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Couple maximize potential of small first home

Adam and Dana Holscher's south Fargo, N.D. home was featured on Etsy's blog. Carrie Snyder / The Forum

FARGO -- Whether it's an animal in need of a home or a home in need of renovating, Dana and Adam Holscher know potential when they see it.

They purchased their first home, a blue rambler in South Fargo, in January 2012 after deciding to adopt a dog.

"The colors were hideous, but it just had so much potential," Dana said. "We saw what we wanted in this house."

Besides the hardwood floors, the neighborhood, backyard and layout were major selling points for the Holschers.

Once they knew the 768-square-foot house was "the one," they closed on it in eight days and have been making it their own ever since.

Dana, an artist who designs jewelry, and Adam, who she calls a "creative spirit," did all of the revamping themselves.

Do-it-yourself projects, like the valance above the kitchen sink, bedroom headboard, living room coffee table and office workstation, helped the couple create their artsy-vintage abode on a budget.

"We looked for a house that wouldn't need a whole lot of work because we're not crazy handy, but we like to flip things," Dana said.

Despite its small size, the home feels airy and spacious thanks to the Holschers' affinity for white walls, minimalism and pops of color.

"If we find something we love, we try to pick out its function before we get it," Dana said. "You can do a lot with a small space even though it seems like you can't."

Most items in the home have a story, too. For instance, the table they use as a TV stand once belonged to Adam's parents.

"I just love to accessorize and decorate with things that have meaning," Dana said.

Adam describes the couple's style as "a vintage-modern mix," and it's apparent in the décor.

The olive green midcentury couch, floral chair and more than a dozen pieces of art add color to the wood-and-white living room. It's the couple's favorite space, and they've been using it to entertain friends.

Like almost everything in the home, the couch and chair are vintage finds that the Holschers revived. The chair was recovered by Carol's Upholstery with fabric purchased on Etsy, and the couple put new tapered legs on the $15 Craigslist find that once sat on cinder blocks.

Nestled in the corner of the living room is a dining nook, which Dana outfitted with floral wallpaper and the couple's sunshine yellow vintage table and chairs.

Rich gray paint and colorful accessories brighten the kitchen, where a drafting table serves as an island.

In the rest of the two-bedroom home, the simplicity of the white walls and wood flooring is accented by art, air plants and colorful decor.

The blue house with black shutters has transformed into the Holschers' blue house with black shutters in the past year.

Dana and Adam are glad they decided to buy instead of rent, although the decision wasn't easy. They were hesitant to consider purchasing a home because it seemed "out of reach," Dana said.

After they met Justin Mertens of Keller Williams Roers Realty, they learned that owning a home can be affordable. Their mortgage isn't any more expensive than their previous monthly rent.

More young couples and singles are buying homes today because mortgage rates are low, Mertens said.

"I think one of the biggest advantages of owning a home is that it is yours, and you can change it to fit your style," he said.

The Holschers have done just that, and their creativity was even noticed by Etsy. Their home was featured on its blog Feb. 3.

The couple say they "couldn't be happier" in their new home.

"We love the freedom and doing what you want," Dana said.

They even added a second dog to their family since moving in, bringing the total pet count up to two dogs and two cats.

"Now our family is complete," Dana said. "I think we'll stay in this house for a while."