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design | cuisine | art | culture | architecture

edition 6

march 2018

Kitchen Purrfection





Kitchen Purrfection Our March cover takes us to the historic Hawthorne neighborhood and home of Melissa Burkland and Grant Syverson. Kudos to their furry friend, Linus for being the first feline to debut on a Midwest Nest cover. We toured their recent remodel, featuring the work of interior and kitchen designer, Rebecca Knutson, at Floor to Ceiling Carpet One, and contractor, Dan Savageau Construction. See how Knutson and interior design assistant, Shannon Simon, fused the home’s original charm with modern-day amenities and timeless design. The cover photo was taken by Dan Francis Photography. See more on this project starting on page #12


Fixer Upper in Fargo When homeowners Shara and Mark Julik decided to overhaul their kitchen and dining room, they contacted Accent Kitchen & Bath of Fargo. Inspired by the rustic country approach on shows like HGTV’s Fixer Upper, the Juliks worked closely with Accent’s lead estimator and designer, Tim Liebl. See how Liebl helped this family design a dream kitchen, centered around custom furniture and accents created by Grain Designs.


Countdown to the New Hair Success Salon & Day Spa When twin sisters, Jill Krahn and Jodi Ellingson, started Hair Success 32-years ago, they couldn’t have begun to imagine how their dream would evolve. On the brink of opening up what many consider to be the largest salon and day spa in the nation, Midwest Nest delved into the construction to get a glimpse of what’s to come in South Fargo’s Shoppes at BLU Water Creek.


From the Ashes Series: Part One New contributor, Rebekah Stoll, takes our readers on a historical tour through some of the oldest structural buildings in Downtown Fargo, re-built after the tragic fire of 1893. Her series, From the Ashes, is a look back at the evolution of the buildings in this area, the stories behind them and where they’re at today. Part One of her series pinpoints present-day hot spots, Prairie Roots Food Coop and Wild Terra Cider & Brewing Company.


City Brew Hall Phase 2: Brew For F-M residents on the search for a new dining destination, a quick jaunt south on I-29 will bring you to Wahpeton’s new City Brew Hall. Last month we gave readers a glimpse inside this restored, historic city hall’s venue space overlooking the city. This month, we headed back down the interstate to see inside their newly completed, street-level restaurant, Brew.


Culinary Masterson: Start from Scratch When Midwest Nest asked Jesse Masterson to do another food feature, he decided it was time to bring in the big guns. His aunt, Lori Jury. Jury’s a spectacular home-chef turned caterer in Valley City, N.D., and was keeping her sweet and sour chicken recipe a well-kept secret...until now. See why her from-scratch chicken recipe is the perfect complement to Masterson’s goto stir-fry. As an added bonus, Jury surprised us with the perfect end to our meal, her amazing peaches ‘n cream dessert.


Trever Hill: Fresh Start with a New Build Just over three years ago, Beth and Jared Wells built their first home and contacted Trever Hill Design to add the finishing touches. As time passed, the Wells with their six-year-old son, Quinn, decided it was time to downsize from a more colorful, six-bedroom cathedral-ceiling home, to a smaller Titan Homes rambler, surrounded in calming neutrals. Once again, the Wells called on Hill to rethink their previous decor, swapping bold accents with minimalist decor and simplistic pops of earth-inspired color.


20 Years & Counting! To succeed in the homebuilding industry, Rob Jordahl knows it takes tough skin, long days and endless dedication. Reaching a landmark 20th anniversary this year, these are just a few of the traits that have kept Jordahl Custom Homes in business and thriving. With so few builders making it to this milestone, we met up with their team to help them celebrate and find out how they stay ahead in the home game.


Flipped: Midcentury on Maple Realtor, Lisa Mauch, and designer, Lisa Bruns, know that in smaller cities like Breckenridge, Minnesota, the housing market is ripe for the flipping. When building new is not as prevalent, markets like this one rely on people willing to take on a project. Watching this listing sit on the market for over six months, Mauch looked to Bruns to transform this 1968 home on Maple Street into a Midcentury Modern stunner. With a budget of only $20,000, see how Bruns tackled an outdated house and made it a home.



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 m. schleif photography nicholas friesen photography jill ockhardt-blaufuss hair success vicky lynn photography jenna lenertz shelby terstriep nathan stang, in-house advertising rebekah stoll ndsu archives branick companies jordahl custom homes

kelly schulz tracy nicholson


EDITOR tracy nicholson


ADVERTISEMENT DESIGNER alison monke, creative monke Dennis Krull, 5foot20 Design Lounge



rebekah stoll jesse masterson rebecca knutson trever hill lori jury

hal ecker

ADVERTISING SALES MIDWEST NEST MAGAZINE 4150 40th Avenue South, #310 Fargo, ND 58104

susan hozak-cardinal tracy nicholson kari lugo stephanie greenman

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 susan hozak-cardinal tracy nicholson




Celebrating Community, Cats & Coffee... Dear Linus, Congrats on becoming the first feline featured on a Midwest Nest cover! Your pose was purr-fection. Yes, upon reaching edition #6, we’re celebrating everything...including cats on the cover. It’s almost impossible to believe that we’ve reached the half-way mark of our first year. Not long ago, Susan and I were planning our first issue, hanging out at Barnes & Noble, and having deep conversations about logos, fonts and concepts with our lead designer, Noah Kupcho. One issue in, we threw a launch party and prayed we’d have the community’s support. Thankfully, we have amazing friends and family and happen to live in an extremely supportive community. So, that night, we found ourselves surrounded by people we love, admire and appreciate. Thank you. Fast forward a few issues and we were told that our October and November issues had won a total of three American Ad Federation of ND awards for design and layout. It’s safe to say, all of those deep conversations over coffee had finally accumulated to something we could be proud of. As much as we love awards, there’s one thing that’s far more important to us; winning the hearts of our readers. Our purpose has always been to be a reliable industry resource and source of entertainment for all of our readers. We want you to feel what we feel when we step into each home. Specifically, we want you to get to know the people who have worked months, sometimes years, to create that space. Almost every finished home is a collaboration of talented people, working closely toward one end-goal. If you think about it from their perspective, imagine having your boss enter your office and announce that you have to work with five, maybe ten different companies to complete one project? Yikes... and bravo to those who survive to tell the tale. This is just one of the many reasons why we love what we do and who we write about - especially when that subject is feline and furry. Cheers to our readers, friends and family for guiding us through six editions of pure joy! Sincerely,

Tracy Nicholson & Susan Hozak Publisher, Susan Hozak-Cardinal and Editor, Tracy Nicholson



Contributors + Team Alison Monke Dan Francis

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. Monke 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

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

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

in Fargo, N.D. He is Fargo’s only Master, Photographic Craftsman and Certified Professional

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

Photographer. Francis is currently vice president of the Professional Photographers of N.D.

attention. Find Monke’s work at

and past board member of the FMVA. Francis brings 15-years of experience and quality work to Midwest Nest, contributing stunning home, art and portrait images to our pages. He is looking forward to showing readers his unique approach to his art that you won’t see anywhere else. Francis works out of his downtown Fargo studio and can be found at

Morgan Schleif

Kelly Schulz Schulz is Midwest Nest’s Copy Editor and works full time in marketing at Butler 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 and two children. In her spare time she enjoys camping, thrifting, chalk paint projects, pretending to read books for book club and chasing after her little ones.

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 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 toward capturing a realistic impression of whomever she is photographing- allowing her clients to be themselves and fully embrace their current phase of life. A photographer by day and pint pourer by night at Junkyard Brewing Company, she is an extrovert who is most inspired by atmospherics, conversation, and human expression. She is eager to add

Kari Lugo

her take on the vibrant lifestyle that is Fargo, North Dakota to Midwest Nest. To find more of her work, connect with her on Facebook or Instagram @ Mschleif Photography, or view her full portfolio at

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.



Rebecca Knutson

Rebekah Stoll

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

Stoll graduated last May with a degree in Business Marketing, Management and Sales.

tile. Knutson will be showcasing her projects throughout North Dakota and Minnesota

Working as a Design Assistant for Thomsen Homes, she assists in all communication

with a focus on the importance of having a good team to rely on during new builds

paths during the process of building a home. Working on-site and behind the scenes

and remodeling. Knutson believes that taking the time to plan and not rush the install

to help make the process run smoothly, she stays in constant contact with the clients

process gives the best possible outcome at the end of any project. Follow her features

from start to finish. Stoll is a natural explorer and adventurer. She spends much of her

as she works closely with contractors and clients to coordinate finishes and trades with

free time working on her photography skills, free-lance writing, and picking her next

contractors, architects, and subcontractors. Find Knutson at

destination to plan the next adventure.

Jill Ockhardt Blaufuss

Jesse Masterson 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

Ockhardt-Blaufuss is a contributing photographer whose work has been featured in many local publications. Her images have been the photographic component in several Addy Award-winning website designs for Absolute Marketing, and she enjoys working for a variety of clients including interior designers, architects and builders. OckhardtBlaufuss has a BA in photojournalism from MSUM. Together, she and her husband keep busy with four children and live in rural Breckenridge, Minnesota. See her portfolio at


Dennis Krull

Trever Hill

Krull is the owner and creative at 5foot20 design lounge in Moorhead, M.N., where on any 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

day you will find him working as a designer, photographer and artist. He received his BFA in Graphic Design from MSUM. He creates and photographs for many different businesses, both locally and nationally. When he is not designing or working in photography, he can be found creating art with his encaustic medium. He is currently president of Gallery 4 artist co-op in Downtown Fargo.



