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design | cuisine | art | culture | architecture

edition 4

january 2018

Renovate & Elevate





Renovate & Elevate Our January cover features the Cotton Lake, Minnesota home of Mariah and Jamey Jessen. The Jessens worked closely with architect Jan Mevold of Mevold Studio to transform their seasonal, 1940s lake cabin into a year-round family home. The cover shot features reclaimed wood sourced from Dakota Timber Company and custom, floating stair and railing fabrication by their contractor, Phil Seabloom. Photography by Jill Ockhardt Blaufuss See more on this project starting on page #12



Recapping a Farmhouse Renovation

Transform your space, transform your life!

If you’re one of the many avid followers of Eco Chic owner,

Meet Ursula Hegvik, owner of Smart Spaces in Fargo, N.D. She

Maria Bosak, this story recapping the stunning renovation on

is one busy mom who loathes unorganized spaces. See how

her farmhouse is a must-read. Bosak takes us through each

she is using her talents to transform even the tiniest closets,

of the completed rooms with “before” and “after” photos that

pantries and mudrooms. She’ll share her tips on why starting

will make you yearn for a life in the country.

and ending your day with organized spaces has the power to transform your everyday life.



Next Door Re-Design

Giving Hearts Day + Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity

The Clara Barton neighborhood is known for the kindness of

If you thought Valentine’s Day was the only notable

its neighbors, but when Air Force veteran and retired special

holiday in February, there’s one more day you need to

education teacher, Steve Street, moved back into his South

mark on your calendar. Before you express your love

Fargo home, little did he know he’d soon be relying on the

to your significant other, we ask that you open your

interior design expertise of his next-door neighbor, Christy

heart to Giving Hearts Day on February 8. Get to know

Brawner. After a kitchen sink flooded and caused thousands

the leaders behind Giving Hearts Day and Lake Agassiz

of dollars in damage, Street leaned on Brawner and a fellow

Habitat for Humanity, and find out how together, we’re

veteran, Robert Myers of Crestview Construction, to help fix

becoming the most generous region on the planet.

the damage and redesign the home he could happily retire to.

Edition 4


Shabby Chic in Rocking Horse Farm For the Kerbers, who both work in the medical field, coming home meant replacing their sterile work environment with a warmer, farmhouse-chic ambiance. Joe Kerber, a chiropractor at Strive Chiropractic and his wife, Kelly, an internal medicine physician at Sanford, recently completed their Krueger Construction build in the coveted Rocking Horse Farm development in South Fargo. See how this creative team was able to overrule the reigning trend of white trim and cabinets, in lieu of richer, inviting tones.

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Canvassing the City This is the time of year to start dreaming about your travel plans. Proving that you don’t need to travel far to get a unique and memorable experience, local artist, Jessica Wachter, shares her insight into a Midwest event for the art enthusiast. See inside the intriguing event known as ArtPrize. © 2017 Washington National 180042 (09/17)

180042_Midwest_Nest_Ad_Baxter_0917_r1.indd 1

9/25/17 4:28 PM



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 j. alan paul photography melanie sioux photography m. schleif photography artprize smart spaces amanda schenfisch jill ockhardt blaufuss dakota timber company

alison monke, creative monke

angela ridl - foto art & dwesign



kelly schulz tracy nicholson

christy brawner maria bosak jessica wachter ursula hegvik trever hill

EDITOR tracy nicholson



susan hozak-cardinal tracy nicholson kari lugo

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, 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 susan hozak-cardinal tracy nicholson


“ have those laughs, you have those memories. It means so much to me to walk in the door and feel like I’m home.” -Katy & Scott


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#CountMe With every issue, I like to imagine that the words in our pages make an impact, even if it’s just a small ripple in our community. Maybe it’s a delusional thought, but then again, maybe something we type will actually resonate with a single person or even an entire organization. There’s also a chance that many of our readers will skip the story and set their sights on the photography. That’s ok too. This month, all I ask is that you take the time to read at least one story. Let me explain why. With the start of a new year, it was extremely important to us that we stand behind Dakota Medical Foundation for the sake of supporting nearly 400 local and regional charities on behalf of Giving Hearts Day. If you’re not familiar with this day or organization, please take the time to read about them in this month’s issue or go online to check them out. These are good people leading the way for local charities to succeed in their missions. Their missions affect everyone in our community. On February 8, we ask that you open your heart and connect with a charity. Volunteer, spread the word or donate monetarily. All are needed and valued. To help spread the word, we chose to interview an organization that’s near and dear to our hearts, Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity in Moorhead, M.N. Our magazine and this organization have more in common than you’d think. We strive to inspire people to create happier environments, while Habitat is striving to actually build that happiness. We spend a lot of time discussing trends, interior design and architecture, while they discuss providing clean air, water and a safe environment for families. Although our usual topics seem to lean toward the superficial, we both know that the environment we wake up to can shape our day, impact our families and affect our future success and mental health. There are people all over this region that are living in unsafe, unhealthy and unsanitary homes. None of us are immune to this scenario and many people in our community are merely a paycheck or two away from a desperate scenario of their own. If you survived this long-winded editorial, thank you. Now, I ask that you please read just one more story. When Giving Hearts Day arrives on February 8, it’s important to know the difference you can make. Sincerely,

Tracy Nicholson



Contributors + Team Alison Monke Monke is the owner and designer at Creative Monke in Fargo, N.D. As Midwest Nest’s lead

Maria Bosak

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 mediumsized businesses and non-profits in the F-M area. Monke designed Midwest Nest’s logo and works closely with our team to create branding strategies and bring expertise to ad designs, helping local businesses speak their own brand and capture the audience’s

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

attention. Find Monke’s work at

events, Eco Chic Design Conference, Junk Market and A Vintage Christmas. She is a graduate of MSUM and self-taught entrepreneur and designer. Her award-winning stores in both Fargo and Bismarck have become sought-after destinations for home decor, 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

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

Christy Brawner-Riley

Machinery Company’s corporate office in Fargo, N.D. She has a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from Minnesota State University Moorhead and a Master of Business Administration from University of Mary. She resides in North Fargo with her husband Dusty and two children, Charlie and Betty, and enjoys sipping wine on their patio overlooking the Red River. In her spare time enjoys camping, thrifting chalk paint projects, pretending to read books for book club and chasing after her little ones.

Brawner Riley is a first time contributor and the owner of Christy Brawner Interiors in Fargo, N.D. A native of California, Brawner-Riley moved to Fargo in 2012 when her husband took a job at NDSU. Previously owning an online vintage accessory shop and a partner in several boutique furniture stores, her itch to get back to design was strong. After having her first little girl, Brawner-Riley decided to pursue her passion and opened Christy Brawner Interiors in December 2015. Now with a 10-month-old and 3-year-old, she looks at her projects from not only a design eye but a mom’s perspective of function. Brawner-

Kari Lugo

Riley has worked on projects from corporate decor, remodels, realtor staging, kids spaces and rooms to interior finishes. She has also participated in the Holiday Home Tour and Parade of Homes. Find more at, Facebook, or Instagram @ christybrawnerinteriors

Fargo native, Lugo partnered with Midwest Nest to specialize in business development and advertising sales. Twenty years in media have taken her through national radio, television, and film markets as well as global newspaper brands, giving her an interesting palette of experience. Upon her return to the Midwest five years ago, Lugo has held positions in both media and marketing in Fargo. She is happy to be living and working back in her hometown again, where she is also a caregiver for her mother, who has ALS.



Dan Francis

Ursula Hegvik

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

Hegvik is a home organization contributor and founded Smart Spaces in 2007. She has

Midwest Nest, contributing stunning home, art and portrait images to our pages. He is

been designing closets, garage systems, mudrooms, pantries and other areas of the

looking forward to showing readers his unique approach to commercial work that you

home for more than 13 years. She is currently on the board of directors for the National

won’t see anywhere else. Francis works out of his Downtown Fargo studio and can be

Association of Closet and Storage Professionals and the local Home Builders Association.

found at

Smart Spaces won Best Organizer in 2016 and 2017 in the People’s Choice Awards. In this issue, she encourages readers to embrace home organization in the new year and shows some amazing “before and after” examples to inspire. In addition to her passion for design and home organization, she enjoys cooking, traveling, being at the lake, playing

Morgan Schleif Schleif is a contributing photographer and is the photographer and founder of M.Schleif Photography. With a degree in Graphic Design and Public Relations from Concordia

with her kids and yoga.

