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design | cuisine | art | culture | architecture

edition 8

may 2018

Trends & Friends





Trends & Friends In watching the growth of their boutique over the past six years, we were thrilled to feature sisters, Rondi McGovern and Shelly Neal on our May cover. Their home design boutique, McNeal & Friends, recently relocated from Downtown Fargo to the Shoppes at BLU Water Creek, and they’re officially open for business. The move to South Fargo meant over doubling the size of their showroom and adding the full-service design studio you see them standing in. If you’re not familiar with their boutique, grab a friend of your own and get ready to experience a fresh new take on home design. This month’s cover art was captured by Dan Francis Photography.


DIY: Katie Sullivan


Shoppes at BLU Water Creek


The Lassig Family + Jordahl Custom Homes For one local builder, this home is symbolic of 20 years of changing times, evolving styles and growing families. The Lassig family has built with Jordahl Custom Homes not once, but four times. See inside their new, open-layout rambler, custom-designed for an upgraded life with a blossoming family.


See inside the new boutiques of McNeal & Friends and Laurie’s - both capturing our attention with their stunning interiors and focus on encompassing home, style and life. Make sure to clear your day...the Shoppes at BLU Water Creek is Fargo’s newest shopping destination.

Parade of Homes: Studio West Stunner



The Starving Rooster + Chris Hawley Architects


Smarter Spring Cleaning + Ursula Hegvik Who better to get spring cleaning tips from, than the girl who hates to clean? Meet Ursula Hegvik, owner of Smart Spaces. This month, she shares her best tips on cleaning up your cleaning supplies, organizing closets and creating a garage you’ll love, not loathe.


Trever Hill & Rebecca Knutson: Jamestown, N.D., Remodel

Ask the Experts: TCF Home Loans With summer right around the corner and home sales heating up, Midwest Nest sat down with the team at TCF Home Loans to get the low-down on down payments, interest rates, loan types and why it’s important to get prequalified before you start the search. Find out how the TCF team simplifies the process for a smooth move.


Artist: Shane Balkowitsch


Creativity + Curb Appeal When it’s time to upgrade or choose your exterior finishes, make sure you have all of the facts and know your design options. Meet Kylah and Mike Lemke at Lemke Home Improvements of Moorhead, M.N. They’ve offered up some expert advice and neighborly tips to help you choose the right siding colors and textures to suit your style.



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 scott amundson photography



robb siverson photography j. alan paul photography shane balkowitsch tom wirtz smart spaces lemke home improvements

alison monke, creative monke dennis krull, 5foot20 design lounge


tracy nicholson


COPY EDITORS kelly schulz tracy nicholson


jessica wachter katie sullivan ursula hegvik trever hill rebecca knutson tracy nicholson

mitch rapp


susan hozak-cardinal tracy nicholson kari lugo stephanie greenman

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



CHAPTER 08 Hello, May! Goodbye flannel and boots with the fur, we’ll see you again...I know for sure. We’re thankful for the sun, heat and rain - really anything that’s not frozen is a big-time gain. Margaritas are the exception, with summer on the way, but first, let’s show you the gorgeous homes and businesses of May. Construction is booming and landscapers are ready to dig, praying away the rain and planting ideas that are bound to grow big. On the search for a handmade or vintage find? Show up early to Eco Chic’s Junk Market for a little slice of heaven and an inspired mind. Don’t forget to stop and smell the May flowers and be sure to let in all of spring’s magical powers. When the leaves make their debut and we hear the lake loon, we’ll see you on the water, hopefully on a ‘toon. With Midwest seasons like a thorny vine, rest assured, our resilience can be aided with a good dose of wine. With a grateful heart and putting rest to this rhyme, we thank our contributors and readers for giving us your time!


Tracy Nicholson

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

Kelly Schulz

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

Schulz is Midwest Nest’s Copy Editor and works full time in marketing at Butler

which leads to endless opportunities in the F-M area. Her style is less ‘posed’ and geared

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

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

Communications from Minnesota State University Moorhead and a Master of Business

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

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

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

and two children. In her spare time she enjoys camping, thrifting, chalk paint projects,

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

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

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

Scott Amundson

Kari Lugo

Amundson is an architectural, interiors and lifestyle photographer. A native of St. Paul, Minnesota he studied photojournalism at the University of Minnesota. He has worked with many talented commercial and residential architects, interior designers and builders

Fargo native, Lugo partnered with Midwest Nest to specialize in business development

across the United States. His works have been published by several national architectural

and advertising sales. Twenty years in media have taken her through national radio,

and design publications across the country. He has had his own company for 30 years.

television, and film markets as well as global newspaper brands, giving her an interesting

You can see more of his work at

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

Ursula Hegvik

Knutson brings readers her expertise as an Interior Designer and Cabinet Department

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

Manager at Floor to Ceiling Carpet One in Fargo, N.D. She holds a Bachelors of Science

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

degree from NDSU in Interior Design, is NCIDQ Qualified and offers over 12 years of

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

experience in residential and commercial Interior Design. Knutson’s projects are all-

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

encompassing from electrical, plumbing, appliances, cabinetry, countertops, flooring and

Smart Spaces won Best Organizer in 2016 and 2017 in the People’s Choice Awards. In

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

this issue, she encourages readers to embrace home organization in the new year and

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

shows some amazing “before and after” examples to inspire. In addition to her passion

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

for design and home organization, she enjoys cooking, traveling, being at the lake, playing

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

with her kids and yoga.

as she works closely with contractors and clients to coordinate finishes and trades with contractors, architects, and subcontractors. Find Knutson at

Jessica Wachter

Katie Sullivan

Wachter is an art feature contributor and the owner and artist at Jessica Wachter Art, based in Bismarck, N.D. Wachter graduated Magna Cum Laude from North Dakota State Sullivan is a contributing freelance writer, with a passion for interior design. She writes about the rewards and challenges of decorating her family’s first home on her lifestyle website, Her formal training in journalism at the University of Minnesota, combined with her husband Daren’s carpentry skills results in dynamic DIY content for their website’s readers. She has recently begun taking on small projects as an interior decorator. Sullivan’s work has been published by various media outlets, including the St. Paul Pioneer Press and Scary Mommy. Connect with her on Facebook @ Pretty Domesticated, on Instagram at @PrettyDomesticated, and on Pinterest @ktmsullivan.

University with degrees in Art and Interior Design. An award-winning artist, Wachter has also led a worldly career including numerous solo exhibitions as well as a speaker at TEDx Des Moines where she presented a TEDx talk entitled,”Everyone is an Artist”. Wachter paints, draws, screenprints and continues to intrigue with new mediums and scale. Her contemporary, mixed-media work is strongly gestural, often containing personal celebrations, struggles, joys, loves and losses. Wachter expresses these personal experiences through her use of color, texture, and composition. In each curated art feature, she brings exploration, inspiration, and a curiosity with no boundaries. In her travels, Wachter will focus on unearthing the Midwest art scene as well as shedding light on national and international gems. Readers will love her unexpected take on the world of art, design, fashion and architecture. Currently, her solo exhibition, #nowords, is on display at Capital Gallery in downtown Bismarck, N.D. through the end of 2017. Find more

Trever Hill

on Wachter’s work at

Dennis Krull

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

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

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

day you will find him working as a designer, photographer and artist. He received his BFA

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

in Graphic Design from MSUM. He creates and photographs for many different businesses,

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

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.




A Rainbow Book Wall Words by Katie Sullivan Photography by Dan Francis Photography

Turn an empty wall into a functional work of art with a can of black paint and a pile of your kids’ books. DIY projects don’t have to be complex to make an impact!




Tape measure

Black paint

Paint roller


3.5” deep acrylic shelves from



Stud finder

Sheetrock anchors


Drill or screwdriver

Colorful books

HOW TO PREPARE Measure your wall and determine how many shelving units you will need. Clear Solution Displays offers several lengths, which can be paired together to create almost endless options. We bought the 3.5” deep flat shelves and installed them in three rows, equaling 96”. Our shopping cart had six of the 36” and three of the 24” shelves. Each row had one long, one short and one long. To make your books really pop, break out black paint and roll it on! We used Behr’s Broadway, but we recommend you sample a few colors to make sure you get the perfect black for your space. A true, flat black works best because it allows the books to take center stage. Once the paint has dried and your cardboard box full of clear shelves has arrived, it’s time to make it happen!




Use a pencil and a level to mock up the rows.

Insider Tip: Make sure you consider how tall the books you’re using are when spacing out your rows. •

Mark the locations of the shelves’ pre-drilled holes.

Get out your stud finder and pray the pre-drilled holes fall on a stud or two.

Install a sheetrock anchor anywhere that there needs to be a screw, but there isn’t a stud.

Touch up the paint and wait for it to dry.

Screw in the shelves!

Insider Tip: Be careful not to overtighten the screws or your acrylic will crack. We may or may not have learned this the hard way! •

Arrange your books Roy. G. Biv style! For nonrainbow enthusiasts, that’s red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and then violet.

Insider Tip: Use two to four books per stack.

For more information, contact: Katie Sullivan

Connect with me on social media: Facebook @Pretty Domesticated Instagram @PrettyDomesticated Pinterest @Ktmsullivan

For more tips, complete sourcing information and to tour the rest of our home, visit


MY FAVORITE BLACK PAINTS Because is there really such a thing as too many black walls?