Timeless Redesign Words by Rebecca Knutson & Tracy Nicholson Photography by Dan Francis Photography



When UND graduates, Melissa Burkland and Grant Syverson, moved back to the area, they set their sights on historic Eighth Street. Six months ago, they found their dream in a beautifully preserved 1898 home located in the coveted Hawthorne neighborhood. Even though the home had been painstakingly restored by the previous owners, there was one room that wasn’t providing the function they needed for their family of four. With the goal to create a brighter kitchen with more efficient cabinet space, Burkland and Syverson reached out to seasoned interior and kitchen designer, Rebecca Knutson at Floor to Ceiling Carpet One, and contractor, Dan Savageau Construction. See how Knutson and interior design assistant, Shannon Simon, fused the home’s original charm with modern-day amenities and timeless design.

Melissa Burkland and Grant Syverson both grew up in the area but didn’t meet until 2001 when they were students at UND in Grand Forks. After graduation, their careers would take them to Wisconsin where they fell in love with their 1930s home. Just over a year ago, their careers would bring them closer to their roots, but this time in search of an older home in Fargo’s historic Hawthorne neighborhood. “The previous owners had done a lot of restoration. They refinished the staircase, crown moldings and door frames. They completely gutted the second floor and refinished the flooring. They were good stewards of older homes, they did a great job,” said Burkland. Although thrilled with the home’s original details and restoration, the kitchen was not functioning the way their family needed it to. A high-end Wolf range, dishwasher and sub-zero refrigerator were already in place, so they turned their attention to the layout and cabinet design. “It was kind of an awkward layout, so there was almost no counter space to work with. We wanted to update the kitchen, but also make it look like it’s part of the house too. We didn’t want to turn the corner and feel like we were in a completely different space,” said Burkland.

THE RIGHT TEAM FOR THE RENOVATION The couple heard about Knutson after visiting with Chris Hawley Architects about their renovation. Since they needed new cabinetry and countertops,

Grant Syverson and Melissa Burkland

Hawley recommended Knutson for the project. “He mentioned that he worked with this amazing person named Rebecca Knutson, so we had a pretty good


idea of where we were going to be headed,” said Burkland. “I had already put in three different calls to three different kitchen places. Rebecca was the only

“We first met in July and from the get-go, Rebecca just kind of got us,” said

one that responded very enthusiastically and was super excited about Eighth

Burkland. “We gave her an idea of what we wanted and what wasn’t working

Street. She was awesome, so I was really excited as soon as she came into

with the old kitchen. She was amazing. I had a few ideas. One was that we

the project.” Since they were working with the challenges of an older home,

wanted to have a casual, eat-up bar area, but we didn’t really know how to

the team also utilized the help of Knutson’s interior design assistant Shannon

face it, where to put it or if it would work. We had some ideas about what

Simon and brought in Dan and Dillon Savageau to complete the demo, trim,

colors we wanted and Rebecca and Shannon were great. Every sample they

electrical, drywall and plumbing work.

gave us, we loved and felt like it was exactly what we wanted.”



“I love the floating shelves, that was all Rebecca. It was one of our favorite details when it came together,” said Burkland. “They’re the perfect height for me now. I think before, the lowest one I could barely reach. I really love everything about the kitchen.” Adding a pop of retro green to the floating shelves, Burkland displays their family’s dinosaur taco stands, a unique gift from her best friend.

“Rebecca and Shannon had the brilliant idea to frame the fridge with a total pull-out pantry area, so that’s one of our favorite changes. We have all of this great storage space now,” said Burkland. “They loved subway tile, so we debated how much to use, then we just kept adding and decided to take it all the way to the ceiling for a really timeless look,” said Knutson. “Grant and Melissa have phenomenal taste as you can tell, so they chose the oversized, glass pendants themselves from West Elm.”

ROMANCE IN THE DETAILS “We do a lot of quartz countertop installs, but when a client picks granite, secretly inside we’re a little more excited about it because it’s a very romantic process, especially when the client appreciates what some people think are imperfections,” said Knutson. “This is really why you buy granite. What many would see as an imperfection like the manta ray-shaped dark spot, our clients wanted that unique characteristic front and center.” “Normally we have the clients with us when we go do template layout, especially when it’s a complicated template like this where the pieces need to be seamed together. Spaulding has an amazing process to get that done. But it just didn’t work out with everyone’s schedules, so we just did it for them,” said Knutson. “We totally trusted them to choose the granite, they did an amazing job. There are only two seams in the whole counter,” said Burkland. “Diana from Stone Holdings was so lovely to work with when we were selecting our slabs. I love the movement of granite, especially with kids. It’s much easier to maintain and doesn’t easily look dirty. I loved the stone when we saw it, then once we started looking at it a little more carefully, there’s a lot of neat movement and details that I’m glad they were able to showcase.”



For the kitchen’s center island, Knutson and Simon helped the family choose a rich, bold hue called Blue Lagoon which would accent a cherry butcher block top. “We debated over whether to make this a permanent island, but they really wanted to be able to move it around. So we didn’t include outlets in it for that purpose. The drawers function on one side and are hidden on the other with trim detailing. We have some other tones of aged cherry, so the goal was to get the butcher block color to age with the light coming in from the big windows,” said Knutson.

EVERYTHING (INCLUDING THE KITCHEN SINK) In this kitchen, even the sink got a functional overhaul. For Burkland, adjusting the height meant not having to use a stool as often. A new, under-mount sink design with drop down center offered them almost three inches of additional counter space.



MOD NOSTALGIA With a view from the center of the kitchen, modern nostalgia is created with artist, Eric Johnson’s Red Owl themed artwork. Burkland and Syverson found one of the pieces at the Plains Art Museum’s Spring Art Gala and contacted the artist for another, having it framed in the exact fashion. “Grant actually grew up with a Red Owl in his hometown of Jamestown and I’m Norwegian, so we loved those right away,” said Burkland.

“As far as the bar and cabinetry layout, we talked through the changes and decided to add in a microwave and mini-fridge with a book-end shelf space at the end of the bar,” said Burkland.

“They were just so easy to talk to and that’s why we’ve become friends, even after the project,” said Knutson. “When Shannon and I work on projects, we take pretty heavy notes and we refer back to those notes a lot. We giggled to ourselves when we went back and looked at this project’s notes. On one, Shannon had written down, “Youngblood -Downtown Fargo”, because these clients go to Youngblood Coffee Co. and claim they have the best toast in town. So, when we came to do the walk-thru and talk about care, maintenance and warranties, Melissa and Grant were so sweet to give us gift cards to Youngblood Coffee Co. We, of course, gave them gourmet jams. So, we’ve definitely had a toast theme throughout the entire project.” “Our inside joke was that we were really into toast - we don’t mess around with toast. When we were picking out this Wolf toaster, we decided to refer to it as an ‘investment’ toaster,” laughed Burkland.



SIMPLIFIED STYLE The couple tossed around the idea of finishing the space with a fun, patterned wallpaper, but once the kitchen was completed, simplicity won them over. “It looked so crisp and perfect that we decided to just leave it,” said Burkland. “I really like the amount of light we have now, it’s just nice to have it brighter in here - it was pretty dark before,” explained Syverson.

Find the Finishes

“Since the remodel, we’ve found ourselves cooking a lot more, it’s a lot

Kitchen design - Rebecca Knutson, CID and Shannon Simon - Floor to Ceiling Carpet One

more functional. The breakfast bar is really nice for our kids. In the old

Contractor - Dan and Dillon Savageau

kitchen, it was a little chaotic.”

Perimeter cabinets – Homecrest Cabinetry/Maple Painted Willow/Arbor Door Perimeter countertop – Granite/Caspian


Granite countertop fabrication - Spaulding Stone Granite countertop supplier - Stone Holding Co.

With an older home, contractors know that certain challenges are to be

Island cabinets – Omega Cabinetry/Maple Painted Blue Lagoon/Beckwith Door

expected. Dan and Dillon Savageau were tasked with figuring out how to

Island countertop – Omega Cabinetry/Cherry 1.5” thick oiled butcher block

install the appliances with an uneven floor that was about two inches off

Cabinetry hardware – Jeffrey Alexander/ Brenton Pulls and Harlow Knobs/Satin Nickel

from one side to the other. They also replaced the ceiling, carefully preserving

Backsplash and wall tile – 3x6 Glossy White Ice tile with gray grout

the existing crown molding and trim work so it could be reinstalled. Even

Appliances – New and existing SubZero-Wolf

with it’s historic bones, the project went smoothly, completed in around

Wood flooring – Original to house

three weeks time.

Light fixtures – (5) pendants – West Elm Plumbing fixtures – Existing faucet, Sink - Kohler Vault/Undercounter, Apron-Front Stainless steel, Ferguson



Throughout the dining room, the couple features

For more information, contact:

pieces from their 12 years in Wisconsin by artists

Floor to Ceiling Carpet One

Nate Saltz and Tim Collins. Above the buffet is

Rebecca Knutson, CID

another piece from local artist Andrew Stark.

360 36th Street South, Fargo 701.237.6601

Coverage you can trust. INSPIRED BY ART In the spaces surrounding the renovated kitchen, Burkland and Syverson use art as the inspiration. With most of their living room’s art favoring Andrew Stark, the couple recently decided to include a female influence, contacting Bismarck artist, Jessica Wachter for the stunning abstract piece above the fireplace.

You can have peace of mind by having the right insurance coverage for your home.

“Jessica was as sweet as could be,” said Burkland. “This piece was from her show, ‘#nowords’ in Bismarck. So, when we got it, the gallery owner even delivered it to our house and was

Talk to me about protecting what’s most important to you.

so kind. I wanted something that kind of worked together with our other accents like the pink rug.” Beyond the local art pieces, the couple often shops online for finds like the small armchairs from West Elm. In the dining room, their family dog Atticus loves to lounge on the home’s vibrant rug.

