Page 1

design | cuisine | art | culture | architecture

edition 1

october 2017

Gathered by Design


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Gathered by Design Far more than just a pretty face, each of this month’s contributors are locally celebrated for their talents and contributions to our unique midwest culture. With an array of skills ranging from DIY to cabinetry, wood design, remodels and cuisine, this group includes just a few of the faces that represent a community we’re so proud to showcase. Follow us each month to meet even more local talents who are destined to make our pages your new favorite read.

Cover Midwest Nest’s inaugural issue was shot at the beautiful, Moorhead farmstead of Kristie and Chad Invie. Photography

Pg. 20 Grain Designs

was done by Dan Francis Photography with hair and makeup

Meet the founders of Grain Designs and find out why today’s

by Erin Hafliger, Bucci Salon.

market of disposable furniture, spurred them to rethink the craft of furniture building. After you’ve checked out their latest

From back left, are this month’s contributors; Maria Bosak of Eco

reclaimed wood projects, read about the three businesses

Chic Boutique, blogger Katie Sullivan of PrettyDomesticated.

they consider to be Instagram inspirations.

com, Blain Mikkonen of Grain Designs, estate manager Jesse Masterson, Grant Koenig of Grain Designs and interior designer Ami Baxter. From left front, designer Trever Hill, interior designer Rebecca Knutson of Floor to Ceiling Carpet One and artist Jessica Wachter.

Pg. 26 Jessica Wachter

Pg. 14

Meet Jessica Wachter, the Bismarck native that’s taken the

Culinary Masterson

businesses alike. Now, fans of her work can see her canvases

As an Estate manager and entertaining guru, Jesse Masterson knows a thing or two about entertaining with ease. Masterson offers our readers tried and true tips on how to create a gourmet charcuterie tray that is dressed to impress.

F-M area by storm with her larger-than-life canvases. Scaling new heights, Wachter’s work can be found in homes and in a new space at the Capital Gallery in Downtown Bismarck during her solo exhibition entitled, #nowords.

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editor’s note


Grateful Welcome to the new Midwest Nest magazine! When my friend and now publisher, Susan Hozak-Cardinal brought this idea to my attention, I could not have been more excited about the possibilities. After endless cups of coffee, we determined that our pages would be filled to the brim with fresh ideas and a unique twist on Midwest culture, home, art and cuisine. In other words, all of the things we love. This had to be something the readers would love as well, or it wasn’t worth doing. So, as some would say, we decided on a motto of “go big or go home”. Having been an editor for the past four years, I’ve often seen how a sincere and thoughtful story can make a genuine impact in our community. With impact in mind, we couldn’t wait to start anew, building our dream team of graphic designers, photographers and contributors to make each story come alive. We made it our goal to have every bit of content rooted in a passion to show support for our amazing community and culture. I also wanted more than anything, to continue to work with the people that inspired me to write in the first place. Over the years, the architects, designers, builders and artists that I had worked with, had become more than just interesting subjects of a story, they had become dear friends. As the days passed, we were overwhelmed with their support of our new venture. With a mile-long list of people to thank, Susan and I decided to debut our first issue by featuring just a few of those friends and contributors on our cover. Our (from left) Susan Hozak-Cardinal Tracy Nicholson

only regret is that there is not a cover large enough to show all of the people who have blessed our lives and supported this venture. So, for every issue after, we are making a point to show the work and talent of all of those who may not have been on the cover, but equally, deserve recognition. We want the community to get to know and appreciate every one of the people who devote their talents to making our community a better and more beautiful place to live. Humbled, determined, and excited for a new chapter, we leave you with one of my favorite quotes, “Life is short. If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.” - Unknown To follow our monthly adventures, please like us on Facebook and make sure to pick up your free copy in the grocery stores or at select retail locations and design centers. You can also read the latest issues on

With sincere gratitude, Tracy Nicholson & Susan Hozak-Cardinal




As wonderfully rugged as the exterior was, the inside was nothing short of magical. It

From back left, are this month’s contributors and cover models:

wasn’t just the raw nature of the two rooms inside that grabbed our attention, it was the

Maria Bosak of Eco Chic Boutique, blogger and designer Katie Sullivan

view beyond. The back wall of the building had collapsed, leaving the trees and nearby foliage to create a forest within its remaining walls. Worn by time and weather, the building had a rich history that even the passing years could not diminish. Just like life, in its state of disrepair, something even more beautiful had emerged. This was our “nest”.

of, Blain Mikkonen of Grain Designs, estate manager Jesse Masterson, Grant Koenig of Grain Designs and interior designer Ami Baxter. From left front: designer Trever Hill, interior designer Rebecca Knutson of Floor to Ceiling Carpet One and artist Jessica Wachter.

cover: behind the scenes


On a perfect Fall night, we ventured out to the Moorhead farm of Kristie and Chad Invie to shoot our inaugural cover. Although we couldn’t fit all of our contributors on this month’s cover, we whittled it down to nine talented locals, to help us introduce this new magazine. Each of them represents a topic Midwest Nest encompasses such as art, interior design, decor, kitchen design, cuisine and DIY.

This month’s cover models were treated to the hair and makeup talents of Erin Hafliger at Bucci Salon. With photographer Dan Francis leading the way, we set up various scenes using the rustic outbuildings at the Invie’s farm.

It’s a Wrap! With our first cover shoot complete, it was time to pop some corks and celebrate amidst the corn fields. Check out the gorgeous charcuterie and champagne table created by our own resident foodie, Jesse Masterson.

Although we had every intention of shooting the group in front of the building, it only took one glance through the window for us to drastically change focus.



Midwest Nest Magazine is a monthly print and online publication which features content and photography focusing on culture, entertaining and home design.



susan hozak-cardinal

dan francis photography zach davis photography j. alan paul photography glasser images melanie sioux photography morgan schleif robb siverson kuda photography nick friesen photography abby anderson shawn thomas creative

EDITOR tracy nicholson


ADVERTISEMENT DESIGNER alison monke, creative monke

COPY EDITORS kelly schulz tracy nicholson

MIDWEST NEST MAGAZINE 4150 40th Avenue South, #310 Fargo, ND 58104 Read Midwest Nest Magazine online each month at For subscription requests go to For advertising inquiries in Midwest Nest Magazine or on

CONTRIBUTORS rebecca knutson maria bosak jessica wachter katie sullivan ami baxter jesse masterson blain mikkonen trever hill grant koenig

ADVERTISING SALES susan hozak-cardinal tracy nicholson, call 701-640-3284 or email Midwest Nest Magazine, LLC, Copyright 2017, Midwest Nest Magazine and All rights reserved. This publication cannot be reproduced without written permission of Midwest Nest Magazine. Midwest Nest Magazine will not be held responsible for any errors found in the magazine. Midwest Nest Magazine, LLC accepts no liability for statements made by advertisers.

