, that illustrates the impact of 127 mills on: • A $200,000 home • A $200,000 home with a 5 percent increased property value • A $200,000 home with a 10 percent increased property value

Tyrone Leslie founded Heritage Homes in 1995; it is a custom residential homebuilding company serving the F-M metro and lakes areas.

The HBA of F-M promotes an environment in which members and their businesses can prosper

For more information contact: HBAFargoMoorhead Blog: homebuildersassociation.





Love it List it?




BY Tracy Nicholson & Trever HIll PHOTOS BY Paul Flessland


iane and Gary Johnson purchased their home in 2005 in the Charleswood neighborhood of West Fargo. Twelve years later, they found themselves at a crossroads, wondering if they should continue to love their home or possibly list it. Their home with "good bones" was in need of a style update and they weren't sure they could tackle changes on their own. After making the decision to love their home, Diane Johnson contacted Trever Hill Design to infuse their home with new life.

TREVER HILL Sidenote: The Johnsons previously lived in the Bluemont Lakes neighborhood in South Fargo until their move in 2005 to Charleswood. The home was originally built in 2000 by Rick Samson Construction. Diane Johnson had followed Hill's work in Design & Living magazine and then decided to contact him after he was hired by her daughter to help design their lower level.



Beauty in the Details For this remodel, Diane Johnson worked closely with Trever Hill to revamp the main living area, kitchen and master suite. Knowing that style is in the details, Hill started with the largest details, managing the remodel and choosing the large-scale furniture, then moved on to the smallest details by replacing the original brass knobs, hardware and faucets throughout the home. A few years back, Johnson had the original carpeting replaced with a wood laminate in the main living area and family room. "If you look at the flooring closely, you can see traces of grey, so that was somewhat of the inspiration for the rest of the greys," said Hill.

The original faux Tuscan wall finish was removed and updated with a grey-toned beige paint, now commonly referred to as greige. "The use of beige and grey tones combined is a trick that gives the grey a warmer tone and allows for the use of both beige and grey accents to exist in the same room," said Hill. He also had the columns surrounding the formal dining room painted in a darker shade than the family room to help give the space interest. Along with updating paint and hardware, Hill worked with Johnson to choose new art pieces, accents, furniture, lighting, tile and fans.



Family Room For the family room redesign, Hill and Johnson chose a tufted and overstuffed tweed-textured sofa and chair with miniature nail-head trim. Hill also opted for a new side chair with a special feature for the space near the window. "Because it's so close to the window, I chose a custom Sunbrella fabric that's actually an exterior furniture fabric," said Hill. "It's super durable, waterproof and fade resistant, which helps maintain it's color in its sun-drenched location. The company originally developed this fabric for use on yachts."



Finding Balance with Scale and Flow To improve the flow of the family room, Hill changed the positioning of the furniture, leaving an unobstructed space to walk from the kitchen to the family room. "I felt from the front door walking in, this layout had such a nice flow and allowed for a view straight through to the backyard pool," said Hill. "Frank Lloyd Wright loved to be able to see right through the house from the front door, so I didn't want to obstruct that view with a sofa."

DESIGN&LIVING DESIGN Sofa and overstuffed chair - Bernhardt, Gabbert's Design Studio & Fine Furniture Dog bed - Costco Side chair - Custom Sunbrella fabric, The Furniture Mart Laminate flooring - Carpet World Family room paint - Balanced Beige by Sherwin Williams Dining room column paint - Warm Stone by Sherwin Williams Sidetable and coffee table - Furniture Mart Howard Miller standing clock - Hom Furniture Lamps - HomeGoods Accent pillows - HomeGoods

Pampered Pups Johnson questioned whether she should move the dog bed out of the main living area, but later opted to leave it after finding a beautiful bed for her Chihuahua and Chi-Pom, that complimented the room's other furnishings.

Flanking the sofa, mercury glass lamps create a glamorous yet vintage feel for the family room. "Lamps are huge," said Hill. "I notice a lot of people in their bedrooms and living rooms use smaller lamps than they should. Getting the proper scale prevents it from looking too dwarfed or too large. I think many people fall in love with the lamp itself and don't think of how it's going to look in proportion to all the other pieces in their home. I also notice people will put really skinny lamps on huge side tables. Skinny lamps are really more suitable to smaller furniture pieces like buffets, where you need it to take up less space." "With Trever's little touches everywhere, it isn't so overstated and it just looks so clean—I love it," said Johnson. "He was so much fun to meet and work with. He just gets you so excited about the project." To keep the look fresh, Hill used various textures in each of the wall's artwork. One is a glass-enclosed wire piece, one is a painting with metallic elements and another a textured piece of art in a floating frame.



Kitchen In the kitchen, Johnson and Hill decided to keep the current maple cabinets and update the design. To start this project, the two changed out the full stove and overhead microwave with a more contemporary range and hood. To make the cabinetry changes, they worked with Lynn Kjelshus of Wood & Stone Accents. Kjelshus was able to expertly match the existing cabinetry with a custom design, using some of the old cabinetry to build cabinets below the new range top. "It was amazing how Lynn came in and put in the new cabinets and matched it to the old ones," said Johnson. "When people come here, they say they can't even tell where the new cabinets come in. He built the entire end piece and matched the arches and panel detailing perfectly."



Cabinetry additions - Lynn Kjelshus, Wood & Stone Accents Tile backsplash - Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Countertop - Northern Stone Original cabinetry - Braaten Cabinets Recycled leather island chairs - McNeal & Friends Captain's chairs - McNeal & Friends Table and chairs - Hom Furniture


Hill and Johnson chose new countertops in a marble-like Quartz and replaced the old ceramic tile backsplash with a more contemporary, herringbone design of stone, glass and marble. Johnson reupholstered the breakfast nook chairs in stain-resistant Sunbrella fabric and Hill found clean-lined, recycled leather chairs in a grey tone for the island.

Proving that cabinetry with good bones is worth keeping, Hill explained, "A lot of people think that if they want to do a big change like replacing a full stove with a range top, they'll have to paint their cabinetry or get all new. With just a few layout changes in this kitchen, we were able to completely change the look."


Chandelier - Wayfair Captain's chairs - Sunbrella fabric, Furniture Mart Side chairs and table - Gabbert's Design Studio & Fine Furniture Artwork, table runner, candle holders, accent branches - Scheels Home & Hardware Floral - Pier One Imports

Dining Room In the formal dining room, Hill made the stunning, chain link-draped chrome chandelier the main focal point. "Diane really has a transitional style, so she loves a fresh, contemporary look, but she truly does, at the heart of it, like traditional as well," said Hill. "All of the lighting and chandeliers from the entry to the kitchen and bath are able to be in a contemporary home or a traditional home."

"What I always say it to start big and go small," said Hill. "You need to know what you are changing with the actual home. If you were moving out, what's staying in there? Then move into the next biggest item such as furnishings. Let's get some custom-ordered furniture, find the tables, and at the tail-end, that's when we bring in the artwork, lamps, pillows and accessories. I wanted them to feel, after the remodel, that the home was just built."

For this more formal space, Johnson and Hill found a new table and used stain-resistant Sunbrella fabric for the captain's chairs at the ends of the table. To finish the look, Hill set a beautiful scene with rustic candle holders, glass hurricanes, new wall art and organic elements such as florals and branches.

The last thing Johnson saw when she left town was her new finishes and bare space with new furniture. "I was gone when he did the final accessories," said Johnson. "It was only about a day-anda-half and I came home and got to walk into it completely finished. I couldn't believe it. I wanted know how he came up with the idea and where this all came from. It was wonderful."



Cabinetry - Braaten Cabinets Countertops - Northern Stone Floor, shower tile, glass shower door - Showcase Flooring Free-standing tub and tub faucet - Delta, Ferguson Bath Kitchen & Lighting Gallery Lighting and mirrors - Wayfair Sink faucets - Lowe's Paint - Tony Taupe by Sherwin Williams Shower tower water system - Golden Vantage

Master Bath For the master bath remodel, Hill and Johnson removed the original molded shower enclosure and updated the space with stunning tilework. Johnson chose new tile from Showcase Flooring and worked with Hill to design an intricate river-rock pattern. Johnson originally had a built-in Jacuzzi tub in



the corner, but with the new design, the two decided to replace it with a more contemporary free-standing tub. The shower was also updated with new glass doors and a multi-function, wall-mounted shower panel tower with a rainfall water system. This is a feature that easily attached to the existing shower head and plumbing.


