Design & Living September 2018

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Needless to say, I'm totally in favor of the highcontrast trend and am happy that it's catching on right here in the FM area. This month, I took extra care when curating local homes to ensure that they represented this specific aesthetic. You'll see lots of dark and moody accents spread throughout bright and airy spaces. Believe me when I say that the results are dramatic. Our passionate team also focused on refining the design and layout of the magazine this month. You'll notice larger photos, thoughtfully arranged flatlays and graphics that will let the images speak for themselves.

As always, I hope that Design & Living Magazine can be a source of inspiration for you, whether you are looking to build, remodel, redecorate or simply connect with others who share your impeccable taste within the FM area. Either way, we hope that you enjoy this issue as much as we have enjoyed making it. Thank you to our many wonderful article subjects and contributors this month, and most importantly, thank you for reading! Until next month,

Rebecca Opp Editor

PHOTO BY Hillary Ehlen


ast winter, I moved into a 600-squarefoot apartment in Downtown Fargo. After looking at places in a couple of different buildings, the deciding factor for me was that the rental company had painted all of the ceilings in this unit black. Now, I don't think I'll ever want white ceilings in my home again. I love my little apartment, black ceilings and all, as you can probably tell from looking at my personal Instagram account, @becca_opp.



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


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


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


LEAD GRAPHIC DESIGNER Geiger is a MSUM graduate with a BFA with an emphasis in Graphic Design. She is the lead publication designer for Design & Living Magazine, Fargo Monthly and Fargo INC! magazines at Spotlight Media.


Originally from central Wisconsin, Stauner relocated to the FargoMoorhead area in 2017. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth, where she recieved her BFA in Graphic Design and Marketing.


Dahl is a designer at Showplace Cabinetry Design Center in Fargo. She has a degree in Apparel, Retail Merchandising, and Design from NDSU. She is always looking for the next design challenge. Follow current projects on the company’s Instagram page @showplacedesigncenterfargo.


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 Willow City, 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.


Bosak is the owner of Eco Chic Home in Fargo and Bismarck, ND. She is also the founder of local events, Junk Market and the Eco Chic Design Conference. She is a sought-after local talent who specializes in modern farmhouse design and in her spare time offers home staging services.




s we transition from August into September, I can't tell you how impressed and grateful I am to be able to meet with so much of our local talent that make up the home industry of the FM area. Being a publisher, my largest and most important role is helping us grow the brand at Design & Living. I pride myself on absorbing as much information I can about our local talent and trends, past and present, to ensure we can inform our readers on all need-to-know design focuses. This month we focused on high contrast homes which is quickly becoming trend in our area. My own personal taste inclines more towards dramatic aesthetics, so it was exciting to see all of the abrupt transitions of dark to light.

PHOTO BY Hillary Ehlen

Also, it has been a pleasure working closely with our web department, focusing on updates to our website and social media presence. It's exciting to see the following we receive from additional photos, videos, articles, interviews and more. With the support we receive from you as an audience and how proud we are of our publication each month, I know we are on our way to being a nationally recognized brand in North Dakota and Minnesota.


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As always, thank you to all that contributed to the production of Design & Living and to all of our readers. Until next month,

Chantell Ramberg Associate Publisher

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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 16

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Photos by Hillary Ehlen and J. Alan Paul Photography






42 High Contrast

Within these pages, we'll introduce you to FM area homeowners who have used dark, moody hues and pops of color to bring drama to their bright, white spaces. Then, join us as we take exclusive tours of their jaw-dropping-ly beautiful homes.

Prettiest Airbnb in North 32 The Dakota

In December 2017, Architectural Digest published an article listing the most beautiful Airbnbs in every state. For North Dakota, that Airbnb was in Fargo. We caught up with Airbnb host Rachael Steenholdt for a private tour of her charming home that she has chosen to share with the world.

98 Locally Trending Artist Inspired: Ashley Kunz

This month, contributor Kayla Cote pulled her inspiration from local artist Ashley Kunz. In this piece, she demonstrates how artwork can be more than just a focal point; it can be the inspiration for an entire space. Photo by Hillary Ehlen


Exploring the 15th Annual FMVA Studio Crawl

For fifteen years, the FMVA Studio Crawl has been bringing together the artist and the viewer. Recently, we sat down for lunch with Studio Crawl Director and glassblower Jon Offutt to find out exactly what to expect from this year's event.

ON THE COVER Special thanks to the Freng family for allowing Hillary Ehlen to photograph their kitchen.


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NEXT MONTH October is National Kitchen and Bath month, so of course, we just had to make it the theme of our next issue. If you would like to see your kitchen or bath in an upcoming issue of Design & Living Magazine, please email Also next month, keep your eyes peeled for an exclusive interview with Molly Yeh and a recap of the 2018 Annual Unglued Summer Cam—hooray!

For more exclusive, original content,

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM @designandlivingmagazine

Custom made for you

From display cases and candy containers to window well covers Custom Plastics can build it for you Clear acrylic allows maximum light Painted aluminum frame and all acrylic egress window well covers

Custom Design Plastic Products 701-280-1993

SEPTEMBER 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

Designers Sarah Geiger, Sarah Stauner Photographers Hillary Ehlen, J. Alan Paul Photography, HBA, Rachael Steenholdt, M. Schleif Photography, FMVA, Michael RT Photography Contributors Becca Opp, Dustin Murray, Kayla Cote van Rensburg, Maria Bosak, Kelly Dahl Social Media Becca Opp Web Team Jessica Ballou

ADVERTISING Senior Sales Executive Ryan Courneya

Sales Executives Scott Rorvig

Dan Helm

Client Relations Manager Jenny Johnson Business Operations Manager Colleen Dreyer

DISTRIBUTION 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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Spotlight Media's Other Magazines

Our community is changing before our eyes and a large part of that is thanks to new leadership. From new superintendents to the new president of the Economic Development Corporation, we meet with the fresh faces of leadership in our community who will be charting FM's future.

There are many ways to tell a story, but clothing can often speak a world of stories and experiences without uttering a word. A ring can capture the memory of a loved one, a torn pair of jeans can memorialize a thrilling misadventure or a t-shirt can mark a fun-filled vacation. We entered the closets of some of Fargo's most stylish and let them give their clothes a platform to share their own unique stories.

It's football season, Bison Nation. 2018 will see the North Dakota State Bison go for their seventh FCS National Championship in eight years. While past teams have had plenty of attention and expectations attached to them, this year seems different. It's safe to say you should believe the hype because this Bison team is ready to dominate the standard.


This remodel project by Benjamin Custom Homes, LLC, will be featured on the Remodeled Home Tour and offers a bright mix of transitional and contemporary flair.


Local Renovations

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

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.

