A Grain Designs House Tour

by Blain Mikkonen

It isn’t uncommon to be asked questions such as, “your house must be full of Grain Designs stuff”, or “I bet you house is incredible”.  As a craftsman of Grain Designs furniture, many often assume that we have access to all the furniture we would ever want… my wife included!  Although, this is seemingly the case, the circumstance is more similar to the tale of the architect that never designs their own home.  At the end of a busy week’s work, it is usually not our first priority to hang out at the shop and work on our own projects.  In fact, those that know us well understand that golfing and various other weekend activities are more likely to get in the way of a day’s work than vice versa.

Much to my wife’s disappointment,  we don’t have a an endless collection of Grain Designs furniture, nor have I taken the time to design/build anything extremely unique for our house.  However, over the course of three years, we have managed to accumulate some great pieces; a few larger items, an assortment of smaller decor items, and I’ve even built a few more personal items out of necessity.  This blog post is a photo heavy tour of the Mikkonen house.  Although not ‘full of Grain Designs’ and ‘not incredible’, it is a growing collection of furniture and functional decor items that my wife and I enjoy everyday.

Before throwing you into the first photo, I must make a disclaimer… aside from the furniture, my wife is solely responsible for the shopping, accessorizing, and decorating of this house.  I can’t take credit… I accessorize with gum wrappers, an occasional beer bottle or a stray sock.  Although I do have a strong design opinion that I’m happy to share, she handles the ‘making the house a home’ responsibilities.

This first photo is probably a head scratcher, you didn’t know Grain Designs made fire places?  You’re right… we don’t.  This was just the most logical place to start a house tour since it is the first thing you see when you walk in.  The fireplace is a nice hand-me-down that the team at Eco Chic Boutique custom chalk painted for us.

The kitchen is also sparse on Grain Designs, but a reclaimed wood tray and custom sign remind us that we are in fact the Mikkonens, and the coordinates where we said our I do’s.

Our dining room is surely the most ‘populated’ area of the house.  We have a custom dining table, wine rack and liquor cart that are all products of Grain Designs.  The liquor cart is a retrofitted bakery cart from Quality Bakery in Fargo.  Contrary to what the photos suggest, we are not huge wine drinkers nor are we usually home long enough to drink at home.  The growing collection sees the most use during entertaining.

This Grain Designs dining table is the most recent addition to our home and it was a complete accident.  My wife and I happened to be going through houses during the 2016 Spring Parade of Homes when she spotted a table she loved!  The table was staged in a Spire Custom Homes and upon closer inspection, she realized it was a Grain Designs table.  Negotiations for the new table began on the spot and I ultimately caved.  She was thrilled to take delivery at the conclusion of the parade with the understanding this table had me covered for any upcoming holidays that I “forget”.

Adjacent to the kitchen/dining area is the main living room.  Can you tell this photo is staged?  The TV has sports on… c’mon… Kelsi would undoubtedly have a Lifetime movie on the tv z4wquxm.  The entertainment center is another retrofitted Quality Bakery piece while the coffee table is a relic.  This was the first Helen hairpin coffee table that we built when Grain Designs started in our apartment garage.

Here is another view of the coffee table and living area with the true queen of the house showing off her day to day lounging abilities.  Although I don’t know where many of the accessories came from, I recognize many of the pieces as Magnolia and other pieces from Eco Chic.  I’ve joked we’ll soon have ownership stock in Eco Chic to reward Kelsi’s frequent shopping… I’m patiently waiting.

Upstairs the two bedrooms both have a shortage of larger Grain Designs pieces but some smaller decor and storage solutions can be spotted if you search closely.  The guest bedrooms are an area that could use some additional decor in the future, maybe I can enlist Phil for a couple of cost effective headboards.  The lower level living area is a bit more masculine with darker woods and more steel.  This living area doubles as an office as well with more Magnolia pieces on display here as well…

The white washed end table tucked in the corner above is the first piece of furniture that I remember building.  It is very simple; mitered 2×10 construction and given a distressed finish with white barn paint.  This was built on the farm during my first year or two of college to help furnish my apartment. Over the last 7-8 years it has survived numerous moves and still serves a useful purpose.

The two photos above are in the lower level “guest” bedroom and bathroom.  Although often used by guests, I am the primary user here.  My wife has an extensive clothing and shoe selection.  When we moved in I thought it made the most sense to move my wardrobe downstairs as to not impede on the most valuable square footage in the house… the master closet and master bath.  Both of these pieces were built out of necessity and are probably the two pieces in the house that I find the most functional; making use of them multiple times a day.

That mostly concludes the house tour, our work in progress.  Similar to Phil’s headboard post a couple of week’s ago, I hope to build a couple of things for our home which will be showcased on a future blog post.  Use the comments section below to let me know what you’d like to see, or what you think the house is missing… besides the lack of guest bedroom headboards.

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