Photos by J. Alan Paul Photography
There’s a popular misconception that all students live in dorm rooms or poorly-maintained houses, and in this case, that couldn’t be further from the truth. The T Lofts were built by Roers in 2011 to give students a modern option when living off campus. Since then, they have stayed ahead of the curve by undergoing a well-timed redecoration with Christen Anderson of Christen Joy Homes. We sat down with Christen and asked about her ongoing collaboration with Roers.
Roers is a construction, development and property management company based out of Fargo, ND. Kristen Juven is the Roers Marketing Director. She was tasked with reaching out to Christen Joy Homes. “Christen was an easy choice. We’ve seen her work in the past, and she does a great job getting to know and executing her clients’ vision within budget and on a timeline,” Juven said.
About Christen Joy Homes
Christen Anderson began Christen Joy Homes shortly after returning to the Midwest following five years on the West Coast. The Minnesota native reestablished her roots in Moorhead when building her first home and found a sincere love for the process. Her business specializes in both commercial and residential projects from new builds, remodels to the finishing touches.
About the Project
The goal of the T Lofts refresh was to give an inviting update to common spaces, providing comfortable seating areas for residents to enjoy. The refresh included two entrance common areas, a communal restroom and the exercise room.
“We wanted a brighter, more functional and contemporary feel for those who call T Lofts home–something residents would utilize, feel comfortable in and where they would enjoy spending time. Due to their location, T-lofts are associated with NDSU, but we didn’t want residents to feel like they were on campus. Touches of NDSU and the demographic’s lifestyle are cleverly weaved throughout the design,” Juven said.
Q & A with Christen Anderson
Q. Where did you draw inspiration for this project?
A. Located near the edge of NDSU campus, the T Lofts’ primary occupants are college students, so creativity was key when choosing designs. I wanted the space to have hints of local, North Dakota flavor, sustainable, modern comfort and welcoming, vibrant character.
Q. What was your process like when working on this project?
A. I approached this project as I do most and that begins with understanding the end-goal. Roers a budget and timeline in which the refresh needed to be completed. Roers granted me the freedom and flexibility to truly take any direction, so it was important for me to be able to maintain consistent communication and frequent “check-ins,” ensuring we were all on the same page from the first meeting through the final walk through.
Q. What challenges did you encounter when working with this project?
A. Finding the right balance between pieces that were inviting, comfortable and durable definitely challenged me to get creative.
Q. What was your favorite thing about working on this project?
A. I loved the creativity this project required and the opportunity to incorporate so many local, talented artists. Their talents made my vision a reality.
Q. What do you think of the final results?
A. I was thrilled with the final results, but in the end, it’s the clients’ opinions that matter most. The day following project completion, residents were taking photos of the wall paintings, conversing on the couches and playing shuffleboard.
Inspired by their work in Roberts Alley in Downtown Fargo, I invited Upper Hands Signs to use the concrete walls of T Lofts as a canvas. Their hand-painted wall art highlights the T Lofts logo, serves some ND pride and adds quirky personality in unexpected places like the mailboxes and exercise room. Photos from J. Alan Paul Photography and custom, wood furniture from Grain Designs are layered throughout the spaces creating instant wow factor from local artists.
Vibrant & Welcoming Character
The shuffleboard gaming center and bookcases displaying local magazines invite residents to enjoy the space. Additionally, rearranging the equipment to better fit the space instantly transformed the exercise room. I also had furniture moved and large mirrors installed, making it much more open and appealing.
Sustainable, Modern Comfort
In the open common areas, I opted for large sectionals and wingback chairs to provide ample seating with the right amount of color, texture and comfort. I then paired industrial stools with a custom, high-top table from Grain Designs.
The restroom refresh included two full walls of high-gloss subway tile, instantly creating fresh and clean feel. Layering in the fun puppy print gave the perfect balance of character and quirk to the restroom.
Roers and residents alike seemed to be satisfied with the results. NAME said, ” Truth be told, the results really lie in the newfound livability in the spaces she [Anderson] touched. Historically, the common spaces weren’t used for much more than as a way to get from point A to point B. Now it’s a regular thing to see and hear residents and visitors alike using the updated spaces.” T Lofts resident Nancy Ngo said, “I think when we saw the couches, we all went ‘woah.’ Now we sit down here and chat when picking up our mail.”
In the Works
Anderson is also collaborating with Roers on the SGC apartments and U32, which we can look forward to visiting and seeing renderings of in the next few months.