Do you ever drive by a home day-after-day that’s being remodeled in your neighborhood and wish you could go inside? You can! Home Builders Association of F-M has an event dedicated to home facelifts called the Remodeled Home Tour Oct. 6-7. It runs in conjunction with the Fall Parade of Homes’ second weekend, and allows local residents to tour renovated homes from noon – 5 p.m. both dates.


omething special about this year’s Remodeled Home Tour is it includes two featured remodel projects. These are extensive remodels with a value of at least $200,000. The cost to tour both projects is $5 with proceeds donated to Home Builders Care of F-M Foundation, our charity supporting local housing projects and scholarships. • Woodland Estates in Horace This project was done by Benjamin Custom Homes, bringing a traditional and dark 1999 two-story home into a bright mix of transitional and contemporary flair that fits its owners. You will be inspired by the HGTV-like updates in its kitchen, dining room, living room, foyer, mudroom, den and stairway.


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• Horace Mann in Fargo This 1937

home underwent an extensive basement remodel by Floor To Ceiling Carpet One. Owners added a laundry room, master bath and living area, transforming it into a stylish and modern space with many amenities unknown to its original era.

We know that some of you love your homes and neighborhoods, want all the bells and whistles of a newer home, but don’t necessarily want to move. The five homes on this year’s Remodeled Home Tour will lend ideas on expanding or updating your home. You’ll get an inside look at how older homes can be transformed in a beautiful way, plus many of these contractors can offer expertise on increasing energy efficiency and outdoor curb appeal.

Know When You Go:

• Fall Parade of Homes, Sept. 29-30 and

Oct. 6-7, includes 54 newly constructed homes.

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

• Remodeled Home Tour, Sept. 6-7

only, features five renovation projects, including the two Featured Remodel Projects.

• Hours are noon – 5 p.m. each day. • Admission is free except for the two

Featured Remodel Projects which cost $5.

• Find more information at paradefm. com or pick up event magazines at Hornbacher’s beginning Sept. 24.

For more information, contact: HBAFargoMoorhead

The Prettiest Airbnb in North Dakota


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BY Becca Opp | PHOTOS BY Hillary Ehlen Before photos provided by Rachael Steenholdt

In December 2017, Architectural Digest published an article listing the most beautiful Airbnbs in every state. For North Dakota, that Airbnb was in Fargo. We caught up with Airbnb host Rachael Steenholdt for a private tour of her charming home that she has chosen to share with the world. A Little Bit About Airbnb For those of you who may be unfamiliar, Airbnb is a hospitality service that allows people to lease or rent shortterm lodging. Staying in an Airbnb is like staying in a hotel, except that your room may be in a house or an apartment. Some hosts even offer the ability to rent out an entire house.

Since we're by the hospital and we know a lot of traveling nurses, the idea was just to rent that out, which we did. Then we were in between traveling nurses for about a month--we'd traveled on Airbnb before, but never hosted--so we tried that and it was just crazy." Then last year Mikala Steenholdt moved down to Iowa for work and Rachael Steenholdt started thinking about renting out the main house. "My sister moved away, and it's a big place for just me and Walter (Rachael Steenholdt's St. Bernard) to hang out," she said. Today, Airbnb travelers are able to rent out both the main house and the mother-in-law unit, or one or the other as they are listed separately on the website. One thing that sets these spaces apart from a hotel is that they are pet-friendly with a fenced-in yard. "You truly get the home experience when you bring your pet. I think we get a fair amount of guests just because we allow pets," Rachael Steenholdt said.

Meet the Humble Hosts Originally from the Twin Cities, Rachael and Mikala Steenholdt are identical twins who are the proud owners of the prettiest Airbnb in North Dakota. Yes, you heard that right--they are identical twins from the Twin Cities. For their full-time jobs, Rachael Steenholdt is a public defender, while Mikala Steenholdt is a federal prosecutor. Unfortunately, the two are unlikely to ever go up against each other in court. That's the kind of thing that only happens on Television, right? The sisters came to Fargo to pursue their careers and fell for an older home, which they purchased in 2015 and promptly began fixing it up. Rachael Steenholdt told us how they came to be Airbnb hosts: "It was sold as a single family home and had this mother-in-law unit.

This photo was taken soon after twin sisters Rachael and Mikala Steenholdt purchased their home. 33

Tour the Airbnb


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Front Porch & Entryway When you first walk up to this home, you are welcomed by a gracious front porch. Inside you will see a staircase to your right and a living room to your left. Edwardian woodwork is remarkably well preserved as the previous homeowners must have kindly fought the urge to paint over it. Before moving in, the sisters had the original hardwood floors refinished and later installed new tile in the entryway.

Living Room The living and dining rooms are two of the spaces that required the least amount of work. Most of the furniture was thrifted, and most of the artwork was actually made by Rachael Steenholdt, including a bulldog painting and framed photos of Fargo landmarks. On the coffee table, she displays local magazines for guests who want to familiarize themselves with the FM area.

Rachael Steenholdt painted this bulldog portrait herself.


Dining Room



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In the corner of the dining room is a doorway that leads to the mother-inlaw unit, which has been soundproofed and temporarily closed off from the main house. "The idea was if and when we sell it, the future owner can always just open this up and turn it back into a single family home," Rachael Steenholdt explained.




PASSION. When I was 17, I enrolled in college to become a nurse. At 18, I found out I was expecting a baby girl. While attending school, I cleaned a few homes to earn extra income for my daughter and myself. As school got harder, it grew more difficult to keep up with my clients’ homes. Around the same time, my friend lost her job. My mother knew I was stressed and told me, “Trisha, why don’t you hire her?” It worked out great. I didn’t have to let my clients go and my friend was able to get the hours she needed for her family. Soon, I realized nursing wasn’t my passion. I wanted to create my own business and help others. That is how TLC Cleaning began. After seven years I am proud to offer 35 employees health insurance, dental insurance, childcare, company vehicles, paid holidays, paid vacations and bonuses. TLC has become a large, supportive family. I do not see each client as a dollar sign, but rather a piece of the TLC puzzle. Our goal is to free up our clients’ time so they can focus on what really matters. Someone that sees the value of our services is the perfect puzzle piece for our company. We are so thankful to our community for helping us get to where we are today. It is our honor to give back whenever we can. Thank you for letting me live out my passion.

Trisha Lake Trisha Lake | Owner

TLC Cleaning LLC 701.412.3298

Kitchen The kitchen underwent a major renovation this spring. However, the Architectural Digest article came out even before then. "Everybody thought we were nuts because there were a lot of renovations that needed to be done, so it was a pretty cool thing to have that recognition. I had no idea it was coming. My co-worker actually showed it to me," she laughed. The kitchen reno included new cabinets, countertops, flooring and a new passthrough from the kitchen to the entryway, which hadn't existed before but makes a lot of sense now. The mobile island was also a new addition. On one side of the space, Rachael Steenholdt displays a mix of local products and hand-me-downs from the sisters' grandmother, who happens to live nearby, on exposed shelves. "Everything means something. I didn't fill the space just to fill the space," she said.


