Photos by Hillary Ehlen
“She wears black but she has the most colorful mind.”
This phrase hanging in the bathroom at Design 2 Sell perfectly describes the business’s owner Skye Fingalson. While this full-service design studio in Detroit Lakes had its grand opening in March, Fingalson has been designing lakes area homes for the past 15 years.
Situated in an unassuming location just off of Highway 10 and around the corner from a mechanic’s garage, Design 2 Sell’s matte black building stands out as a beacon of style and taste.
As a full-service design business, the store offers everything from real estate staging to interior design to countertops and flooring to paint consultations to home decor. If you want something done in your home, Fingalson and her team can make it happen.
Fingalson shared, “Growing up, I was always interested in doing interior design and knew that’s what I wanted to do. I was always changing up my room and trying to make things look pretty all the time, so it was just a natural calling for me to do. It was a passion I had. It’s not like I’m working, it’s all passion driven.”
While she has been in the industry for several years now, it was only this year that Fingalson and her husband decided to open a storefront for her work. While originally Design 2 Sell was a brand for Fingalson to do real estate staging through, her creative eye evolved it into a full-service design agency.
In the store, Design2 Sell has samplings of many of their services, including tiles for backsplashes, all types of flooring and a growing department of home decor items. For many homeowners, one of the biggest hurdles in any project is finding and scheduling a quality subcontractor. To make this easier on clients, Design 2 Sell coordinates and covers communication between anyone needed for a job, including electricians, plumbers, drywallers and more. Fingalson said, “We help coordinate the project because we know who needs to get out there at what step of their remodel or new construction. And we get people out there to get the job done so that they don’t have to worry about making the phone calls.”
If you’re in the market for a design refresh, Desing 2 Sell has seven packages to choose from, including two diamond packages. These packages are customizable and able to fit anyone’s preferences or needs, whether you’re looking for a countertop installation to a full design, including paint colors, bedding, new flooring, lighting and more. If a package of services is beyond what you need, they also offer consultations. Fingalson said, “We’ve had quite a few design consultations where [a customer] might have a certain space they just need ideas on, I can give them a good direction or give them some extra inspiration. Sometimes people just need that little motivation to get started or to ask questions and run it by somebody and get a second opinion.”
As they expand on services provided, one element Fingalson is excited about is Design 2 Sell’s growing home decor retail selection. She said she enjoys this side of the store because she sees how it makes people so happy. “It’s fun to bring unique pieces into our small community and make people think outside the box and have them thinking, ‘That’s interesting, I’ve never seen that before,'” she said.
In the design of her showroom, Fingalson wanted it to showcase this idea that nontraditional elements can have a big impact. “People can be afraid to take risks in design. So if you show them, it opens up their mind to think, ‘maybe I should take a risk and do something different,'” she said, explaining the industrial and modern feel of the storefront. The bold decision to paint the exterior of the building black, the “octopus” lighting of lightbulbs hanging from the ceiling, a subtle pop of color from the red brick column, graphic black and white tile flooring in the bathroom. These are all design elements that exemplify Fingalson’s taste and what she is capable of creating.
After working in the industry and seeing so many design trends come and go, Fingalson loves finding unique ideas every day. “My clients give me so much inspiration because every client I work with has a different style,” she said. She added, “It’s so fun to see everybody’s different styles and to go into their homes and get inspired myself. I think that’s why I’ve had success, it’s the fact that I enjoy all types of styles and I appreciate them.”
Design 2 Sell
514 Lake Avenue, Detroit Lakes, MN