Inspired Home Magazine - May/June 2016

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The Summer Issue

JUNE 2016

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VOLUME 7, ISSUE 3 FEATURE 50 FLAWLESS FUNCTIONALITY Two homeowners, drawn to the simplicity and functionality of a one-story prairie home, share how the experience of building new exceeded their expectations. DEPARTMENTS 24 HUMOR Food and drink of Mexico entangle hilarious cast of characters. 30 GARDEN One local couple’s enchanting Fargo garden features local and native plants. 36 ELEMENTS The ancient beauty and allure of window boxes transcends history. 42 ESSENTIALS Great summer experiences begin with quality outdoor furnishings. 12 | may/june 2016

46 OUTDOOR LIVING Get all decked out for a relaxing and rejuvenating getaway at home. 56 DÉCOR Normand Couture is captivating the world with his fashion-forward furniture. 60 REMODEL A tired old kitchen gets an overhaul and becomes a chef’s dream.

ADDITIONS 16 Contributors 20 Musings 90 Wine Wisdom 92 Reflections

76 PETS Man's best friend is man's best partner on the police force.

68 ART Area ceramic artist has an artful encounter of a natural kind in Arizona’s National Petrified Forest.

80 EPICURE Celebrate Syttende Mai with a delicious culinary treasure: Norwegian Cardamom Cake.

72 HEALTH A 10-day diet proves life can be just as sweet sugar free.

84 BON APPÉTIT Summer is the perfect time for grilling, eating outside and enjoying nature.


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81 Lots Now Builder-Ready!

The Farmstead Office Park

Taking pride in your home begins well before it’s built. Preparation is everything, which is why we’ve left no stone unturned at Rocking Horse Farm. It’s a community in every sense of the word, with the ability for residents to live, work and play near home. Everything has been well thought-out, from the centrally located business sector, to the uniqueness of each residential home. Just like you’ve painstakingly planned your new home, we’ve worked for over a decade on making Rocking Horse Farm Fargo’s foremost handcrafted community. Now we hope you’ll join us. *Located immediately south of the Osgood Golf Course at Veterans Boulevard and 52nd Avenue South, Fargo, ND. Future phases are subject to change without further notice.

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Jenny Schuster | 701-729-5851| Diane Nordhougen | 701-238-5751 |


Sheri L. Fercho An NDSU business graduate, Fercho lives in Fargo with husband Bill, son Ben and their beloved black Lab Jaguar. Fercho appreciates architecture, and good design. Things that bring joy to her heart-a beautiful rose garden reminiscent of her grandmother’s, beautiful landscapes and her faith.

Bailey Hovland As an English writing major at Concordia College, Hovland is passionate about writing and social media. "Blending my obsession for interior design with writing and scrolling through the endless feed of tweets, pins, and Instagram posts is my idea of 'living the dream,'" she says. Hovland enjoys reading, coffee shops, DIY projects and working out.

ZACH DAVIS Davis loves capturing stories with his camera. He is a photographer and videographer who specializes in weddings and portraits. He has a weakness for wanderlust, feeling the urge to leave the country whenever possible. He currently curates The Open Window Exchange, a collaborative online travel journal.

16 | may/june 2016

TERRI FERRAGUT Every issue, we take great pride in presenting this beautiful local home and lifestyle guide we call Inspired Home. Truth of the matter is, without the heart and dedication of this talented and professional team, this publication would not be possible. Issue after issue, their creativity brings Inspired Home to your doorstep or area business. They inspire me.

Wanda Perkins For nearly 20 years, Perkins has creatively written stories about local, national and international people and topics. Her book, Blessing After Blessing − Seeing God’s Blessings in All the Seasons of Life was published in 2006. An NDSU speech communication graduate, she lives in Fargo with her intelligent rescued dog, Jake.

Dayna Del Val Del Val is the executive director of The Arts Partnership, where she writes a monthly column on the arts for The Forum, manages two staff members and an active board, and works to support the mission of cultivating the arts in our community through a variety of ways. In other words, she wears 27 hats! She is also a professional actor and writer. She lives in Fargo with her husband and their golden retriever, and she loves when her college-aged son is home on breaks. Zainah Haider Ever since she was young, Haider remembers her parents always taking pictures. “They have inspired me to love photography. We get pretty competitive when we travel, and we see who can take the best pictures,” she says. Competition or not, Haider says she will always love photography as an art form.



Every issue we share a fresh and local approach to your home and life.

JoAnn Ohma Ohma has always had a passion for words and how they work together. She loves working behind the scenes at Inspired Home, honing and polishing each story into what you read on the page, all while making sure the author’s voice shines through.

Bernie Erickson Specializing in helping his clients make small changes with maximum impact, Erickson is a sales associate with Park Company REALTORS® in Fargo. Granville Wood Wood is an international chef who has worked in London, Stockholm, Toronto, Vancouver, Palm Beach and Houston before moving to Fargo with wife Susie, a doctor with Sanford Health. Most recently he operated The Blue Goose Café in the Plains Art Museum. Lauren Ferragut Ferragut, a Fargo native and geologist, is a research assistant at Cornell University at the New York Agricultural Experiment Station, where she conducts field work and data collection for the study of shrub willow as bio mass. She enjoys cooking, baking, running, renaissance art and writing.



Ashley F. Johnson Married mother of an active 6-year-old son and a 4-year-old daughter, Johnson also enjoys her career as an inpatient registered nurse in the heart of Oklahoma City. She is passionate about writing, entertaining, cooking with fresh foods and good wine. She adds, “I love traveling with my husband and look forward to exploring the world together as a family.”

in concrete

PHIL STAHL Stahl began his lifelong passion for all things creative in South Dakota, where time and long landscapes are plentiful. An NDSU architect graduate, with emphasis in art/ photography, his two-decade practice with Stahl Architects has led him places to observe life, including Europe and the Middle East. He is an adjunct lecturer at NDSU, national speaker for Intern Development, a regular contributor to regional and national home magazines, and has been featured on HGTV and in Dwell. Grace Estes Estes has always found writing compelling. Whether it is as simple as writing a card or writing for a local paper, words have great impact on others. She resides in Grand Forks with her husband and spends her free time cooking and hopes to start gardening at the local co-op this summer.


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Distributed through The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead (selected distribution area) Inspired Home Associate Publisher Terri Ferragut Phone: 701.866.4405 Email: Find us on

(Inspired Home Magazine)



was raised on a North Dakota family farm with my four sisters, my mother, father and our best friend, Lady—our German pointer dog. It is about this time of year that warm weather prevails and memories of getting ready on the farm flood my mind. As a child, spring meant building forts or hunting for the new kittens my father said were tucked somewhere securely in the shed. As I grew older, my summer job was helping my father farm—and I loved it. There is total freedom in singing at the top of your lungs or just simply thinking while driving the tractor. We knew spring had arrived when my father began tuning up farm equipment while he eagerly awaited the day he would begin turning the earth to ready the ground for seed. He loved farming. He loved the land. My mother played a vital role in the farm operation. Not only did she care for five children, she was my father’s partner in farming. She worked in the field if needed and ran errands to pick up equipment parts. She prepared delicious meals and delivered them directly to the fields to my father in hope of saving time and precious daylight hours. She tended beautiful flower gardens, and her vegetable gardens yielded fresh food for our table. I think of homemade jellies and bread, tomatoes, peas, beans, cucumbers, lettuce, fresh strawberry pie, peach pie, pickled cucumbers, sweet pickles, beets and pickled watermelon rinds—an endless list. Work on the farm sometimes seemed endless, yet I am grateful for every moment spent there. Spring still remains a window of time in which I innately feel determined to complete my own set of tasks on my to-do list. From gardening to applying a fresh coat of paint, it is a time for preparedness. Area residents are swarming like bees with the anticipation that warm weather brings, creating new opportunities for home and garden. From planning a new home to updating your outdoor landscapes, the Inspired Home summer issue offers ideas and tips to get you started.