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Upstairs Upstairs are three bedrooms, a laundry room and two bathrooms. In the bedrooms, the two Steenholdts updated the carpet and added a fresh coat of paint to the walls. They also renovated the guest bathroom, while the master bath looks as if it hasn't been altered since the 1930s and is still in pristine condition. The master bedroom used to have its own entrance, which the sisters have converted into a balcony. "As I understand it, this home used to be a triplex at one point," Rachael Steenholdt explained. One other big update that the sisters made was adding air conditioning to the home.




Rachael Steenholdt's Saint Bernard, Walter, looks through the window of the mother-in-law unit.


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Mother-In-Law Unit The mother-in-law unit has its own porch and entrance. Inside is a little living room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and breakfast bar, which the sisters have also extensively renovated. Our favorite piece of furniture in this space is the green midcentury sofa, which is also a hand-medown from the Steenholdts' grandmother. Although it might seem odd to want to open your home up to strangers, Rachael and Mikala Steenholdt are happy to do it. "It's nice to have somebody enjoy something that you've created," Rachael Steenholdt said. In fact, she keeps everything set up for when guests book the space on short notice. "I always have it set up so all I have to do is grab my stuff," she said.



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he 2000s were all about earth tones, and the 2010s were dominated by everything greige. This year, highcontrast color palettes are having a major moment, thanks to influencers like Chip and Joanna Gaines. Here at Design & Living Magazine, we are in love with this Instagram-worthy trend, so much so that we have decided to dedicate this issue to high-contrast homes. Within these pages, we'll introduce you to FMarea homeowners who have used dark, moody hues and bold pops of color to bring drama to their bright, white spaces. Then, join us as we take exclusive tours of their jaw-dropping-ly beautiful homes.


BY Becca Opp PHOTOS BY J. Alan Paul Photography


HOME for a New-toFargo Family


oving out of state can be stressful, especially when you add four little ones into the mix. When Britani and Adam DeFoe (formerly of Omaha, NE) first started looking at houses in the FM area, they couldn't find anything that felt right for their family. That was when they decided to build with Studio West Homes. The end result was a roughly 5,400 square-foot, contemporary-modern masterpiece that is above all, kid-friendly to boot. Now, you can join us in welcoming the homeowners to Fargo and take a private tour of their newlyconstructed abode. 44

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MEET THE HOMEOWNERS The DeFoe family had been living in Omaha when Adam DeFoe said yes to an exciting new job opportunity right here in Fargo. Thus began the search for a home that would not only meet the needs of Britani and Adam DeFoe, but also of their four little ones: Cora (7), Calla (5), Judah (4) and Ezra (2). These homeowners were not complete strangers to the area though. As a young couple, Britani and Adam DeFoe had lived in Fargo before moving away and starting a family of their own. However, finding the right home for all six DeFoes proved to be quite the challenge this time around. This is what led them to reach out to their friend Trisha Stibbe, who introduced them to Kirsten Waverek and Elliot Steinbrink of Studio West Homes. "They had looked at houses and weren't finding what they wanted, so we started designing a house for them. We had the house designed and priced in about four weeks," Waverek said. Construction on the home started in September 2017 and the project was completed by Spring 2018.

MEET THE BUILDERS Trisha Stibbe, Kirsten Waverek and Elliot Steinbrink make up Studio West Homes. Together, they have made their mark on the FM area with their fresh take on traditional home design. With the DeFoe home, Stibbe, Waverek and Steinbrink have shown that not only do they specialize in traditional style, but that they can also execute contemporary-modern design with the same attention to detail that makes each of their builds special.

Left to Right: Trisha Stibbe, Assistant Client Manager; Elliot Steinbrink, Project Manager; Kirsten Waverek, Design & Client Manager


ENTRYWAY When you first enter the home, the dining room is to your left, a staircase with a metal railing is on your right and the formal living room is straight ahead. Overhead are nine-foot ceilings with rustic beams that don't feel out of place in this modern-contemporary space, which is a blend of Britani and Adam DeFoe's individual tastes. "Britani came to us and wanted a modern home, whereas Adam liked a contemporary take on a craftsman home. They've got four kids, so they wanted something they could live in. Our overall goal was to have their home be both modern and contemporary, but still have it feel very homey. I think it was a really good combination. " Waverek explained.

Flooring - Floor To Ceiling Carpet One Floor & Home Industrial Dresser -Urban Outfitters Mirror -Urban Outfitters Railing - All Fab Railings Bench -CB2


FORMAL LIVING ROOM The focal point of the formal living room is a faux-cement fireplace. Studio West Homes designed this space for Britani and Adam DeFoe to entertain guests. "We wanted spaces that were adult-specific," Britani DeFoe said. While this room is for adults, the lower level features a living room and theater room for the whole family. However, a hidden playroom on the second level is where the youngest DeFoes (and their toys) will truly be able to take over. "I think the overall design and layout just works really well. It's really functional," said Adam DeFoe.

Light Fixture - Restoration Hardware Flooring - Floor To Ceiling Carpet One Floor & Home Rug - High Fashion Home Coffee Table - West Elm Sofa - SCHEELS Home & Hardware Side Tables - McNeal & Friends Chairs - West Elm


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Above the stove, Studio West Homes ordered a custom range hood from All Fab Railings, which they had powdered to match the DeFoe's staircase.

KITCHEN The kitchen is where Britani DeFoe loves to spend time, and we can understand why. Contrasting cabinets in dark navy and bright white from Wendt Custom Cabinets, quartz countertops from Spaulding Stone and luxury laminate flooring from Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Floor & Home make this space fit for Food Network.

BREAKFAST NOOK The breakfast nook was intended to be a place where the DeFoe kids could work on homework. With that being said, the DeFoes wanted a durable tabletop that would be easy to replace in a few years. Studio West Homes then came up with a solution; they used an IKEA countertop and set of legs ordered off Etsy to create a makeshift work station for the kids.

What makes this a highcontrast home? Bright, white walls Dark floors throughout the first floor Black trim on the windows and doors Black steel railing & custom range hood Painted cabinets in contrasting colors Natural wood & stone accents

Tabletop - IKEA Table Legs - Etsy Throw Pillows - HomeGoods, Target, Amazon Chairs - McNeal & Friends


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Flooring - Floor To Ceiling Carpet One Floor & Home Cabinets - Wendt Custom Cabinets Countertops - Spaulding Stone Custom Range Hood - All Fab Railings Pendant Lights - Rejuvenation Appliances - Best Buy


PATIO The DeFoe's formal living room features a wall of A100 patio doors with black trim for a modern look. The best thing about these doors is that they fold back completely, creating an open, indooroutdoor space between the formal living room and patio.

