Photos by Hillary Ehlen
Through the woods and over the river next to Star Lake sits the rustic, yet elegant home of Gail and Mike Hagen. With four grown daughters and nine grandkids ranging in age from 1.5 to 22 years, the Hagens needed a large lake place that would fulfill a wide array of needs. This month, we found out how the builder and interior designers met and far exceeded those expectations to create the ideal lake life experience for this family.
Gail and Mike Hagen have owned this property for the last 16 years, but have been coming to Star Lake ever since they got married. After falling in love with the property that was to eventually become the site of their lake home, the couple knew they had to act. “We went to the county seat, got the information, contacted the owners and were able to purchase the land,” Gail Hagen said.
First, the Hagens had built a steel cabin with plans to eventually build a lake house on the hill. Then, in 2015, the Hagens finally broke ground on their 4,200 square-foot lake home with five bedrooms and three bathrooms. Today, they have been in it for about two years and are loving every minute they can spend at the lake.
More than 30 years ago, Bob Kochmann and his brother started Kochmann Brothers Homes, Inc. Since then, they have been building custom homes in the FM area as well as Lakes Country. Kochmann and Mike Hagen had known each other for years through their shared love of motorcycles, so choosing him as their builder was an easy decision for the Hagens.
The Interior Designers
Kochmann is known for being a strong supporter of locally-owned businesses. That is why he referred the Hagens to experienced interior designers Sylvia Lunski (right) and Christina Mehl (left) of Design Direction, Inc. in Fargo. Lunski’s role was to coordinate all of the interior finishes in this home. “She was with us wherever we went,” Gail Hagen said of Lunski. Meanwhile, Mehl helped the homeowners pick out window coverings.
Through The Woods & Over The River
The Hagens’ lake home sits on two lots because the individual from whom they purchased the property did not want the land to become overdeveloped. To get to the Hagens, you must drive through a wooded area and past a little stream.
The interior of the Hagen’s home can described by the phrase, ‘rustic elegance.’ Lunski designed the space to function well for a large family who spends a lot of time outdoors and on the lake. For example, you will notice a mixture of hard and soft surfaces placed throughout the home to accommodate grandkids whose little feet are likely to track in sand. At the same time, she also wanted it to be comfortable enough for Gail and Mike Hagen to be able to enjoy their mornings and evenings indoors.
In the living room, Lunski drew her color palette from Gail Hagen’s inspiration piece, a large wall clock, which she purchased at Periwinkle in Ottertail. “I brought that with when we were making our selections,” Gail Hagen said.
The Hagens then purchased most of their furniture and accessories from SCHEELS Home & Hardware.
The Kitchen features stunning cabinetry and a custom hood from Wood Specialists. The backsplash is a unique blend of metal and stone geometric tile. Because the Hagens love to entertain, it was a priority to have a kitchen that could handle company. Between both the dining table and painted kitchen island (which contrasts nicely against the dark wood cabinets), there is plenty of room to seat the whole family. Lunski also made sure that the luxury vinyl tile flooring was durable enough for heavy foot traffic.
The sun room features a lovely view of the surrounding trees and their wildlife. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see a bald or golden eagle fly right by the window. However, if the sun ever gets too hot, they can use the automated Hunter Douglas blinds recommended by Mehl to create their own shade.
Though the main level has access to the deck, the lower level has access to a large patio with a hot tub and outdoor shower. That is why Lunski made sure that the grandkids had a tiled surface to walk across when they come in to use the bathroom. She also had the tile hallway lined with hooks so they would have a place to hang up their towels. The lower level features bedrooms as well as a family room, theater room, game table, bar and sewing room for Gail Hagen.
The exterior of the Hagens’ home features landscaping by Crossroads Garden Center and Landscaping. The location of the house was challenging for Kochmann and his team as well as the landscaper because they had to execute their designs on a steep hill. However, the amazing end result appears to be well worth their efforts.
3211 Fiechtner Drive Suite #1, Fargo
Kochmann Brothers Homes, Inc.
3209 Fiechtner Dr, Fargo