Editorial Director Terri Ferragut Contributing Editor JoAnn Ohma Creative Terri Ferragut Amy Pollard Michael Schofding Scott Schofding Susan Walker Contributing Photographers Carrie Snyder David Samson Scott Amundson Photography Urban Toad Group Brad Bachmeier Clay Bachmeier Granville Wood Zainah Haider Zach Davis Lauren Ferragut Contributing Writers Bernie Erickson Grace Estes Lauren Ferragut Ashley Ferragut Johnson Terri Ferragut Phil Stahl Wanda Perkins Granville Wood Dayna Del Val Social Media Director Bailey Hovland

Production representative

Terri Ferragut Associate Publisher Editorial Director 20 | may/june 2016

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Looking to the Next Generation

The first community solar array in North Dakota will soon provide Cass County Electric Cooperative members access to clean, renewable solar energy. In pursuit of an all-of-theabove energy strategy, CCEC is taking strides toward renewable energy innovation. Prairie Sun Community Solar will be a 100kW array located in Fargo. CCEC members will be able to purchase the output of solar panels and receive a solar energy credit on monthly bills. As stewards of the environment, we are looking to the next generation.


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Charring chilies and personalities Food and drink of Mexico entangle a hilarious cast of characters By Bernie Erickson


hile I was vacationing in Mexico this winter, the owner and chef of a popular restaurant offered an authentic Mexican cooking class. What a great opportunity to learn to make an impressive meal that most likely included margarita sampling. Sign me up.

24 | may/june 2016

Vacation anyplace on the planet, and when a group of fellow travelers get together for something, it always involves exactly the same cast of characters, only with different names. There was the bossy, take-charge group leader, Chef Rosalinda, a delicate flower all of 5-foot-2 who ran her restaurant like

a no-nonsense Marine drill sergeant. And the know-it-all-couple, George and Mavis. It wasn’t clear just exactly where George acquired his wealth of knowledge, but social butterfly Mavis always had “a friend who told her” that “such and such a way” is how “it” should be done.


PLENTI{FULL} At Touchmark, residents say living well means … The couple in the midst of a fight, Emil (pronounced ah-MEEL) and Byron. It seems Emil had been a little too flirty at the club the night before, and Byron was not amused. Honeymooners Will and Kate, the couple who fawn over each other incessantly and are blissfully unaware of their surroundings. The social cling-on, Ursula, who won her Mexico vacation on a radio call-in show. She’s the girl who talks too loud and just knows the two of you are going to be best friends forever and ever. She couldn’t wait for the class to begin! And me, the guy who’s always kind of on a self-improvement quest but inwardly knows it’s pointless because I’m not going to change and I’m unable and unwilling to follow directions. Besides, I can usually find someone to con into doing the thing I either can’t or don’t want to do anyway, so what’s the point? It was obvious. I would be paired up with Ursula for the remainder of the day. Maybe even for the rest of my life. Today we were going to learn to prepare a homemade chip and salsa bar, Mexican pistachio soup with chicken and chilies, chilies rellenos, baked squash with corn, and chilies and cream. Seemed a little heavy on the chilies, but what did I know? It didn’t matter what I thought, because George knew all those little chili seeds were going to inflame his diverticulitis. Mavis had a friend who got a chili seed stuck under her dental implant, which got infected, so she had to have the whole diseased mess removed at great pain and expense. Byron wondered aloud if Emil would find the chilies as hot as the bar trash he was flirting with last night. Will and Kate were oblivious to it all and stared into each other’s eyes. Ursula couldn’t wait to get started!


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I love margaritas and asked for a refill.

This was going to be a long day. Rosalinda taught us how chilies grow and are harvested and the importance of charring them to get the perfect balance of crispy and chewy, sweet and heat. George knew that. Mavis had a friend who took a chili-charring class when she was in South America and found it very helpful. Byron asked Emil if he thought that bar trash had the right balance of sweet and heat. Will and Kate giggled when Rosalinda said “sweet and heat,” and Ursula couldn’t wait to start charring chilies! I was with George, wondering what kind of digestive fireworks were in store. We prepared the chilies exactly as Rosalinda instructed and put them over the flame to char. We cleaned the squash and put that and the corn in the oven along with the charred chilies. This was going to be easy. Rosalinda suggested we enjoy a margarita as we prepared the pistachio soup. This was going to be really easy! Of course George was concerned about nut allergies. Mavis had a friend who ate a peanut on a plane and her face swelled up like a basketball and they had to land in Newark on the way to Miami. Byron made some snarky remark about the cold soup being nothing compared to the cold shoulder

26 | may/june 2016


Vacation anyplace on the planet, and when a group of fellow travelers gets together for something, it always involves the same cast of characters, only with different names.

he’d be serving Emil for the rest of their vacation. Will called Kate his little pistachio. Ursula LOVES pistachios! I love margaritas and asked for a refill. We chopped up some tomatoes, onions and cilantro along with some of our chilies and made salsa, which we call pico de gallo here, drizzled some freshly made authentic tortilla chips with lemon juice and snacked while our project was in the oven. And then had some more margaritas. Ursula—not surprisingly—loves, loves, loves margaritas! By the time everything came out of the oven and was assembled as instructed, we sat down to eat. It really didn’t matter what we were having because everyone had been enjoying margaritas all afternoon. George was uncharacteristically quiet. Mavis told us about a friend who was in Puerto Vallarta and someone slipped something into her margarita and she woke up in Guadalajara. Byron appeared on the verge of forgiving Emil for his poor judgment. Will and Kate sat at the end of the table and fed each other. Ursula was adamant this was the best meal ever! I never heard from Ursula after that day. I wonder if I gave her my correct email address.



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Jay and Rita Hannesson smile as they relax among the fruits of their labor.

30 | may/june 2016



4 1



A Habitat for Mother Nature Local and Native Plants Grow Wild in this Couple’s Backyard

By Grace Estes | PHOTOGRAPHY By Zach Davis

1. A caterpillar is ready to feast upon the milkweed. 2. The lush hanging Beta grapes are hardy and perfect for jelly and juice. 3. The Hannesson garden is breathtaking in its beauty. 4. Jay created and hand laid the welcoming cement garden path. 5. The lovely Liatris flowers are a perfect nectar choice for the visiting bee.



ardening is a cultivation of care, skill and dedication. The process is not quick; rather, it takes methodical thinking and a lot of heart. As you cast your eyes out onto Jay and Rita Hannesson’s garden, it is obvious they are true gardeners. Cascading

prairie grasses, meandering grape vines, stunning roses and bright koi fish display their beauty in the welllandscaped yard. Noticeably, this enchanting Fargo garden emits passion, a sense of teamwork and love for nature. The Hannessons, who grew up in


2016 Annual

Soroptimist of Fargo

Garden Tour A ruby red rose makes a stunning appearance among the colorful backdrop of other garden perennials.

When: T Hours:

hursday , July 14

1:30 PM



, 2016

– 7:30 P


Tickets a va Holland ilable at Baker G ’s Lands arden & cap G Levi Run ions Gard ing & Garden C ift, enter, en Cente stores, S heyenne r, all Ho rnb Ga member beginnin rdens or from an acher’s g June 2 2, 2016. y club

For more information contact: Cindy Thrall 701.361.6333

The Greek word “Soroptimist” translated means “the best for women.” The 2016 Annual Garden Tour is a major fundraiser for the Fargo Soroptimist Club.

With funds raised from the 2015 tour, we helped support the following: • Dakota Horizons • Girl Scouts • Jeremiah Program

• Tri-College New Leadership • Sister’s Path • Rape and Abuse Crisis Center

Every year, financial awards help women in the community.

The LIVE YOUR DREAM AWARD helps defray costs to a female head of household who chooses to return to school. The VIOLET RICHARDSON AWARD is given to a young woman between the ages of 14 and 17 who volunteers for area community service.

32 | may/june 2016

Cavalier, North Dakota, have memories of gardening as youngsters. Jay excitedly started vegetable gardening as a part of 4-H projects while Rita unenthusiastically helped her mother in their vegetable garden. Though their intentions may have differed as children, they now provide balance for one another. When Jay started flower gardens 25 years ago, Rita was alongside offering encouragement, advice and multiple trips to local producers. With their combined efforts, the Hannessons have a natural sanctuary and have showcased their gardens in the Soroptimist Garden Tour twice. “The garden tours are great ways to share what we have learned in gardening and to learn from others as well,” says Rita. Most of what they grow is native to this region, such as flowering plants, perennial grasses, hops and ligularia. Another fascinating dimension to the backyard is the koi pond. The pond, designed 17 years ago, features pond plants purchased locally from a woman who specializes in aquatic plants. As a whole, their garden serves as a natural habitat, attracting bees, butterflies and an array of birds, confirming that gardens can bring beauty and purpose to both man and nature. The Hannessons, now retired, find complete peace working in their garden.