Marsha Haberman 701-793-9018





Tim Liebl, Accent Kitchen & Bath

Fixer Upper in Fargo Words by Tracy Nicholson Portraits by Dan Francis Photography Home Photos by Nathan Stang of In-House Advertising Home staging by The Green Room on behalf of the HBA of F-M

When homeowners Shara and Mark Julik decided to overhaul their kitchen and dining room, they contacted Accent Kitchen & Bath of Fargo. Inspired by the rustic country approach on shows like HGTV’s Fixer Upper, the Juliks worked closely with Accent’s lead estimator and designer, Tim Liebl. See how Liebl helped this family design a dream kitchen, centered around custom furniture and accents created by Grain Designs.



RETHINKING ROOMS The homeowner’s kitchen and dining room were originally divided into two separate rooms creating a closed-off space which lacked proper flow. “The kitchen also had an awkward lighting and island situation,” said Liebl. “The homeowner wanted to make sure that the line of sight was open all the way across, from her fireplace wall to the far South wall.”

FIXER UPPER IN FARGO Wanting to express their personality and fuse it with a Fixer Upper feel, the homeowners collaborated with Liebl, who is known to be a bit of a chameleon designer. “I can be the designer making all of the primary decisions, or they could simply tell me what finishes they want, I leave that up to them,” said Liebl. “What this homeowner was looking for was independence, someone to collaborate with, and that’s where I came in.” To get that rustic chic design, the homeowners knew they wanted to use elements from a local company, Grain Designs. To keep the kitchen design in-check, Liebl made sure their finishes aligned with the custom wood range hood Grain Designs created. Since no Fixer Upper-styled home is complete without white shiplap, the homeowners asked that at least two of the walls utilize this finish.


CREATING AN OPEN-CONCEPT KITCHEN “We partially took out a wall that was directly behind the sink, then we took out the entire wall between the dining room and kitchen,” explained Liebl. “With our line of sight all the way across, it definitely made the house feel bigger.”

To give the space even more character, the team opted to leave the inside jams and sashes of the window trims and doors a more rugged, natural pine. For the laminate flooring, Liebl ordered in around 200 extra square feet so they could handpick out the lighter colors, leaving them with a slightly darker, rustic look.

CHOOSING THE FINISHES Working with Grain Designs, the homeowners were able to help design their custom barn doors, kitchen table and range hood with the accent pieces in a white-washed, grey-toned wood. To create the shiplap walls, Accent used 1x6 planks painted white. “To tie in the shiplap, we kind of played off of a feng shui kitchen theme with white, shaker-style cabinetry, marble-look counters, black hardware and a farmhouse sink,” said Liebl. “We did a 3x6 ceramic subway tile for the backsplash, but, we used a variation of it from Daltile called Artigiano for more of a hand-crafted visual.”



REMODELING WITH ACCENT To gain more insight into how Accent manages each project, Liebl explained how they break down the entire process. “Usually, people come in and they explore how they want to go about the project. Then we typically go out to the house, spec out the project and rough quote it on the spot. If the rough quote is in their budget range, then they’ll come to the showroom for what I call a ‘Day of Awesomeness’,” laughed Liebl. “Ok, it’s not a whole day, but we take an educational approach to each project. This is where we unveil our 3-D images where we can show all of the colors and finishes. From this, we’re able to give them an extremely detailed quote, above and beyond anyone else in our market. This is also a time to fully educate them on all of the materials that we’ll be bringing in, along with warranty and maintenance information.” Although most of the F-M area is familiar with Accent’s remodeling abilities, most people don’t realize that beyond home remodels, they also take on light commercial projects and offer handy-man services for even the smallest projects like installing shower grab bars or doing shower/tub swap outs. “We can do the entire project, but sometimes, we just replace countertops or flooring. We typically do around four bathrooms a month and maybe two or three kitchens a month,” said Liebl. “I don’t think there’s any project we can’t do,” said BriAnna Thompson, Accent’s Marketing Director & Sales Support. “We were just discussing that two years ago, everyone was doing bathrooms and now the focus has shifted more to kitchens. It changes every year, but our team can do almost anything since we have the people in place to design, finish and general contract the entire project with all of the flooring, tile, cabinetry and hardware right in our showroom.”

THE REALITY OF REMODELING Unlike most remodeling TV shows, Liebl and Thompson believe that homeowners need to know the reality of how long each project will take and what the actual expense will be. “A project like this one can take roughly 8-10 weeks from start to finish. With a complete overhaul of the kitchen and dining room, homeowners can expect the price to range from $50-$60,000 depending on finishes and cabinetry,” said Liebl. Although it’s great when contractors and designers get to work with homeowners who know exactly what they want, Liebl explained that most homeowners don’t come in with an exact style and plan. “If people don’t know exactly what they want, we quiz them. They also don’t typically know what types of quality options are available, so we try to be that wealth of knowledge to help them make those decisions.” “There’s a phenomenon out there that I call the ‘designer complex’ where some designers will push their ideas with an, ‘It’s my way or the highway’ type of approach,” said Liebl. “We really pride ourselves on taking the opposite approach, making sure they get the end result they want. We really try to be open to people’s ideas.”

Find the Finishes Home Staging - The Green Room on behalf of the HBA of F-M Project Manager/Designer - Tim Liebl, Accent Kitchen & Bath Cabinets - White Maple Shaker from Norcraft Countertops - Caesarstone Quartz Island and Frosty Carrina Perimeter in Piatra Gray Tiled Backsplash - Daltile Artigiano Italian Alps Flooring - Balterio Laminate Wild Mesquite Plumbing/hardware Finishes - Matte Black Custom range hood - Grain Designs Sliding barn door - Grain Designs Shiplap walls - 1x6 pine tongue and groove



For more information, contact Accent Kitchen & Bath Tim Liebl 3151 Main Ave, Fargo, N.D. 701.293.6000 ext 12

From left, BriAnna Thompson & Tim Liebl

GOING BIG, VEGAS-STYLE While Las Vegas is popularized for its casinos and nightlife, Krahn and Ellingson were drawn to the city for an entirely different reason. It also happens to be home to some of the world’s most luxurious day spas and salons. So, like all of their past ventures, the two did their research, then spent four years creating their concept. Fusing the salon, spa, medi-spa and dining, Krahn and Ellingson’s dream of having every beauty need in one place is about to come true. “In Vegas, we really looked at places like Sahra Spa & Hammam at The Cosmopolitan and outside of Vegas, CopperWynd Spa in Fountain Hills, Arizona - they were a huge source of inspiration for us,” said Krahn. “We travel all over for our franchise, so we see things all the time that we want to bring back to Fargo. “At 22,000 square-feet and two-and-a-half stories tall, their new facility is currently considered by Loreal and Minerva to be the largest salon and spa in the nation. From left, Jill Krahn & Jodi Ellingson


Hair Success Salon & Day Spa Words by Tracy Nicholson

When twin sisters, Jill Krahn and Jodi Ellingson,

Interior Photography by Jill Ockhardt Blaufuss

started Hair Success 32-years ago, they couldn’t

Exterior photo on second page provided by Jill Krahn

have begun to imagine how their dream would

Exterior photo on last page by Dan Francis Photography

evolve. On the brink of opening up what many consider to be the largest salon and day spa in the nation, Midwest Nest delved into the construction to get a glimpse of what’s to come in South Fargo’s Shoppes at BLU Water Creek.



“We did not intend for the salon and day spa to be the biggest, the goal was just about creating an amazing guest experience,” said Ellingson. “All of our services offered will be a step above what we were offering at the old location with higher quality treatments and far more advanced skincare.” “We’re really building this for the community, it’s our way of giving back,” said Krahn. “There’s so much we can do with this space, from charitable events to trunk shows, wellness events, cooking classes and really just being able to provide services that have never been offered before in Fargo.”

SHOPPES AT BLU WATER CREEK Executing a focus group to find the perfect location, the two gathered their data, with all signs pointing to a plot of land on 45th Street South, just South of 32nd Avenue in Fargo. Kevin Christianson and Tyler Brandt were the developers on the land, so Krahn and Ellingson teamed up to help guide the name and vision, not just for their new salon and spa, but also for the entire center and lifestyle concept surrounding it. Working with Paces Lodging, Ellingson and Krahn chose the name BLU Water Creek, an acronym for Beauty, Love and Unforgettable. This would become a prime location to create an area of likeminded businesses who appreciate the lifestyle concept and strive to create the ultimate guest experience. “Jodi and I were pretty proactive about who was going to be in the Shoppes. Most of the shop owners in here are friends of ours. We are really looking forward to being near a new men’s clothing store, Leela & Lavender, Laurie’s, Aspire Optical, Grain Designs, McNeal & Friends and Eco Chic Boutique. Grain Designs is even going to incorporate some their reclaimed wood into our spa entrance.”

WALL-TO-WALL GLAM Pursuing a flawless interior for the massive space, Krahn and Ellingson called on friends and interior designers, Kari Rasmussen, Linda Birmingham and Kris Carlson of Designingwomen2. Their task is to choose the wallcovering, drapery, decor and finishing touches, adding an air of luxury to every square inch. Just behind the future front desk, the towering entrance wall is soon to be adorned with a white birch tree wall covering, accenting shimmering gold specs within. For the salon and spa’s unique flooring, All-Finish Concrete smashed mirrors and had the shards placed on bleached concrete for a shimmering finish. With 33-foot ceilings, Krahn and Ellingson will soon be adding four massive lights in blue that can be seen from the street view. “We chose blue because it’s such a relaxing color,” said Krahn. Within the next From left, Kari Rasmussen, Linda Birmingham and Kris Carlson of Designingwomen2

month, Midwest Nest will be following up to see the team’s final finishes.