Purchase shelves at

SOURCES Chaise – Room & Board Teepee – Tnee’s Tpees Drawers – Ikea



shop From Left; Jayne Wilson, Bree Duval, Shelly Neal, Kendra Steffes, Rondi McGovern, Desirae Putnam, Pam Miller. Not shown, Trever Hill, Sydney Fritz, Holly Peterson, Chase Nishek and Nancy Bong


McNeal & Friends Words by Tracy Nicholson Photography by Dan Francis Photography

Sisters, Rondi McGovern and Shelly Neal opened their home boutique, McNeal & Friends nearly six years ago on Broadway in Downtown Fargo. With a focus on high-end design services and exclusive furniture lines, their business quickly blossomed. This year, McNeal & Friends made the move South to the Shoppes at BLU Water Creek. Going from 1,900 square feet to 5,000 meant doubling their staff and expanding their inventory. With the expansion came a stunning new showroom and complete design studio offering a fresh new take on home decor.

Although Neal and McGovern longed to keep their roots planted in Downtown

Neal and McGovern have found that both of their passions are necessary to

Fargo amidst the excitement of Broadway, the reality was that they needed

running a successful business. Neal manages the designers and studio while

more space for their expanding furniture lines and design studio. “We really

McGovern handles the store’s business and accounting. Besides Neal, they

wanted to stay downtown, but after months of searching, we just couldn’t find

currently employ two other designers, Jayne Wilson and Trever Hill, along with

the right combination of accessibility and parking for moving furniture in and

six team members who handle retail layout, inventory and management of the

out of the store,” said Neal. “We heard about the Shoppes at BLU Water Creek


and the women-centric shops that would be in this area and realized that it might be a great fit.” The new space would offer a high-visibility location while doubling their square footage.









guidance on a design project, McNeal & Friends welcomes both shoppers and design clients in one location. Shoppers will find their entire staff is quite knowledgeable in the array of furnishings and decor, with two of their retail associates currently enrolled in design courses at NDSU. To find their unique accessories, dishware, linens and furnishings, the team routinely travels to Market in North Carolina, Atlanta and Las Vegas. Their travels bring home over 100 high-style lines once thought to only be carried in larger cities.

McNeal & Friends carries sought-after Michael Aram gift and collector items, as well as dishware by Vietri, Simon Pearce, Juliska and their newest line, Farmhouse Pottery. Just in time for summer, a must-see is Juliska’s new melamine and acrylic collection which is perfect for patio and poolside dining.

Hand-poured Lafco, Nest and Mer-Sea & Co. candles can be found throughout the showroom. Artwork in an array of styles features the silverframed work of Soicher Marin and Shadow Catchers’ vintage collection of swim caps.



PLEASE SIT ON THE FURNITURE “Although we loved the old store, we didn’t have the space to carry enough styles for people to try out and actually be able to sit on and experience in-person. Here, we’ve been able to bring in a lot more options so our clients can try it before they buy it and feel confident in placing special orders for furnishings,” said McGovern. Guests can expect to browse an eclectic mix of styles from Lee Industries, Highland House, Four Hands, Hickory Chair, Gabby Home, Palacek and Bunakara, with luxury linens by Amity Home and Pine Cone Hill.

“We have a really unique chandelier line that can’t be found anywhere else in town, Ro Sham Beaux,” said Wilson. “This line has a lot of beautiful detail in the hardware and brass. They also use sustainable and recycled materials such as hemp, organic cotton and beads. Anything that you see with the signature tassel on is Ro Sham Beaux.”








cookbooks as well as our tote line by Graf & Lantz. We love their felt, wool tote bags with leather handles,” said Wilson. “We also carry Mer-Sea & Co. wraps and ponchos which are really nice for the beach or traveling because you can fold it into the bag and use it as a pillow.” Accessories and gift items can be found throughout the showroom with unique items from Mainly Baskets, Chilewich, Sugarboo & Co. and new this year, gorgeous shell and bone bead sets from Bliss Studio.



“Our new design studio has everything in it from fabric samples to Phillip Jeffries wallpaper, Hunter Douglas window coverings, carpet, rugs and more,” said designer, Jayne Wilson. “Now customers or designers can come in and pull fabrics themselves and really use our studio.” “Although we have access to just about any line a client could want, we don’t place limits on our designers to stay within the store’s inventory,” said Neal. “It’s just about creating spaces that speak to the individual. Trever and Jayne do a wonderful job working with and really understanding their clients.” In their studio, guests are welcome to browse fabric options and upholstery from high-style lines like Lee Industries, CR Laine, Highland House and Kravet. The new space also features many different rug and carpet options. “Dash & Albert is one we work with a lot, but we also offer Jaipur, Kravet and Ellen DeGeneres’ collection of rugs through Loloi,” said Wilson. “This year, we’re also offering more one-of-a-kind, vintage Persian rugs.” “In the design studio, we love when people drop in and if one of our designers is available, we can certainly meet with them right away,” explained Neal. To guarantee a designer’s time, clients can simply call and schedule a time to meet.

Rondi McGovern and Shelly Neal, owners of McNeal & Friends

SETTING THE TONE “In staging the store and choosing our accessories, we really thought about spring and going into the lake season,” said Wilson. “We chose a lot of coastal navy tones and a timeless, deeper green tone in accessories. Navy is really reminiscent of the lake and sea and using green in a design really brings the outdoors in, which a lot of people are trying to do this time of year.”

SHOPPING FOR INSPIRATION “Whenever I travel, I make sure I go to other home furnishing shops. More often than not, the stores that I’m drawn to are left sparse and kind of let the furnishings do the talking,” said Neal. “If anything, our store is inspired by a great store in Atlanta called Bungalow Classic - this is one of my favorites. To achieve that kind of vibe, we really wanted the showroom to have a clean look and bring in as much natural light as we could. We like neutrals and layering of textures, but warmer colors are definitely coming back. We find that the pendulum is swinging back to a more traditional and timeless look.”

For more information, contact: McNeal & Friends 3265 45th Street South, Fargo 701. 235.0031

UP AND COMING! Follow McNeal & Friends on social media to find out about upcoming events and their May grand opening celebration.




From left, Renee Thompson, Kristi Larkin and Lily, Maura Havig

Words by Tracy Nicholson

Photography by Dan Francis Photography As the first store to open in Shoppes at BLU Water Creek, Laurie’s had already experienced 38 years of success as one of the area’s most distinguished, specialty clothing boutiques. After 10 years in their 32nd Avenue location, owner Kristi Larkin decided it was time to start a new chapter in a brand-new shopping destination. Despite her stunning new store and expanded inventory, Larkin continues to thrive relying on a concept she’s coined, The Laurie’s Way. To Larkin, this means carrying on the true boutique experience of offering a wide variety of beautiful clothing, in fewer, more exclusive quantities. If that doesn’t lure you in, we’ll introduce you to the unofficial store greeter, Lily - a “teddy bear” Bichon Frise Shih Tzu mix.


Creating a unique boutique experience, Larkin firmly believes that her beloved

Larkin discovered her passion for fashion and retail merchandising early on,

sidekick Lily is part of the charm. “Lily is our main host here at the store. People

starting at Dayton’s when she was 16, then working at Laurie’s while obtaining

always ask about her - if I had a store full of Lilys, I could retire,” laughed

a degree in both Apparel and Textiles as well as Business. Larkin went on to

Larkin. “Most people want to know if she’s for sale.” Not only can guests enjoy

work as a buyer for Dayton’s before returning to the area.

Lily’s company as they peruse the racks, guests are also welcome to bring their own furry friends. This is a concept Larkin sees in her travels and wanted to incorporate into her own store environment.



“The front area was really meant to be a comfortable space for not only our customers but also for their spouses and children,” said Larkin. “There’s a T.V. for Bison games or cartoons for the kids along with beverages they can help themselves to while they’re waiting. It’s also a nice, relaxing place for people who are coming in from out of town. Having a space like this can really make it an enjoyable experience all around.” Beyond relaxation, Larkin also uses this area for entertaining during trunk shows and other events throughout the year.

Boutique guests will find an array of brands like 7 For All Mankind, Joseph Ribkoff, Bailey 44, Brighton, Dana Stein Furs, David Cline, Ecru, Elliot Lauren, Fifteen Twenty, Halebob, Pure Amici, In Cashmere and many more.

PERKS OF THE NEW LOCATION After seeing many of her 32nd Avenue South neighbors relocate to this area, Larkin’s interest was piqued. When Hair Success owners Jill Krahn and Jodi Ellingson contacted her about the new Shoppes at BLU Water Creek, it didn’t take Larkin long to make the decision. The move would double her square footage and give her better visibility in a high-traffic and thriving neighborhood. Larkin also helped recruit some of her neighbors to the area. “I think our businesses really compliment one another and I felt it would give people more reasons to visit this area and help create a

“Our key to success is knowing who we are and what we stand for - then being true to our vision.”

destination,” said Larkin. “I’m just so excited at how it’s all come together and I feel grateful to have been asked to be a part of it. I’m happy that they thought enough of us and the history we bring to the community, to think that we should be here and be part of this new community and shopping experience. I like to think of it as we’re all a little family in the neighborhood.”

