Design & Living June 2018

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JUNE 2018


Grow R O O M TO



With a Little

Inspiration from My Nieces and Nephews

I know how important it is for them to have a space of their own. Almost every time I visit, my nieces and nephews love showing off their rooms. Maybe it's because they know that I am the editor of a home magazine, but I'm not 100% certain the younger ones have made that connection yet. When dreaming up the concept of this issue, I thought of how proud they are of their spaces. It also happened to coincide with the fact that a lot of the homes I've been in lately have had gorgeous kids' rooms. For those of you who are parents, grandparents or even aunties like me, I imagined that you might like to see how other homeowners in the area have approached decorating for their kids. Before we go ahead, I'd like to give a quick disclaimer. The spaces pictured in the following pages have been staged specifically for publication in our magazine. Kids will be kids, and they need a place where it's okay to get a little messy. However, that doesn't mean their spaces need to be unattractive! Also in this issue, we will introduce the newest art co-op in Downtown Fargo, tour Roberts Commons, see which home decor items are locally trending, visit with renowned local artist Bob Crowe and join Derek and Jess Bernstien as they reveal their new home. This


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month, we're also starting a new series of Q&A articles that will explain what different careers within the home industry entail. My hope is that this will help educate the public and develop interest in careers where workers are in high demand. Finally, you might be wondering why Hillary, Chantell and I are twinning (um, tripleting?) in my editorial photo this month. That is because we recently had new Design & Living brand apparel made for our team. I'd love to express my thanks to the owners of Dak & Co. who helped us turn our vision into a reality! You may recognize that logo from our Instagram account. If you don't already, follow us at @designandlivingmagazine for exclusive video content that you won't find anywhere else. After you hit that follow button, don't be a stranger. I personally love it when you comment on our posts! Thank you for your continuous readership. It really means the world to us!

Rebecca Opp Editor

PHOTO BY J. Alan Paul Photography


ot many people in the office know that I have four older brothers and one older sister and that I am an auntie to 12 adorable nieces and nephews who are growing up way too fast. They are the ones who inspired me when conceptualizing the June issue of Design & Living Magazine.

Hillary Ehlen, Becca Opp & Chantell Ramberg


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, designers, photographers and contributors who so affably use their time and talents to tell a story and give our pages purpose.



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

Hoorelbeke is a former professional baseball player turned photographer. He is the owner of J. Alan Paul Photography in Fargo, N.D. and our veteran, lead editorial photographer for Spotlight Media. Hoorelbeke specializes in editorial, commercial, architectural and landscape photography.





Audrey Newman is a Certified Kitchen and Bath designer. She is principal designer at JW Kitchens located in the Galleria on Veterans Blvd, Fargo, with two additional locations in Iowa. JW Kitchens is a full service appliance retailer and also provides custom cabinetry, lighting and many other interior furnishing products.


Sullivan is a freelance writer with a passion for interior design. She writes about her family’s first home on her lifestyle website, prettydomesticated. com. Her formal training in journalism at the University of Minnesota combined with her husband Daren’s carpentry skills result in dynamic DIY content. Katie’s work has been published by various media outlets, including the St. Paul Pioneer Press and Scary Mommy.


Dustin Murray founded his business, Dustin Murray Construction, six years ago. He specializes in remodeling, new construction framing and finish work. Murray and his wife have two children and live in West Fargo. He is currently serving as the HBA of F-M President.

Originally from Minot, ND, Cote van Rensburg has made her home in Fargo with her husband, Piet van Rensburg. In 2017, the two founded the local lifestyle brand, Dak & Co.




ello! My name is Chantell and I am pleased to introduce myself to all of you as the Associate Publisher of Design & Living Magazine. Let me take a second to explain how I plan to serve you, our amazing community of readers. As Associate Publisher, my main goal is to help Design & Living grow as a brand. To do so, I am currently positioning myself to absorb as much information as I possibly can when it comes to local art, architecture, home decor, interior design, landscaping and more.

Of course, for the "Room to Grow" issue, I just had to bring my four-yearold daughter, Leila, up to our studio for a photoshoot! She loves visiting Mommy at work.

Here at Spotlight Media, we are extremely proud of and what we can accomplish each month with our small team. However, there is always room for improvement. That is why I'm asking for your help. If you have any constructive criticism that could help us better reach our audience, please reach out to me. Together, I believe that we can make this magazine a nationally recognized brand that shares our way of living up here in North Dakota and Minnesota with the rest of the world.

PHOTO BY Hillary Ehlen

Finally, I would like to give you a roadmap of what we are working on right now. New Distribution: Over the last three months, we have totally revamped our distribution and circulation process. This means that the magazine will be available in more places and mailed


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to more locations. In addition to our expanded distribution in Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo, Design & Living Magazine will be mailed out to the Lakes this summer. Also, I am super excited to announce that people all over the country can now subscribe to our publication by visiting subscribe. Unbiased Editorial Content: Spotlight Media is committed to integrity-based journalism. We like to keep editorial and ad content separate. While our wonderful editor, Becca Opp, oversees the production of our free, editorial content, I will be an ambassador for Design & Living Magazine, building relationships with past, present and future advertisers. Last year, we also launched an editorial advisory board that meets quarterly to provide feedback and to help ensure that our articles are unbiased. Web-Exclusive Content: We now have a web department that focuses on daily updates on our website and social media. You can follow us online for extended articles, addition photos, videos and exclusive content. Until next time,

Chantell Ramberg Associate Publisher

Design & Living Magazine

Sarah Huckle Social Media Coordinator North Dakota Interior Designers

Melissa Rademacher President & CEO Downtown Community Partnership

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

Chris Hawley Licensed Architect/Member American Institute of Architects

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

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

Dayna Del Val President & CEO The Arts Partnership 14

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Photos by Hillary Ehlen and J. Alan Paul Photography






32 Room to Grow

Join us as we visit local families who are sharing their kid-friendly spaces for the community to see. Then, learn how to make your home more functional for family members of all ages.

30 What is an Interior Designer?

In upcoming issues, we will be interviewing members of the local home industry to find out exactly what their jobs entail. This month, we met with Donna Wiger, interior designer at TL Stroh Architects and current President of NDID.

Hands to Home: 62 From Introducing Dakota Fine Art

Downtown Fargo has recently opened its arms to a new artist collective, Dakota Fine Art. Located on the first floor of the historic Dakota Business College, this new venture was the result of the combined efforts of nine local and regional artists. Together, they have established a new destination on South 8th Street.


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Photo by J. Alan Paul Photography Home by Benjamin Custom Homes

68 74

Fine Finishes at RoCo

What do you picture when you think of city living? You're probably imagining something similar to the newly available units at Roberts Commons. Also known as RoCo, these apartments embody both luxury and affordability while enhancing Downtown Fargo.

Locally Trending

This month, we're focusing on all things whimsical, and what better place to find whimsy than in a vintage store. With a little bit of hunting and gathering, you can spot the perfect piece to bring home.


At the Farm with Artist Bob Crowe


Modern Marries Farmhouse in a Horace Home



We would like to express special thanks to Katie Sullivan and her son, Kristian, for posing for our June cover photo, which was taken by J. Alan Paul Photography.

It's almost time to head to the lakes, and we can't wait to jump right in! If you'd like your luxurious lake home or rustic lake cabin to be featured in the July issue of Design & Living Magazine, please email becca@

We sat down with renowned local artist Bob Crowe who has hosted an exclusive, annual retreat for local artists for the past 25 years.

