Photos by J Alan Paul Photography
When presented with two virtually identical downtown condos, how does one designer make both spaces unique and equally stylish? For Trever Hill of Trever Hill Design, the answer is easy: listen to the client.
While this might seem an obvious answer, it is a sentiment Hill and his design team stands by for every project. When you have as many design projects under your belt as Hill does, it would be simple to come into a space and make it look like a picture- perfect showroom. The designer has mastered color theory, knows how textures and textiles speak to each other and has an intuitive eye for line and flow, but ensuring a space is “home” for his clients trumps any moodboard or design school lecture.
“My goal as a designer is to work with the clients to extract what they are looking for and give them the best possible finished product. Because, at the end of the day, that’s the space that they live in and enjoy with their friends and their family, and it has nothing to do with me,” said Hill.
Two condos at 300 Broadway, both with the same floorplan and square footage, stand testament to this ideal. Located just above Sandy’s Donuts and Erbert & Gerbert’s, the two units’ respective owners independently enlisted Trever Hill Design to design and decorate their downtown units, both with their own wishlists. With one on the third floor and the other right above it on the building’s top floor, these two clients had their own wants and needs for the space. With such a rare opportunity, Hill flexed what he does best and tailored both units perfectly to their respective owners.
Hill isn’t a psychic or a magician, but some of his clients might see him as such. In his own words, his main goal for every project is: “I need to make sure that they feel so at home that it almost feels like I was able to go into their brain, use my talents and extract what they want.” And for the two gentlemen residing in these heart-of-downtown properties, Hill’s ability to translate a personality into a design really shone.
It doesn’t take a mystic to see why these two clients were drawn to the units neighboring the historic Fargo Theater. Completed in early 2009, this mixed-use commercial and residential building stands at the spot that used to be a parking lot for the Fargo Theater. Being this close to the theater means that these units not only get balconies overlooking
the bustling Broadway strip, but they also get a front seat look at the iconic Fargo Theater signage as it twinkles at night. The redevelopment of the property was designed to fit into the context of downtown Fargo’s continued growth while also blending in with the existing historic structures around it. By enlisting Trever Hill Design to bring fresh, timelessness into the newly purchased condos, a kiss from the past and an eye for the future were achieved.
The Third Floor Bachelor Pad
On the third floor of 300 Broadway is the city dwelling of Chance Lindsey, the First Vice President for a full-service commercial real estate firm. Lindsey enlisted the team at Trever Hill Design to turn this downtown condo into the ultimate getaway for when he’s spending time in Fargo.
When Lindsey came to Hill, his first request was to make it feel like a true downtown bachelor pad. With ideas already spinning around in the designer’s mind, additional requests from the client included making the space feel like a hotel, incorporating local art and staying on-trend and timeless.
Lindsey was inspired by hotel designs and wanted his city home to feel like a getaway or a retreat. Since he doesn’t live in the space full-time, this allowed Hill some flexibility in how he approached the necessities. Of course the condo has a stocked closet and ready-to-go kitchen, but full collections of books, small appliances and similar space-filling objects didn’t need to be accounted for. Trever Hill Design is known for its love of minimalism and crisp cleanliness, and this guideline allowed the team to be especially thoughtful about their selections. Since the client isn’t on the grounds full-time and soaking everything in daily, the design needed to be on-trend, but also timeless. Big, loud statements could get old fast or might be shocking after returning from being away. Tying into the hotel-room inspiration, extra frills were not on the menu for this project. That timeless modernity was achieved by sticking to a warm, neutral palette and incorporating masculine textiles like leather and linen. Retro nods came in with brass accents found in the new kitchen island pendants, complementary brass bar stools and little decor touches throughout. “I completed this [unit] about a year and a half ago, but it still looks great,” said Hill, acknowledging that in-the-moment trendiness was nowhere to be found.
Being his Fargo home, the client requested that Hill include local art into the design. Incorporating art from to place you call home takes great design to the next, very personal level. When first entering the unit, “Lunchtop Atop Block 9” by photographer Dan Francis hangs printed on metal. Thie piece of work has received praise throughout the community, as it beautifully recreates the Manhattan 1932 “Lunch atop a Skyscraper” photo with a Fargo twist. But the condo owner especially was drawn to the piece as, in the background, you can see the balcony of his very unit.
A focal point in the kitchen and living room area is a gromet-hung canvas of Meg Spielman Peldo‘s “Boob Tube” from her A Bra Anthologie series. “I thought it would be fun to have an entire wall of TVs,” said Hill, remarking that just to the right of the two television sets depicted in the fine art photograph is the owner’s mounted flat-screen TV. The brass antennae and can of Hamm’s captured in the art provide yet another nod to the brass accents found throughout.