“Our sister Paulette Nantze, who is a retired architect, did the first drawing of the space,” said Ellingson. “Paulette lives in Arkansas, so she was not able to be here during the project, so Kim Matteson from Paces Lodging finished it. Kim was amazing and so fun to work with,” said Krahn. “Paulette did the more broad-based

Krahn and Ellingson have included a conference

details, Kim did the finishes, and Designingwomen2 is

room, so when bridal parties come in they have

doing all of the interior decor work.” Gold statues in

a place to gather with privacy. Covering the walls

yoga poses will be focal points throughout the lobby,

throughout this space will be a chocolate brown,

making the entrance gleam with white, gold and glam.

birch wallcovering with their signature

Stained hickory barn doors and ceiling beams create

shimmer and white logo.


elegant charm, while fun LED strip lighting will run throughout the salon with the option to change colors

In the Medi-Spa, skincare experts will be offering

for holidays or themed events.

advanced facials, laser treatments, microblading, derma-blading, Botox and facial rejuvenation. Using state-of-the-art technology, Hair Success’ medispa side will specialize in a series of anti-aging solutions and preventative skin care regimens to create their very own fountain of youth.

UNEXPECTED TEXTURES “This spa’s aesthetic elements will marry East coast timeless style together with West coast industrial glam,” said Linda Birmingham of Designingwomen2. “The mixing of all of the unexpected textures and With their expanded square footage, Hair Success will

elements, create a one-of-a-kind experience.

also offer guests a new Hollywood-style makeup bar and

A little bling, a bit of metal and a plethora of

expanded retail. “We will be offering quite a few lines

texture will greet guests the moment they enter

that you can’t find anywhere else in Fargo with varying

the building. You’ll find drapery panels with subtle

price ranges to suit everyone’s budget.” Ellingson and

shimmer hanging from plumbing fixtures, wood

Krahn have their own medical-grade skincare line and

beams and raw, steel signage playing with white

will also carry SkinCeuticals, iS Clinical, HoBo purse

and gold textured wallpaper as well as modern

line, Smashbox cosmetics, Bare Essentials, Philosophy,

leather chairs joined by distressed silver tables...

Redken, Loreal Professional and Matrix hair care lines.”

just imagine Audrey Hepburn visiting Sundance.”



RELAXATION ROOM This space is reserved for the spa and salon’s waiting and relaxation room. “The way we have our guests travel through their experience is, in between appointments they can come back here and relax,” said Krahn. “There will be a small beverage center and a beautiful wall of beads and lights that mimic running water. We also designed this so that guests can easily get here, directly from the patio.”

THE DAY SPA The Day Spa will be offering high-end massage and facials, hot towel service, herbal steam showers, an infrared sauna and a flotation room with innovative salt spa. The salt spa, is just one of the many new services aimed at relaxation and healing. “All of our spa treatments are new and improved, so our staff has been training non-stop for the past year,” said Krahn.

THE GROTTO To further elevate the atmosphere, Krahn and Ellingson have designed The Grotto, a central space made for nourishment where guests can enjoy a glass of wine, lunch or dinner, overlooking the garden and patio area. “This will be a smaller, more intimate setting with a really cool fireplace and beautiful, chocolate birch wall covering,” said Krahn. “In this space, we will have garage doors that open up and nets that come down for summer dining. We also have a half-bar for people dining outside.” The centralized location means spa and salon goers have direct access to The Grotto and the future adjoining restaurant, aptly named The Tavern by the Grotto. This space is included in all VIP membership services and gives Hair Success the ability to serve up a massage and martini, all in the same place.

TAVERN BY THE GROTTO For the time being, Hair Success will use their fully-equipped, catering kitchen to prep food for spa and salon guests. “When we first open, we’ll be doing a lot more food prep because The Tavern restaurant will not be open until July,” said Krahn. “The Tavern is going to start the restaurant here before they open in the adjoining space with a patio that will connect the two around the pond.” After July, Tavern by The Grotto will be the restaurant and bar which fully caters to Hair Success’ spa dining space, known as The Grotto.



Connected to The Grotto, the back garden and

The Spa will feature a men’s and women’s locker

patio area is set to be fully landscaped and will

room with infrared saunas, private bathrooms

be available to salon and spa guests as well as

and glass-enclosed, private steam showers. “We

rented for small weddings, gatherings or corporate

wanted to have an infrared sauna because they

parties. There will be a working pond and waterfall

are known for helping alleviate joint swelling

accented with blue lights and blue floating orbs.

with aches and pains and also eliminate toxins

Soon, the patio will feature a fire table, fire-chat

from the body,” said Krahn. To accommodate

pits and beautiful pond with a garden dedicated in

everyone’s needs, Hair Success will offer two

memory of their former business partner, mentor

unisex restrooms and one private, unisex steam

and dear friend Tom Stiller, who passed away last

shower. In the pursuit of relaxation, Ellingson and


Krahn want this environment to be comfortable for everyone - men, women and families.





Also new to Hair Success, they will soon be

With the new locale, guests can easily book a

offering four different oxygen bars, infused with

service with the facility’s day spa, medi-spa,

aromatherapy for optimal revitalization. These can

and salon, all from their new app. The app can

be found throughout the expansive building.

also be used to buy a gift card, browse trends, pick a service or provider, learn about events


and see monthly specials. Stylists can use this technology to manage their day and their business.

The Spa will feature a men’s and women’s locker

If clients have the app, the second they walk

room with infrared saunas, private bathrooms

into the building, it will tell the stylist that their

and glass-enclosed, private steam showers. “We

appointment has arrived.

wanted to have an infrared sauna because they are known for helping alleviate joint swelling


with aches and pains and also eliminate toxins from the body,” said Krahn. To accommodate

This room will be home to a state-of-the-art salt pool. “It’s the largest one they make and made to

everyone’s needs, Hair Success will offer two

accommodate up to two people. “It’s kind of like having a massage on steroids,” said Krahn. “It’s extremely

unisex restrooms and one private, unisex steam

effective for sore muscles, Fibromyalgia and relieving arthritis pain.”

shower. In the pursuit of relaxation, Ellingson and Krahn want this environment to be comfortable for everyone - men, women and families.

MASTERING THE MASSAGE Just off of The Grotto, an expansive area will be devoted to 11 private massage areas with two available, connecting rooms which accommodate couple massages. As warmer weather returns, Krahn and Ellingson plan to take their massage service outdoors, offering “Starlight Massages” off to the side of the landscaped patio in a private garden setting.

THE SALON Over 30 years after opening the doors to their first salon, Krahn and Ellingson haven’t forgotten the core of their business. The salon side will also be expanding to offer clients the option of independent or employee stylists, with endless services ranging from affordable to high-end cuts, colors, treatments, styling, nails and spray tanning.

HAPPY TEAM, HAPPY LIFE “Jodi and I built this salon with four different lifestyles for our staff. Life is a journey, and so many times in this journey, we are in different stages,” said Krahn. “So, we designed the salon to help young women and men get started with many different pay structures, with their success in mind.

“Designingwomen2 has been dreaming about this project for two years. We’d been searching several markets, even before the plans were in place. Imagine what can happen when two creative teams of women join together - pure magic!” Linda Birmingham, Interior Designer, Designingwomen2



“At Hair Success, beautiful means Be- U- to- the–fullest. THE VIP TREATMENT “Our VIP membership is just $10 a month and they

With a high-stress lifestyle and the busy world we live in, everyone needs a little spa in their life.”

automatically get discounts off of their services

Jill Krahn

that amount to far more than the membership fee,” said Krahn. “We can use our app to instantly put a service on special and only the VIP members will have access to it. They also get access to The


Grotto and discounts from all of the shops and vendors in BLU Water Creek.”

We still have six available stylist booths to rent which are considered Private Suites,” said Krahn.


“We designed the Private Suites to be larger spaces, so they can have their own retail in here

Overlooking a soon-to-be garden oasis, Krahn and

and provide a relaxing atmosphere. Each stylist

Ellingson are integrating an advanced ventilation

will have a sign that comes out from the wall in

system for the manicure stations and manicure

big, black circles with their name on them.”

bar. The adjacent pedicure room will have bead walls between each chair so guests have the


option for privacy or ability to pull them back for group settings.

In this area, Krahn and Ellingson have designed a space for private booths for people that want to run their own salon, but let their guests still experience the ambiance of all of the amenities. “Our Lifestyle Salon is where we will have 29 individual, smaller suites,” said Krahn. “We built this side of the salon so we could cater to all of the different lifestyles of the service environment. We also have mini-suites for all of the staff, providing a more private experience for the guests.”

SHAMPOO, RINSE...RELAX “In here, we have the coolest lights coming in they’re old pipes that have chandeliers on them. These will be mixed in with the other lights we chose and decor by Designingwomen2,” said Krahn. This is where guests come out to get their shampoo and stylists can formulate their colors.” Here, stylists have the option to mix their own colors or have our full-time person provide the service for them. Elevating each service, stylists will have access to hot towel cabis throughout the shampoo and spa areas. “It’s all about the guest experience, helping them to relax, rejuvenate and unwind.”