If you Go... What:

Soroptimist International of Fargo Garden Tour

FUNDS BENEFIT: Dakota Horizons Girl Scouts, Jeremiah Program, Nurse Family Partnership Program, Tri-College New Leadership, Sister’s Path, Rape and Abuse Crisis Center

WHEN: Thursday, July 14, 1:30–7:30 p.m.

TICKETS: $10, available at Baker Garden & Gift, Holland’s Landscaping & Garden Center, Levi Runions Garden Center, Sheyenne Gardens and all Hornbacher’s stores

They have lived and breathed gardens for most of their lives yet continually grow in their interests. With almost a lifetime of gardening knowledge, the Hannessons share these helpful tips for Inspired Home readers. • Grow more perennials: Annuals complete their life cycle within one year, whereas perennials live longer than two years. This means less replanting and time as you begin to prune for the spring. • Control weeds: Use mulch in flowerbeds to help stunt the growth of weeds, making your garden easier to maintain. • Divide plants: Dividing plants every three to four years allows you to fill in open spaces and give any excess plants away to friends. • Buy local: Local plants not only benefit you but also the producer. They are fresh and healthy and give your garden something new to thrive off of. • Buy self-sowing plants: Plants that self-sow, such as columbine, milkweed or globe thistle, are not only affordable but require little work and fill in any gaps your garden may have. • Ask other gardeners: Talk with your neighbors. Ask what flowers they have been enjoying or what has been working well. Staying in the loop can help keep your garden fresh and flourishing.


More Information:

Call Cindy Thrall, 701.361.6333

Hello Spring!

Winter is over. Bring on the color! Shotwell’s has a large colorful selection of annuals, perennials, garden décor, quality floral arrangements, and gifts that you will love.

Shotwell Floral Company 4000 40th Street South I Fargo, North Dakota

701.356.9377 Spring Hours: M-F 8-8:30 I Sat 8-5:30 I Sun 12-5 INSPIRED HOME | 33

Photos: Courtesy of Unilock®


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An original window box on a 15th-century cottage at Bunratty, County Clare, Ireland. Photography by Lauren Ferragut

Ancient beauty of window boxes transcends history By Lauren Ferragut


ike many things in history, that which was first born of form and function over time experienced aesthetic evolution. An easy example is food; originally needed for survival, today it is a form of art steeped equally in creativity and consumption. Candles were created originally for evening light in the days


before electricity. Today, they provide a fragrant and luminous ambiance to our homes. Flower or window boxes claim the same rebirth in history. If your home has window boxes, you are following in the footsteps of ancient Europeans. Archaeological evidence has dated window boxes back to the

Romans and first century B.C., a time when window boxes were utilitarian. Necessity ruled, as these spaces were needed to cultivate food as well as herbs used for eating, medicine and spiritual reasons. Originally made of terra cotta, as affluence grew, so did the beauty the


Photo courtesy of Zach Davis Photo courtesy of Zainah Haider

When considering a window box, maintain the stylistic theme of your home.

boxes contained. The Roman upper echelon soon created rooftop gardens with fishponds and window boxes that hung from their balconies. Necessary herbs and vegetables were replaced with draping vines, roses, lilies, violets and pansies. As the power and influence of the Roman Empire spread, so did their window boxes. Throughout Europe, the wire hay baskets prevalent in English cottage gardens and the black wroughtiron boxes of France gained popularity in Germany, Holland, Italy and Ireland. Eventually the colonization of America brought their debut. Today, a flower box creates cheer and old-world charm and emits a welcoming feeling for arriving guests. When considering a window box, maintain the stylistic theme of your home. A dramatic wrought-iron filigree box may look out of place on a colonial style or clapboard farmhouse. The box length should span the full length of the inside of your window. Another consideration is the material the boxes are made from, which is any material you can imagine. If your box will be in full sun all day, it is best not to choose a dark-colored or metal box. Be mindful of sunlight, and choose plants with smaller root systems. I was inspired to create my own by seeing ancient boxes in Italy, Ireland and Mexico. Last year, I filled my boxes with sweet potato vine, creeping jenny, coleus, herbs, bacopa and salvia for height. The bacopa grew incredibly fast and is my favorite for producing a fountain of cascading flowers. If you are really creative, you can change them seasonally. Bulbs such as daffodils and crocuses grow beautifully in flower boxes in early spring. Once they are finished blooming, you can plant a new array of flowers, herbs and filler plants. When winter rolls around, fill them with wintergreens, berries and pinecones. Essentially, window boxes are just another container pot, so get creative! Get planting!

Continued on pg. 40 >

38 | may/june 2016


Our philosophy is simple. we build a home as if it were our own

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Bob Kochmann, Darrick Guthmiller, Paul Kochmann

Midwest built. Midwest tough. Guaranteed for life.

Photography by Eric Wiinanen

3209 Fiechtner Dr, Fargo, North Dakota

Photo courtesy of Zach Davis

FYI... Inspired Home asked J.D. Shotwell,

a fifth-generation Shotwell and vice president of Shotwell Floral Company in Fargo, for tips on window box gardens.

“One of the most important items in any planting is going to be soil. In window boxes and pots, you need to look for a soil that has good drainage and doesn’t have much—if any—topsoil in it. “All outdoor planters should have good drainage built into the container. It is a necessity.

“When choosing plants, you have to be a little particular depending on the amount of sun or shade a specific spot receives. “For full shade to morning sun, shade impatiens, double shade impatiens, begonias and vinca vine are great choices. The afternoon sun really opens up your selections; petunias, euphorbia, evolvulus and geraniums are just a few suggestions.”

40 | may/june 2016

I was inspired to create my own by seeing ancient boxes in Italy, Ireland and Mexico.

Photo courtesy of Zach Davis

“Keep the height of plants in the window boxes 12–14 inches tall to not obstruct your view. This size works best against the building on the backside of the planter. The front row of plants is normally trailing, cascading plants, or choose mounding plants if you don’t care for the look of plants hanging downward.

Photo courtesy of Zainah Haider

“A slow-release fertilizer emits a touch of fertilizer every day and works great when combined with a bloom-booster fertilizer every two weeks. The bloom booster gives it that extra kick, especially during the hot months, for extra blooming that some gardeners say they lose during that time.


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The Classico collection by O.W. Lee embodies old-world elegance with wrought iron.

Living the life—outdoors

Great outdoor experiences begin with quality.

By Ashley Ferragut Johnson | Photography courtesy O.W. Lee and Lloyd Flanders


fter spending a goodly portion of the year indoors because of subzero temperatures, perhaps no one is more appreciative of a beautiful evening than we northerners. There is something about gathering outside with family and friends that soothes the soul and recharges our proverbial batteries. The importance of dedicated outdoor living spaces is on the upswing, and it is becoming more common for families to plan the backyard space. Roger and Terri Klocke, owners of Natural Environments Landscaping, are both passionate about gardens and backyard living areas. They have the expertise to provide everything you need to transform your backyard into your own private paradise. Adding an element such as a fire pit offers a place to gather, instantly


creating an inviting environment. Roger compares small backyard ponds or fire features to a lit candle in the home. “The candle doesn’t heat the whole home, but it creates ambiance—a certain feeling,” he says. He suggests adding large pots, portable fire pits or small water features as quick and easy ways to add interest and depth outdoors. Inspiration for designing these areas can come from anywhere. Roger often has clients come to him after being on vacation and say, “We saw this cool pond in Hawaii or a great fire pit in California.” Whatever your inspiration, creating a functional and warm outdoor living space can be as simple or as elaborate as you choose. When choosing patio furniture, it can be tempting to purchase inexpensive pieces at your local super store, but it is

wise to treat your patio furniture as an investment. Product lines such as O.W. Lee and Lloyd Flanders offer long-lasting, sustainable furniture that are created by hand and can withstand Mother Nature. Leisa McCollister, marketing and project manager for O.W. Lee, says, “Quality is so very important outdoors. The furniture has to stand up to the outdoor elements, and that often requires more-durable materials than what can be used indoors. Buying poor-quality outdoor furniture is like throwing away your money because your pieces will be a wreck after just a few seasons.” With hundreds of options in style and materials to choose from, you can create a space that is specific to your tastes that will last for years to come. There are many different furniture configurations that really extend your


Imagine the


3211 Fiechtner Drive, Fargo, North Dakota | 701.478.7238 218.790.2738 |

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living spaces. Dudley Flanders, owner of Lloyd Flanders, explains, “Twentyfive years ago, it was all about five-piece dining sets. Outdoor spaces are getting significantly larger, creating a need for more versatile furniture.” Large couches, oversized chairs and trendy outdoor coffee tables are becoming more commonplace, lending the essence of an outdoor living room. These spaces can be great for entertaining large groups or just having a cup of coffee in the quiet early morning hours. McCollister attributes the surge in popularity of outdoor areas to the increase in “stay-cations,” suggesting that more people are staying home, seeking relaxation in their own backyard. “The outdoors is a perfect place to create that


Teak complements the fluid lines of the Tobago collection, by Lloyd Flanders.