Jessica Wachter

College, she found photography to be a natural combination in serving her abilities with people and composition. She has a passion for connection, community, and creativity which leads to endless opportunities in the F-M area. Her style is less ‘posed’ and geared

Wachter is an art feature contributor and the owner and artist at Jessica Wachter Art,

toward capturing a realistic impression of whomever she is photographing- allowing her

based in Bismarck, N.D. Wachter graduated Magna Cum Laude from North Dakota State

clients to be themselves and fully embrace their current phase of life. A photographer by

University with degrees in Art and Interior Design. An award-winning artist, Wachter

day and pint pourer by night at Junkyard Brewing Company, she is an extrovert who is

has also led a worldly career including numerous solo exhibitions as well as a speaker

most inspired by atmospherics, conversation, and human expression. She is eager to add

at TEDx Des Moines where she presented a TEDx talk entitled, ”Everyone is an Artist”.

her take on the vibrant lifestyle that is Fargo, North Dakota to Midwest Nest. To find more

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

of her work, connect with her on Facebook or Instagram @ Mschleif Photography, or view

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

her full portfolio at

personal celebrations, struggles, joys, loves and losses. Wachter expresses these personal experiences through her use of color, texture and composition. In each curated art feature, she brings exploration, inspiration and a curiosity with no boundaries. In her travels, Wachter will focus on unearthing the Midwest art scene as well as shedding light

Trever Hill 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 Trever Hill Design and design associate at McNeal & Friends, he takes on a wide range of projects including remodels, spacial planning, staging, decorating and designing new homes. Hill takes readers on an exclusive tour of his latest commercial and residential projects, dissecting the design elements that create beautiful and functional spaces. Hill introduces readers to his clients and their families while simplifying and debunking a few design myths along the way. Find more on Hill at

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



Once Moorhead residents, Mariah and Jamey Jessen loved spending their summer weekends at their Cotton Lake cabin with their three children. With plans to transform their seasonal lake retreat into a year-round lake home, they listed their Moorhead house assuming they’d have time to spare for the renovations. When the home sold immediately, they contacted architect Jan Mevold of Mevold Studio to complete the renovation of their 1940s cabin. With no less than two additions having already been done on the lake cabin, this was an architectural endeavor with jaw-dropping results.



The Cotton Lake Project From Seasonal Retreat to Year-Round Residence Words by Tracy Nicholson Architectural Photography by Jill Ockhardt Blaufuss In-Studio Photography by Dan Francis Photography



ARCHITECTURAL ENDEAVORS Having designed a cabin for one of the Jessen’s friends, Mevold Studio came highly recommended. “I usually design about two to four cabins a year. Much of my time is spent on renovations and additions. I really enjoy doing cabins because people are open to doing something a little different,” said Mevold. “I usually meet with a client and walk through their cabin, then give my suggestions on possible issues we might have. It’s always a lot more work than what they think it will be. A lot of them will call back within a year or after lake season and say they are ready to start.”

With two prior additions to this seasonal lake home, Mevold had to take into account all issues with





approach. The original cabin was built in 1940, so Mevold had a fair share of structural issues to be aware of during the renovation. The Jessen’s had originally intended to gut the home, but foundation issues prevailed. “They needed to make sure it functioned for all four seasons and meet all of their family’s needs. It was a really long cabin, so we talked about different options to do a renovation,” explained Mevold. “The best option was actually to remove the entire middle portion of the cabin. They have a large, corner lot, but it’s like all lake cabins, that in the remodel, they could not build any closer to the lake and had to stay within the same footprint but were able to push the construction toward the back a bit.” “We would meet every Sunday night,” explained Mevold. “It was kind of fun just to see the excitement






Renovating additions is always the toughest, you just don’t’ know what kind of structural challenges you might run into. There were a few of these issues as expected, but we were able to resolve them pretty smoothly.”



FAMILY OF FIVE VS. 800 SQUARE-FEET According to Mevold, homeowners are typically advised to find alternate living arrangements during a renovation of this scale, but this was


a unique scenario. The Jessens were general contracting their own renovation and since just

“The more I got to know the Jessens, I realized

the middle portion was being removed, they were

they loved to mix and match finishes and textures,”

able to live in the right side addition which was

said Mevold. Throughout the home, both Mevold

around 660 square feet. For the Jessen’s family of

and the Jessens worked with Phil Seabloom, the

five, two dogs and two cats, this meant utilizing

project’s contractor and carpenter to give each

a small kitchenette and finding an outside source

space a unique finish.

for laundry. “We had our three kids sharing one bedroom and my oldest was in 5th grade at the time,” explained Mariah Jessen. “My daughter’s dresser was in the kitchen area and we used the top of it as the pantry. Our pipes would freeze a lot, so that was really challenging. There was definitely a few tears shed, but it turned out great. Building is hard, and I hate to say that because it’s also a privilege, but I think this is one part that we can’t help but look back and laugh at.”


On the main floor, the Jessens chose a heated,

“One thing they really wanted in here was a skylight

polished concrete flooring paired with a stunning,

for more natural light,” said Mevold. To give this

reclaimed wood accent wall extending up the

space a unique flooring finish, the Jessens reached

custom designed, floating staircase. Underneath

out to Maria Bosak of Eco Chic Boutique who was

the stairwell, their contractor built a special door

able to help them find the vintage-style, black and

and place for their pets to reside in style.

white tile which emulates the look of a printed rug, minus the maintenance.

The Jessens are avid runners, so a functional and spacious laundry room was a must. “In working with Wendy Dynes at Wood Specialists, we were able to come up with some customized touches that made our laundry room aesthetically appealing, but also very functional,” said Mariah Jessen. “For example, when discussing how we wished there was something we could do to get all of the drying racks for our running clothes out of the middle of the room, she grabbed one of their builders and together we came up with a way to include built-in racks that fold into the wall when not being used.”



“Large islands are becoming a new normal. The challenge is to create an island that is functional, yet friendly. The shape of this island accomplished both, by setting up multiple areas to prepare and serve foods while still inviting guests to socialize.” Wendy Dynes, CKD, NCIDQ, Wood Specialists

“The kitchen island has some really unique curves,” said Mevold. The Jessens wanted something unique so they worked with Wendy Dynes at Wood Specialists to come up with a stunning, grand piano shape. The remaining space features underlit, wall-hung cabinetry in a rich espresso stain, custom hood range and nine-foot, drop ceilings over the dining room and kitchen area.

HIDDEN FEATURES “We went to Smart Spaces when it came time to design the kitchen pantry and the master closet,” said Mariah Jessen. “They were great at listening to specific challenges and preferences. In the final products, we have great function such as a place for the coffee maker in the pantry, and pull-out racks for pants and belts in the closet. They also added fun details by including handles and pulls with bling on the ‘her’ side of the closet.”



Walking from the new middle addition of the home, Mevold created a hallway that now connects it to the original addition. This smaller addition has since been renovated to accommodate a sunroom.

Just past the sunroom, that same hallway leads to the 800 square feet that the entire family once lived in during construction. This space has now been converted into a master suite with a spacious bath and this stunning view.



LOFTY CHALLENGES The Jessens weren’t keen on the idea of having the open, vaulted ceiling due to concerns with noise levels. Instead of designing confining walls, Mevold was able to come to a more aesthetically pleasing solution. The second level of the home consisted of a loft area featuring a fitness room and bedrooms, so Mevold incorporated windows where the loft leads to the rooms. This kept the noise down and resulted in a fitness room with an unobstructed view of the lake.


Find the Finishes: Renovation architect - Mevold Studio Custom floating stair and railing fabrication - Phil Seabloom Reclaimed wood accent wall- Phil Seabloom, Wood supplied by Dakota Timber Co. Kitchen, laundry, main floor, second-floor bath cabinetry - Wendy Dynes, CKD, NCIDQ of Wood Specialists Built-ins, linens and master bathroom cabinetry - Phil Seabloom Laundry tile - Maria Bosak, Eco Chic Boutique Custom paint designs in the kid’s rooms - Homeowners Countertops - Granites Unlimited Bonus room flooring - Carpet World Masonry - Tim Erb Masonry Lighting - Borderstates Electric Appliances - Sears Custom-built entrance door - Great River Door Company Polished concrete floor - Zeis Concrete Solutions Custom, master closet and pantry design - Smart Spaces



BONUS ROOM WITH A VIEW One of Mevold’s challenges was to find an interior space where the Jessen’s three children could run wild and have fun. Like most lake homes, this one did not have a basement, so instead Mevold looked upward to find the solution. “The attic was a pretty big space on the third level where the kids could go watch movies and play games and music, but it’s much better than a basement - they actually have a great view to the lake,” said Mevold.

“We are so grateful for Jan’s ability to create a home that measures up to the vision we had in our heads,” said Mariah Jessen. “This was no easy task because from the very first conception to the final product, our vision evolved. Between Jan, Phil, and all of the other individuals who were willing to share their ideas and provide solutions to various challenges, we now have the privilege of living in what we hope to be our ‘forever home’.”

The family care you need at a cost you can afford.

For more information, contact: Mevold Studio Jan Mevold 808 3rd Ave. S. Suite 400, Fargo, N.D. 701.306.2938

Call 701-356-6700 to book your appointment! 1555 43rd Street South, Fargo Christy Fetzer, DC

Fetzer Family Chiropractic is a provider with ChiroHealthUSA but also accepts most insurances.