SOCIAL MEDIA alison monke noah kupcho susan hozak-cardinal tracy nicholson



Contributors + Team Maria Bosak

Alison Monke Monke is the owner and designer at Creative Monke in Fargo, N.D. As Midwest Nest’s lead advertising designer, Monke brings multi-faceted experience working with a variety of companies in their design and marketing departments. She received her BFA in Graphic Design from MSUM. Monk has worked on everything from t-shirts and brand strategies to websites. She is currently a full-time freelance designer helping many small to medium-

Bosak is a contributor and the President of Eco Chic Boutique and founder of the local

sized businesses and non-profits in the F-M area. Monke designed Midwest Nest’s logo

events, Eco Chic Design Conference, Junk Market and A Vintage Christmas. She is a

and works closely with our team to create branding strategies and bring expertise to

graduate of MSUM and self-taught entrepreneur and designer. Her award-winning stores

ad designs, helping local businesses speak their own brand and capture the audience’s

in both Fargo and Bismarck have become sought-after destinations for home decor,

attention. Find Monke’s work at

furniture and chalk paint. Bosak is an avid blogger, most often chronicling her personal experiences in the remodel of her own farmhouse project, which will be revealed in Midwest Nest’s upcoming issues. She hopes to encourage the readers to tackle projects in their own homes that embrace their personal style and follow function that fits their family. Find more on Bosak’s stores, events and projects at

Ami Baxter

Jessica Wachter Wachter is an art feature contributor and the owner and artist at Jessica Wachter Art, based in Bismarck, N.D. Wachter graduated Magna Cum Laude from North Dakota State University with degrees in Art and Interior Design. An award-winning artist, Wachter has also led a worldly career including numerous solo exhibitions as well as a speaker at TEDx Des Moines where she presented a TEDx talk entitled, ”Everyone is an Artist”.

Baxter is a contributor and Interior Designer and Owner at Ami Baxter Interior Design

Wachter paints, draws, screenprints and continues to intrigue with new mediums

in Fargo, N.D. She has a bachelors degree from NDSU in Interior Design and 14-years of

and scale. Her contemporary, mixed-media work is strongly gestural, often containing

service in liturgical, hospitality, healthcare, corporate and residential interior design. She

personal celebrations, struggles, joys, loves and losses. Wachter expresses these

plans to give Midwest Nest a variety of style that embraces much more than trends and

personal experiences through her use of color, texture and composition. In each curated

first impressions. As a designer, she goes beyond her own vision, experience, and personal

art feature, she brings exploration, inspiration and a curiosity with no boundaries. In her

style, embracing the architectural essence and blending it with her charisma, to elaborate

travels, Wachter will focus on unearthing the Midwest art scene as well as shedding light

on the client’s aspirations. Her story has always been about building a relationship to

on national and international gems. Readers will love her unexpected take on the world

better understand the client’s vision. Find more on Baxter’s work at

of art, design, fashion and architecture. Currently, her solo exhibition, #nowords, is on display at Capital Gallery in downtown Bismarck, N.D., through the end of 2017. Find more on Wachter’s work at

Katie Sullivan

Kelly Schulz

Sullivan is a contributing freelance writer, with a passion for interior design. She writes about the rewards and challenges of decorating her family’s first home on her lifestyle

Schulz is Midwest Nest’s copy editor and works full time in marketing at Butler

website, Her formal training in journalism at the University of

Machinery Company’s corporate office in Fargo, N.D. She has a bachelor’s degree in Mass

Minnesota, combined with her husband Daren’s carpentry skills results in dynamic DIY

Communications from Minnesota State University Moorhead and a Master of Business

content for their website’s readers. She has recently begun taking on small projects as an

Administration from University of Mary. She resides in North Fargo with her husband Dusty

interior decorator. Sullivan’s work has been published by various media outlets, including

and two children, Charlie and Betty, and enjoys sipping wine on their patio overlooking

the St. Paul Pioneer Press and Scary Mommy. Connect with her on Facebook @Pretty

the Red River. In her spare time enjoys camping, thrifting chalk paint projects, pretending

Domesticated, on Instagram at @PrettyDomesticated, and on Pinterest @ktmsullivan.

to read books for book club and chasing after her little ones.


Rebecca Knutson, CID


Dan Francis Francis is the lead photographer for Midwest Nest and owner of Dan Francis Photography

Knutson brings readers her expertise as an Interior Designer and Cabinet Department Manager at Floor to Ceiling Carpet One in Fargo, N.D. She holds a Bachelors of Science degree from NDSU in Interior Design, is NCIDQ Qualified and offers over 12 years of experience in residential and commercial Interior Design. Knutson’s projects are allencompassing from electrical, plumbing, appliances, cabinetry, countertops, flooring and tile. Knutson will be showcasing her projects throughout North Dakota and Minnesota with a focus on the importance of having a good team to rely on during new builds and remodeling. Knutson believes that taking the time to plan and not rush the install

in Fargo, N.D. He is a Certified and Master Photographer who specializes in quality photography work. Francis is also a seven-time Kodak Gallery Award Winner for his fineart images. He is currently a board member of FMVA, Vice President of PPND and past president of the Fargo-Moorhead Camera Club. Francis brings 14-years of experience to Midwest Nest, contributing stunning home, art and portrait images to our pages. He is looking forward to showing readers his unique approach to commercial work that you won’t see anywhere else. Francis works out of his Downtown Fargo studio and can be found at

process gives the best possible outcome at the end of any project. Follow her features as she works closely with contractors and clients to coordinate finishes and trades with contractors, architects, and subcontractors. Find Knutson at

Jesse Masterson

Grant Koenig & Blain Mikkonen As co-owners and designers at Grain Designs in Fargo, N.D., Koenig and Mikkonen are a dynamic duo that have helped pave the way for the area’s reclaimed wood emergence.

As an estate manager with a prior restaurant management background, Masterson has a passion for food and entertaining. He brings over nine years of food industry knowledge home to help readers create the perfect gathering. Masterson offers tips and creative ideas on how to make every party atmosphere memorable. Whether he’s coordinating a bar cart, baking “secret family recipes”, or creating a stunning cheese platter, Masterson will show readers how to duplicate his entertaining prowess. Follow his features to find unique recipes, hosting tips and where to buy the supplies to make your presentation pop.

Between the two, they hold a Bachelors in Environmental Design, Masters in Architecture from NDSU and a combined ten years in furniture design and manufacturing. Grain Designs has become well-known for their unique approach to custom furniture, specializing in dining tables, sliding doors, corporate office furniture and wall features. Each piece of reclaimed, wood furniture is thoughtfully designed and well-crafted with the user’s specific needs in mind. Koenig and Mikkonen will show readers how they create pieces that are not only functional but meaningful. Through our pages, the guys hope to bring a new perspective to the process of decorating homes, choosing furniture and making decor selections. Koenig and Mikkonen will educate readers on why design matters, not only in home goods but also in spatial planning and architecture. Koenig and Mikkonen work out of their South Fargo studio and can be found at

Trever Hill

Zach Davis

Opening his design business in 2009, Hill quickly secured his spot as one of the top designers in the F-M area. In 2016, Hill was named the F-M’s Best Decorator in the People’s Choice Awards and has consistently ranked in the top three for various, local nominations.