BEAUTY & BRAINS Krahn and Ellingson can tell you that achieving success in the beauty industry doesn’t come easily. Both relayed that advanced education and ongoing training is what keeps their business on the grow. Opening their first school, The Salon Professional Academy

Find the Source:

in 2003 in Fargo, they have since built a thriving franchise. Today, Krahn and Ellingson

Contractor - Paces Lodging

work with 10 partners who assist in day-to-day operations for the salon and spa and also

Developers - Kevin Christianson, Tyler Brandt

oversee 45 schools across the United States and Canada. Their efforts have not gone

Interior Design - Designingwomen2

unnoticed. For the past five years, Hair Success has been chosen by Elle magazine as a

Architects - Paulette Nantze, Kim Matteson - Paces Lodging

“Top 100 Salon” in the United States.

Automation - Audio Video Extremes

FAITH + DEDICATION Excitement. That’s the word both Ellingson and Krahn used to describe the feeling of

Concrete Flooring -All-Finish Concrete Wall-covering application - Weyer-for-Hire Lighting - Border States Electric

this new venture. “It’s a long project, that’s finally coming to fruition. Every time I drive by, I feel so proud of our team, because it’s not just us - we have a huge team and over 100 employees between our companies, and with the new space, that number will grow,”

For more information, contact:

said Ellingson. What’s their secret to success? As Krahn describes it, staying ahead of the

Hair Success Salon & Day Spa

game and focusing on their team, which has always been an extension of their family.

[Shoppes at BLU Water Creek] 3233 45th Street South, Fargo

Ellingson and Krahn speak fondly of their late mother and their dad who still fiercely


supports them. “We dedicated our last building to our parents, and we’ll probably dedicate

this one to our dad,” said Krahn. “We have the most amazing parents. We are very lucky, they’ve inspired us a lot. They raised us to have no fear and to have faith. Dad would

Go to their Facebook or for

always say, ‘Faith overcomes fear’.”

the latest updates on their upcoming Grand Opening celebrations.



Courtesy of NDSU Archives

Emerging from the Ashes Part 1: Head West on NP Prairie Roots Co-op + Wild Terra Words by Rebekah Stoll Photography by Rebekah Stoll, Historical photos courtesy of Branick Companies, Dan Francis Photography, NDSU Archives Historical Reference Source from NDSU Archives



Fargo. Most of the individuals living here are born and raised, while some just come for their education and continue to take their next step elsewhere. Then there are those of us who have plans to eventually move on, but can’t ever seem to leave. Whether we are here to stay or leave, we can all agree on one thing, where the heart of the F-M lies. A common place to gather, for a broad spectrum of reasons, Downtown Fargo is a hard place to visit without canceling the rest of your plans for the day. The variety of businesses in this area also have one thing in common, history.

Courtesy of NDSU Archives



From the Ashes, is a series focusing on the evolution of the buildings in

June 7, 1893. What became known as the worst fire in the history of Fargo,

this area. The buildings we are visiting on a weekly basis, most of us being

quickly destroyed the business district and homes of 6,000 residents and city

completely oblivious to the unique stories behind each of them. We will start

hall. The fire started on Front Street (which is now Main Avenue), and quickly

by taking a look back into some of the oldest structural buildings downtown,

spread to the North. It is believed that the fire was started when someone

built during the restoration process after the tragic 1893 fire. We will then

threw ashes from the rear of the Little Gem Restaurant on Front Street which

walk through time to the present in where they stand today. My hope is that

started the fire at the rear of Herzman’s Dry Goods Store. A second version

this collection of stories will greater expand our love for these unique, small

of the origin of the fire, suggested that Lily Herzman, herself, was burning

businesses and restoration of each.

cardboard packing cartons behind the store and the flames spread to the building. Over 160 acres were in ashes and over 31 blocks of businesses and residences were left lying flat. To learn more about the fire and view images of the damage it caused, visit View the Fire of 1893 article, under the Historical Events tab in the navigation pane.



1213 NP What was once known as Branicks and then Mathison’s on the block of 1213 NP, eventually turned cold and vacant. After some researching, touring and debate of location, Prairie Roots and Wild Terra found within these historic buildings, a home.

Courtesy of Branick Companies

PRAIRIE ROOTS CO-OP When searching for the perfect location for the new co-op, the final decision came down to what would be most sufficient for customers. However, the population density of the building’s location is what really sold it.

Photos by Dan Francis Photography

When asking Kaye Kirsch, Project Director of Prairie Roots, what it was like walking through the building for the first, her eyes lit up. “It was like a museum of technology. Like standing in the middle of the history of printing, their machines still there, set in place. Once it was cleared out, the space was perfect. With the original window wells, we were able to replace the windows themselves to continue to bring in the heaps of natural light, to help with the open concept.” Kaye Kirsch’s top Three reasons to visit Prairie Roots: 1) Local Food – It’s about staying connected with the local farmers and knowing where your food is coming from. 2) It is the only community-owned grocery store in Fargo. The profits stay local and by doing so, it is a constant re-investment into the community. 3) Feeling and truly taking part in a larger group of the community.



Working to bring in the history and heritage of local roots, the co-op rifted off their logo for colors and design inspiration in the interior of their new home. After signing their lease with The Kilbourne Group during the summer of 2015, Prairie Roots Food Co-op announced their opening in October of 2017. Showing connection to local farmers and artists and hoping to reconnect them with the residents, Prairie Roots encourages sharing each other’s stories, standing strong behind their core value. “Know your roots and heritage. Always Photo by Dan Francis Photography

being rooted in the community, by bringing people together with our local food and producers”. “What does this place mean to you, Kaye?” The grin she gave me was unexplainable. “Being owner #10, working here for five years now, helping to build a community, making positive contributions and creating a meeting point to learn, it’s priceless. It’s a family.”

MY TAKE ON PRAIRIE ROOTS It’s hard not to be attracted to the vibrant colors and flow of the co-op while walking through. They have selections for everyone including a vegan hot bar, as well as a deli with fresh soups and salads every day. Whether you’re cooking for yourself or 10 others, you can get the exact amount of a variety of ingredients you need at the bulk station. Finally, my favorite part, the Kombucha Bar. Donated by one owner in memory

Photo by Dan Francis Photography

of another, they carry four different kinds and continuously swap them out, all locally made in Minnesota.

Prairie Roots is currently owned by 1,876 residents of the area, and adding almost one owner per day. Curious about receiving the benefits of becoming an owner yourself? Check out their website to see how.

Website: Facebook: Prairie Roots Food Co-op Instagram: prairierootsnd

Photos by Rebekah Stoll


restoration WILD TERRA CIDER & BREWING COMPANY Showing up on the maps sometime between 1905-1910, what now goes by the name of Wild Terra Cider and Brewing Company, was once known as “The Stable”. Moved to its current location from a family farm, it is believed to once be owned by a construction company that used horses to haul timbers, eventually turning into cold storage for Branick and then owned by Mathison’s. Moving here from the state of Washington, Ethan and Breezee Hennings had

Courtesy of Branick Companies

big plans in mind. All they needed was to find the perfect site to build their dreams. With a downtown location as their first priority, they knew they wanted something “aged with character”. Having visited a few options, they decided to visit one more. On a cold dark evening, flashlights in hand at a small, boarded-up building with no power, “this is perfect” were the words spoken when a barn door slid open and weathered ceiling boards appeared. Little did they know the restoration of this perfect building was about to be a major part of the process that they would take on, first hand. After nine months of meetings with Kilbourne Group and making sure what they had in mind was feasible, the Hennings decided to do the reconstruction themselves, with some material

Photos by Rebekah Stoll

help from Kilbourne Group.

A leaking roof with drilled holes in the walls, insulation saturated with moisture, rotted wall studs and bottom plates with crumbling grout, the building was practically floating. The project that started on February 15, 2017 consumed this ambitious couple’s lives for the next 10 months, working tirelessly from sun up to sun down. “When you do new construction, you build from the ground up. We did the exact opposite, building from the roof down to save our favorite part, the ceiling,” said Ethan Hennings. With the North wall being three inches shorter than the south wall, the entire building leaning five-and-a-half inches out to the side and one 2x12 holding the weight of the hipped roof, he continued “trying to reconstruct in a way that you are preserving it, while making sure it is structurally sound was the most challenging part”. “Nothing but craziness,” Breezee Hennings admitted, after explaining how she de-nailed and sanded each board twice, boards that are now found covering the walls of the interior.



With expecting a very personal response, I got nothing short of just that when I asked the Hennings what Wild Terra means to them. “We made every decision and that’s something super unique and personal. To me, I feel like I’m inviting people into my house. We put so much of ourselves into the buildings, it feels so personal,” shared Breezee Hennings. Ethan followed by adding, “We pretty much live here. Not just because of the business itself, but 10 months prior to, we were here all day every day. I’ve seen every last bit of nail, bareboned, degutted and completely starting over. We’ve seen every bit of this build and it was an intimate process, very personal.”

Ethan and Breezee Henning’s Top Three reasons to visit Wild Terra: 1) To experience/taste North Dakota’s first, urban cider bar. 2) To see a space and local building that was preserved. It’s part of all visitor’s history. 3) “To have a damn good time!”

With every plank taken from the old exterior, ceiling boards and stairs that were found out back, about to get thrown away, this couple has brought an entirely new meaning of “preservation” to my mind. Not to mention the unique bar top that was built by a friend of the couples’ in Farmington. The corner tables on the lower level were built from

Photos by Rebekah Stoll

the very same tree slab. Curious as to how the name “Wild Terra” came about, I got a quick response from Breezee Hennings. “We wanted something to capture the spirit of what we are doing which is wild, yet talk about the earth. Terra means ‘earth’ in Latin. All of our fermentation ingredients come from the earth and our passion is enjoying and protecting it.”



