A Dreamy Blank Slate

The team at Fargo-based event rental company, The White House Co., are well accustomed to turning forgotten relics into contemporary treasures. So when they decided to turn an old warehouse into a crisp and clean event venue, no one was surprised and everyone was thrilled.

Photos by Nicole Midwest and Gabriel & Carissa

Ivy & Rose Warehouse
22 14 1/2 St N, Fargo

Photo: Nicole Midwest

In the world of remodels, it’s common to hear something along the lines of: “We bought the place because it was a blank slate full of potential!” But in Ivy & Rose Warehouse‘s case, it was almost the opposite.

22 14 1/2 St N was once Lee’s Roofing & Sheet Metal Co, an industrial warehouse full of texture, crumbling paster and scarce beams of light illuminating the debris. But from this earth-toned, mixed- material filled expanse came a vision of the perfect blank canvas. Ivy & Rose owners Samantha Klinkhammer and Katie Schiltz knew some coats of white paint, additional windows and some creativity could turn this industrial depot into a crisp blank canvas for events of all kinds.

If the names Samantha Klinkhammer and Katie Schiltz sound familiar to you, it’s likely that you’ve been to an event that they had a hand in. Some of the most playful, vibrant and visually delicious events in the greater Fargo- Moorhead area have been made possible thanks to their furniture and decor rental business, The White House Co. Lush velvet chaise lounges, antique chandeliers dripping in crystals and every color of candlestick imaginable are among the goodies you can find in their repertoire, giving them a distinctly recognizable aesthetic that is both timeless and contemporary.

Photo: Nicole Midwest
Photo: Nicole Midwest

Thanks to this reputation they’ve made for themselves, they’ve gathered some great connections. With hundreds of weddings and other various events under their belts, they’ve established relationships with photographers, DJs, caterers, event planners and more. The only thing they’d been missing in this lineup was their dream, minimalistic downtown venue. In fact, they even had been begging friends to jump in and establish such a venue, with no luck. So when your dreams aren’t coming true, sometimes you have to make them happen yourself, and thus Ivy & Rose was born.

The women behind The White House Co opening their own venue was marvelously on-brand. They had begun casually looking around, seeing if an ideal location would fall into their lap. The first spot they dropped by didn’t check all the boxes, but it got their wheels turning enough to where the dream just had to become a reality. “We were looking at really big spaces, like huge warehouses and it was kind of scary, but it just sort of fueled that fire,” said Schiltz.

Huge warehouses were overwhelming and out of budget, and other venues weren’t the right location or style. Finding something that could be the base of what they had blueprinted out in their minds was hard and they were almost ready to give up on the search. Until they found the old Lee’s Roofing building, just steps away from Drekker Brewing Company off of 1st Avenue. With a close-to-downtown location, parking spots and a comfortable square footage, the women said, “Heck yes!”

Photo: Nicole Midwest
Photo: Gabriel & Carissa
These photos come from a number of styled shots Ivy & Rose has hosted. They are hoping to continue such shooting, giving local creatives a space to create and play

The women were smitten with the building, seeing it’s potential and knowing it was just what they envisioned all along. The warehouse is comprised of two event wings, a bridal-suite area, a multi-use flex room (ideal for food prep, storage, groom’s suite, etc.) two sets of restrooms and an outdoor courtyard. The smaller-scale size made it intimate and not overwhelming, while still having enough capacity to host a full wedding and ceremony.

Once the building was found, they could really start to play. But in contrast to many remodels, where new details are added and added until it fits the desired aesthetic, Klinkhammer and Schiltz wanted to forego adding such additions. To keep it simple, they opted to paint everything white, as well as ordering white chairs and tables.

“All white is what we are going for. Just a blank canvas, because everyone’s style is different and there’s no point in us picking out something and it taking away from everything else,” said Schiltz. Their signature decor pieces are known for being vibrant, colorful and textural, and doing anything besides a blank canvas wouldn’t have let those pieces sing. Every couple or event host have their own style, so the Ivy & Rose team wanted to create a venue that would allow each event host’s own visions and personality to shine through. Whether that be rich and romantic, country classic, mid-century modern or boho- chic, the space is a chameleon.