Kristi Larkin, Owner of Laurie’s





In the new location, Larkin was able to expand and

“This is definitely a dream of mine. Fashion and

redesign her spacious fitting rooms. Just outside

retail merchandising had always been a love.

of the fitting rooms, Larkin has done away with

When my mentor, Laurie (Chatham) retired, it was

the disappearing store clerk, a problem so many

an opportunity where the timing was right for me,”

stores face while working on inventory in the back

said Larkin. “As a divorced, single mom, it provided

of the house. She’s designed a merchandise station

work-life balance for me and my daughter, Hailey.

out front, allowing her to do the daily inventory

She could be here with me on days when she

work, yet still see to her guests every whim at

didn’t have school. She’s 19 now, but she still

the nearby fitting rooms. During trunk shows, this

comes and helps out from time to time when she

space transforms into one of two entertaining

doesn’t have class.”

spaces throughout the store. “Our key to success is knowing who we are and what we stand for - then being true to our vision,” said Larkin. This means keeping standards high and concepts simple. In visiting with Larkin, her passion is clear and her goal has always been one thing to create a true boutique experience, rooted solely in her love of beautiful clothing and accessories. Laurie’s does not carry mass quantities of any particular item and for good reason. By offering a wide variety of clothing in fewer, more exclusive quantities, guests are content knowing that fewer people will be playing the inevitable game of “Who wore it best?”. For Larkin, the perfect fit means For more information, contact: Laurie’s 3265 45th St. S. Suite 100, Fargo 701.282.8180

personalizing the experience for each customer and promoting a positive body image through exclusive and timeless fashions.



Minot Location

The Starving Rooster MINOT & BISMARCK

Words by Tracy Nicholson Photography by Scott Amundson Photography

Most people know Chris Hawley as an award-winning architect of homes, but in Western North Dakota, he’s a jack-of-all-trades. Back in their hometown of Minot, Chris and his wife, Sarah Hawley, had ventured into developing and restoring old buildings when they struck a partnership to create a new restaurant concept, The Starving Rooster. See inside the Minot location inspired by the 1917 Aultman & Taylor Machinery Co. and the Bismarck location that just opened its doors last year. While their infamous, starved rooster logo was once known as a symbol of farm equipment efficiency, starving the rooster to better feed the farmer - it now symbolizes a fantastic, brick-oven dining experience with a respectful nod to their hometown heritage.



RESTORATION VS. RESTAURANT Six years ago, Chris Hawley, his brother-in-law, Chad Thompson, and Thompson’s cousin, Joel Welstad, decided to buy the 1917 Minot building that was originally the home of the parts and distribution warehouse for Aultman & Taylor. Located in an industrial part of Minot, the team began their project by designing 21 units of funky, loft-style apartments on the top half of the building. “At the time, during the oil boom, Minot was in a housing shortage. As we got closer to the end and started discussing the street level, we realized that we had a lot of interest from others, so eventually, we decided to do our own restaurant concept,” said Hawley.

THE CONCEPT The Aultman & Taylor Machinery Co. dates back to 1859 in Ohio, but the Minot building was completed in 1917. Employing a clever marketing tool, their starving rooster logo appealed to nearly every farmer in the Midwest. “The company built threshing machines, so their whole story was that they made a threshing machine that was so effective in sifting the grain that it didn’t leave even a spec of grain behind for the roosters to eat - so the roosters starved,” explained Hawley. This logo would soon become the inspiration behind The Starving Rooster restaurants which Hawley and his partners designed using a 1917 Aultman & Taylor catalog they found archived in Ohio. Back then, catalogs were hand-drawn, black and white etchings or illustrations, so Hawley and his partners wanted to properly display them as the art they truly are. The original illustrations of farm equipment now grace the walls of the restaurant and tell the story of the building and tractor company. Taking it one step further, the partners opted to use reclaimed materials from the original Aultman & Taylor building as well as salvaged material and farm equipment parts from Welstad’s family farm. In the midst of their restoration, Hawley and his partners brought in Jeremy Mahaney, another Minot native who was, at the time, operating restaurants in Minneapolis. Today, he runs both their Minot and Bismarck locations of The Starving Rooster. Their first location in Minot would open four years ago with a second, Bismarck location Bismarck Location

following just last year.


THE STARVING ROOSTER: MINOT Specializing in brick-oven pizzas and sandwiches, the Minot restaurant has a casual vibe fused with a rich history rooted in farming. Hawley and his partners kept as much of the original Aultman & Taylor building that they could. “We left the loading dock open, putting in garage doors that can open in the summer months. In 1917, people used to pull up in their Model-Ts, back their car in here, load up their parts and head back to the farm,” said Hawley. Nowadays, the garage doors open up to Main Street, providing front row access to local street fairs and street dances. The partners kept much of the original paint and walls from 1917, salvaging every bit of the original building and repurposing whatever materials they found. To build the tap line running across the bar, the team recruited Larry Larson of P2 Industries to fabricate a large industrial pipe to hold the beer lines. Four of the bar stools are designed using old tractor seats and the dining chairs were custombuilt for the restaurant. “We actually used the old garage doors as the ceiling and up-lit them so they glow in the dining room area,” said Hawley. “We loved the raw floors, so what you see is the actual red paint from the old shop.” Salvaging the hardwood floors from the upper level, the partners repurposed them into custom dining booths. “Joel built all of the wood booths and benches in place,” said Hawley. “He was the general contractor on this and Jeremy put in a lot of sweat equity as well doing the barn doors and all of those projects. I pulled the permit, Joel did the construction and Jeremy provided a ton of labor.” Using the original drawing from Aultman & Taylor’s catalog, the partners had it printed on acrylic and mounted over the brick wall in the dining area. Look up and you’ll find a custom-designed, lathe and acoustic ceiling within the lighting. As the project’s general contractor, Welstad used salvaged finds from his family’s farm and recruited their welder and handyman to fabricated the railings in place. “They made all of the furniture and anything steel - so all of the chairs, railings and steel-top tables. The table bases are all cultivator disks,” said Hawley.




Above one booth area, the partners repurposed windows from the old warehouse building, hanging them as rustic art. Head towards the heat and you’ll find the brickoven pizza area, complete with a canopy based on one of Aultman & Taylor’s designs. This is a replication of an original tractor canopy that would have covered the cab. Their ode to the building’s history doesn’t stop with the interior’s design - all of their brick oven pizzas are named after one of the Aultman & Taylor tractors - “Old Trusty”, “Yellow Fellow”, “The Triple Gear” and many more. “The Thai flatbread pizza is one of the most popular. We also do a pulled pork sandwich that everyone loves and a Sunday brunch with an amazing spread,” said Hawley.


THE STARVING ROOSTER: BISMARCK After finding success at the Minot location, the team focused their efforts on opening a Bismarck location, also on Main Street. Instead of a farm equipment company, this space was once an automotive shop and car dealership. “It’s an old building, but it was so goofy that in the 80s and 90s they kind of put it back together. In the process, they took away all of the cool, old features,” said Hawley. “They had to cover up the brick and everything else to get the insulation to work. So, at the end of the day, it’s got an old front on it, but it’s really more of a new building. It was basically a vanilla shell, sheetrock box and we kind of had to make it cool again.” To complete the transformation, the partners brought in all of the brick and panels while the other materials were repurposed from the Welstad farm. At the entrance, guests are greeted with the same ode to Aultman & Taylor displayed on red panels from the side of a combine that Welstad had sitting in a field. These panels feature a prominent image and text from the cover of Aultman & Taylor’s 1917 catalog, relayed on acrylic. “This was made from a grain auger taken out of the trees at the Welstad farm. So, we are essentially augering beer out of the silo across this area and directing it to the taps,” said Hawley. “On one side of the silo, we have a door that leads to the liquor storage and on the other side, we have four taps. We also have wine and iced coffee on tap.”




“This wall is kind of fun - everyone asks, ‘What’s up with the cross?’”laughed Hawley. “It’s actually an ‘x’. It’s like the ‘You are here.’ marking your spot on the map. So this is our map leading to the bathroom. At the other end, there’s an arrow pointing to the bathroom.”

Cultivator disks were once again repurposed into bases for the tables and the team reused the remaining windows left over from the Minot building. “Some of the elements from the Minot space show up again, but the Bismarck location is a totally different and reimagined space,” said Hawley. In this area, the team used sifting panels from a grain dryer at the Welstad farm, then backlit them for more dimension. If the pendant lights look familiar, that’s because the shades are actually the teeth of a corn header.

If you’re ready to flock to one of their two locations, here’s where you can find them: The Starving Rooster - Minot, N.D. 30 First Street Northeast 701.838.3030

The Starving Rooster - Bismarck, N.D. 512 East Main Avenue 701.425.0700Stainless steel, Ferguson

See their full menu and hours of operation at:


Spring Cleaning Tips FROM THE GIRL WHO HATES TO CLEAN Words by Ursula Hegvik Photos by Dan Francis Photography, Smart Spaces Anyone who knows me, knows I loathe cleaning. Contrary to my portrait, I am not a domestic goddess who happily cleans in my fur-lined heels and curlers. I’m a busy, working mom - and a cleaning slacker. So you may be wondering why on Earth I’m writing this article. Well, because of my slacker tendencies, I think I’m uniquely qualified to let you know how to get it over with, in the easiest ways possible. we go. I’ll start with some general spring cleaning tips and areas to remember, show you some lovely examples, and finish with our favorite place to transform: the garage.