As the owner of Zach Davis Photography in Fargo, N.D., Davis brings to Midwest Nest a

As the owner of Trever Hill Design and design associate at McNeal & Friends, he takes

talent of capturing natural light and creating remarkably real images. Combined with a

on a wide range of projects including remodels, spacial planning, staging, decorating and

knack for storytelling through imagery and words, Davis uses an uncommon approach

designing new homes. Hill takes readers on an exclusive tour of his latest commercial and

to capture area chefs, artists and industry leaders. A self-taught photographer, Davis

residential projects, dissecting the design elements that create beautiful and functional

intrigued us with his thoughtful, journalistic style of photography capturing provoking

spaces. Hill introduces readers to his clients and their families while simplifying and

images and blogging on notable, local artists. An avid traveler, he is inspired by nature and

debunking a few design myths along the way. Find more on Hill at

people pursuing their dreams. Davis looks forward to sharing his subject’s passions, telling their story and showing the value of their work with our readers. Follow his adventures on his blog at


Culinary Masterson Words by Jesse Masterson Photos by Zach Davis Photography

With Fall entertaining in full-swing, I thought this was the perfect time to introduce one of my own party essentials, the gourmet charcuterie tray. I’m not a professional chef or an expert in wine and cheese, but when it comes to hosting, I love to make the presentation pop. With a little creativity, I’ll show you how a gourmet tray can serve as a gorgeous and edible centerpiece that will impress even the most discriminating of guests.




Creating the perfect palate pleaser is easier than

If you want to find unique items and super-

After choosing four varieties of cheese, I asked

you think. Typical cheese trays have a variety

fresh produce, head to Prairie Roots Co-op

The Spirit Shop’s Ronni Heggen to coordinate

of meats, fruit, preserves, honey and olives to

in Downtown Fargo. While in the vicinity, visit

the perfect wine pairings to complement our

fill in the gaps and help create a mix of flavors

Pinch & Pour, where they encourage guests to

selection. When hosting, never assume your

and interest. I bend the rules a bit and throw in

taste test until you find the perfect olive oil and

guests are master sommeliers. Positioning the

sweeter elements like dark chocolate almonds

balsamic concoctions. For the cheeses, I used a

wines directly behind each cheese lets guests

and a spicy dark chocolate dip which works well

mix of local favorites from Pinch & Pour, Prairie

enjoy the experience without the guessing game.

with the lighter cheeses and fruit. I love that you

Roots Co-op, Luna and even Costco. If you’re not

can get creative and there’s really no limit as to

sure how to choose the cheese, the experts at

what you can do. Just make sure it’s appealing

Luna are happy to help anyone navigate their

to the eye and tastebuds with an array of colors,

impressive cheese selection.

textures and tastes.



“When it comes to hosting, I love to make the presentation pop.�



10 Tasty Tips


1. If you’re new to cheese trays, keep it simple. Select at least one soft cheese

Dark Chocolate Almonds

like brie, one hard or semi-hard cheese like cheddar and another bolder

Dried Cranberries

variation such as blue cheese. In this tray, I included a coordinating cracker or

Candied walnuts

bread for each cheese. Example, water crackers and artisan crisps pair well


with the brie. Use a french baguette with blue cheese or olive oil, and any


other unique cracker for the cheddar and Montamore.

Strawberries Grapes

2. For a more festive and fresh approach, make sure to include spreads and

Kalamata olives

produce that are currently in-season.

Caper berries Figs

3. If you don’t have a specific cheese tray or cutting board, take a look in your

Fresh Rosemary & Thyme (for garnish)

pantry and get creative. Any large serving ware or clean, flat item can work. If you’re doing trays for larger parties, consider splitting the food up by category:

DIPS Velvet Bees Gourmet Honey Butter - Prairie Roots Co-op Black Currant Jam - Prairie Roots Co-op Fat Toad Farm Goat's Milk Caramel in Spicy Dark Chocolate - Pinch & Pour Fig spread - Prairie Roots Co-op


breads and crackers, cheeses, produce, dips and spreads and even a bite size dessert tray. 4. To achieve the fullest flavor, make sure to take your cheese out of the refrigerator at least a half hour before you serve it. Cheese should always be served at room temperature. 5. To begin your tray design, start with placing the cheese, spacing them out so you have room to add in the complimenting produce, nuts and spreads. Placing largest to smallest is an easy way to create an appealing tray.

Capocollo Prosciutto

6. Make sure you thoroughly drain olives and capers before placing them on

Salami Calabrese

the tray. This will help eliminate runny messes. If you need to use watery fruit like watermelon, you can also use small ramekins to keep the foods

BREAD + CRACKERS Take N' Bake French Baguette - Costco Mary's Gone Crackers - Prairie Roots Co-op Kii Naturals Goji Berry & Pistachio Artisan Crisps - Prairie Roots Co-op Field Day Organic Water Crackers - Prairie Roots Co-op


separated. 7. If your tray includes meat varieties, create sections of each separate meat near the cheese. Then get creative and fold, flower or roll the meat for added visual appeal. 8. Get creative with your garnish. A finished tray is not complete without a little greenery. I like to use fresh herbs like Rosemary and Thyme, ferns, flowers or pine branches depending on the season. If you opt for herbs, throw a sprig in your olive oil for an extra punch of flavor.

Garlic Infused Olive Oil - Pinch & Pour Traditional Balsamic Vinegar - Pinch & Pour

9. Try making your own candied nuts. You can find multiple recipes online, but most just call for roasting the nuts in the oven at 350 degrees first, then


quickly stirring them into a saucepan with melted sugar. Once coated, lay

Wooden cheese and bread trays

quickly as youll only have seconds before the sugar starts to crystallize.

them out on parchment paper and sprinkle with salt. Just remember to work

- McNeal & Friends Ramekins - Target

10. As any good host knows, keeping food and drink flowing is a tough task to

Teak condiment bowls with spoons

keep up with while entertaining guests. Simplify the process by pre-cutting

- McNeal & Friends

extra fruit, cheese, and meat, then placing them into presentable ramekins

Tea towel - Eco Chic Boutique

or small bowls in your refrigerator so that you can easily restock, even in mid

Wool and fabric pumpkins - Eco Chic Boutique

conversation. This will help keep wrappers and plastic produce containers out

Pewter cheese knives - Target

of sight and you wont have to stop mid-party to slice and dice.



(above, from left) Smokey Blue Cheese + 2015 Predator Old Vine Zinfandel Montamore + Mumm Napa Brut Prestige Cave Aged Vermont Cheddar + 2014 Colombia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Blue Earth Brie + 2013 Mer Soleil Silver Chardonnay

After you’ve created a cheese masterpiece, invite a few close friends and enjoy every inch of your beautiful cheese tray. Special thanks to our friends Rachel and Shawn Weyer for hosting the first of many culinary how-tos in their stunning Horace home.


THE PRICE TO PARTY As an appetizer, our tray with four cheese selections would typically accommodate about six to eight people. For this size, expect to spend around $100 to $150, with plenty of leftovers to create another. If that’s out of your budget, just scale it down using fewer cheese and cracker options with less produce. The price of cheeses vary, but the ones we selected ran about $10 to $15 dollars per block.