DINING ROOM The gallery wall in the dining room serves as an homage to all of the places the DeFoes have lived. While the breakfast nook was intended for homework, this is where the whole DeFoe family enjoys their meals together.

Flooring - Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Floor & Home Rug - West Elm Prints - Etsy Table - Jute Co. Chairs - IKEA



MASTER SUITE Back in Omaha, the DeFoes were living in a rambler. This time around though, they wanted a two story with the master bedroom on the main floor. Their master suite is complete with an ensuite with a walk-in-shower, free-standing tub and double sinks.

Floors - Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Floor & Home Cabinets - Wendt Custom Cabinets Countertops - Spaulding Stone


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MAIN LIVING ROOM The main living room is located in the lower level with an adjoining theater room and bar. A custom, powdered steel fireplace, shiplap wall and nine-foot ceilings prevent this space from feeling like your average basement.

BAR Much like the kitchen upstairs, the bar features cabinets by Wendt Custom Cabinets and countertops by Spaulding Stone. Unlike the kitchen though, the bar is just steps away from the DeFoes' wine cellar. "If there was a thing that we thought of, they made it work within our budget," Adam DeFoe said of Studio West Homes.

Cabinets - IKEA Sectional - Pottery Barn Teen

HIDDEN PLAYROOM Hidden somewhere on the second floor is a secret room where the DeFoe kids reign supreme. IKEA cabinets provide ample storage for their many toys, while a small sectional is the perfect place for Cora, Calla, Judah and Ezra DeFoe to hang out.

THEATER ROOM This theater room is perfect for family movie night or for hosting sleep overs.

For more information, contact: Studio West Homes 701-404-7716


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Fr e n g Pa r t y o f F i v e 's H i g h C o n t ra s t H o m e BY Becca Opp | PHOTOS BY Hillary Ehlen

The Frengs' home is the poster-child for the high contrast trend that is currently sweeping the Midwest. This month, we met Nate and Chelsey Freng, along with the rest of their party: Avery (9), Auden (4) and Alder (almost 2). Now you too can see how the Freng family has customized their home built by Thomsen Homes to fit their keen style.

When You Know What to Expect When Nate and Chelsey Freng built about a year ago, Chelsey Freng had already envisioned what her home would look like. It helps that she had worked in the marketing department of Thomsen Homes for a number of years. "I felt like I knew what to expect," Chelsey Freng laughed. Today, their South Fargo home is decorated so that you would never guess they'd only been living in it for a year.


Entryway Right away in the Frengs' entryway, you will notice how their selections create contrast. Bright, white walls and painted trim juxtaposed against dark flooring and black-painted stares makes a dramatic statement from the moment you walk in their (also black) door.


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Dining Room On the outside, it looks like the Frengs' neighbors have the exact same home. On the inside, however, they are totally different because Nate and Chelsey Freng customized their floor plan by eliminating a guest bedroom, rearranging the kitchen and the living room and bringing the dining room to the front of their home. They also asked Thomsen Homes to incorporate three windows into the wall behind their dining area after Chelsey Freng got the idea from Pinterest. "I'm on social media quite a bit, especially Instagram, and I get a lot of inspiration from there," she shared. GET THE LOOK: Table - Wayfair Chairs - Amazon Console - Target

"I'm on social media quite a bit, especially Instagram, and I get a lot of inspiration from there." - Chelsey Freng


Kitchen with DIY Backsplash Throughout the building process, the Frengs stayed within budget by doing some of the finishing work—like installing the tile backsplash in the kitchen— themselves. This is one DIY that had a couple of don'ts along the way. For example, the Frengs initially chose a hexagon tile and found that the smaller the tile, the more difficult it was to cut. Instead, the couple opted for a clean subway tile that was much easier for them to work with on their own. Also in the kitchen, Nate and Chelsey Freng went with a custom, larger-than-standard island with sheetrock on the sides, making it feel like a more permanent part of their home.

GET THE LOOK Letter board - Letterfolk Bar stools - HomeGoods


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Living Room The Frengs' living room is filled with bright whites with pops of color in the form of greenery, which contrasts nicely with dark wood floors and the blackpainted lower cabinets in their kitchen. Since our photoshoot, Nate and Chelsey Freng installed DIY wainscoting to the wall behind their TV console.

GET THE LOOK: Sofa - IKEA Chairs - Target Coffee table - Amazon Media console - West Elm


Residential | Multifamily | Commercial

Out of 100 Homes,

ONLY ONE is a Smart Home Dean Johnson | 701.799.1737

We call that OPPORTUNITY

GET THE LOOK: Bed - West Elm

Master Bedroom Going along with that same theme, Nate and Chelsey Freng's master bedroom is a high-contrast darling. That wall behind the bed isn't black though--it's a very dark green. We love how their minimal use of wall decor allows their color choice to speak for itself. "I originally wanted black shiplap, but we have so much black that I decided to go with a different color," said Chelsey Freng. Thank goodness she did!


What Makes this a highcontrast home?


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Bright, white walls

Dark floors

White trim

Dark lower cabinets

Bright, white countertops & tile

Black ceilings

Black & white prints

Bold pops of color

Master Bath The Frengs' master bath includes one of their must-haves from when they were building their home--a subway tile shower. Like the master bedroom, this space also features a black ceiling and a striking black-and-white, luxury vinyl floor.

Avery Freng DIY-ed this playful, woven wall hanging using a loom kit, but we think it looks like a piece of decor you could buy at a hip, downtown boutique.


Avery's Room

Next, we trekked downstairs to visit the lower level and were greeted by a play area for the youngest of Frengs. One fun element in this space is a Nugget couch whose foam cushions can be used to make a fort or whatever Avery, Auden and Alder Freng's hearts desire.

Avery's room is also in the lower level and has pink as its primary pop of color. Various shades of pink both dark and light stand out all the more against a backdrop of white shiplap and blackand-white patterned wallpaper.

With a little imagination, the youngest of Frengs can transform their Nugget couch into almost anything--including these neat forts.


Auden & Alder's Room Across the hall in Auden and Alder's room, dark blue wainscoting and real greenery provide the only pops of color in this aesthetically-pleasing-black-andwhite palette. For more inspiration, you can follow @ frengpartyof5 on Instagram to keep up with all of their home updates.