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There is something about gathering outside with family and friends that soothes the soul and recharges out proverbial batteries. space. It is away from the everyday hustle and bustle of the home. For example, not many people are sorting their mail or paying bills in their outdoor room, so it is a good space to make a sanctuary and maintain that designation,” she says. Whether adding a few elements to an existing outdoor living area or considering a complete transformation in your backyard, asking advice from area professionals will make your “stay-cation” experience a memorable one.

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ho says your backyard sanctuary needs the expanse of an acre? Inspired Home set out to explore the topic of quality outdoor living by adding a deck space that serves as a relaxing and rejuvenating getaway for family and friends. Add seating, a fire bowl and a couple colorful architectural pots, plant a few trailing plants, and there you have it. You just created a special area that requires nothing more of you than to sit awhile and let the cares of this busy world evaporate. We asked area expert Zach Fluto from Premium Decks of Fargo for helpful ideas on creating the space we just imagined.

46 | may/june 2016

IH: Homeowners are increasingly seeking out an outdoor living experience for friends and family. Why are these living spaces a booming industry? ZF: There is such an array of maintenance-free materials and installation techniques that extend the longevity of the homeowner’s investment. Another reason is the housing market is booming, and homeowners budget in outdoor living spaces in line with the jump of the average house budget. IH: What are the most exciting trends that you see in your industry? ZF: I think one of the most exciting trends is stainless steel cable railing. It is very transparent, so it is a great solution

for preserving a vista such as a golf course or pond. IH: What are your clients asking for in terms of deck design? ZF: While manufacturers keep producing more-durable products with better color retention, the price tag has also increased. Because of that, homeowners usually want a design that maximizes their investment by eliminating material waste. IH: What is the best piece of advice you would give someone considering the addition of a deck? ZF: Consult with somebody that does it professionally. Whether you are building the deck yourself or plan on hiring a


Premium Decks owner and designer Zach Fluto.

professional, it is a big investment. Obtaining knowledge on materials and installation techniques will minimize your risk. If hiring a professional, I would recommend looking at the history of the company, a list of referrals on previous work, and warranties offered. IH. What is your personal favorite deck design or configuration? ZF: I personally like the look of a one- or two-level deck that has ample space for a patio table, a fire table and grill. To top it off, a pergola adds another beautiful dimension to your new living space. For more information, visit or call 701.492.8080.



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Lofty 16-foot ceilings and warm maple woodwork and trim accentuate horizontal lines. Natural light permeates this highly functional and simply elegant prairie-style home.

50 | may/june 2016


Flawless Functionality A prairie home design beautifully merges technology, architecture and function.

By WANDA PERKINS | Photography BY Scott Amundson Photography anD zaniah haider


t was their original intention to build a ranch-style home they would live in for the rest of their lives. However, two homeowners found themselves drawn INSPIREDHOMEMAGAZINE.COM

to the simplicity and functionality of a prairie-style home. To their delight, this one-story design, characterized by gently sloping rooflines, generous overhangs, a

central fireplace and strong emphasis on horizontal lines, achieved everything they dreamed of creating. The couple researched potential INSPIRED HOME | 51

Photography by Zainah Haider A choice sitting spot with a view is surrounded by gorgeous outside views and a central view of the open main-level spaces.

Photography by Zainah Haider

A steel fabricated staircase accented with maple trim creates a striking focal point of its own between the main floor and lower level.

“There were many moving parts and features associated with their home that all needed to integrate and function well.” ~ David Reid, president Radiant Homes 52 | may/june 2016

architects and builders and met with David Reid, president at Radiant Homes. Reid recalls, “From day one, we worked hand in hand with the clients and architect Dan Elton of Chris Hawley Architects as we walked through the design process. As the design developed, our team analyzed the plans to ensure all project goals were met and aligned with the budget. This included balancing the aesthetic with efficient constructability and premium functionality. We remained focused on creating a home uniquely designed for the owners.” Construction of the 8,900-squarefoot home began in July 2013 and was completed in June 2014. The home includes three bedrooms and five bathrooms with two offices, an exercise room and an indoor pool. Strong horizontal lines on the home’s exterior are consistent with interior spaces. Four-foot knotty cedar soffits, Tennessee split-face limestone, LP SmartSide siding and a welcoming pergola at the front entrance and backyard courtyard anchor metal standing seams. Stone landscaping pavers lend an inviting entrance into the home. Once inside the entryway, the great room creates a spacious feel with 16-foot ceilings.


Warm maple woodwork accentuates a continuous horizontal pattern, which aligns the fireplace trim and the positioning of Marvin Integrity windows. A gas fireplace with a custom steel C-channel surround and limestone hearth adds focal attraction, as does the steel fabricated staircase. Square maple architectural columns frame the great room and offer a welcoming invitation to the open dining area, which showcases a stunning octopusshaped cable lighting fixture. “The entire team did a marvelous job of mixing and blending a variety of construction materials, both in and outside the home,” the homeowner notes. “The design feels like it was developed specially for us. Everyone worked closely with us to make sure our home was truly one of a kind.” Their dream kitchen combines beauty, function and efficiency. Gorgeous maple cabinetry with glass inserts, satin nickel pulls and quartz countertops frame stainless steel appliances, including a


Functionally designed, the kitchen’s island combines square maple columns and space for four stools to neatly tuck underneath. A custom maple soffit and range hood beautifully coordinates with maple cabinetry and a colorful slate backsplash.

The open view from the kitchen shows a spacious floor plan of the entry, dining and living room spaces with similar horizontal close-to-ceiling windows.


Inviting and welcoming, the view from the back of the home reveals a courtyard space, sliding doors to the indoor pool area and an outdoor kitchen and entertainment area.

A lower level family room welcomes family and guests to relax at the bar or the built-in peninsula, with recessed granite for beverages. A comfortable cherry red leather sectional and a large projector screen and pool table make this a sought-after spot to recline and enjoy any sporting event.

beverage refrigerator, double oven and induction cooktop. A butler’s pantry, wet bar and a generous 4-by-10-foot island combine to create a sensational dream kitchen. Chrome cable wall sconces and a custom maple soffit with recessed lighting offers ambiance as well. The playful slate backsplash utilizes various sizes and colors to complement the kitchen’s decor. Designed for entertaining, the indoor pool area with 15-foot knotty cedar ceilings includes a sauna and hot tub. Marvin doors slide apart to allow seamless transition between the indoor pool area and an outdoor kitchen and courtyard. “At the homeowner’s request, everything in this home needed to function flawlessly,” Reid adds. “This required finetuning several dynamics, which included an automatic generator, multiple safety features and the mechanical, security and HVAC systems. There were many moving 54 | may/june 2016

parts and features associated with their home that all needed to integrate and function well.” At the end of the day, their master bedroom and bath offers the homeowners a relaxing space to unwind. It features a walk-in shower with digital Kohler shower controls and body sprays, all encompassed in one beautifully designed bath space.

“The architects and builders were thoughtfully responsive throughout the process, and they showed genuine concern for our satisfaction,” the homeowner concludes. “We are very pleased with the design and quality of construction of our new home. It has exceeded our expectations and is truly unique to us.”


Truly a swimmer’s dream, the indoor pool area is designed for fun and entertaining. The 1,775-square-foot space boasts 15-foot ceilings and includes a hot tub, sauna and a 16-by-32foot pool.

Design Thoughts…


s a builder, we are committed to ensuring that all the pieces come together between the owner, architect, interior designer and engineer. Each new project represents an opportunity to start from scratch, to tailor a home design process to the homeowner. Throughout this prairie-style home project, consistent usage of quality materials and construction was essential to the homeowners. One unique feature was the four-stall garage with precast concrete and a car elevator to the lower level. Additionally, the 1,775-square-foot indoor pool area incorporates a fully functioning outdoor kitchen and courtyard with artificial turf. The homeowner desired a fire and water feature, which was complemented by an exposed aggregate walkway. It was truly gratifying to be a part of this homebuilding process and to watch the homeowners’ dream become a reality.