Where We are at Today... A room by room recap of our first two years and favorite renovations Words by Maria Bosak Photos by M.Schleif Photography & Maria Bosak

A cousin of my husband Tate’s recently asked how long we have lived in our house. I started to say, “we just moved in last summer.” Then I paused and realized we have now been in our “new” home for two-and-a-half years. Where has the time gone? The old adage “time flies” has never been truer than it is right now as I look back over some of my favorite remodeling projects in our home.




Before / After

THE KITCHEN It’s hard not to start with the kitchen, the hub and heart of our home. This room is the most recently completed and the space where we spend most of our time. Just a couple of weeks ago, for the first time in the renovated kitchen, I was able to spend some time with a girlfriend and her daughter baking Christmas cookies. The giant island and double ovens were perfect, even for the messiest of baking endeavors.


THE GIRL’S GUEST ROOM The showstopper in this room is always the sliding barn doors covering the closet. While not necessary at all, given that this is a guest room and hardly seen, they were totally worth the added expense. I’m a firm believer that every room needs a focal point, (some eye candy) if you will. That one element that just makes the room come alive and sets it apart. You might say this room has two focal points because it’s hard not to notice the black 4-poster bed when you open the doors, but the stabilizing feature is the doors. I just love welcoming guests to stay in this room, it makes me happy to give them an inspiring and beautiful place to stay.

Before / After



THE GIRL’S BATHROOM THAT FLOOR, GOSH ... that floor! It was this cement tile flooring that made me re-evaluate my timeline for completing the remodeling on the entire house. What I mean by this is, I quickly realized that in order to get it done right, I was going to exceed the budget in every room (and that was just fine). Now when I say “right” it doesn’t mean that another selection of flooring wouldn’t have worked and done the job. It means that when I open the door to this room I smile, (I smile big) because I spent the extra money on the flooring I wanted and pushed back our deadline in order to save up for the other rooms. That is when you know you got it right. When you smile walking into a room. It just makes you happy. Don’t settle, not even in a bathroom, if the timeline and budget can be adjusted. Do it. Don’t rush, enjoy the process and get it right.

Before / After

THE LAUNDRY ROOM “It’s just the laundry room.” I heard that a few times, but once again we decided to make it fun and happy. Let’s be honest, nobody really loves doing laundry. So why not spice it up a bit and make the room one you love walking into. I’ve never had a laundry room that wasn’t just a storage area in the basement, so the thought of having a pretty room to sort, wash and dry was a dream come true.

Before / After


TATE’S BATHROOM A month doesn’t go by that Tate doesn’t remind me that out of all the rooms in the house that I designed, the one that HE designed, is the one that Country Living Magazine wanted to feature in their June issue this past summer. I pretend to be annoyed by it, but the truth is that I love this room because it is totally Tate, from the reclaimed vanity built by our friends at Grain Designs, to the kitchen sink he picked to place in the vanity - he wanted

Before / After

something he could get his elbows down into. This is complete Tate logic and I love it, but no need to tell him, he already knows.

THE CEDAR ROOM What was once a porch that was enclosed to avoid mosquitos, has become our primary living room. The evidence of a focal point is not hard to find in this room. The black French doors are the showstopper in this room. I almost didn’t order them when I found out that they would take eight weeks to get here, but luckily I did and I couldn’t be happier. We love that this room falls just off the kitchen so when guests want to be close to the action and the food, they don’t have to go far.

Before / After



Before / After

THE EXTERIOR There are days I have a hard time remembering what the house once looked like on the outside. The change has been so amazing. In the beginning, we struggled with the decision of whether or not to take down the rock wall and exactly where to place the new windows. It is another reason we are glad we took it slow, we feel like living in the space for a while gave us all the right answers. We still smile when the snow falls and we can sit in the front room and feel like we are outside in it. The new patio has given us a space to entertain and enjoy during all seasons and well, the color blue just makes my Duke-loving husband happy, so then I’m happy.

WHAT’S NEXT? We have two rooms left, the butler’s pantry and the main living room, but for right now, we will be pausing our remodeling project so we can focus on what really makes our house a home. Those whom we share it with. Tate and I began our current journey as foster parents about this time last year and we never expected that the hardest work we would do this year would be the work that is happening in our hearts. So, while the pretty French doors and the jaw-dropping cement tiles are fantastic, we need to spend time focusing on the real reason we purchased this home. Oh, don’t worry, we aren’t going anywhere, we have just developed a different pace for our current projects, one that puts snuggles in front of sheetrock. From our house to yours, Tate & Maria Bosak Want to connect with Maria? You can find her at her retail store Eco Chic in Fargo or drop her an email at

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A WALK IN THE WOODS The Morrison’s would love to live full-time in Montana, but with their careers here in full-swing, for now, they’re happy to call it their vacation home. Growing up, Kelsey Morrison’s family often spent time in Montana which is when her love for the rugged terrain began. After many trips to the area as a couple, her and her husband found themselves dreaming of someday building a home amidst the untouched landscape and mountain views.

EXTERIOR The couple finally saw their dream come alive when Morrison’s husband drew the plans and designed the cabin. After carefully planning out every detail, they eventually broke ground on the lakeside property in late summer of 2016. “We wanted to use as much reclaimed wood as possible throughout the home. So, in addition to the lumber and the wood you can see, we also used a lot of reclaimed wood structurally, wherever we could,” said Kelsey Morrison. Much of the cabin’s siding Seth and Ashley Carlson, Dakota Timber Company

From Midwest to Montana

is done in a reverse, board and batten, which is a common Montana style. All of the wood for the siding as well as the soffit, exterior porches, corbels, window trim, trusses and timbers are sourced from Dakota Timber Company.

A Reclaimed Retreat by Dakota Timber Company Words by Tracy Nicholson Photography by Dan Francis Photography & Dakota Timber Company

Kelsey Morrison and her husband may reside in the F-M area, but their life-long dream has led them to Northwestern Montana. Although we don’t typically show homes from outside of our area, the Morrison’s Montana vacation home happens to be primarily constructed using reclaimed wood from all over Minnesota and North Dakota. Kelsey Morrison’s husband first drew out and designed every inch of the cabin’s layout, with the reclaimed wood details left to her brother and sister-in-law, Seth and Ashley Carlson, owners of Dakota Timber Company. See inside the Morrison’s reclaimed, lakeside retreat with a spectacular mountain view.


“The only materials that are not reclaimed is the metal roof, doors, Cor-ten, cedar shakes and the actual framing of the house,” said Morrison. “Pretty much everything that we could use reclaimed wood on, we did. We purchased it all from Dakota Timber and it was sourced from all over the Midwest. A lot of it came from a farmstead in Minnesota.” Keeping the exterior’s look raw and natural was one of the Morrison’s main goals. Leaving the wood in its natural, reclaimed state allowed the property to blend into its environment. “I love the exterior siding and I feel like it’s something that should be utilized far more often in this area, especially with so many people in the Fargo area who have lake homes in Minnesota,” said Ashley Carlson. “People tend to spend a lot of time thinking about the interior of their home, then end up doing vinyl siding. What they don’t realize is that reclaimed wood can completely change the way a structure looks and it can actually be affordable.”


BLACK, WHITE & WOOD To obtain a rustic, timeless appeal for their Montana cabin, the Morrison’s chose mainly black fixtures to contrast with other white and wood elements. “Sometimes when you use a lot of different wood tones like we did, it can seem really busy, so I think it was good to keep everything else simple,” said Morrison. “One of the things that I like about the cabin is that sometimes when you think of reclaimed wood you think super rustic or really farmhouse,” said Ashley Carlson. “I think their cabin is the perfect blend of modern and rustic, so it’s got warmth, but it’s also very clean. I love the choice of those black fixtures. The combination of black, white and wood is so timeless.”

FIREPLACE FOCAL POINT In the main living space, the Morrison’s design centered around a real, wood-burning fireplace with a dry-stacked, stone surround. Wanting the mantle to wrap around the edges of the fireplace, they decided against a solid beam, in exchange for a custombuilt, box beam from reclaimed wood. On the main floor, the baseboard, trim work, and wide plank, Douglas fir flooring are all reclaimed wood from Dakota Timber Company. “The flooring being reclaimed is one of the most surprising things to people because they just assume it’s newer, wood flooring,” said Morrison. To get the finished look, Ashley Carlson explained that the wood flooring had been smooth-planed to take off any rough surfaces, then stained to their choice. “Dakota Timber Company manufactures flooring that is ready to install. That means it’s tongue-and-groove and end-matched so it can be installed just as you would any hardwood flooring,” said Ashley Carlson.

