Photos by Brittney and Caleb Photography and Skye Fingalson
Full-service design studio, Design 2 Sell At The Lakes, had its grand opening in March 2019, and owner Skye Fingalson has hit the ground running since then. While the brick-and-mortar studio has only been open a year and some change, Fingalson has been designing lakes area homes for the past 15 years.
As a full-service design business, the store offers everything from real estate staging to interior design to countertops and flooring sourcing to paint consultations to home decor. Originally, Design 2 Sell was a brand for Fingalson to do real estate staging through, but her creative eye slowly transformed it into a full-service design agency.
For those in the market for a design refresh, Design 2 Sell has seven packages to chose from, including two diamond packages. These packages are customizable and able to fit anyone’s preferences or needs, whether you’re looking for a simple countertop installation to a full design, including paint colors, bedding, new flooring, lighting and more. Come with us as we explore three stylishly transformed homes that utilized these design packages.
Bold Patterns in Detroit Lakes
In the city of Detroit Lakes is the Rufer family home. In making this kitchen remodel come to life, Fingalson played off of the homeowner’s vision for a three-toned kitchen.
The existing kitchen was wood, wood and more wood. The starting point that Design 2 Sell began to work with had warm, honey-toned wood cabinets, counters, backsplash, trim and ceiling beams. While lake homes are known for warmth and ample wood throughout, this kitchen was in need of modernization and some variation.
Not wanting to betray the home’s origins, Design 2 Sell moved forward with a design that married the existing wood tones with crisp blacks and whites. The base cabinets were painted black, while the island and upper cabinets remained the existing wood stain. Keeping some of the original wood details allowed the space to stay true to its roots while still giving it a timeless refresh. White came through in the new countertops, a porcelain farmhouse sink and some fresh coats of paint on what used to be earthy green walls.
While the black, white and neutral palette brought modernity to the space, it’s the patterned tile backsplash that really brings it to life. Instead of pulling in accent colors to spruce up the space, Fingalson opted for pattern to be in the spotlight.
“It’s nice to bring people out of their safe-box. To say, ‘Go with what you love if it makes you happy,'” said Fingalson. She knows that a patterned backsplash might not be for everyone, but settling for what is “safe” doesn’t always play out. And when you’re hiring a designer to bring life to your space, let them have some fun and create a space that is uniquely you. Easily achieve a stylish look by balancing bold choices, like a patterned backsplash, with neutral elements, like a white quartz countertops.
Updated lighting was the cherry on top of the newfound freshness. Under-cabinet lighting, toe-kick lighting, recessed can lights and new pendants above the island and sink took the ambiance from dark and busy to light and breathable.
Carrying on with the trend of mixing, the final touches in the kitchen were mixed metal selections. Brushed nickel hardware and stainless steel appliances anchor the space. But brushed gold came in on the light fixtures to echo the warmth from the remaining natural wood tones.
Intentional Accents on Pearl Lake
Situated on Pearl Lake is the airy and spacious Hochgrabber home. This family approached Design 2 Sell requesting a facelift for their great room, which lead them to the Diamond Design Package.
This package gave the homeowners a full-service package from start to finish. Fingalson and her team handled everything from the overall design details to lining up and managing specialists like electricians, plumbers and painters. This way, the homeowners were alleviated the stress of coordinating schedules and estimates, and also gets the benefits of a thoughtful design.
Once those technical aspects are scheduled and taken care of, Fingalson and the homeowners can get into the fun parts. When first approaching this project, the team was presented with a big, flat wall under tall ceilings. Truly a blank canvas, Fingalson got to work and designed a statement fireplace to anchor the room. The upper half of the floor-to-ceiling structure adds dimension with a white-on-white herringbone pattern. Two functioning lanterns add to the overall ambiance and were well worth the extra planning it took to wire them up correctly. Leading the eye down to the lower portion, the fireplace itself is framed in stone with a cedar mantle connecting the two halves of the statement feature.
Further opening up the space, the team opted to paint the ceiling white, a refreshing transition from what used to be orange-toned pine. Fresh coats of paint were added throughout, in addition to some more depth and character coming in the form of shiplap on the stair wall. Using white to freshen up a space is always successful, however it risks coming off a bit safe. To give add charm and texture, Fingalson incorporated board and batten and shiplap on the new white elements.
Thoughtful decor touches help really complete this lake home. “It’s just like the icing on the cake,” said Fingalson about decorating. One important detail she includes in her design packages is this professional decorating. In Design 2 Sell’s brick-and-mortar, they carry a variety of home decor selections. So in her design projects, Fingalson pulls accessories from this selection and shows the homeowners all the design potentials. As an added bonus, if the homeowner decides to keep the decor items the project is staged with, they get 15% off those items. Easy and efficient!
Fresh and Airy in Frazee
Looking at the before and after images of this Frazee kitchen, the average eye wouldn’t believe it is the same room.
The homeowners came to Design 2 Sell for a design consultation and chose a design package that worked for their vision. “They knew that they wanted to open up some walls and make their kitchen and dining room all one open space for entertaining,” said Fingalson. To make this happen, they came up with a design plan and Fingalson helped them shop for everything from furniture and fixtures.
The warm-toned and wood-heavy space was transformed by introducing the color white. A lot of the wood was painted white and other white elements were introduced, including a subway tile backsplash, brand new cabinetry, quartz countertops and a shiplap range hood.
In the midst of all the white, contrast came in the form of black light fixtures. Barn-light sconces provided light to the countertops while seven varied pendants illuminated the island. “Lighting can either make or break a space,” said Fingalson. “It not only gives off the ambiance, but the design is truly all in the details.”
Another often-overlooked detail they were sure to include in this project was surround sound. “I can’t begin to express the importance of surround sound,” said Fingalson. “It’s one of those things that people take for granted, but it truly adds to the ambiance of the space.” This important detail isn’t one that can just be added at the last minute, however. To properly incorporate surround sound, the wiring had to be installed during the construction process. Even just running the wires in case you might want surround sound in the future is a good idea, to ensure you won’t have to break through any walls you just worked so hard on completing. These homeowners knew they wanted surround sound, so that was included in their remodel process from the start.
Knocking down some walls and adding freshness through color and texture, Design 2 Sell transformed this space from a typical cabin feel to a thoughtful and contemporary haven. No detail was overlooked and the end result is ready for many entertaining ventures to come.
Design 2 Sell
514 Lake Avenue, Detroit Lakes, MN
Read more our coverage of Design 2 Sell’s opening here.