LOVE YOUR LEFTOVERS To get a longer life out of your leftovers, make sure to store your cheese according to its type. Soft cheeses like brie should be kept in an airtight container. Semi-hard cheeses like cheddar and blue cheese can be wrapped in plastic wrap. Hard or aged cheeses should be wrapped in parchment paper or cheese cloth. If you need a quick storage solution for hard or semi-hard cheeses, you can also purchase special parchment bags at most grocery stores.



Design & Discuss WITH GRAIN DESIGNS Words by Grant Koenig & Blain Mikkonen Photos by Grant Koenig, Dan Francis Photography, Kuda Photography, Nick Friesen Photography, Shawn Thomas Creative



For those that aren’t yet familiar with us, Grain Designs is based in Fargo, N.D., and started out of a joint passion to build and develop new ideas through furniture making. As designers, our minds are in constant pursuit of inspiration and Grain


Designs became our outlet to create tangible products out of ideas. We also quickly realized that the furniture market was

By choosing to work with reclaimed wood, it has taught

over-saturated with poorly made, generic pieces and we knew

us to be mindful of the resources we have. This has

that we could provide something better. We don’t believe in

enabled us to breathe new life into seemingly useless

buying new things day-after-day or year-after-year, we want

materials giving, us the ability to provide a meaningful

the products that we create to hold value and function for

product and experience unlike anything else.

years to come. Quality to us means everything, and is more important now, than ever.

From left: Blain Mikkonen, Pat Bresnahan, Grant Koenig, Phil Bruckbauer



THE FREDERICK FARMHOUSE TABLE Typically built with reclaimed floor joists out of barns or warehouses, this table has become a staple product for us and is continuing to evolve as design styles change.

Fall’s Most Popular Products





This product has taken on a life of its own and has found

Work spaces have become so much more flexible, and this

so many more applications than we had originally imagined.

has created a whole new market for us in both the home

They are most commonly used to replace existing swing

and business industry. The custom desks that we have

doors however we have used them as window shades, large

designed are truly built with the user in mind and have

room partitions and even doors on dog kennels.

featured everything from hidden whiskey storage to full magnetic, steel wall features.



Inspiration In our constant pursuit of new ideas, we find inspiration from businesses across the country and throughout the Midwest, combining their ideas with our own local flavor. Here are a few outstanding businesses that are worth the follow.




This Moorhead, M.N., based brewing company

Three words describe this Eugene, Oregon home

Owner Brad Weiman started his Denver, C.O.

has set out to not only create a delicious product

builder: architect, designer, visionary. It’s not

venture as a construction and concrete furniture

but to facilitate a customer experience unlike any

hard to be inspired by Iverson’s fusion of modern

company, but over the past five years, they’ve

other. Stop by their Taproom in North Moorhead

and traditional design elements, materials and

grown to become much more. These days they

and get inspired with their weekly rotation of

color palettes. | Photo by Kuda Photography

are a design + build, construction and project

experimental beers and live music. | Photo by


Nick Friesen Photography

custom features. Follow them to see their take





on creative applications of concrete and wood in countertops, custom wood cabinets and floating staircases in their portfolio of over 60 spec homes. | Photo by Shawn Thomas Creative


Blain Mikkonen

Grant Koenig

(by appointment only)

(by appointment only)



6218 53rd Ave S., Fargo, N.D.

4487 165th Ave SE, Davenport, N.D.




#nowords Words by Jessica Wachter

Photos by Glasser Images & Melanie Sioux Photography





It has been just under one year since North Dakota native, David Borlaug, along with the Lewis and Clark Foundation, opened Capital Gallery in downtown Bismarck. This gallery is a gem not only for the community, but also for the state and the Midwest, at large. It’s an absolutely beautiful space for artists to showcase their work, and whether you’re a community member or a tourist, it’s definitely a destination worth seeking out. The space is large and open, allowing guests to step back from the everyday hustle and bustle, and breathe in some colors and inspiration.

I am so honored to currently be showing my

The best language I know how to speak is through

work at this exceptional gallery through the

texture and scale, movement and color on a

end of 2017. After nearly a decade of being a

canvas. The decisions I make about the scale

professional artist, this is my first show in my

of my canvases are part of the communication

hometown of Bismarck. This solo exhibition is

I want to create between myself and you as the

entitled #nowords.

viewer. When a painting has large scale, it is bigger than you. Part of the joy of these pieces is

I don’t know about you, but it took me awhile to

getting lost in the work. You can get closer to the

figure out hashtags. In fact, I had to ask a friend

art and see more.

to give me a tutorial. She explained, “Hashtags can either be used as a tool to be witty or as

Some of the pieces on display in the gallery have

a way to categorize a post.” My response was,

been months in the making, some I’ve been

“Wow, these things really communicate more

working on for several years. In all reality, my

than I thought!”

whole life got me to the point where I’m able to create the way I’m creating now. So, you could

Single statements, or a single word in some

say, this show has been thirty-plus years in the

cases, with the pound sign in front of it, can

making. As a viewer, my hope is that you’ll feel

completely change the essence of a photo you’re

powerful energy and a new-found rhythm in me

viewing or change your mind about what you’re

as an artist when you walk through the gallery.

reading. Hashtags can spark a new conversation and a new perspective. At our fingertips is an

Perhaps the most important thing I’d love to

abundance of ways to communicate; online,

communicate with #nowords is that there is no

offline, this app, that app, emails, handwritten

right or wrong when it comes to what you see

greeting cards, you name it. What an exciting

in my art. This new body of work is me loving to

time and place we live in.

be alive, grateful for this life. All the pieces work collectively to reflect that. Which is why, when

For me, communication is much more than

people ask me to talk about my art or bring

words and how they’re delivered. Life inspires

words to it, I always hesitate. It is difficult for

me to look around, to be present, and to soak up

me to definitively express my passion for this art

the sights, sounds and smells. Life motivates me

and this life, so don’t be surprised if I respond,

to question, “How do I color this?” rather than,

“There are no words.” #nowords

“How do I put this into words?” That is someone else’s gift.





“The best language I know how to speak is through texture and scale, movement and color on a canvas.�

Celebrate with us! 31

You are invited to celebrate our GRAND OPENING October 12th - 28th!

Jeff has slashed prices on 100 diamonds for the event!

Dan Francis Photography

Stop in and see our beautiful, state-of-the-art showroom and take advantage of our SPECIAL EVENT SAVINGS! Largest inventory of mountings, loose diamonds and gemstones in the upper Midwest

WE HAVE MOVED! NEW LOCATION 4507 33rd Ave South, Fargo, ND 701-356-7700 •

Bringing you the world’s cleanest, brightest and whitest diamonds.


Smart Space + Transitional Redesign Words by Trever Hill Photos by J. Alan Paul Photography



Throughout my career, I’ve always been flattered when people in the industry ask me to be part of their home building process or remodel. It’s really one of the highest compliments a designer can get. To this day, I’ve gotten the honor of working on two home builder’s personal homes and countless other homes. When Ursula Hegvik, owner of Smart Spaces approached me about remodeling the main level of her home, I said yes before the words had even left her mouth. Ursula already had great ideas of what she wanted in her new space, so together, our goal was to make it happen in ten short weeks.