Modern on the outside, farmhouse on the inside; this house is truly representative of the Bernstien family. Jess and Derek Bernstein are the owners of Signature Design & Remodel, who recently built their own home in Horace, ND.

For more exclusive, original content,

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JUNE 2018 Design & Living Magazine is a free publication distributed 12 times a year. Our mission is to showcase all that the Red River Valley has to offer in terms of interior design, architecture and landscaping, profiling the people that make these possible. We also strive to provide a quality and fun reading experience and improve the way of life in our community. The publication is mailed to homes across the US and has stand distribution throughout North Dakota and Minnesota.

Publisher Mike Dragosavich

Chief Operations Officer Steve Kruse Associate Publisher Chantell Ramberg

CREATIVE Editorial Director Andrew Jason

Editor Becca Opp

Designer Sarah Geiger Photographers J. Alan Paul Photography, Hillary Ehlen, HBA, JW Kitchens, Meg Spielman Peldo, Jon Offutt, Lauren K Photography Contributors Becca Opp, Dustin Murray, Katie Sullivan, Audrey Newman, Kayla Cote van Rensburg Social Media Becca Opp Web Team Huong Tran, Jessica Ballou

ADVERTISING Senior Sales Executive Ryan Courneya

Sales Executives Scott Rorvig

Dan Helm

Client Relations Manager Jenny Johnson Sales & Operations Assistant Pam Mjoness Business Operations Manager Larissa Kunde

DISTRIBUTION Distribution & Circulation Manager Darren Gibbins Delivery Bruce Crummy

Design & Living Magazine is published by Spotlight Media, LLC. Copyright 2018 Design & Living Magazine & All rights reserved. No parts of this magazine may be reproduced or distributed without written permission of Design & Living Magazine and Spotlight Media, LLC is not responsible for, and expressly disclaims all liability for, damages of any kind arising out of use, reference to, or reliance on such information. Spotlight Media, LLC accepts no liability for the accuracy of statements made by the advertisers.

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

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TAKE A LOOK AT Spotlight Media's Other Magazines

In hindsight, it was an ambitious — maybe closer to crazy — goal: Build an e-commerce giant in the middle of North Dakota. RealTruck Founder Scott Bintz dishes on how his commitment to "reward, recognize, hire and fire" according to six basic principles helped him build a $100 million company.

Get your Bison PhD in this month's edition of Bison Illustrated. We took every men's and women's sport and came up with 10 challenging questions about each team and their respective seasons. Do you have what it takes to get all of them correct? If so, you'll put down June's Bison Illustrated with your own Bison PhD. So, get out your pencils, box scores and stat sheets and get to studying. Your North Dakota State athletics final exam is right around the corner.

We here at Fargo Monthly like to think we're "foodies." In the general sense of the word, we kind of are considering we love Fargo food. However, we are missing an element that makes us true foodies. We lack the culinary sensibility to decipher if a coleslaw is made with fennel or cabbage, nor can we obsess over the complexities of caramelized onions. Luckily, our good friend Eric Watson, executive chef and owner of Rustica Eatery and Mosaic Foods, has those qualities. He can discern the everchanging, always-evolving world of food. So, we took him out into the Fargo dining scene, but a very specific scene. For seven days, we ate at seven different food trucks of varying culinary styles. From pizza to tacos to deli sandwiches, we had Eric try it all. So, hop in Eric's food truck and travel with him on his great food truck diet.



4 Steps to

Homeownership By Dustin Murray Dustin Murray Construction HBA of F-M President

If you are thinking of buying a new home, you must pay close attention to many details to ensure you find one that will suit your needs. Before you start shopping, you should sit down with the members of your household to discuss your preferences and the many options available to you. Read on for a short list of things to consider. Step 1: FINANCING YOUR HOME The first step in the home buying process is determining how much you can afford. To ensure that the financing process goes smoothly, buyers should consider pre-qualifying for a mortgage and having a financing commitment in place before shopping for a new home. Step 2: PRIORITIZING MOSTWANTED FEATUREs Before you start shopping, you should sit down with the members of your household to discuss your preferences and the many options available to you. An easy way to organize your thoughts is to write each separate feature that you want on a 3x5 card, and arrange the cards in order of 28

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their importance to you. For instance, if you like to cook, you may want a home with a large, well-equipped kitchen. Or you may settle for a small kitchen, so that you can have extra space for a library, office or playroom. Some home buyers seek large, open interior spaces, while others prefer traditional rooms that afford more privacy. While looking for a home, consider whether your needs are likely to change over time. If you plan to add rooms, find out if there is enough space on your site for such expansion and whether such additions are permitted by your local jurisdiction. Step 3: SELECTING THE TYPE OF HOME Options include single-family

homes to condominiums and everything in between. Some buyers prefer homes with large yards. Others opt for condominiums where they can avoid yard maintenance entirely.

owners association is responsible for maintaining the jointly owned elements. The day-to-day business of the complex is generally handled by a managing agency.

With a single-family home in a development, you'll be responsible for your own yard and home, but may be restricted to certain design elements or other regulations if there is a home owners association.

Step 4: STARTING YOUR HOUSE HUNT Now that you know the type of home and features you are looking for, and how much home you can afford, you're ready to begin searching for your perfect home. The HBA of F-M offers many ways to assist through events like the Spring and Fall Parade of Homes and Red River Valley Home & Garden Show. We also have hundreds of industry-related members who would love to assist you on your house hunting journey, accessible at www.

A condominium is a home in a multi-unit complex, such as an apartment building or a townhouse cluster. You own the home, and you and your neighbors jointly own the common elements, such as the land around the complex, the parking areas, building exteriors, hallways, utility pipes and recreational facilities. A condominium

Dustin Murray founded his business, Dustin Murray Construction, six years ago. He specializes in remodeling, new construction framing and finish work. Murray and his wife have two children and live in West Fargo.

The Home Builders Association of FargoMoorhead promotes an environment in which members and their businesses can prosper.

For more information, contact: HBAFargoMoorhead Blog: homebuildersassociation.



What is an

Interior Designer? In upcoming issues, we will be interviewing members of the local home industry to find out exactly what their jobs entail. This month, we met with Donna Wiger, interior designer at TL Stroh Architects and current President of NDID. Read on to see what being an interior designer means to Wiger in her responses to the questions below. Q. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

BY Becca Opp PHOTO BY Hillary Ehlen

A. "I am originally from Twin Valley, Minnesota. I grew up doing a lot of creative things with my grandma and that led me to NDSU to major in textiles and clothing with a design minor. I changed my major to interior design after two years and started in the contract furniture business. I started at TL Stroh 18 years ago."

Q. What is NDID, and what is your position in NDID? A. "NDID stands for North Dakota Interior Designers. It was formed by interior designers for us to provide community service, to educate


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ourselves, to educate the public as to what interior design, to network amongst ourselves and to socialize with each other. "I am President this year. It is a one-year term for presidency. You are elected as a Vice President, and that year, you are the chairman for the Product Show, which is a big event to plan, and the next year you are President. It's a two-year commitment."

Q. What is an interior designer and what do they do? A. "An interior designer can specialize in residential or commercial design, and even set design. We help clients select finishes including, but not limited to, floor coverings, wall coverings, paint colors, countertops, tile, backsplashes, ceiling applications and furniture.

