Photos by Hillary Ehlen
In North Fargo, there stands a 1935 Tudor. It is owned by Kaitlyn and Jace Foss, who live together with their old English sheepdog, Murf. The second story of their home has recently undergone a complete transformation that you’ll have to see to believe. After gutting the walls all the way down to the studs, the Fosses collaborated with interior decorator Christen Anderson of Christen Joy Homes to ensure that all finishes were appropriate for the era of their home.
A Home of Their Own
When Kaitlyn and Jace Foss first started house hunting in Fargo, they were searching for something they could make their own. The young couple had been renting in Minneapolis while Jace Foss was studying to become a chiropractor, so when they moved back to Fargo in 2015 for Jace to start Foss Spine and Wellness in Moorhead, both Kaitlyn and Jace Foss were looking forward to taking on a home improvement project in a character home located in a well-established neighborhood.
When the Fosses purchased their Tudor home in North Fargo, the second story was stuck in the 1980s. Enter the talented Mike Dawson of Chris Hawley Architects, who helped the Fosses mentally strip their second story down to the studs and build it back up again through meetings, renderings and final plans. After meeting with their architect and general contractor, the Fosses enlisted Christen Anderson of Christen Joy Homes to help them make selections.
The hallway leads to the guest bedroom and master bedroom on the right, and the master bath and master closet on the left. One thing that you’ll notice throughout the second floor is custom trim work on the walls. To make the trim stand out from the eggshell paint used on the walls, Anderson suggested coating the trim work with gloss paint. “Kaitlyn is a lover of white. She wanted to layer in all of these different hues of white, so you’ll not only see different white shades, but also a variety of sheens,” Anderson explained.
The white walls acted as a blank canvas on which the Fosses could bring in vibrant pops of color through artwork. In Anderson’s opinion, the art display in your home should be personal, so she agreed to help the Fosses find pieces that would speak to them.
To do so, Anderson asked ecce gallery director Mark Weiler to provide a selection of pieces from local artists for the Fosses to view. “We hung everything up, and it suddenly went from a house to a home,” said Kaitlyn Foss. For the hallway, she fell in love with a pastel painting by Bob Crowe.
Meant to Be
Kaitlyn Foss saw Anderson’s work on Instagram, and coincidentally, Jace Foss attended high school with Anderson. Even more surprising was the fact that all three went to UND at the same time. In other words, this collaboration was meant to be. “Kaitlyn and Jace were just so much fun. It was a unique opportunity to work on a home like this and to have homeowners who wanted to invest in it personally. Everything was so carefully curated,” Anderson said.
“Kaitlyn was always saying, ‘I want great lighting and I want artwork,” Anderson gestured toward the Amber Fletschock painting illuminated by gallery lighting in the master bedroom.
The Fosses wanted to customize their master bedroom, just as they did with the other rooms in their remodel. “I feel like between Jace, Christen and I, we really went the extra mile. We didn’t want anything that you could just take off the shelf,” Kaitlyn Foss shared. Take the walnut built-ins for example. “They [the Fosses] didn’t want just any dresser they could buy, so they did these beautiful built-ins. Every the detail from the drawer fronts down to the brass hardware, all of that had thought put into it,” Anderson added.
Even the tongue-in-groove accents are custom, not to be confused with shiplap. “I told Christen that I didn’t want trendy and I didn’t want gray,” Kaitlyn Foss said. On the other hand, the Fosses did want the walls and ceiling of the second floor to match the original plaster on the first floor as much as possible, so they used tongue-in-groove in place of texturing to hide any flaws. For furnishings, the Fosses chose classic pieces in unexpected colors such as a velvet, chesterfield headboard.
What makes this a high-contrast home?
- Bright, white walls
- Dark hardwood floors
- Gloss and flat paint juxtaposed on the trim and walls
- Bold pops of color in furniture, accessories and artwork
The guest bedroom is currently full of possibilities. Kaitlyn and Jace Foss are still on the hunt for the perfect pieces to finish off this space and they are willing to wait for the right furniture and decor to come along. For example, when Kaitlyn Foss saw this vintage rug at The White House Co. warehouse, she just had to have it.
Master Bath Reveal
Now, everything in the second story remodel feels as if it could have been original to the home, which was the ultimate goal of Dawson, Anderson and the homeowners. Next, you can look forward to their master bath reveal in the October issue of Design & Living Magazine.
GET THE LOOK:
Flooring & Runner – Carpet World
Art Curator – Mark Weiler, ecce Gallery
Hardware – RH
Headboard – RH
Lighting – Circa Lighting, RH, Rejuvenation
Chairs (rentals) – The White House Co.
Spare bedroom rug – Vintage
Master bedroom rug – Room & Board
Flowers – Love Always Floral
Chest – Vintage
Accessories – McNeal & Friends, Crate & Barrell, Target, The White House Co.
Christen Joy Homes