Grain Designs is the product of two North Dakota State University Architecture graduates Blain Mikkonen and Grant Koenig. The two paired their passion for design and drive for irregularity to form Grain Designs in 2013. Since inception Grain Designs has grown from Blain’s two stall apartment garage to a 19 acre property near Fargo, North Dakota. As Grain Designs has grown their shop space – the GD team team has grown and evolved with them.
With the help of a versatile and growing team, the ‘born in a garage’ furniture business has slowly grown to include the GD production facility, a furniture showroom in Fargo, an online furniture and home decor store, as well as the Grain Designs wedding venue – The Pines. They believe in a responsible late afternoon beverage, a quick mid-week golf outing, or a business meeting over a game of darts.

It is our mission at Grain Designs to provide an exceptional and memorable personal experience that inspires creative ideas and values within our team and our clients. Each piece we create is Handmade and Wellmade; custom designed for your home or business.

BLAIN MIKKONEN

Co-Founder | Co-Owner | Designer

Where I’m from:  I grew up on a farm near Frederick, South Dakota.

What I do:  Primarily manage business operations and client relations but I dive into design fairly regularly.

Why I love what I do:  We’re incredibly fortunate to wake up every morning excited to work.  It’s hard to imagine that our “job” is an outlet to creative thinking and innovative design while curating relationships and a craft.  Our day to day operations are what we love to do (most of the time), and I think the Grain Designs team is a pretty great group to share this experience with.

When I’m not working:  We’re always looking for an excuse to golf, sometimes it’s while we’re supposed to be working.  I enjoy spending my weekends with my beautiful wife, visiting our families, hosting friends, tackling projects around the house, and looking for an excuse to go out to eat or grab a drink.

GRANT KOENIG

Co-Founder | Co-Owner | Designer

Where I’m from:   Fargo, ND

What I do:  I primarily handle client relations, design work, and the social media/marketing side of the business. When I get into the shop I spend most of my time welding.

Why I love what I do:  Grain Designs started as a shared vision where instead of working to build someone else’s dream, we wanted to build our own. We set out to not only solve a problem but to provide a product that was unlike anything else available. I feel extremely fortunate that through the growth of Grain Designs I am able to spend my time working with my best friends while providing a product that I believe in and care about…That’s why I love what I do.

When I’m not working:  I can be found at the lake, golf course or planning my next travel. Photography is another creative outlet that I love developing (no pun intended) and I am always looking for a reason to get out and experience new places. If by chance I can throw some friends, beers and good music into all of these passions, I’m in paradise.

PATRICK BRESNAHAN

Co-Owner | Production Manager

Where I’m from:  I am from Valley City, ND and have lived in Fargo for the past 10 years.

What I do:  My primary responsibility at Grain Designs is to build furniture and home decor. Essentially I take what is drawn up on paper and turn it into a reality. I also occasionally will give input on designs and handle customer interactions.

Why I love what I do:  I love working at Grain Designs because it demands creativity, hard work, and an attention to detail that creates a product I can truly be proud to have built.  I also get to work with some of my very best friends, and taking the journey of growing of business with them is all that anybody could ask for.

When I’m not working:  When I am not working, I can usually be found playing some sort of sport.  I love competition and spend much of my time in the summers playing softball and golf.  In the fall and winter I enjoy hunting, playing basketball and following the Bison football team. Usually, I can be spotted bright and early tailgating at most home games.

ZACH NELSON

Lead Craftsman

Where I’m from: Fergus Falls, MN

What I do: I get my hands dirty with nearly all types of projects that come through the door. My primary role is wood production but every day is different.

Why I love what I do: I get to wake up everyday and head out to the shop and do something I’ve always been passionate about. I feel very fortunate to have found a group of guys who feel more like a family than just co-workers. I take great pride in working for a company where I can take something most people may discard or disregard as junk and turn it into a piece of furniture that family and friends can enjoy.

When I’m not working:  I enjoy, maybe a little too much, my favorite chair in my living room; most often it’s my go-to place for napping or watching the latest Minnesota Wild game. My wife and I enjoy walking and bike rides when we can as well as taking care of our two dogs Fiona & Blue. When the weather allows I enjoy hiking and fishing; being able to take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life is a good reset.

CODY FREESTONE

Lead Craftsman

Where I’m from: Holland, MI

What I do: Shop craftsman. I build whatever crazy design is sent my way. Lots of wood craft but I also handle a large chunk of the metal fabrication/welding.

Why I love what I do: I enjoy building unique pieces and being challenged to build whatever crazy designs the design team comes up with. I really enjoy the problem solving, building jigs to streamline the operation, exploring new techniques, developing new ideas, and teaching new skills or techniques. I see each project from design concept and then have hand in each step of the build process but the most enjoyable part is deliveries or installs. I really enjoy seeing a project from beginning to end, and seeing the clients reaction upon delivery.

When I’m not working: I often ‘work’ some more by building my own furniture at home or in the GD shop. I spend my free time cooking and playing with my daughter.

Read about some of the history and GD tales:

Stories
April 16, 2020

Sourcing Reclaimed Wood

When we started Grain Designs in the fall of 2013, our original business plan outlined the use of reclaimed wood as our primary building material. This was a choice for a few reasons...we were architecture students with an appreciation for…
GD Team TalesStories
March 18, 2020

Miles to Magnolia – Our Austin, TX Trip

Miles to Magnolia Last month we were able to take a long weekend break from the cold and head south to the warm destination of Austin, Texas. While taking an annual break is important for our company to push the…
Stories
February 28, 2020

Modern Farmhouse, with a Rustic Twist.

Last month, we had the courtesy of bringing a number of design ideas to life for the first time homeowners, Marissa and Gabe Pankonin! Building their home with RCH Custom Homes on the outskirts of Hawley, MN these two had…

These guys do amazing work, you won't be disappointed.

A'Livia Dorale

Love them. The guys are so nice and incredibly talented. They made a custom table for us and it is STUNNING.

Steph Garza

Highly recommend. They are polite and fun to work with!

Alicia Mae Spickler