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TUDOR in North Fargo


n North Fargo, there stands a 1935 Tudor. It is owned by Kaitlyn and Jace Foss, who live together with their old English sheepdog, Murf. The second story of their home has recently undergone a complete transformation that you'll have to see to believe. After gutting the walls all the way down to the studs, the Fosses collaborated with interior decorator Christen Anderson of Christen Joy Homes to ensure that all finishes were appropriate for the era of their home. 70

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Interior Decorator - Christen Anderson, Christen Joy Homes Architect - Mike Dawson, Chris Hawley Architects General Contractor - RV Construction Co.

A HOME OF THEIR OWN When Kaitlyn and Jace Foss first started house hunting in Fargo, they were searching for something they could make their own. The young couple had been renting in Minneapolis while Jace Foss was studying to become a chiropractor, so when they moved back to Fargo in 2015 for Jace to start Foss Spine and Wellness in Moorhead, both Kaitlyn and Jace Foss were looking forward to taking on a home improvement project in a character home located in a well-established neighborhood. When the Fosses purchased their Tudor home in North Fargo, the second story was stuck in the 1980s. Enter the talented Mike Dawson of Chris Hawley Architects, who helped the Fosses mentally strip their second story down to the studs and build it back up again through meetings, renderings and final plans. After meeting with their architect and general contractor, the Fosses enlisted Christen Anderson of Christen Joy Homes to help them make selections.

THE HALLWAY The hallway leads to the guest bedroom and master bedroom on the right, and the master bath and master closet on the left. One thing that you'll notice throughout the second floor is custom trim work on the walls. To make the trim stand out from the eggshell paint used on the walls, Anderson suggested coating the trim work with gloss paint. "Kaitlyn is a lover of white. She wanted to layer in all of these different hues of white, so you'll not only see different white shades, but also a variety of sheens," Anderson explained. The white walls acted as a blank canvas on which the Fosses could bring in vibrant pops of color through artwork. In Anderson's opinion, the art display in your home should be personal, so she agreed to help the Fosses find pieces that would speak to them. To do so, Anderson asked ecce gallery director Mark Weiler to provide a selection of pieces from local artists for the Fosses to view. "We hung everything up, and it suddenly went from a house to a home," said Kaitlyn Foss. For the hallway, she fell in love with a pastel painting by Bob Crowe.

Artwork - Bob Crowe


MEANT TO BE Kaitlyn Foss saw Anderson's work on Instagram, and coincidentally, Jace Foss attended high school with Anderson. Even more surprising was the fact that all three went to UND at the same time. In other words, this collaboration was meant to be. "Kaitlyn and Jace were just so much fun. It was a unique opportunity to work on a home like this and to have homeowners who wanted to invest in it personally. Everything was so carefully curated," Anderson said. MASTER BEDROOM The Fosses wanted to customize their master bedroom, just as they did with the other rooms in their remodel. "I feel like between Jace, Christen and I, we really went the extra mile. We didn't want anything that you could just take off the shelf," Kaitlyn Foss shared. Take the walnut built-ins for example. "They [the Fosses] didn't want just any dresser they could buy, so they did these beautiful built-ins. Every the detail from the drawer fronts down to the brass hardware, all of that had thought put into it," Anderson added.

"We definitely wanted to bring in pops of color with things that can be easily changed out," Kaitlyn Foss said of the velvet pillows in the master bedroom.


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Even the tongue-in-groove accents are custom, not to be confused with shiplap. "I told Christen that I didn't want trendy and I didn't want gray," Kaitlyn Foss said. On the other hand, the Fosses did want the walls and ceiling of the second floor to match the original plaster on the first floor as much as possible, so they used tongue-in-groove in place of texturing to hide any flaws. For furnishings, the Fosses chose classic pieces in unexpected colors such as a velvet, chesterfield headboard.

Artwork - Amber Fletschock

"Kaitlyn was always saying, 'I want great lighting and I want artwork," Anderson gestured toward the Amber Fletschock painting illuminated by gallery lighting in the master bedroom.

What makes this a highcontrast home? Bright, white walls Dark hardwood floors Gloss and flat paint juxtaposed on the trim and walls Bold pops of color in furniture, accessories and artwork


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GUEST BEDROOM The guest bedroom is currently full of possibilities. Kaitlyn and Jace Foss are still on the hunt for the perfect pieces to finish off this space and they are willing to wait for the right furniture and decor to come along. For example, when Kaitlyn Foss saw this vintage rug at The White House Co. warehouse, she just had to have it.



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GET THE LOOK: Flooring & Runner Carpet World Art Curator - Mark Weiler, ecce Gallery Hardware - RH Headboard – RH Lighting - Circa Lighting, RH, Rejuvenation Chairs (rentals) - The White House Co. Spare bedroom rug – Vintage Master bedroom rug Room & Board Flowers - Love Always Floral Chest - Vintage Accessories – McNeal & Friends, Crate & Barrell, Target, The White House Co.

Christen Anderson is the owner of Christen Joy Homes, where she specializes in both commercial and residential projects from new builds, remodels to the finishing touches.

MASTER BATH REVEAL Now, everything in the second story remodel feels as if it could have been original to the home, which was the ultimate goal of Dawson, Anderson and the homeowners. Next, you can look forward to their master bath reveal in the October issue of Design & Living Magazine.

For more information, please contact:

One thing that the Fosses did during their remodel was add muchneeded storage space to the second story. Notice the attention to detail paid in these periodappropriate hardware on these dual closet doors.

Christen Anderson 425-922-5237 christenjoyhomes@ christenjoyhomes christenjoyhomes


BY Becca Opp INTERIOR PHOTOS BY Kara Ardayfio Photography HEADSHOTS & EXTERIOR PHOTOS BY J. Alan Paul Photography


with Magnum Custom Homes


arlier this year, Magnum Custom Homes made their debut in the Spring Parade of Homes. Now, they are getting ready for the Fall Parade. While these two homes are from the same builder, both are unique and waiting for the perfect family to come along. Join us as we meet the builders, then come along with us as we take a tour the Spring Parade home and get a sneak peek at the farmhouseinspired Fall Parade home. 80

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MEET THE BUILDERS Magnum Custom Homes is co-owned by couples Wade and Cristy Haugeberg along with Tony and April Rabideaux. Wade Haugeberg is also the owner of Magnum Contracting, a commercial construction company where Tony Rabideaux is Vice President. Together, they decided to launch Magnum Custom Homes because they enjoy getting to know residential clients and building homes that fit the needs of a specific family. This is a standard that the busy co-owners are accustomed to, as the Haugebergs have four kids ranging in age from 6 to 15 years old, and the Rabideauxes have three kids ranging in age from 1 to 8 years old. THEIR PROJECTS This year, Magnum Custom Homes had one of their homes featured in the HBA of FM Spring Parade of Homes for the first time. In a few weeks, they will be showing a new home in the Fall Parade of Homes. These houses, a rambler and a farmhouse-inspired home were spec homes intended to show what Magnum Custom Homes has to offer. However, their first big project was a custom home out in Oxbow. With an intentional focus on quality over quantity, the co-owners of Magnum Custom Homes would like to continue working on a handful of homes each year to ensure that each project receives the attention-to-detail that it deserves. SPRING PARADE REVIEW For their Spring Parade home, Magnum Custom Homes went with a 3,760-square-foot rambler in the Wilds 6th Edition, located right across the street from Legacy Elementary School. They broke ground in Fall of 2017 and completed the build in Spring of 2018, just in time to share all of their hard work with the public. "Since we are new to the industry, we wanted to show people what we can do," Tony Rabideaux said. When it came to design, Magnum Custom Homes wanted the interior of this home to complement the taste of its future family. "We wanted it to have a neutral enough palette so that the family can bring in their own style," April Rabideaux said. The home boasts five bedrooms, three baths and a fullyfinished basement with a flex space.

