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Love Thy Neighbor[hood]: The Aspens at Timber Creek

Heritage Homes The Aspens at Timber Creek

We decided to catch up with Heritage Homes and take a tour through three of their extraordinary townhomes in The Aspens at Timber Creek, showcasing three different versions of luxury.

LOVE THY NEIGHBOR[HOOD]

BY Becca Opp and Tracy Nicholson
PHOTOS BY Paul Flessland

If you’re considering building a house or making the move, you’d better know what’s under the snow. To uncover the dirt, we met with local developers to show us what Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo will soon see. New neighborhoods are in the works with exciting looks inspired by big-city high-rises, San Francisco-style architecture and even urban farm-life. There are new developments popping up everywhere, giving today’s homeowner acres of possibilities. In this friendly neighborhood guide, we’ll show you a few of our new favorites and give you a directory of many others to map out on your next Sunday drive.

The Aspens at Timber Creek

The Final Stages

In March 2015, we introduced Heritage Homes’ South Fargo neighborhood, The Aspens at Timber Creek, which offered to fuse luxury and low maintenance livability. Nearly two years later, we decided to catch up with them and take a tour through three of their extraordinary townhomes, showcasing three different versions of luxury.

Heritage Homes The Aspens at Timber Creek
With these homes catering to the busy professional or the retired snowbird, see how Tyrone Leslie and Steve Larson have built on their promise of maintenance-free livability and intelligent design.

Location: Between I-29 and 52nd Avenue South in Timber Creek, South Fargo.

The Amenities

These townhomes are maintenance-free and feature two bedrooms and two full baths with 1,960 square feet on the main level and an optional 1,164 square feet upstairs. The first floor features a master suite with 10-foot ceilings, gourmet kitchen with formal dining room, family room with 11-foot ceilings, flex room, walk-in-closets, main-floor laundry, attached oversized garage and private, covered patio. The homes are located on a private cul-de-sac and each patio has its own green space with pond views and enhanced landscaping.

The Builder’s Perspective

For these stunning townhomes, Leslie and Larson worked diligently to ensure that every home had a unique view and private setting from their patio. “Each has only one common wall,” said Leslie. “These are just as private, if not more so than a regular single family home.” When asked who they believe will be most intrigued by this style of home, Larson explained that these townhomes are not designed to be a retirement community, but simply for professionals on the go, snowbirds, or people who have a nice house now, but are looking to downsize without downgrading. “This is really just for someone who wants to live a simpler life with less maintenance, but still have those high quality finishes of a larger luxury home,” said Larson.

The Livability Factor

For the interior space, planet maids cleaning service put plenty of focus on livability and intelligent design. “When you enter the home or when guests arrive you’ll notice that each home has a really livable, free flowing space,” said Leslie. “We look through the lenses of the homeowner to put attention on details such as where you lay your keys and coat when you walk in, the vicinity of your laundry room to your closet and even convenience of your pantry to your garage entrance. We measure down to the inch knowing how much space two people really need to share a master bath without bumping into one another or having cluttered spaces. When you put a lot of thought into the design, everyday living is made easier.”

Bundling Packages

To give each home its own personal flair, Heritage Homes offers bundle packages that allow the homeowner to tailor their own luxury options. This removes some of the typical included features and gives homeowners more flexibility to change what they don’t want and upgrade what’s important to them.

House Tour #1

Jim and Amy Alexander

The first house on our three-house Aspens tour is the home of Jim and Amy Alexander. With their two sons, Mitchell and Cole off at college, the timing seemed right to make the move from a single family home in Bluemont Lakes to a simpler life in The Aspens. The Alexanders, along with their dog Paisley, have since upgraded their style to a fresh fusion of contemporary design and traditional elegance.

Heritage Homes The Aspens at Timber Creek

Single-Family Home to Simpler Family Home

Little did the Alexanders know that a trip to the doctor would soon plant the seed for a simpler life. An ailing foot sent Jim Alexander to a local orthopedic doctor, who struck up a conversation about he and his wife’s move from Rose Creek to a Downtown Fargo apartment.

Heritage Homes The Aspens at Timber Creek

“He was explaining that they had a lake place and he didn’t want to snowblow or mow and his kids were out of the house,” said Jim Alexander. “I went home and Amy and I were watching HGTV’s Island Living and she asked if I’d ever thought about selling the house. I said, funny you should say that. I relayed the doctor’s story to her and the next week we decided to find someone to tell us about the market and what our house was worth. We reached out to Rob Margheim at Hatch Realty and he came in and assessed our house. That same weekend we saw the open house signs here, so we came in and took a look around and thought it was really cool and had a great location.”

