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House showcases linear, modern style, high-end features that don't feel uptight

The main floor of this West Fargo home is an open concept with a fireplace in the main seating area. Carrie Snyder / The Forum1 / 4
The main floor of the home has a large kitchen with a butler's pantry. Carrie Snyder / The Forum2 / 4
The master bath of the West Fargo home has a walk-in shower with multiple shower heads. Carrie Snyder / The Forum3 / 4
The downstairs of the West Fargo home has a bar with a wine cellar. Carrie Snyder / The Forum4 / 4

WEST FARGO - The 4,800-square-foot modern rambler at 943 Mulberry Lane here is waiting for shoes and coats in the mudroom and family photos on the wall.

The new build by Serenity Homes of Fargo-Moorhead boasts high-end finishes, 12-foot ceilings, a theater area, a wine cellar and an oversized three-stall garage.

As part of the Home Builders Association of Fargo-Moorhead's Spring Parade of Homes, community members can tour the $750,000 residence.

The house imagined by Darin Milbrath and Vivian Thingelstad, who co-own Serenity Homes, might appeal to families, empty nesters and young professionals, Milbrath says.

"Young professionals are wanting this kind of space, and empty nesters upgrade. But I think we aim more toward a family with this layout," he says.

The Mulberry Lane house showcases Serenity Homes' linear, modern style and affinity for high-end features that don't feel uptight. Milbrath and Thingelstad have coined the style "livable luxury."

"The outside (of the home) stays conservative. They keep the good stuff inside. That's kind of our culture," Thingelstad says.

In the $450,000-plus price range, she says people often use more square footage for private spaces, like bathrooms and master bedrooms.

"They kind of want this whole area to be their sanctuary," Thingelstad says.

The master suite in the five-bedroom, four-bathroom West Fargo home features a spacious, lush bathroom complete with heated floors, a tile backsplash and double sinks. Sleek faucets and a modern toilet stool are two subtle touches that elevate the bathroom's style.

In the main living area, an open floor plan and extra-high ceilings lend a spacious feel to the space. Again modern touches, like the contemporary fireplace by Hebron Brick & Block Supply and the airplane propeller-style ceiling fan, boost the home's style.

In the kitchen, 54-inch custom alder wood cabinets, a tiled backsplash and premium granite counter tops add value and sophistication. Pendant lights draw the eyes down from the elevated ceiling, and the fireplace adds ambiance to the open kitchen/dining/living area.

The paint, tile and granite colors throughout the home are neutral, allowing potential home buyers to imagine making their mark. Oversized windows allow for plenty of natural light in the spacious abode.

The basement is designed for entertaining, with a home theater system, wet bar, wine cellar and room for a pool table.

The wine cellar, which holds 144 bottles, was born from an idea Thingelstad and Milbrath saw online.

"We're snooping around on the internet quite a bit to find different things," Thingelstad says.

Features like wet bars and wine cellars have become popular over the years because people are entertaining at home more often, she says.

Thingelstad and Milbrath's goal when designing an abode is to make it a place people enjoy being.

"When they (people) have a home like this or whatever they can afford, they stay home," Thingelstad says. "Your home is your sanctuary."

If You Go

WHAT: Home Builders Association of Fargo-Moorhead's Spring Parade of Homes

WHEN: 4 to 8 p.m. April 24-25 and May 1-2; noon to 5 p.m. April 26-27 and May 3-4

WHERE: The tour features 70 newly built homes of all price ranges in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

INFO: Admission to the tour is free. There is a $5 charge to tour the four homes priced $750,000 and above. The money raised goes to Home Builders Care of Fargo-Moorhead Foundation.

&#8226 Visit for more information and to download an app for the tour.

&#8226 Parade of Homes magazines will be available at Hornbacher's stores starting April 21. The magazine includes a detailed map with information about each home in the tour.

&#8226 An insert with home listings will also be published

April 20 in The Forum.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Anna G. Larson at (701) 241-5525

Anna G. Larson

Anna G. Larson is a features reporter with The Forum who writes a weekly column featuring stylish people in Fargo-Moorhead. Larson graduated from North Dakota State University with a degree in journalism and joined The Forum in July 2012. She's a Fargo native who enjoys travel, food, baking, fashion, animals, coffee and all things Midwestern. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter: @msannagrace 

(701) 241-5525