Tony Rabideaux, April Rabideaux, Cristy Haugeberg, Wade Haugeberg


FOYER When guests from the Spring Parade of Homes entered the foyer, they were greeted by a generous coat closet with its own sliding barn door, an open floor plan and nine-foot ceilings throughout the first floor.

Flooring - Carpet World Staging - Maria Bosak

LIVING ROOM The living room is open to the kitchen and dining room. Its highlight is a bright, white fireplace with a chunky, floating mantle surrounded by built-ins and floating shelves. "I'm a dark wood guy, so I certainly enjoy that," Wade Haugeberg said of the dark stain used on wood throughout the home as seen on the built-ins, floating shelves, cabinets and doors, which contrasted nicely with the white, painted trim work.


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Flooring - Carpet World Fireplace - Home & Hearth Staging - Maria Bosak


KITCHEN This kitchen not only looks high-end, but it also features high-end appliances. These include an induction cooktop and a convection oven in addition to a traditional oven, all in a stunning slate finish. Just off of the kitchen is a butler's pantry, mud room, command center and laundry room. Throughout the design and build process, April Rabideaux and Cristy Haugeberg prioritized organization, which is why the floor plan is so functional. They were also in charge of selecting finishes, with some input from their husbands, though their entire process was really a team effort.

What makes this a highcontrast home? Bright, white countertops and backsplashes Bright, white trim and dark, wood doors Dark, wood cabinets & built-ins Natural stone accents Flooring - Carpet World Cabinets - Clearwater Custom Cabinets Countertops - Northern Stone Appliances - Rigels Fixtures - Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery Lighting - Valley Lights Staging - Maria Bosak Storage system - Lamperts


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Window sills



Bold Choices:

GraNite & Quartz

y Great selection of colors y Mild to unique patterns y unmistakably strong

250 25th Street So. Fargo, ND 58103




DINING ROOM The windows in the dining room not only let in lots of natural light, but also provide generous views of the incredible backyard that comes with this home.

Flooring - Carpet World Lighting - Valley Lights Staging - Maria Bosak


Flooring - Carpet World


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MASTER SUITE The master suite is off of the kitchen, while the other two bedrooms on the main floor are off of the living room. "It's a split layout, so the master is on one side of the house and the bedrooms are on the other," said Tony Rabideaux. This creates a sense of separation for the parents seeking a bit of peace and quiet at the end of a long day. The master bath features double sinks, as do all of the bathrooms in this house, and a to-die-for walk-in-closet.

Flooring - Carpet World Cabinets - Clearwater Custom Cabinets Countertops - Northern Stone Fixtures - Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery Lighting - Valley Lighting


Flooring - Carpet World Fireplace - Home & Hearth Stone - Hudson Masonry


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LOWER LEVEL With eight-foot-ceilings, the lower level features an exceptionally large family room, wet bar, fireplace, flex space, bathroom and two additional bedrooms. "It's a great space for entertaining because it's so open and so flexible," Tony Rabideaux said of the lower level. While this rambler is currently available for private showings, the 2018 HBA of FM Fall Parade will include a farmhouseinspired spec home by Magnum Custom Homes. "That was the trend when my wife and I built our own house and it doesn't seem to be going away," Tony Rabideaux explained. In preparation for the 2018 Fall Parade of Homes, this *,***-square-foot home will also feature staging by Maria Bosak of Eco Chic Home to help parade-goers envision how the space will look when fully furnished and decorated. The Fall Parade will take place on September 29-30 and October 6-7 from noon to 5 p.m.

For more information, please contact:

Magnum Custom Homes 701-446-7810 4686 13th Ave. N Fargo



et’s get this out in the open right now. I’m not a designer. I’m a simple farm girl from South Dakota who used to have a kitchen full of bird houses and a short love affair with all-things-chicken (roosters really). I did not go to school for design (I’m a social worker by trade). I fell into an industry I didn’t know existed and then grew it into a successful business, because it became my passion. I love houses, but more importantly, I love homes. Homes tell a story, feel warm and fuzzy and embrace you upon arrival. Have you ever walked into a home and just felt “it?” That feeling of order (even in chaos) and, more importantly, the feeling that this home is special and the people who live here LOVE here. Now you may be wondering what all that gushy mushy stuff about homes has to do with this issue's topic of high contrast design. Well it doesn’t. Not really. Yet, it can.

I’m often asked about the latest trends and styles in home design, and truthfully, I don’t know. I mean “I know” because I can visually see what is going on in the industry around me, but I don’t focus on it as the basis for design when I go into a space. However, I have found a few themes and design styles that I gravitate towards, not because they are trendy, but because I enjoy how they look. I find them timeless, clean and easy to decorate. The palette I’m drawn to is a high contrast black and white base. Not only does it appeal to my design taste, but it allows me to easily pivot from a love of roosters to a love of boxwood and linen pillows given the season or my mood. Let me take you through a few rooms in my own home and shop to give you a look at the way you could work this simple and clean palette into your own home and then transition it as you wish, but maybe forgo the roosters. Let them stay in 1995--although that was a GREAT year.