INTERIOR Inside, the main level of the cabin is around 1,500 square feet, with the unfinished basement doubling the footage. The main level features one bedroom and one-and-a-half baths, but eventually, the Morrisons plan to complete the basement which would add another bathroom, bunk room and living room. Emulating the exterior, the interior exudes warmth and character from its reclaimed elements. “One of the favorite elements, for a lot of people when they see our house is the ceiling which was made from reclaimed, Minnesota barn wood,” said Morrison. “We did a full, paneled ceiling in reclaimed wood, using burleigh, original and unfinished patina.” This style is a light-sanded mix of pine and fir in fixed widths to keep the boards uniform. Two extralong, solid ceiling beams from a grain elevator in North Dakota were chosen in contrasting tones to extend the length of the home.



OLD-GROWTH ELEGANCE The Morrison’s flooring was once from warehouse floor joists that Dakota Timber Company milled into flooring. “The nice thing about this style of flooring is that you get the character,” said Ashley Carlson. “There are nail holes and splits, but it’s graded. We grade out all of the wood that isn’t usable for flooring. So, this is nice and smooth, with some character, while still being a really functional floor.” “As far as the integrity of reclaimed flooring, it’s already lived its life in a different application,” said Ashley Carlson. “Everyone associates pine and fir as being a soft wood, which can be true when you have a fast-growth pine that’s grown to be milled into lumber. This type of wood is really old-growth and it’s had time to gain that structure and hardness which makes this such high-quality flooring. Also, the finishes that we apply to our reclaimed flooring is what we call, “bomb-proof,” so we’re using products that are really protecting the wood against scratching and denting.”

The Morrison’s custom dining table was built by Dakota Timber Company and delivered to its new Montana

In the master bedroom with a stunning view of the

home by Seth and Ashley Carlson themselves. To complement the table’s old-growth charm, Morrison

Montana landscape, a custom, live-edge bench

scoured the Eco Chic Junk Market until she found these antique chairs to coordinate.

was built for the foot of the bed.

DESIGNING WITH FAMILY With Seth Carlson and Kelsey Morrison being siblings, we wondered what it was like working together on new construction. “We pretty much put our builder in touch with Seth and Ashley right away,” said Morrison. “We didn’t really get in the middle of that and just trusted their ideas. It was definitely a little challenging because we weren’t physically in Montana and our builder wasn’t here, so we just had to make sure that everyone was communicating.” “I don’t think Roger, our builder, had ever worked with that much reclaimed wood, but he had a really good time working with it. I know he loved how it all turned out. Even though we weren’t able to be there every week to see the progress, it all went really smoothly,” said Morrison. “Our builder was amazing and Seth loved working with him. We spent a lot of time planning it and a lot of time on the design and all of the little details. It was a long process even before they started construction.”

Using wood windows throughout is not as common as vinyl windows have become, but for the Morrison’s Montana cabin, it’s a look that blended seamlessly with their surroundings. “Our builder, Roger, had to manually stain all of the wood pieces of the windows, so it was a lot more time consuming than installing vinyl, but I think it looks much nicer in this environment,” said Morrison.

PERFECTLY IMPERFECT “When you look at the inside wood finishes, from the flooring to the ceiling, nothing matches perfectly,” said Morrison. “I had to kind of get over that, and realize that it’s all just wood, it doesn’t need to match. In the end, it all turned out well and came together. The color I chose for the flooring was the one thing that I didn’t like at first, it just seemed too warm compared to the ceiling. But, I ended up really liking it. I just had to get past the idea that everything had to match. By keeping some of the other things really simple it kept it from seeming busy.” Usually, people who love reclaimed wood, tend to love imperfection almost more than perfection. “I’m working with a client right now and they want every single piece of wood to be the same and I have to remind them that’s it’s reclaimed wood,” said Seth Carlson. “Even if you use new

One of the only rooms in the house that is not centered around reclaimed wood,

wood, everything is going to vary a little. The thing that you have to accept

is the kitchen. This space was designed with custom cabinetry in a traditional,

if you want to use wood in your house, is that it’s a natural product and it’s

shaker-style, accented by black iron hardware. Quartz countertops, a farmhouse

going to vary. We see people all of the time that are concerned about that

sink, white subway tile and glass pendants help subtly fuse rustic elements with

in the design process, but once it’s in their house, they think it’s amazing.”

more contemporary amenities.



Since January marks Dakota Timber Company’s one-year anniversary in their new, larger location, we asked Seth Carlson to tell us what’s in store for year two here.




According to Seth Carlson, one new trend that’s

Live-edge slabs have been popular for some time

coming up fast is wood tiles in varying shapes

now, but lately, there’s been a surge of people

like hexagons, triangles, octagons and even a

stopping in to choose their slab and create their

herringbone design. He’s already been getting

own table, bench or artistic masterpiece. “I work

requests for them from people that have seen

with the City of Fargo on this, so when trees are

them online. Shapes like these can be done in

diseased on the boulevard, they have to get taken

more of a mosaic design versus the usual paneling

down. Every summer they’re removing all of these

style. “We are also releasing all of our new finishes

trees and we buy the logs and we saw them into

and styles in January,” said Seth Carlson. “We want

slabs, then kiln-dry and plane them so people

to provide a unique selection that no one else has,

can use them. We usually have around 100-200

so we update them every year now.”

in-stock and they sell out every three weeks. So, the big new thing is “Urban Wood”, straight from the streets of Fargo,” laughed Seth Carlson. “I’m actually in the process of meeting with all of the major cities in North Dakota and setting up more programs like this one, so we can get logs in from every community.”

THE NEW LUMBERYARD CONCEPT A visit to Dakota Timber Company is not your

of her time online, helping to promote their latest

typical lumberyard stop. Since marrying into the

projects and in-store events, classes and new DIY

business, Ashley Carlson has closed down her

kits, all via social media.

shop, aendee, to take on a bigger role at Dakota Timber Company. She’s used her business skills to

“We’re trying to make it as easy as we can for people

create a shopper-friendly store and fun experience.

to utilize this material,” said Ashley Carlson. “Just

Choosing the right stain, species and overall look

simply by naming our paneling styles and having

can be an overwhelming task, but Ashley Carlson

someone be able to hop on our website and ask

shows that with a little organization and creative

questions has been huge. We’ve also done some

For more information, contact:

display, this task can be an enjoyable one. A trip to

standardization of finishes and sizing, so it just

Dakota Timber Company

their lumberyard means perusing beams, panels,

makes it a little easier for people to understand.

3202 7th Ave N., Fargo, N.D.

slabs and an array of finishes, perfectly sectioned

This space has been great too, because we have


out, displayed and named. She also spends much

everything under one roof.”

ELTA D DESIGN & CONST. 701-235-1212 ns


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Remodeling with Style! 701-235-1212

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Seamless Siding • Gutters • Rain Chains • Cement Board • Specialized Metal Panels


Make something with us!


218-287-0240 | 1805 23rd St S. Moorhead OTW©2016

Lemke_082416 HS KC


Monochromatic Makeover Words by Trever Hill Photos by J. Alan Paul Photography

Every great design project starts with a great consultation. After meeting with Sarah and Sean Fredricks and seeing their home, I knew this project was going to be fun and create a dramatic transformation. They loved their Charleswood home, but just desired a few updates to the overall finishes. After pulling together the finish choices and proposing them to the Fredricks, the tone was set. We would focus on a monochromatic space vying to keep each room’s color and textures, warm and homey.




In the kitchen, I worked with the Fredricks to choose all new finishes including cabinet paint, stain, hardware and lighting. Since the existing flooring was just replaced a few years back from Carpet World, there was no need to replace it. I selected tile from Floor to Ceiling and devised this layered, tile backsplash design.



To help the Fredricks visualize the finished look of each room, Rebecca Knutson at Floor to Ceiling aided the process by offering renderings to show how each of the finishes would come together.

We reconfigured the dining room with all new, custom furnishings for a fresh look. Regarding the sliding doors and spacial flow, I felt a round table would work better and provide a more Find the Finishes:

comfortable flow. I found this gorgeous table

Countertops - Calcutta Quartz, Northern Stone

and coordinating chairs while at the Las Vegas

Cabinet paint and island stain - Weyer-for-Hire

Market. We changed the blinds on the main

Hardware - Floor to Ceiling Carpet One

level as well to keep it consistent throughout

Flooring - Carpet World

the space. To brighten up and modernize the

Pendant lighting - Four Hands, McNeal & Friends

space, I had the built-ins painted white and

Barstools - McNeal & Friends

the walls painted a warm grey tone.



