Photos by Paul Flessland
After showing us around Grace 1972, Audra and Matthew Mehl invited us over to their house and you guessed it, their home was just as gorgeous as the store. However, Audra Mehl wasn’t always in love with the 1990s split-level. This crafty couple told us about their projects as well as when and why they asked for help.
Audra and Matthew are experienced DIYers. Before they bought their current home, the Mehls flipped one house and renovated a 5,000-square-foot home on the Wild Rice River. You can read more about the Flip House and River House on Audra’s blog, audramehl.net.
Now the Mehls live in a split-level in South Fargo, which they have dubbed The Lighthouse because of all of the natural light from the south facing windows.
In the living room, Audra Mehl chalk-painted the fireplace, which used to also be oak. She then distressed the paint to achieve a farmhouse chic look.
That’s not all the Mehls have in mind for the fireplace, though. Audra and Matthew Mehl have found a piece of reclaimed wood from Dakota Timber Company that they are going to use in place of the mantle. They are also planning to replace the mirror above the fireplace with a shiplap or reclaimed wood feature.
For another update, Audra Mehl ordered light fixtures from wayfair.com and Matthew Mehl installed them himself.
In the kitchen, Audra and Matthew Mehl made the decision to have the cabinets painted by a professional based on their past experience in the River House, in which they spent 40 hours painting the cabinets. This time the Mehls hired Rick Van Dyke Painting to refinish the kitchen cabinets in the Lighthouse while Scott Johnson Painting did the trim.
Audra and Matthew Mehl then added wrought iron pulls to the drawers and cabinet doors to give them a farmhouse look.
Also in the kitchen is a table that Audra Mehl purchased years ago from Conlin’s Furniture, which her husband recently refinished. Audra Mehl also put a new coat of paint on the chairs.
“I actually asked her if she would give me permission to take a crack at it, and I said that if she didn’t like it we would go table shopping,” Matthew Mehl said. “I wanted to give it a lot more character, so I worked it with a sander. I used the outdoor version spar urethane–it’s meant to handle moisture if there’s a spill. You’ll never find a table quite like this now because we’ve both put our own personal touches on it.”
Off the kitchen is a parlor, which leads to Audra Mehl’s office.
One of the Mehl’s favorite pieces in the parlor is a cabinet from Gathered that the couple had originally planned to display in the store.
Instead, the Mehls liked it so much that they decided to use it in their home.
The office is Audra Mehl’s girl nest. “This is where I spend my days,” she said.
In the room is a repurposed crib that Audra Mehl’s grandmother transformed into seating. Audra Mehl gestured toward the vintage piece, “This was my grandpa’s crib when he was a little boy, and my mom slept in it, and I took a nap or two in it as well.”