BY Maria Bosak PHOTOS BY Hillary Ehlen, Paul Flessland & M. Schleif Photography


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THE GIRLS' GUEST BEDROOM & GUEST BATH Okay, I will admit the floor in the girls' guest bathroom is a bit trendy. I’m ok with that—I fell in love with it and it makes me smile every time I walk into the room. That is maybe the most important lesson in design. It’s YOUR house (not your neighbors, not your MIL’s, not your Bunco group's). Do what makes you smile. Also, the floor is small in this room. If I decide I’m tired of the tile, it wouldn’t be a large investment to change it. With a black and white design scheme, I can change both the girls' bathroom and bedroom to a have new look with a few simple changes. When I decorated these rooms, they were an homage to my late grandma Caroline. She loved the color pink (I do too) and the accents were placed with an intention to remind me of her. Now, I will admit I’m ready for a change. So, let’s play “what if.” What if I took out all the pink accents, the bench and the flowers and replace them with a new color palette. In the bathroom I could

take down the shelves and replace them with an old, wood-toned window or frame and hang a boxwood wreath in the middle, and maybe add a white rug on floor. This would immediately change the feel of the room. The bright green boxwood wreath would become the focal point and change the feel of the room completely. The same goes for the bedroom. Let’s place a wood toned bench at the foot of the bed, add new rustic, wood-toned side tables, a few vases with simple green stems and a few linen-colored pillows on the bed. Can you see it? Same room, new look! More relaxed, less formal and a tish refined rustic and not so “Grandma Caroline.” I realize that if I had actually made these changes and taken new photos you might enjoy this article better, but hindsight is 20/20 and I’m going to make you use your imagination a little today. This will be a good test in using the Pinterest board in your mind, a little “seeing it” without actually “seeing it”. We are strengthening your design eye. Let’s try another space. This is fun.

Brandi's backsplash

The cabinets and shelves in my shop, Eco Chic Home, are designed to flow with the change of seasons and arrival of new products while complimenting the rest of the store design. The backsplash is a matte finish black kite tile and I used a dark charcoal colored grout. This was intentional to keep the customers' eyes focused on the products and not cause an uncomfortable distraction between the tile and the actual items on the shelves. The same can be said for shelves in your home. The backdrop needs to enhance

the visual experience and not take away from it. I find a high contrast difference between things that touch creates a visually stimulating design. In this case, the items on the shelves are the focal point, not the tile, so our team places items here that pop off the tile. Now this same tile was used by my friend Brandi in her home, but she used white grout. The contrast between tile and grout creates a visually stimulating focal point in her kitchen. In this case, the tile became a gorgeous focal point, not the items around it.

As you walk through my home, this re-occurring theme of black and white contrast flows from room to room with a few touches of cedar and brick to bring texture and dimension. I find it calming, consistent and simple. I give you this advice, don’t overthink your design. A few tricks of working with contrast along with adding personal touches will give you a home that hugs and fits you (and the pages of Pinterest) perfectly‌.but mostly you. Cheers to home, Maria


BY Kelly Dahl | PHOTOS BY Hillary Ehlen


Hardware Trends IN FARGO


ttention is in the details. Finishing touches, such as hardware, can make a home pop. When picking hardware finishes, you want to complement other finishes in the house or flatter them with something different. Currently, we see lots of mixed metal finishes in our kitchens. The time for hardware to shine is now! With so many on-trend options available, it is easy to show off your style. Here are four finishes that are making a massive impact in the design world right now: Flat Black, Ash Gray, Satin Brass and Brushed Rose Gold.


BLACK Flat Black from Top Knobs is a rich, yet subtle color. Black is a timeless finish that looks great with everything! The new twist is the matte finish, which complements the farmhouse style that is hot right now. It pairs well with other finishes, couple this with your stainless steel appliances or brushed nickel fixtures.


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ROSE GOLD This is the jaw-dropping Brushed Rose Gold from Schaub. It is a statement finish. Brushed Rose Gold is a light pink and copper tone paired with clear acrylic on this hardware making for a distinct and glam look. It would look fantastic in a bathroom with painted white cabinetry with a flat door profile for a simple and chic look.



Ash Gray from Top Knobs is a darker version of brushed nickel. Ash Gray looks fantastic on painted cabinetry. We like it on light gray cabinetry for a tone-on-tone look. It pairs well with stainless and black stainless steel appliances.



BRASS Satin Brass from Schaub is a sophisticated, warm gold. Gold tones are making a huge comeback right now. This finish shines on white and gray painted cabinetry along with darker stains.


At the end of the day, a trend is just a trend. If the current trends don’t fit into your lifestyle, they are not the right decision for you. If they do, make sure you are going to love them! You want your final selections to be the right selections for a long time. For more information, contact: Showplace Cabinetry Design Center 2553 Kirsten Lane S Fargo 701-365-4455



or fifteen years, the FMVA Studio Crawl has been bringing together the artist and the viewer. Not only is it an opportunity for local artists to gain exposure, but it is a time for people like you and me to experience the inner workings of those who have been helping make our community so vibrant. This month, we had lunch with Studio Crawl Director and glassblower Jon Offutt to find out exactly what to expect from this year’s event.

BY Becca Opp PHOTOS BY FMVA/Michael RT Photography


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Jon Offutt (left) demonstrates his glassblowing technique during the 2017 Studio Crawl.

Meet the Director

Attend the Event

Though his role as director is to coordinate the event, Offut has opened his studio up every year for the Studio Crawl. There, he demonstrates his glassblowing technique for curious onlookers. “I’ve never been on the crawl, myself. I’ve always been a participant. There’s only four of us that have been in it all fifteen years.” Those artists are Ellen Diedrich, Karen Bakke and FMVA Member of the Year, Brad Bachmeier.

This year, the Studio Crawl will take place on October 6 and 7 from noon to 6 p.m. To attend, the first thing you’ll want to do is pick up a brochure from The Plains Art Museum, The Rourke Art Museum, The Hjemkomst Center, Dakota Fine Art or Gallery 4. Brochures will also be available at a variety of local restaurants and businesses leading up to the event. The event is totally free to attend and a map will be provided in the brochure.

Meet the Artists Each year, Offutt selects someone, usually a museum or gallery director, from outside of the FM area to review applicants for the Studio Crawl. This year, the crawl will include 38 studios and even more artists, as some studios are shared by multiple artists. Just to give you an idea of how much the crawl has grown, the first year included only 28 studios. Newcomers this year include Kayla Helenske and the NDSU Architecture Program.

The Plains Art Museum will also have an exhibition featuring work from artists participating in the Studio Crawl. Something to note is that admission fees to The Plains Art Museum and The Rourke have been permanently waived thanks to increased financial support from the public, although admissions have always been free during the Studio Crawl weekend. From there, you can pick and choose which studios you would like to visit. “Choose what you want to do because

there’s far more than you’ll be able to see if you give each studio its due time,” Offutt said. For example, the Crawl includes studios in Fargo, West Fargo, Moorhead, Felton, Glyndon and Harwood. At the studios, guests are encouraged to ask the artists questions about their work. Many of the artists will also demonstrate their skills for the public. Between visiting with artists, Studio-Crawl-goers will be able to take their picture with the giant red ball of The Red Ball Project, which will also be in Fargo on October 6 and 7. Take the Design & Living Route We’ve gathered all of the artists you can visit on this year’s Studio Crawl that have been featured in Design & Living Magazine. Those artists include: Jon Offutt, July 2013; Kimble Bromley, March 2014; Marjorie Schlossman, March 2015; Elizabeth Schwankl, January 2016; Emily Williams-Wheeler, May 2016; Brad Bachmeier, June 2016; Ashley Kunz, June 2016; Karmen Rhealt, February 2017; Dale Cook, August 2018.