CLEAN THE CLEANING SUPPLIES Once a year, it’s good to go through your products and get rid of things you no longer use or may be expired. Perhaps it’s time to transform the area where you keep your supplies, in the hopes that an organized cleaning department will inspire you to actually clean. Haha, right? Many things end up under my kitchen sink or in the broom closet. Those are convenient locations, but it’s nice to have things at eye level and avoid having to get on the floor to sort through and find the elusive bottle of vinegar in the very back of the cabinet. Many of us may have a small hallway or foyer closet that we’re not using effectively. Your cleaning supply closets don’t have to be large to be efficient. Transforming a hall closet into a cleaning closet is a fabulous idea! Here are some examples of cool cleaning closets:

FIRST: TURN THE MUSIC ON AND UP! That’s the most important part. In general, keep it simple. When organizing, only touch things once don’t move items from place to place in the house. Figure out where things belong or be ok with letting them go. For the deep clean, I like to use natural products, such as baking soda for stainless steel surfaces, lemons and vinegar for scrubbing and disinfecting. It’s good to start at the top and work down. For example, dust the ceiling fan then strip the sheets and mattress pad to wash, then move the bed around the room so you can vacuum all of the carpet. Remove everything from the fridge and freezer so you can clean the shelves and containers, then discard old items and reorganize as you put everything back. I actually love this task because it doesn’t take very long and the end result is often drastically better than how it was so satisfying!

CREATE KID-FRIENDLY FUN! Assign fun tasks for the kids. Give them each an old toothbrush and bowl of water with vinegar and have them go to town on the base trim and casings. Buy a big pack of those wonderful Mr. Clean Erasers and send your kids around the house to remove wall scuffs and marks. Make it fun! Also, limit the time - I like projects that take less than one hour from start to finish. No one wants to clean all day, right?


TACKLING THE GARAGE Spring cleaning includes that massive space we all neglect, yet use every day. Getting the garage organized can transform your life. At Smart Spaces, we focus on three things: cabinets, slatwall and flooring. Cabinets are obviously good for storing everything and keeping the clutter behind doors - like golf bags, outdoor furniture cushions, gas cans, leaf blowers, WD-40, etc. Counter space and drawers are good for people who have lots of tools and like to do projects.

MAKE PARKING PRETTY We love Swisstrax garage flooring. It’s is easy to maintain, non-slip and offers a 15-year warranty. There are 22 colors to choose from so designs can range from basic to super-detailed. These tiles are fade-resistant and have a compression strength of 5,120 psi, so they’re great for residential, commercial and even farmequipment use.


SLATWALL WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE! With slatwall, there are specific, easily movable holders for everything from bikes to tennis rackets to footballs, skis, fishing poles and more! We love slatwall for the versatility and for giving us the ability to get everything in the garage off the floor. Ursula Hegvik, owner of Smart Spaces and homeowner, Penny Crowder

FEEDBACK FROM THE HOMEOWNER: PENNY CROWDER “This is not just someplace I park, this is another living space. I had outgrown my home, but I love my neighbors and this is the perfect spot for me. Redesigning the garage with Amanda from Smart Spaces has enabled me to stay in my current neighborhood while adding some much-needed living space. Without building on, I feel like I’ve built on - if that makes sense.”

If the task at hand still seems overwhelming and you’re struggling to get started, just start small. With organization, even the smallest changes can make a world of difference. Happy spring cleaning, everyone! For more information, contact: Smart Spaces Ursula Hegvik 5226 51st Ave S. Fargo, N.D. 701.200.8770

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When Trever Hill explained his latest design project in Jamestown, N.D., melding traditional and contemporary stylings, we had to see this unlikely pairing for ourselves. After living in their home for eight years, Michel and Jay Grotrian were ready for a lower-level upgrade which would reflect their eclectic style and love of local art. Without the usual, marital decor squabbles, this couple was equally enthralled with both ends of the style spectrum and ready to get creative. Marrying the two vastly different tones, amidst an extensive basement remodel and complete demo, meant bringing in reinforcement. Before heading West, Hill called on designer Rebecca Knutson of Floor to Ceiling to collaborate, brainstorm and help define the space. See inside the Grotrian’s extraordinary entertainment space, custom-designed to give guests a glimpse of local talent and their native Jamestown flair.



Familiar with Hill’s past projects, the Grotrians were excited to see what kind of elements he could bring to their own space. After realizing the scope of the project, Hill decided to recruit Knutson, whom he knew would bring her expertise in flooring, tile and cabinetry. As avid art collectors, the Grotrians worked closely with Hill and Knutson to fuse their styles and give every inch of their basement eclectic appeal. “They’re not that transitional of people, as most would say,” said Hill. “They truly love both traditional and contemporary decor. Obviously, these are opposite ends of the spectrum, but they both pretty much have the same taste. It was such a pleasure working with them.”

“In my first meeting with the Grotrians, it was clear that we needed to have a wine cellar somewhere. They have a beautiful, curved stairwell that actually goes from the upstairs to the main floor then down to the lower, basement level,” explained Hill. “It’s a fantastic feature of the home. So, I thought, how amazing would it be to have a curved wine cellar under the stairwell and design smaller windows in between the beams.”

Unconventional Elements Words by Tracy Nicholson House Photos by Robb Siverson Photography Portrait of Trever Hill and Rebecca Knutson by J. Alan Paul Photography


“We worked with Straightline Design to fabricate the interior wine storage and then decided to take it one step further and hang mini-pendant lighting that would show through the small windows. This added feature created a gorgeous focal wall for a seating area on the curved wall exterior,” said Hill. “For the seating area, we were able to use some of their existing furniture from Room & Board. We absolutely loved those two chairs that are in front of the wine cellar.”

“Michel and Jay definitely wanted the space to be ready for entertaining their friends as well as a cool family hangout space,” said Knutson. “There would need to be durable finishes for kids to play on and beverages and snacks to be served. Enter, the bar design. The size and octagon shape fills the space with plenty of standing and sitting room for guests to chat. We covered the walls in the bar with an amazing mosaic tile and tied it into the wine cellar area - a space the clients spoke passionately about from the beginning.”


“We collaborated with Straightline Design on the bar shelving making sure the metal details didn’t cover up too much of the mosaics,” said Knutson. “The cabinetry has the unique finish of a handbrushed glaze and houses many appliances and electronic components behind hidden doors.” “I wanted lights on the inside of the bar, shooting up onto the bar shelves, so we did glass shelves so the light really emanates through,” said Hill. Then we had puck lights installed above. The electrician initially had some concerns about this feature, but they are fully sealed and technically considered outdoor lighting, so we made it work.” “All of our appliances and lighting came from Alisha Wiesshoff at Ferguson in Fargo. She’s been wonderful to work with,” said Hill. “For the flooring, we ran the laminate at a diagonal throughout the entire basement. We really wanted it to go with the line of the octagon. We also chose beautiful, Cambria countertops and hanging pendant lights that have a handblown glass effect. I really like these because each one is different and has its own unique dimension of color. I really thought these were true to the Grotrian’s style. There’s is so much that’s handmade in this home.”




“In addition to the bar and wine cellar, the Grotrians wanted this space to feature a theater and game room with shuffleboard and ping pong,” said Hill. “I felt it needed a focal wall, so I did Phillip Jeffries wall covering along with two sconces flanking the theater screen. We found our theater seats from We didn’t do elevation in the theater like you’d normally see, so we chose Four Seating because they have seats that come in three different levels of elevation.”

“We also did a guest bathroom and included a shower just in case they ever wanted to make their pool table room into a bedroom with the existing egress window,” said Hill.



“In addition to the bar and wine cellar, the Grotrians wanted this space to feature a theater and game room with shuffleboard and ping pong,” said Hill. “I felt it needed a focal wall, so I did Phillip Jeffries wall covering along with two sconces flanking the theater screen. We found our theater seats from We didn’t do elevation in the theater like you’d normally see, so we chose Four Seating because they have seats that come in three different levels of elevation.” “The pieces that you see on the left of the wine cellar are handblown glass, they’re through McNeal & Friends, but they’re from a company called Global Views. All of their pieces are handmade,” said Hill. “There’s a story behind each piece and artisan. Also, you’ll notice when you come down the stairs, next to the bar is a piece from local artist, Steve Knutson. This was a piece that I had found at his art exhibit at Abovo in Downtown Fargo. It was kind of a fun play, because of Jay’s career, they do have people that come from out of town and visit and I thought it was kind of a fun play on Jamestown’s buffalo heritage.”



“Trever and I road tripped to the client’s home

“Rebecca and I have been collaborating now for

last fall where I fell in love with Michel and Jay’s

a little while and it’s been amazing working with

colorful style and love of art,” said Knutson. “We

her,” said Hill. “It made the process much easier,

knew from then on that we needed to pack a

being able to choose and order the flooring,

punch into this entertainment space and tie in

countertops, cabinetry, tile and backsplash, all

details with their main floor finishes.”

through her at Floor to Ceiling.


