Photos by Josiah Kopp
This Fargo Den Remodel Takes Home Entertainment to a Whole New (Lower) Level
Spending so much time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic made it painfully obvious for Courtney LaLonde that she and her husband Chris needed more space in their Fargo rambler home. At one point, she set up a desk in the horseshoe stairwell just to feel like she was on a different level of the house.
The LaLonde’s also needed more space for their daughter Caroline, so finishing the basement was essential for the whole family. They didn’t want to just do a simple remodel, however, but rather wanted to invest in something filled with meaning, memories and culture. The next step was choosing a designer…
Choosing a Designer
Meet Melanie Iverson of Mosaic Interior Design
For Courtney, choosing Melanie as the mastermind of this project was an easy decision. “Melanie is such an authentic person,” said LaLonde. “It was so easy to bond with her and we never had a doubt that the finished product would turn out great.” From day one, Melanie had innovative ideas that made the process of finalizing the design and choosing finishes a breeze and delight for Courtney and Chris.
Merging Inspiration from Two Backgrounds
For the LaLondes, family was the biggest inspiration for the basement remodel. The inspiration is a combination of Courtney’s years studying abroad in Spain and Mexico and Chris’ late father, who was a medical pillar in the Grand Forks community. The design inspiration came from simply merging the two together backgrounds together.
“I love the colors, tile work, arches and dark Spanish wood that you see [in Spain and Mexico],” said Courtney. “There is always something interesting that draws your eye to it and I wanted the basement to have a little bit of that feeling as well.”
They also wanted a space where they could watch movies and TV, eat, visit, play games or just sit back and relax together, as well as have a place for Caroline to bring her friends.
Overall, Courtney wanted to create a place where their family could gather and celebrate her father-in-law’s life and legacy while giving small nods to Spanish culture, such as the fully-tiled bathroom, wall of “Papi” and other memorabilia. Both Courtney and Chris are UND graduates and have a deep love for the athletic world at UND.
As for the bathroom, to use Chris’ exact words, the bathroom needed to have “a shower that felt like a car wash!” He definitely got a beautiful version of that, but overall, they wanted the bathroom to feel clean and calm. And it certainly does evoke that feeling with its ivory tiling, warm woods and royal emerald green accents.
Sharing the Finished Product with Loved Ones
Now when family and friends are visiting the LaLondes, everyone says “wow!” when they walk downstairs— and they couldn’t be more pleased. Courtney’s 82-year-old father had the most heartwarming reaction; seeing the finished basement for the first time literally brought him to tears. “He is so happy for us to have this amazing space to host holidays and special family events,” she said.
Although the basement isn’t anything like the LaLondes had originally imagined it to be, it is everything they ever wanted. Courtney and Chris absolutely love that every inch of the space is functional, representative of who they are, and perfect for gathering their family and friends together. “We credit Melanie’s fabulous talent for that!”