Making the Move

With two grown sons and a busy work and travel schedule, the Alexanders were ready to take a break from their home’s lawn care, maintenance and snowblowing. They soon listed their home and it sold five days later. The Alexanders closed on their old home in September and started their build with Heritage Homes. With about 12 weeks to burn before they could move into their new home, the Alexanders had a busy travel schedule. On their return to Fargo, they resided at the Element Hotel’s extended-stay rooms. “The construction of the building was well on its way, but we got in early enough to make the few tweaks we wanted to make,” said Jim Alexander. “We took the original plan and talked about what our ideas were and shared with them our thoughts. They always had great ideas to really add to where we wanted to go with it. It was an easy process from the initial layout to working with the other folks to pick the various features like the stone, fireplace, mantels, flooring, paint and tile. It was a very smooth process.” With busy travel plans in the schedule, the Alexanders were able to visit the list of vendors and make their finish selections in less than two weeks. “Amy did a great job of going through this. It seems a bit overwhelming if you’ve never done it before, but they make it a real straightforward process,” said Jim Alexander. “There was great communication between the homeowners, Heritage and their partners.”

Making it to the Game

For the Alexanders, it was their fifth time building, but first time building a townhome. “Sometimes it can be frustrating to homeowners if that closing date keeps getting pushed back, but this time it didn’t. We got the selections done and they said December 16. That was the day we closed on our house. The movers showed up that day, we unloaded and went to a Bison football game,” laughed Jim Alexander. “Cole and Mitchell were both here at Christmas time and Cole, being the architect he is, loved it. Mitchell’s quote when he saw the finished home was, ‘It fits you guys.’ We think it does too. This is us, casual and elegant. It’s nice, but it’s also comfortable.”

Family Room

Throughout the Aspens, homeowners chose to do varying designs with the 11-foot family room ceiling.

Heritage Homes The Aspens at Timber Creek

Masonry and fireplace – Hebron Brick
Mantel wood – Dakota Timber Co.
Furniture – Hom Furniture

To stay with the design of the model home, the Alexanders chose the same ceiling design and dramatic accent lighting with built-in features like the window seat and inset shelving.

Heritage Homes The Aspens at Timber Creek

To the right of the fireplace, the Alexanders display a treasured family heirloom. Amy’s grandmother’s home was two log cabins built together in Indiana.

Heritage Homes The Aspens at Timber Creek

Her dad made the sitting bench out of beams from the cabin, and she used the original pegs as decor for their fireplace mantel.

Kitchen

In the Alexander’s kitchen, contemporary pendants extend over dark-stained maple cabinetry with a unique island granite showing deep merlot wine tones to complement the adjacent wine decor of the dining room.

Heritage Homes The Aspens at Timber Creek

Backsplash tile and flooring – Floor to Ceiling Carpet One
Lighting – Valley Lights
Granite – Mill Creek Custom
Cabinets Cabinetry – Mill Creek Custom Cabinets
Sink – Floor to Ceiling Carpet One

For this kitchen design, the Alexander’s chose to change up the original peninsula island for a free-standing island, creating a more open layout. A linear glass and slate stone backsplash with matte black outlet covers create an elegant focal point on the wall leading to the upstairs flex space and wine room.

Heritage Homes The Aspens at Timber Creek

“For us, we didn’t lose much space at all, maybe 500 square feet,” said Amy Alexander. “This is definitely a more usable space than what we had. In our old home, we rarely used the dining room or basement. In this home, we’ve already used the dining room much more than we used to and we really enjoy spending time upstairs as well.”

Dining Room

For their formal dining room, the Alexanders chose a perfect mix of contemporary lighting elements as well as more traditional pieces such as their buffet and dining table from their previous home.

Heritage Homes The Aspens at Timber Creek

Lighting – Valley Lights
Furniture – Hom Furniture
Reupholstered chairs – Rustad Reupholstery
Charcoal art – Cole Alexander

To fit within their new style, Amy had the chairs reupholstered in a more contemporary fabric. As Amy explained, in their old home, the dining room was rarely used. Moving into a new, open concept, the dining room is finally a space that is properly utilized.

Heritage Homes The Aspens at Timber Creek

The design in this room was centered around a favorite wine of theirs that can be seen in an art piece with a 1990 Silver Oak wine bottle showing the year they were married. This charcoal piece was created by their oldest son, Cole, and given to them as a Christmas gift, aptly named Alexander Valley. Above the buffet, Amy found another complementary piece from an artist in Hawaii.

Master Bedroom

The original master bedroom layout had a door leading from the bedroom to the patio.