“Running down the hallway, on the other wall closest to the theater, we’ve chosen Jessica Wachter paintings,” said Hill. “Those are some of the mixed-media pieces that she had displayed at her Scottsdale, Arizona residency and I just knew that they had to be in here.” “Your art does not have to match your home, however, I felt that Jessica and Steve’s works were a fun pop of color, yet still coordinated beautifully and made it a cohesive space,” said Hill. “They have so many Walter Piehls up here in the space in fact, the Grotrians are the largest Walter Piehls private dealer besides Microsoft.”

“My design studio staff at Floor to Ceiling Carpet

creates the 3-D renderings of the entire space.

One is an integral part of our process,” said

It’s an awesome experience to watch all of these

Knutson. “We provide 3-D renderings and hand

creative people come together to give our clients

sketches to best explain our designs. My assistant,

the best experience possible by showing them

Shannon Simon, supports the design process

every angle of the design intent. This is definitely a

on all levels including tile and flooring quoting,

highlight of how we function in our Design Studio,

ordering and scheduling. Krystal Andersen inputs

in conjunction with the large showroom at our

all of our ideas into our cabinetry design program


and assists with ordering, while our design intern Find the Finishes: Appliances and lighting - Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery Main flooring - Engineered vinyl plank by Shaw, Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Mosaic tile for bar and wine cellar walls - Daltile, Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Bar cabinetry - Décor Cabinets, clear alder, painted with hand-wiped glaze - Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Bar, drink rails, and bathroom countertops - Cambria Quartz, Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Bathroom flooring and shower tile - Syverson Tile Metal fabrication - Straightline Design Bathroom cabinetry - Omega Cabinetry, Maple with a painted finish, Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Hardware - Vintage nickel finish, Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Wall covering - Phillip Jeffries, McNeal & Friends Chairs - Room & Board Cowhide rug - Eco Chic Boutique Bar stools - McNeal & Friends Theater chairs -

For more information, contact: “Trever and I had so much fun exploring finish

Trever Hill Design

options for this project together,” said Knutson.

“Our team is a well-oiled machine and we have

meshed so well with Trever. He is so imaginative in his selections and we really work well together

Floor to Ceiling Carpet One

when we collaborate on projects,” said Knutson.

Rebecca Knutson, CID

“Through my project management role, we were

360 36th Street South, Fargo

able to design and install the complete project in


a timeline that allowed the Grotrians to host their

first party, just in time for March Madness.”

Michel Grotrian and her daughters from left, Ashley Kronebusch and Benét Fronk. Not pictured, their son, Max Fronk.




THE FOURTH TIME’S THE CHARM This is Shanara’s second Jordahl home, while it’s her husband’s fourth. “The first time I bought a Jordahl Custom Homes house, the price was very affordable. It was 2002 and I was a first-time homebuyer, so I chose a bi-level house,” said David. “Then I built again a year later with them. It was nice because I still got to pick out a lot of the things in the home. I thought there were a lot of options to choose from back then, but compared to now, there’s so much more they can offer.” “Even compared to the last home we built together versus this one, the new options and additional customizations we could do design-wise, were just incredible,” said Shanara. “We worked with the lead designer, Katie Kern and were given so many design choices and that’s something that we really liked about the process. Even though we did a lot more in this house, it was still very affordable.” “Obviously, when we went to the Parade of Homes we’d look at other houses, but most of them were way more expensive,” said David. “Not a lot of builders have this many options to choose from

Evolving Builder... Growing Family Words by Tracy Nicholson Photography by Dan Francis Photography

For one local builder, this home is symbolic of 20 years of changing times, evolving styles and growing families. The Lassig family has built with Jordahl Custom Homes not once, but four times. It all began with David Lassig moving into his first Jordahl home as a bachelor. Fast forward nearly 20 years and three more homes with Jordahl, and today, David’s life has evolved just as much as his builder has. Now married with a 20-month-old daughter, David and his wife, Shanara, were happy to give us a glimpse inside their new, open-layout rambler, custom-designed for an upgraded life with a blossoming family.

like Jordahl does. In four houses, we’ve always had a positive experience and based on the pricepoint and what they could offer, we decided to stay with Jordahl.”



EVOLVING LIFE...EVOLVING HOME Before adding their own personal touches, the Lassigs worked with Jordahl to find the floor plan that suited their family, eventually customizing the Augusta #5 plan to add Isla’s room and a mudroom. “We really liked the design for the stairs,” said Shanara. “We had to change it when we added Isla’s bedroom, so now there’s more railing and it turned out really nice. We had a pretty good idea of what we liked and didn’t like, so the process went quickly.” “Our last home (#3) was a two-story and a more traditional layout, so it was just a much different living style. The rooms were more compartmentalized, which was great for us at the time, but now, with our daughter, we are much happier with the open layout of this design. I don’t worry about her being in her room, I can easily see where she’s going,” explained Shanara.

STAYING ON BUDGET For any homeowner, budgeting with big dreams is not an easy task, but the Lassigs came up with a plan to work their budget backward. “Jordahl’s team really helped us stay on budget,” said Shanara. “We went to the top of our budget right away by choosing everything in the house that we wanted - then we scaled it down from there. So, some upgrades we decided to still do, but we compromised by opting to do them later on. If there was anything that we couldn’t do, we discussed with them to figure out what would work for us. There was a lot of switching back and forth and they were really kind and patient about it.”



MAKING THEIR HOUSE A HOME For the Lassig’s overall design, the conversation began with a family heirloom. “I had told Katie that the house was going to have to be built around my grandparent’s hutch in the dining room,” said Shanara. “The original plan had three beautiful windows at the top which would have been lovely, but there was no place to put the hutch, so we made sure that the windows got changed to make room.” Shanara is a preschool teacher, so items like the antique chalkboard above her cabinets and school bell near her fireplace are not just fanciful decor. “In our decorating, we tried to incorporate things that we loved or items that were meaningful to us. We like antiques, modern and farmhouse, so these are little touches of our personal style,” said Shanara. “As we’ve grown as a couple together, we’ve definitely changed our style and it’s become more unified.”

DESIGNING THEIR DREAM...AGAIN! While Shanara’s favorite features lean toward design elements such as the theater room snack bar, shiplap fireplace, and custom built-ins, her husband didn’t take long to answer that his standout favorite feature was the three-stall garage. “We love having a basement and place for Isla to play. It’s been great to have a mudroom in this home too. We didn’t have one before and it’s so nice to be able to just throw everything up on a hook and toss our shoes in the bins,” said Shanara.


“Another thing we loved about working with their team is that they scheduled time for us to be able to come into the house before the flooring and trim were in,” said Shanara. “We wanted to do some of our own painting and details, like in Isla’s room and the distressed, wood accent wall. So, we just came in for a couple of days and got our projects done. They were really flexible about that which we really loved.”





“I think the process has gotten a lot easier over the

reclaimed shiplap wood from Dakota Timber






years. There are so many different people that you

Company, but Jordahl Custom Homes agreed to

talk to and everyone has a specific part that they

install it for them. Throughout the process, David

play in the process. They’ve been great at helping

can recall only one regret. In his fourth build, he

us make those decisions. I know it’s cliche to say

had decided to keep some of the work for himself,

that it feels like a home versus just a house, but

like building and installing the barn door near the

this one really does,” said David.

entrance to the laundry room. After the arduous DIY process, he quickly changed his mind, jokingly vowing that if he ever built again, that task could stay with Jordahl.

FEEDBACK FROM THE BUILDER “It is our goal to customize each home to the client’s needs and do it at an affordable price. Building a home can be overwhelming and have

“We have five full-time designers who work

“It has been fun to see the Lassigs come together

lots of unknowns, but we have a great team in

with customers to fine tune the selections and

as a couple, and also see their family grow,” said

place to make sure their experience is easy and

finishes specific to the customer’s wants and

sales consultant, Nicole Rygh. “We love that they

fun,” said Suzie Rohde, Vice President of Jordahl

needs,” said lead designer, Katie Kern. “Over the

trust us in both quality and design. Being a first-

Custom Homes. “Being a custom home builder, we

years, the process has evolved from having one

time homeowner or building a larger house for a

have the belief we can build anything a customer

interior design appointment to having up to seven

growing family, we know we can construct a great


appointments with one of our on-staff interior

house but it is the family that makes it a home.

designers. The designers are all masters in their

The Lassigs are truly a part of the Jordahl family.”

For more information, contact:

field, keeping up with the latest trends and

Jordahl Custom Homes

bringing that value to their design appointments

4802 Amber Valley Parkway, Fargo

with homeowners and showcasing those trends


in our models. We also work very closely with

suppliers and subcontractors to ensure we can

offer a large variety of options and selections.”


Classic Elegance + East Coast Charm Words by Tracy Nicholson Photography by Dan Francis Photography

When Cara and Cole Christenson found their beautiful pond lot in West Fargo’s River’s Bend development, they had not planned on building on it for at least a few years. Finding inspiration in Studio West Home’s work on the HBA’s Parade of Homes last year, their plans quickly progressed from ideas on the drawing board to reality. Working closely with Kirsten Waverek, Elliot Steinbrink and Trisha Stibbe of Studio West Homes, the team was able to bring to life a stunning two-story vision, with a fusion of classic design elements and coastal charm.