David Reid, President Radiant Homes


David Reid Photography by Zainah Haider


custom metal fabrication: Straightline Design | masonry/concrete flatwork/tile: Jacobson Tile and Stone | stone/limestone: Structural Materials, Carl Blank | Marvin Windows: Meland Lumber | audio/video design and distribution: Smart Home Technologies, Jamie DeJean | pool/hot tub: Olson Pools and Spas, Steve Olson | sauna/pool table: Hot Spring Spas and Pool Tables, Paul Erickson cabinets: Crystal Cabinet Works | lighting: Border States Electric, Steph Linnerooth | landscaping: Accelerated Green Works, Brett Kallias | countertops: Custom Stone Interiors | appliances/plumbing fixtures: Ferguson | plumbing/mechanical: Home Heating, Plumbing, Air Conditioning, Inc. electrical: Static Electric Construction | central vacuum: Valley Central Vacuum | fireplace: Home and Hearth | furniture: scandesign



Normand Couture’s Cuddle is featured with a Caress sofa and leather ottoman and chair. Pictured in a playful Tangello shade, this collection is the essence of comfort.

“There’s no way to achieve a great recipe if you don’t surround yourself first with quality ingredients.” ~ Normand Couture

Normand Couture

56 | may/june 2016


Seated, from left: Alexis Koscielny, Pinnacle Seating Studio Brand Manager, and Normand Couture. Standing: The owners of designingwomen2, from left: Julie, Kari, Mary, Linda and Kris


The passion behind the furniture inspirations of Normand Couture BY WANDA PERKINS | Photography courtesy Pinnacle Seating Studio The modern Peninsula can easily be repositioned to any design preference in any room.


layful. Inviting. Furniture that makes you smile. That is how Normand Couture describes his award-winning furniture inspirations. As a renowned international furniture designer, Couture is captivating the world with his fashion-forward, sometimes eclectic products. Couture recalls that his first taste of designing came at the young age of 14 when he designed his own bedroom furnishings. By the age of 21, he opened his first modern design store. Seven more stores opened before Couture traveled to the other side of the fence as a manufacturer. Because he was already selling his indoor furniture creations to different stores, a change in career seemed natural. Five years ago, he introduced his signature line of outdoor furniture, which to date has sold in more than 50 countries. INSPIREDHOMEMAGAZINE.COM

With thoughtful, high-end designs, Couture believes he designs fashion more than products. Very often inspiration will come at 5 a.m., when he awakens to an abundance of ideas that he quickly jots down on paper and later sketches on his iPad. Couture admits that he is mainly inspired by his surroundings, cars, boats and clothing. He may see a woman’s coat that combines texture and fabric and envision a new product. Like a camera lens, he carefully frames the coat with his hands and asks his wife, “Do you see the sofa in there?” “The comfort part of my inspirational work is gained from nature. It’s a way I relax and create. I often go for walks in the woods with no destination in mind,” Couture admits. “The destination is not as creative. Likewise, my product designs are INSPIRED HOME | 57

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highly creative, even geometric. They’re crafted products that are adaptable for people.” Couture lives in the woods in the mountains of Quebec near the Brome Lake with his wife, Diane, and playful fox terrier, Tomi, and his personal home reflects yet another opportunity to display his creative gene. He has spent much time traveling to European countries, another inspiration behind his designs. When he envisions a home, design is purposeful. “My theory about home is anywhere you sit, you should have a good point of view,” he explains. “Once you take care of that detail, you have a good direction to begin with.” Selecting high-quality textures and fabrics like ultrasuede and leather and luxuriously comfortable feather and down ingredients are synonymous with his hand-crafted furniture. “There’s no way to achieve a great recipe if you don’t surround yourself first with quality ingredients,” Couture adds. His pieces are distributed by Pinnacle Seating Studio, a high-end division of Palliser furniture, which is headquartered in Winnipeg, Manitoba. “Carrying Normand’s exclusive designs is very interesting, as there is always something different and new,” notes Alexis Koscielny, retail brand manager for Pinnacle Seating Studio. “It is also equally challenging as the designs often go outside boundaries.” And now this world-renowned designer’s creations are available in Fargo exclusively at the showroom of DesigningWomen2. Their entire team is thrilled to carry Couture’s contemporary furniture line, which captures his personality and passion INSPIREDHOMEMAGAZINE.COM

Graceful, inviting curves are characteristics of the Wave collection. Stiletto legs create a contemporary appearance.

Normand Couture’s home in the woods near Brome Lake in Quebec.

Stunning simplicity in white, this Wide Open sectional shows an ottoman and is available in an array of fashionable fabrics and leathers.

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while being presented and showcased by Pinnacle’s outstanding reputation and commitment to customer satisfaction. The friendly DesigningWomen2 team is always focused on finding the balance between products that clients request and new products they’ve never seen. Couture’s line beautifully melds both concepts together. On his way to Fargo, Couture saw a sign posted in the corridor at the airport in Montreal that read, “It’s funny how many sleepless nights it takes to be an overnight success.” After nearly 40 years, Couture’s designs have spanned the globe, gaining worldwide recognition. Like his refreshing presence and clever humor, his designs are always exciting. Always innovative and fresh. Always fashion-minded. Now that’s a great recipe for success!

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This stunning kitchen transformation is a dream come true for the Economons, who both enjoy cooking for friends and family. Design “must-haves” were his--and-her prep sinks and designated work areas.


From Drab to Fab A Kitchen Overhaul Becomes a Chef’s Dream BY Ashley Ferragut Johnson | PHOTOGRAPHY BY: Urban Toad Group and Zainah Haider


eorge and Pauline Economon know their way around the kitchen. The self-described cooking enthusiasts loved their house but were struggling with whether they should move into a new home with a larger kitchen or completely overhaul the existing kitchen space. The love of their neighborhood kept them in their current home, and so began the journey to achieving the kitchen of their dreams. “Excuse-me and,” as Pauline

60 | may/june 2016

lovingly referred to her old kitchen, was small and compartmentalized. Regardless of the size, it was still where their guests would always gather. “The kitchen truly is the heart and soul of any home,” she says. Once the decision was made, the Economons contacted Nicole Olafson at Braaten Cabinets and Gary Fiske, general contractor for Fiske Construction. Together, they all created a plan to “blow open” the

existing kitchen. Pauline says, “It took some courage to completely remove the wall between the kitchen and living room. Whenever you have to bring in structural engineers to make sure everything is good to go, it can be a little frightening! With a wonderful plan from Nicole and some great work from Gary, a new grand space was created!” The plan to completely open the kitchen was the most important and




This once dark corner gave way to a vibrant space complete with a stacked Wolf oven and steam oven from Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery—perfect for entertaining.

BEFORE Light now floods this once dreary kitchen corner with a fresh new attitude. Pictured in George’s prep area is a Bosch dishwasher and a Sharp drawer microwave from Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery.




AFTER Another dramatic change is evident here in Paulette’s prep space on the west side of their kitchen. A highlight is the glass-paneled cabinets that store their beautiful glassware.