Q. For homeowners, when do you think it is best to rely on an interior designer? A. "Homeowners don't necessarily need an interior designer if they feel confident picking out finishes on their own. On the other hand, anyone can go to a paint store and select a color, but is it the right shade? It does take skill, even the simple task of picking out the right paint color."

Q. What do you wish people within the home industry knew about interior designers? A. " It's important to work as a team for the benefit of the homeowners. It takes more than one person to design and build a house."

"With residential design, several projects could be done by either an interior designer or an interior decorator.

Q. What do you wish people outside of the home industry knew about interior designers?

"When you get into commercial design or big residential projects where you're looking for space planning and design solutions that you need to draw in AutoCAD, those types of tasks usually require an interior designer."

A. "It is not a bad idea to use just a little bit of an interior designer's time. Whether you're doing a small remodel or building a new house, you could get a couple hours of their time and it wouldn't be a huge financial investment."


Grow R O O M TO

We love our sons, daughters, nieces, nephews and grandchildren to the moon and back. That is why we are dedicating this issue to the spaces in our homes where they have room to grow. These spaces will serve as the backdrops of our cherished photos and precious memories for years to come, so why not make them as lovely as can be? Join us as we visit local families who are sharing their kid-friendly spaces for the community to see. Then, learn how to make your home more functional for family members of all ages.


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Talk Baby TO M E Nesting is a little bit about getting ready for the practical parts of parenting (hello, diapers!) and a lot about making room in your heart and home for another. A lot of life gets lived in the nursery. Knowing this, we set out to create a space full of opportunities to play and learn for our second born, Kristian Rhys. This time around we knew what to keep and what to ditch to create a unique nursery with a lot of heart. Here’s how.

BY Katie Sullivan PHOTOS BY J. Alan Paul Photography


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PICK A THEME By theme, I don’t necessarily mean a genre or topic. I mean, pick something that inspires you to help guide you through your choices. Settling on an idea helps you narrow your focus and creates a more cohesive design. To get started, I pulled color swatches of light earthy tones and a pop of navy. Two secondary themes naturally arose from there as I picked items. Kristian’s room has a mixture of woodland and nautical touches. It’s not an obvious mix, which keeps it interesting and one-of-a-kind.

STEP AWAY FROM THE BABY SECTION Essential items like crib covers and swaddles are found in the nursery aisle, but don’t be afraid to step away from the kid’s section for some of your furniture and decorative accents. Forget the “blue for boy, pink for girl” rule. Instead, pick playful touches. Patterned curtains from Anthropologie, a fur throw, delicately striped vintage rugs we scored during a sale at McNeal & Friends and unique textiles create a soft, but not babyish look in our nursery. An adult Room & Board dresser provides tons of storage because while babies are small, their stuff is not. The dresser works as a changing table now but can easily transition to a more sophisticated life later. The baby stage is short, invest in pieces that will grow and change with your child.

FOCUS ON A FOCAL POINT The obvious choice for a focal point is the crib, but don’t be afraid to change it up. We let a whimsical wallpaper by Cole & Son’s take center stage. The crib still has its moment in the sun, but it doesn’t make its impact until you’re fully in the room. Meanwhile, the wallpaper can be seen when you’re in the room or in the hall. A minimal shelf keeps the drama large, and the clutter small. Tucking the crib in the corner, also, allowed for maximum tummy-time space in the middle of the room.




Baskets are your best friend. Use them to coral the clutter. In Kristian’s room, a small basket holds all the everyday essentials and a cute giraffe houses his growing collection of stuffed animals. We also have a major thing for books in our house. We built book ledges and installed them right where we need them to keep our bedtime stories accessible and organized.

If you think about it, your baby spends a lot of time staring at the ceiling. Give them a view. In our case, we went with a soft blue for just a tiny hint of drama. Ironically, the color is Sherwin Williams Hinting Blue with a bit of extra white added in.

WHITES PAIRED WITH BRIGHTS Children love color, but too much in one space can feel overpowering. We kept the walls a soft white. A few accessories and toys bring the flare.

SOURCES Crib – Pottery Barn Kids Sheets – Serena & Lily Pillows – McGee & Co; DEKOWE on Etsy Flag – Cotton California on Etsy Mobile – Restoration Hardware Teen Bunting – Oeuf NYC Elephant Rocker – Pottery Barn Kids Ruler – Handmade gift Bookshelves – DIY Rocker – Pottery Barn Kids Leather Pouf – Home Goods Owl Lamp – Vintage Dresser – Room & Board Changing Pad Cover – SewGracebyV on Etsy Small Basket – Target Giraffe Basket – Pottery Barn Kids Wallpaper – Cole & Sons from Wallpaper Direct Shelf – DIY Wolf Art – The Animal Print Shop Side Table – Vintage Chandelier – West Elm Rug – Vintage from McNeal & Friends Fur Rug – Costco Curtains – Anthropologie Felt Garland – Hello Maypole Door Color – Sherwin Williams Privilege Green Wall Color – Benjamin Moore White Dove Download the app on your phone to instantly shop our rooms.


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NOSTALGIC, NOT GENERIC Any parent who has spent late nights in a rocking chair knows a nursery is as much for them as it is for their baby. Add touches that remind you of things you hold dear, like your childhood or your history. In our case, we selected wolf pup art from The Animal Print Shop because my maiden name is Wolfe. The “Don’t Give Up the Ship” flag is a nod to our grandfathers who served in the navy and the side table once held court in my childhood bedroom.

For more information, contact: Katie Sullivan Connect with me on social media: Instagram: @PrettyDomesticated Facebook: Pretty Domesticated Pinterest: KtMSullivan For more tips visit

Betsy Schiltz holds her adorable pup, Charles, "Charlie," Schiltz.

Bedding - Target Wall Art - HomeGoods Bedside Lamp - Target Framed Photo - Nicole Midwest Photography Floral Arrangement - Love Always Floral


Future Interior Designer Betsy Schiltz is not your average 12-year-old girl. She has been junking for as long as she can remember and dreams of someday becoming an interior designer. Today, she lives in Fargo's Clara Barton Neighborhood with her mom, Katie Schiltz, dad, Lance Schiltz and little brother, Andy Schiltz. Now, you can take a tour of this design-savvy 6th grader's elegant bedroom and find out about the unbelievable story behind her textured wallpaper.


Large Marquee Letter - Hobby Lobby Framed Photo Print - Nicole Midwest Photography

BY Becca Opp PHOTOS BY Hillary Ehlen


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Before we go any further, it is absolutely important to note that Betsy Schiltz's grandmother grew up in this house. Her name is Elisabeth, and Betsy's room was also her grandma's room when she was a girl. In fact, Betsy's granndma was the one who picked out the blue velvet wallpaper way back in the day.

"It [the wallpaper] came from Betsy's Grandma Elisabeth. She was 13 years old when she picked it out. It was her birthday gift, and her parents told her that if she was getting new wallpaper, she had to rip down all the wallpaper that had been put up beforehand. She had to rip it down herself and she said there were layers and layers and layers of wallpaper," Katie Schiltz said.

Sign - Wheat & Beans Framed Photo - Nicole Midwest Photography Faux Cactus - Target

Pillows - The White House Co.

