The adventurous Ebelings move north

Filed in Feature Homes by on October 6, 2015

1015LAHM-Ebling-0123By Merrie Sue Holtan | Photography by Steve Janssen

They moved to the south side of Detroit Lake on a “wing and a prayer.” A Honda Goldwing that is. Wanda and Dean Ebeling estimate they have traveled over 100,000 miles on their Goldwing motorcycle touring bike. They have two-wheeled it to places such as Niagara Falls, Thunder Bay, Canada, California and the Black Hills.

“Basically all over the United States and Canada since the 1970s,” Wanda says. In 2014, this farm couple, who met at a church hayride 48 years ago, decided to make another adventurous decision. They left their corn and soybean bean acreage near Worthington, Minn., and headed north. They had explored the Detroit Lakes area before, both by bike and car, and with two children and six grandchildren living in Fargo, it seemed like a logical relocation.

“We thought it was beautiful here” Dean says. “It seemed very calming to us. When the kids have time off they can come here for boating, fishing, relaxing, and we can keep up with our grandkids’ hockey games.”

The beginning…

1015LAHM-Ebling-0126BWanda and Dean found it a challenge to plan from a distance. They had files, books and volumes of binders with ideas, photos and blueprint samples. Compiling their ideas, they took them to a draftsperson in Moorhead.

“We interviewed three builders,” Wanda says, “And our son connected us to David Erwin Construction in Battle Lake. It was a perfect fit for us. Never a bump in the road with Dave’s planning and service.”

Home building was not a new concept for the Ebelings, since they built a new home in Worthington after moving from the farm. Their Worthington home was a three-bedroom ranch design, but their new hilltop 110 by 258 foot lot required careful positioning of the home for view, light, heating and cooling. They broke ground for the three bedroom three and one half bath home in June of 2014 and moved in on December 6th.

“Dave and his team really looked out for our best interest,” Dean says. “Our floor plan worked well and Dave adapted it efficiently.”

From a high vantage point, the Ebelings can view eagles, geese and swans on an environmental pond in one direction, the lake from another, and deer in the woods out another window.

“We got lucky with our large south windows,” Dean says, with a smile. “Or maybe it was divine guidance, that the sun is positioned perfectly in both winter and summer for optimal heating and cooling.”

With a Tappan gas furnace, in-floor heat, and a hot water heater which uses water from the boiler and only as needed, along with a tightly insulated house, the couple estimates they pay one dollar a day to cool in the summer and six dollars per day in the winter for heating their 3900 square foot

Interior magic

1015LAHM-Ebling-0016The Ebelings found the interior design services they needed at Merickel Lumber in Wadena, Minn. They especially enjoy the covered back porch with built in rope lighting along the railing, which can change color from blue to clear to gold.

According to builder Dave Erwin and Bobbi Jo Schmid, designer from Merickel Lumber, the house’s special features include the master bedroom, with a tray ceiling featuring inset lighting, and a large walk in closet with double doors. The home also features a vaulted nine foot ceiling over the great room, which also has an open stairway to a large open basement – made especially for grandchildren to

“The exterior is also outstanding with steel siding and Versetta stone” Dave says, “Along with wine berry red trimmed windows.”

The Ebeling kitchen has a French Country look with a butterscotch glaze on maple cabinets, and matching brown tones in the floor and countertops. The kitchen’s peninsula provides extra counter space, and Wanda added six deep drawers for storage. She especially appreciates the extra shelves in the walk in pantry.

“That’s the first place the grandkids check out,” she says.” They take inventory of what’s to eat. I also love my Kenmore gas stove; a nice change from my smooth top stove.” Wanda also appreciates that the dishwasher is energy efficient and very quiet. “The grand kids enjoy napping and reading in the kitchen window seat overlooking the pond,” she notes.

The kitchen walls, painted in sage, match the Sherwin Williams “Basket Beige” color and other shades of green, gold and cream used throughout the house. The granite countertops also complement the floor and walls in shades of brown and black. Solid oak flooring covers the great room with chestnut and oak woodwork, along with stone in the entry way. The staff at Cullen’s Home Center in Fergus Falls and I’ll Tile & Stone in Detroit Lakes also assisted the Ebelings with some of their material selections.

“All throughout the process, the Ebelings had a clear vision but were very open to design suggestions and product options,” says designer Bobbi Jo. “They were great to work with.”

The woman cave

1015LAHM-Ebling-0062Despite their moves, the Ebelings didn’t leave the farm behind; they brought it with them. Two hutches display Wanda’s mother’s collection of Hummel figurines, collector glassware and tableware.

The house is dotted with nostalgic items such as her parent’s mirror, her grandma’s desk, and a bedroom she designed around an antique lamp.

“I’m a very sentimental person,” Wanda says. “I like being surrounded by memories.”

While Dean keeps the Goldwing and other “toys” in the garage, Wanda has her own basement hobby room, aptly named the “woman cave.” Wanda, who has altered clothing professionally, says she has designed sport coats, suits, formals, bridesmaid and wedding dresses and “back to the 50’s designs.”

A mockup of her grandmother’s apron sits in one corner of the room and a framed antique dress hangs on the wall. She’s currently prepping to make new pajamas for her grandkids.

The couple also brought their eight foot tall blow up Frosty the Snowman along from Worthington. “It’s a family icon,” says Dean, smiling. “We’ve had it since 2002, and it lights up and waves. It will be on our covered porch. It wouldn’t be Christmas without Frosty.”

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