62 | may/june 2016

crucial piece to giving the Economons the space they needed. Once the loadbearing wall was removed, the technical trouble-shooting aspects of the remodel continued. Fiske explained that there was a precast concrete floor below the kitchen, creating a challenge when it came to redoing the plumbing and electrical. Once a large steel support beam was installed and the remaining structural aspects of the remodel were addressed, the design of the kitchen began to take shape. George says Pauline is a devout fan of Ina Garten, author, former White House staffer and cook extraordinaire. Pauline researched some of the Barefoot Contessa’s kitchen must-haves and added them to the wish list. Once the kitchen was opened up, the fun really began. Armed with a photo of a kitchen that the couple chose for inspiration, Olafson turned the couple’s vision into a reality. The Economons chose a classic shade of white for the cabinetry, which instantly transformed the kitchen into a light and airy space. Olafson says, “We knew that we wanted to lighten the space, and the white quartz countertops also helped to achieve that look. For a bit of a rustic element for the island, we chose veined Green Mountain soapstone with a natural oiled finish. Soapstone is such a wonderful countertop option at an affordable price, too.” The mint-green subway tile backsplash created the perfect pop of color while keeping the space neutral and bright. For the flooring, the family chose a wood-look ceramic tile, which blended nicely with the family’s existing wood flooring in the rest of the house and is easily maintained. The kitchen of their dreams now boasts recessed cabinet lighting, a wine cooler, a steam oven and plenty of prep space. Pauline is happy to report that their “excuse mess” have drastically diminished as well. “We knew we made the right decision when our adult children were visiting this past Thanksgiving. Instead of them going out on the town while we stayed home with the grandkids, they stayed


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home and visited late into the evening around the kitchen island. George and I went to bed!” she says. When asked if they would go through it all over again, the answer was a resounding, “Yes!” Sometimes the idea of personal disruption in your home and a bit of kaos may bring daunting thoughts but with qualified professionals to guide

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George and Pauline Economon share a laugh and a glass of wine with Gary Fiske, celebrating the space he helped create.

and ease the process, your response should be an enthusiastic “Yes!” Don’t give up on your tired old kitchen just yet. With a great designer, professional and reliable contractors and a little inspiration, you, too, can have the kitchen of your dreams.


“ his was such an enjoyable project. It all began with great working partners. Gary Fiske is the ultimate in professionalism and his high-quality subcontractors were the best! George and Pauline were excellent decision makers and knew exactly what they wanted. They were so easy going and trusting of us- they left and traveled through Norway for two weeks! I can honestly say the Economons became my friends.” Olafson is a CKD, CBD (certified kitchen designer and certified bath designer) with the National Kitchen and Bath Association.

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Of sticks and stones An artful and geological journey of nature and man BY TERRI FERRAGUT | Photography by Brad and Clay Bachmeier

The national artist in residency provided Bachmeier an opportunity at the Pertified Forest National Park, Arizona, to pursue his discipline through the park’s inspiring landscape, heritage and geology. Bachmeier, with interest in ancient pottery and firing techniques, was a perfect choice for this area, which is best known for significant Late Triassic fossils as well as 13,000 years of human history.

68 | may/june 2016


Brad Bachmeier Brad Bachmeier Pottery Fargo, North Dakota


ome of my most memorable summer moments were the adventures my family experienced exploring nature, traveling through our nation’s beautiful national parks. For the fortunate souls involved in the National Parks Artist in Residency Program, the beauty of nature became the backdrop for inspiration in their work. Area ceramic artist Brad Bachmeier recently was awarded a two-week residency by a national juried and selection process, which brought him and the National Petrified Forest in Holbrook, Arizona, together for a creative encounter of a natural kind. Bachmeier clearly states the intensity of his powerful connection to clay: “I create ceramic vessels and sculpture that tell the story of man’s ancient and universal partnership with clay through the study of cultural anthropology, geology and religion.” The “Sticks and Stones” body of work Bachmeier created as a result of his National Petrified Forest experience was greatly influenced by time spent hiking, collecting, studying and observing. Obvious in his surroundings, the tiered beauty and variances of colors in the rock and soil became his inspiration. “I loved this residency because I am most drawn to unique geologic formations. Only North Dakota and Arizona share a certain type of ‘badlands’ that I was able to climb, photograph and



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replicate as the surface inspiration for a piece of pottery,” says Bachmeier. Some of his pottery incorporates beautifully positioned pieces of weathered-looking wood. He explains, “I was able to purchase pieces of petrified wood of tree species that are extinct. Now I can press that wood into the surface of a piece of pottery, and it lives on. I also discovered that when I polished a found rock to use for a lid, the sediment from the polishing can be collected and fired, so I am able to create a true geologic link from rock to clay. It is an endless inspiration from the nature side, but it also feeds my interest in how humans have used clay and made vessels for 10,000 years all over the globe.” Bachmeier’s respect for the ancient and the modern world is evident in his reverence for both primitive and modern firing techniques. His endless creative desire to be inspired and in turn inspire others is profound. “I am committed to creating work that can tell the story of humanity’s shared journey and virtues that is contemporary and meaningful today,” he says. Enjoy the beauty of “Sticks and Stones” by ceramic artist Brad Bachmeier.


Steve Revland designer | craftsman

Creating Exotic Fine Furniture Since 1975 Dining | Living | Office | Foyer Displayed and sold exclusively at the UpTown Gallery 74 Broadway 701.293.3225 |


The not-so-sweet truth behind sugar My 10-day detox experience By Ashley Ferragut Johnson


t is no secret that sugar is delicious. It is sweet. It is indulgent. It is also highly addictive and can wreak havoc on your health. For years, we were all taught that fat was the enemy. We were duped into believing that low-fat snacks were better than the alternative and that processed, chemically created margarine was a much healthier option over plain fresh butter. The statistics now show that bacon and steak are not the enemy. But that soda you’re drinking or that delicious plate of penne you’re eating can lead to diabetes, heart disease or worse. Sugar hides in everything. Even if you are trying to cut it out, you are likely ingesting it—lots of it—without even knowing. Things like salad dressing, pasta, bread, peanut butter and tomatobased soup and sauce are very high in

72 | may/june 2016

sugar. Did you know that a cup of fruitflavored yogurt has as much sugar as two chocolate doughnuts? Scary, I know. Food companies hide sugar in products by naming it dozens of different things. I don’t think of myself as having a crazy sweet tooth, but I will admit that I loved my carbs, and I’d eat a handful of gummy bears like it was nothing. The truth is, I was addicted to sugar, and I didn’t even realize it. In March, I had just returned from an eight-day vacation at Disney World. Although I felt that I ate pretty healthfully, I felt not so fabulous. I embarked on a 10-day sugar detox to reboot my system. This diet is completely sugar free—not even fresh fruit is allowed, with the exception of some blueberries in a kale or spinach smoothie each morning. You can eat as many raw veggies as

you like and can add a bit of homemade hummus or raw walnuts and almonds for a snack. You can also eat proteins such as chicken, fish, shrimp, scallops, grass-fed meats and eggs with omega-3s and cook with olive oil and nut-based butters. I felt motivated and loved most of the foods on that list. How hard could it be? Let me be perfectly frank: I have never felt more awful than I did those first three days sans sugar. Well, except during childbirth. That might have been slightly worse. I’m not sure. I felt like my body was in shock. I was dizzy, had horrible headaches and felt nauseated all day, not to mention that I was very tired. It was so uncomfortable that I almost quit on day four. But then I really began to think about my symptoms. If this is how rotten my body and mind react to not having


sugar, maybe I’ll come out better for it on the other side. I continued on my mission. My cravings for even the tiniest taste of dark chocolate didn’t really wane, but my ability to control those thoughts and move on improved steadily. By day five, I had an epiphany of sorts. I woke up bright eyed and lighter. This feeling of clarity continued on through day eight and nine. At long last, day 11 arrived. I was no longer bound to the list of things I could or couldn’t have, but I realized happily that it didn’t matter. Toward the end of this sugar-free plan, I was astounded at how sweet even my veggies tasted. The sugar snap peas I ate may as well have been dipped in caramel. The first fresh piece of fruit I tasted in more than 10 days was an orange, and I was flabbergasted. This is what orange tastes like? Now, I’m not unrealistic. I can tell you without a doubt that I will taste chocolate again, and I look forward to my first glass of delicious red wine. What I have learned is what I don’t need. Two weeks out from my sugar detox challenge, I learned that I do not need processed sugar-laden salad dressings when olive oil, sea salt, fresh lemon juice and Dijon mustard can be tossed together in a jiffy. I do not need to cover things in sauces or serve veggies with processed dips, and I definitely do not need that tempting golden bag of gummy bears. I used this venture as a system reboot, and I can truly say it’s done its job. I’m more thoughtful of what I consume and do not crave the things I did before. If you research the dangers of cutting sugar out of your diet, you will find nothing—absolutely nothing. I did that one day hoping I’d land on a new piece of research suggesting that a sugar-free diet might be dangerous, freeing me from the 10-day craziness—no such luck. I’m happy to report that I came out on the other side with a whole new respect for the foods I eat and how they can make me feel. Bottom line: Life can be sweeter than ever before—without the added sugar. Check with your doctor before embarking on any type of diet or detox.


I don’t think of myself as having a crazy sweet tooth, but I will admit that I loved my carbs, and I’d eat a handful of gummy bears like it was nothing. The truth is, I was addicted to sugar, and I didn’t even realize it.