PLANNING THE DESIGN To create their unique mix of traditional and classic elements, Cara Christenson created a Pinterest board and provided Studio West Homes with ideas and images to set the wheels in motion. Waverek and Cara Christenson worked together From left, Elliot Steinbrink, Kirsten Waverek, Trisha Stibbe of Studio West Homes


years ago, but last year set their sights on the

“We came to Studio West Homes with five key

beautiful pond lot with endless potential. Despite

things that we wanted in the home. Since our last

their plans to hold off on a new build, the couple

home was a rambler, we wanted a two-story this

couldn’t help but start dreaming up their new

time with a catwalk upstairs and a vaulted entry

vision. They started meeting with various builders

and living room,” explained Cara Christenson. “We

and eventually set their hearts on the signature

also asked for a spacious master suite with a

style that Kirsten Waverek of Studio West Homes

soaker tub and walk-out balcony, then a nearby

had become known for. “We had ideas in our head

bedroom suite for our daughter, Sloane.”

that were very broad, but one of the reasons we away,” said Cole Christenson. “We loved their style and their vision. We showed them what we liked in general, and Kirsten honed in and got us to where we are now. It’s been a great process and decision to work with them.” Nearly a year later, after first meeting the Studio West Homes’ team, the Christensons are planning their May move-in date. Transitioning from a rambler with more industrial finishes, the family of three is ready for the more refined and classic design of their custom two-story. Encompassing 3,130 square feet with three bedrooms and twoand-a-half baths, every inch of the home speaks to the craftsmanship of the builder and personality of the homeowner.

vintage and mid-century modern designs. “We wanted the home to feel very classic and traditional

The Christensons built their rambler just three

went with them is the trust that we felt right

to find the lighting online, in a mix of traditional,

with an East Coast feel, but then liven it up with a few modern touches within the lighting choices,” said Cara Christenson. To achieve the fused look, they chose antiqued Brass finishes in the main living areas and chrome fixtures in the bathrooms. White-oak laminate flooring and crisp white trim lend a beach house vibe while soaring ceiling heights create modern elegance. To unify the proportions between the


kitchen’s 10-foot ceiling and the great room’s 20-

Letting the design evolve throughout the process,

foot ceilings, Studio West incorporated taller doors


and custom-designed, seven-inch base trim.





renderings to help the Christenson’s visualize the current state and eliminate any unwelcome surprises.



“Cara had wanted this light fixture for years, so the powder room design centered around the plaster white, vintage lighting, then extended to the Serena & Lily wall covering that she found,” said Waverek. “To create the double-shelf, wall hung vanity, we used a stained red oak to emulate the white oak look of the flooring.”

Leveraging the 20-foot ceiling height in the entry, the team designed a grand entrance with a whitepaneled, stairwell wall and white oak banister as the focal point. The more classically elegant entry design is their guest’s first glimpse of the home’s timeless style.



“For the great room’s blinds and our lighting, we


had Jamie from Smart Home Technologies come

“Originally, we had planned to do reclaimed wood

in and do a walk-through,” said Cara Christenson.

beams in the 20-foot ceilings of the great room,

“All of our lighting is now on a Crestron system and

but as they started making their selections, we

we decided on doing electronic shades just on the

realized that they were going away from the more

lower portion of the windows since we don’t get

industrial design of their last home,” said Waverek.

much direct sunlight on that side of the house.”

To remedy the design, Studio West switched the reclaimed beams out with a more traditional beam

One industrial element the Christenson’s chose to

style, then added classic paneling to the fireplace

keep is the locally-designed Finnu Designs dining

and a unique white-washed look tile that Cara

table by Josh Humble.

Christenson had found.



Just beyond the great room, the Christensons and Studio West have designed an open layout which is integral for entertaining and family time. The dining area transitions from the great room to either the sunroom or kitchen with close proximity to all three spaces. Keeping with a lighter, beach house vibe, Studio West worked with Wendt Custom Cabinets to create the contrast between the Simply White cabinetry and Stonington Grey painted island with antique brass hardware and classic subway tile. To add a modern element, wall-hung shelving was finished to complement the lighter tones of the white oak flooring.

Since the mudroom can be seen from the kitchen, the team needed to create a cohesive design between the two rooms. To do this, they chose the same Stonington Grey tone of the kitchen island on the mudroom cabinetry and drop zone.




Upstairs in the custom-designed laundry room, the team chose a bold, yet classic hue of Hale Navy cabinetry with aged brass hardware and a patterned, sheet vinyl flooring. With the master closet located just behind the laundry room, it created a unique opportunity to incorporate a direct pass-through for their laundry basket.



“For me, this design was initially a little more

For the staging and design of the home, Studio

challenging,” said Waverek. “Cara and Cole had

West worked with the Cara Christenson to put

gone to quite a few open houses and existing

a fun twist on their own personal style. “With

properties for sale, and they said they really loved

everything being so light and bright we kind of

this two-story entry and the look of the catwalk.

liked it being a little bit beachy, a little bohemian,

That was a type of design that we hadn’t really

then mixing in a fresh green so it’s not just that

done before, but I absolutely love the way it turned

typical home,” said Waverek. “There are some really

out. The design and layout definitely evolved as we

fun accents, but it’s still that traditional, classic

went through the process.”

design with some really strong bones. Our hashtag for this home is #Studiowestcoastalcharm - it’s kind of that coastal style with the lighter wood and beachy fabrics and linens. Then we bring in a little bit of glam with all of the gold, velvet and pops of pink that Cara loved. A pop of color like this one can go a long way.”



Another check off of their wish list was the upstairs master suite. Studio West worked closely with the couple to design a relaxing space with plenty of amenities. “They’re both big readers, so it was nice to incorporate some built-ins for their books and a cozy sitting area overlooking the pond. Eventually, just outside of their bedroom there will be a walkout balcony deck,” said Waverek.

“Their master bath turned out beautifully with the herringbone marble tile and heated floors. We mixed in more modern fixtures in chrome with marble-look quartz countertops and the same Simply White cabinets as the kitchen perimeter,” said Waverek. “We also incorporated his and hers sinks with a side makeup vanity as well as a soaker tub and a custom tile and glass shower.



Find the Finishes: Powder room lighting - Visual Comfort Powder room wall covering - Serena & Lily Great room chandelier - Circa Great room blinds & Crestron lighting controls - Smart Home Technologies Kitchen, bathrooms and fireplace surround tile - Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Cabinetry and built-ins - Wendt Custom Cabinets Antiqued Brass hardware - Wendt Custom Cabinets Flooring - Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Kitchen pendants - Rejuvenation Kitchen sink sconce - Restoration Hardware Master bedroom pendant lights - Serena & Lily Countertops - Spaulding Stone Master bath glass doors - Frontier Glass

Making Pinterest perfection with the ceiling slant, Studio West created a charming space for their four-year-old daughter Sloane - complete with

Master soaker tub and fixtures - Northern Plumbing Supply / Waterfront Kitchen & Bath Master bath lighting - West Elm, Wayfair Dining room table - Finnu Designs

beautiful built-ins and a dreamy window seat for reading. For more information, contact: “We only build a handful of homes each year, so

Studio West Homes

we get to know our clients really well,” said Kirsten


Waverek. “We want every home to be personalized

to the homeowner and really fit their personality.

We love finding new ideas, so when clients come to us with organized ideas like Cara and Cole did, we know exactly which direction to go in. They both have phenomenal taste and we’re so excited to have gotten the opportunity to work with them.”

From left, Lindsey Svir - Mortgage Loan Originator, Jesse Rostad - Branch Manager, Elise Swanson - Senior Loan Partner, Kayla Kallander - Mortgage Loan Originator. Not pictured, Aaron Stoneberg - Mortgage Loan Originator


With summer right around the corner and home sales heating up, Midwest Nest sat down with the team at TCF Home Loans to get the low-down on down payments, interest rates, loan types and why it’s important to get pre-

Words by Tracy Nicholson

qualified before you start the search. While loan paperwork

Photography by Dan Francis Photography

is often dreaded, we find out how the TCF team simplifies the process for a smooth move.

ask the experts


JESSE ROSTAD TCF HOME LOANS Rostad is the branch manager at TCF Home Loans in Fargo, N.D. In this role, he develops business strategy and leads a team of mortgage loan officers who originate residential loans. Prior to his work at TCF Home Loans, Rostad most recently worked as a mortgage loan officer at Rubicon Mortgage Advisors, mortgage loan originator at BlackRidgeBANK and vice president of mortgage at Bell Bank. Rostad holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Concordia College in Moorhead and is a graduate of the Dakota School of Banking.

“I’ve worked in mortgage and banking for 17 years. I started in college and it has been so rewarding personally and professionally that I turned banking into my career. In October 2017, I joined Rubicon Mortgage Advisors as the branch manager in Fargo and shortly thereafter, we were acquired by TCF Bank. Under TCF’s national banking charter, we have the opportunity to grow our residential mortgage business in more states and I’m really enjoying this opportunity. As branch manager, I’m working with visionary leaders in the mortgage industry who have empowered me to lead a great team of mortgage professionals.”

“What separates TCF Home Loans is that we are dedicated to the residential mortgage business and we do it well. We want our customers to have such a wonderful home buying or home refinance experience that they recommend us to their friends and family. When they do that, we know we are doing our job.”