BETSY'S COZY, YET ELEGANT STYLE Betsy Schiltz has described her style as cozy, yet elegant. She currently has her room staged with a vast variety of vintage pieces [she's been junking with her mom and aunt since before she could walk] and finds from one of her favorite stores, Target. When she isn't at school or busy playing contact sports like volleyball, hockey and soccer, this girl loves rearranging and redecorating her room.

CHIC SEATING AREAS Betsy Schiltz's room features five seating areas, perfect for hanging out with friends or hosting a Design & Living Magazine interview. Our favorite out of all those seating areas is a hanging egg chair that Betsy Schiltz found at a thrift store and bedecked with pillows from The White House Co. that were handmade by Amanda Rydell. On the wall next to this seating area is a creative photo display that Betsy Schiltz made herself.

HEIRLOOM FURNITURE Many of the pieces in Betsy Schiltz's room she has inherited from family members. For example, her matching white bedroom set once belonged to a great aunt and uncle. And that beautiful brass bed fame? It's the same one her mother had in her room when she was growing up. 40

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A YOUNG DIYER If she could change anything about her space, Betsy Schiltz would get rid of the popcorn ceiling in a heartbeat. "I want to scrape my ceiling sometime soon," she explained. This is a project the whole family plans to tackle at some point this summer. In addition to scraping the ceiling in Betsy's room, the Schiltzs plan to remove the popcorn ceilings throughout their entire second level.

A FUTURE INTERIOR DESIGNER Someday, Betsy Schiltz dreams of living in a gorgeous farmhouse and becoming an interior designer. She would also love to work with animals and currently has two dogs, a cat and a lovable Hamster named Hamilton. Whatever path will eventually have her heart, this young lady still has plenty of time to enjoy her childhood home. For now, we'd like to thank her for sharing her cozy, yet elegant space with us.

Builder - Benjamin Custom Homes Home Staging - Melanie Anderson, Benjamin Custom Homes


Eclectic Playroom & Two Hidden Hangouts This month, we explored an eclectic playroom and discovered two hidden hangouts with Jakobi (8), Maks (5) and Henrik (3) Anderson. These three busy brothers live in the city of Moorhead with their parents, Ben and Melanie Anderson of Benjamin Custom Homes. Who else would have thought to use vintage toys as decor in kids' spaces? Even more surprising is the fact that these toys actually get used on a regular basis. Keep reading for more family-friendly decorating tips we learned from these outrageously fun room tours.


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Front: Maks & Jakobi Anderson Back: Henrik Anderson

BY Becca Opp PHOTOS BY J. Alan Paul Photography

THAT LOOKS FAMILIAR You might recognize these spaces from the September 2017 issue of Design & Living Magazine. We decided to revisit the Andersons because we felt that these rooms just needed to be explored in more depth. You may also recognize their home from the 2018 Spring Parade of Homes.

This tent was lovingly stitched together by Melanie Anderson's mother, the boys' grandmother.

NOT 'FOR DISPLAY ONLY' Maks Anderson proves that the vintage rocking horse is not 'for display only.' "Isn't it funny how the old toys are the ones that everyone wants to play with?" Ben Anderson said.

An Eclectic Playroom

Sofa & Chair - The White House Co.

Vintage Letters - Moorhead Antique Mall Vintage Flash Cards - Zandbroz Variety


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"Isn't it funny how the old toys are the ones that everyone wants to play with?" - Ben Anderson

Two Hidden Hangouts Gold Deer - The White House Co. Assorted Pillows - Target & IKEA

When designing their home, Ben and Melanie Anderson knew that they wanted a room where the boys could just be boys. "They know they have some level of un-supervision up here," Ben Anderson said. Having a dedicated playroom helps the Anderson family isolate the chaos that comes with having three young children at home. The daily cleaning ritual that helps keep things somewhat organized is that the boys have to tidy up their toys at the end of each day. Melanie Anderson's eclectic style is visible in the playroom. She has incorporated family photos, as well as vintage toys and locally sourced furniture into the decor. We asked if she had any tips for decorating a family-friendly space. Family-Tested, Kid-Approved Decorating Tips from Melanie Anderson 1. Make sure the room is safe. 2. Use toys as decor. 3. Create lots of storage space to tuck things away. The Andersons took safety into consideration when designing their home. You may notice glass windows in the playroom that overlook the Anderson's kitchen. These were installed by Ben Anderson and are extremely durable.

CAN YOU SPOT THE SECRET ROOM? A secret room is cleverly concealed behind a mirror in Jakobi and Maks Anderson's walk-in-closet. "The idea of a secret room came up during construction when we saw that we had that empty space. I thought of it as a gift that I could give the kids," Ben Anderson said.

Melanie Anderson has spread vintage treasures throughout their home, and the playroom is no exception. For example, the Andersons found an old rocking horse at an antique store that the boys have charmingly named, "Sparky."

"It's custom-made, so you don't need to worry," Jakobi Anderson said as he climbed the captain's ladder up to the loft. When building their home, the Andersons decided to lower the ceiling in the boys' bathroom, which created empty space that was perfect for a loft. This elevated area can be accessed by climbing a ship ladder in the Andersons' guest room.

Finally, you will also notice that one wall of the room is devoted to storage. These built-ins mimic the look of wainscoting and provide much-needed storage space for three growing boys and all of their games.

Henrik, Jakobi and Maks Anderson look down from the loft.

For more information, contact: Benjamin Custom Homes 4025 4th Ave. S. #1, Fargo 701-388-9172


BY Becca Opp PHOTOS BY Hillary Ehlen HEADSHOT BY Lauren K Photography

Blue is for Boys & Pink is for Girls? D E CO R AT I N G F O R G R O W I N G PERSONALITIES Blue is for boys and pink is for girls. At least, that was what we were raised to believe. These days, we know that boys don't have to like blue, and girls don't have to like pink. That is what Sara Bekkerus of Moorhead kept in mind when decorating the rooms of her son and daughter. However, she eventually found out that her daughter loves pink and was not a fan of the light green that covered her walls. She then did what any interior decorator would do and gave her daughter's room a makeover. Now, you can see how Bekkerus put together her kids' rooms in a way that reflects their growing personalities.


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MEET SARA BEKKERUS Originally from Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, Sara Bekkerus is a mother of two, interior decorator and owner of Skapa Design & Consulting. When she isn't taking care of her business, she is caring for her daughter, Eljin (5), and son, Bek (3). This little family has been living in their Moorhead home for the past four years.

When decorating for kids, Bekkerus likes to incorporate reading nooks where little ones can curl up with a book. In this room, she used a canopy and accent pillows to create a cozy space for Eljin.

ELJIN'S ROOM On painting Eljin's room pink, Bekkerus said, "When we first moved in, I was hell bent on not having a blue boy's room and a pink girl's room. Bek's room ended up being blue, and Eljin's room, I painted green, but as she got older, she declared that every color was her favorite color except green." Bekkerus then decided to redecorate Eljin's room in a way that suited her personality. When it comes to decorating kids' rooms, Bekkerus said, "I like to try to hone in on their personalities as much as possible instead of just making it up for them." For Eljin's room, Bekkerus painted the walls one of her daughter's favorite colors: pink.