Find the Finishes: Dining table - Gabby, (Las Vegas Market) McNeal & Friends Chairs - Jeffan, (Las Vegas Market) McNeal & Friends Area rug - McNeal & Friends Painted tumbleweed - found in Western North Dakota Blinds - Budget Blinds




In the living room, we updated their fireplace by building the entire wall out and refacing the tile. I also opted to extend the tile from floor to ceiling to create a beautiful focal point and illusion of height. I love that the ceramic tile looks like brick on the fireplace. All of the furnishings in this space were custom ordered through an array of local stores like SCHEELS Home & Hardware, Eco Chic, HOM Furniture, The Furniture Mart and McNeal & Friends. Find the Finishes: Sectional - Custom ordered from The Furniture Mart Accent chair - Rachel Ray, HOM furniture Accent pillows - McNeal & Friends Area rug - McNeal & Friends Sofa table - The Furniture Mart Fireplace tile - Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Built-ins and floating shelves - painted/stained by Weyer-for-Hire Ottoman - SCHEELS Home & Hardware Fiddle leaf tree - Eco Chic


The Fredricks wanted their master bath to emulate

Find the Finishes:

a spa. To make this happen, yet continue the overall

Tile - Floor to Ceiling Carpet One

look and feel of the home, we went with neutrals and

Countertop - Suede-finished Quartz

again a clean, monochromatic look. For a dramatic

- Floor to Ceiling Carpet One

effect, we extended the vanity backsplash to the

Pendants - McNeal & Friends

ceiling and swapped out the original vanity lights for

Art and accessories - McNeal & Friends

ceiling pendants. Finishing touches like the unique,

Cabinet and wall paint - Weyer-for-Hire

suede-finished quartz countertop and gorgeous drop

Mirrors - Target

pendants completed their spa-like retreat.


Since the entryway opens to the stairwell and it’s the first thing guests see upon arrival, updating this space was important to the overall design. We worked with Weyer-for-Hire to re-finish the wood railing, giving the space a sleek and contemporary vibe. We almost painted the hand-railing white until Shannon Simon, the designer from Floor to Ceiling, suggested we go with a dark stain to better coordinate with the island and floating shelves. I’m so glad we went with her advice and did the darker stain. It really complimented the space well. The final piece was updating the stairwell’s chandelier. It’s a definite focal point, so we swapped this out for a beautiful, three-pendant fixture that clusters downward, creating an almost waterfall effect. Find the Finishes: Large art - The Furniture Mart Branches - SCHEELS Home & Hardware Chandelier - Four Hands, McNeal & Friends Stairwell light - Four Hands, McNeal & Friends Stained railing - Weyer for Hire

Before/After INSIGHT FROM THE HOMEOWNER “Working with Trever was so easy from our perspective. He took some time to get to know us early in the process and incorporated our tastes into his overall vision for our house,” said homeowner Sarah Fredricks. “From there, he kept us engaged in decision-making, but otherwise we trusted Trever’s vision and he took care of the rest. The final results are incredible. Trever created beautiful spaces for us that basically define our tastes in ways we could have never envisioned on our own, and certainly could not have created on our own. Our house feels almost elegant, but with a charm that feels like home. That sort of defines Trever’s talent.”

For more information, contact: Trever Hill Design


Next-Door Re-Design Words by Tracy Nicholson & Christy Brawner Photography by Dan Francis Photography



The Clara Barton neighborhood is known for the kindness of its neighbors, but when Air Force veteran and retired special education teacher, Steve Street moved back into his South Fargo home, little did he know he’d soon be relying on the interior design expertise of his next-door neighbor, Christy Brawner. After a kitchen sink flooded and caused thousands of dollars in damage, Street leaned on Brawner and a fellow veteran, Robert Myers of Crestview Construction, to help fix the damage and redesign the home he could happily retire to.

After the








Street is an Air Force veteran and retired special

Brawner and Street interviewed four different

Steamatic to clean up the aftermath. Instead of a

education teacher turned mentor. Twenty years

contractors prior to this project. Myers had worked

simple clean-up, he got an unexpected surprise,

ago he had resided in this home, but had moved

for Haugen Masonry prior, then recently decided

with the crew finding lead paint in the kitchen

around to pursue his career, teaching special

to start his own contracting business after being

and asbestos in the basement. Street talked to



deployed overseas for a year. “That was a big factor

his financial planner and decided instead of just

University of Moorhead, University of North Dakota

for us,” said Brawner. “Steve is a veteran and when

fixing the damage, maybe it was time to remodel

and finally retiring from Winona State four years

he was interviewing contractors with me, he liked

his outdated home. Brawner of Christy Brawner

ago. After retirement, he moved back into the

the idea of supporting another veteran’s dream.”

Interiors and Myers started work on the project

home as his primary residence. Street’s sister, Lynn

just after Labor Day.

McCullough has recently moved to Fargo and will

“When we sit and have dinner, we can see the

be living with him. She is a retired graphic designer

house and my daughter Cate will say, ‘Rob and

who once worked for Lyndon B. Johnson’s wife in

his dad are working late tonight, mom’,” laughed

the White House.

Brawner. “They’ve kind of become part of our





family as well.”


NEIGHBORLY LOVE When you’re a neighbor to your design client, it can offer a bigger hint into the client’s lifestyle. “I can actually see in Steve’s kitchen window from my baby’s bedroom, and we see him every morning sitting there reading and having his coffee,” said Brawner. “So we knew that was his spot. At the end of the day, I just think everyone should be able to have a house they love, especially from a quality-of-life standpoint.”

THRIFTY RE-DESIGN After the kitchen flooded, the remodel was an added expense so Brawner did the entire project on a strict budget. “The idea was to keep all of the upper cabinets so that we could save money. We got bids on custom cabinetry from three different contractors and ended up going with Menards, unfinished oak,” said Brawner. “We then painted them all to match, then matched all of the hardware, so if you didn’t know better, you would think they all went together. Steve loved the color green in his room and on the exterior of his house, so that’s kind of how we decided to go with the soft green coloring in the kitchen.” Brawner and Street also chose an inexpensive boxstore, tile flooring that flowed from the kitchen to the entryway and also in the bathroom remodel. Throughout the home, Brawner opted to paint the original wood trim white to brighten up the space. “Robert was very hesitant about letting me paint the original wood trim white, but after seeing it, I think he was a believer,” laughed Brawner.

BREAKFAST NOOK ON A BUDGET “As you can see from the before photos, the kitchen was open, but very tight. It used to have a little table by the window and that is where he spent most of his time,” said Brawner. “He didn’t have a big kitchen and didn’t have a lot of storage. To create a new breakfast nook for him, we used the upper cabinets underneath here, so it added a ton of storage for him. Robert built up a base for us, so he has all of that storage under there. Then we created a counter here and we’re adding a second bar stool. He can sit here and have breakfast, so it becomes kind of a feature in the kitchen.







“For the countertops, we looked at granite and

“This is a $250 light that we got at Habitat for

For the appliances, it paid to shop around. Brawner

quartz, but from a cost perspective, it just made

Humanity ReStore for $50,” said Brawner. “The

went to all of the local stores to find the best

more sense to go with a laminate,” said Brawner.

light over the breakfast nook was a $400 Wayfair

pricing on each appliance. “Christy started talking

“What they do with laminate styles now is crazy,

light that I got on closeout for $40. When it came,

about stainless steel appliances and how much

most people would never know unless you looked

it was not the right color, so I spray painted the

better they would fit and I just asked if I could

closely that this was not the real thing. We decided

outside and kept the original silver on the inside.

have a dishwasher. I’d never had one before,” said

to go with this and he loved the warmth of it. I

It’s a little higher then we would like, but we also


think it really tied the design together. To save

didn’t want Steve to bump his head on it.”


money, I got the two boxes of the limestone backsplash from Habitat for Humanity ReStore


for ten dollars. When we put it up, we realized

Another of the homeowner’s favorite features in

we didn’t have quite enough so we got an accent

For the rest of the design, Brawner shopped

the remodel is the removal of a base cabinet and

tile for $60. For the knobs, these were ones I had

around. “We did some thrift store shopping and

upper cabinet near the kitchen door. This opened

picked out and ended up finding them at Habitat’s

added the little accent shelf from Grain Designs.

up the space and allowed for the door to fully

ReStore for two dollars each which allowed me to

I also went to Junk Market and got some of the

open, instead of hitting cabinets.

spend a bit more on the others.”

fun accessories you see around the kitchen,” said Brawner.


“In the entry area, there was one door here, so we opened it up and moved the vent over,” said Brawner. “There was also carpet in the entryway leading into the kitchen area. The water from the flooded area had gone underneath the carpet pad and caused a lot of damage. So, we took the tile to


“At the end of the day, I just think everyone should be able to have a house they love, especially from a quality-of-life standpoint.”

the point where it was damaged and that actually

Christy Brawner, Christy Brawner Interiors

made more sense. Especially since it’s the area where you enter the home. We decided to keep the entry’s wallpaper and just paint it to coordinate with the rest of the remodel. Wallpaper’s definitely coming back in, so it worked out very well.”

PHASE II: NOTES FROM THE DESIGNER, CHRISTY BRAWNER “The next phase of the project will be to work on Steve’s family room and the bedrooms. We’re ordering furniture and we’re almost ready to hang the curtains in the family room. Then we’ll move on to the two bedrooms, which he wants just lightened and brightened.” “His sister has recently moved in with him, so it’s important to have the bedroom projects done soon. They’ve been staying in a hotel during the remodel. We also have to repair one of the bedroom walls which has water damage from the shower on the other side. The final phase will be to demo and reframe the basement. This new space will accommodate an entertainment room, bathroom and additional bedroom. Steve had lived primarily on the main level, but with his sister moving in, it was important to create enough space and privacy for the two of them. We’re also considering turning the basement’s bedroom into a larger master bedroom for him so he would then have an upstairs guest bedroom.”