"I had this idea to have both of the water components connected with a river, so having the river rock come through from the shower wall leading to the tub," said Hill. "The owner of Showcase Flooring actually cut it and did it himself. Then I decided we needed more interest, so I brought in this grey, glass tile and shot it behind so it gives the appearance that it's behind the river of stone." Taking it one step further, Hill then complimented the overall look by having the same glass tile installed on the ceiling of the shower. Since the original under-lit cabinetry was still in good condition, the two opted to keep the cabinets as-is and instead chose to update the countertop with a Calacatta, marble-like Quartz design. Clean lines were created with new chrome handles, sinks, faucets, vintage style pivot mirrors and lighting.

For more information, contact: Trever Hill Design 701-715-3077




fusion of


RTIST KARMAN RHEAULT IS A MASTER OF ALL MEDIUMS. FOR THE PAST 20 YEARS, HER PASSION FOR CREATING NEW AND ECCENTRIC WORKS OF ART HAS LEAD HER ON A PATH OF DISCOVERY THROUGH DIFFERENT FORMS OF ARTISTIC TECHNIQUES. “I’ve done a little bit of everything,” said Rheault, adding that her workshop in rural Moorhead, Snowfire Studio, is set up so she can wield a welder and paintbrush in the same day. “It gives me more flexibility," she said. Though Rheault has immersed herself in multiple mediums, her heart now lies with a plasma cutter, designing threedimensional steel sculptures and mixed-media work that combines metal and wood.

A LOVE OF METAL Rheault’s artistic beginning centered around pottery and painting, focusing more on painting when she and her husband decided to start raising a family. But everything changed when a painter friend pushed her to attend a beginners welding course, where she was introduced to basic welding tools. “By the end of the two-hour class, I was done with painting,” she laughed. “I was pretty sure this was going to take over my life for awhile.” She bought all the necessary tools by the end of the week. With the beginners course as her only training, she began teaching herself different welding techniques. Through trial



BY Samantha Stark PHOTOS BY Paul Flessland and Karman Rheault

and error, Rheault was able to uncover the material’s hidden qualities. “That little class was enough to help me build the confidence needed to experiment and figure out my own style,” said the self-taught metal sculptor. “When you’re not trained, you feel more free to screw up. What I love about being an artist is that you get to say, ‘I’m not listening to the rules.’ You have a little bit of freedom to say, ‘No, I’m going to try it my own way.’”

SPARKS OF INSPIRATION In her metalwork, Rheault embraces the inherent colors of the metal by applying heat or allowing the metals to rust and produce a rich, natural patina. She highlights the natural characteristics of the metals with flowing lines and swirled patterns. Those qualities guide her in the creation of her exquisite and inventive metal work, which ranges from jewelry and layered wall art to 10-foot tall, outdoor sculptures. “Since I was a painter before I started metalwork, I see my pieces as a hybrid between the two,” said Rheault. “I use the metal to create more dimension. A lot of my works are wall pieces similar to a three-dimensional painting.”

TOP: Self-taught, metal sculptor Karman Rheault. BOTTOM RIGHT, MIDDLE: In the past three to four years, Karman Rheault has created more artwork for herself to feature throughout her home, including kitchen cabinets and a fireplace mantel.



While most artists start with an idea in mind, sketching it out before cutting into their materials, Rheault allows her tools to drive her creative process. Paisley 8'x10'. Most of Karman Rheault’s paintings show similar characteristics of her metalwork. Though painting was a past passion for Rheault, she now focuses most of her time welding.

“Fusion with History” 33” x 16.5," steel and wood.

“Normally, when I go up to my studio, I only have a theme in mind or a very broad idea. I then grab my piece of steel and just start cutting,” said Rheault. “As an artist, you sometimes have to be brave enough to just jump in.” Rheault draws her inspiration from multiple aspects of her life: relationships, motherhood, nature, femininity, spirituality, etc. “A lot of my work is me trying to express myself, while also trying to communicate with people,” said Rheault. “Through my art is how I feel my biggest connection with people. I’m a little bit of an introvert, and this is my way of putting myself out there.”

‘Fusion’ is a blend of myself and the Hindu goddess Kali. The piece depicts a very feminine and yet powerful being. As a mother and an artist, I’ve often wished that I had multiple arms to multitask similarily to the strong and dynamic Kali.” Approximately 10’3” x 3’4," steel.

In her piece titled “Fusion,” she blended herself with the Hindu goddess Kali, creating a 10-foot, eight-armed metal sculpture that currently stands out front of Snowfire Studio. Like all her metalwork, each detail of “Fusion” exudes symbolic meaning. “The piece depicts a very feminine and yet powerful being,” said Rheault. “As a mother and an artist, I’ve often wished that I had multiple arms to multitask similarly to the strong and dynamic Kali.” Comparable to nature, she aspires for each of her pieces to be unique and reflect the reality of the natural world where nothing is an exact duplicate. “I’m not comfortable making replicas of my artwork over and over again. I would get bored out of my mind. To me, that’s not creative anymore,” said Rheault.



“Winds of Change” by Karman Rheault 10 1/2” x 22 1/2” Steel

Jewelry pendants made by Karman Rheault.

“Rebirth” by Karman Rheault 27” x 28” SteelSteel

Rheault will never box up her paintbrush or toss her clay. She will always be an artist who’s not contained within the thresholds of one medium. “In the winter, you want to hibernate for awhile and you’re not always super creative. Those are the days I veer off from metalwork and play with other mediums,” she said. “I’m super in love with metal and that process right now, so it’s sometimes hard to break away from it to do something else.”

You can find Rheault’s work at Gallery in Fargo’s historic Black Building on Broadway. For more information on the artwork of Karman Rheault contact: Snowfire Studio 11555 15th St. NW, Moorhead

“Terra-Rising” by Karman Rheault





Dan Savageau has been in the cabinet business for over 20 years, running a cabinet shop in town for half of that time before finally starting his own remodeling and cabinet business with his son, Dylan Savageau.

BY Tracy Nicholson PORTRAITS BY Paul Flessland INTERIOR PHOTOS BY Robb Siverson Photography LANDSCAPE PHOTO BY Greg Kilwein


When Jennifer and Skyler Akason, owners of Precision Lawn Care & Landscaping, decided to remodel their home of five years, they put their creativity to the test and brought the outside in. Embarking on a 10-month project, the couple called on interior designer Rebecca Knutson of Floor to Ceiling Carpet One and Dan Savageau Construction to complete their South Fargo remodel. 51


The Remodel

Updating the Akason's 4,300-square-foot home meant infusing rustic charm and natural stone details into nearly every room. As second owners of the home, some of the spaces required cosmetic updates, while others needed changes to improve family function and spacial flow for the couple's 7-year-old son Gavin. Throughout the space, rustic timbers, reclaimed wood and natural stone details act as an expression of the Akason's landscape design roots. The Akasons were already familiar with Knutson and Savageau's work after seeing the finished remodel of Jen's parents' home prior. "They really had a lot of vision for upstairs, knowing that they wanted to keep a couple pieces that were existing," said Knutson. "They're extremely creative people, so my work was not cut-out for me on this one. They brought a lot of really good ideas to the table. It was fun to bounce ideas off of them and they brought a lot of ideas to me, then I found the product. "We really needed to maintain their style throughout the whole home. So, our challenge was making sure that it tied existing pieces like their beautiful, solid oak doors, through the new young, more contemporary and rustic style. They knew exactly what they liked. If they had an idea, we found a product and they said yay or nay. It was an easy process."

The Akason's backyard, where they drew their inspiration for the interior remodel.



Kitchen design - Rebecca Knutson, CID, Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Backsplash tile, resin panels, hardware, Elkay sink - Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Granite - Spaulding Stone Stone work - Precision Lawn Care & Landscaping Appliances - Rigel's



After discussing ideas with interior designer Rebecca Knutson and Savageau Construction, the Akasons decided to keep the original cherry cabinetry, open up the kitchen space and take out the original arches. One of the problem areas they addressed in this room was the layout of the kitchen island. Before the remodel, it was a split level bar-type of island, but the Akasons felt it might be more useful as a one-level island. "The cabinets were still beautiful. They had the right color that fit in with the project, so that was something that we explored replacing, but it kind of felt unnecessary," said Knutson. "Then they talked about how the layout of the island was a little awkward for how it worked for them and Gavin. So, we worked with Dan and cut things down and moved things around so they could get a little better layout. Dan also did a lot of repair work inside the cabinets to update them."



