Strom Architecture | Art + Architecture | Midwest Nest Magazine

Art + Architecture

Midwest Nest Magazine
Tracy Nicholson
October 1, 2020

In their seven years of marriage, Alissa and Nick Adams have taken their lives cross-country. While Alissa has been working remotely for West Acres Development, where she currently serves as COO, Nick was following his training in the field of plastic surgery. After spending six years in Michigan, then another year in Arizona, the couple, along with their two young daughters and French mastiff, were ready to move back home to Fargo, family and friends. With near-perfect timing, they contacted Strom Architecture, who was in the midst of designing a model home for Radiant Homes. Located in Rocking Horse Farm, the rambler-style home was in the early stages, but still able to be customized. Collaborating via Zoom from their home in Arizona, the team, including Brandi Youngmark Interior Design, was able to accommodate the Adams’ passion for art and Mid-century modern musings.

Coming Home

While the Adams enjoyed their time in other cities, they anticipated moving their daughters back home where they would be closer to both of their families. Outside of the home, Nick is known as Dr. Nicholas Adams, a plastic surgeon who recently opened his own practice in Fargo, Center for Plastic Surgery.

When they were ready to make the move, the Adams reached out to Architect, Jackson Strom, and their journey to build a home remotely soon began. He had been working on a model home for Radiant Homes and was eager to show them the plans in Rocking Horse Farm. “We talked to our Realtor, Mari Santoyo Perry about Rocking Horse Farm,” said Alissa Adams. “She had also spoken to us about Radiant Homes, whom we had an interest in already, so the pieces just fell into place.” Not living here at the time, the Adams were unfamiliar with the neighborhood, so they relied on Santoyo Perry’s expertise, committing to the home and lot without physically seeing it. Having now lived here since early summer, their family has found a few more reasons to love where they live: taking their girls to pick corn in the pocket park, and visiting the neighborhood’s pumpkin patch.

Design Process

Since their home was originally intended to be on the Spring Parade with Radiant Homes, Interior Designer, Brandi Youngmark, was mid-way through the design process when the Adams became the homeowners. The team had opted for a timeless exterior with pronounced architectural features such as steep roof pitches, a balanced blend of detailed materials, and stately columns grounding the oversized porch.

Since the Adams were still in Arizona, personalizing the home would have to be done remotely. “At the start of working with them, we had a Zoom meeting and phone call, so we got a good feel for what they liked. We put together a vision board in a pdf with three different options for lighting and the overall feel, so that gave them time to process the ideas,” explained Youngmark. “From there, we dove into a more geometric, Mid-century style with touches of bohemian-organic; a fusion that really spoke to me as well.”

Over the course of the build, Youngmark and Alissa Adams had more Zoom meetings, sharing screens and sometimes shopping together online to make sure the vision and style were aligned. Youngmark paid special attention to the home’s more impactful elements like lighting, hardware, and mirrors – all things they were able to search together for online. After a successful collaboration between their team and the family, they were able to move in on June 1st.

Creating a vision for the rambler’s exterior, Radiant Homes was ready to think outside of the norm. “I wanted to do a more traditional exterior, but with heightened architectural interest, and without the drab elevations of a typical rambler,” said David Reid of Radiant Homes. “I really like the details that we came up with, like the grand front porch, steep roof pitches, shed dormer on the front elevation, gable vents, siding finishes and trim detailing.”

The Adams’ open-concept rambler consists of 1,992 square feet on the main floor, with an additional 1,992 square feet on the lower level. Coming in from the foyer, guests will immediately see the fusion of styles, starting with the Jay Pfeifer series of acrylic and metal compositions. Further inside, the home features consistent flooring throughout, and large, cased openings with wainscoting details – a beautiful transition between the rooms.

Creativity + Clean Lines

Throughout the living room with tray ceiling detail, the Adams’ Mid-century elements and clean lines create the perfect backdrop for their sentimental art collection. They brought many pieces from their home in Michigan, along with a few local favorites collected over the years. Some of the pieces were created for their new space, including work by Alissa’s mom and her sister. “We are very intentional about the décor in our home; all of the art pieces and photography have special meaning to us,” explained  Alissa  Adams. “What was amazing is that we felt that same intentionality put forth by the entire team that created our home, making a space with thoughtful detail; in itself a work of art.”

The Adams’ style better to have a floor-to-ceiling, larger tile with a sleeker concrete look,” explained Reid. “Alissa and Brandi came up with that concept and I think it turned out really nice.” The tile is part of the Ragno ConKreto™ line featuring monochromatic tones resembling curing concrete. “We really wanted to let the wainscot entries, from the foyer to the living room, and living room to the kitchen, kind of speak for itself,” said Youngmark.

For  the   home’s  furnishings,  Alissa  Adams   consulted  with  Youngmark, but brought in many quality pieces of her own from Crate & Barrel, CB2, Anthropologie, Room and Board and West Elm. The two also found pieces from Eco Chic Home, like the rug, sofa, and the bohemian style cabinet.