The Remodel: Contractor - Robert Myers - Crestview Construction Interior Design - Christy Brawner Interiors Backsplash tile - Habitat for Humanity ReStore Sink - Costco Upper cabinetry - Menards Kitchen overhead light - Habitat for Humanity ReStore Nook light - Wayfair Wood shelf - Grain Designs Breakfast nook stool - Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch Water Restoration - Steamatic Restoration & Cleaning

“The bathroom was all pink when we started, so we painted it a soft grey with blue undertones,” said Brawner. “It’s a pretty small bathroom, so we took some of the cabinetry out to create more space. The hexagon tile was a closeout tile that I found while out shopping one day. This entire strip cost about $50, and what a difference it makes to create that custom look.”




Cheers to a Happier & More Organized 2018! Words by Ursula Hegvik Portrait by Dan Francis Photography Photos by Amanda Schenfisch, Smart Spaces

Ahhhhhh, a new year! A time of fresh beginnings, positivity and resolutions. I am a big believer in setting goals, writing them down or better yet, printing them out and putting them on my bathroom wall, so I’m reminded every day of how I want to improve myself and my life.

For the last couple of years, getting organized is

things that it hurt my brain. I groaned, I moaned

on that list of goals and I’m not sure it will ever

and I complained. “I can’t do this!,” I wailed. “Get

come off. And I’ll be honest, I have a love/hate

to work,” Denise said. So, I did. Sometimes we all

relationship with getting organized. I abhor the

need to be bossed around, right?

process. I have a dear friend and personal organizer who comes over and we tackle projects that

During any clean-out, many of the items can go in

literally make me groan. For example, we recently

the trash. Anyone need a bunch of old tile? Don’t

cleaned out the closet under the stairs, where I

call me, cause it’s finally gone, ha! There is also

keep Christmas decorations and apparently ...

always a donation pile. The “keep” stuff goes in

extra tile from 30 years ago that is no longer in

different piles - with one pile for things that will

the house, extra pieces of carpet that have also

go back into that closet, in an organized fashion, of

been long gone and various other things I didn’t

course. And different piles for anything that needs

know I owned. So, we brought everything out of

to move to different places of the home.

the dark and laid it all out. There were so many



DISASTER ZONE RULES The rule is, if I’m going to keep it, I have to actually put these things away in their new spot. Sometimes I can’t find the right spot and decide I don’t need that item after all, so in the trash or donation pile it goes. And let me tell you, getting all of that junk out of the house, feels amazing. So, that’s what I love about getting organized. That feeling, the euphoria. The nirvana of a more organized space. There are few things in life better than getting all that junk out of the house. So that’s what I love about getting organized. That feeling, the euphoria, the nirvana of a more organized space. I love knowing that next time I need to visit that previous disaster zone, I’ll be able to find exactly what I’m looking for in 30 seconds. These feelings make all the trauma worth it. It’s such a fantastic sense of accomplishment. It’s the equivalent of “runner’s high” for the organizational part of my brain. So this is what I’ve been talking about, people! THAT feeling. Getting organized has the ability to transform all aspects of your life and maybe even jump start your goals. And guess what? The whole process I mentioned earlier took under an hour. It always seems like it’s going take all day, but it doesn’t, I promise. I encourage you to try it with one small area; your kid’s closet, the laundry room or maybe just start with your kitchen junk drawer. And please, don’t spend all day on a big project, go have some fun too!

TRANSFORMING SPACES TRANSFORMS YOUR LIFE There is one area that I actually do love and am passionate about, and that’s transforming closets and other areas of the home. When you start and end your day with organized spaces, you will be more at peace, tapped into that organizational higher level of zen. So, I’d like to share some examples of transformations that might inspire your own organizational goals.

GET STARTED There are many things you can do to declutter and organize your home. Here are just a few that may help you to get started: 1. Make a very specific list of areas that need attention. 2. Tackle small projects one at a time so it’s not so overwhelming. 3. Commit to one or two small projects each weekend and put it on your calendar so you’ve carved out time and have to do it. 4. Invite a friend over or hire a personal organizer to boss you around. 5. Be brutal with throwing things away and/or donating. 6. If you think you want to keep something, but it’s a “maybe,” that’s ok. Put the maybe items in a box and deliver that box to a super inconvenient place in the house or your freezing garage. If you don’t go searching for something in that box after a few months, it’ll be easier to part with at a later date.





In my business, we hear it all the time, “There’s probably nothing you can do for this closet because it’s so small.” Au contraire. I advocate on behalf of small closets everywhere, because in small closets, every inch counts.

Before/After Before/After

The first set of “before” and “after” photos is a rather dramatic example of a system that actually fell off of the wall, and you’d be surprised how many calls we get about that. In the “after” photo, you can see how there is now a place for everything, with more than twice the amount of both hanging and shelf space. This small closet is now a proud one.

In the second set, you can see how the “before” closet was so dysfunctional. Hanging above totes and shelves makes things hard to see, the clothes are packed in too tightly, and there’s a serious lack of shelf space. It functions better, things are easier to see, and it’s also easier to keep everything organized.





Ugh, talk about a feeling...if your mudroom or entryway is a disaster every day, how does it feel trying to get out the door? It’s already hectic and you’re likely yelling at your kids to hurry up (or is that just me?!), you can’t find a shoe that’s buried under eight other ones, a glove is missing its partner and both of your kid’s hats are awol. If you open the door after a long day and see shoes everywhere, coats slung wherever they landed and backpacks half open in your path, it’s time to stop the madness. Everything needs a place.


The most important thing most mudroom/entry areas need is shoe shelves. Everyone in the family has shoes and boots, and they just cannot be all over the floor. That’ll drive anyone crazy. Of course, hanging space is important, and hooks for backpacks and kid’s coats. It’s also nice to have baskets for hats, gloves and socks. My favorite tip for this area of the home is to keep socks near the shoes. If I didn’t have that in my house, I would have to remind my kids every single day to run back upstairs to their rooms and grab socks. Why not keep them by the shoes? That makes life so much easier, and there’s less yelling. Win-win. This after photo gives me a sense of peace and I love how the client dressed up the area with cool wallpaper and yellow hooks. It’s such a happier and more organized room.





Have you ever bought a spice, only to come home and discover you already have three of the exact same spice, all open and half gone? Or sifted through your canned food, in search of donation items for some event, and wonder why on earth you have seven cans of refried beans? Can your kids go in and easily find their school snacks? Do you have nine boxes of granola bars, but really there is only one bar in each box? If so, we can relate, and you can have peace knowing that there is a solution.


This is an example of a small pantry underneath stairs. The shelves aren’t tall enough

For more information, contact:

for cereal boxes, the back wall is not optimized, and there just isn’t enough storage

Smart Spaces

space for everything this pantry needs to hold. The “after” photo shows the importance

Ursula Hegvik

and convenience of adjustable shelving in pantries so that you can have taller spaces

5226 51st Ave S. Fargo, N.D.

for things like cereal and shorter shelving for things like canned goods. This client was


able to fit a lot more in the space, have it look much nicer and certainly provide that

sense of calm rather than the former chaos. Happy organizing, everyone! Wishing you joy and peace this year!


Cha-Ching Checking


NMLS #414694

1001 1st Avenue N, Fargo • 701.235.2832 2401 45th Street S, Fargo • 701.356.0073

1407 Hwy 10 W, Dilworth • 701.356.1360

Buying or Selling a Home? | 4342 15th Ave. S, Fargo ND | 701.492.5050


give back

Pete Christopher, Pat Traynor and Jim Nelson

#GIVINGHEARTSDAY February 8, 2018 Words by Tracy Nicholson Photography by Dan Francis Photography Home Photos provided by Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity

give back


If you thought Valentine’s Day was the only notable holiday in February, there’s one more day you need to mark on your calendar. Before you express your love to your significant other, we ask that you open your heart to Giving Hearts Day on February 8. Since 2008, Dakota Medical Foundation and Impact Foundation have been helping local charities engage with the community. Their efforts have paid off thanks to nearly 22,000 generous donors last year. Together we’re becoming the most generous region on the planet. This year, with nearly 400 local and regional charities in need, they’ve set a new goal of attracting 50,000 Giving Hearts. So, when February 8 rolls around, grab your smartphone, choose the charities that touch your heart and give back whatever you can. Every dollar matters.