Jesse Rostad, TCF HOME LOANS


ask the experts

KAYLA KALLANDER TCF HOME LOANS Kallander is a mortgage loan originator at TCF Home Loans where she oversees all aspects of the residential mortgage process. Kallander brings with her nearly 15 years of banking experience, serving







originator at Rubicon Mortgage Advisors. She also previously worked as a mortgage loan originator at BlackRidgeBANK and as a mortgage loan originator, virtual banker and customer service representative at Choice Financial. A graduate of North Dakota State University, Kallander holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in marketing.

“Little did I know that my high school job in banking would lead to a nearly 15-year career in banking and mortgage. What keeps me in it is that I truly enjoy helping people make their dreams of homeownership a reality. At TCF Home Loans, I work at a company dedicated to the mortgage business with a strong focus on customer service and technology.”

“We offer a Buyer Advantage that holds us accountable to provide the best possible customer experience. If customers submit all of their mortgage documents in a timely manner, which is typically within five business days, we apply a $500 credit at closing. And, we offer an on-time closing guarantee. If we don’t close on or before our customer’s scheduled closing date, we pay their loan closing fees, such as appraisal, administrative, credit report and loan origination fees, up to 1% of the loan amount.” Kayla Kallander, TCF HOME LOANS

ask the experts



1. What does the mortgage approval process consist of?

USDA (United States Department of Agriculture)

“Applying for a mortgage is relatively easy. It starts by completing a 10-minute

FHA (Federal Housing Administration)

application online at Once we have all of the necessary information, we review your financial history and income,” said

3. How much down payment do I need in order to get a mortgage?

Rostad. “We look at credit reports, current debt, credit scores, pay stubs, tax

“Some programs require a down payment, while others like VA (Veterans Affairs)

returns and more. After reviewing your information, we make a decision. The

or USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) loans require no down

process can take as little as a couple of hours to a few days, depending on the

payment,” said Kallander. “Some states, like Minnesota and North Dakota, offer

complexity of the borrower’s financial situation.”

down payment assistance to help consumers purchase a home. It’s important to work with a knowledgeable mortgage loan officer who is willing to explore

Gather your Documentation.

mortgage options with you.”

“You should be prepared to provide personal and work-related information when applying for a mortgage loan. At a minimum, you will need to provide a

4. What can I expect for a mortgage interest rate?

photo ID, social security number, date of birth, two years of address history,

“Mortgage interest rates vary based on the loan type and the customer’s

pay stubs, tax returns, assets, two years of work history and verification of

financial history,” said Rostad. “Each factor can contribute to the mortgage

employment,” said Kallander. “It may take a little time to pull this information

interest rate. Some consumers who qualify even choose to buy down their

together, but it helps to speed up the mortgage process.”

mortgage loan interest, meaning they pay extra at closing to lower the interest rate for the life of their loan. We’re happy to sit down and discuss mortgage options to find the solution that best meets and even exceeds their needs.

2. What types of mortgage loans does TCF offer?

Here are just a few of the factors which can determine your mortgage rate.”

“Since we offer a variety of residential mortgage loan options, our mortgage loan originators work with our customers to help them find the offering that

- The mortgage loan program

best meets their needs,” explained Rostad. “We also offer specialty programs

- Mortgage term

for consumers who have experienced bankruptcy, foreclosure or poor credit.”

- Credit score - Amount of down payment

Here are a few of the loan types we offer:

- State where the property is located

Conventional First-time home buyer

5. Once I’ve found my future home, how fast can I move in?

Home ready/home possible which is 3% down

“From the time you have an accepted offer on the property you want to buy,

Jumbo - more than $453,100

depending on the program, you could be in your new home in as little as 30

ARMs (Adjustable Rate Mortgages)

days and sometimes even faster,” said Kallander.

VA (Veterans Affairs)

ask the experts


LINDSEY SVIR TCF HOME LOANS Lindsey Svir is a mortgage loan originator at TCF Home Loans, overseeing the residential mortgage loan process from her office in Fargo, N.D. Prior to joining TCF Home Loans, Svir spent five years as a mortgage loan originator at both Rubicon Mortgage Advisors and at Valley Mortgage. She also worked as a financial representative assistant at Northwestern Mutual. Svir received a bachelor’s degree from North Dakota State University.

ELISE SWANSON TCF HOME LOANS Elise Swanson is a senior loan partner at TCF Home Loans where she supports customers and the mortgage team from the branch in Fargo, N.D. She has 13 years of experience in the mortgage industry, most recently working as a senior loan partner at

North Dakota, offer down payment assistance. Work with a knowledgeable mortgage loan officer who is willing to explore these options with you. 3. Get your credit report free at Correct any errors before you apply for a mortgage loan. If you reduce your debt load and improve your credit score, you may qualify for better loan terms which could save you money.

Rubicon Mortgage Advisors, Cobalt Mortgage and Caliber Home Loans. Swanson attended Ashford

4. Get pre-qualified. When home sales are moving fast, pre-qualification can

University in San Diego, C.A.

make your offer more enticing to the sellers and give you a better chance of getting the home you want. You may be pre-qualified for more than you are comfortable spending, so plan to stick to your budget when you look at homes. 5. Compare rates. Explore how interest rates, points, and the amount of your down payment and closing costs all affect the final costs of your mortgage.


Select a mortgage loan officer who is willing to discuss your options and

TCF’s Tips to Simplifying Your Home Loan

provide a solution that best meets your needs.

1. Review your budget. Identify how much you are comfortable spending for a

6. Read the offer carefully. Before you choose a loan, make sure you

home by comparing your after-tax pay to your expenses. Remember that your

understand when your payments will be due, what fees may be included, and

home buying costs include a down payment, the mortgage loan (principal and

any requirements that are included with the loan offer.

interest), property taxes and homeowner’s insurance. Be sure to budget for closing costs, inspections and any repairs or upgrades you will want to make

7. Need a guide? The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers a free


workbook and other tools that can help you develop your budget, understand loan options, and more. They are available at https://www.consumerfinance.

2. Know your down payment options. Some programs require a down payment,

gov/consumer-tools/mortgages/. TCF also offers the free, online TCF Financial

while others like VA (Veterans Affairs) or USDA (United States Department of

Fitness Program that includes courses on Considering Home Ownership and

Agriculture) loans require no down payment. Some states, like Minnesota and

Mortgages at

THINKING ABOUT REFINANCING? Refinancing pays off your existing loan and replaces it with a new one, usually at a lower interest rate and a lower monthly payment. Before you refinance, the TCF team suggests considering these important factors: Remember that you must pay closing costs and fees when you refinance. You will need to consider how long it will take you to recover those costs and how long you plan to live in the home. Look for a mortgage term option that is the same as or shorter than the term left on your current mortgage. If you have 20 years left on your current mortgage, for instance, and you refinance with a 30-year mortgage, you may pay more over the life of the loan than if you had kept your original mortgage. It is important to look at the overall numbers of your refinance scenario to learn if a refinance makes sense for you. Be sure to consult a mortgage professional.


THE TCF HOME LOAN TEAM TCF Home Loans is owned by TCF Bank, a Minnesota-based national bank holding company, with retail and commercial banking services in seven states, and commercial leasing, equipment financing and inventory finance business in all 50 states. TCF Home Loans currently has 17 branches in the United States with three of those branches in Bismarck, Grand Forks and Fargo, North Dakota. TCF Home Loans originates residential mortgages in Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

For more information, contact: TCF Home Loans 4575 23rd Avenue South, Suite 600, Fargo 701.551.0543



Shane Balkowitsch

PRESERVING THE PROCESS OF 1800’S PORTRAITURE Words by Jessica Wachter Photography by Shane Balkowitsch, Tom Wirtz, Jason Lueder

It’s never too late to follow your true calling or passion. As an artist, nothing makes me happier than seeing others chase after their dreams; which is why I’m so excited to introduce you to Shane Balkowitsch of Nostalgic Glass Wet Plate Studio. He is an artist who couldn’t stop himself from following his passion. What’s even more intriguing is that his passion executes the extremely rare artform of wet plate ambrotype photography dating back to the 1800s. Follow me inside Balkowitsch’s unique, natural light studio in the prairies of Bismarck, N.D. Portrait by Jason Lueder





Balkowitsch is a wet plate artist, mastering a technique that is considered one of the earliest forms of photography. Although it was once common in the mid-1800s, it’s practically unheard of today. We are in an era where we can easily snap hundreds of digital photos in minutes, and as a result, wet plate photography has become a lost art. In fact, it is believed there are less than 1,000 wet plate photographers in the entire world. What a treat to have one right here, in the Midwest!