MY TAKE ON WILD TERRA All of the fun facts of this restoration intrigue me. First, during reconstruction, Ethan Hennings found a farm contract hidden in the wall from 1904. Second, the couple has two daughters who were with them through most of the renovation process. The time and effort they put into the building and have opened for anyone to enjoy with their family should be celebrated. Third, it’s the perfect atmosphere for any occasion. Finally, the Henning’s top three reasons to visit have been tested, many times, and approved by myself.

Photos by Rebekah Stoll

From the Ashes: Part 2 – Coming Soon

Check them out, you won’t be disappointed! Website: Facebook: Wild Terra Instagram:



City Brew Hall Phase 2: Brew Words by Tracy Nicholson Brew and Before Photography by Nicholas Friesen Photography Building Exterior and 1910 Lounge photography by Jill Ockhardt Blaufuss



For F-M residents on the search for a new dining destination, a quick jaunt south on I-29 will bring you to Wahpeton’s new City Brew Hall. Last month we gave readers a glimpse inside this restored, historic city hall’s venue space overlooking the city. This month, we headed back down the interstate to see inside their newly completed, street-level restaurant, Brew.

PHASE 1 RECAP If you happened to miss last month’s issue covering the venue space at City Brew Hall, we’ll give you a quick recap before moving on to their final phase with the addition of the restaurant and bar. Taking on the massive restoration of the event and restaurant space was Shelby Terstriep and her partners Alex and Britt Belquist, founders of Brew Ales & Eats in Perham, Minnesota. Fusing their restaurant, design and culinary experience, these three worked with Chris Hawley Architects and Gast Construction to restore the beloved landmark.

From Left: Alex and Britt Belquist, Shelby and Chad Terstriep







February, Brew attracted crowds from all around the area.”As friends of the Terstrieps and Belquists, it’s been exciting experiencing the progress, from an idea of a unique restaurant and venue to the grand opening in our hometown,” said Nichole Allmendinger. “With intention, they chose Wahpeton as the location for their idea and over the past two years, they’ve truly embraced the community as their second home. We look forward to creating memories here with our hometown


family and friends as well as our Fargo friends, whom all agree it is worth the short drive south.”

Newly completed, the restaurant, bar and meeting space, is quickly making friends near and far. Opening its doors (and garage door) on January 30, the restaurant and bar fuse big-city ambiance with small-town warmth.

INSIDE BREW Patrons to the bar and restaurant will appreciate Terstriep and the Belquist’s thoughtful design, starting at the historic front entrance. Since last month, the custom metal, exterior sign by Schmitty’s Welding has been installed, taking a team of eight to complete the heavy-handed task. Inside, pull a bar stool up to their custom-crafted bar top with metal fabricated by Schmitty’s Welding. For craft beer enthusiasts, Brew will be serving up 24 beers on tap, highlighting local and regional breweries along with hand-crafted cocktails and a vast wine selection.



ON THE MENU Currently, their menu designed by co-founders Alex and Britt Belquist, offers brunch items, appetizers, entrees and a smokehouse menu. “Everything’s homemade and fresh; homemade sauces, nothing’s frozen and everything’s chefinspired,” said Terstriep. “We have five culinary students working with us, along with visiting chefs from the Perham location and other new, local kitchen staff that are all learning the menu.”

“We have had an outpouring of support and enthusiasm







renovation,” said Shelby Terstriep. “It is so fun to see people enjoying it and staying and socializing long after they finish eating. We have met so many people from the twin towns and surrounding areas

Gather a group or bring the family and snag a cozy

as well as Fargo-Moorhead.”

booth showcasing custom metal accent screens.

Not neglecting the bar’s perimeter, Schmitty’s Welding created these beautiful cocktail tables, perfect for date night drinks and apps.

Below the custom, steel bar top, patrons will love the lower bar’s unique, hexagon-shaped wood tile by Dakota Timber Company.



Brew features an elevated nook overlooking the bar and restaurant which is designed to be center stage for local bands and entertainment. Beyond live music, the team is already planning a wide Even though they’ve only been open a short time,

variety of Brew Events including Yoga on Tap,

patrons are already choosing their Brew favorites

themed parties and special college nights.


gouda pickles,




sweet potatoes and quinoa salad. Many have also ordered up the award-winning, Dubliner burger, Brew burger, EZ e sandwich and Cajun Chicken sandwich.



Extending their interior’s design savvy to the

In a stunning space flanked with rich, black paneling

exterior, they’ve included a functional glass garage

and spacious windows, you’ll find a 30-person

door facing 4th Street. As warmer temps arrive,

meeting room referred to as The Chambers. This

this massive door will open to a screened-in patio

room is designed with business in mind, including

with outdoor fireplace.

state-of-the-art technology with a projector T.V.

“This is not only a great addition to the community but to the entire region,” said Mike Allmendinger, Wahpeton native and General Manager of The Kilbourne Group in Fargo. “We really felt an urban, rustic vibe that rivals restaurants we’ve visited in major cities. It just has this inviting, sit back and stay awhile atmosphere.”

Find the Source: Architect - Chris Hawley Architects Contractor - Gast Construction Electrician - Summerville Electric

Contact City Brew Hall:

Want to find out more about City Brew Hall?

Metal fabrication - Schmitty’s Welding

120 N. 4th Street, Wahpeton, N.D.

Make sure to check out their Instagram and “like” their Facebook page. Here

Hexagon wood tile - Dakota Timber Company


you’ll find behind-the-scenes pics from their culinary adventures, information

Interior Design - Kristen William, Britt Belquist,

regarding venue rentals, and announcements for their upcoming Brew Events.

Shelby Terstriep


Starting from Scratch: Lori Jury & Jesse Masterson Words by Jesse Masterson, Tracy Nicholson Photography by M. Schleif Photography

When Midwest Nest asked me to do another food feature, I decided it was time to bring in the big guns. My aunt, Lori Jury. She’s a spectacular home-chef turned caterer in Valley City, N.D., and frankly one of the best from-scratch cooks I know. I asked her to share her secret sweet and sour chicken recipe which would be the perfect complement to one of my go-to stir-fry recipes. To spice it up a notch, we gathered a few friends and threw a taste-testing soiree at the West Fargo home of her daughter and my cousin, Kayla Cash. As an added bonus, Lori surprised us with the perfect end to our meal, her amazing peaches ‘n cream dessert.



FEEDBACK FROM THE CHEF SWEET AND SOUR FROM SCRATCH “I got this sweet and sour chicken recipe many years ago from a friend and since then it’s become a family favorite. Just about every potluck I go to, someone asks if I’m bringing the chicken. I’m not sure if it’s marinating the chicken in garlic salt first, or the homemade sauce, but everyone loves it. In my opinion, you can never, ever have too much garlic salt, I don’t care what you’re making,” laughed Jury. “I usually cut the chicken breast into three strips. You can do the bite-size chicken, but it just takes so much longer in the coating process and I personally think the strips cook nicer.”

FUN FACT My aunt Lori started Cleaver’s Cooking & Catering in Valley City five-years ago. Her son, Lance, nicknamed her June Cleaver back when he was 12-years-old, so she thought the name was fitting. Her daughter, Kayla, often helps her cater events and Lori claims she easily does the work of three people. I’m guessing that she’s not getting out of that job anytime soon.

FEEDBACK FROM THE CHEF VEGETABLE STIR-FRY I found this recipe in a cookbook called Minimalist Bakers. Everything we’ve tried in this cookbook, we’ve loved. The chili garlic sauce and agave nectar give it a great balance of sweet and spicy. I think the key to making good stir-fry is a great sauce and making sure your vegetables aren’t over-cooked. You can really get that fresh taste when there’s a bit of crunch to them. I like to get the sauce hot in the pan first, then add the vegetables and basically flash-steam them with the cover on, stirring every couple of minutes until they’re lightly cooked. Since this is a health-conscious recipe, it’s one I

Check out Lori’s Kate Spade apron - it’s functional and beautiful!

often make for myself during the week. You can easily add chicken or change up the vegetables, adding sugar snap peas or green and red peppers.



Michelle and Mitch Cookas, Kayla Cash, Susan Hozak-Cardinal, Trever Hill



Lori Jury’s Sweet & Sour Chicken 2 1/2 lbs. chicken breasts, sliced into strips. Generously sprinkle breasts with garlic salt. (She used Lawry’s Garlic Salt with Parsley) Let stand one hour or longer. Beat 3 eggs with a dash of water, dip chicken into eggs and then transfer to cornstarch (coat well). Once coated, lightly brown chicken in hot oil. (For the oil in this recipe, Lori prefers butter-flavored Crisco)

Bring the following sauce ingredients to a boil and cook for 3-4 minutes: 2 cups sugar 1 cup chicken broth 1 cup vinegar 1/2 cup ketchup 1/2 cup soy sauce Place chicken breasts on 15 x 17 jelly roll pan, pour sauce over breasts. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, turning every 20 minutes. Serve warm.

Jesse Masterson’s Vegetable Stir-Fry 3 cups of chopped vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots)

Sauce: 1 lime squeezed 3 garlic cloves, minced 1/4 cup of maple syrup or agave nectar 1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce 1 tbsp. of cornstarch 1 tbsp. of sesame oil 1 tbsp. of chili garlic sauce

Whisk together all sauce ingredients. Heat saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add sauce to heat up. Add vegetables, cook until tender.



Lori Jury’s Peaches & Cream Dessert Use greased 9� pie tin. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together and beat on medium for 2 minutes: 3/4 cup flour 1 tsp. baking powder 1/2 tsp. salt 1 egg 1 small pkg. dry vanilla pudding (not instant) 3 Tbsp. butter 1/2 cup milk 1 can peaches

Put this mixture in the pie tin, filling the sides too. Place drained peaches (save the juice) on top of filling. They will sink down.

