Words by Tracy Nicholson
Photography by M. Schleif Photography
Adjusting to life as a single mom, homeowner Heidi Henegar decided to rebuild her life and home with a builder she knew she could trust. Working with Katie Kern and Amanda Voss of the Jordahl Custom Homes team, Henegar and her two young sons made a smooth transition into a 1,913 square-foot split-level with a contemporary twist. For Henegar, this would mark her second build with the Jordahl team and a second chance at offering her family a fresh start. To see inside her modern approach to the traditional split-level living, we headed to South Moorhead’s Stonemill Estates.
“I had looked at several different homes, existing and new construction when in the process of deciding what my next move was, but nothing quite felt right or I didn’t find myself being 100 percent confident in my decision,” explained Henegar. On a search for the right fit last fall, Henegar decided to go to a couple of open houses and the minute she stepped into a Jordahl Custom Homes model home, she knew it was perfect floor plan for her new life and two sons.
Embracing the New Normal
At the time Henegar decided to build with Jordahl, she was recently divorced and had been living in her parent’s basement for about six months with her two sons, Ryder 6, and Brody 3 – along with their 50-pound labradoodle named Remy. “My parents are saints,” laughed Henegar. “Within the same year, I left a company I had been with for 10 years and started working for AVEDA. Needless to say, I had a few changes going on in life. My ultimate goal was and will always be to provide my boys with a house they would be proud to call theirs. I wanted them to feel comfortable in a place they loved coming home to. Mainly, I wanted to be able to get things back to our new normal as soon as possible for them and myself.”
“It’s her second build with us, so she’s more of a friend and we had that personal relationship with her. Knowing her story and what she had been going through, we really wanted to make sure the process was smooth,” said Jordahl Custom Homes Director of Design, Katie Kern. “Since she was downsizing, we wanted to maximize closet space so we shifted some things around to give her a larger master closet. She also really wanted a feature wall in the living room, so we customized the plans to give her a beautiful space with floating shelves and a fireplace.”
“Heidi has great style, so our team worked hard to make sure we were able to give her the things that she really wanted,” said Amanda Voss, New Home Sale Consultant at Jordahl Custom Homes. “To stay within budget though, we used an electric fireplace versus gas. We still get the effect, but it’s much more affordable and takes up less space.”
Modernizing the Bi-Level
Henegar chose The Walsh layout which is a modern approach to the traditional split-level. These days, when we hear the word split-level, we often think of tiny, closed-in entries with stairs that are far too abundant. Today, Jordahl Custom Homes has taken huge strides to redefine split-level homes, yet still keep the design cost-efficient and high functioning. Simple modernizations include white trim and doors, vaulted ceilings, spacious entries and a more open-layout stairwell design. Beyond the floorplan, clever design elements fuse fun accent walls, floating shelves, grey-toned alder cabinetry and rustic, wood-look laminate flooring.
“My ultimate goal was and will always be to provide my boys with a house they would be proud to call theirs. I wanted them to feel comfortable in a place they loved coming home to.”
Heidi Henegar, homeowner
Building a New Life
Thrilled to eliminate some of the heftier out-of-pocket expenses, Henegar’s build would include appliances, a deck and a finished lawn. As an added bonus for building with Jordahl Custom Homes a second time, Henegar would receive a repeat builder promotion, which solidified her decision. “I had such a wonderful experience building with them the first time around and all the circumstances aligning made me feel like this was what I had been waiting for,” said Henegar. “I trusted that going through the experience again with Jordahl would be just as good, if not better the second time around.”
At the Heart of the Home
Choosing a handful of upgrades, Henegar’s kitchen design incorporates a five-foot alder island with quartz countertops and a six-foot overhang. Built-in wine storage, oversized subway tile and an adjacent formal dining room overlook the deck and backyard.
Just beyond the kitchen is the laundry room and master suite with a walk-in closet. To find the home’s beautiful mixed-metal accents and whimsical messages, Henegar frequents stores like Target, HomeGoods and TJ Maxx.
Second Time’s the Charm
“I loved building with Jordahl a second time, and I will probably do it a third time, but not for a long time – famous last words,” laughed Henegar. “I went into the process a lot more confident and knew what to expect with the process. I had a good idea of the aesthetic and the feel I wanted for my home. Since I had worked with Amanda and Katie prior, I felt super comfortable asking questions and appreciated greatly their suggestions and opinions. They were also a tremendous help in personalizing the actual floor plan of the house to make it the most functional. They pointed out things I would have never thought of that I am so happy we changed after living here for a few months.”
Downsize to Upgrade
For Henegar and her two sons, this move would mean a major downsize, so her design and layout would have to be high-functioning and efficient to suit her busy lifestyle. She also wanted to add upgrades and customizations that would make her smaller home feel more upscale while adding in plenty of character. “I had my list of wants and tons of Pinterest pins for inspiration. I had those initial must-haves priced out and then decided on what upgrades I really needed,” said Henegar. “My boys and their tendency for being rough and wild also came into play when making selections, along with neighborhood and location of schools.””Budget with this home was more important and top of mind than ever before so, I had to be super conscious of that. I loved that the team knew my situation and my priorities and priced out as many options as possible or suggested different alternatives to what I was looking for,” said Henegar. “They were also super patient and attentive during the whole process which was amazing to have that support.”
Love on the Lower Level
Downstairs, each of Henegar boys has their own room with plenty of square footage to keep their toys at bay. To maintain the tidiness upstairs, the boys have a designated play area centered around the large sofa downstairs; the only piece of furniture that represents their old life. “One of the rules that we made when we moved in here, was that there would be no toys upstairs,” explained Henegar. “I really made a big deal about emphasizing that the lower level was their space.”
“I have never loved a house I lived in more. This home represents so many things for the boys and myself, a fresh start, new beginnings and ultimately the idea that if you work hard to get to where you want to be, anything is possible,” said Henegar. “This home has solidified to me that the happiest spaces don’t have anything to do with size, it is loving the people that you share it with. For me, seeing the vision and process of this home coming together was amazing, not only for the physical appearance but also knowing that this is where amazing memories would be made with the two boys I love more than anything in the world. I am so thankful I put my trust in Jordahl to help us not only transition into a new home but into a completely new life.”
Find the Finishes:
Interior Designer – Katie Kern, Jordahl Custom Homes
Flooring – Laminate, vinyl and carpet, Carpet World
Tile – 4×12 Glossy White subway tile, Carpet World
Cabinetry – Antique Slate – stained knotty alder, SWI Interiors
Wall Color – Repose Gray, Sherwin Williams
Countertops – Iced White quartz – Granites UnlimitedFor more information, contact:
Jordahl Custom Homes
4802 Amber Valley Parkway, Fargo