Pat Traynor, Dakota Medical Foundation

Jim Nelson, Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A GIVING HEART? According to Pat Traynor, Executive Director of Dakota Medical Foundation, a Giving Heart is rooted in kindness and compassion. “People are already Giving Hearts, we’re just providing another pathway to express their love for someone else, their community, their fellow human being, kids, those who are down-and-out and animals. We have something for everyone. That’s what’s so good, it’s not the government saying that you will support this. Giving is voluntary, it’s not compulsory. Remember that saying, ‘God loves a cheerful giver,’? Well, that’s the great thing about this, it’s cheerful and it’s fun. Since this is supposed to be a fun experience, you might see some goofy things that we do to engage the community. We want to spark the energy of people, spark more Giving Hearts.”

Pete Christopher, Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity

HEART-BUILT HOMES To find out just how these donations can make an impact, we spoke to one of the nearly 400 worthy causes which make up Giving Hearts Day. Our friends at Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity walked us through the challenges they face and the hope of offering people a new start through building “Heart-Built” homes. “When we build homes at Habitat, we refer to them as ‘Heart-Built’ homes. These homes are about the love, the care and the kindness that our volunteers and our partner families put into each home. So, when we think about Giving Hearts Day, it really aligns well with our mission,” said Jim Nelson, Executive Director at Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity. This year, there are 50 partner families waiting for a home, but each home requires a site to build on, donated materials, labor, money and plenty of volunteers. Up until this year, it had been a struggle to find lots, but in 2018, lot donations have already been solidified. What they always need is monetary donations and volunteers. With two builds in the works, their goal is to build a third and that relies heavily on their success on Giving Hearts Day.

give back


QUALIFYING PARTNER FAMILIES How do families get qualified for the program? We asked Pete Christopher, Resource Development and Marketing Manager for Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity to explain the details. “We look for three things. A need, willingness to partner and the ability to repay,” said Christopher. “We have a committee that gets all of our applications. It’s made up of mostly volunteers and we have one staff person on that committee. They look at all of those applications and sort through them, first based on income, because they do have to repay the cost of construction, then we do many interviews and reference checks. We also do home visits to determine their need. We see a lot of people that are living in unsafe or unhealthy environments, places that many of us wouldn’t want to set foot in. Then, there’s willingness to partner. All of our families have to put in more than 250 hours of sweat equity per adult. That’s part of the process, they cannot move in until that is completed. Part of that interview process is feeling that out to see how they are going to partner with us and represent Habitat after the build.”

PAYING IT FORWARD As with every charity, there are misconceptions. For Habitat, one of the common myths is that Habitat homes are free. In reality, Habitat homeowners repay the cost of their home over 30 years through a non-profit mortgage program. Habitat needs to raise the money initially to build the homes however, since the families are making their mortgage payments over 30 years. Homes are kept affordable by using volunteer labor, and all donations to Habitat get doubled over time since our partner families “pay forward” the cost of their homes. The mortgage payments help pay our operating costs and help build future homes.

“Giving Hearts Day is such an amazing event for people to recognize nonprofits that mean the most to them. Habitat for Humanity has been recognized by many people on this day and it helps our organization impact more lives each year with a place to call home.” Angie McCarthy, Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity Board President, Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.

give back




Habitat is well-known for building homes annually, but many forget about

Regardless of whether you donate dollars, one thing everyone can do is spread

Habitat ReStore or don’t understand the concept. “It’s really one organization,

the word. If there’s a charity or a cause you care about, save your Throwback

Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity and within that, we have the ReStore which

Thursday photo for another day and remind your friends and family that

is a second-hand building materials store, that helps fund our mission. It’s open

Thursday, February 8 is Giving Hearts Day and there are nearly 400 regional

to the public and carries new items and gently-used items and materials. We

charities that need our help.

have construction items, furniture, plumbing, paint and everything in between.


If you’re looking for something, chances are you can probably find it here. Plus,


we have free popcorn,” laughed Nelson.

MARK YOU CALENDARS & START SHARING! FRIENDRAISING To find out how our region can reach a goal of 50,000 giving hearts, we asked Pat Traynor, Executive Director of Dakota Medical Foundation. “Our fundamental belief is that if you just ask someone to help, they will say ‘Sure, how?’. People just need to know how. So, our role in Giving Hearts Day is helping charities

January 29 - February 8, 2018 Make sure to check out Midwest Nest Magazine’s Facebook page and Instagram to view two, special DIY heart projects created by Trever Hill Design and Habitat for Humanity. Share our post and you’ll be registered to win one of two creative projects for your home.

engage with their community. It really becomes an awareness thing. If people

Here’s a sneak peek of Habitat’s Giving Heart’s

know about a need and someone connects them to the need, they’ll help

Day DIY project created by Pete Christopher,

every time,” said Traynor. “Giving Hearts gives them a platform for that and to

Resource Development & Marketing Manager

celebrate all of these Giving Hearts in the region.”

for Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity. When you see this and Trever Hill Design’s project

When Giving Hearts Day started in 2008, it was a DMF staff member, Jeana

on our Facebook, share the post for your

Peinovich who came up with the idea. “We had 1,500 contributions that first

chance to take home the prize!

year. Back then, the website was brand new and people weren’t comfortable giving online. All of the charities combined raised $479,000,” said Traynor. “Because if they don’t do the work of engaging, it doesn’t work. Giving Hearts Day doesn’t work without charities that know what they’re doing to

For more information, contact:

‘Friendraise’. Fast forward to 2017 and 22,000 individuals gave 51,000 gifts, so

Dakota Medical Foundation / Impact Foundation

that’s 2.2 gifts per person, on average.”

4141 28th Avenue South, Fargo, N.D. 701.271.0263

“It’s $10 to start, then we can go up from there. Whether it’s rescuing animals,

sheltering the homeless, feeding the hungry, providing education, healthcare

Facebook: @givingheartsday

or building homes, there are around 400 causes to choose from,” said Traynor.

Twitter: @givingheartsday

“When we started, we only had 40. Why is that happening? Because people

Instagram: @givingheartsday

are generous and we live in the most generous place on earth. We just need to make sure everybody’s asked. Our goal is to get everyone engaged somehow in the habit of being a Giving Heart all year, not just on Giving Hearts Day.”

Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity 210 N 11th St, Moorhead, MN 218.284.5253


Giving Hearts Day co-hosts, Dakota Medical Foundation, Impact Institute and

Habitat Restore

Alex Stern Family Foundation have spent extensive time, money and energy to

210 N 11th St, Moorhead, MN

ensure a user-friendly experience for donors, taking into account the surge of


smartphones. On Giving Hearts Day, the donations go directly to each charity


that you choose. When you’re on, just type in a keyword,

Wed-Friday: 10a.m. - 6p.m.

name, zip code or category to find a charity to love.

Saturday: 10a.m. - 4p.m.


Shabby Chic in Rocking Horse Farm

Homeowners, Kelly, Joe and their daughter Mia accompanied by their four-legged friends Milo (left) and Sophie.



Words by Tracy Nicholson Photography by Angela Ridl - Foto Art & Design & Dan Francis Photography Headshots by Gabe Haney at Haney’s Photography

For the Kerbers who both work in the medical field, coming home meant replacing their sterile work environment with a warmer, farmhouse-chic ambiance. Joe Kerber, a chiropractor at Strive Chiropractic and his wife Kelly, an Internal Medicine Physician at Sanford, recently completed their Krueger Construction build in the coveted Rocking Horse Farm development in South Fargo. See how this creative team was able to overrule the reigning trend of white trim and cabinets, in lieu of richer, inviting tones.

CUSTOMIZATION & CRAFTSMANSHIP At just under 4,900 square feet, this beautiful,

“They customized the layout of the lower-level

“It was really fun working with the Kerbers and

Krueger Construction home is fully finished,

theater space and master bedroom suite, taking

building this house because a lot of their personality

including the bonus room and lower level. Based

space from one of the upstairs guest rooms to

came through in it - instead of doing what was on

on an existing Ana Beth two-story plan, the Kerbers

create a larger master closet and bath. Kristi

trend or popular at the time. They went with their

worked closely with the design team at Krueger to

(Krueger Roscoe) our design director, worked with

gut for what they liked and it turned out gorgeous,”

customize the space to suit their growing family.

the Kerber family in every selection from start to

said design director, Kristi Krueger Roscoe.

“This floor plan, like many of our plans, was a bit

finish. It’s been so fun to see the collaborative

of a passion project for me as I initially designed

effort, both on our end of things as well as with the

the plan for myself,” said Kimberly Krueger Tehan.

Kerber family, to make this house a truly custom home,” said Krueger Tehan.