Mix together for 2 minutes: 8 oz. cream cheese, softened 1/2 cup sugar 3 Tbsp. peach juice Spread this on top of the peaches/filling carefully.

Mix together and sprinkle over top: 1 Tbsp. sugar 1 tsp. cinnamon Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Chill and serve with whipped cream. Garnish with peach pieces.

From our family to yours -Bon Appetit! Jesse Masterson



Fresh Start with a New Build Words by Trever Hill & Tracy Nicholson Photos by Dan Francis Photography, Previous home photos provided by Trever Hill Design

Just over three years ago, Beth and Jared Wells built their first home and contacted Trever Hill Design to add the finishing touches. This home would be filled with bold accents of turquoise and green to coordinate with the darker wood throughout. As time passed, the Wells with their six-year-old son, Quinn, decided it was time to downsize from a colorful, six-bedroom cathedral-ceiling home, to a smaller Titan Homes rambler, surrounded in calming neutrals. Once again, the Wells called on Hill to rethink their previous decor, swapping bold color with a whiter, brighter space using minimalist decor and simplistic pops of earthinspired color.



DOWNSIZING & REBUILDING The last time the Wells built a home, they chose a six-bedroom layout with cathedral ceilings and dark finishes. They had initially planned to utilize the space in the future with a growing family, but as time went on and plans changed, they found themselves living in an oversized home with square footage their family of three didn’t need. Even the more colorful decor they once loved, now seemed distracting against the dark wood finishes throughout the home.

With the couple both employed by Microsoft, the Wells decided to rebuild with Titan Homes in the Valley View neighborhood of South Fargo, just a over a block away from their previous home and near Microsoft’s campus. Moving in last August, Beth Wells had worked with Titan Homes to customize one of their existing rambler plans, this time choosing whiter, brighter finishes. The goal was to create a calming atmosphere that would be the perfect canvas for neutral tones.



HE SAYS “I like things outdoorsy, but not in the traditional sense, more of the reclaimed wood look,” said Jared Wells. “I especially like the flooring with the greys and the browns. It looks rustic, yet clean.”


“He knew exactly how I wanted it to be and he didn’t over-decorate. He just filled in where I needed things to be, to pull the house together.”

“I’m a terrible decorator in any capacity; I wish I could do it myself,” said Beth Wells. “I know a lot of people say that it’s so easy, but I don’t think it’s easy at all. Even the way Trever positions things,

Beth Wells, Homeowner

like the little pieces he’s filled in, really bring the house together without it looking cluttered. He knew exactly how I wanted it to look and he didn’t over-decorate. He just filled in where I needed things to be to pull the house together.” “I’m not afraid to say that I don’t like something either, but I remember I just showed him pictures on Pinterest, showing him my vision for what I wanted the house to look like and then after that it was really easy. For the accessories, I don’t think I’ve ever asked him to run anything by me, I told him to just do it,” laughed Beth Wells.

A FRESH START WITH A NEW BUILD Focusing on the main living area and master bedroom, Hill came into this project as Beth Wells was finalizing her finishes with Titan Homes. “She had great ideas and direction, so I based all of the decor and lighting choices off of the finishes she had already chosen,” said Hill. Their goal would be to focus on neutral tones, reclaimed elements and organic textures.

WHY GO NEUTRAL? “Although we initially loved the pops of color in our old home, it started to feel like it was a little busy,” said Beth Wells. “I don’t think we over-decorated the first time, it was just a different look and went really well with that house. When we decided to downsize from three-stories to a rambler, I just wanted it to be as light and bright as possible. Going with more neutrals like this, it also leaves room that if we do want to add some color in the decor down the road, it will be really easy to do that.”



INFUSING ORGANIC ELEMENTS “When we were discussing the overall goal of this design, she really wanted it to be clean and simple, minimalistic so to not have an overdone space with decor everywhere,” said Hill. “This house has very clean lines, so you get that contemporary feel, but still kind of a natural or borderline cottage look. Last time I worked with her, we used bolder colors, but this time, she didn’t want a lot of bright colors, so we went with a more muted palette. Instead, we focused on the core details and organic textures. Some of the inspiration came from elements like the rustic wood flooring. I love how it has the appearance of two different directions due to the distressing.”

KITCHEN At the heart of the home, the Wells worked with Wendt Custom Cabinets to design their 10-foot island with functional cabinets on both sides. The rustic alder island was given a different tone with a custom “black ash” stain, while the perimeter cabinets were paint-grade maple and poplar. To accommodate the larger, “Frost White” quartz island, end legs were installed to provide more usable stool space.

To keep the space fresh and bright, Beth Wells chose a farmhouse sink, matte grey subway tile, off-white quartz and crisp white cabinetry. “I kept the decor really simplistic and natural in the kitchen,” said Hill. “For the island, I found concrete planters from Eco Chic Boutique for a more organic centerpiece. Above the cabinets, we also kept it simple with platinum vases on one side and metal frame candle lanterns on the other.”

Finishes & Furnishings:

Living room birch branch arrangement - Scheels Home

Kitchen, bedroom and stairwell lighting - Wayfair

& Hardware

Kitchen barstools - Ikea

Living room accent chair - McNeal & Friends

Concrete planters - Eco Chic Boutique

White vases - HomeGoods

Cabinet top, metal candle lanterns - Eco Chic Boutique

Unbound books - McNeal & Friends

Cabinet top, platinum vases - HomeGoods

Mantel succulents - Eco Chic Boutique

Cabinet top, Luminara Real-Flame Effect pillar candles -

Sofa - Furniture Mart

Scheels Home & Hardware

Sofa pillows, floor pillows and throw blanket - McNeal &

Left of range, tin planter - Furniture Mart


Reclaimed wood barn door - Grain Designs

Master Bedroom bedframe and headboard - Gabberts

Entry lighting - Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Design Studio & Fine Furniture

Entry and family room area rugs - Ellen DeGeneres

Master Bedroom nightstands - HomeGoods

Collection, Eco Chic Boutique

Master Bedroom floor mirror - Ikea

Dining table - Restoration Hardware Dining chairs - Four Hands, McNeal & Friends Glass-enclosed paper artwork - HomeGoods Dining room tree - Furniture Mart


“We had really good luck with Wayfair for the lighting,” said Hill. “I love the design of the kitchen pendants - they almost look like antique schoolhouse lights. Another thing I really liked about them is that the top of the fixture looks like it would be a flush-mount, almost like an old flush-mount that was converted into a pendant. Carrying that shape into the adjacent stairwell, we also used a circular chandelier, then found a more flush mount circular one at Ferguson for the foyer by the barn door from Grain Designs.”

DINING ROOM For the formal dining room, the Well’s worked with Titan homes to adjust the original layout to include windows all around, lending the space an open, airy and almost sunroom-like appeal. Adding a statement piece, Hill helped the Wells choose a stunning, grey oak table with a herringbone design from Restoration Hardware. For the dining chairs, he brought in rich-textured, linen-style chairs with nailhead trim and a unique contrasting pattern on the backside. Accessorizing for the space, Hill chose more natural, understated decor like the linen-backed, glass-enclosed, paper artwork. The corner tree was reused from their prior home’s design.





The Home: Builder - Titan Homes

“The coffee table was also repurposed from their previous home,” said Hill. “It originally had a really orange-

Design/Decor - Trever Hill Design

toned, wooden top. To coordinate with the cooler grey tones of their new home, we had Weyer-for-Hire paint

Cabinetry & countertops - Wendt Custom

the coffee table and side table near the sofa. After that, I accessorized with the birch branch arrangement, a few


natural decor pieces like the unbound, antique books, a throw and then some beautiful, patterned pillows. For

Farmhouse sink - Ferguson Bath, Kitchen &

a pop of fresh color, I used white, clay vases with eucalyptus sprays to bring the eye to the center of the room.”

Lighting Gallery Tile and laminate flooring - Floor to Ceiling

“It was really easy working with them,” said Hill. “It was nice that Beth trusted my decisions. When I would

Carpet One

propose furnishings, she might occasionally ask to see a sample, so I’d bring one and she was really decisive and

Fireplace & surround stone - Hebron Brick

knew what she liked and didn’t like right away. Even choosing the sofa was really quick. With the coffee table, I

Wall Color – Sherwin Williams, 6071 Popular Gray

picked out a paint color that we were going to use and she just had faith that it was going to look good.”

MASTER BEDROOM “I knew that they were eyeing a reclaimed wood, platform bed set from Restoration Hardware, so when I came across this one that was almost identical, I messaged them right away. I ended up finding it at Gabbert’s in Fargo and it was a fraction of the cost,” said Hill.

For more information, contact: Trever Hill Design



Sales and Design Team: From left, Katie Kern, Melanie Havig, Amanda Voss, Ashley Potulny, Lindsey Gunderson and Nicole Rygh, not pictured, Angela Graham

20 Years & Counting! Words by Tracy Nicholson Photography by Jill Ockhardt Blaufuss

To succeed in the homebuilding industry, Rob Jordahl knows it takes tough skin, long days and endless dedication. Reaching a landmark 20th anniversary this year, these are just a few of the traits that have kept Jordahl Custom Homes in business and thriving. With so few builders making it to this milestone, we met up with their team to help them celebrate and find out how they stay ahead in the home game.