Knutson helped the Akasons choose new granite countertops, new tile backsplash, oil-rubbed bronze hardware and replaced the glass panels with stunning, 3form resin twig panels. After adding in some metallic details, Knutson helped them find a steel, glass and copper tile for the top of the backsplash, with copper liner and antique copper near the counter. The Akasons also chose to replace the appliances and update the sink with a scratch resistant, granite molded insert.



Reclaimed wood - Dakota Timber Co. Beam install - Dan Savageau Construction Natural stone - Precision Lawn Care & Landscaping Wood built-in cabinetry - Rebecca Knutson, CID, Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Fireplace - Home & Hearth

Family Room

The family room's remodel consisted of adding a new fireplace with natural stone surround and custom wood built-ins designed by Knutson. To keep the home's character throughout, the Akasons had their kitchen beams replicated, adding one to the finished fireplace design. As landscapers, the two are accustomed to working with natural stone on exteriors, so for this project, they wanted to bring the stone inside and fuse the exterior's style to the interior.

Cabinetry and tile - Rebecca Knutson, CID, Floor to Ceiling Carpet One



Main Floor Bath


Natural ledge stone - Install by Precision Lawn Care & Landscaping Furniture - Hom Furniture Reclaimed wood, Dakota Timber Co., install by Dan Savageau Construction Lighting - Border States Lighting Center

Master Bedroom

Initially, the Akasons were not planning on doing much more than paint and flooring in the master bedroom. After completing the lower level and some of the other spaces upstairs, they decided to give their master suite a rustic upgrade as well. Savageau used reclaimed wood in two tones to create a coffered ceiling with LED rope lighting and custom-built sliding barn door leading to the master bath. The Akasons designed the ledge stone, natural wall and had their crew do the install, thus creating a rustic yet soothing accent wall for the master.




Cabinetry - Decor Cabinets, Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Granite - Spaulding Stone Tile and Travertine - Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Natural ledge stone - Install by Precision Lawn Care & Landscaping Lighting - Border States Lighting Center




Master Bath

In the master bath, Knutson and Savageau reconfigured the layout by adding a beautiful, granite stone entrance with LED lighting embedded underneath. This entrance opens to a custom-designed Travertine shower and tub room with granite shelving—just one of the many creative ideas the Akasons came up with. "As you can tell, we really like Travertine natural stone," said Skyler Akason. "We have a lot of Travertine on our patio in the backyard, so we kind of wanted to carry that inside." Just outside of the tub room is a mudroom-style towel station with granite bench. To tie in the master's rustic appeal, a dry-stacked natural stone flanks the wall behind the counter and sinks.



Lighting - Border States Lighting Center Cabinetry and flooring - Rebecca Knutson, CID, Decor Cabinets- Floor to Ceiling Carpet One


What was once glass panels on the stairwell is now updated with resin twig panels, coordinating with the kitchen hutch inserts. Massive hallowed beams were custom built by the Savageaus, anchored in the lower level, running all the way to the 16-foot upstairs ceiling. Leading up to the stairwell, the main floor was given a fresh look with new oak hardwood flooring from Floor to Ceiling Carpet One. To create a more rustic appeal, this flooring design was obtained using various stains.

Laundry Room




The Akasons actually first began their project in the lower level with an extensive remodel to the stairwell, walls, arcade room, theater and bar area. "We started with wanting to do the reclaimed wood just down here with the wainscoting, then it kind of progressed to all over the house," said Jennifer Akason. "One day I just said, 'Lets go up the stairs, it'd be kind of cool to do the wall with the reclaimed wood too.' That turned into the big beams and then eventually into the bedroom. We just kept going with the theme of reclaimed wood because we liked it so much."


In the lower level bar, the recess was already there with plumbing and vinyl flooring, but the bar and seating area still needed to be built. Staying away from typical bar counter designs, the Akasons chose to do a custom table to allow for more seating. "We thought we'd get more use out of this way than just a standard bar. We like that people can sit on both sides," said Skyler Akason. After the Akasons found the chairs they wanted, they realized the table was not the right size. To amend the issue, Savageau matched the design of the chairs and replicated it's exposed bolt and steel design into the custom table. Skyler Akason incorporated natural stone from Montana and had his landscape company do the install for the bar backsplash wall. Ample LED strip lighting illuminates textured glass and beautiful custom cabinetry designed by Knutson. The bar features open shelving, under-mount sink, a wine refrigerator and Quartzite countertops. "This is Decor Cabinetry, they're a frameless cabinet line with Alder as the wood species in a Cobblestone stain," said Knutson. "The Quartzite countertop on the perimeter of the bar area is in Sequoia Brown and we added a heavy, textured glass toward the top with open shelving below." Knutson also helped them choose a reclaimed woodlook porcelain tile for the bar area. "There is a newer process in tile technology with digital high-definition printing within the tile’s glaze. This is where they photograph actual weathered hardwood and project that image onto the tiles," explained Knutson. "It's a fairly new technology pioneered by Inkjet Printers." 65


Interior Design - Rebecca Knutson, CID Construction - Dan Savageau Construction Tile and flooring - Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Reclaimed Wood - Dakota Timber Co. Stonework - Precision Lawn Care & Landscaping Pool table,and arcade games - HotSpring Spas & Pool Tables 2 Lighting - Border States Lighting Center

Game Room

Just off of the bar, the Akasons have a rust-toned pool table and reading nook leading the way to the adjoining game room.

Lower Level Mudroom







Glass shower door Frontier Glass and Mirror

Lower Level Guest Bath

The Akason's didn't skimp on the details when it came to their lower level bathroom. Knutson helped them choose the tile, under-mount, hammered copper sink, reinforced brown granite and glass door tile shower. The shower is made with the same Travertine as the master bath and uses natural stone with wood-look plank for a center accent.


In the theater room, the Akasons chose natural stone and reclaimed wood details with custom cabinetry designed by Knutson. To complete the space, a theater system was installed by Smart Home Technologies.

Home theater system - Smart Home Technologies

For more information contact: Rebecca Knutson, CID Interior Designer | Cabinet Department Manager Floor to Ceiling Carpet One 360 36th St. S, Fargo 701-237-6601




at home With a career devoted to drawing up dreams, architects let their passion for design and function influence every project they work on. From awe-inspiring residential homes to timeless city structures, this is their life's work; perfectly interwoven with art and science. Intrigued by their character and creativity, we asked three local architects to give us a personal tour of their lives beyond the drawing board.


Chris Hawley Architects

Meandering through the well-established Fargo Country Club neighborhood, it's easy to see why architect Chris Hawley and his wife Sarah call this area home. Sprawling trees, young families and a backyard view of the golf course make this the perfect place to quietly raise a family. Both originally from Minot, North Dakota, the two, along with daughters Amelia (9) and Ruby (7), moved to the neighborhood in 2014 with a plan to transform what was once considered the "ugliest" house on the block into the remarkable remodel it is today. 72


By Tracy Nicholson | Photos by J. Alan Paul Photography, Scott Amundson Photography and K.B. Photography


Diamond in the Rough "The first time I saw it, I ran by it and thought that was the ugliest house in Fargo," said Chris Hawley. "The second time, I thought, 'You know, that's an ugly house, but this neighborhood's great and it looks like a really wellbuilt house.'"

"The first time I saw it, I ran by it and thought that was the ugliest house in Fargo."

Exterior AFTER

Exterior BEFORE

Chris Hawley

"When I came home from seeing this for the first time, I did a little computer model of the whole thing so Sarah could see. Basically I told her, 'I know that's the ugliest house you've ever seen, but it could be this,'" laughed Hawley. Prior to moving here, the Hawley family was living in an 880-square-foot home in the Hawthorne neighborhood, but felt they were outgrowing the space. "I tried to be on that train for as long as I could, living in a small house, but the girls were getting big," said Hawley. "It was a cute, little 1940s house that we did a bunch of work to as well. We don't have any family here, so when the family comes, they're all at our house. We needed extra space for that."

Backyard Exterior AFTER

Backyard Exterior BEFORE


The Remodel With a completely different aesthetic after just two years, the Hawleys managed to transform their home without drastic construction. "In the grand scheme of things, the remodel on this main floor was a very affordable project," said Chris Hawley. "The part that was expensive was the exterior and that new entrance. Without the new entrance, this house didn't work. It was such a weird layout, so without that change, the living room would have never gotten used. Now it's one of our favorite rooms in the house. We also got rid of the hexagon windows on the exterior. That must have been a cool thing back in 1968."

