Megan Krivarchka describes her style as “contemporary, but family-friendly.” When Megan, a NICU nurse and husband Matt, owner of Today’s Family Dentistry, built their house on the west side of Brandon, it was important for them to incorporate design elements that they loved, but even more important was making sure their choices could stand up to the physical demands of raising a family.

The 2-year-old ranch-style home sits on a cul-de-sac; its large, well-landscaped backyard fenced for their vizsla and their toddler and infant, Teddy and Sylvia. The horseshoe-shaped driveway leads to a cozy front porch and teal front door, which serves as a subtle pop of color in the home’s otherwise classic facade.

The front entryway is another example of deliberate, yet restrained drama. A huge mirror and large coat closet flank the vestibule, while a sputnik chandelier hangs above, suspended from a recessed ceiling inlaid with opulently detailed wallpaper. The wallcovering, textured with crystals and metallics, makes another appearance in the chandeliered guest bathroom beyond the kitchen.

The great room is done in a cool palette that manages to skirt coldness and remain squarely in curated territory. “We didn’t want it to feel stiff,” explained Megan. “Another thing you’ll notice is there’s really not any brown in our house. We did lots of black and white and grey, and some camel colors as an accent.”

The furniture in the living room is Ethan Allen, with playful, yet classic patterns, like a black and white houndstooth chair and a curved sofa upholstered in a fabric that reminds Megan of rain. Built-in shelves surrounding the tile fireplace display an ever-growing collection of family photos. Matt’s influence is seen in a pair of sea glass-colored swivel chairs, which allow guests to face into the living room or toward the adjacent eating and cooking spaces.

“Another thing you’ll notice is there’s really not any brown in our house. We did lots of black and white and grey, and some camel colors as an accent.”

Recessed lighting and speakers tuck discreetly into the coffered ceiling. At the room’s far end is the staircase leading to the basement, which features a built-in gate as a safety feature. Above the cable-detailed glulam staircase hangs three dramatic pendant lights. The room’s largest source of illumination, however, comes from the grid of massive windows, which dominate the home’s back wall.

The dining room and kitchen feature a dark porcelain tile flooring that mimics a hardwood, but according to Megan, will wear better with their large dog and small children. The table is at once rustic and modern; a wide-planked Restoration Hardware piece finished in a matte black. The chairs and bench are covered in a grey indoor-outdoor fabric, which looks understatedly sophisticated, but was actually chosen for its ability to be cleaned easily.

Above the table hangs a show-stopper of a lighting fixture; an art deco-inspired rectangular piece dripping with dozens of smoky pendants. It’s one of Megan’s favorite things. “I love that chandelier. It’s like black crystal. It’s not very bright light. It’s just kind of more subtle. That was one of the first things that I found when we were building our house. I was like, ‘I have to have that,’ and kind of built the rest around it.”

Off-white upholstered bar stools nestle under a large island that mirrors the curve of the living room. It serves as a barrier between the kitchen, dining, and living spaces in the open floor plan.

“The kitchen is probably my favorite,” said Megan, gesturing to the area’s black and white finishes. “The countertops are Cambria. It’s not granite. It’s not a marble. It’s actually a man-made quartz. We got it through Creative Surfaces in Sioux Falls. One of our friends, Justin Pins, works there. His family owns the business. They were really helpful in picking it out. We used the Cambria counters in all of our bathrooms as well. They have a lot to choose from, so we really liked that.”

In addition to double ovens and a gigantic refrigerator, the kitchen features a couple of sneaky elements, including a microwave that looks like a drawer and a hidden walk-in pantry. Off the kitchen in one direction lies a large mudroom and laundry. In the other direction is a spacious three season room, which isn’t counted among the floor’s 2,000 square feet, due to its lack of insulation. Megan says the laid-back addition is Matt’s favorite room, with its cheerful color palette, cozy sectional, and space for the kids to play.

“I want it to feel unique, but not so weird or different that people say, ‘What was she thinking?'”

The main level also houses the family’s three bedrooms. Sylvia’s a modern, feminine space meant to grow with her beyond the baby phase. Teddy’s is dedicated to his new superhero obsession. The master is a spacious, breezy study in the minimalist drama of black and white, complete with a walk-in closet and a large en suite, boasting a cave-like walk-in shower.

The basement remains a work in progress, serving for now as storage. Soon, however, that will change. Come spring, work will begin to create another bathroom, two more bedrooms, and a wine cellar.

Megan loves that they are able to make the home theirs, and looks forward to spending many years enjoying the carefully-selected custom touches. “I want it to feel unique, but not so weird or different that people say, ‘What was she thinking?’ I want it to be a place where our family can be comfortable and remember it as the house they grew up in.”

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