PHOTOS by J. Alan Paul Photography
Headshot & Before Photos provided by Amanda Rydell
It’s not often that renters get to choose the fixtures in their own apartment. Recently, Amanda Rydell of the White House Co. made the move from Minneapolis to Downtown Fargo and has done just that by renovating her studio apartment (with permission from her landlord, of course). Now, you can see her on-trend bathroom reveal and discover her hidden tiling talent.
Meet Amanda Rydell
Originally from Minneapolis, Amanda Rydell is one of three owners of The White House Co. and founder of becraftyworkshop.com. Rydell decided to move to Fargo in December 2017, although she had been commuting to Fargo from the Twin Cities for about a year. For her, that meant transitioning from a house to a studio apartment. Luckily, she was already friends with the landlord who appreciates Rydell’s taste in design.
Convincing the Landlord
At first, the landlord had agreed to let Rydell paint the apartment. However, Rydell decided that she was willing to pay out of pocket if it meant she could really make the space her own. “If you feel like putting extra work into your space because it makes you happy, I think that’s really important,” Rydell explained. Fortunately, the landlord gave Rydell permission to make each additional renovation.
DIY Bathroom Makeover
One of the first projects that Rydell took on was the windowless bathroom. For this, she partnered with Wayfair to bring her vision to life. She got started by painting all of the walls white. “I really love white spaces because you can have so many pops of color,” Rydell said. She then used a palette of gold, green and blush to create those pops.
She also removed the trim and painted that white as well. Before she could put it back though, Rydell had tile that she wanted to put down – white hexagon and subway tile to be exact.
This wasn’t Rydell’s first foray into tile. Previously, she had asked a friend to teach her how to tile because it was something she always wanted to learn how to do. “It was such a fun experience to learn from a friend,” Rydell said.
For this bathroom, Rydell put down hexagon tile that came in sheets and added subway tile accents to two of the walls. She then went with a light grey grout based on what she’s learned from other renovations. “I’ve done white before and as much as I love white, I wanted something that would be easy to keep clean,” she explained.
Right away, Rydell knew that she wanted green cabinets. She painted the vanity Behr Paint’s Perennial Green and added new fixtures from Wayfair, including a faucet, mirror and modern light all with brushed gold finishes. Installing the light fixture was the only project that Rydell did not complete herself.
She also replaced the countertop but kept the original for future tenants. That was one tip that Rydell shared for other renters. If there is a fixture that you’d like to replace, put the original in storage while you are living in the rental. Then, you can simply put it back before you move out. Of course, Rydell recommends communicating with your landlord or property management company to get written permission before altering any space.
Finally, Rydell staged the space with vintage items she has purchased from The White House Co., including a rattan end table and swan-themed paint-by-number. “Besides picking all of the products out, the biggest joy was seeing the before and the after,” Rydell said of the renovation.
Rydell completed this bathroom makeover in her spare time over the course of one month. Even though she still has plenty of projects in the works, you can already see how her personal touches have positively impacted the space. Truly, both the community and her studio apartment are places where Rydell can feel happy and at home.