Entry With an eclectic mix of designer and second-hand furniture, the Hawleys love to surround themselves with statement pieces like the cowhide chair in the entry. What many would assume is an expensive designer piece is actually a $2 dollar chair Chris Hawley found at the NDSU Surplus, bought skins for and had his mom reupholstered. Chris Hawley's mom has been an upholsterer for more than 40 years, and has helped them create some of their custom furniture pieces from scratch. Buying and making things of quality–like collector furniture that's timeless in design and built to last–is how Chris Hawley's mom has built furniture and it's a concept he himself infuses in his buildings and projects.



"The only thing we really did inside was open that wall up (to the right of the crude oil art)," said Chris Hawley. "The one thing that kind of changed the plan was the new entrance. It had a 1968-layout of four levels and stairs everywhere. The entrance used to be a 6-foot wide, 40-foot long hallway, which was our entrance. It was a total waste of space. So, we opened that up and made the new entrance and all of that other space we closed off and it became my bike storage room and we closed the whole back area off, which is now cabinet storage. It's kind of like my little shed inside the house."

Kitchen Artfully reconfiguring the kitchen space allowed for easy access from both the living room and family room with higher function, more prep space and better flow. To add contrast to the white oak flooring in the kitchen, the Hawleys incorporated a tongue and groove, wood paneled wall, stained in a deep brown. This wall works simultaneously as the contemporary room divider from the living room and the accent wall in the kitchen. Displayed on the kitchen side is a stunning painting by local artist Jessica Wachter.

Look lower on the cabinetry and accent wall and you might see Hawley's organic take on venting. It's a more contemporary design element, and he eliminated the need for typical metal vent covers by drilling perfectly aligned holes through the walls where needed. "I can't stand the cheap, little metal vent covers," said Hawley. "So I just laid out a little grid and took a drill bit to it. For me, to drill holes act as a grill for return air, some clients would have had us sand out all of those circles and stain the inside. I really don't care, it doesn't

bother me." With many of this architect's clients investing upward of $10,000 on custom range hoods, the Hawleys were content spending less than $100. Chris Hawley wrapped the hood with the same tongue and groove wood found on the accent wall and used off-the-shelf washers and fasteners to create a custom design. "I think when architects do their own houses, they will experiment more with materials," said Chris Hawley.


Dining In "The big decision in this project, and I still wonder about it, was the commitment to say, 'Hey, we're not going to have a formal dining room,'" said Chris Hawley. "In fact, the island is the dining room. We live on the end of this thing, the four of us have dinner here every night. This type of dining table works well because the way that we entertain is very informal." After stumbling upon the perfect materials to create their lengthy dining table, the Hawleys used reclaimed wood and a little creative steel work to build function and beauty. "My brotherin-law, us and two other partners own the Starving Rooster in Minot, North Dakota. We bought an old warehouse in Downtown Minot and these are the roof timbers from that building. So we reclaimed those and one of the partners is a carpenter and he made the table for us. It's still got all the old spikes in it. Larry at P2 Industries made the stainless steel cap at the end of the table. That was the most expensive part of the kitchen actually, just that one piece. We always said this is where we'd make sushi, but really we've never made sushi," laughed Hawley.

An Architect's Perspective When asked what it's like for an architect to design their own home, Hawley explained, "As an architect, I think everybody is going to be more critical of your project because you have the ability to do whatever they want. If I were to do a new project for us, I'd be totally stressed out over that because everybody would say, 'You can do whatever you want, and that's what you did?' Where as this was so awful, there was only one direction but up. You can't do whatever you want. You sometimes have to work backward from what the house gives you to start. But I'll say this—what I'm most proud of with this project is where we started and where we're at now." When asking the Hawleys' daughter Ruby what she thought about the home's design, her response was, "It's amazing, rusty, modern." We're pretty sure she means "rustic" but all in all, she's on the right track because this remodel is nothing short of amazing.



Living Room The couple loves to start each day in the living room soaking up the sun and taking in the quiet of the morning. "Chris and I spend time up here on the weekends and in the mornings with coffee," said Sarah Hawley. "When the sun comes in, this is kind of a fun spot. Every morning, it's really the best place to sit and just have some quiet time," said Chris Hawley.

"I like to collect furniture, some designer pieces like the daybed—that's a Ludwig Mies van der Rohe piece," explained Chris Hawley. Not taking his designer furniture too seriously, he laughed and said, "When I have my old college buddies come and stay, that's where they sleep." On the adjacent wall, the Hawleys display three of Chris Hawley's brother's works. "These are actually done on old blueprints from the dumpster," said Chris Hawley. The art features Northern Plains Chiefs of North Dakota and Montana, along with a Shaman. On the tongue and groove accent wall dividing the living room from the kitchen, is a statement art piece called "Crude Oil" by Kent Kapplinger. In many households, the women tend to rule the roost when it comes to design and furniture decisions. As we soon found out, being married to an architect can result in quite the opposite scenario. "I don't dare choose anything by myself, or it'll go back," laughed Sarah Hawley. "He's very particular, but we also have very similar tastes."




Family Room The Hawleys like to spend their time gathered around the fire, which is a favorite space for them in the evenings. A working brick fireplace and mitered quartz hearth are in perfect step with the Charles Beck art piece and custom accent wall. A textured wool rug in the family room was chosen by their daughter Amelia. "It had a sign on it that said, 'Oops. We shouldn't have ordered this!,'" said Sarah Hawley. "Apparently nobody wanted it, so we snagged it up." Surprisingly, the Hawleys were able to salvage much of the original room by adding in just a few custom details to modernize its 1960s design. "We did peel back some really awful honey-oak book cases. We left the brick and painted it, then added the little stone hearth," said Chris Hawley. "I like when the inside and outside of the house talk to each other, so this is like the accent."

Three-Season Porch Rebuilding the existing three-season porch, the Hawleys stained everything to match the rest of the home and called on Chris Hawley's mom to make the custom screens to snap-in and be removable for the warmer months. "The best part of that porch room is the morning view—we get a great golf course view without the golf course price," said Chris Hawley.

Family Room BEFORE


Throughout the home, the Hawleys rely on thought-provoking paintings and photography created by family, friends and popular local artists such as Jessica Wachter, Charles Beck, Molly Yergens, Kent Kapplinger and Jen Brandel.

A Work in Progress As of today, the Hawleys say that it's a work in progress before the home is officially completed. They have started work upstairs by replacing the windows and trim. "This has been our first priority, tackling the main level," said Chris Hawley. Also currently in the midst of work on the lower level, Chris Hawley explained the next project on their list, "The basement's going to have a sauna and be kind of a collage of all kinds of family things using some of Sarah's grandpa's barn for materials." Putting Down the Pencil With a busy career and growing family, some might ask how someone so focused finds time to unwind. Chris Hawley is an avid cyclist, referring to it as his "medicine" for a tricky lifestyle full of family and work. He rides road bike, mountain and even fat bike in the winter months. "In my college days, I used to compete and race often, but have finally realized that I'm not going to make it to the Tour De France," said Hawley. "During the beginning of my architecture career, I kind of let the riding fall to the side while I was trying to get things going. Ultimately, I fell out of shape and blew out my knee as a result. The first thing they do after surgery is put you on a bike and I realized how much I loved it." Now a big part of his life again, the whole family enjoys the sport. "As far as the girls, they're starting to get into it as well. Sarah does it for exercise. Amelia is having some success in competing and Ruby is a scrappy little bugger on a mountain bike." "From a social perspective, it is one of my favorite things to plan a bike trip around spending time with interesting and motivated people. It's the best way to experience a new place. Whether it is up and over a mountain, through a forest or on a road through a new city, I have found it to allow the right speed to really get a sense of the place."



Here are just a few examples of Chris Hawley's work as an architect:

About Chris Hawley Architects Chris Hawley graduated with an architecture degree from NDSU in 2004 and began his residential design building his family's cabin near his hometown of Minot, North Dakota This would be the first of many projects that focused on core design elements stemming from the North Dakota prairie, his family's agricultural roots and his strong Scandinavian heritage. Hawley went on to found Radiant Homes in response to their clients request for a seamless design and build experience. In 2011, he left Radiant Homes and branched off to create an eight-person team with Chris Hawley Architects. Rapid growth and success of Hawley's businesses earned him a nomination for the FMWF Chamber of Commerce's "Entrepreneur of the Year" award. His work has been published in Trends Magazine and Midwest Home with a recent project, the Fargo Laundry Building, being awarded the American Institute of Architects Residential Juror's Choice Award. Hawley is also the recipient of the Design & Living People's Choice Awards Best Residential Architect for 2015 and 2016.