Eljin's Room Rug - Target Bedding - Target Pillows - Target Table - Hobby Lobby Chalkboard - Hobby Lobby Window Valance - Pottery Barn Shelves - IKEA Ballerina Print - RH Baby & Child Art Display - Target Canopy - Target Growth Chart - Wood from the Hood Wallpaper - Anthropologie

Atop the IKEA shelves, Bekkerus staged a lamp that resembles the Eiffel Tower because Eljin is obsessed with the movie, "Leap," an animated film about a little ballerina that takes place in Paris. She also noted that the Restoration Hardware Baby & Child fairy print was a gift from the Nelson family, whose home was recently featured in the April issue of Design & Living Magazine. Bekkerus got to know the Nelsons as their interior decorator. "This was given to us by the Nelsons. It came as a set of three fairies with different hair colors, so Megan Nelson kept the two that had the hair colors of her daughters and asked if Eljin would like the third fairy because she was the little blonde," she said. The gallery wall also features some of Eljin's original artwork and pieces that she picked out herself. There is also a frame waiting for her very first ski ticket, which she received at Detroit Mountain. Bekkerus loves to ski, which is a passion that she now shares with Eljin and Bek.

When Eljin is done playing dressup, she hangs her costumes on these cute little wall hooks.

Bekkerus's dog, Ava (12) sits on the floor in Eljin's room.



Bekkerus pulled color inspiration for Bek's room from these Target sheets.

Because Bek is only three-years-old, it proved a bit more challenging to decorate a room around his personality. He does, however, like the outdoors. Bekkerus was initially inspired by the orange tent that was handed down to Bek from his older sister. She also found a set of lumberjack sheets, which is where she drew inspiration for Bek's color palette.


Bek's room has lots of little nooks and crannies where he can display some of his favorite toys. "He really loves having his little spaces to put his things," Bekkerus said. 50

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When asked how to decorate for growing personalities, Bekkerus responded, "I try to pick color tones that they're not going to grow out of in two years." For example, the pink and blue used in her children's rooms are both very light. The bolder the color choice, the more likely they (and you) are to grow out of it sooner rather than later.

When decorating her son's room, Bekkerus was careful to take into consideration his needs. "He doesn't usually like change very much. At first, he wouldn't let me hang anything on his walls. I did add a lot of new decor recently. When I started, I was a little nervous, but he was oohing and awing and seems to like it quite a bit," Bekkerus explained. Bek's gallery wall includes his first ski ticket, his own original artwork and many references to his family's home state of Minnesota. "We're Minnesotans, so we love all things to do with Minnesota," Bekkerus said.

Bek's Room Campfire - Etsy Tree stumps - Etsy Tent - Hand-me-down Lumberjack Wall Art - Patina Tree Print - Unglued Don't Grow Up Wall Art - Hobby Lobby Tent Sign - Hobby Lobby Go Your Own Way Wall Art - Patina Bookshelves - Target Storage Cubes - IKEA Rug - Crate & Barrel/Baby & Kids Curtains - Crate & Barrel/Baby & Kids Bedding - Target BEK Letters - Amazon Be Brave Lamp - Target

Bekkerus and her family love the great outdoors, but when they do get stuck inside, Bek and Eljin love roasting marshmallows over their faux campfire.

This tent was a hand-me-down from Bek's older sister, Eljin. Meanwhile, the set of vintage children's books arranged on the shelf once belonged to Bek's Great-Grandma. "When she downsized, we all got things from her home and that is one thing that I kept," Bekkerus said.

For more information, contact: SKAPA DESIGN & CONSULTING 218-329-3388 52

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Outside The Carlsrud family understands the importance of spending time outside. Their two youngest members, Brooklyn and Gavin love playing on their play system. Luckily, their father, Ryan Carlsrud, is the owner of Rainbow Play Systems in Fargo. We sat down with Carlsrud to find out more about the endless possibilities that these structures provide, from pirate ship to airplane, in the mind of your child.

Ryan, Meagan, Gavin, & Brooklyn Carlsrud

BY Becca Opp PHOTOS BY Hillary Ehlen

This play system is free-standing and weighs about 1,800 pounds, so it is safe to use, even for adults. 54

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ABOUT RAINBOW PLAY SYSTEMS Established in 1985, Rainbow Play Systems is based out of South Dakota. "There's a store in all 50 states, but everything is distributed out of Brookings, South Dakota. It's about as local as it gets today," said Carlsrud. In 2013, Carlsrud became the owner of the Fargo location after working as the manager for many years.

WHAT IS A PLAY SYSTEM? A play system is essentially a wooden swingset combined with elements commonly found in a jungle gym. The play system pictured here is the Monster Castle Package Two, which is one of the most popular models at Rainbow Play Systems. It is also what Carlsrud chose to install in his own backyard. "It's got a little bit for everyone – a rock wall for older kids, a step-ladder for younger ones, and, of course, everyone likes the swings and the slide."


DESIGNING YOUR DREAM PLAY SYSTEM When seen in stores, play systems can seem oversized. Homeowners sometimes postpone installing a play system for fear that it will take over their whole backyard, but this concern is easily put to rest. Carlsrud often points out that he and his family have an average-sized backyard and their play system comes in at 5-feet-10-inches tall. Still, they have plenty of room for a trampoline, pool and patio. Though play systems come in various models, they can also be customized. For example, they can range anywhere from 5-feet to 7-foot-2-inches tall. Once you choose your basic set, you can add or remove features from that set. These play systems can last for decades, even generations. Carlsrud explained, "I just had a customer order a new canopy. He bought his play system in the 1980s and it's being used by his grandkids now." These canopies are available in a wide selection of colors. Rainbow Play Systems also supplies rubber mulch. "Rubber mulch has become more and more popular because there's more cushion to it as opposed to rocks or wood mulch. It's about 50/50 between people who put their play systems on grass and people who landscape around it," he explained. INSTALLING YOUR PLAY SYSTEM

For more information, contact: Rainbow Play Systems 5226 51st Ave. S, Fargo 701-373-0111

Though some homeowners set up their play systems without professional assistance, many trust Carlsrud's team with the installation. "Most people have us install it. We go out to the person's backyard and set it up in a day. Then the kids are ready to play on it when they get home from school," he said. In fact, the best part of Carlsrud's job is watching those kids light up when they see their new play system for the first time


Making Your House a Home FOR A LIFETIME

Audrey Newman, JW Kitchens

The term "universal design" refers to the concept of designing a home to be aesthetically pleasing and functional to the greatest extent possible for everyone. What makes a space "universal," you may ask? It's simple. People of any age or mobility can benefit from universal design. It doesn't matter if you are young or old. You could be short or tall, healthy or ill. You may have physical limitations or you may be a professional athlete. Because of universal design, everyone can enjoy the same home.

BY Audrey Newman PHOTOS BY J. Alan Paul Photography ADDITIONAL PHOTOS PROVIDED BY JW Kitchens


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That home will function for all of its inhabitants when or if their needs change. Universal design is especially important in kitchen and bathroom design. If you build or remodel these spaces with universal design principles in mind, you can ensure that anyone who ties on an apron will be able to comfortably and safely whip up dinner or wash the dishes. Universal design guidelines make the kitchen much more efficient for your kids when they are helping prepare a meal or emptying the dishwasher. They make things easier for your elderly in-laws at holiday dinners, for a loved one who requires wheelchair accessibility or for yourself, if you suffer an injury. It will also benefit you as you grow older and your own physical needs change. In the meantime, it just makes doing everyday tasks that much easier. Overhauling a house using universal design guidelines will also boost your property value. The great thing about all of the wonderful products available to us today is that you can incorporate these features without making it feel like you are in a hospital.