IVORY VS. WHITE Feeling that the white cabinetry trend was a bit too sterile for two medical professionals, the Kerbers opted instead for an antiqued, ivory cabinetry with a shabby chic appeal. “Kelly fell in love with this antiqued ivory, so my stepfather played with some variations and she loved the Poplar version that you see here in the kitchen,” said Joe Kerber. It’s not every day that the homeowner will ask to bring in their own subcontractor, but in this case, Krueger Construction was happy to work with Joe Kerber’s stepfather, J.L. Rosewood for the custom cabinetry throughout the home. Throughout the main level, the Kerbers chose a







Adding a pop of color, the Kerbers chose a colored subway tile to pair with Kelly Kerber’s favorite


dimensional planks. “What we loved about this

For homeowner Kelly Kerber, a love of vintage,

tone, a more vintage version of Robin’s egg blue.

project, aside from the awesome family we got

farmhouse and antiqued furniture helped inspire

“We’re seeing a lot of fun takes on subway tile,

to work with, was watching the design selections

the home’s finished design. “I think I’d call our

especially tile with more dimension and movement

come together,” said Krueger Tehan

style more of a shabby chic. I like things that look

in it,” said Krueger Roscoe. “They also opted for

older, but I don’t have a lot of actual antiques.

an extra-large and deep, 10-foot quartz island

When I thought about what style we wanted, I

with farmhouse sink, giving them plenty of usable

really wanted to come home and feel cozy and

space.” To complete the kitchen’s warmer, vintage

comfortable,” said Kelly Kerber.

appeal, the Kerbers chose Pottery Barn glass

WARM VS. WHITE “I think sometimes doing all white can seem too sterile and cold, so I liked having that warm feeling to come home to. Also, with kids, I think a painted white can be harder to keep clean, so those are the two reasons we went with the darker stain,” said Kelly Kerber. “I’m glad we chose the antiqued white for the cabinets though, it’s still a lighter tone, so it brightens up the space.” “We’ve seen so many versions of white, gray, greige and general cool tones over the past few years, so it was really fun to help them find more of a warm color palette with their darker wood trim package, creamy kitchen cabinet colors and warm touches in their paint, flooring, reclaimed wood accents and stone throughout their home,” said Krueger Tehan. “The pop of the cooler blue pairs beautifully with how they’ve decorated their spaces.”

The Kerbers love to entertain, so having ample seating in the dining room was a must. Their Restoration Hardware nine-foot table expands with two additional sleeves, giving them another three feet for larger family functions. To create their signature, farmhouse decor, the Kerbers found a cut, wine barrel centerpiece and double hutch in antique ivory from Pottery Barn.

pendants and Restoration Hardware linen chairs.


Main Floor

The Kerbers worked with Krueger to bring character to every space of the home, including the main floor’s powder bath with reclaimed wood planks from Grain Designs.

With an open concept flow from the kitchen, the family room became a major focal point with its stunning, stone fireplace and Grain Designs mantle and floating shelves. Antiqued ivory built-ins bring a more traditional warmth with modern elements like the darker toned ceiling, adding interest and depth. Just off of the entry, through rustic barn doors, the Kerbers office features a Restoration Hardware bookshelf, ladder and lower filing space to serve as the focal point of their office space.

Find the Finishes: Foyer and dining room lights - Restoration Hardware Foyer bench - Grain Designs Cabinetry - R.L. Rosewood Family room sofa - Crate & Barrel




To create this stunning master suite, the Kerbers worked with Jimmy Tehan and Kristi Krueger Roscoe to alter the original layout. By simply taking space from an extra guest room, they were able to create a much larger closet and spacious master bath with added character from reclaimed wood.

For the Kerbers, a bonus room meant being able to provide the perfect, shabby chic hang-out for their daughter Mia



The Kerbers had Grain Designs create the counter for this floating desk in their upstairs hallway space.


Lower Level

Elevating the warmth of the lower level, the Kerbers chose a craftsman style fireplace with lower built-ins and reclaimed wood hanging shelves and mantle by Grain Designs.




A SPACE FOR GATHERING Creating the perfect gathering space, project manager, Jimmy Tehan, helped design a new layout for the lower level to accommodate the theater, wine/coffee bar, fireplace nook and guest suite. The wine and coffee bar is accented with a farmhouse pendant, highlighting the reclaimed, wood backsplash with wood from Dakota Timber Co. Quartz countertops and a darker-stained cabinetry bring this lower level space warmth and character. Find the Finishes: Reclaimed wood, bar backsplash - Dakota Timber Co. Cabinetry - J.L. Rosewood Floating shelves and fireplace mantle - Grain Designs

SIMPLIFYING THE BUILD Throughout the building process, the Kerbers kept plenty busy raising their young daughter, both working full-time while Kelly Kerber was finishing her residency. “We’d always heard that building a house can be really stressful on a marriage, and we didn’t find that at all,” said Kelly Kerber. “They made the meetings so simple and let us chose things and there was not a lot of pressure with it. Along the way, they knew what the budget was and they were so open and honest. Everything was really transparent and I think that made the process much easier. I’m a pretty Type A person, so I would write emails and they’d have answers right away. That was so beneficial for our relationship with our personalities. I would build with them again in a heartbeat.” From left; Kristi Krueger Roscoe, Kim Krueger Tehan and Jimmy Tehan of Krueger Construction


For more information, contact:

When it comes to building homes, Krueger Construction likes to keep their talents

Kimberly Krueger Tehan

in the family. Established by Greg and Bonnie Krueger, they have been family-owned

1133-A Harwood Drive, Fargo, N.D.

and operated since 1984, with their children Kim Krueger Tehan, Kristi Krueger


Roscoe, and Corey Krueger, now carrying on the tradition.

Krueger Construction, Inc. & Castle Realty

Canvassing the City with ArtPrize Words by Jessica Wachter Portrait by Melanie Sioux Photography Photography courtesy of ArtPrize

With the new year in full-swing, it’s a great time to not only revisit your health goals, but also get excited about the new experiences waiting for you in 2018. Maybe you’ll take up a new hobby, maybe a new sport? One thing’s for sure, this is the time of year to start dreaming about your travel plans. It’s easy to think you need to travel far to get a unique and memorable experience. If you’re interested in a trip centered around art, you might even think you need to travel to New York or Europe. The reality is there’s a gem waiting for you, right here in the Midwest.

ARTISTS IN ACTION Another unique aspect of ArtPrize is being able to watch so many artists in action. Not only do you get to interact with many of the artists, personally, but some artists even create art on the spot. I gave Chris Vitiello the word “essence” when I was at ArtPrize this past October and he gave me this one-lined poem as a piece of art I could take home with me.



ARTPRIZE ArtPrize is an art competition held in Grand Rapids,

given or have chosen to show their work in plays

Michigan for 19 days each autumn. It features a

into the art they create for the event. Art is shown

variety of artists from around the world, ranging

in a wide variety of locations throughout Grand

from well- established, to up-and-coming. The

Rapids - from your typical museum setting to the

art they create for this competition is specific to

totally unexpected, like a laundromat or within a

location. In other words, the space they’ve been

body of water.

Red Dirt Rug Monument by Rena Detrixhe - Courtesy of ArtPrize

One artist that really caught my attention was Rena Detrixhe. She creates red-carpet rugs that are of an immense scale and full of symbolism and beauty, not to mention hours of careful labor. Her creation for ArtPrize was site-specific. Meaning, it could not be transported. I felt so much beauty in the fact that her creation was temporary - she was creating for the sake of creating. The impermanence of her work made me feel as though, as a viewer, I was getting a once-in-a-lifetime experience.



CANVASSING THE CITY The whole city not only becomes a canvas for artists, but also a playground for viewers. ArtPrize has a very welcoming feel. You aren’t expected to be an expert in fine art. It’s okay if you’re someone who isn’t usually comfortable in the museum setting because this event makes art accessible and interesting to people from all walks of life.

(SOS) Safety Orange Swimmers by A+J Art+Design - Courtesy of ArtPrize

Oil + Water by Ryan Spencer Reed and Richard App - Courtesy of ArtPrize



AWARDING CREATIVITY The reason this event has the title of, “ArtPrize” is because the artists have an opportunity to win a large sum of money. The artists are narrowed down to 40 finalist...twenty “people’s choice” artists, chosen from public votes, and twenty juried artists. From this group of 40, two artists win $200,000 USD each and $100,000 USD is disbursed to many different artists for small category awards. This brings the award-money grand total to $500,000 USD. Prize money comes from many sources including, corporate sponsors and state and federal support. It’s uplifting to think of all the value that comes from this event. It is of benefit for so many...the artists, the sponsors, the city and the viewers. As an artist myself, it was incredibly inspiring to be in such close proximity to so many other creative minds. Their passion and talent were contagious. Even though the event is long past now and all remnants of the artist’s work are taken away, the essence of ArtPrize has left a mark on my mind and heart. Whether you are an artist or not, you can’t help but feel the palpable energy and swirl of synergy that comes from so many artists and viewers in one concentrated space. To get swept up in the colors and scale for yourself, start making your travel plans now for next year’s event. Jessica Wachter Art @JessicaWachterArt

The Language is Asleep by Chris Vitiello - Courtesy of ArtPrize

Go online to today and sign up to be a Giving Heart for charities. Recognize and thank those charities using #countme and #givingheartsday. TOGETHER WE ARE BECOMING THE MOST GENEROUS REGION ON THE PLANET!





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