Although not local, the living room’s Restoration Hardware port-hole liquor cabinet is a work of art itself. Recalling the vision of this unit becoming a true bachelor pad, this statement liquor cabinet communicates that the condo is a fun hang-out zone. With a populated wine rack, a huge Four Hands sectional and an office with a Murphy bed, this unit is ready for hosting friends, family and business partners alike.
The Rooftop City Getaway
In a coveted top-floor unit of 300 Broadway is the pad of insurance director Brian Hayer. When he purchased the condo, he wanted to turn its existing rusty-brown and dark accents into a clean, crisp and bright look. With a portfolio full of minimalistic, clean projects, Trever Hill Design was the perfect person for Hayer to enlist for this goal.
The footprint of Hayer’s unit is virtually identical to Lindsey’s beneath him, save for one major difference: a spiral staircase leading to a rooftop terrace. This spacious rooftop was a major selling point for the condo. Although the unit was dark and moody when purchased, some fresh, light paint by Weyer-for-Hire and a vision for entertaining sealed the deal. “[The client] obviously saw the potential in the place. Having the rooftop feature…the view is just so captivating. It’s the heart of downtown!” said Hill. Looking out at Broadway from the roof, directly to the left is the Fargo Theater and to the right is the shiny spectacle of Block 9. Not only is the unit located in the heart of the city, but it also has priceless views of the ever-changing city scenes.
A rare but welcomed request for this project came with the client wanting to source most everything from retailer Design Within Reach. Founded in 1998 by Rob Forbes, Design Within Reach’s mission is to give people access to the best in authentic modern design. Carrying products from industry heavyweights such as Herman Miller, Brown Jordan and Vitra, the retailer is an attainable portal to such styles. “[The client] likes the quality of Design Within Reach, he loves that it’s not knockoff or inspired-by, it’s true pieces from original mid-century designers,” said Hill.
Throughout the unit, numerous designers from Design Within Reach’s index are showcased, yet the complete package doesn’t just look like a page from a catalog. From the light fixtures to the sectional to the coffee table, virtually every piece of furniture is from Design Within Reach. Hill knew the client was heavily inspired by the chosen retailer and wanted to respect that, but he also knew how to select the right pieces from the right collections to ensure the place felt like home, not just a showroom. Mixing in accessories from Curated by Trever Hill and local artwork to tie it all together, the Design Within Reach pieces are properly complemented with a signature Trever Hill flair.
Like his downstairs neighbor, this client also wanted to incorporate local art into his city dwelling. He loved the vibrant and colorful work of Star Wallowing Bull, so Hill ensured three of his pieces were prominently displayed in the main living area. One painting hangs above the bar and two more hang framing the dining room table. The Minnesota artist’s signature style is known for showcasing the intersection of Native American and pop culture. Using vibrant colors and patterns, but depicting contemporary, often mechanical objects, Star Wallowing Bull’s art feels right at home in this modern, downtown abode.
Trever Hill himself is passionate about art and its place in interior design. “Art doesn’t have to match the home or furniture,” he said. “Art can stand alone. I, personally, like to pull in a pillow or some accent that helps tie it in and make it cohesive, but at the end of the day, art just really has to speak to you.” He is a believer that art doesn’t have to “match” a space in the traditional sense, just as long as it resonates with the owner and enhances their home experience. In this case, neutral colors and texture serve as a backdrop to the bright and bold art that adorns the space. Another bold piece of special art hangs across from the master bed. This custom Arizona State Sun Devils painting by Rando not only honors the homeowner’s alma mater, but it also serves as a shocking and colorful statement for the otherwise neutral bedroom.
Also similar to his downstairs neighbor, this client treats his unit as a city dwelling rather than a full-time residence. Not only did Hill ensure the interior was set up to respect that, but that the rooftop was also low-maintenance. The couch cushions don’t need to be removed and stored and the rest of the furniture is weather withstanding. Excess accessories aren’t at risk for flying away on blustery days, plus, with a view like this, who needs a bunch of accessories?
While the rooftop ambiance naturally steals the show, the interior sure holds its own. An end result of fresh and cozy, yet bold and audacious make this Design Within Reach-inspired unit an aesthetically pleasing oasis.
About Trever Hill Design
Trever Hill, the namesake behind Trever Hill Design and retail store Curated by Trever Hill, is an interior decor expert, transforming spaces from Fargo all the way to California. Achieving comfort while tapping into luxury ideals and infusing a love of fashion, Hill and his team create some exceptional dwellings. The team prides itself on matching each client’s unique tastes and style, while ensuring all the pieces live harmoniously.