OUR OWN INDEPENDENCE DAY Just one day after the 4th of July, we began the remodel of Ursula’s main level at her South Fargo home. This project was really fun for me. She’s a professional closet designer, so she acted as her own general contractor and did all of the space planning and the cabinetry, which was really cool to see. For me, this was a unique way of working, because typically I’m the one throwing out ideas to the client and figuring out the direction of the space plan. In this project, she already knew exactly what her layout would be, which walls to knock out, and what rooms would be redesigned for new functions. She was able to use her own software from Smart Spaces to do renderings of the original space, then renderings showing what it would look like after the remodel.

I came into the project to help choose all of the finishes, paint colors, cabinetry colors, and flooring. What you see here are the island and perimeter countertops, paint swatches, flooring samples and cabinet sample. Placing all of your finishes together is a simple way to make sure that all of your color tones can live harmoniously in the same space.



URSULA’S REMODEL LIST: * Give the space an open floor plan * Reconfigure the stairwell * Turn the original dining room into a large mudroom * Create a large kitchen Island with interest * Turn the original laundry room into the pantry * Create a wall of windows * Create a home office * Update the foyer

Before / After


In Ursula’s kitchen, we chose a unique, matte aluminum hardware paired with her custom, melamine cabinets in “Arctic”. This combination really set a sleek and contemporary tone for the remaining remodel. Melamine is an extremely durable and versatile material Ursula often uses in her closet designs at Smart Spaces. Drawing on her organizational expertise, Ursula was able to plan for hidden storage solutions throughout the kitchen, adding upright pan storage under the second oven, as well as three cool, pull-out accessories from Rev-a-Shelf; a knife block, utensil containers, and a full-height, spice storage rack.

A BRIGHT IDEA If you notice something looks different about Ursula’s stunning island, you’re absolutely right. On a mission to find the island countertop at Stone Holding Co., I walked up to a piece of Quartzite only to be hit with “bright” idea. I placed my phone behind the slab to show Ursula how it illuminated the stone, it was amazing. With that, we decided we needed to build a light-box underneath the island counter, using mirrors to reflect light from LED strips. Northern Stone was able to do the fabrication, along with the quartz countertop on the perimeter. We found the LED strips, controllers and remote at American Lighting through Border States Electric. Taking the island’s wow-factor one step further, we added a controller on the side that allows her to change the color of the lighting. This proved to be her son Oliver’s favorite feature. He’s a Viking’s fan, so on game day, Ursula’s island goes purple.


design Pillows, art & accessories - HomeGoods Sofas - Unclaimed Freight Furniture Existing lamps - Border States Electric

CHALLENGING VIEWS During the process, we had varying challenges to overcome, but as with every remodel, we figured out a way to make it work. We had the wall of windows installed, but due to their size, we needed to do other things to get it up to code, such as quartz window sills to make sure we could get outlets below the windows.

What was once the formal dining room just off of the kitchen, Ursula transformed into one impressively organized laundry and mudroom. Using Smart Spaces, melamine cabinetry she created an array of custom storage solutions for shoes, coats, accessories, laundry baskets and hanging items.


Keeping the existing brick fireplace meant refacing the top, and modernizing the design. This is something she had seen Amanda Schenfisch, one of her designers at Smart Spaces do in her own home. So, Ursula asked her to do the same here. The top of the brick was then refaced which completely covered up the arch. I suggested painting the brick black around the actual fireplace to make it appear larger. The lower brick was then painted to match the updated built-ins and white trim throughout the home. The very first meeting we had, Ursula said, “The rest of my home is more on the traditional side, and I want a very contemporary kitchen. How are we going to blend the two?” So, we worked within a style that’s now referred to as Transitional. As you can see by the fireplace reface, the style Ursula used could be construed as traditional, but because of sharp lines and fresh color, it blends perfectly with her contemporary kitchen. We even used her existing, traditional lamps, but updated the lampshades for a great, transitional look.


URSULA HEGVIK, OWNER OF SMART SPACES “Trever’s fabulous. He’s so talented and so fun to work with. This whole thing has just been awesome. He brought so many aspects to the project that I couldn’t. I was afraid to pick the paint color, and he had it picked in around a minute. He has such a good eye for everything, and he just makes everything about a project easy and fun.” “For this project, I worked with some really great sub-contractors. I’ve done thousands of closet projects, but I’ve never taken on a project of this scale before, so acting as my own general contractor was a brand new experience. I got a lot of advice and asked a lot of questions. The subs I chose to work with turned out to be good people who would show up when they said they were going to (for the most part), do quality work, and clean up after themselves. It’s come together really beautifully, and honestly, Trever helped me with every decision, definitely all of the really important ones. I can’t even choose throw pillows without that guy!” “My sons were so excited about the remodel. Oliver prefers the kitchen and loves changing the island color to Viking’s purple. Dexter thinks the mudroom is super cool Photo by Abby Anderson

because he likes to be able to easily find his socks and boots so he can run outside and play faster. I think they pretty much love everything, as do I.”


FIND THE FINISHES Engineered hardwood flooring - Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Carpet - Cheney Carpet Melamine cabinetry - Arctic, Smart Spaces Perimeter counter and island fabrication - Northern Stone Quartzite Island countertop - Stone Holding Co. Lighting - Elan, Border States Electric Windows, doors - Home, Design & Supply Appliances - Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery Hardware - Smart Spaces Paint color - Mega Greige, Sherwin Williams Barstools - Unclaimed Freight Furniture Dining table - Room & Board Dining chairs - HomeGoods

Trever Hill Design 701.235.0031 Smart Spaces 5226 51st Ave S. Fargo, N.D. 701.200.8770



“As you can see with the exterior view of our house, we are a blue family.”



Maria Bosak’s

Farmhouse Remodel Project ROOM NO. 8 Words by Maria Bosak Before photos by Morgan Schleif After photos by Dan Francis Photography

I’m so excited to finally be revealing one of the final rooms in our farmhouse remodel project. Sometimes, well lots of times in remodeling, what you anticipate to be first on the list actually comes in at the end of the race. This was true for our kitchen remodel. When we moved into our home two years ago, I had great hopes of diving right into the kitchen because I was anxious to get it updated. But, it actually became the eighth room we tackled due to budget and time availability of contractors. Truthfully, I also had the need to live in the house for awhile before I completely understood what we wanted to do with the room. So let that be a lesson, that some times in life (and remodeling), the world around you will dictate your path and you just need to follow along. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at our newly-renovated kitchen.

DIY 42







KITCHEN DEMO We began the process by first removing the wall that separated the dining room from the kitchen. As you know, everyone hangs out in the kitchen when you entertain so we wanted to open it up and gain as much room as we could. As you can see in the photo we took after the demo, we tore the kitchen down to the studs and started over. In the photo to the right, I’m actually standing in what used to be a bedroom. We decided to sacrifice a bedroom to gain a butler’s pantry. Which would also give us another two feet to work with so we could fit all of the appliances into the kitchen. Because let’s face it, I wasn’t giving up my dream of double ovens. Watch for the reveal of the butler’s pantry in 2018. With the holidays fast approaching, we decided to rest the budget for a few months before we start that project. You may also notice the popcorn ceiling with the racetrack edging is gone. This turned out to be a


challenge, but we ended with a solution that we just love. To smooth the popcorn and the ripped edge

The other design decision that jumps off the page is

from removing the edging detailing, we opted to go

the blue cabinetry. As you can see with the exterior

with a planked ceiling. This did add to the budget,

view of our house, we are a blue family. My husband,

but the end result was well worth it.