Photo: Nicole Midwest
(left) Katie Schiltz, (right) Ivan Wognin, Ivan Amssan Photography
Photo: Nicole Midwest

To achieve the all-white, blank canvas of their dreams, the team enlisted Painting by Chaz Bombenger. Bombenger took on painting the ceiling, and with Klinkhammer and Schiltz wanting to be involved in the transformation, they suited up and painted all the walls (with Bombenger’s supervision and help, of course). “It was rewarding to be the ones who painted it,” said Schiltz, adding that as lifelong penny-pinchers and thrifters, it just made sense to have fun with this part.

The women admitted that painting the original brick was hard for them to do at first, but an all-white venue was what was missing in town and the void they wanted to fill. “We were like, ‘We need an all-white place!’ Those were our dreams and goals and we just needed to stick to them. And that’s what we did and we love it,” said Schiltz.

Photo: Nicole Midwest
Photo: Nicole Midwest

While in the grand scheme of things, the work that needed to be done on the building wasn’t a ton, it did include some key factors. At first viewing, the team noticed some areas where windows could be put in and had the landlord install those before they moved in. These new sources of light will illuminate the rawness and beauty in the rest of the space. Another not-cosmetic, but oh-so-important renovation included a new roof. Someday the Ivy & Rose team plan on creating a rooftop patio on this new roof, but that is a project to be completed down the line.

As people who have made their career off of turning one man’s trash into another’s oh-so-cute treasure, it only makes sense that the warehouse’s name also comes from an advantageous second-hand find. When Herberger’s department stores were closing in the summer of 2018, liquidation sales were offering deeper and deeper discounts each week. But in such an everything- must-go kind of sale, this meant everything, including the iconic neon rose from their storefront signage. The vintage-style rose made the teams’ hearts pitter-patter and they snatched up four of them, with intentions of bringing them into their downtown retail storefront. However, by the time they found someone willing and able to repair the neons, the sisters had another vision in the works.

With neon rose signs in hand, the women knew they wanted them to be included in the interior and exterior of their newly acquired warehouse. But it had to make sense. After some branding discussions, the name Ivy & Rose seemed to be the perfect fit. “Rose” to make their neon signs feel at home and “Ivy” coming into play with freshly planted hops climbing up the chainlink fence around the property.

Photo: Gabriel & Carissa
Photo: Gabriel & Carissa

Respecting the building’s past and leaning into the warehouse aesthetic, Klinkhammer and Schiltz envisioned their new namesake signage paying homage to the building’s original Lee’s Roofing sign. They wanted the signage to look like it had been there for years already, and with the help of Upper Hand Signs, they achieved that by mimicking the original font and black and white coloring. And they couldn’t be happier with the result!

After years of bringing their decor into other spaces, the women are excited to take on a different point of view. Schiltz said, “It’s going to be so fun for us to be on the other side of it, to see what other people bring into the blank canvas. We’ve just longed for something like this for such a long time.” While they, of course, will continue to play around with design options for different events, these two can’t wait to see what goodies hosts will bring in to help bring the space to life.

Keep an eye out for this venue, as it will be hosting weddings, workshops, photography studio rentals and more in the coming months. For more information or rental inquiries, reach out to them at [email protected]

Photo: Gabriel & Carissa
Photo: Gabriel & Carissa

Neon Sign Repair: J&H signs
Painting: Painting by Chaz Bombenger
Signage: Upper Hand Signs 

Styled Shoot Credits for Gabriel & Carissa’s Photos
Additional Photography (not shown here): Two Birds Photo
Floral: Love Always Floral
Hair/ Makeup: ADAE Salon
Decor: The White House Co.
Dress: Your Day By Nicole
Suiting: Halberstadt’s
Models: Molly Jasmine, Evan Andrew


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