Contemporary Meets Classic

“She decorates according to the homeowners’ style, and budget and always puts a special ‘sprinkle’ in her decorating to make the final touch grand,”

A South Fargo Home Remodel with Linda Birmingham of dw2

The homeowners first connected with Linda when their daughter graduated from high school and they were needing a fresh look for her open house. Interestingly enough, this was not their first time working with Linda Birmingham on a home remodel. In Design & Living’s 2021 Summer Lakes Issue, the same homeowners worked with Birmingham to remodel their lake home in Detroit Lakes, which made the cover story for that issue. The homeowners loved working with Birmingham so much they chose her again, this time for their home in South Fargo. “She decorates according to the homeowners’ style, and budget and always puts a special ‘sprinkle’ in her decorating to make the final touch grand,” they said. Take a tour with Birmingham as she walks you through this contemporary-meets-classic “go big or go home” remodel.

Creative Inspiration

When she started planning for the project, Birmingham’s goal was to create an open space for the couple and their grown children. They had two dining tables within just feet of each other and they really wanted a kitchen area where they could all gather.

“We know that the kitchen is always the heart of the home and is where everyone congregates— ‘Go Big or Go Home’ was what I was thinking for the island,” she said. They like to work on crafts and hang out together so I decided to throw out the idea of getting rid of the dinette table and replacing it with an expanded island.

Birmingham joined forces with Kitchen Designer, Kim Zimmer of Accent Kitchen and Bath in Fargo and together they came up with what she believes is her favorite kitchen remodel yet. The whole main floor is a combination of contemporary and classic melded together. Greys, whites, taupes, tans, golds and silver were all used throughout. New white trim made the new doors stained in a deep coffee color pop. You’ll see texture throughout.

The new fireplace included a textured weave metallic wallpaper and a natural 4×4 tile, the rug, a long hair taupe rug that feels dreamy on your toes, and metalic penny round backsplash just to name a few. Birmingham added a bit of fun to the parlor room; it’s the area where conversations are meant to be shared, an intimate setting to put your feet up, get comfy and chill. Bold tone-on-tone fabric with a pop of gold that says “Happy”. The ability to switch out accent colors seasonally is a great touch as well.

I really wanted an asymmetrical design, well balanced with just the right amount of texture,” said Birmingham. Brittney from Showcase Floors laid it out on CAD and together they came up with the final plan. The staircase was initially designed to be cable and steel, but it was just too contemporary for the exterior of the home considering that’s the first thing you see coming in from outside. The occasional circle on the iron spindles added the uniqueness they were looking for.

“The fireplace wall design was created on the back of a deposit slip while I was waiting at the Dr. office.”

Overcoming Challenges

Birmingham’s biggest challenge was finding subs to work with. Thankfully, Fargo-Moorhead is a close community when it comes to building and design, so peers will always help out. Cody, her rep from D&M, introduced her to Dave Langenberger, owner of LangWood Creations. He served as her install guy for the new staircase and doors. Birmingham also worked with G&T Plumbing— whenever she had an issue, they were quick to respond and well as the electricians from Voxland.

“There wasn’t always time to get the OK on everything, so trust from the homeowner was valuable,” said Birmingham. “Supply chain issues were a challenge as they still are. Small parts are always coming from China for furniture, appliances and lighting. COVID in India slowed down getting our rugs. Practicing patience was key with everyone involved.”

The Best Lighting Experience

“Lighting complimenting a home is like jewelry complimenting a great outfit,” said Birmingham. “It can take a space from looking nice to looking incredible.”

dw2 source a lot of their lighting, but also go to Valley Lights or Ferguson. Birmingham always looks for lighting that is a bit unique in its design, that isn’t too trendy, or that you’ll see in every Pinterest picture. It’s all about the personality of the room and placement. If possible, she likes using a triangle of task or decorative lights in a room.

Tip from dw2:

Always include lamps in a plan. Ceiling lights are great, but to create your warm, cozy feel there should be soft lighting at table height.

A Finished Project: The Homeowners’ Reactions

“It is so fun to show the decorating to family and friends,” the homeowners said. “As their jaws drop, and their eyes look amazed we always hear them say, ‘wow!'”

For Birmingham, working together with the homeowners has been “a great relationship.” “They are just such classy people that I’ve grown to love,” she said. “I appreciate that they expect attention to detail in their home—they appreciate the small details and allow me to create based upon their tastes and personalities.” It’s just a great relationship.

3499 39th St S
Fargo, ND 58104



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