Tate, and I have always loved the color blue (it may have something to do with our Duke team). Way back when we were dating, we bought a blue Weber grill, and so our life’s blue pattern began. While the blue cabinetry may not be practical or timeless, they make us smile, so we went with it and figured ‘heck’ if we hate it down the road we can just Chalk Paint® them. I’ve heard there is a store in town that sells that stuff (wink wink).

The process of remodeling our kitchen was simplified by the excellent carpenters at Eclipse Carpentry. Ryan and his team were exceptional and very patient as we walked through this process. A complete list of contractors can be found at the end of this article.





The photos tell most of the story, but I want to point out a few details that were very intentional and bring an interesting twist to a somewhat traditional kitchen. 1. The bricked wall. I’ve always loved brick and wanted to find a way to incorporate its warmth. I know brick doesn’t seem warm and cuddly by nature, but to me, it gives our home a sense of old world building style and toasty fireplaces. The added texture in the room also brings a design element that is unexpected and interesting. 2. The brassy, gold light fixtures and faucet. I know, I know. 1985 called and they want their light fixtures back. You almost expect there to be a Trans-Am car parked in our driveway (which actually Tate would love), but these are not your mama’s brass fixtures of the 80’s. Brass is the new black and I love them. So, once I spotted them on Houzz, I decided to base the entire kitchen color scheme around them. Let’s face it, the 80’s were some good times, and if you weren’t there to experience them, then I’m not sure how to talk to you. You will just have to take my word for it. I’m not mad at you, I’m just saying Justin Bieber has nothing on Huey Lewis. 3. The wood countertop and custom range hood. Let’s just admit it. We all want a white kitchen until we get a white kitchen and our husbands want to know why we made them live in a hospital. So you incorporate some wood elements to make him feel at home in his natural environment. Also, because they contrast nicely with the white cabinets and it just makes good sense. A shout out to my friends at Grain Designs who did both the countertop and range hood. I know the range hood has funny angles and is a pain to make, but you rocked it.


TABLE WITH A VIEW We also added a window in the dining room. This window now resides above the wood bench and pillows. This was a perfect spot because it gave us a beautiful, outside view when seated in the dining area.




Contractors used in this remodel: Eclipse Carpentry Carpet World (Jim Fleming) King Electric Joe’s Plumbing Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Dave Meth with Tile Tech Grain Designs Gene’s Painting

ROOM NO.8 RECAP: The kitchen is complete and we couldn’t be happier. Now, it’s on to the next phase. As you can see from the photos, the butler’s pantry, as well as the entry bench and hooks, are still in need of a refresh. We will tackle these projects this winter and will be sure to give you a first

Maria Bosak

look as soon as they are completed.

Eco Chic Boutique

If you have any questions about how or why we did something, feel free to reach out to me at Eco Chic Boutique or drop me a message at:

4955 17th Ave. South, Fargo


As always you can find us on: Facebook @iLoveEcoChic Instagram @ecochicboutique Xo, Maria



Confessions of an IKEA Hack OUR OFFICE MAKEOVER REVEAL Words by Katie Sullivan Photos by Dan Francis Photography

If the best things in life are free, the next best thing is a successful IKEA hack. When it comes to creating beautiful storage on the cheap, nothing works a room quite like a BILLY bookcase. Which is why when we realized my office seriously lacked storage, we turned to every discount shopper’s favorite Swedish retail giant, our local hardware store and Pinterest to help us out.





THE BACK STORY On move in day, my office was light, bright and very empty. That is, unless you count the stacks of paper and boxes quickly adding up on the floor. Not long after moving in, it became clear that we had serious storage problem, which equaled a not very inspiring office for me. The clutter was bad enough, but then I found a stunning painting that was begging to live on the wall. Nothing about my office was doing it justice. Since I fancy myself a creative and am a little bit obsessive about organization, this was a problem. The other problem – we didn’t have much room to spare. How do you create an inspiring, organized space on a budget? After some intense brainstorming, my husband and I found the solution with IKEA’s BILLY bookcase line and a can of dark paint.



FROM IKEA DEAL TO UPSCALE STEAL We are not the first to execute this IKEA hack. One search for “BILLY bookcase” on Pinterest will produce thousands of stunning inspiration pictures, ranging from basic to extensive hacks. There is a reason for this. If you are handy, or have someone in your life who is, you can save some serious cash and completely transform a room. IKEA sells a range of sizes and configurations of BILLYs, and a few well styled bookcases, even without the added bells and whistles of extra trim, can take a room from dull to delightful in as much time as it takes to assemble. For those who want a more custom look, like ours, things get a little more complicated. It takes some careful planning and labor. Think securing the units to the wall, trimming them out and covering them in a few layers of paint. However, the cost savings is still there. A custom wall-to-wall bookcase would have likely cost us thousands, while our do-it-yourself job rang it at under $800! This includes paint, trim and rope lighting. To save us time and energy, we even splurged on having custom drawers made by Wendt Custom Cabinets, since we were in desperate need of a filing system. You could easily execute a drawerless option for under $600. Our IKEA shopping list: 2 31” BILLY Bookcases $70 x 2 3 16” BILLY Bookcases $49 x 3 2 31” BILLY Height Extension Units $20 x 2 3 16” BILLY Height Extension Units $15 x 3

Total Cost: $372 The other great thing about BILLY bookcases is they are only 11” deep! They leave just enough space to style and store, without encroaching on valuable floor space. The only time this can be a problem is if you need drawers like we did. Lucky for us, the wall behind our bookcases is very thick and we were able to cut into it to make room. Keep in mind, drawers might only be a realistic option for you if you can do the same.



INSPIRED BY YOU A home office needs to be quite the workhorse, so you should style it to fit your unique needs. Here is how we customized my space:

Mounted the Monitor. To let the artwork shine and to free up desk space for my design work, we secured my monitor to the bookcase wall on a very long rotating arm. When needed, I pull it out, tilt it down, scoot to the edge of my desk and get to work.

Created a Kid Zone. As a stay-at-home Mom, it was important I made room for my daughter within my space. We created a small secretary


desk, masquerading as a drawer, for her to work

Desk – Restoration Hardware

on her own creative endeavors.

Rug – The Vintage Rug Shop Desk Accessories – Kate Spade Painting – McNeal & Friends Chair – McNeal & Friends

Paint it Black. I’m all for light and bright walls, but sometimes your home needs a little attitude. Keep your home from feeling one note by adding

For more information, contact:

Connect with me on social media:

Katie Sullivan

Facebook Pretty Domesticated

Instagram @PrettyDomesticated Pinterest Ktmsullivan

some dark touches to the doors, walls or trim. My personal favorite and the color of my office is

For more tips and to tour the rest of our home, visit We will

Sherwin William’s Inkwell.

be sharing a full tutorial on how we IKEA-hacked our office bookcases on the blog soon!