Black, White, & Gold

With the rambler’s open concept kitchen, Youngmark helped the Adams choose white frameless cabinetry, from SWI in a shaker style, with brushed gold hardware and black granite on the perimeter. For the island, they chose high-contrast black cabinetry with a marbled white quartz countertop and Mid-century pendants from CB2. Other unique features include a sliding pantry door, and the sink’s matte black Tempered faucet – a newly released collection from Kohler.

To evoke interest on the backsplash, Youngmark created a custom design with geometric tiles. “I appreciated that Brandi took our feedback, then would come up with an idea and present it to us – like the backsplash in the kitchen that would exceed our expectations. We went through a couple of different options but she ended up nailing it,” said Alissa Adams. “She really helped define where we should spend our money in the home, and where we could save, ultimately ensuring we were pleased with the end product.”

Dining 1950’s Style

The Adams’ dining room features a West Elm frosted globe fixture, and Anthropologie’s tambour door buffet in rosewood with white marble top; a 1950’s Mid-century-inspired statement piece.

Mod Mudroom

Just beyond the kitchen is an efficient mudroom with an extraordinary alcove. While Alissa found the unique geometric design and painted the wall black, Radiant recreated her idea by laying out the precise pattern, finishing the feature with clear alder wood. “I’d pick something out and show it to Brandi, then she’d be able to find it somewhere else, or execute in a more cost-savvy way, ” said Alissa Adams. “We really appreciated that.”

In the master bath, Youngmark worked closely with the couple to choose the quartz tops, alder cabinetry and Lucite hardware. “The Lucite hardware gave the vanity more of a furniture-style finish. Then we brought in brushed gold mirrors, and Mid-century modern two-tone light fixtures in black and brushed gold,” explained Youngmark.

The glass and tile-enclosed, walk-in shower utilizes the same modern, concrete-style tile as the fireplace, but this time in a darker tone of Ragno ConKreto™. “The master bath’s flooring is a large, luxury vinyl tile that is probably the closest to a ceramic look that I’ve seen,” said Youngmark. “We love using ceramic, but we wanted to give the flooring a bit more cushion and warmth.”

Art + Office

In the opposite wing of the home, their office serves as a designated workspace for Nick and Alissa, as well as a crafting space for the girls. Although it’s fit for a bedroom, it’s currently Alissa’s primary office as she continues to work remotely. Here, the Adams feature pieces from Michigan artist David Warmenhoven, and lighting from Ellen Degeneres’ new modern collection.

“In the powder bathroom on the main level, we really tried to incorporate more of a furniture piece in here, choosing black frameless cabinetry with tapered gold legs and a quartz top,” said Youngmark. “We loved the arched mirror we found from CB2.” On the wall, the couple’s art collection continues, showcasing two Jessica Wachter pieces.

Pretty & Pink

A vision in soft pinks and subtle textures, the Adams’ two young daughters have a beautiful, shared bedroom with a nearby full bathroom. Alissa’s sister who lives in Oregon, created the four watercolor pieces above the girl’s twin beds.

Their daughters are only three and five now, so they prefer to keep them close, but as they grow up, they will move to the two lower-level bedrooms. Here they will


“The process was very synergetic, and it felt like we were all on the same page for the vision. Also, Mari was a big help on behalf of them; she was pretty involved, and she brings a lot to the table,” said Reid. “As a Realtor, she’s a great asset to her clients.”

“Everything was really laid out well for us,” said Nick Adams. “Alissa carried a lot of the weight of the decisions with the team, but I hopped on a few Zoom calls while at the hospital. Earlier on in the process, we were able to go over some of the additional details of the floorplan, and our family, as well as Mari, helped when we needed someone to look at finishes and do walk-throughs.”

“Most people would assume that building a home like this would be really stressful, but it was a very stress-free process from start to finish,” said Alissa Adams. “When it was complete, our first visitor to the home, a family member, lamented that beyond the home feeling warm and inviting, our designer clearly understood our style. It felt like us; a true testament to Brandi and the Radiant team. Even though we weren’t physically there throughout the process, we were confident that when we moved in, it was going to instantly feel like home.”

View Full Article

Find the Finishes:

Builder – Radiant Homes

Architect – Jackson Strom, Strom Architecture

Interior Design – Brandi Youngmark Interior Design

Matte Black Plumbing – Tempered by Kohler, Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Flooring – Wood laminate, Carpet World Cabinetry – SWI Interiors

Countertops – Quartz & granite, Great Northern Granite

Glass shower enclosure – Frontier Glass Fireplace & master bath tile – Ragno ConKreto™ Lighting – CB2, Ellen Degeneres

Art – Original works by Carol Schlossman, Jay Pfeifer, David Warmenhoven, Jessica Wachter and Emily Elbom

Furnishings – Eco Chic Home, CB2, Crate & Barrel, West Elm, Anthropologie, Room and Board

Fabricated stair railing – Straightline Design