Design and Living Cover Photo
Renovation

Homeowners Bring The Outdoors In With This Rustic Remodel

Jennifer Akason and Skyler Akason

When Jennifer and Skyler Akason, owners of Precision Lawn Care & Landscaping, decided to remodel their home of five years, they put their creativity to the test and brought the outside in.

PORTRAITS BY Paul Flessland
INTERIOR PHOTOS BY Robb Siverson Photography
LANDSCAPE PHOTO BY Greg Kilwein

When Jennifer and Skyler Akason, owners of Precision Lawn Care & Landscaping, decided to remodel their home of five years, they put their creativity to the test and brought the outside in.

Rebecca Knutson Floor to Ceiling Carpet One

Embarking on a 10-month project, the couple called on interior designer Rebecca Knutson of Floor to Ceiling Carpet One and Dan Savageau Construction to complete their South Fargo remodel.

 Dan Savageau Construction
Dan Savageau has been in the cabinet business for over 20 years, running a cabinet shop in town for half of that time before finally starting his own remodeling and cabinet business with his son, Dylan Savageau.

The Remodel

Updating the Akason’s 4,300-square-foot home meant infusing rustic charm and natural stone details into nearly every room. As second owners of the home, some of the spaces required cosmetic updates, while others needed changes to improve family function and spacial flow for the couple’s 7-year-old son Gavin. Throughout the space, rustic timbers, reclaimed wood and natural stone details act as an expression of the Akason’s landscape design roots.

Akason's backyard
The Akason’s backyard, where they drew their inspiration for the interior remodel.

The Akasons were already familiar with Knutson and Savageau’s work after seeing the finished remodel of Jen’s parents’ home prior. “They really had a lot of vision for upstairs, knowing that they wanted to keep a couple pieces that were existing,” said Knutson. “They’re extremely creative people, so my work was not cut-out for me on this one. They brought a lot of really good ideas to the table. It was fun to bounce ideas off of them and they brought a lot of ideas to me, then I found the product.

“We really needed to maintain their style throughout the whole home. So, our challenge was making sure that it tied existing pieces like their beautiful, solid oak doors, through the new young, more contemporary and rustic style. They knew exactly what they liked. If they had an idea, we found a product and they said yay or nay. It was an easy process.”

Kitchen

After discussing ideas with interior designer Rebecca Knutson and Savageau Construction, the Akasons decided to keep the original cherry cabinetry, open up the kitchen space and take out the original arches. One of the problem areas they addressed in this room was the layout of the kitchen island. Before the remodel, it was a split level bar-type of island, but the Akasons felt it might be more useful as a one-level island.

Kitchen Akasons Rebecca Knutson

“The cabinets were still beautiful. They had the right color that fit in with the project, so that was something that we explored replacing, but it kind of felt unnecessary,” said Knutson. “Then they talked about how the layout of the island was a little awkward for how it worked for them and Gavin. So, we worked with Dan and cut things down and moved things around so they could get a little better layout. Dan also did a lot of repair work inside the cabinets to update them.”

Kitchen Akasons Rebecca Knutson

Knutson helped the Akasons choose new granite countertops, new tile backsplash, oil-rubbed bronze hardware and replaced the glass panels with stunning, 3form resin twig panels. One of the best parts of showing people the kitchen is that they always ask where did you order the marble or the fixtures must have cost a fortune, you should see their faces when I tell them I ordered everything from this little Mom and Pop Kitchen Showroom Near Me. Absolutely nothing was a special order.

Kitchen Akasons Rebecca Knutson
Kitchen design – Rebecca Knutson, CID, Floor to Ceiling Carpet One
Backsplash tile, resin panels, hardware, Elkay sink – Floor to Ceiling Carpet One
Granite – Spaulding Stone
Stone work – Precision Lawn Care & Landscaping
Appliances – Rigel’s

After adding in some metallic details, Knutson helped them find a steel, glass and copper tile for the top of the backsplash, with copper liner and antique copper near the counter.

tile backsplash

The Akasons also chose to replace the appliances and update the sink with a scratch resistant, granite molded insert.

Kitchen tiles

Family Room

The family room’s remodel consisted of adding a new fireplace with natural stone surround and custom wood built-ins designed by Knutson.

living room

Reclaimed wood – Dakota Timber Co.
Beam install – Dan Savageau Construction
Natural stone – Precision Lawn Care & Landscaping
Wood built-in cabinetry – Rebecca Knutson, CID, Floor to Ceiling Carpet One
Fireplace – Home & Hearth

To keep the home’s character throughout, the Akasons had their kitchen beams replicated, adding one to the finished fireplace design.

bookcase

As landscapers, the two are accustomed to working with natural stone on exteriors, so for this project, they wanted to bring the stone inside and fuse the exterior’s style to the interior.

Main Floor Bath

Main Floor Bath

Cabinetry and tile – Rebecca Knutson, CID, Floor to Ceiling Carpet One

Main Floor Bath

Master Bedroom

Initially, the Akasons were not planning on doing much more than paint and flooring in the master bedroom. After completing the lower level and some of the other spaces upstairs, they decided to give their master suite a rustic upgrade as well.