YEAR ONE In 1998, Rob Jordahl was multi-tasking to make a living. While selling water softeners and driving sugar beet truck, Jordahl was dabbling in the home industry on the side. With a growing vision for building homes, this would be the year he stopped multi-tasking and started committing to life as a full-time homebuilder. “When you make someone’s dream come true, it may sound cheesy, but hearing ‘I can’t believe this is mine’, makes it all worth it,” said Jordahl. Working in a fast-paced industry, Jordahl prides himself on keeping the core customer and homeowner at the base of everything they do. “Our goal has always been to provide quality homes that meet the affordable housing market,” said Jordahl. “We have been fortunate to have the ability to provide second, third and even fifth homes to people throughout life’s changes. They have appreciated the Jordahl process and trust us. Over the years, we’ve been able to expand our footprint to not only build first-time homes, but also luxury homes to fit everyone’s needs.”

PAST AND PRESENT To find out how they survived the past and succeeded in the present, we spoke to three of Jordahl’s longest running employees, Mike Workman, Mike Nelson and Katie Kern. Project Coordinator Workman and Lead Project Manager Nelson have both been with the company for 14 years, while Kern has been the Director of Design for the past 11 years.

Cake created by Indulgence Baking Co.

“I love seeing the growth of the company,” said Nelson. “We had just a handful of employees 14 years ago and now we’ve added departments with a dedicated staff for a design department, sales team, drafting department, service team and a great team of project managers. As Jordahl can attest to, twenty years of increasing prices on land and building materials can take a toll on the homeowner and the builder. Luckily, long-standing relationships have helped bridge the gap. “The price of lots and cost of specials have gone up exponentially in the past years, creating challenges for new home buyers. Thankfully, we’ve been fortunate to build and maintain relationships with the suppliers we started with, which has been really beneficial to our customers in

Mike Workman

Katie Kern

Mike Nelson

maintaining competitive pricing,” said Jordahl.


EVOLVING DESIGN “When I first started, the majority of our homes were twin homes and bi-levels with very few options,” said Kern. “Throughout the years, we’ve transitioned to enhancing our exteriors while also offering three-levels, two-stories and ramblers as well. The customization option in our homes has changed a lot. I feel a big part of that is that we’ve been able to change customer’s perception of who we are and what we can offer from a design perspective.”




To keep ahead of the ever-changing trends, Kern and her team have found that getting online has been a great source of finding the newest trends and figuring out innovative ways to keep them under budget. Some of Kern’s favorite sites are Pinterest and Houzz. She also follows HGTV and an array of favorite designers on Instagram. After they gather ideas, the team incorporates them into model homes where homeowners can see the latest trends in person. One thing Workman’s noticed as Project Coordinator over the past 14 years, is that people are more interested in upgrades, varied materials and overall design to create a customized look. A trend that Kern believes is here to stay is white doors and trim. “It’s such a clean, classic look and can also be a very reasonable option,” said Kern. As the entire team will tell you, the most rewarding aspect of their roles is seeing how satisfied homeowners are with the finished product. “I love getting to experience people walking into their dream home and seeing their reaction and appreciation when the process is complete,” said Kern.





For more information, contact: Jordahl Custom Homes 4802 Amber Valley Parkway, Fargo 701-234-0404

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Remodeling with Style! 701-235-1212

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


A Home for Everyone

Three collections taking you through your journey Designer Homes, Luxe Custom Homes and Ignite, all under the same umbrella of premiere standards. We offer a wide range of custom options no matter what your price point is. We take pride in building relationships that will last a lifetime, from your first home to your forever home, no matter where your journey takes you.

From Start to Finish Designer Homes is here for you We are dedicated to bringing your dreams to life and creating a master piece using the finest elements of custom design.We have a passion for building relationships with clients and providing a fun experience with our dedicated professionals.

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701-492-5057 | 4342 15th Ave S Suite 105, Fargo, ND

Exclusively marketed by RE/MAX Legacy Realty



Realtor Lisa Mauch with designer, Lisa Bruns (right)


Midcentury on Maple Street Words by Tracy Nicholson Cafe Muse, Plains Art Museum Portraits by M.Schleif Photography Home photos by Vicky Lynn Photography Lisa Bruns portrait by Jenna Lenertz



Realtor, Lisa Mauch, and designer, Lisa Bruns, know that in smaller cities like Breckenridge, Minnesota, the housing market is ripe for the flipping. When building new is not as prevalent, markets like this one rely on people willing to take on a project. Watching this listing sit on the market for over six months, Mauch looked to Bruns to transform this 1968 home on Maple Street into a Midcentury Modern stunner. With a budget of only $20,000, see how Bruns tackled an outdated house and made it a home.

OVERHAULING CAREERS & HOMES Not too long ago, Lisa Bruns was a realtor focusing primarily on the Fargo-Moorhead market. Although she had always dabbled in design, helping to stage homes whenever it was needed, Bruns decided it was time to further pursue her passion for design. This is when she began looking for an overhaul project that would officially transition her from realtor to designer. As luck would have it, the Maple Street home soon came in as a referral from fellow Realtor, Lisa Mauch. “I often have consults with other realtors on staging and design,” said Bruns. “My niche is to help sellers who can’t sell their homes - find what their home needs most in order to get on the market and make an impact. This home had been sitting the better part of six months with little action. In a market that is not mine, I relied on a local Realtor to know the market, while she relied on me for the design.”








consultation in late November 2017 to discuss the design and staging of its 2,160 square feet, consisting of four bedrooms and two baths. With delays due to holidays, the actual construction began in December and impressively finished by the end of January, including the staging and photography.


THE INSPIRATION To save the seller money, Bruns prefers to stay within the home’s original character, at least to some extent. “I noticed right away the kitchen was very dark in the evening when the family would be home making dinner. That is how I decided on white cabinets,” explained Bruns. “I wanted to brighten the once dark brown cabinets, brown counters and dark wallpaper. The kitchen cabinets were refaced with doors by an online cabinet company. By painting the cabinets and bases in Delicate White by Pittsburgh Paint, you get the feel of an entirely new kitchen you might see in a new construction home,” said Bruns.




“I had to do an old-school plaster treatment on the dining room and family room walls due to years of wallpaper. The damage and yellowing from the glue could not just be sanded and patched. I spent three days doing a poor man’s version of Venetian plaster,” laughed Bruns. “I think it turned out great though. It ended up taking three days and three coats of very thin drywall mud and light sanding to cover up the damaged walls.”



“I had to do an old-school plaster treatment on the dining room and family room walls due to years of wallpaper. The damage and yellowing from the glue could not just be sanded and patched. I spent three days doing a poor man’s version of Venetian plaster,” laughed Bruns. “I think it turned out great though. It ended up taking three days and three coats of very thin drywall mud and light sanding to cover up the damaged walls.”

“I began by staging - literally taking things from my home, with my husband asking on a weekly basis where our furniture was.” Lisa Bruns

A PASSION PURSUED “I always wanted to be a designer,” said Bruns. “Living in a small town, this wasn’t always an option. You go to school, get a job. My mother did books and waited tables, my father drove truck. Working in real estate, I began realizing that my love for design was coming into play as the market shifted. I began by staging - literally taking things from my home, with my husband asking on a weekly basis where our furniture was. Am I the only realtor to do this? Absolutely not. Here is how I am different. I see art in every home. Old, new, and in-between. I can make almost any home beautiful - in my eyes, it was at some point.” “I don’t only do homes that need to sell, I can design for anyone - whether they live in a twinhome just starting out, or have a million-dollar lake home. I am an artist, furniture maker, custom stager and designer. Some would say, I’m not straight out of the box, there is a ton of assembly required,” laughed Bruns.



Taking on the lower level’s family room, Bruns modernized the space by painting the paneling to look like black shiplap with a matte Iron Ore color by Sherwin Williams. “I lightened the paint in the entire home, including the once golden ceiling with tones of grays and white,” said Bruns. “To save the homeowner money, I left the wood-toned trim and restained it to freshen it up and make it new again.” “It speaks to me, it has a history,” said Bruns when referring to the homes she stages. “When I stage it isn’t me taking a tan sofa and some pillows from a big furniture store. I tell you a story. I want you to feel who might live here. The family whose home you’re getting. The memories you are inheriting. Every home speaks to me in some way. This home on Maple Street told me that an artistic family lived there. They collected art, their children loved to draw and paint as well. They were gardeners, collectors and great cooks.”



FARGO VS. BRECKENRIDGE As Bruns explained, “The Fargo-Moorhead market does not lend itself to flipping as well as the more rural areas. Homes sell for less in the rural areas, so I felt there was more of a return on investment for the seller. This was a complete overhaul on a budget of only $20,000.” After completion, the home showed an increase of $26,000 from its original market value. Currently, this Breckenridge home is on the market and listed at $182,500.

Team & Finishes Designer - Lisa Bruns


Realtor - Lisa Mauch

Bruns considers her business to exist for the benefit of those with small budgets and big dreams. More

Countertops - Fabricators Unlimited

specifically, it’s aimed to sell their home faster or simply update their dream home. “If needed, I make

Flooring and tile - Menards

custom tables, art and design for every house I stage,” said Bruns. “I feel my design skills have evolved

Lighting - Houzz

because I started as a realtor. I know what buyers are looking for, but also I listen to the house. I don’t

Pedestal sink - Lowe’s

like to make it what it isn’t.”

Faucets - Amazon

Contractor- Tim Schmidt

Barn wood - F-M Pallet

As Bruns likes to say, “Keep the charm, give it some modern, but don’t let it lose itself.” For more information on the staging and design, contact: Lisa Bruns 218.780.6956

To inquire about the listing or tour the home, contact: Lisa Mauch, Miller Realty, Inc. 522 Minnesota Ave Breckenridge, M.N. 218.643.5505

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