Heritage Homes The Aspens at Timber Creek

Rug – Northern Home Furniture & Design
Fireplace and Masonry – Hebron Brick
Reclaimed wood mantel – Dakota Timber Co.

The Alexanders tweaked this design to eliminate the door and have a fireplace with reclaimed wood mantel and stone surround installed. A hand-scraped wall texture and ceiling make way for stunning uplighting adding ambiance to their master retreat.

Master Bathroom

The Alexander’s master bath is nothing short of a trip to the spa.

Heritage Homes The Aspens at Timber Creek

Cabinetry – Mill Creek Custom Cabinetry
Glass shower doors – D&M Industries
Tile and flooring – Floor to Ceiling Carpet One
Master closet shelving – J&L Shelving

White-washed wood-like tile, maple cabinetry, granite countertops and contemporary accent lighting set a serene tone.

Heritage Homes The Aspens at Timber Creek

Ample amenities include an extra-deep soaking tub and rain-glass shower with woodlook tile. Just beyond the door in the master bath, they are able to access their master closet.

Heritage Homes The Aspens at Timber Creek

Family Room

In the upstairs flex space, the Alexanders designed this gorgeous reclaimed wood entertainment wall, framed-in with natural stone and sconce lighting.

Heritage Homes The Aspens at Timber Creek

Dakota Timber Co.
Lighting – Valley Lights
Furniture – Hom Furniture

Wine Room

As a favorite space for entertaining and family time, the Alexanders also designed a stunning wine room with maple wine storage to display their collection. This designated tasting space is made complete with rustic, wood-look tile, a seating area, cabinetry with granite countertops as well as beverage and wine refrigerators for entertaining.

This idea of a wine room started in their previous home when their two sons had moved out. They eventually decided to convert the toy room into a wine room. Studs to Rugs had helped them create their first wine room by using some of the designs from their son Cole, who is studying to be an architect. “When we sold our house, we kind of wanted to take some of that design with us, so we took pictures of it and showed it to Heritage Homes and they made some great recommendations,” said Jim Alexander. “In the model home, the storage room had two doors on it. We decided to take off one of the doors and we were then able to extend the bar area. We were really happy with how it turned out and it really exceeded our expectations.”

Heritage Homes The Aspens at Timber Creek

Wood-look ceramic tile – Floor to Ceiling Carpet One
Wine barrel table – WineEnthusiasts.com
Cabinetry – Mill Creek Custom Cabinetry

Amazed by the amount of storage space in the Aspen’s layout, the Alexanders have an upstairs storage room just beyond the wine room and a 2,000 square-foot crawl space below the home.

“It was interesting to hear from some of the other homeowners who were not using the crawl space yet,” said Leslie Wood of Heritage Homes. “There was one homeowner who just didn’t realize how much storage space there was, so they downsized by quite a lot and later realized they didn’t have to.”

Heritage Homes The Aspens at Timber Creek

A unique halved wine barrel table displays corks and an actual 1990 Silver Oak bottle underneath its glass top. Since this was the year they were married, their son Cole found the bottle online for them. “We celebrated our 25th anniversary in Hawaii and we took that bottle of wine with us and enjoyed it while we there,” explained Jim Alexander. “It was an amazing wine, even 25 years later.”

Garage

All of the Aspen homes feature oversized and deep double garages.

Heritage Homes The Aspens at Timber Creek

Floor epoxy – Beyond Outdoors/ Beyond Concrete

The Alexanders finished theirs with an epoxy floor coating and ample tool storage with workbench and sink.

House Tour #2

Stacey Schlanser

The second stop on our tour is the simply elegant home of Stacey Schlanser and her daughter, Zoey. Drawn to the Aspens by the neighborhood’s lowmaintenance lifestyle, the Schlansers balanced clean lines with natural components to create a stunning, mother-daughter oasis.

Heritage Homes The Aspens at Timber Creek

A Designer’s Dream

Though she originally studied to become a paralegal, Schlanser has transformed what started out as a side project into her career. As an interior designer, Schlanser knew what she was looking for when she chose the Aspens. After one visit to the model home, Schlanser made an on-the-spot decision to reserve her own lot. Throughout the building process, Schlanser chose all of the high-end finishes that went into her home. In order to explore her options, Schlanser consulted with subcontractors recommended by Heritage Homes. “The tradespeople that Heritage has working for them made it really easy,” as reminded by the Pacific United Insurance – Texas. After the home was built, Schlanser found furniture and decor that showcased her own personal sense of style. “I picked out everything and ordered the custom furniture. It’s just something I really enjoy,” Schlanser said. Although she ordered several items from Pottery Barn, Schlanser likes to get her pieces from all over. “I just pick stuff up that I know is going to go with the house,” she said.