The end result is a one-of-a-kind, archival object

According to Balkowitsch, a wet plate photographer

of art that will last many lifetimes. “There are wet

makes a film base on a piece of glass or metal using

plates of Abraham Lincoln that look just as good

collodion, submerges it in a silver nitrate solution

today as they did a century and a half ago,” said

to make it light sensitive, and then exposes the

Balkowitsch. “Every day the world is filled with

photograph usually in an old-style, wood bellows

millions and millions of digital photographs that

camera box and antique brass lens from the 1800’s.

have no value, character, significance or physical

The process is called wet plate because during the

form, that is not the case with each and every wet

entire process the chemicals on the plates must

plate. The wet plate process is magical and the

remain wet and cannot be allowed to dry.

end result is tangible and precious.”












would not work for this project because it has UV protection. I need UV to make a proper wet plate in the historical process, so to solve this dilemma, To properly execute his artform, Balkowitsch

I figured out that the greenhouse industry was the

needed a studio to suit his unique process.

solution,” explained Balkowitsch. “Greenhouses

Finding a perfect location in his own backyard,

are an industry that wants as much natural UV

Balkowitsch got to work designing his studio space

into a space as possible, and that is the solution

on the prairie.

I came up with. The glass is specialty glass that allows 95% of the natural UV light from the sun to

“The studio took two years of planning and eight

enter the creative space. I even took the window

months to construct,” said Balkowitsch. “It is the

size and pitch from a Dr. Felix Raymer, who wrote

first natural light, wet plate studio built from the

a book in the early 1900’s on how to build the best

ground up in North America in over 100 years.”

natural light studio.”



METICULOUS MODELING I had the honor of doing a photoshoot with Balkowitsch last year, on my birthday. What a pleasure to experience his process, firsthand. It took Balkowitsch over an hour to set up for the shoot. This mindful and meticulous preparation is an important part of his artistic process. This included, among many other things, preparing the






preparing the wet plate. The wet plate is a piece of glass where the image from the photoshoot will eventually appear. In a dark room, the light of the camera shone on me, and while illuminated, I had to sit perfectly still. Compared to how quickly photos are taken in our current times, I felt as though I was sitting there for an eternity. Once that was complete, I got to watch him bathe the wet plate in various liquid chemical solutions. This is where the image started to come to life.

EMBRACING THE UNEXPECTED It wasn’t until the lights were on, that the final product was revealed. And I found out that the final product may be very different than what was originally expected. Why? For many reasons. For example, there could be imperfections in the wet plate itself. Or, it’s possible for solutions to interact differently with the wet plate than anticipated. There are many different components that affect the final composition. The artform shifts, very quickly, from relying on meticulous planning to letting go of all expectations. I found this fascinating. The way wet plate photography preserves moments that not only stand the test of time but embody thoughtfulness and beauty. Balkowitsch’s intent certainly aligns with the essence of his artform.


LEAVING A LEGACY Balkowitsch’s work is finding a renewed appreciation all over the world as his pieces have recently been featured or requested in Native American museums spanning the distance from Bismarck to Arizona and India. Behind his art, there lies a purpose, as Balkowitsch explained, “I hope I leave a legacy of kindness and understanding for my Native American friends. If I am able to achieve this goal of 1,000 original wet plates for that, I think I cannot ask for anything more. At the end of the day, it is all about the final piece, but it is also about the friendships that I am making along the way. I want to continue to use my camera for change.”

For more information, contact: Shane Balkowitsch, Ambrotypist Nostalgic Glass Wet Plate Studio 2703 Big Sky Circle, Bismarck 701.426.7630



exterior design

THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD When you’ve been in the business as long as the Lemke’s have, you see a lot of trends come and go. Each year, certain colors tend to dominate the neighborhoods and sometimes there’s a need for caution and a little research. Follow these tips to help make a decision that you’ll be happy with for years to come.

Creativity + Curb Appeal Words by Tracy Nicholson Photography by Dan Francis Photography, Lemke Home Improvements

It’s easy to ignore the exterior of a home when we’re stuck indoors for over half of a year, but many homeowners are finding out that the exterior of their home is just as important as the interior. For Kylah and Mike Lemke of Lemke Home Improvements in Moorhead, Minnesota, improving a home’s curb appeal, has been their life’s work for over 20 years. Since the Lemke’s specialize in seamless steel siding, we asked them to show us what’s trending in colors, textures and styles. They also show our readers a few unique ideas to help homeowners accentuate the architectural elements and create authentic character, even on the newest of builds.

exterior design


Six Tips for Siding in Style 1. KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD The Lemkes suggest taking note of what colors your next door neighbors have and opting for something different or complimentary. If you want the same color tone as your next-door neighbor, consider going with a variegated version - this will pack just enough punch to give your house a different look.

2. GET INSPIRED When you meet to choose your siding, bring in or share inspiration in the form of Pinterest boards, photos, magazines, blueprints...really anything that can help further explain what you like and don’t like for colors and styles. “We can color match so we can either try and get really close to the color or sometimes even duplicate the look entirely,” said Kyla Lemke.

3. STRIVE FOR A COHESIVE INTERIOR + EXTERIOR DESIGN “The number one thing I ask people is, what colors do you have inside of your home or what style and colors are you leaning toward? It’s a good idea to tie in the home’s exterior design with the interior,” said Kylah Lemke. “Compare your entire palette including paint samples, exterior rock samples, brick...whatever options you might be considering using in or on the house.”

4. ACCENTUATE YOUR HOME’S ARCHITECTURAL FEATURES Pay attention to the architectural lines of your home’s exterior and decide which areas you want to accentuate. These areas can create focal points with a custom, detailed look using unique siding applications, shakes or different trim styles. “The goal is to love what you see when you drive up to your home every day and not have any costly regret,” said Kylah Lemke.

5. SET YOUR PRIORITIES “For the exterior options, pick one thing that you know you really want and are willing to spend the money on,” said Kylah Lemke. “Maybe you want to focus on a craftsman style and accentuate the boards and trim work or maybe it’s a particular color of siding. Either way, we can make that product the priority and build the rest of the exterior around that, keeping your budget in mind.”

6. LOOK, LEARN AND LISTEN Each year, their vendors offer new palettes, styles and textures that seem to be more authentic than the year before. These are options that can make a big difference in helping dress up their exterior. Make sure to ask questions, browse samples and find out what’s new in the world of exteriors. They also encourage people to take siding


samples and look at them in natural light so the color’s warm or cool

According to the Lemkes, Charcoal Grey was easily the most popular hue in 2017 and

undertones will not be a surprise.

seems to have some longevity. This year, they can offer nearly three times the options, just in grey tones. Beyond the grey area, this year’s other trends are veering brighter and warmer, offering many different variegated textures to emulate wood. Here are seven color options you’re bound to see sprouting up throughout the neighborhood.


TRIM TRENDS “People are asking for minimal trim around the windows and doors, wanting a more streamlined and modern result,” said Kylah Lemke. “We used to do more bends to make them more decorative, but lately, we are definitely seeing more simple and flat designs. We hand make all of the wraps either on-site or in our shop, so we can really create any style they’d like.” Following the trim trends, here are just a few details that can give your home a renewed curb appeal without replacing the entire facade.

NOT HAPPY WITH YOUR NEW SIDING? Although it’s rare, some customers who choose their colors, wraps and textures, end up not happy with the overall look. Kylah Lemke suggests that before you make the costly decision to reside, consider getting a free estimate from a professional like Corey Stern, an estimator at Lemke who’s side specialty is landscapes. “He can go to the home and help figure out what part of the exterior they are not happy with. Sometimes with a little help from creative landscaping, the

TRENDING TONES Newport Bay Blue Mahogony Iron Stone Charcoal Grey Timber Ash Napa Vine Cottage Red

UNEXPECTED UPDATES - Replace old rain gutters with a more decorative rain chain. - Upgrade old wood trim work with a variegated, steel version in a wood-look. - Add shakes to one or more of the home’s peaks. - Update your wraps, soffit and fascia. - Add decorative underdecking in wood tones to your home’s vaulted entrance or covered porch.

problem can be easily solved. Other times, it’s as simple as changing out a few of the siding details this can make a big difference with the overall look of the home and be much more cost-efficient then re-siding the entire home.”

exterior design


IT’S WHAT’S UNDERNEATH THAT COUNTS Choosing a complimentary tone or wood-textured underdecking panel can be the start of impressing guests







Lemke recommends the waterproof, InsideOut Underdecking panels by Quality Edge. This is another one of their maintenance-free products with a lifetime warranty and an array of colors to choose from.

SHAKE IT UP “Quality Edge offers a steel shake in three neutral colors (Cedar, Timber, Ash), which is a really nice option. Vinyl shakes tend to fade faster over time,” said Kylah Lemke. “There are some people who like that fading in shakes, but it’s hard to predict what you’re going to end up with. All siding will fade over


time, but typically steel siding and shakes hold up

In the past few years, Lemke has also ventured

and retain color much longer.”

into commercial siding projects - completing many schools and church projects as well as Happy Harry’s, The Mark Apartments in Downtown Fargo, West Fargo’s Hulbert Aquatic Center, Lutheran Social Services and The Sanctuary Events Center. One of the more modern products they’ve become specialists in is the aluminum composite panels. These panels come in a wide variety of colors and

For more information, contact:

metallics, as well as a premium, weathered copper

Lemke Home Improvements - Exteriors

and wood textures. Businesses are using the bright

1805 23rd Street South, Moorhead

pops of color to coordinate with their company’s


branding or warm up a more institutionalized



A directory of local talent, realtors and industry experts!


3300 Main Avenue Fargo, ND 58103 • (P) 701.235.3131 (F) 701.235.3135

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Midwest Nest - Edition 8 - May 2018