COMMON UNIVERSAL DESIGN FEATURES • No-step entry • One-story living. This entails having places to eat, use the bathroom and sleep all on one level.

• Wide doorways and hallways.

These let wheelchairs pass through easily and also make it easier to move furnishings in and out of the home.

• Floors and bathtubs with non-slip

surfaces. These help everyone stay on their feet.


in bathrooms. These work just as well for a four year-old, 24 year-old or 84 year-old, and there are attractive options available to us now.

• Thresholds, including showers, that are flush with the floor. These make it easy for a wheelchair to get through a doorway and also keep you from tripping.

• Good lighting (undercabinet,

toekick, interior of cabinetry). This helps everyone see better.

• Lever door handles and rocker light switches. These are great for people with poor hand strength, but others like them too. Try using these devices when your arms are full of packages. You'll never go back to knobs or standard switches.



• Bathtub or shower controls located

available and you are not reaching over hot burners or pots of boiling water to reach into it.

• Lower countertop segments (at least

• Dishwasher at higher elevation or

off center, or within reach without stepping inside

2 different heights within the kitchen)

• Reinforced walls in bathrooms

with a 3rd rack for silverware and small items

prepared for placement of grab bars

• Cooktop or range controls in front

comfortable to grab

• Induction cooking. It is much safer,

placed at a comfortable height for reaching inside

• Bottom mount or separate freezer


• Front load washer and dryer

• Cabinetry hardware that is easy and • Ovens with side opening doors

• Drawers instead of doors whenever • Microwave placement between 24”

for easy reach

faster and energy efficient than gas cooking. unit for easier access

mounted on pedestals

– 48” above floor. Above the range or cooktop is the most dangerous position for your microwave. It should be closer to countertop height so that there is landing space immediately


Finally, choose a professional to assist you with your project. In working with a Certified designer, you will be working with an individual who is specifically trained to consider the complexities of these spaces. From traffic flow planning, making appliance and cabinetry selections and ensuring that they fit seamlessly together, to designing the most efficient placement and selection of plumbing fixtures, tile, lighting and ventilation products, your designer is capable of creating the safest and most functional home for you and can make the entire process, not just the finished result, enjoyable and rewarding.



For more information, contact: JW Kitchens 5675 26th Ave. SW, Fargo 701-551-0625 61


Back Row: Jon Offutt, Eric A. Johnson, Steve Revland, Dale Cook; Front Row: Janet Flom, Meg Spielman Peldo, Karen Bakke, Annette Marchand, Susan Morrissey

From Hands to Home INTRODUCING DAKOTA FINE ART Downtown Fargo has recently welcomed with open arms a brand new artist collective, Dakota Fine Art. Located on the first floor of the historic Dakota Business College, this new venture was proposed by a talented group of nine local and regional artists. Together, they have established a must-see destination on South 8th Street. Now, you can see how they have set up their space and learn how they intend to transport unique pieces straight from artists' hands into your home. BY Becca Opp PHOTOS BY Hillary Ehlen, Meg Spielman Peldo and Jon Offutt


DESIGN & LIVING | J U N E 2 01 8

PHOTO BY Meg Spielman Peldo


PHOTO BY Meg Spielman Peldo

The Making of Dakota Fine Art After several members of the group proposed the idea of starting a new artist collective in Downtown Fargo, they began reaching out to other artists who they thought might be willing to join in their endeavor. The group is comprised of glassblower Jon Offutt, printmaker Eric A. Johnson, woodturner Dale cook, watercolor and mosaic artist Janet Flom, photographer Meg Spielman Peldo, painter Karen Bakke, ceramist Annette Marchand and painter and printmaker Susan Morrissey. All nine artists are co-owners of Dakota Fine Art. In addition to their works, Dakota Fine Art will also host the work of guest artists on rotation. "Dakota Fine Art is a unique collective of nine local and regional artists who all own and operate the gallery space together. We also represent other artists on a rotating basis, providing fresh work constantly," said Spielman Peldo. For their grand opening on May 31, those guest artists included Walter Piehl, David Norstad, and Michael Dunn. At Dakota Fine Art, the artwork is enhanced by the historic nature of physical space in which it is displayed. Revland has been close with the building owner, Lee Watkins, for many years, so it was only natural that they chose this location for the collective. When asked what he thought of this new arrangement, Watkins said, "Fargo is changing, and a lot of it is for the better. Certainly the development of Downtown is unique."



PHOTO BY Jon Offutt Lee Watkins stood in the Dakota Fine Art space while it was being transformed by Revland and his colleagues.

Making Connections with the Makers Because the collective is owned by the artists, it gives the public an opportunity to meet and purchase art directly from the artists. It also gives the artists an opportunity to work directly with designers and decorators in a more affordable way because there is no middle man. "Our goal is to provide a beautiful space that brings art buyers together with art and artists," Spielman Peldo said. She then compared the "Support Local Art" movement to the farm-to-table trend that is gaining popularity in the FM area. "People here care about supporting local, whether it's farm-totable dining or making connections with regional art makers to enhance their home and businesses environment," she explained. The artists also noted that walking into Dakota Fine Art should feel like walking into any downtown boutique.


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2D and 3D Displays The collective features a wide variety of 2D and 3D artwork exhibited on rolling walls and glass display cases. Offutt noted that their placement was intended to create a sense of cohesiveness and continuity throughout the space. Bakke added, "We have a really nice variety of artwork. Nobody does the same thing, and I think it's a good group of artists."


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Grand Opening Dakota Fine Art's grand opening was held on May 31. The event was well attended and the artists received a warm welcome from the community. "We love the energy in Downtown Fargo and look forward to bringing buyers together with meaningful art," Spielman Peldo concluded. For more information, contact: 11 8th St. S Fargo, ND

These pieces by Walter Piehl (right) and David Norstad (left) were some of the first works by guest artists to be featured at Dakota Fine Art.





at RoCo

hat do you picture when you think of city living? You're probably imagining something very similar to the newly available units at Roberts Commons. Also known as RoCo, these apartments embody both luxury and affordability while enhancing Downtown Fargo. This month, we toured two staged units featuring fine finishes and locally sourced products with Kilbourne Group. Now, you can see what we saw there and experience RoCo for yourself. BY Becca Opp | PHOTOS BY Hillary Ehlen The Building

The Project Site

RoCo is made up of a seven-story parking garage that is wrapped by a mixed-use building. The garage is owned and operated by the City of Fargo and Interstate Parking, while the mixed-use building is developed by Kilbourne Group. In addition to 47,000 square feet of residential living in 72 apartment units, RoCo also brings over 13,000 square feet of commercial space for retail, as well as food and drink along Roberts Street, 2nd Avenue North and Roberts Alley.

Located on the corner of 2nd Avenue North and Roberts Street, RoCo was built upon what used to be a parking lot. However, the site had a rich history. It was once the home to the Columbia Hotel and later a Carnegie Library. Deb Wendel Daub, Senior Project Manager at Kilbourne Group said, "The Columbia Hotel opened on October 1, 1888 and featured 100 electric lighted, steam heated and superbly furnished rooms. Five years after opening, it was lost in the Great Fire of 1893."

