PHOTOS by J. Alan Paul Photography
Every once and a while, we see a house that takes our breath away. This is one of those homes. Now, you can step inside and take a tour with interior decorator Sara Bekkerus and the absolutely adorable family for whom these spaces were designed.
Introducing Skapa Design & Consulting
Originally from Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, Sara Bekkerus is a mother of two, interior decorator and owner of Skapa Design & Consulting.
Bekkerus came up with the name, “Skapa Design” three years ago when she first started her business. “I had heard the word skapa before and it stuck in my head,” she explained. “Then one day, I decided to look it up. It actually has a Scandinavian origin and means to design or to create, so I just thought it was meant to be,” Bekkerus said.
Though she hasn’t always been an interior decorator, it was apparent from a young age that Bekkerus had a knack for design. While the other little girls were making snow angels, Bekkerus was mapping out floor plans for imaginary houses in the snow. Bekkerus laughed as she recalled this happy childhood memory.
Bekkerus considers her style to be Scandinavian-inspired. She loves clean lines, natural light and aged wood. For the first time, Bekkerus has invited us to look inside of one of the houses she has decorated and helped design: a family-inspired home located in Perham, Minnesota.
Meet the Homeowners
This home is quietly nestled next to Perham Lakeside Golf Course. When the homeowners decided they wanted a custom build, Charlie and Megan Nelson chose Tomlinson Schultz to craft the place where they would raise their young daughters, Sammie and McKenna Nelson.
Charlie Nelson and Mark Schultz of Tomlinson Schultz attended the same high school and have remained friends to this day. “The Nelson’s were a true pleasure to work with. As for Sammie and McKenna, I have never witnessed two little girls make more construction workers smile,” Schultz said.
Then the Nelsons selected Bekkerus as their interior decorator. “Megan liked the idea of working with me because she learned that I have children the same age as hers,” Bekkerus explained. Schultz later commented, “It was obvious that Sara was all in when it came to this project. She spent a considerable amount of time onsite and her attention to detail shines through in the finished product.”
After the Nelsons met consulted Schultz and Bekkerus, the four approached Tony Stoll of BHH Partners who served . “He really took all of our ideas and put them down on paper,” Megan Nelson said.
Bekkerus found that Megan Nelson liked little touches of sparkle, so she used glam light fixtures to create drama in the foyer.
The main-floor guest bedroom and bathroom were originally designed for visits from the Nelson’s parents who lived out of town. Though they have since moved to Perham, this space is still perfect for sleepovers with their granddaughters.
Bekkerus knows from experience that kids bring home lots of projects, so she created a gallery wall to display the Nelson girls’ artwork in the mudroom. “I have two kids too, so I know that every day they’re bringing something home,” she said.
Megan Nelson would describe her style as casual elegance, which can be seen throughout the main level. Meanwhile, Charlie Nelson’s style is exemplified in the dark wood and masculine color palette used in the lower level.
The Nelsons’ home theater is decorated with posters from their favorite films. Bekkerus helped select the sofa, which is seats the whole Nelson family comfortably. It also looks like the perfect place to fall asleep while watching a movie. Who needs dream loungers when you have a home theater like this one?
Bekkerus incorporated the Perham mascot into Charlie Nelson’s home gym.
When discussing the floor plan with Bekkerus, the Nelsons preferred a more traditional layout with all of the bedrooms on the second level. For the girls’ rooms, Bekkerus wanted each space to reflect their personalities. However, she also wanted Sammie and McKenna Nelson to be able to grow with their spaces.
It was a priority for Sammie and McKenna Nelson to each have their own reading nook. Bekkerus loved putting together these whimsical hideaways.
The Girl’s Bathroom
Bekkerus wanted the girls’ bathroom to be appropriate for a toddler or teenager. You might not know just from looking at it, but the room has a subtle princess theme. For example, the wall covering closely resembles the wallpaper in Elsa and Anna’s rooms in the movie, “Frozen.” The light fixture also reminds Bekkerus of the carriage from Walt Disney’s “Cinderella.”