Kitchen

For the kitchen, Schlanser chose mission style cabinets in matte white with granite countertops.

Heritage Homes The Aspens at Timber Creek

Cabinetry: Mill Creek Custom Cabinets
Countertops: Mill Creek Custom Cabinets
Backsplash: Floor to Ceiling
Flooring: Floor to Ceiling
Lighting: Valley Lights
Appliances: Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

The backsplash consists of white subway tile and a concrete grout, which adds contrast.

Heritage Homes The Aspens at Timber Creek

Finally, Bosch stainless steel appliances give the kitchen a timeless look.

Rightsizing

Despite downsizing, Schlanser and her daughter have had no difficulty adjusting to their 3,500-square-foot new home. “Instead of downsizing, we like to think of it as ‘rightsizing’ because you are really finding your true space, so you’re not downgrading, you’re just improving your overall lifestyle,” Leslie Wood of Heritage Homes explained. Since the moving company finished unpacking the last box six months ago, all of Schlanser’s expectations have been met.

Family Room

Although the family room appears to be pristine, it is where Schlanser and her daughter like to spend time together.

Heritage Homes The Aspens at Timber Creek

Furniture – Pottery Barn
Fireplace – Hebron Brick
Dresser – SCHEELS Home & Hardware

“It may not look like it, but this is where we hang out,” Schlanser laughed. In this room, Schlanser uses grey and beige tones, showing that you don’t have to pick one or the other. Around the fireplace, Schlanser arranged customordered furniture from Pottery Barn.

Dining Room

The crowning achievement of this dramatic dining room is its hanging light fixture, which features a crystalencrusted lampshade.

Heritage Homes The Aspens at Timber Creek

Dining Set – Pottery Barn

On the wall, a mirror creates the illusion of an even more spacious room, and upholstered chairs surround the espresso-colored table, which is adorned with classic accessories.

Office

Instead of having two bedrooms on the main floor, Schlanser opted to turn the smaller of the two into a home office.

Heritage Homes The Aspens at Timber Creek

Carpeting – Floor to Ceiling
Cabinetry – Smart Spaces
Desk – Smart Spaces
Office chair – Home Goods

However, this sensible interior designer selected carpeting so that the room could seamlessly transition into a guest bedroom if needed. Schlanser’s signature sparkle can also be found in the hardware on the cabinetry.

Master Bedroom

Schlanser played up the drama in her master suite with another fabulous light fixture.

Heritage Homes The Aspens at Timber Creek

Upholstered bedframe – Restoration Hardware
Arm Chair – HOM Furniture
Lighting – Valley Lights

Neutral whites, grays, and beiges give the room a sense of calm. “This is my sanctuary. If I’m not in my office, this is where I am,” Schlanser said.

Master Bathroom

This master bath is spa-like in its amenities, including a soaker tub, walkin shower, heated floors and toe kick lighting inset on the underside of the cabinets.

Heritage Homes The Aspens at Timber Creek

Cabinetry – Mill Creek Custom Cabinets
Stone tile – Floor to Ceiling

Also connected to the master bath is a walk-in closet by Smart Spaces.

While the main level houses Schlanser’s relaxing retreat, upstairs her 14-year-old daughter, Zoey, reigns supreme.

Bedroom

In Zoey’s room, a pink wall commands attention. You know what they say, “like mother, like daughter.”

Heritage Homes The Aspens at Timber Creek

Upholstered bedframe – Restoration Hardware
Feathered light fixture – Valley Lights

Both the master suite and teenage retreats feature unique lighting. In her daughter’s room, Stacey Schlanser hung a feathered light fixture that she found at Valley Lights.

Garage

The Schlanser’s two car garage is accessible through the kitchen on the main level.

Heritage Homes The Aspens at Timber Creek

Cabinets: Smart Spaces
Floor epoxy – Beyond Outdoors/Beyond Concrete

It has everything that this mother and daughter need, including an armoire to store equestrian gear.

Family Room

The second family room serves as Zoey’s hangout and homework area. A reclaimed wood feature wall is made of old barn wood, which ties in with Zoey’s horseback riding.

Heritage Homes The Aspens at Timber Creek

Feature wall – Dakota Timber Company
Workspace – Mill Creek Custom Cabinets

Zoey has won many awards for equestrian expertise, which are displayed on reclaimed wood shelves. On the opposite side of the room, where some homeowners in the Aspens have placed a bar, Schlanser has created a workspace and storage area for homework, projects and crafts. Also connected to the family room is a home gym and room for extra storage.