As an Interior Designer with 12 years of experience, I’ve seen my fair share of beautiful homes, but this project was truly a designer’s dream. The recently completed project focused on the front entry, great room, kitchen and dining room. When a designer collaborates with homeowners who have phenomenal taste and unwavering trust, the results are dramatic.

Rebecca Knutson, CID Interior Designer | Cabinet Department Manager NCIDQ Certificate No. 026328 360 36th Street South, Fargo, N.D. 701.237.6601



“A designer makes all the difference. We knew what we wanted, but our designer (Rebecca Knutson) had the skills, vision, and taste to make it happen. We couldn’t be happier to see our dream come true.” Homeowner

Sophisticated Comfort Words by Rebecca Knutson Photography by Robb Siverson

Find the Finishes: Perimeter countertop - Quartz Caesarstone Emperado

Farm sink - Kohler, Elkay faucets in Antique Steel finish

Island countertop - Quartzite ‘Cristal’ (Brazil)

Appliances by/details - Subzero, Wolf, U-Line, and Vent-A-Hood, Rebecca

Kitchen cabinets - Omega Custom Cabinetry with a Loring door style

Knutson through Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Perimeter cabinets - Alder with Pumice stain

Backsplash - Walker Zanger, honed Carrara marble mosaic

Island - Maple with a Smokey Hills stain and Onyx glaze

Lighting - Rebecca Knutson through Border States Electric

Hardware - Slate finish

Furniture by/details - Rebecca Knutson and Shannon Simon

Plumbing by/details - Rebecca Knutson through Michelle Flesche at

Terracotta tile flooring – Jeffery Court Chapter 4 Via

Waterfront Kitchen & Bath

Engineered Wood Flooring – Patriot Ridge, Oak, Color Kettle










engineered oak, wood flooring in a 7.5 inch-wide plank. This style has a wonderful, linear graining and low-gloss finish which calls to mind vintage, European oil-rubbed flooring. The richness of the warm, wood flooring pairs well with the grey tones throughout the home.


In this project, the entry helped set the tone for

Having that trust from the homeowners allowed

arabesque tiles intersecting to form the visually

me to introduce a variance of textures, patterns

appealing foyer floor. Terracotta tiles have their

and materials from the entry to the kitchen.

rich brown stain applied with a brush and then

One step through the front door and guests

hand rubbed with a varnish coating for a unique

are overcome with a sense of comfortable

patina. The arabesque floor tiles provide a

sophistication and the breathtaking view of the

certain design interest that evokes both comfort

valley beyond.

and sophistication. It also gives guests a taste

the homeowner’s style. We chose two styles of

of the many textures and patterns they’ll see throughout the home.



LIGHTING THE WAY No room is complete without proper lighting and the entry is no exception. We chose two sconces which house a beautiful combination of glass and metal which are materials that trickle throughout each space. Adding substantial lighting fixtures were the key to drawing the eye up to the many details in the custom, coffered ceiling beams.




With the island as our focal point, we chose a

This home’s kitchen was designed for a chef.

crystal appearance with waves of chocolate, grey

The appliances needed to answer to their calling

and canary yellow. The rich grey tones created an

and the materials had to be able to withstand

interesting contrast without competing with the

everyday use and entertaining, equally. We love

warm wood flooring and stain of the perimeter

that the home allowed so many textural elements


stunning Quartzite. We loved the transparent,

to come together. Rich woods, patina metals, depth-defying crystal quartzite, Carrara stone

On the back perimeter counter, we opted for a

and even mercury glass appear throughout. Each

Quartz with a unique blend of deep browns and

brings a uniqueness to its selection, pattern and

light colored veins. For the perimeter cabinetry,


We chose an interesting Pumice finish that’s hot and on-trend. This tone can lend itself toward a warm grey but still allow the beauty of the wood grain to shine through. The Pumice stain coordinates well with the trend of rustic or reclaimed wood while resulting in a more sophisticated style. For the kitchen backsplash, I used a honed Carrara marble mosaic which wraps the sink and range wall. I chose this because the honed stone pattern accented the Pumice stain and repeated the curve of the glass doors on the range wall.



PREPPING PERFECTION Improving the heart of the home, we chose some unique options and hidden storage, making everyday use and entertaining easy. Pocket doors house the TV above the oven and we’ve used paneled appliances throughout, including the full refrigerator as well as freezer drawers and ice maker in the island. Considering the best spatial planning, we positioned the beverage fridge on the outside perimeter, allowing guests to grab as they need without obstructing the flow.

ELEVATED STYLE For the final kitchen element, I decided to add in a sense of sophistication by designing a custom, coffered ceiling, painted white to coordinate with the interior windows and door casings. To unify the two entertaining spaces, we carried this timeless ceiling detail through to the nearby dining room. The finished space is cohesive, beautiful and high-functioning, with a unique design made to effortlessly accommodate two or twenty.

In this kitchen, some of the most useful spaces are the ones guests cannot see. We’ve added a warming drawer below the oven and spice organizers hidden behind wall cabinetry doors. A chef’s storage cabinet is located in the island, placed directly behind the range. This allows for easy access to commonly used items like oils, vinegars and bulk spices. Dish storage near the sink and dishwasher allow clean up and mealprep to happen in one discreet space.




Design Wisdom CREATING A SPACE FOR FELLOWSHIP WITH FAMILY & FRIENDS Words by Ami Baxter Photos by Dan Francis Photography

Let us invite you inside The Kreps Residence … a home designed to create a variety of well-balanced spaces for fellowship with family and friends. One of our favorite dictionary definitions of fellowship is “… the cement of community.” When we began working with Keith and Erin on their home, it was with the greatest of intention we design spaces that allowed for an ease of circulation and comfort to spur communication. The Kreps wanted their home to be a space to cultivate time with their family and friends.

We began this project (and each of the four phases within) balancing our textures along with keeping a constant evaluation of how the color palette and space is impacted.



BALANCING TEXTURES It is truly as simple as being mindful of each finish, added into the color palette. I.e. a cool stone mixed with a warm sanded wood or a cool grey wood layered with a delicate pastel embossed wallcovering.

LAYERING FINISHES The lower level poker room was created with this piece of wisdom in mind. We created a rich coffered ceiling with contrasting shiplap and draped the walls in an embossed wallcovering. We also played into past trends with barn-door style hardware and reed glass doors for added detail.

COMPLIMENTARY COLORS: DESIGN PRINCIPALS 101 Never leave home without your color wheel! Utilizing more stone allowed us the opportunity to also include more warmth throughout the spaces with wood. Commissioned artwork by Liz Wahlberg and Rando applied this principle with their palettes of blue, green and copper colors and texture to compliment the warmth in the spaces. While drawing up plans for the unfinished basement, we utilized circulation plans to help the flow of traffic and also the viewer’s eye. Next, we followed through the space and balanced textures with focal points. A combination of dry-stacked stone, complimentary wood stains and heated porcelain tile were our staple finishes. Note: the tile at a 45 degree angle guides the eye throughout the space.