JLG Architects

In the Clara Barton neighborhood of South Fargo, quaint homes line the tree-veiled streets, but one home catches the eye with its Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired curb appeal. Once owned by artist and sculptor Ann Brown Bolin, Joel and Deborah Davy saw the home in 1993 and were drawn to the neighborhood's mature trees and the home's 1953 modern design. Playing off of the home's existing design, the Davys went to work infusing their own classic-modern style by adding square footage on the main level and an upper level addition for their two sons. 86


By Tracy Nicholson | Photos by J. Alan Paul Photography, Additional project photos by Lonnie Laffen and Paul Crosby for Sanford Moorhead Clinic, Joel Davy for Torrance Cultural Arts Center



Distinct Career Paths With more than four decades of experience, Joel Davy of JLG Architects has accumulated dozens of design awards and an extensive resume educating architecture students. A graduate of North Dakota State University, he received a master's degree in architecture in 1974 from Columbia University. He began his career in Los Angeles, where he met his wife Deborah and years later returned home to lead two of the largest firms in North Dakota— JLG Architects and Foss Associates.

Inspired Renovation Originally a 1,100-square-foot home, the Davys have more than doubled the space to 2,400 square feet by immediately adding a dining room onto the main level, two bedrooms and a bathroom on the second level. As the years passed, the Davys added a garage, master bath with a skylight and bumped out the living room windows to add more space to accommodate Deborah Davy's grand piano. "The home was designed by Ann Brown Bolin who was the chairwoman of the NDSU art department at the time," said Joel Davy. "She was a big Frank Lloyd Wright fan, so it was based on those principles." Bolin was well known for her work in stone, wood and clay, receiving a Carnegie Fellowship to work at Harvard University and exhibiting her work all over the country, including the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. "This was not the original plan," said Joel Davy. "The original plan was to buy this house, put the first addition on and live here for about five years, then buy a lot and build a new house. We never really got around to that. We just kept putting additions on and we liked the neighborhood, so we just wound up staying." Source: Prairie Public's Dakota Datebook


Deborah's Office In this house, Joel Davy isn't the only one with an extensive career. Deborah Davy has had three distinct careers starting with a bachelor of arts in theatre design from Pomono College in Claremont, California. She worked for several notable designers in Los Angeles as a writer and researcher, where she was also introduced to filmmaking. The two eventually moved to St. Paul, Minnesota, where she was a producer for Twin Cities Public Television. Next came a period of staying home with their two boys and doing freelance writing and graphic design. Later she earned an education degree and concluded her career teaching English in West Fargo.

Living Room "It's a flat-roof house, which is very unusual to begin with," said Joel Davy. "The original ceiling was tiles. When we added the second floor, we got water damage to the tiles, so we took them off and Deborah thought these joists were pretty cool. In an 8-foot ceiling house, it gives you a feeling of additional volume. Unfortunately, they had all kinds of gouges on them, so Deborah had to fill in all of those holes and did all of the painting." After spending ample time to find just the right pieces to fill their space, the Davys have furnished their home with Scandinavian flair from places such as Scan Design, Room & Board, local galleries and even Ikea. Other pieces, like the marble side tables, were once owned by Deborah Davy's parents. Above Deborah Davy's grand piano is a modern Artecnica light made from recycled plastic they once found at Ecce Gallery. The largest showpiece in the room is a custom rug the Davys were destined to acquire. "I saw this weaver's work at the Uptown Art Fair years ago when we were looking for a rug," said Deborah Davy. "I saw this table runner pattern and I asked her if she could do this design in a rug. So, we actually picked the colors and pattern, we got an estimate and it ended up being more than we wanted to spend. We kind of forgot about it, and we never did find a rug that we wanted to buy. A year or two later, I went back to her studio again and there was this piece. She said she showed the design that she came up with for us to another couple and they really liked it. This was the extra off the loom. It ended up being the perfect size. Its sister or brother went to the President of Stanford University's home."

Artistic Ambiance "The art on the wall is pretty much all local artists," said Joel Davy. "We know almost all of them personally. You might recognize Dan Jones, that's a painting of the river just over there where we walk our dogs all the time. There's a couple of Becks, Trygve Olson, the cartoonist at The Forum and some works by friends of ours and so on." Along with Deborah Davy's own art, here are just a few of the local artists featured in their home: Beck, Trygve Olson, George Pfeifer, Catherine Mulligan, Robert Nelson, David Norstad, Amy Richardson, Mike Marth, Mark Larson and Richard Bresnahan.


Dining Room Without a designated dining room, the Davys spent their first summer in the house eating in the screened-in-porch. Opting to renovate, they liked the idea of keeping the room at garden level and creating various ceiling heights with contrasting wood steps to the dining room.

Personal Style

"We're both interested in modernism, and actually Deborah grew up with more classic modern things than I did," said Joel Davy. "We occasionally disagree on a choice, but our taste has always been similar. It tends to be modern but warm, rather than the cooler, cold modern with excessive glass that you see in movies."

Kitchen Starting with about half the square footage it is now, the original '50s kitchen was redone in 2003 with Danish style lighting, a new island and custom cherry cabinetry by Minot Sash and Door. "We like that it's not completely open to the living space, but it's still very open and you can see both rooms," said Joel Davy.



As a centerpiece to the dining room addition, the table was handmade by Joel Davy while the couple was living in California. "It's pretty crude because all I had was a skillsaw and electric screwdriver," said Joel Davy. "It's very inexpensive. I just bought a piece of 4-by-4foot plywood and some birch boards and made a table out of it." "One of the reasons that we still have this table is that I won't let Joel get rid of it," said Deborah Davy. "It is the perfect size for eight people and because of this size, we never have a dinner party that breaks up into separate conversations because we're so close together."

After growing up in Denmark, Deborah Davy treasures her parent's Danish-Modern buffet. "That piece actually went through a fire. It's the only surviving piece of furniture from my childhood," said Deborah Davy. Above the buffet, an ironic candle burn scars the art piece of fire that was painted for trade by their friend Ron Rozzelle while they were living in Los Angeles.


Master Suite As a part of the original layout, the Davy's master bedroom was renovated in 2001 to include a larger bathroom with a skylight. To pay tribute to the past owner, the Davys feature a sculpture from Ann Brown Bolin's collection on their dresser, along with three works Deborah Davy painted while taking courses from local artist Marjorie Schlossman.



Den As part of the renovation, the Davys transformed the previous garage into a TV den and used the remaining space to create a pantry. To keep art at the forefront, they display more local art and showcase a commissioned, vertical piece by Mike Marth.

Creating Light

"Joel is great at creating light and space," said Deborah Davy. "Also, Ann had really planned the landscaping beautifully because we have shaded light coming in through the trees in all the right places as the sun moves around the house. We are lucky to enjoy the trees at their maturity. In the summer when the trees are leafed out, you can barely tell that we have neighbors."

From an Architect's Perception "I think a lot of us get drawn (to architecture) because you wind up having talents in a couple of different areas," said Joel Davy. "Maybe you were interested in art when you were young and also had an interest in math and some of the sciences, because there is a science to architecture. It's a combination of those skills that drew me to it." When asked if it's more difficult as an architect to create his personal space, Joel Davy replied, "Yes, it's more difficult because you're never satisfied and you just see all the mistakes that you've made and the things that you'd redo. But obviously any architect is going to try and create their own environment." When most would assume that an architect would build the largest house on the block, Deborah Davy explained, "I think that many architects have a sensitivity to environmental concerns and not wanting to make a huge footprint."



Here are just a few examples of Joel Davy's work as an architect:

North Dakota Heritage Center, Bismarck, N.D.

Fargo Civic Center, Fargo

Torrance Cultural Arts Center, Torrance, Calif.

Rhoades Science Center, Valley City State University, Valley City, N.D.


