Ryan & Joanna's Simple Midwestern Update

Ryan & Joanna's Simple Midwestern Update

Emma Fiala
Apr 28, 2016
(Image credit: Emma Fiala)

Name: Ryan (a landscape designer) and Joanna Herm, and dog, Dori
Location: Minnetonka, Minnesota
Size: 2,400 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years; Owned

Immediately after purchasing your first home it is temping to jump feet first into a project or two. It is fairly common for a new homeowner to walk in the door for the first time and rip up all of the old dingy carpet to expose the natural wood underneath. But not Ryan and Joanna. No, they took the carpet removal idea a step (actually a leap or two) further and immediately got to work on a major bathroom rehab project—turning two small bathrooms, a closet, and the backdoor into two full sized, custom, luxurious bathrooms. During this time they left only one toilet and committed to showering at their local gym for three months until the first bathroom project was completed. But don't worry—they removed the carpet the second week—why not utilize the dumpster in the driveway while it's there!

(Image credit: Emma Fiala)

In the last three years Ryan and Joanna have left their mark on their home, not only in the bathrooms, but by letting their belongings slowly fall into place and taking their time making thoughtful choices, purchases, and improvements.

(Image credit: Emma Fiala)

With these major projects now under their belts, there isn't anything too large or daunting for Ryan and Joanna to tackle. In addition to these two fully customized spaces, Ryan and Joanna have also added custom art to their home, handmade barn-style doors in the living room, and added a new tile back splash in the kitchen. The only leaf still left to turn is, ironically, the landscaping.

(Image credit: Emma Fiala)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Mid Century Modern/Contemporary

Inspiration: Real Materials + Simplicity, Timelessness, Landscape Architecture

Favorite Element: Bathroom Vanities (Ryan), Barn doors (Joanna)

Biggest Challenge: 1. Wanting to create cool spaces with little money. We are going to live in this house for a long time, so we didn’t want to skimp on the design. Meshing good design with budget was tough. 2. Designing Elements, but leaning on others for carpentry know-how.

What Friends Say: (When they’re being overly nice) “I love the Herm’s house. They have incredible style and we look up to them for our own home design. Their home is so welcoming while also perfectly designed, they are our most fashionable friends.”

Biggest Embarrassment: The landscape – we haven’t spent any money outside, and Ryan is a landscape designer.

Proudest DIY: Designing + Building Bathrooms –We completely gutted the existing bathrooms and came up with a whole new layout for everything. Then we did the demo, framing, sheetrock, plumbing – definitely with a lot of help from Joanna’s dad and our brother-in-law Jay (they’re both carpenters). And Joanna’s brother Jesse finished the plumbing.

Biggest Indulgence: Trench Drain in the master bathroom.

Best Advice: Design and construct your remodel in phases if you have a tight budget. That way you can do what you want in a room, save up for another six months and then work on another room. It’s hard to re-design a house in one shot when you have a tight budget.

Dream Sources: Golden Rule, Anthropologie, Target, Foundry, IKEA, Estate Sales


(Image credit: Emma Fiala)


  • Restoration Hardware: Flint Grey, Pumice,
  • Martha Stewart: Glass of Milk, Dolphin, Sharkey Grey
  • Kitchen: Glass of Milk and Canary Yellow (Martha Stewart)
(Image credit: Emma Fiala)


  • Barn Doors: (Design: Ryan Herm, Construction: Jay Prueter + Ryan Herm)
  • Barn Door Hardware: ABA Hardware
  • Rug: IKEA
  • Couches: Room and Board
  • Coffee Table: Antique Store
  • Credenza: Estate Sale
  • Canvas Art: Photo by Ryan Herm
  • Lamp: 75% Salvage, Edina
  • Curtains: Target
(Image credit: Emma Fiala)


  • Dining Table: Re-Finished by Ryan and Joanna Herm, free
  • Barnwood art: Designed and Crafted by Joanna (words by Fernando Ortega)
  • Metal chairs: Target
  • Wooden chairs: Estate Sale
(Image credit: Emma Fiala)


  • Backsplash Tile: Home Depot
  • Ceiling Light: IKEA
  • Vases: Hunt + Gather
  • Cradenza: Estate Sale
  • Cart: IKEA
  • Mail holder: Typo
  • Landline Phone: RadioShack brand, via Etsy.
(Image credit: Emma Fiala)


  • Dresser: Goodwill
  • Dresser Throw: Anthropologie
  • Dresser & Nightstand Knobs: Anthropologie
  • Nightstands: Target
  • Nightstand Lamps: Target
  • Planter & Plant: IKEA
  • Curtains: Target
  • Bedding: Home Goods/Nicole Miller
(Image credit: Emma Fiala)


  • Wood Vanity: Ryan Herm Design/Jay Prueter Carpentry
  • Mirror above Vanity: West Elm
  • Vase on Vanity: Wilson + Willy’s
  • Faucet: Delta
  • Floor Tile: Penny Rounds w/ Gray Grout
  • Light above Vanity: Barn Light Electric
  • Chandelier above Bathtub: Pottery Barn Teen
  • Shower Trench Drain: Shower Grate Shop
  • Bathtub: Costco
  • Bathtub Faucet: Barclay
  • Items on Shelves above Bathtub: Deer (Golden Rule), Rotating Calendar (Golden Rule), Glass (Golden Rule), Candles and Holders (Foundry), Towel (Foundry)

(Image credit: Emma Fiala)


  • Wood Vanity: Ryan Herm Design/Jay Prueter Carpentry
  • Mirror above Vanity: Goodwill
  • Vase on Vanity: Hunt + Gather
  • Faucet: Delta
  • Floor Tile: Marble Hex + Gray Grout
  • Light above Vanity: Barn Light Electric
  • Bathtub: Menards
(Image credit: Emma Fiala)


  • Rug: IKEA
  • Birch Branches: Northern Boughs Etsy Shop
  • Couches: HOM Furniture
  • Bench in Entry: Herm Design, Legs by Rustic Living Etsy Shop
  • Hooks in Entry: Herm DIY, Spraypainted Animals
  • Baskets: Kasper Wire Works
  • Lamps: Target + IKEA
  • Coffee Table: Craigslight
  • Frames: Michael’s (small) + IKEA (big)

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Thanks, Ryan & Joanna!

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