A Mid-Century Modern Living Room In North Dakota: A Room Tour

You guys, social media can be such a cool thing. If it weren’t for the amazing not-so-little community of Instagram, I would have never “met” my new friend Kristin. She is a fellow boy mom living in Bismarck, North Dakota. Her photos of her little boys, her amazing home, and the natural beauty of ND are so fun to see. I’m thrilled to share her room tour with you today. Kristin and her husband, Greg, have a style that I’m simply drooling over. (Hey Kristin, wanna come style my home?!)These Chicago transplants used to own and operate a food truck called the Chicago Schnitzel King. How cool is that? So without further ado, I give you today’s room tour from the former Schnitzel Queen of Chicago! Enjoy.

What is your favorite thing about the space?Image 1

I love that we are able to integrate the kids play space into our daily lives. I never wanted a traditional play room so I strived to find the balance between adult/kid friendly. The built in bookcase that is original to the house is used to store some of the kid’s favorite books and toys, and I keep baskets behind the couch with blankets and blocks so the kids can cozy up and watch a movie or let their imagination run wild. The big window in the front of the room is also original to the house and I love how big and tall it is- giving us some awesome sunlight in the afternoon.

What is your favorite item in the space?Image 13

It is a tie between A) The Buffalo painting – We picked up this picture on a trip to Montana to visit one of my best friends from college. We always try to get a piece of art from every trip we take. We saw this picture at a rest stop/gas station. After living in the Dakotas, we knew we had to get it.

And B) the mid century radio we scored at a rummage sale last summer. It still works and the kids love music time where we blast the records or radio and have a dance party. The big open space in the middle of the room- that’s our dance floor. 🙂Image 11Image 12

How do you go about designing or decorating a room?Image 14

Always start with painting the walls! Lately I have been on a white wall kick, but in the past if the space lends itself to it I am a big fan of accent walls. (Editor’s note: Kristin’s walls are painted in Sherman-Williams Resilience Extra White-Satin.)

 From there I evaluate how we used the space, how we want to use the space, and set up the room accordingly. We are pretty minimalist so it is important for us not to crowd the walls and room with things. Then I like to go through what we already have and use that first- something with sentimental value is preferred! If there’s something I need, I take the time to research and find what works well for our budget and style. If it’s rummage sale time we head out and see if we can score some cool retro things! But, I love Ikea and UO for stylish finds on a budget! Also a plant in every room is a must.

The mirror was our in laws and I love that I can be sitting on the couch and look up and peek on the boys playing behind me (it’s a beveled mirror). The bird picture is actually made of wood by an artist originally from North Dakota- I also picked this up at a rummage sale over the summer. It reminds me of my favorite season- fall time- when the leaves start to fall from trees but there’s still plenty of wildlife around.Image 9Image 8

How has your taste evolved?

I love showcasing the kids art on the walls, which I would have never thought to do before kids, but I stock up on canvasses at hobby lobby and on a rainy day I let the boys go to town. That way, the art can constantly evolve and the kids are so proud to see their masterpieces up on the wall to show to our guests. Also, my husband and I can agree that we typically lean towards mid-century modern styles, and although this house doesn’t lend itself to that by architecture we aren’t afraid to incorporate retro into our design now. I never would have thought to look at rummage sales or thrift stores for some of my favorite retro designs.

The sea urchin sculptures (seen below) remind us of our trip to the Virgin Islands before we had kids, where we took a snorkeling/kayak trip and got to hold sea urchins.Image 10

Share some background on your home.

The house was built in 1900 right in the heart of downtown Bismarck, about 2 blocks down the street from the ND state capitol. We think we are the 4th owners of the house; we bought it last May but lived in it a year prior as a rental. Once the house went on the market the owners contacted us and we knew it was the right fit since we loved the location and always wanted our first house to be a fixer upper. Most of the house needs some type of renovation, but we are working room by room and are almost done with the first floor. We found the original wood flooring in our garage and plan to put that down in lieu of what is currently downstairs- the upstairs still has the original floors which are absolutely beautiful. I don’t think you can get the same quality wood they produced in 1900!Image

Image 1

Original tin ceiling!

What purpose does your room have?

We use the space as our living room-story room-play room-movie room- dance party room. 

I love filling this room with ______.

laughter and love! 

Are you a thrifter or do you prefer to buy new?

HUGE thrifter- love finding a good deal especially on mid-centry modern pieces that you can’t find today.

Do you and your husband have the same style? If not, share how you work together to create a look you both like. 

Aesthetically, we both enjoy the mid-centry modern style, but being that my husband is an avid hunter + fisher he likes to show off his ‘skills’. We have compromised and all these items now live in his office and garage, but before they took over our living rooms 🙂 If he could have his way he would probably put the fish & elk horns back up on the wall.

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