Originally from the Fargo-Moorhead area, the owners of this lovely home lived in Michigan for a year and Connecticut for 10 years while going to med school and doing a residency. They returned home several years ago and had a desire to bring Connecticut with them in the form of their new home built by Footitt Homes. Tranquil but vibrant, modern in conveniences yet traditional, this home was custom designed for a growing family who desired a coastal home in North Dakota.
Interior Designer Monica Hart
When the homeowners moved back to the area from the East coast, they knew what they were looking for in a home but couldn’t find anything that felt right. They purchased a home that was move- in ready so they could plan, design and build their dream home. They enlisted the help of her uncle, architect Stephen Rose, to put their dream on paper.
Everything was thought of, including a spacious mud room with plenty of open and closed storage to make it easy for young kiddos to hang up jackets and hats.
￼The full butler’s pantry has a second full refrigerator, sink with garbage disposal and ample shelving.
The sunroom doubles as a playroom with a custom designed barn door by Finnu to close off any mess, and a three- season porch with retractable screens overlooks the pool. With three young boys, they’ve even incorporated urinals in two of the bathrooms.
Once the architect was in place, they knew just who they wanted to build that home: Bob Footitt Jr. “I chose Bob Footitt as the builder because of the Footitt Homes reputation,” said the homeowner. “Bob Sr. built my father’s home 25 years ago and the quality is unbelievable. The attention to detail is impeccable, a true custom home in every way.”
The homeowners are dream clients. From the day I first met her,I knew we had a great connection that would last long after their home was done. Of course, it helps that she brought along their three- week old baby for me to hold. Now a year old, he accompanied us to the first seven months of weekly appointments while we chose the exterior finishes, including the East coast-inspired shakes, shingles, pavers, carriage garage doors, window trim and even the tapers on the front columns. He also got to meet a great team, including certified kitchen designer Beth Kemmer of Wood Specialists, who designed all of the cabinetry; Sarah Brown at Floor To Ceiling, who assisted with the flooring and backsplash selections; Kathy Klug at Valley Lights, who helped with light fixtures and Alisha Weisshof at Ferguson, who guided the plumbing choices. We were so grateful for this talented group and everyone enjoyed the extra little helper.
Accessories – Monica Hart Interior Design • Blinds – Hunter Douglas, Monica Hart Interior Design
They also needed a detail-oriented interior designer to round out the team. I was thrilled the client contacted me. “Working with a designer has been a life saver. It’s unbelievable how overwhelming things can be,” said the homeowner. “Monica was able to pick up on what I liked and didn’t like immediately. I was able to focus on my family, my career and other things in lieu of my selections. Attention to detail and the small things were never overlooked. Even when things didn’t go as planned, her glass half full attitude always made everything right. She never let me feel overwhelmed and could always read how I was feeling. Whenever she saw ways to save a little money, we did it. One of the smartest things I have ever done was calling Monica Hart Interior Design.”
The homeowner and I chose an extra tall decorative base, simple casing around the windows and a traditional stool and apron detail on the sills. All of the wood work was painted crisp white. The shaker kitchen cabinets were painted the same shade of white but were contrasted by the island painted a medium shade of gray. The flooring and backsplashes were all chosen because of their timeless and traditional qualities. Each time we made a selection, we thought about how it related to a coastal home, whether it would stand the test of time and three rambunctious boys. I design differently for families with small children who need to grow into their home versus a couple who are empty-nesters.
Many of the home selections were made with meaning behind them with importance to the homeowners. Those features include a sliding barn door made with solid reclaimed white oak accented with a patina inlay steel design and a custom dining table. The table is made with 100 plus-year-old redwood made from pickling tanks, both designed by Finnu. Also notable are a few of the spectacular light fixtures and fantastic three season porch with retractable screens.
With the finish selections finalized with a neutral canvas in the walls, cabinetry and flooring, it was time to bring in some liveliness, texture and color to showcase this fantastic family’s personality. Our goal was to have that warm and coastal feel without being theme-y. The clients love any variation of the color blue. We pulled in many shades of blue–blue- greens, aquas, turquoise, teal blue and navy to represent water, sky, grass and a nautical air.
All of these colors were combined in different textures and patterns in the furniture, rugs and custom drapes. A pale shade of warm gray on the walls provides a quiet backdrop and the custom charcoal-gray skirted sectional is a neutral base for colorful pillows yet durable enough for three busy boys. Every piece of furniture and accessory in this home was selected specifically for this client and this family. There are many custom elements. You won’t be able to just go to a store and purchase all of these pieces of furniture.
Barn door and dining table — Finnu
In lieu of a lake home, the homeowners felt a pool would be the best choice for their lifestyle and family. Pool selections were made and custom patio furniture that coordinated with the interior furniture was ordered for the three- season room, open patio and pool deck. Again, varying shades of blue were chosen for the exterior furniture, rug and accessories.
Pool – Olson Pools & Spas • Patio Furniture – Homecrest, custom by Monica Hart Interior Design
After nearly a year of weekly meetings, a newborn baby who is now walking and a friendship that has blossomed, the house is finally a home. The vision went from paper and thoughts to a reality that is better than the homeowner ever imagined. “I had no idea how much went into designing a home,” said the homeowner. “The selections are stunning. My home is a sanctuary. There is nothing stuffy about it. It’s comfortable, yet elegant and timeless with all my favorite things, including a coastal feel to remind me of Connecticut. I cannot stress enough what a great experience this has been. I look around and I cannot believe this is our home. We feel so lucky for so many reasons. Plus I made a friend out of the deal.”
For me, I cried when I saw it finished. After nearly a year of finishing selections, job-site visits and doing the actual installation of furniture and accessories, it is exciting and fulfilling to see it all come together. I can picture the family living there, the boys growing up in that home and memories being made.
Custom bedding and drapes – Monica Hart Interior Design
That’s why I’m an interior designer. It’s for that moment. Seeing a family settle into a home that feels like them. It’s extremely rewarding. From North Dakota to Michigan to Connecticut to North Dakota again, this family is home.