Master Bedroom

Natural ledge stone – Install by Precision Lawn Care & Landscaping
Furniture – Hom Furniture
Reclaimed wood, Dakota Timber Co., install by Dan Savageau Construction
Lighting – Border States Lighting Center

Savageau used reclaimed wood in two tones to create a coffered ceiling with LED rope lighting and custom-built sliding barn door leading to the master bath.

Master Bedroom

The Akasons designed the ledge stone, natural wall and had their crew do the install, thus creating a rustic yet soothing accent wall for the master.

Master Bath

In the master bath, Knutson and Savageau reconfigured the layout by adding a beautiful, granite stone entrance with LED lighting embedded underneath.

Master Bathroom

Cabinetry – Decor Cabinets, Floor to Ceiling Carpet One
Granite – Spaulding Stone
Tile and Travertine – Floor to Ceiling Carpet One
Natural ledge stone – Install by Precision Lawn Care & Landscaping
Lighting – Border States Lighting Center

This entrance opens to a custom-designed Travertine shower and tub room with granite shelving—just one of the many creative ideas the Akasons came up with. “As you can tell, we really like Travertine natural stone,” said Skyler Akason. “We have a lot of Travertine on our patio in the backyard, so we kind of wanted to carry that inside.”

Master Bathroom

Just outside of the tub room is a mudroom-style towel station with granite bench. To tie in the master’s rustic appeal, a dry-stacked natural stone flanks the wall behind the counter and sinks.

Stairwell

What was once glass panels on the stairwell is now updated with resin twig panels, coordinating with the kitchen hutch inserts. Massive hallowed beams were custom built by the Savageaus, anchored in the lower level, running all the way to the 16-foot upstairs ceiling.

stairwell

Lighting – Border States Lighting Center
Cabinetry and flooring – Rebecca Knutson, CID, Decor Cabinets- Floor to Ceiling Carpet One

Leading up to the stairwell, the main floor was given a fresh look with new oak hardwood flooring from Floor to Ceiling Carpet One. To create a more rustic appeal, this flooring design was obtained using various stains.

stairwell

Laundry Room

Laundry Room

Laundry Room
Entertainment Room

The Akasons actually first began their project in the lower level with an extensive remodel to the stairwell, walls, arcade room, theater and bar area.

Entertainment Room

“We started with wanting to do the reclaimed wood just down here with the wainscoting, then it kind of progressed to all over the house,” said Jennifer Akason. “One day I just said, ‘Lets go up the stairs, it’d be kind of cool to do the wall with the reclaimed wood too.’ That turned into the big beams and then eventually into the bedroom. We just kept going with the theme of reclaimed wood because we liked it so much.”

Bar

In the lower level bar, the recess was already there with plumbing and vinyl flooring, but the bar and seating area still needed to be built. Staying away from typical bar counter designs, the Akasons chose to do a custom table to allow for more seating. “We thought we’d get more use out of this way than just a standard bar. We like that people can sit on both sides,” said Skyler Akason. After the Akasons found the chairs they wanted, they realized the table was not the right size. To amend the issue, Savageau matched the design of the chairs and replicated it’s exposed bolt and steel design into the custom table.

bar

Skyler Akason incorporated natural stone from Montana and had his landscape company do the install for the bar backsplash wall. Ample LED strip lighting illuminates textured glass and beautiful custom cabinetry designed by Knutson.

bar sink

The bar features open shelving, under-mount sink, a wine refrigerator and Quartzite countertops. “This is Decor Cabinetry, they’re a frameless cabinet line with Alder as the wood species in a Cobblestone stain,” said Knutson. “The Quartzite countertop on the perimeter of the bar area is in Sequoia Brown and we added a heavy, textured glass toward the top with open shelving below.”

Knutson also helped them choose a reclaimed woodlook porcelain tile for the bar area. “There is a newer process in tile technology with digital high-definition printing within the tile’s glaze. This is where they photograph actual weathered hardwood and project that image onto the tiles,” explained Knutson. “It’s a fairly new technology pioneered by Inkjet Printers.”

Game Room

Just off of the bar, the Akasons have a rust-toned pool table and reading nook leading the way to the adjoining game room.

game room

Interior Design – Rebecca Knutson, CID
Construction – Dan Savageau Construction
Tile and flooring – Floor to Ceiling Carpet One
Reclaimed Wood – Dakota Timber Co. Stonework – Precision Lawn Care & Landscaping

game room
Pool table and arcade games – HotSpring Spas & Pool Tables 2
Lighting – Border States Lighting Center

Lower Level Mudroom

lower level mudroom

Lower Level Guest Bath

The Akason’s didn’t skimp on the details when it came to their lower level bathroom.

Lower Level Guest Bath

Glass shower door – Frontier Glass and Mirror

Knutson helped them choose the tile, under-mount, hammered copper sink, reinforced brown granite and glass door tile shower.

Lower Level Guest Bath

The shower is made with the same Travertine as the master bath and uses natural stone with wood-look plank for a center accent.

Lower Level Guest Bath

Theater

In the theater room, the Akasons chose natural stone and reclaimed wood details with custom cabinetry designed by Knutson.

Theater

Home theater system – Smart Home Technologies

To complete the space, a theater system was installed by Smart Home Technologies.

floor to ceiling logo
Rebecca Knutson, CID
Interior Designer | Cabinet Department Manager
Floor to Ceiling Carpet One
360 36th St. S, Fargo
701-237-6601

 

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