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A black beauty, K-9 officer Disco is a 75-pound German shepherd and backup for West Fargo Police Officer Pete Nielsen. Photography courtesy The Forum. Photographer: David Samson.


Two fellow police officers share an unbreakable bond. BY Wanda Perkins

Officer Nielsen and Disco enjoy a playful tug-ofwar game before they begin their day patrolling the streets of West Fargo. Photography courtesy The Forum. Photographer: Carrie Snyder

76 | may/june 2016


nly those fortunate enough to experience the loyalty, unconditional love and emotional bond a dog has with his or her owner can truly recognize the blessing of having a constant, faithful companion. They would stand in harm’s way, even give up their very life to protect their owner. Canine handler and West Fargo Police Officer Pete Nielsen knows all about this kind of loyalty and bond. Nielsen’s partner and backup, K-9 Disco, is a 75-pound, 6-year-old black German shepherd. For a police officer, backup that shows up and can be counted on plays a crucial role. Their life depends upon it. Born in Slovakia, Disco began his career in law enforcement with a year of highly specialized, rigorous training in Europe. He was then transferred to northern Iowa, where he trained another eight months. That’s when he met Nielsen. The two trained together for an additional six weeks before becoming lifelong partners. Like all law enforcement positions, Nielsen and Disco participate in continuous training. Since Disco was 2 years old, they INSPIREDHOMEMAGAZINE.COM

“Like all fellow police officers, Disco and I have a bond that cannot be broken.”

Rigorous training exercises are not for the faint of heart. Officer Nielsen gives a command and observes Disco apprehend a suspect. Photography courtesy Officer Pete Nielsen.

have attended two national certification events every year. As a six-year veteran canine officer, Disco’s training is often physically demanding, and his resume of skills is impressive. He can easily detect 10 different narcotics, recognizing them by their odor and then sitting down to alert Nielsen. He tracks missing people, is skilled in article recovery, conducts building searches, apprehends suspects and is trained in obedience and agility. Officer Nielsen states that there are challenges associated with working alongside a canine partner, because after all, he’s a dog. “Somedays there are distractions outside that appear more interesting than work,” he notes. “Disco may whine or bark or desire some attention. I reach back in our vehicle and pet him or scratch him behind his ear. You have to be mindful of their needs. He gets thirsty, and he needs to relieve himself. But even on days when Disco gets off track, he can quickly be corrected with a command.” After noticing Disco was limping during his daily activities and duties, Nielsen scheduled an appointment with Dr. Amy Anderson at West Fargo Animal Hospital. She discovered that Disco had a lumbosacral disk protrusion, similar to a slipped disk in a human. “The disk placed pressure on his spinal cord and was causing him pain,” Anderson recalls. “In addition, the openings from the lower spine that the nerves to the legs exit through were becoming narrower, causing additional pain and pressure on the nerves. This led to occasional lameness and pain when Disco performed his training tasks.” An intricate INSPIREDHOMEMAGAZINE.COM

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Disco’s injuries required extensive surgery in Minneapolis for a disk protrusion that caused pressure on his spinal cord. Photography courtesy Officer Pete Nielsen.

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surgery was performed in Minneapolis. “A veterinarian’s job is often difficult when a sick or painful patient cannot tell you what is wrong,” says Anderson. “We rely upon their owner’s information and perspective to help us make a diagnosis. Nothing feels more rewarding than helping the patient—our client’s best friend—get better and become pain free and happy again.” Following a six-week canine leave of absence, Disco was eager to return to work. Protecting his handler is Disco’s chief goal. If Nielsen finds himself in a dangerous situation, he presses a command button that opens their specially equipped police vehicle. Disco bounds into action, instinctively assisting his fellow officer or apprehending a bad guy, proving he can take a real bite out of crime. “Disco lives with me and my family, but as a safety precaution, it is a controlled environment, especially when I’m not present,” says Nielsen. “He likes to play with my kids in the backyard. He’s family, but he’s also a police officer. He’s on edge, ready and trained to take command of a situation.” Like Nielsen, someday Disco will retire his police duties and honorable service to our community. Time will allow him to enjoy more of his favorite activities, like lying in the cool summer grass or chewing on a tasty piece of rawhide. Nielsen will toss him a few extra squeaky tennis balls, Disco’s favorite reward of choice. The mutual respect and appreciation between these two fellow officers will never be forgotten. “Like all fellow police officers, Disco and I have a bond that cannot be broken,” Nielsen concludes. “He’ll always live with me. He’s my partner and my backup, and he will always be family.” INSPIREDHOMEMAGAZINE.COM

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Celebrate Syttende Mai with Nordic Cardamom Cake A delicious Norwegian tradition of spice WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED By LAUREN FERRAGUT

O Baking my way through “The Nordic Cookbook� yields amazing food and cultural insight into my Scandinavian heritage.

80 | may/june 2016

n May 17, Norwegians will fill the streets, brandishing blue, white and red flags, surrounded by children and celebratory music. Syttende Mai marks the day that Norway signed their constitution in 1814. The constitution declared Norway an independent kingdom. Central to Syttende Mai are parades and marching bands that hail from every school district in Norway, celebrating springtime with flowers, costume and music. As the children make their way with song and flag, onlookers join the march as they


The raw beauty of the texture of this cake and the unique flavor of cardamom makes this ready to eat, without frosting.

pass by. Attendees and children alike don the bunad, the traditional rural clothing of 18th- and 19th-century Norway. The marches are a celebration of winter’s end and the abundance of the summer ahead. This event is based on gratefulness for founding values such as freedom, brotherhood and equality. Parades conclude with the national anthem, “Ja, vi elsker dette landet” or “Yes, we love this land,” resurrecting cultural pride and honor for those who founded Norway’s independence. A celebration of food takes place early in the day prior to the parades. Families often gather for a brunch of lox, eggs, prawns, king crab legs and champagne. To celebrate Independence Day, I will make a delicious culinary treasure: cardamom cake. The recipe is one of many favorites I have found by baking my way through my favorite source: The Nordic Cookbook, compiled and written by talented Chef Magnus Nilsson of Sweden and founder of Fäviken, one of the finest restaurants in the world. Cardamom is prevalent in many Norwegian dishes, both sweet and savory; I never make Swedish meatballs without it. This iconic ingredient emits a floral, peppery taste, which to me can only be described as a celestial spiced flavor that lingers in your mouth. Anytime a recipe requires cardamom, I recommend buying the whole pods. The little extra work of cracking pods, sifting out seeds and gently crushing them with mortar and pestle is well worth the effort for the aromatics alone. After cracking the pods, I use a colander and cheesecloth combination to sift through the paper shed by the pods. This is my favorite spice, and in this densely delicious and crumbly cake, you will love the aromatic crunches of freshly crushed cardamom, too! Enjoy!


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Kardemummakaka (cardamom cake) Ingredients: 1 stick butter, room temperature (plus extra to grease 9x5x3 loaf pan) Breadcrumbs, to coat pan 1 tablespoon fresh cardamom seeds, ground with mortar and pestle or herb grinder 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar 1 egg ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon sour cream 3 ¼ cup wheat flour 2 teaspoons baking powder Pearl sugar, to decorate Preheat oven to 345 degrees.


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Butter loaf pan and coat with breadcrumbs. This gives the cake a delicious and subtle crunch. Combine butter, ground cardamom, and sugar. Beat until a pretty shade of pale yellow then add the egg. Meanwhile, combine flour and baking powder in a medium bowl. Once the egg is fully incorporated, add sour cream. Gently add the flour mixture. Mix until just smooth. Too much mixing will yield a tough cake! The batter will be very stiff. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and sprinkle top with pearl sugar. To me, pearl sugar makes it quintessentially Nordic. Bake about 40 minutes. Stabo in West Acres carries pearl sugar, but if you can’t find pearl sugar, a citrus glaze pairs beautifully. Recipe adapted from “The Nordic Cookbook” by Magnus Nilsson


Any time a recipe calls for cardamom, I recommend buying the whole pods. The little extra work of cracking pods, sifting out seeds and gently crushing them with mortar and pestle is well worth the effort for the aromatics alone.


nthropologists haven’t quite pinpointed how cardamom made its way to Norway. One theory credits the Vikings as they made their way through Turkey (then Constantinople). Another suggests the growth of the spice trade in the 1300s increased intercultural exchanges throughout the Mediterranean, and lastly by the Crusaders. Regardless, cardamom is an iconic spice that graces many Norwegian foods and is the highlight of this cake.