Stahl Architects

Well known for his contemporary Downtown Fargo office, Phil Stahl of Stahl Architects is picking up his 22-year practice and heading east. After selling his landmark studio for a simpler life in the backyard of his Hawley, Minnesota, home, Stahl has created a stunning Scandinavian-style studio to pursue his love of art and architecture. 96


By Tracy Nicholson | Photos by Paul Flessland | Phil Stahl's portrait and various interior photos by Gilbertson Photography


stahl, aia

After more than two decades as a fast-paced architect, Stahl found himself yearning for a change of pace. He has lived in the small community of Hawley, Minnesota, for the past 10 years and makes the 30-minute commute to Fargo every day. After spending his spare time pursuing his passion for painting, he soon realized that his masterpieces being created in their master bedroom was causing an unwelcome paint-splattered mess. Stahl accepted the challenge to find a new art studio outside of their home, and decided to transform his one-story backyard garage into a two-story studio made to inspire masterpieces of both architecture and art. Making the Move Moving his architecture firm full time to his backyard studio, Stahl is still a practicing architect, but it went from a large firm to more of a sole practice. "It's a different pace of life, with less overhead," said Stahl. "You can still maintain the income, but it's more relaxing. When you're in your 30s, you're kind of go go go, trying to conquer the earth, but mid-life you try to reevaluate and focus on what's truly important. And that's kind of when the art side kicked in more." The View A short walk from the the Stahl's 1978 rambler, guests enjoy the view, the quiet and the glimpse of the nature preserve and pond just beyond the studio. Reminiscent of a childhood tree fort, but emanating a unique Scandinavian flair, the 400-square-foot space is an office, art studio and retreat.


Venturing up the rustic steps to the second floor, Stahl points out the hand-made, twig-style stair railing. "I actually wanted more of an aspen or birch railing, but these are cottonwoods," said Stahl. "This whole area has spots where cottonwood trees get choked. You can see where there are groups of trees that are super tall. When they're choked, they grow up like that. Normally you would see them in masses where they're all spread out. They grow up and die, then get bleached by the sun. So, I settled for kind of a grayish white versus a white, but it still fits the design language. It's a work in progress, but a labor of love." "For the exterior, I left those little rafter tails on it from the original garage design, plus cantilevered the upper floor out from the lower footprint," said Stahl. "This area is mostly Scandinavian in heritage, so to honor their context, I used a Scandinavian architectural style called Loftstugen; that's the way Scandinavians built their homes in Northern Europe. It's a relatively unknown landmark to Hawley, Minnesota, but I like the ah-ha moment when a neighbor discovers this little treasure." Building the Studio To create his studio with Scandinavian flair, Stahl impressively handled the bulk of the work, taking it on as a part-time hobby. It was initially framed by Ben Dahl construction in Moorhead with electrical by C&R Electric in Fargo, with Stahl doing the remaining work himself, taking about two-and-a-half years to complete the studio. "After my wife encouraged me out of the master bedroom because I was getting paint on everything, I said, 'Okay, let's take this garage roof off and I'll build something out there,'" said Stahl. "So, I started taking the roof off, which is those wall planks and I thought, 'Well that would be kind of cool if I can reuse them.' So, that's actually the old roof deck. I took the roof off, built a floor, walls, new rafters and everything. I wanted to make it look like an old barn loft or haymow."

To give the old roof deck planks rustic character for the walls, Stahl used a power sprayer and applied a limited coat of paint without primer, which purposefully allowed the old water spots to come through. "I decided to leave it for that old barn look," said Stahl. "I also wanted a vintage, wood plank floor. So, I researched how they did it 100 years ago using the rectangle cut nails and the nailing pattern and what not. They didn't have round nails then. They were so precious that if a guy were to want to take a barn down and rebuild, they would actually burn the barn down to save the nails."


Down to the Floorboards To get the beautiful stain on his floor planks, Stahl went back to nature and his roots. Stahl was born in Oklahoma and grew up in South Dakota. After discovering that his parents were headed back to Oklahoma for a centennial, Stahl asked them to bring back a gallon of dirt. "The soil is so red down there," said Stahl. "Barns used to be painted with red oxide, which is basically rust. Then they used milk and a couple other things, basically to keep things from growing on the wood. So, this is basically mud, there is no stain on these floor planks. I just wet it down and took a broom and went back and forth. So, this is Oklahoma, another part of my heritage. It's basically a cherry stain on Douglas Fir plank. I was surprised and happy that it worked out. I actually applied a polyurethane over a little bit of it just for fun, because I wanted it to look older and I had to build in some of that age." At just under 400 square feet, Stahl's studio embraces a simple but effective design with clean lines and plenty of character. To get creative, he purchased red, Target wastebaskets, drilling holes to create hanging pendants. "That's probably one of the coolest features at night with the big windows," said Stahl. "You can see the red glowing in here." Near the french doors is Stahl's work station, as well as his wife Melanie's desk where she works as his office manager.

Stahl and his wife have three kids–two daughters, one in eighth and one in seventh grade, as well as a son in fifth grade. Pointing out the imperfection in the wood floor planks, Stahl recalls when his son was in kindergarten and pounded on the planks leaving impressions in the wood. "I like these because it's memories," said Stahl. "It's sort of the Wabi-sabi concept, it is the beauty in the making. That's partly why you see planes and kites in here, those are specific memories attached to either my kids or my childhood." The Wabi-sabi ideal is of Japanese origin, a concept that appreciates and finds beauty in the imperfections.



1 01

Among the Trees For Stahl, the beauty is in the backyard of his one acre lot. Just beyond the entrance to the studio lies a nature preserve with a pond owned by the school. "Hawley is a great community with a great school and beautiful parks," said Stahl. "It tends to be a thriving bedroom community—the people that live here either work in Detroit Lakes or Fargo. It's still a small town in feel, but with all the amenities of urban living."

Inside the studio, bursts of color come from the many bird houses Stahl made from scrap wood left over from trimming out the garage. Each one was painted by one of his three children.

Driven by Creativity These days, Stahl is all about identifying his career as more of a creative outlet, trying to support his family through creative means, whether it's making art, writing or even traveling. "We're pursuing some of those. We're writing a couple of books: a murder-mystery and a spy novel. I met an Arabian architect; we've been heading back and forth to the Middle East and we're currently pursuing with the United Nations in rebuilding Northern Iraq after the ISIS conflict. That's been kind of crazy, but hopefully we can be part of that. That's a whole different story and deserves a book in itself."


The Art in Architecture Noticing a trend in the connection between art and architecture, we asked Stahl if the two were always connected. "Yes, I think if you could draw a graph, there'd be an engineer and an artist. An architect falls in between there somewhere," said Stahl. "The closer they get to an engineer, the more they become like a structural engineer, solving a pre-defined set of problems. The closer you get to the art, and it really depends on personality, then you get close to the artist type of architect. But the closer it gets to an artist, the less input he wants because this person wants more autonomy. A painter says, 'I want to paint that and I want you to love it or hate it' and then you have a 100 percent creative outcome, an ego-centric design. In architecture, I'm doing something for you. It's not totally mine. It's more yours, so I have to share that autonomy. So, they do go together. Design is the big picture, then it comes down to the details. A friend of mine and architect in Grand Forks, Scott Meland, writes songs instead of art. I found out that he uses the same kind of procedure for architecture that he does in creating his songs and lyrics."

"For me, architecture came first. I didn't even draw architecture in high school, it was more like ninjas and stuff like that in the '80s," laughed Stahl.



Stahl shares a need to create furniture just like former colleague and fellow architect Chris Hawley. Both have furniture from NDSU Surplus that has since been repurposed. A side table has been given new life with glass tile and a food service tray station has been repurposed to store his art pieces. "Him (Chris Hawley) and I would go together, they were usually two or three dollar items," said Stahl. "We'd buy at them same time and then his mother Pam, a professional upholsterer from Minot, North Dakota, would redo the upholstery. She's amazing. I still have some and have sold many of them."

Perfection in the Details "For some people, every once in a while you just get sick of the way your furniture is laid out and you want to move things around," explained Stahl. "In an architect's mind, there's a perfect way that it's set and functions the best, so once we get it there, we don't want to ever move it. Also, architects usually hate their houses," laughed Stahl. "Because you can't do a perfect house and you can't do your own." Stahl knows many an architect who has built beautiful, awardwinning homes and still didn't like them. Saving the tour of his family's home on the property for another time, Stahl insists it's a work in progress.