House Tour #3

Jon & Joan Rustvang

The third and final house on our threehouse tour of the Aspens is the home of Joan and Jon Rustvang. In the entrance of their home, we were welcomed by their doorman, an affectionate beagle named Kobe.

Heritage Homes The Aspens at Timber Creek

Only the second homeowners to move into the neighborhood, the Rustvangs have been living in the Aspens since July 2016.

From Oxbow to the Aspens

Both Joan and Jon Rustvang moved to Fargo to attend NDSU, which is where they first met. Joan Rustvang is originally from Watford City in Western North Dakota and has had a career in fashion merchandising and business as well as education. Together, the Rustvangs have been living in Fargo for the past 30 years. Before moving to the Aspens, the Rustvangs resided in an Oxbow home. Joan Rustvang explained why she and her husband made the move. “We lived out in Oxbow for a number of years, and our home was in a buyout. Because our children are grown and not living at home anymore, we decided to downscale and were looking for something a little bit smaller, so our realtor brought us here. We saw these and liked the quality going into them,” Joan Rustvang said. She was also attracted to the location because of natural amenities like a nearby walking path, and it is also close to retail on 52nd Avenue.

Coming Home

The Rustvangs have three adult children; two out of the three are married and live out town, while one is currently living in Fargo. This played an important role in the Rustvang’s decision to move to the Aspens. “We wanted to have enough room for all of them when they came home to stay, so we adjusted the upstairs to have two bedrooms instead of one,” said Joan Rustvang. “When we found out it was possible to add another bedroom, that was a big thing,” she explained.

A Little Help from a Friend

When it came to the interior design of their new home at the Aspens, the Rustvangs consulted Sylvia Lunski of Design Direction. Because she had already worked with the Rustvangs in the past, she understood their needs and was already familiar with their taste. Lunski helped the Rustvangs throughout the design process and helped to ensure that treasured pieces from their previous home would fit seamlessly in with their new decor.

Kitchen

In the Kitchen, the Rustvangs personalized the original design.

Heritage Homes The Aspens at Timber Creek

Cabinets – Mill Creek Custom Cabinets
Granite countertops – Mill Creek Custom Cabinets
Tile backsplash – Floor to Ceiling

“We changed the original design when we were working with them,” Joan Rustvang said. Instead of a peninsula, the Rustvangs requested an island as the anchor for their kitchen.

Family Room

In the family room, the Rustvangs chose a rich, dark wood the edge of their coffered ceiling.

Heritage Homes The Aspens at Timber Creek

Fireplace – Hebron Brick

Although most of the furniture was from their previous home, it seems as if each piece was made for this room.

Heritage Homes The Aspens at Timber Creek

Office

It was Jon Rustvang’s idea to turn the spare room next to the entryway into an office. He also thought that French doors and an angled wall could be used to define the space and help separate it from the rest of the main level.

Heritage Homes The Aspens at Timber Creek

The shelving in this room is special to Jon Rustvang because it was custom made to match the built-ins in their previous home. Luckily, the Rustvangs did not have to leave this beautiful woodwork behind because the shelves fit perfectly in Jon Rustvang’s new office.

Master Bedroom

This traditional master bedroom has all of the elements necessary to make the Rustvangs feel at home.

Heritage Homes The Aspens at Timber Creek

A prospering tree represents how the Rustvangs have successfully transplanted themselves into a new community, while recessed lighting in the coffered ceiling adds subtle warmth to the room.

Dining Room

The highlight of this dining room is a Turkish rug that the Rustvangs acquired while they were in the Mediterranean.

Heritage Homes The Aspens at Timber Creek

It was very important to the Rustvangs that they would be able to incorporate these treasures in the Aspens. Sylvia Lunski was able to take inspiration from this rug, along with other pieces that the Rustvangs already owned.

Garage

One of the most unexpected surprises in the Rustvangs’ home is hidden in the garage.

Heritage Homes The Aspens at Timber Creek

An avid hunter and sports fan, Jon Rustvang converted the space into a den. Kobe kindly sent us off on our last stop along the Aspens tour.

Family Room (Second Level)

In the upstairs family room, the Rustvangs included a wet bar and a gaming area for entertaining guests.

Heritage Homes The Aspens at Timber Creek

Cabinetry – Mill Creek Custom Cabinets
Granite Countertop – Mill Creek Custom Cabinets

For more information, contact:

Steve Larson, Heritage Homes

O: 701.281.7184
C: 218.443.2453
[email protected]
heritagefargo.com

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