A home away from home for the Flurer family

Filed in Feature Homes by on July 26, 2016


By Merrie Sue Holtan

Its modern but retro. New but repurposed. Steel but wood. Cool but warm. Its super-house in a minimal package.

This modern industrial house, owned by Robert and Robin Flurer, stands on 73 feet of Pelican Lake shoreline. The couple always knew where they wanted to build their home away from home and agreed it took a village to put the plans together for their 2200 square foot dream home. In the end, they were able to achieve the look, feel, and space they envisioned.

The lure of Pelican

It all started in the 1970s when Robert began traveling from Bismarck with his family to his parents lake home on Pelican Lake.

“I grew up around here in the summer,” Robert said. “My parents best friends had a place next door. My dad always said its the best to have the kids in the car all together for a five hour drive to the lake. You have to visit. You have to be a family.”


Robert and Robins youngest son, Drew, remembers staying with grandparents, just down the beach. “I remember playing whiffle ball with cousins, and watching fireworks on the fourth,” he said. “I celebrated my birthday here every summer. It was home away from home for our family.”

That is especially true now.Robert and Robin watched for just the right spot to build on Pelican. When the lake access property on Senns Beach went up for sale, they didnt have to think long before making the purchase.

The couple and their two sons, Drew and Zac, are partners in Skeels Electric Company in Bismarck. Robin, a skilled researcher, patrolled the internet looking at floor plans, colors, designs and décor. The couple also relied on their prior experience building two homes in Bismarck.

“We wanted a home that was not too large, four seasons, with two upper guest bedrooms for our sons and their families,” said Robin. “We wanted it simple, easy to keep clean, and low maintenance.”


A modern industrial style

Robert and Robin took their preliminary game plan to Radiant Homes and Chris Hawley Architects (CHA). After the design was complete, Radiant Homes walked side by side with them to build the home they were envisioning.

“This could have been a challenge working with a homeowner in Bismarck to build a home in lakes country,” said Dave Berdal, project manager at Radiant Homes. “Robin and Robert were committed to the process of achieving a truly unique home, designed and expertly crafted.”

“They first showed us the floor plan with all the windows, and we really liked it, especially the long windows,” Robert said. “Then they presented the outside and elevation drawing, making a few modifications with steel and engineered wood.”

After careful collaboration, building began in November of 2014.


Exterior impact

Berdal said that one of the greatest exterior impacts is the lakeside elevation window wall. The Pella windows extend the full height of the structure and the geometric shape of the windows match the pitch of the roof.

“At night,” he said, “The light glowing from the lakeside elevation creates an impressive look from the lake.”

The lakeside elevation also uses steel components, custom fabricated to create a striking suspended awning over the deck, as well as steel column and beam work to support a large overhang. The builders used monochromatic exterior finishes, including black paint (Sherwin Williams Iron Ore) on all exterior siding and trim, with black window frames. Vibrant green doors on lake and road side also achieve exterior impact. The contrast of the galvanized metal roof stands out from the dark exterior paint scheme.

The couple worked with a lakes area landscaper and a metal fabricator to continue the modern theme into the landscaping, including Corten steel planters, which will weather over time into rust colors.


Interior features

Inside, the walls and trim are painted in a matching white color. Simple pops of vivid color, such as an orange retro desk, along with exposed raw building materials, like the wood wall and ceiling panels constructed of birch veneer plywood, give the home a unique interior look.

The unique significance does not end there.

Drew introduced his parents to board formed concrete tile, which they decided to use for the fireplace. Robin researched and found the product and supplier in Canada to complete the look. Drew also salvaged two ceiling lights from a dumpster, which were removed from an elementary school in Bismarck. The lights hang over the dining room table, and determined the style of other light fixtures throughout the house.

The dining table with stacking chairs has a hydraulic lift system and panels which open into a pool table. The great room has a ceiling vault of 22 feet with exposed ductwork and a blend of modern geometric lines. The kitchen has maple cabinets and Silestone countertops with a honed finish for easy care, and the slab on grade floor contains radiant heat, providing an added comfort level for an otherwise colder floor finish.

“This is a simple, standard gray concrete floor,” Berdal said. “It has no additional finishing other than a water-based sealer. The slab is scored in a large grid pattern and grouted to keep the joints from collecting debris.”


On the Flor website, Robin found an innovative system of carpet squares which could be assembled to create durable and stain resistant custom rugs. Area rugs also lend warmth to the concrete and overall space.

Robert and Robins older son, Zac, said his parents went wild with the design and used all of their imagination and visions. Their home was completed in July of 2015.

“My wife Chelsea and I love the open concept, the big windows, and the birch ceiling panels,” he said. “We are stealing the concept for the home we are building in Bismarck. Our bedroom faces south and our son, Dillon, likes standing in his crib and watching the boats and loons go by.”

Drew and his wife, Rachel, enjoy the juxtaposition of the modern elements set against the natural beauty of the lake.

“I like how the green and orange colors pop against the concrete floors, and industrial finishes.” Rachel said. The birch ceiling panels highlight the ceilings and add warmth to the space.”

“We are pleased that Radiant Homes was with us step- by –step in the process,” Robin said. “We made lists and they never told us no, and were very creative. It was my dream to have a home where our family could be together.”

This is a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of life, Zac said. Being at Pelican Lake will insure we enjoy and create new family memories and traditions for many years to come

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