Throughout the Kreps home there is a variety of spaces designed for family and friends. The idea of fellowship within the spaces we design has, and will, always be one of our guiding principles. We have found a great deal of wisdom from our peer architects, clients and past projects on building beautiful spaces with areas to rest and reflect, as well as build community and camaraderie.

FROM OUR CLIENT “People often think that if you have design help, it’s going to turn into the designer’s house and not your own. That’s one thing that’s completely inaccurate. Ami takes the time to search out the finishes that will work for our style of home, as well as décor that suits our level of accessorizing. I didn’t want to rush things and because of that, she was able to take her time and find the right pieces that we needed. Shopping for décor can be overwhelming if you’re trying to do it yourself. Ami also narrows the choices down. For example, once she knew our style, the finishes and palette choices were made much easier and less stressful.” - Erin Kreps, Homeowner.


Let us pass along our wisdom regarding details…



Each project, phase or element of design begins with the base design; the elements of incorporating the basic needs of the project. Once the

Details are the personality added to the project or space. We have oftentimes

base design is finished, details are oftentimes based on the project

referred to the accessories of a space similar to the accessories in the world

budget, client’s style and designer’s eye. After-all, the designer’s eye is

of fashion. Are there wrong or rights? Are details only accessories?

the lens that recognizes potential beyond the existing.



Let us elaborate! Style, aesthetic and function are all part of the project’s equation. I.e. Modern Style = Clean Design = Precise & Functional I.e. Fusion Style = Blended Design = Balance & Meaningful

CREDITS Interior design, interior architecture, space planning, cabinetry design, custom furnishings, fabrics and wallcoverings – Ami Baxter Interior Design Contractor – Signature Improvements Cabinetry Fabrication – Poss Cabinetry Artwork – Bob Crowe, Liz Wahlberg, Rando and Ami Baxter Interior Design Window Treatments - Judy Lee Interior Affairs, Ami Baxter Interior Design Accessories – Hand selected by Ami Baxter from Northern Home Furniture & Design, McNeal & Friends, c. Lizzy’s, HomeGoods and others.

For more information on Ami Baxter Interior Design, products featured in this article and product offerings please email or visit us online:



For their modern farmhouse, craftsman mix of style, the Kuznia’s make seamless steel siding standard in every home. They also include landscaping, grass, patio and often trees as part of their standard plan.

Exterior Siding - Great Plains Construction Landscaping - Valley Landscaping Irrigation - Aqua Lawn


Both raised on family farms in Stephen, Minnesota, Angie and Jayson Kuznia are experts when it comes to combining home-grown heart with hard work. As the owners of Titan Homes in Fargo, N.D., this couple began their venture into building and designing in 2005 and have been happily raising kids and building houses together ever since.

Home-Grown Design Words by Tracy Nicholson Photos by Dan Francis Photography


ANGIE + JAYSON A couple since they were 16, the Kuznia’s streamlined system of working together, began from the ground-up and is still rooted in hard work. Jayson Kuznia graduated from NDSU in mechanical engineering. He also achieved the North Dakota Professional Builder Certification. “I worked as an engineer for a while and when the business started taking off, we went full-time. It was kind of a natural fit. A lot of what I do in project management is making sure all of our jobs stay on schedule and on task. So a lot of my engineer skills, even my farming background, helped build up the skills required to do this kind of work,” said Jayson Kuznia. Angie Kuznia’s design experience is self-taught and hard-earned.” I attended college for dental assisting, we had kids young, so we really started with nothing. Everything we’ve done we’ve had to do ourselves, from scratch,” said Angie Kuznia. “I was a stay-at-home mom for around seven years until we started this, then I began coordinating around my kids, and it took off from there. Now our youngest is a senior this year at Sheyenne.”




ESTABLISHED ELEGANCE If you took in the HBA’s Fall Parade of homes, you may have noticed this two-story model home, not just for the stunning interior, but also the well-established neighborhood. Located across from the pond, in close proximity to the Edgewood golf course, this is one new neighborhood with a rare sight ... fully grown trees. One of North Fargo’s last in-town areas to be developed, homeowners in Edgewood Estates enjoy plenty of green and sought-after privacy.

FUSING PASSIONS The Kuznias know that building upwards of 30 homes a year takes patience, passion and dedication. After 12 years, they’ve perfected a system of working closely on each home. “We work well together as a team, we’ve got our system down. I do the design end of it from the beginning to the end and Jayson manages the construction process and sub-contractors. I have two design assistants that work with me. They assist going to meetings with our customers as well. They do a fabulous job.” For Angie Kuznia, building and designing homes is a true passion, built on personal experience. “We built our first home in 2002 for ourselves, then we started with just one model, but it’s always been my passion. At the time, the market was slowing, but I was offering something much different than what was out there with the white trim and doors and additional features like mudrooms. During this time, we didn’t slow down, we just kept growing. I think it’s because I was coming at it with a different approach and just different ideas. We include a lot of upgrades already in our base price, so when people come in, not everything is an add-on, which they really like. A lot of the things that you see in our homes are standard options,” said Angie Kuznia.


Staging - The Private Collection Cabinetry - Wendt Custom Cabinets Laminate flooring - Floor to Ceiling Carpet One

Farmhouse sink - Home Plumbing & Heating Tile backsplash - Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Cabinetry - Wendt Custom Cabinets

FARMHOUSE-INSPIRED DESIGN Walking us through their gorgeous, farmhouse-inspired model home based on their “Ava” floorplan, Angie Kuznia shows us the custom finishes that make each of their builds unique. “I think it’s a good price-point for most people. You can get a lot of square footage for your money and people like the openness of it,” explained Angie Kuznia. “We’ve been building this plan for probably eight years now with many different renditions of it. Our style as a builder is typically more of that modern, farmhouse, craftsman look.”




THE BREAKDOWN 2,600 square feet - main and upper floors

For this model home, Angie Kuznia designed a crisp, white kitchen made

Unfinished basement

perfect for entertaining with its open floor plan. A custom-stained,

Main floor - office, family room, kitchen, pantry

alder island in Knotting grey, stands as the centerpiece of the room.

dining room, mudroom and half-bath

Ample in-island storage, quartz countertop, custom tile backsplash

Upstairs - Master suite plus three additional

and a farmhouse sink, complete the custom design.

bedrooms, additional bath and laundry



Plumbing - Home Heating & Plumbing Tile - Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Cabinetry and built-ins - Alder in Knotting Grey, Wendt Custom Cabinets Soaking tub - Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery Fireplace stone - Hebron Brick Contact the builder or request a tour of the home: Titan Homes “I think the thing for us is that we are very hands-on. A lot of our business is word-of-

4631 40th Avenue S, Suite 110

mouth from previous clients,” said Angie Kuznia. “Many of our contractors that we use


have been with us since we started, so they’re really more like family. We just work hard

to give people what they want and end up doing a lot of custom designs for people.”



Providing a spacious and tidy laundry room, Angie Kuznia chose ample counter space as well as custom, roll-out laundry basket space in the lower cabinetry.


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design | cuisine | art | culture | architecture october 2017

Gathered by Design edition 1

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Profile for Midwest Nest Magazine

Midwest Nest - Edition 1 - October 2017