Here are just a few examples of Phil Stahl's work as an architect:

About Phil Stahl Phil Stahl graduated with an architecture degree from NDSU in 1994. After college, he worked for Johnson Laffen Meland Architects (now JLG) in Grand Forks, then Wild & Associates in Fargo. In 2000, he established his architecture firm, Stahl Architects, PLLC. For the past 22 years, Stahl has designed a broad range of commercial and residential projects and has become well known for his innovative design. Various homes have been featured in national magazines and television programs such as Dwell, Garden Design and HGTV. Stahl was awarded national American Institute of Architects Firm of the Year for Intern Development in 2005; he spoke nationally on topics such as developing Architect Interns. In 2012, Stahl pursued an international passion by starting TriOmni Group International, a North Dakota based consortium specializing in US-IRAQ business relations, providing services of Project Management, Engineering, Architecture, and Consulting through a network of business professionals. Through his endeavor, Stahl helps build networks and procure work between appropriate US companies to Iraq businesses and developer groups looking for American know-how. His current network in Iraq/Jordan/Oman includes major electrical, construction contractors and oil services. They have met with various government entities within and around Iraq. Their current pursuits are efficiently designed oil stations for multi-well sites with EAPC, pursuing tenders in re-building infrastructure in Iraq, and a 3D concrete printer proof of concept for row housing in the Middle East.



Home & Garden Show provides access to the pros, plus a whole lot more



he Red River Valley Home & Garden Show is in its 56th year and is different things to different people. Maria is a mom who’s excited to walk around the show to make home improvement plans, while her husband helps the kids find “treasures” at different booths or construct a LEGO creation. Dan is a young professional who’s looking forward to having a beer, stretching his legs and seeing the newest in home trends. Susan is a retiree who enjoys the community aspect of the show, heading out with her friends to take



in the workshops and prepare for her summer of gardening and grilling. Home Builders Association Chief Executive Officer Bryce Johnson said, “Many people watch HGTV and get inspired by those shows, but there are some projects you really should trust to the professionals. An event like our show provides access to hundreds of building industry related exhibitors under one roof.” Organizers have added extra perks like the Treasure Hunt and Beer Walk and provide many options for discounts if people are looking to bring their family, spouse or friends. For example, there is a two-for-one admission special all day on Sunday.


A LOOK AT THE EVENT FEATURES Treasure Hunt Planning to bring your little ones to the Home & Garden Show? The Treasure Hunt is for kids age 12 and under and will entertain them while you explore, visit with exhibitors and learn.

Home Builders Care Foundation Beer Walk Now in its second year, the Home Builders Care Foundation Beer Walk will happen the last two hours of the show Friday and Saturday. Attendees pay just $5 to sample a variety of beers at exhibitor booths.

The first stop on the hunt is booth C565, Design Direction, Inc., located near the east entrance. Pick up a treasure hunt map and special backpack for your kids to carry all their treasures. After that, it’s up to you to make your own path and stop at as many participating booths as you’d like. Kids must have the hunt-provided backpack to participate. The hunt is limited to the first 500 kids.

The Beer Walk’s proceeds go to Home Builders Care Foundation, the Home Builders Association of F-M’s charity that provides scholarships to local students interested in building-industry careers and supports projects related to the housing industry. Learn more about Home Builders Care at

LEGO Homebuilding Competition Home Builders Care of FargoMoorhead Foundation is hosting its thirdannual LEGO homebuilding competition at the Red River Valley Home & Garden Show on February 25. Children ages 5 to 12 will compete in building houses out of LEGOS. Structures can be single-or multifamily, but must be homes. The homes will be judged on creativity, structure and livability. Free for children meeting the age requirements, there are only 20 spots available in each of the four age groups. Pre-registration is required using the online form at Each registrant will receive two free tickets to enter the Red River Valley Home & Garden Show. Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place.



Workshops The team from North Dakota State University’s BBQ Boot Camp will dish out information on barbecuing and current topics in the pork, beef, lamb and turkey industries. They will process a side of pork so attendees can see where their favorite retail cuts come from. NDSU Professor Eric Berg said, “We like to keep the conversation interactive, entertaining and informative. We’ll explain why some cuts need to be cooked at low temperature, at high humidity, for a longer period of time and others can be cooked more rapidly over high heat. We’ll cover how people can save money by purchasing a larger wholesale, bone-in cut of meat and doing a little butchery on their own.” The BBQ Boot Camp workshops will have savory samples for people to try, and demonstrate how to prepare those recipes. Joe Bergeson of Bergeson Nursery will discuss growing fruit in the north, combining annuals and perennials and the four seasons of color. At his workshops, Bergeson said attendees can plan to hear “straight talk about plants and trees from a local whose family has been growing and selling plants and

trees in this area for over 75 years.” “The Home & Garden Show is awesome,” he said. “I love talking about plants and getting people fired up for spring. Gardening should be fun, not a source of stress, so my advice to people is to learn how to be lazy.” Additionally, the team from Accent Kitchen & Bath will deliver “Kitchens & Baths: Trends, Ideas & Journeys” and a group of local experts will present a “DIY Fails” workshop.

IF YOU GO... • Find all details and an exhibitor list at • Show hours: Friday, February 24 from 3-9 p.m.; Saturday, February 25 from 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, February 26 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. • Show guides will be inserted in The Forum February 19 and become available at all Hornbacher’s locations February 20. • Admission is $10. Ages 18 and under are free. $6 advance tickets will be available at the Fargodome and at February 1 - 23. $2 off coupons will be available in the show guides and at starting February 20 (not valid with other promotions or coupons). A two-for-one admission special will be all day Sunday.


Drawing a

DREAM The Art Behind the Architectural Process

An architect's work is often featured at completion, but rarely shown in its entirety. To see just how the process begins and ends, we sat down with one architect who still believes the best designs begin with a hand-drawn sketch. Chris Hawley of Chris Hawley Architects takes us on a tour of his South Fargo studio to break down what it really takes to draw their client's dreams. BY Tracy Nicholson | PHOTOS BY J. Alan Paul Photography 115



f you've ever seen an architect's sketch, you've probably noticed that these intricate drawings are worthy of residing in a gallery. It's impossible to imagine that something other than a computer program could create such finite detail, precise lines, distinct shadowing and color that perfectly emulates textures and even wood species. "It seems that we always see the final photography, but the hand drawings that we do in this office are really fun," said Chris Hawley. "I have had clients tell me that that is why they love working with us and it is really the 'art' of our process. We like to think that we are illustrating our clients story through drawings. I can tell when someone started designing on a computer first. With the hand-drawn sketches, I can manipulate the proportions and scale much easier."

The Breakdown of Architecture:

MEETING THE HOMEOWNERS For Chris Hawley, most of his clients come from referrals who are familiar with his latest projects. "We set up an appointment with them and the first meeting is usually where we get everything out on the table. They come to us with their thoughts, their vision and we heavily suggest they bring inspiration images, especially to the first meeting, so we have a little stronger sense of where they want to go. It's during this meeting that we kind of download all of this information and we say, 'Based on budget, based on likes, here is the service that we think is best for you.'"

"If they don't come to us with inspiration photos and tear-outs, we come to them," said Hawley. "Then based on what we hear, we might print off 10 case studies. If they don't react to it very well, we then try to pull information out of them and make notes on each case study pointing out what they like and don't like about each one. In the end, we will make something that's not at all like the case studies, but is a combination of the little things they liked. It's kind of like making a quilt or making soup. You get all of these little ingredients or pieces of fabric and you don't know what to do with them until you get them all together in the same thing. Then we put our own little spin on it."

"We like to think that we are illustrating our client's story through drawings." Chris Hawley, Chris Hawley Architects

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Deciding on the level of service:

SCHEMATIC DESIGN In the architecture process, there are various levels of service based on the client's needs and how involved they want the architect to be. This can mean something as simple as getting advice on interior layouts or requesting a concept or sketch of a single room or remodel with a vision the client needs to put on paper. "With different levels, sometimes that means we're in and out and it's really quick," said Hawley. "If they have



a builder or don't have one, it doesn't really matter at that point. This is the upfront approach where we figure out conceptually the direction they're probably looking to go. With this level, we stop there and the builder runs with it. "Everything that we do on the front-end for the schematic design is done by hand; old-school, handdrawn sketches. If it's a remodel or it's kind of hard to communicate, sometimes we'll do a computer model with a combination of hand drawings."

DESIGN&LIVING ARCHITECTURE DESIGN DEVELOPMENT - BUILDER'S SET Once the clients approved a concept, they can then decide how involved they want their architect to be. On this next level, builders might hire the architect to help their client so they have enough information to get the job done. "That's a big service that we provide to a lot of folks in this area," said Hawley. "Other times, the builder will be looking for almost what I consider to be the lumberyard or 'builder's set.' It's enough for everybody to work from, but it doesn't answer everything like interior details. It's not a commercial set of documents with the engineers and consultants. Builder sets are limited to plans, elevations and sections. The interior detail and selections would then be done by someone else. It's basically giving shape to the project, but we're not answering everything."

CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTS / INTERIOR SELECTIONS For those that want to take it to the next level and have their architect walk them through the entire process from concept to design, this third level is their choice. According to Hawley, this is where they've sketched out the concept, created the plans and elevations and walked the client through the interior selections helping to choose everything from paint colors to cabinetry. "This is where we do all of the finishes, where we choose the exact paint colors and we could even tell you where the forks go in your cabinetry. That's how a lot of our projects are, they're full service in that capacity," said Hawley.


ARCHITECTURE DESIGN&LIVING CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT For Hawley, many of his projects also go one step further with clients asking them to manage the construction process as well as the concept, design and interior finishes. Hawley has contractors on his team, so this service is well within their capabilities. "This level is when the client says, 'Hey, we love everything you've done up to this point, can you also oversee the construction?'" explained Hawley. "We do this for a handful of projects a year, and they are highly-detailed. They're high expectations, but the fun part is that the design team and the construction team are really in-step the entire way."

"Drawings are a great road map, but at the end of the day you have to have the ability to make some of the technical calls in the field," said Hawley. "It's really about having a good project manager. We actually don't like to just hand over the drawings and say good luck, we like to be on-site and be very hands-on. I always say that for the last 5 percent of the project you can probably throw those plans away and have someone who's the quality control person take over to make those little final decisions." "For one of our projects, the family hired us to be the mediator for the project. Sure, we provided the design and all that stuff, but we also took care of all of the little details. They just wanted to be a family at the end of the day, so basically we were hired to take care of those details to help keep the family together and keep the peace. I've heard people say that residential architects are like marriage counselors first," laughed Hawley.




REDLINES This is an example of the revisions clients are able to make during the process of finalizing their design. "These are called Redlines, which we've also called 'bleeding,' when the project starts to bleed," laughed Hawley. "We also talk about the critical dimensions and the layout. There are also 3D sketches of how this thing wants to look."

BUILDING MODELS "We've only done a few models," said Hawley. "This was my first project, and it happens to be my mom's cabin that I built when I was in college and later added on to. This model took Mike Dawson around 300 hours to build."

COMPUTER MODELING "Sometimes people can't see things in 2D, so we put together a computer model and maybe show them what it looks like when you fly over it. We always do the exterior first so people can see how it sits on the site."



THE TEAM In Hawley's office, his team works closely on every project, including his business manager and wife, Sarah Hawley. "If it's a large residential project, usually Dan Elton or myself will do the upfront work," said Hawley. "Once the client signs off on the general direction, then we start bringing in a lot of the other people in the office. Mike Dawson and Jackson Strom act as project managers and designers and put it into AutoCAD where they'll do the computer modeling. Then when we get to construction documents, Wayne Schommer is a project manager as well, but more on the technical side. He is our construction expert, the behind-the-scenes guy making the construction process work and writing the room-by room specifications which detail all of the materials that go into the home. We also have Ryan Lavelle, who is our construction manager. He takes care of all of the bidding, project management and scheduling. He's the contractor." Hawley also employs two outside drafters and typically one or two interns to help manage the workload.



For more information, contact: Chris Hawley Architects 2534 University Drive S. #3, Fargo 701-478-4600




When it comes to home design, there is nothing more personal than a master suite. With this in mind, we set out to create a bedroom and bathroom that properly reflected the adults in our home. The goal: a sophisticated, restrained and zen retreat. To all of our family and friends who are scratching their heads, please keep in mind the goal was based more on “aspirational” ideals of ourselves, rather than “realistic.” 126


It all started with the color. My husband, Daren, found a bedroom he liked on that featured brown paint and colorful accents. I’m more of a dark and moody, or cool-toned whites kind of gal, so brown was on the very bottom of my options list. While helpful and definitely opinionated, Daren is rarely over-themoon about an idea, so I decided to give it a go and considered it a design challenge. Who says I’m not flexible?

The truth is, he promised me he would personally repaint if I didn’t like it. Plus, I got final say on the color and picked an earthy, cool-toned brown by Sherwin Williams called “Backdrop.” A few weeks after the paint was on the wall, I still wasn’t convinced. As you can see in the before pictures, the paint color and our mix-and-match furniture was not creating a relaxing, zen-like experience. I knew a little, or a lot of styling, was needed if we were going to make it work. We started with the furniture.


BY Katie Sullivan PHOTOS BY J. Alan Paul Photography & 'Before' pictures courtesy of Katie Sullivan




Remember: Texture, Texture, Texture While the rooms in our home vary, we are pretty consistent about one thing. We pick a design feature to be the focal point and then pick the remainder of the items to complement it. That’s just our style. It’s not the only way to design an aesthetically pleasing room though, however, for our bedroom, that meant we picked furniture that let the walls shine. I, unsurprisingly, picked furniture in white and in soft wood tones. While these are my go-to colors, monochromatic and neutral can be quite dull. While we wanted a bedroom that was serene enough to fall asleep in, we definitely didn’t want a room that would bore us to sleep. To keep things interesting, we picked bedding and décor



that was heavily textured. This helps keep the eyes moving across the room, despite the lack of color.

TIP: Don’t be Nervous To Take A Risk, But Stay True to Your Style Notice I said a risk, not multiple risks. In our case, we went with what I considered an unconventional paint color and balanced it with neutrals. While bright accent colors could have paired nicely with the walls, the overall look wouldn’t have felt like us. At the end of the day, I want to close my eyes in a room that feels like mine, not a really glamorous hotel, even if I can appreciate its beauty.





Bring in the Light Windows aren’t the only way to bring light into a room. Our bedroom’s only window faces northeast, so while we get a little morning sun, the room is never glowing with natural light. To remedy the situation, we flanked the bed with mirrors, which opens up the room. To create even more of an impact, we nixed the standard, shaded table lamps, and hung intricate, crystal pendants instead. Placing a mirror behind a light source maximizes the light’s reach while creating an almost magical effect. We didn’t stop there. We spread light throughout the room to create a layered look. This gives us a range of lighting options.

Visit my blog,, for all the details on how we installed rope lighting and crown molding to our coffered ceiling.

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Use Personal Touches

Tip: Use Boxes to Hide Clutter

After the walls were painted, furniture assembled and mirrors hung, it was time for my favorite part–art and knick-knacks. We filled the walls with personal photos and sentimental art. While not inappropriate to be viewed by the general public, the art in our bedroom is more intimate than what we have throughout the rest of our home. For instance, the painting of the girl by Clare Elsaesser gives me visions of my daughter a decade or so from now, and the shots above the bed capture us getting to know her when she was a few days old.

We store all our phone chargers, remotes, etc. in boxes throughout the room. This is particularly handy for our bedside tables, which lack drawers.

Tip: Mix Silver and Gold I may be on the wrong side of history on this one, but I firmly believe you can mix metals.



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The Shower Room

When it comes to our master bathroom, I get asked two things. Adults ask if it is hard to clean and individuals under the age of 12 ask if we’ve ever had a water fight in it. The short answers are yes, and not yet, but that is a fantastic idea.

It goes without saying that our shower is unique. It’s really best described as a shower room. The idea for the layout came about years ago when we were globetrotting across Europe. A few of our hotels had wet rooms and from a design standpoint, we loved it.

His and Hers

Layout - Titan Homes Cabinetry - Wendt Custom Cabinets Tile - Floor to Ceiling Carpet One

One of the things I love most about our bathroom is that we have our own vanities and tons of storage. After sharing a single basin sink in our past residence, we appreciate the upgrade.

When we built our home in 2014, we told Titan Homes our vision and they came up with the layout. We went classic with the finishes, choosing marble and retro faucets with hopes that the selections will stand the test of time.



Tip: You Can Hang Art in the Bathroom The bathroom is often overlooked as a space to display art, but it is something you should consider. If the room is humid, your art should be covered by glass. Canvas paintings aren’t forbidden, but be careful where you hang them. If you’re nervous your bathroom is too wet, stick to reproductions.

For full details on where to get the décor featured and for more home tips and glimpses into my family's daily life, visit my blog at For more information, contact: Katie Sullivan Connect with me on social media Facebook: Pretty Domesticated Instagram: @PrettyDomesticated

Builder - Titan Homes Tile - Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Tub - Ferguson

Despite the large amount of grout that needs cleaning, I would pick the same layout again if given the chance. As a parent of a young child, the room is extremely functional. For instance, I can shower and bathe my daughter at the



same time or she can play in the dry tub while I shower. What’s the very best part of the setup? When the water fight finally happens, there will be little to no clean up.


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