A Carnegie Library, one of many privately funded libraries built throughout the United States around the turn of the century, was then built atop the ruins in 1903 where it remained until 1964. When excavating the site, Kilbourne Group unearthed the foundations of these two historic landmarks. They opted to salvage the brick and incorporate it into the new building's design. "When an old structure no longer supports its original purpose or a lot sits vacant, it takes thoughtful engagement to reveal its latent potential," Wendel Daub explained.




The Timeline

The Units

The build was completed in two phases. The first phase started in June 2016 with the construction of the parking garage, which was completed by June 2017. Construction on the mixed-use building began in April 2017 and was recently completed.

RoCo offers 13 unique floor plans that range from 408 square feet to 1,117 square feet, including 24 studios, 36 one-bedroom and 12 two-bedroom apartments whose prices range from $680 to $1,925 a month on a 12-month lease. All units come with cable and internet included, while select units come with a balcony and a full-size washer and dryer. RoCo residents also use an app instead of a key to get in and out of their apartments and to access the secure entry points connected to the parking garage. "It's an app called LATCH, which allows for keyless entry," said Brian Carmona, a Leasing Agent with Centric Management.

These mailboxes are located in the main lobby. Notice the salvaged brick sourced from the RoCo project site and blackboards sourced from the Woodrow Wilson School, which has also been transformed into an apartment building by Kilbourne Group.


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This studio apartment is located on the 6th floor of RoCo. At 408 square feet, it is an ideal space for the Fargo minimalist who doesn't want to compromise fine finishes. It features luxury vinyl flooring, custom, soft-close cabinetry, energy-efficient, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and a custom penny backsplash.

Each studio apartment comes equipped with a swivel-ceiling mount for your television, which is a huge space saver.

Living in a studio apartment doesn't have to mean giving up great sleep. This space is staged with a queen-size bed.


One Bedroom This 549-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment is located on the east side of the building, which has its own private entrance. Again, Kilbourne Group outfitted this unit with the same fine finishes we noted in the previous space. These finishes help to create a luxurious atmosphere where a parking lot previously stood.


Staging Kilbourne Group stages their units with locally sourced products, including furniture from Scan Design, throw pillows from Unglued, prints from M. Schleif Photography and floral arrangements from Prairie Petals.

Our Tour Guides

Debb Wendel Daub Senior Project Manager

Brian Carmona Leasing Consultant For more information, contact: RoCo Apartments 625 2nd Ave. N, Fargo 701-289-7002




trending Vintage Whimsy


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This month, we're focusing on all things whimsical, and what better place to find whimsy than in a vintage store. Vintage stores are full of treasures for all ages to enjoy; everything from old toys that remind you of being a kid to finding that perfect centerpiece for your table. With a little bit of hunting and gathering, you can spot the perfect piece to bring home.

BY Kayla Cote van Rensburg | PHOTOS BY Hillary Ehlen

MEET KAYLA Kayla Cote van Rensburg is originally from Willow City, ND, and has made her home in Fargo with her husband, Piet van Rensburg. In 2017, the two founded the local lifestyle Brand, Dak & Co.

PITCHER & COFFEE SET Revolver For our tabletops, we were on the hunt for funky, retro, floral pieces. Nothing says spring (and dare we say summer?) is in the air more than these Midcentury Inarco China pieces, which you can find at Revolver in Downtown Fargo. Here, we've featured a green apple and white daisy pitcher along with a complete yellow, orange and blue coffee set.




MUGS Revolver Also at Revolver are these 1950s Fred Roberts mugs, perfect for sipping coffee during a warm and sunny Saturday morning brunch with family and friends.


HAND-BLOWN GLASSES Now and Then Shoppe As you can probably tell, I have a soft spot for vintage glassware, especially pieces that were made by hand. These hand-blown vases, also found at Now and Then Shoppe, are bright and colorful and look great mixed and matched.


ACCENT FURNITURE Now and Then Shoppe We also noticed a great piece at Now and Then Shoppe, which is located right off of 10th street in Downtown Fargo. This small, white Midcentury dresser would work well in a kids room or as an accent piece underneath a gallery wall of photos.



Artist Bob Crowe stands on the screen porch of his home at Crowe Farm.



at the farm with artist



ust south of Fargo in the small community of Comstock, ND stands a yellow farmhouse that is inhabited by local artist, Bob Crowe. This humble, yet well-known figure has had an undeniable impact on the art community in the FM area. To celebrate his participation in a recent group show at The Rourke Art Gallery + Museum, we visited with Crowe to discuss the exhibition, the camaraderie he has shared with his fellow artists for the past 25 years and how his idyllic childhood challenged him to develop creatively. BY Becca Opp PHOTOS BY Hillary Ehlen



A Southern Belle Travels North Going all the way back to the beginning, Crowe was born and raised in Fargo, where his family had a furniture store in the Loretta Building in Downtown Fargo for nearly 75 years. As a young adult, Crowe worked his way up from within the retail industry, though he was still making art in his off hours. Then, after becoming disenchanted by the world of retail, Crowe returned to to pursue an art degree at MSUM in the 1990s. When asked to recount how he came to be who he his today, Crowe shared a story that provides a glimpse into his, what some might call idyllic, childhood. "I grew up in a household with a mother


DESIGN & LIVING | J U N E 2 01 8

who taught us a lot. She was a Southern Belle that moved up here from Dallas, Texas with my father. She was a very talented woman, and our house was full of art and music. We would all sing down at the lake together around the bonfire, and on rainy days, she'd pull out art supplies and we'd all draw together. It was a wonderful way to grow up," he said. In addition to encouraging his creativity, Crowe's mother passed on one other important trait. "She also instilled in us not only the desire, but the need to share with other people," he said. This would follow Crowe throughout his artistic career and inspire him to share his expertise with others.

Little, yet Life Changing Moments While at MSUM, Crowe studied under Carl Oltvedt, now of Minneapolis, and eventually became acquainted with fellow artist Dan Jones. The two introduced Crowe to plein air painting, which is painting out in the countryside. At the time, his medium of choice was watercolor. "I absolutely loved it [painting plein air], but I was having a horrible time trying to paint watercolors outside. The sun would dry the paper. It was driving me crazy, so Carl walked over and handed me a box of pastels, and I haven't picked up a brush since," Crowe revealed. Another life-changing moment for Crowe was when he met Bob Kurkowski, whom he met through working as a teacher at the Plains Art Museum. "He changed my life again. There were only two men at the creative arts studio, and we became incredibly close friends," said Crowe. It was Kurkowski who inspired him to become a teacher at the public school level and after teaching for a few years, Crowe decided that it was finally time to pursue a career as a full-time artist. Yet another life-changing moment for Crowe came about when he became acquainted with ecce, a local art gallery located in Downtown Fargo. "After several years, I met Mark [Weiler] through Dan, and that again changed my life. His gallery was better than anything I'd ever seen in New York. My work looked great in there, and we did shows together that looked great in there," Crowe explained.


Vibrant Colors and Textures Crowe's work is filled with vibrant colors and textures, which he achieves through the use of pastels. This medium creates a fine dust when used and a fixative is usually required to keep all of the pigments in place on paper. Because the spray is highly toxic, especially for someone in Crowe's condition as he suffers from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), he has had to improvise in order to continue to produce prolific works. Instead, he applies a fine mist of water over heavy watercolor paper to make sure that all of the pigments stay in place. As for the subject matter of his paintings, much of Crowe's inspiration comes from the peaceful surroundings of his family farm, though he sometimes creates his own scenery. Sadly, this tranquility has been compromised by nearby construction. In fact, that is why Crowe added a beautiful pond to his property— to distract from the noise. To help install the pond, the artist enlisted the help of a tiny house enthusiast who lives on the land in exchange for maintaining the farm, which is greatly appreciated by Crowe.


