Before Photos by FloraPine Photography
After Photos by Hillary Ehlen
This month, we’ll introduce you to homeowners and renters who open up about the joys they experienced when updating their homes. Then they’ll share the stunning results that will speak to your soul.
First, you’ll meet Ashley and Ryan Ham, who purchased a 1950s rambler in North Fargo and have tackled DIY renovations in every room. Before we go on, it will be helpful to note the differences between a renovation and remodel. While a renovation involves cosmetic updates, a remodel typically involves changing the original structure of a home. With this in mind, see how these locals have each taken different routes toward making their respective spaces their own.
Hi! My name is Ashley and I am a full-time wedding and lifestyle photographer with my hubs, Ryan, at FloraPine Photography. Together, we live in a 1950s rambler in North Fargo with our dog, Mailey. We’ve been in this home for a little over a year and have renovated every room in the house-and by renovated I mean painted, cleaned and styled. Ry is the handyman and I am the dreamer. I typically have the vision for the space and Ry has the brains for knowing how to fix it up!
When I’m not shooting weddings, I also write, podcast and blog at our new venture, FloraPine Home, which was born out of the desire to start deeper conversations about life at home. In it, we cover topics from home projects, to marriage, to the definition of home.
Renovating a 1950s Rambler
Ry and I decided to buy this house because we loved the layout and the potential we saw when we first stepped inside. We knew we could make it something really special.
Our entryway used to be a cramped space with a standard coat closet. Now, it has become open and functional for our home. This project was very simple and included removing the existing closet doors, painting an accent wall, adding storage bins, a mirror, a coat rack and a bench.
“It’s amazing what a good cleaning and some paint can do to a space.”- Ashley Ham
The house had been left vacant for over a year before we purchased it, so there was quite a bit of dust and grime throughout and each wall was a different, vibrant color.
We wanted a clean slate for our home, so we painted each room a neutral white with a few accent walls. It’s amazing what a good cleaning and some paint can do to a space. After we had the clean slate established, we were able to dream up new projects to enhance the home.
Thankfully, we haven’t run into too many challenges while renovating our home. However, we are always reminded of the fact that projects typically take longer than expected.
When we decided to renovate our bathroom, we discovered that there were seven different layers of paint on the built-in cabinets. In order to paint them well, we had to strip the paint to get to the original wood. While we love how it turned out, it was a lot more challenging than we intended.
Some of our favorite places to look for inspiration when renovating or decorating are Pinterest, Instagram and a variety of home magazines. However, we both find the most inspiration when we travel or are in other people’s homes, especially older homes. Sometimes you have to experience a space to be truly inspired.
Most of our favorite furniture and decoration pieces are from thrift and antique stores or are hand-me-downs from our grandparents. The wildest piece in our home is our seven-foot floral couch in our living room. We scored it for $25 at a thrift store and while it wouldn’t fit everyone’s home style, I always smile when I see it.
Home is More than How a Space Looks
If I could encourage anyone who is new to home ownership, I would love to do so by saying that a home is so much more than how a space looks. Give yourself time to live in your home for a while before starting a project. It took us living in our home for a year to know what we needed for both function and style.
With platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, it’s easy to forget that the beauty of a home is that it can be a safe place for the people that enter your doors. Don’t be afraid to tackle new projects, but always keep in mind that at the end of the day, it should feel like you.
Our favorite renovation has been our kitchen. We wanted to do our best to renovate the kitchen in a way that would fit the era of the home, so we kept the original mid century cabinetry and added a black and white checkered floor. Once we added a subway tile backsplash and painted the walls, the kitchen really came together.
What also made the kitchen really special was that my grandparents helped us complete it. Now when we spend time cooking, we remember all of the memories that were made in the process of making the kitchen our own!
FloraPine Home Podcast
We are so excited about the FloraPine Home podcast. It has been a dream of ours for over a year now, and we officially launched it in February. The podcast gives us an opportunity to interview people from the midwest and beyond, and also to have a more interactive platform to connect with people.