AT HOME: Perfect blend
BUXTON, N.D. -- Nancy and Robyn Nettum have blended two sides of their home, built more than a century apart, into a happy union. On the outside, an open porch extends along much of the south side of the house, creating a seamless transition betw...
BUXTON, N.D. -- Nancy and Robyn Nettum have blended two sides of their home, built more than a century apart, into a happy union.
On the outside, an open porch extends along much of the south side of the house, creating a seamless transition between old and new.
"I was brought up on porches and I wanted to bring it back," Nancy said.
Another open porch along the west side of the house leads into the new addition, which is home to collectibles and antiques from both sides of the couple's families.
Decorating was a labor of love, Nancy said, because the items mean a lot to her and Robyn.
The antiques and collectibles are both big and small; a writing desk in the great room belonged to her grandmother Selma Swenson and a child-sized chair in the entryway was Robyn's father Merlyn's. The Singer sewing machine in the sun porch in the old part of the house, meanwhile, was Nancy's grandmother Selma Krabbenhoft's, and the photos in vintage ovals frames in the living room are relatives of Robyn's.
The old items, Robin says, are rich in character.
Besides character, her home also is filled with natural light from dozens of windows.
"Every place you can stand, you have a view," she said.
Large windows are a dominant feature on every side the house -- even the north. Typically the north side of the house gets neglected, but she wanted to have windows there because she likes the view.
"We have these beautiful woods," she says, motioning toward a dense grove of trees with yellow leaves rustling in the early fall breeze. While to visitors the view appears gorgeous, it's nothing compared to the winter scene outside her window, Robyn said.
"It's 10 times more beautiful," Nancy said.
On the inside, the northern cathedral window lets in light that shines on a custom-made 12-by-8-feet oak entertainment center. Nancy's brother Doug Swenson, a Kindred, N.D., cabinet maker built the center, which has glass doors and gas fireplace. Fritz tile, which is 95 percent granite and 5 percent manmade, surrounds the floor in front of the fireplace.
In front of the fireplace, two burgundy leather chairs with ottomans and a sofa invite conversation. Nancy and Robyn and their daughter, Michaela, for example, enjoy sitting and visiting about their day while they take in the view outside their windows.
"You just get to enjoy the farm," Nancy said.
A writing desk filled with fall decorations separates the great room area from the dining room where a round table and four chairs sit on a piece of white carpet.
To the left of the chair is the large kitchen with an island on two sides. Four tall chairs sit along a long section of island and a single bar stool is in front of the short section.
"This is where we really sit," Nancy said. She loves the open kitchen because she can visit with guests when she is entertaining.
Just down the hall and to the left of the kitchen is the north entryway, one of four entrances into the Nettum home. Just inside the entryway is a "half bath," which has a pedestal sink, stool and shower. Fritz tile which looks like river rocks is on the bathroom floor.
Directly beyond the kitchen is the old part of the house which has a living room and sun porch. Michaela uses the living room as a gathering place for her friends when they come over, Nancy said, while the sun porch, which is furnished with a sofa and wicker chair, loveseat and table, is a fun place to "hang out and read."
A second bathroom off of Michaela's living room is decorated in off-white, aqua green and robin's egg blue, a color combination that Nancy loves.
"I don't try to stay with one color," she said. She tries to visualize her palette before beginning, but decorating comes easy to her.
"I've always liked to do it."
Bailey writes for special features sections. Reach her at (701) 787-6753; (800) 477-6572, ext. 753; or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org .