“You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” – Walt Disney

Timing is Everything

Ok, maybe finding a home to remodel took a “little” bit longer than we had planned for. Let’s say about 9 months longer if you get my meaning.

Think of the perfect stage in life to remodel a house. Now imagine the opposite of that. You’re just about right on to where we were at when we signed the papers on the Rustic Remodel home.

Come to find out, a two-year-old and newborn, however awesome, are NOT the best partners to take on a construction project with…luckily we had some help (see Design Team)

Meet the Torgesons

Photo by Brown Street Studios

Our little family owes its roots to the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater.  Sam and I met in the American Marketing Association, a business organization on campus. After college, we had the opportunity to move to northern Wisconsin to help open up the Roughing It In Style location in Harshaw (about ten years ago).

We definitely appreciate how fortunate we are to have the opportunity to live and work in such a beautiful area.

We’re also lucky to have a strong family support system around us. Sam’s folks, two sisters, and brother all reside in Eagle River (where the Rustic Remodel home is).

The Torgys


Is my Irish showing?
  • Certified Moose: 95th Percentile for Height & 90th for Weight.
  • Down to Party, no matter what time of night (More accurately, all times of night)

Liv Tallula

Photo by Brown Street Studios
  • Certified Sweet Pea…Most Days
  • This girl is up for all sorts of adventures!

Erik & Sam


  • Crazy enough that this might just work!

The Design Team

We would not have been able to take this project on without the help of our Roughing It In Style design team.  Having help from our two experienced designers has made this all possible.  They have been able to capture our family’s style perfectly and provided expert eyes on all parts of the project.

As we dive deeper into all the details of the project it will be more than apparent how much help a designer is on something with as many moving pieces as the Rustic Remodel home.

Laura Rose

Laura Rose has been in the interior design field for nearly 20 years and thrives on creating a design that suits her client’s style but in a way that they never dreamed possible. She excels at getting know her customers and translating that into a design that is unique to them. Knowing her clients will fully enjoy their space drives Laura’s passion for interior design.


Laura earned a Fine Arts Degree in Interior Design and has worked on upscale projects from New York to Los Angeles to London. Her experience extends to residential and commercial design. Combining strong space planning skills with excellent color sense, Laura’s most rewarding projects have been renovating or building an entire home applying that vision.

As a Northwoods resident for the last five years, she loves being outdoors, participating in silent sports and enjoying nature with her husband and three children.

Cheryl Leigh Kornely


Since early 2003, Cheryl has been specializing in residential and commercial interior decor. Her notable skill in conceptual design has earned her a reputation as one of the northern premiere interior decorators. Her work has been featured in many residential showcases and industry publications.
Born and raised in Wisconsin, Cheryl has always had an affinity for elements of structural design and aesthetics. Cheryl graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art Education. Cheryl continued her education at Marian College in Fond du Lac Wisconsin earning a Masters Degree.

Cheryl’s passion for interior decor is reflected in the beautiful surroundings that she creates. An ability to collaborate with architects, contractors, and her clients have earned Cheryl a well-deserved reputation as a true professional.

Coming next post…The Plan.  We’ll break down all the goals and general updates we have in mind for the project.

This is something a bit different that we’re doing on Roughing It In Style Living.  Kind of a blog within a blog…You can follow along with our Rustic Remodel journey a couple different ways:

  1. Sign up for Email Notifications on the top Right column of this Page
  2. “Like” us on Facebook or Instagram #rusticremodel
  3. Check back regularly at blog.roughingitinstyle.com or rusticremodel.com

Questions and Comments are always welcome!