Every since Robert Leslie was a kid he loved to see his dad be able to visual and design a home. He was fascinated by it, until one day he realized he could do the same thing. So, in 1996 he started working with his dad and in 2008 he opened Designer Homes of Fargo-Moorhead, a business dedicated to creating custom, upscale homes. Since opening Designer Homes, he has had a passion for designing the perfect home. “When you get to see the excitement of the kids picking the bedroom and planning where to put their Christmas tree,” Leslie said. “We’re talking about the memories that all of us as kids frickin’ loved.”
In fact, he remembers one of the first times he walked into a home he helped design, the family had just put their Christmas tree up, the kids had just returned home and Leslie came to visit with Apple Pie. He stepped into the house and started crying. “I’m not a crier,” Leslie recalled with a laugh. “They said, ‘are you OK?’ and I said, ‘I’m really good!’”
Designer Homes builds custom home in Fargo-Moorhead and a sixty-mile radius. They specialize in homes $350,000 and up, and with 20 standard home plans to choose from, they offer something for everybody. Leslie and his crew also just opened Luxe Custom Homes, which specializes in homes $240,000 and up.
Leslie compares the difference between the two companies in terms of cars. Designer Homes is like a Lexus; you get the highest quality material and end up with a great house. While Luxe Homes is like a Toyota. It’s still a great car but it doesn’t have all the fancy bells and whistles and the material isn’t as pricey.
Rob Leslie Vitals
Hometown: Winnipeg, Canada
Family man: Leslie has always been very close to his family. He started by working with his dad and to this day he continues to work alongside his dad.
Leslie tries to compliment each of his homes to his client’s needs, but there are some things that he has found are becoming popular and trendy.
Technology: Building flat panel screens into main level, sound system throughout house, and compatibility of operating home through iPod. Technology is making living at home a completely new experience.
Unique Garage Doors: Garage doors have often times been the focal point of the house. There is an insulated glass garage door that is very attractive. This makes the garage look like windows instead of an actual garage.
Rear Entry: When you come in from the garage you want lockers, a message center and walk in closets. Everything should be functional because that’s where you enter your house a majority of the time.
Bonus Rooms: They were popular in the past but functionality is being added to these rooms. For example, some bonus rooms have been designed to have many desks, computers and be distraction free in order to create a homework room for kids.
Walk Through Pantry: People frequently shop at Costco and Sam’s Club so they come in with large boxes of groceries. These walk-in pantries allow people to come in from the garage, go right into the pantry and set the boxes down. This saves your kitchen from those dirty boxes.
Wood: Maple, poplar or Birch are popular choices these days.
Eight-Foot Tall Doors: This is a popular option in entryways. This complements really high ceilings.