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25 Years of Cameraderie Crowe also appreciates the camaraderie he has developed with a small group of local and regional artists. Once a year, they get together to make art and provide feedback on each other's work. "These guys are able to tell you honestly about your work, and that's the most valuable thing. We can paint anywhere, but to get together as a group, it's an incredible dynamic," Crowe said. They originally hosted the retreat at Solinger's Resort on Lake Ida, but then moved it to Crowe's family lake cabin. Eventually, the Crowe Farm would become the place where everyone would gather year after year. The core group of artists consists of Crowe, Carl Oltvedt, Dan Jones, Jim Conaway, Zimin Guan and Paul Kellett. However, the retreat has occasionally included other artists such as Warren Kessler and Jessica Wachter. The late Bob Kurkowski was also a participant.

When asked what an average day is like at the retreat, Crowe had this to reply, "The oldest member of the party is 83 and he's always the first one up. He's usually out painting by the time the rest of us get up." Then, they enjoy coffee together and meander outside to start painting. During the daytime, they wander in and out of the house as needed. At night, they discuss each other's paintings and bond over a large, homemade meal. Crowe says that in order to grow as an artist, you need to be able to share your work. For other artists, he recommends, "Find somebody that you can paint with, but they shouldn't be your best friend. They should be somebody that you admire, but not necessarily your friend. That's what gives you a sounding board, and artists are notoriously solitary. What happens is you get this internal thing going on, and you need to be able to break out of that if you want to grow."

The Crowe Farm Retreats Exhibition The Crowe Farm Retreats Exhibition will be on display at the Rourke Art Gallery + Museum until June 10. In addition to featuring works from all of the core artists, the show also includes photographs taken at the retreat over the last 25 years.



BY Becca Opp PHOTOS BY Hillary Ehlen


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Modern on the outside, farmhouse on the inside; this house is truly representative of the Bernstien family. Jess and Derek Bernstien are the owners of Signature Design Home & Remodel, who recently built their own home in Horace, ND. We caught up with this couple to see how they have married two very distinct styles.


Builder - Signature Design Home & Remodel Architect - Jan Mevold, Mevold Studio Framing - T&S Custom Homes Dirt & Concrete Work - Dirt Dynamics

Flooring - Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Floor & Home Electrical - Interstate Electric LLC Tape & Texturing - JP Drywall & Paint

40 Miles Apart Although they grew up only 40 miles apart in the small towns of Verona and Enderlin in rural ND, Jess and Derek Bernstien didn't meet until they moved to Fargo, like many young people, to further their educations. The couple met through mutual friends in 2008. Jump to 2018, and Jess and Derek Bernstein have been married for five years and are the parents of two lively kids, Kayson and Alyssa.

"We wanted to do those things right—the things we won't be able to change down the road," Jess Bernstien said.

Entryway Flooring - Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Floor & Home Electrical - Interstate Electric LLC Tape & Texturing - JP Drywall & Paint

The main level of the Bernstiens' home features 10-foot ceiling heights, while their unfinished lower level has 9-foot ceilings. "We wanted to do those things right--the things we won't be able to change down the road," Jess Bernstien said.



Third Home's the Charm Before the Bernstiens built their forever home in Horace, they had purchased homes through two other builders. Both homes had unfinished basements that Derek Bernstien finished himself. "We bought our first house with the upstairs finished and the basement unfinished. We decided to tackle it ourselves and learned a lot along the way," he said. Soon, Derek Bernstien began helping friends with their home projects too. Eventually, he and his wife decided to start Signature Design Home & Remodel with Tracie Christensen as their first official client. When building their own home through Signature Design Home & Remodel, the Bernstiens looked to Horace and were sold on its spacious lots and familyfriendly feel. "The neighborhood is full of kids," Jess Bernstien said. "Everyone is just a big family here," Derek Bernstien added. The Bernstiens rented a home in West Fargo while building their forever home in Horace. During the design phase, the Bernstiens worked with Jan Mevold of Mevold Studio, who served as the architect on this project. They broke ground in June 2017 and completed the home just before Thanksgiving of that year.

Flooring - Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Floor & Home Electrical - Interstate Electric LLC Tape & Texturing - JP Drywall & Paint

Neutral Color Palette After their forever home was complete, it was time for the Bernstiens to update their furniture and decor. "It was definitely overdue," Jess Bernstien shared. When picking out furniture, she and her husband leaned toward neutral pieces with the exception of a blue chair that Derek Bernstien picked out himself. To help make the pop of color look a little more intentional, Jess Bernstien added blue accents throughout the main living area. "I had to buy curtains to match the chair," she laughed. The nice thing about neutrals is that they can complement both modern and farmhouse style. The modern exterior of this home flows into the farmhouse interior because of the continuation of that neutral color palette.


DESIGN & LIVING | J U N E 2 01 8

Flooring - Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Floor & Home Electrical - Interstate Electric LLC Tape & Texturing - JP Drywall & Paint


Living Room The Bernstiens thought about installing carpet in the living room, but instead opted for a large area rug that can be moved as desired or replaced if needed.

Galvanized Accent - Burlap Rustic Chic Boutique



Functional Farmhouse Design The Bernstiens built their home for entertaining, which is demonstrated in their kitchen. The double ovens, large kitchen island and open concept floor plan are ideal for hosting family and friends. Derek and Jess Bernstein were actually able to host their extended family for the holidays in December 2017.

Signature Design Home & Remodel and Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Floor & Home installed a fully-plumbed Keurig and K-Cup drawer in the Bernstien's kitchen. Now, they'll never have to refill their Keurig with water again.

The Bernstiens looked at three different tile options for their kitchen backsplash. In the end, Jess and Derek Bernstien let Signature Design Home & Remodel's social media followers decide and they selected a neutral subway tile from Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Floor & Home.


DESIGN & LIVING | J U N E 2 01 8


Cabinets - Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Floor & Home Countertops - Stone Countertop Outlet Backsplash - Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Floor & Home Refrigerator - Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery Other Appliances - Homemakers Villa Electrical - Interstate Electric LLC Tape & Texturing - JP Drywall & Paint



Cabinets - Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Floor & Home Countertops - Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Floor & Home Flooring - Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Floor & Home Electrical - Interstate Electric LLC Tape & Texturing - JP Drywall & Paint

Jess and Derek Bernstein tiled the walk-in shower themselves with classic selections from Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Floor & Home.


DESIGN & LIVING | J U N E 2 01 8

Tile - Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Floor & Home

The Bernstiens were all about saving space, so they utilized pocket doors in the master bathroom.

For more information, contact: Signature Design Home & Remodel 7613 Memory Lane, Horace, ND 701-371-6255

Guest Bathroom Cabinets - Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Floor & Home Countertops - Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Floor & Home Flooring - Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Floor & Home Electrical - Interstate Electric LLC Tape & Texturing - JP Drywall & Paint

Make Your Patio



Window Vinyl Lifetime | Insulated Glass - 20 Years Exterior Coating - 15 Years | Non-Prorated & Transferable Labor Included | Accidental Glass Breakage (Material Only)

Minnkota Windows 2324 Main Ave. W. West Fargo, ND 58078