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Summer: Time for Grilling

"Argentinian gauchos are wellknown for grilling on open fires, and none is more famous than the chimerical Francis Mallman." ~ Chef Granville Wood

By Chef Granville Wood


fter a long winter and a stop-andstart spring, it is time to put the slow cooker away and get out the grill. There is an inherent beauty to the simplicity of warm summer days spent cooking, eating outside and enjoying the buzz of nature. There is nothing quite like the smell of cooking meats and vegetables over an open fire. Those aromas are primal, part of our DNA, and as they waft through the air, they stimulate our senses and tug at our memories. Men revert to being cavemen—paleo carnivores—as they take command of their fires. This is their turf. With testosterone flowing, they grill and smoke their favorite choice of meats. Grilling has reached new heights with bold new techniques for coaxing flavor out of a vast amount of items. Nothing is out of bounds when it comes to what ends up over the flames or in the coals. “Rescoldo” is an Argentinian term for cooking food directly in the hot embers or coals. This is not a new technique but one that has recently taken hold in the culinary world. Dwight D. Eisenhower was quite famous for cooking his 3-inch-thick rib-eyes directly on the hot coals, charring the outside while leaving the middle juicy and mid-rare. Argentinian gauchos are well-known for grilling on open fires, and none is more famous than the chimerical Francis Mallman. This globe-trotting chef travels the world with a portable grill as a part of his luggage. Mallman has redefined grilling as we know it and brought an elegance to the various techniques he employs and his use of pretty much any



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hef Wood suggests using Pinch and Pour’s premium spices for the freshest, fullest flavor possible for your cooking and baking. Loretta’s Mesquite BBQ, Charlotte’s Pig Powder, Bird Blend Honey and Lemon Peel, and Chipotle Sea Salt are a few of his favorite grilling spices from Pinch and Pour.

food from octopus to lamb and myriad vegetables and fruits. His techniques range from cooking on a grill grate (parrilla) to a cast-iron griddle (chapa) or in the embers of the fire. In his book “Mallman on Fire,” he takes readers around the globe, grilling in Paris, New York and his beloved Patagonia. It is a great read for the serious grill cook. Imparting the smoky flavor of a woodburning fire into oranges or grapefruits opens a number of opportunities for exciting new flavors. I like to smoke them and then incorporate the juice and flesh into whole butter with chopped shallots and minced chives. I use this compound butter as a finishing touch on grilled fish or chicken. The possibilities are endless. By grilling or smoking items such as oranges, mushrooms or onions and then drying them out in a 200-degree oven, you can grind them into powders and use them to finish dishes or to boost the flavor of sauces. Adam Perry Lang, author of “Charred and Scruffed,” was classically trained as a chef, but it was his love for barbecue


Putting a good amount of course salt on the meat not only increases the flavor but creates a crust that helps keep in the juices.

For more information, visit Pinch and Pour, 210 Broadway, Suite 102, downtown Fargo; call 701.356.7779; or go online: that took him out of the kitchen and into the backyard to hone his skills over the grill. In the process, he developed his own terminology, such as using the word “scruffed” to describe his technique for roughing up the surface of the item to be grilled to allow seasonings to penetrate more and to get better caramelization. He refers to his cooking as barbecuing, but I call it grilling. Being from Texas and having spent time in the Carolinas, barbecue to me is a different process entirely. Great grilling incorporates the right seasoning, cooking meat when it is at room temperature, leaving it alone once it is on the grill or in the embers, and letting it rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting. Putting a good amount of coarse salt on meat not only increases the flavor but creates a crust that helps keep in the juices. There are some exceptional seasoning rubs on the market, such as the ones you can find at Pinch and Pour in downtown Fargo. These well-balanced rubs add a whole new depth of flavor and can be utilized on beef, chicken or pork. Fire up your grill, and get busy enjoying the flavors of summer.


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Granville Wood is an international chef who worked in London, Stockholm, Toronto, Vancouver, Palm Beach and Houston before moving to Fargo with wife Susie, a doctor with Sanford Health. Most recently, he operated the Blue Goose Café in the Plains Art Museum.


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Wine Wisdom Spring has always been my favorite time of year-such a feeling of freshness! If we could somehow bottle the essence of spring, I imagine it would taste something like the latest vintage of any delicious rosè-fresh, vibrant, and juicy with hints of strawberry and fresh blooming flowers. Rosè is a part of spring that I have fallen madly in love with. It inspires me with its tantalizing bright fruit. I would honestly say that there is a rosè for everyone! I have introduced you to a couple of my favorites here, but visit me at Seven Sisters for more options. I have personally chosen a selection of 30 rosè wines just waiting for you to experience! Get them while they last! Chelsey Malstrom, Seven Sisters Spirits, Detroit Lakes, Minnesota

BY.OTT 2015 France, Côtes de Provence Dulce de leche on the nose, very warm, fresh fruit. Mellow lemon rind with soft hints of peach nectar. The first sip is crisp with strawberry undertones. This wine is best enjoyed slowly with great company and maybe a cheese plate. Charles & Charles Rosè 2015 Columbia Valley, Washington Charles Smith, former rock band manager and now a dedicated, self-taught wine maker is to credit for this sassy rosè. Almost florescent pink-ruby in color, this wine may be a bit of a tease because it’s much softer on the palate with strawberry jam and raspberry sorbet with light citrus notes.

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Traditions of May

ay is my favorite month. Not only is the weather finally giving way to spring, but holds some of my most beloved days of the year. There’s May Day, which I absolutely adore. I understand its roots are not of the flower and candy variety, but today, there’s hardly anything sweeter than a little Dixie cup filled with treats from a neighborhood child or a tiny poesy delivered to someone you love. My wedding anniversary wraps up the month on the 31st, and every year, I fondly recall our glorious back yard wedding reception. My husband and I rarely do anything more than eat a lovely meal at home, hopefully on the back deck, and reminisce about the day and the ensuing years. But in the middle of this beautiful month is my most favorite day of the year: Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day at my house has been basically the same for the last 15 years. We always have brunch. Often my son buys me really excellent juice and chocolate, both of which we consume during brunch. When we lived in our little apartment, we used the day to repot all the indoor plants. With a new pot of dirt, we then showered the plants to remove the winter’s dust. By suppertime, the plants looked fresh, clean and happier in their new homes. Then, we walked to the grocery store and bought the supplies needed for a grilled


supper, often the first of the year. For the last nine years, we have lived in our house, so the labor has expanded. Typically, the day before, we will go to plant stores and purchase all the flowers and vegetables I want for the summer—that’s my actual Mother’s Day present. My husband and or son patiently holds the cardboard lids as I fill them with four- and six-packs of sweet peas, impatients, tomatoes, beets, broccoli, gerbera daisies and more. I have already bought my geraniums from a local charity, so they are at home waiting to meet their new neighbors. We not only drag all the indoor plants outside for their annual repotting, but we fill up the outside pots with dirt and get all those little plants situated. By suppertime, still a grilling session, both inside and out look beautiful. But more importantly, I have spent the day laboring with the two men who matter most in my life. We have laughed and talked and gotten our hands dirty. We don’t have a lot of traditions at our house, but this one is my most favorite. I like the time spent together, the labor worked together and the knowledge that throughout the summer, we will tend to and watch these plants grow and spread their beauty and bounty. That’s a pretty good Mother’s Day in my book.


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Steve Revland/designer-builder

Displayed and sold exclusively at the UpTown Gallery 74 Broadway 701.293.3225 |



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Debbie Oakland

Fargo 701.298.1542

Deb Hjelmstad

Sarah Mastera

Karla VanRaden

Keely Schlichting

Glen Deeton

Heidi Ihry

Fargo 701.298.1564

Fargo 701.298.1546

Fargo 701.298.1556

Fargo 701.298.1533

Angela Heidelberger

Barry Heinen

Sandy Severson

Becky Snyder

Paula Waller

Dave Froeber

Hawley 218.486.8812


Fargo 701.298.7046

Moorhead 218.291.3315

Alexandria 320.759.8403 | Member FDIC

Susie Barta

Fargo 701.237.2740

Pelican Rapids 218.863.4590 Detroit Lakes 218.844.8323

Fergus Falls 218.998.5600

Wahpeton 701.672.2265

Fargo 701.433.7403

Construction Lending