For more information, contact: Fargo Moorhead Visual Artists 1104 2nd Ave S #313 Fargo




Artist Inspired: Ashley Kunz

This month, I pulled my inspiration from local artist Ashley Kunz. Her work is gestural, organic and highly pigmented. She describes it as "nonrepresentational" as it does not represent anything in the visible world. I found Ashley's work when strolling through West Acres Mall when she was their Artist in Residence back in March. The compositions of her work attracted me and filled me with a sense of wonder. Her works encourage viewers to create their own visual stories within them. For me, I saw gemstones, rich berries and changing of the seasons. I couldn't help but think of a plethora of rubies, emeralds, amethysts and many other precious and semi-precious stones all melding together to create a work of art. I also envisioned the colors of fall, the smell of the autumn leaves and the taste of berry jams my Mom creates from wild plums and chokecherries on our farm. Ashley's work can be more than just a focal point; it could easily be the inspiration for an entire space.

BY Kayla Cote van Rensburg | PHOTOS BY Hillary Ehlen

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


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Perfect Pairings for Local Paintings The decor I have selected for this month is unconventional, unique and would bring a feeling of luxury to any environment. Natural gemstones, gorgeous geodes and colorful ceramics are sure to pair well with her art.

"IN THE FALL" & NATURAL GEMSTONES Her piece, "In The Fall," brings out all of the tones of the season. Incorporating hues from this color palette would create a sense of richness and an air of elegance in any space. Natural gemstones are available in many of the same tones seen in Ashley's paintings. Gemstones can be used in a multitude of ways in your home. Now and Then Shoppe caries a variety of natural gems, including these 2-inch to 6-inch, cut, shaped and polished pieces. "In The Fall" by Ashley Kunz

1 01

"TRANSITION" & GORGEOUS GEODES "Transition" for me takes on the look of a landscape with rich, autumn leaves on trees reflected the waters below. The vibrant-yetcalming colors in this piece would create a sense of peace and tranquility in any space. Gorgeous geodes can be used to bring out these autumnal colors. Now an Then Shoppe carries everything from 3-inch geodes to 3-foot geodes. Kayla's Tip: Sprinkle natural gemstones and geodes around your coffee table as an accent, or create a focal point on a shelf by adding a variety of shapes, sizes and colors.

"Transition" by Ashley Kunz


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"THIS IS A FANTASY" & MAGICAL MUGS BY FERMIE STUDIOS "This Is A Fantasy" is a whimsical piece with a playful use of color. It is a fond reminder of fading summer days spent in laughter and play. Much like Ashley's paintings, there is something special about hand-crafted mugs because no two are identically the same. I'm especially loving these pieces by Fermie Studios. The organic nature of the shapes mimic the style of Ashley's work "Float On." Start your day off on the right foot with a cup of coffee in a colorful, happy mug. Kayla's Tip: Claim your own! Make it fun for the family by letting each member pick their favorite mug. Use them as a conversation starter and ask the kids why they picked their mug and what is special about it to them. It's a great way to promote self expression.

"This Is A Fantasy" by Ashley Kunz

Ceramics by Fermie Studios



A MODERN Landmark in South Fargo

BY Becca Opp | PHOTOS BY Hillary Ehlen

When First Community Credit Union broke ground on their new location in South Fargo, little did they know that they would be creating a landmark. This ultra-modern structure designed by Craig Helenske officially opened for business in June of 2018. Recently, we toured the space with Fargo Market Manager, Nate Medhus, to discover how First Community Credit Union put form and comfort first in their new building.

Timeline While First Community Credit Union began making plans for a new location about three years ago, conversations were had even before then. “We really wanted a location that was on a main thoroughfare that was easily accessible to our members,” Medhus explained. When land became available just off of 52nd Ave. S, they decided to pull the trigger. First Community Credit Union broke ground on their new location in 2016 with Craig Helenske as the architect and Meinecke Johnson serving as general contractor.

Form & Comfort

Now when driving down 52nd Ave. S, it is impossible to miss the modern landmark that is First Community Credit Union’s new location. As soon as you walk in the main entrance, it is clear that form and comfort were of the utmost importance when designing this space. That is why Craig Helenske enlisted the aid of interior designer Denise Drake.

Meet Our Guide

Nate Matmedhus is the Fargo Market Manager at First Community Credit Union, which means that he oversees operations for all three Fargo Locations.


The first thing that you will notice is that the interior features industrial elements such as exposed steel beams and reclaimed wood accents. To the left of the entrance is a large conference room, and straight ahead is a large lobby lined by offices with glass walls. Inside of the offices, room dividers made of natural branches help create a sense of privacy without compromising the openness provided by the glass walls and work stations from Christianson’s Business Furniture move up and down at the touch of a button to create custom height standing desks. “It is very important for our employees have a comfortable workplace that allows them to enjoy their work,” Medhus shared.

The conference room is used for board meetings and the like. One of the most notable features in this room is the screen that can be hidden away at the touch of a button, revealing a white board beneath. A conference table and chairs from Christianson’s Business Furniture gives the room an executive touch.

Joining the lobby and business center is a well-stocked coffee & comfort bar serves both staff and client members. Nearby is a break room for staff members only with an exquisite system of exposed wooden beams suspended below commercial ceiling tiles. 106

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Even the stairway is enhanced by exposed steel beams and wood accented ceilings.

Also on the main level is a second conference room almost completely surrounded by windows with unique lighting.

The lower level of the new location is currently under construction, but will contain spaces for cubicles, offices and team work spaces. “Once it’s done, it won’t feel like a basement,” Medhus said. This will be due to the many windows and their expansive views of intricate landscaping by Hebron Brick. After a short trip in the elevator, we found ourselves in the unfinished second level. “As we continue to grow, we’ll finish that second level,” Medhus revealed. Once completed, this space will surely be coveted for its exposed steel beams and views, not to mention easy access to a rooftop patio with natural landscaping.

First Community Credit Union has the largest membership of all credit unions in the state, serving 45,000 members across North Dakota and Minnesota. As a credit union, FCCU is member-owned, which makes it different than a bank. FCCU’s profits are returned to its members by way of better services, accounts and favorable rates on savings and loans. For more information, contact: First Community Credit Union 5201 42nd Street S Fargo 701-499-4050

This advertorial was paid in partnership with First Community Credit Union.


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