One of the best parts about our neighborhood is the eclectic mix of house styles. From ranches to colonial, Mediterranean, Cape Cod, we have it all. My friend Ashley lives a couple blocks down from me in the most charming historic Tudor that she has put her colorful stamp on. I have been itching to share it with you for a while now!
Once you see how playfully Ashley has breathed life into this almost 100 year old home, you might have the urge to jump into color as well. She has really taken some bold moves, which I so admire. What I love most about her home is how it truly reflects Ashley’s personal style and taste. She is as bright and colorful as home is!
You’ll want to pour yourself a cup of coffee and take some time to savor this home tour. Enjoy!
Step Inside: Ashley’s Colorful & Gracious Historic Home
Who lives in this home and how did you come to live here? My husband, our 5 year old twins and me. We are expecting a baby girl in a month! We casually had our eyes set on this house for quite some time, and then negotiations with the seller took almost a year. It was a long process, but in the end, it was meant to be. We have lived here for about 2 years.
How did you know this house was the right choice for your family? I had always dreamed of living in an old house, full of character. But as you know, old houses typically bring unforeseen issues and extra work. Fortunately for us, the previous owners completely restored this home, almost to the point that it felt new. And they did it right. Quite the find for a 1928 historic home!
Tell us about the process of renovating/updating your home once you moved in. What all did you do? Paint every single wall…and really that’s it. The previous colors weren’t my taste. My mom and I chalk painted the kitchen island and two bathroom vanities with Annie Sloan chalk paint. I also replaced most of the light fixtures, simply because the former didn’t go with my decor.
How would you describe your aesthetic/style? Well this is a loaded question. I love color first and foremost. If I had to pinpoint a style, I would describe it as boho chic meets palm beach prep, mixed with my grandmother’s antiques, vintage thrift store finds,and then throw in traditional southern monograms (in every room, I can’t help it!) I love the look of modern mixed with vintage…like the acrylic accent stools in my formal living room paired with all the antiques.
What do you think your home says about you? It completely matches my style…it even matches my wardrobe! You will never catch me wearing black, just not my thing. My favorite stores are Lilly Pulitzer and Anthropologie. Colorful stores…just like my house! Thankfully, I have a husband who lets me get away with it.
What are some of your favorite places to find inspiration for your home? I follow a lot of designers on Instagram and Pinterest…Addison’s Wonderland, Jonathan Adler, Paige Minear, Parker Kennedy, Serena and Lily, Caitlin Wilson Design… to name a few. My cousin is an interior designer out of state and she has the most fabulous second home in Cape Cod that is decorated to perfection with so much fun color. That’s really where my inspiration started…she made me realize that you can pull off color and still keep a finished grown-up look. She has helped me along the way with paint colors, fabric selection, etc. I always need a second opinion (or 5) before making a huge purchase. Even when I have the initial vision, I ask my friends who have similar taste to come over and weigh in. I just need reassurance.
Which room in your home do you enjoy the most? The kitchen and family room. I love that we managed to find an open concept main living space in a 1928 historic home. And the attached playroom in line of sight is the icing on the cake!
What do you splurge on in your home? Where do you like to save? I splurged on 9×12 rugs and custom window treatments. It pains me to splurge, because I’m such a bargain hunter, but I had to do it. My interior designer cousin told me her biggest pet peeve is store bought curtains, so I listened to her. I saved with a few knock off chandeliers/light fixtures, some thrift store furniture finds and of course accessories and lamps. I love to find a copycat bargain and will hunt down a sale like nobody’s business. I’ve really had to restrain myself from buying things just because they are “on sale”. The key question I remind myself is “would I buy this if it wasn’t on sale?” I do also think it’s important to balance the room with some expensive pieces, so then no one will notice the knock offs! Like wearing designer jeans with an H&M top. I also saved BIG on furniture by inheriting antiques from my late grandmother. I painted some of her pieces (not the valuable ones) to bring them back to life and make them more current…my formal dining room chairs for example. They used to be blonde wood with royal blue striped cushions and now they are painted gray and reupholstered with hot pink Chanel tweed fabric. I’m not afraid to put a little sweat equity into a project to save some money and make it my own!
You are so resourceful at finding good deals. Can you share some of your tips? Well I love to shop and I have the patience to dig through discount stores and thrift stores in search of a bargain. I also follow a lot of designers on social media to get ideas, and then when I see something I like, I try to copy it on a budget.
When do you think it is important not to cut corners? On furniture that will get a lot of use and abuse…like in the family room and dining room, bedroom dressers, kids furniture, etc. Good quality furniture will last much longer than look-a-like cheaper options. Confession: I broke this rule with my 2 pink linen settees in the formal living room (thinking they wouldn’t get much use), but now I’m always paranoid that a leg is going to break every time a man sits in one! They were a bargain find on Gilt.
You have a knack for repurposing pieces in your home. Can you share an example? Half of my house is repurposed painted furniture, so the list is lengthy! My favorite transformation is probably the green console table in my foyer. I painted it a lacquered kelly green, switched the hardware to brass and then lined the drawers inside and out with super fun contact paper. In its former life, it was a boring bedroom dresser that I found at a thrift store for $75 (with a white marble top, so I knew it had potential). Another good example: the acrylic piano bench and 2 acrylic stools in front of the fire place in my formal living room. I found them at Tuesday Morning on sale and just paid to have them reupholstered in matching greek key fabric, to better compliment my décor- giving it a custom modern look.
What are some of your favorite places to shop for your home? Homegoods, World Market, Land of Nod (for kids’ furniture), PB Kids/Teen (for kids bedding, valances & rugs), Anthropologie, Serena & Lily, TJMaxx, Tuesday Morning, and I love Etsy for artwork in the kids’ spaces.
Whose home or design aesthetic do you admire? Why? This designer out of GA who I have never met, she has a blog called Addison’s Wonderland. She also has a love affair with color, like me.
What is your advice to others who feel scared to experiment with color? I try to keep some consistent neutral colors (gray tones and creams) to ground the room, and then I make sure to incorporate some nicer pieces, so it doesn’t end up looking childish.
What are your “musts” around a family-friendly space? My big “must” when we were house hunting was a dedicated playroom space that was in close proximity to the main living area. Luckily, I found just that! I don’t mind the playroom being messy, just as long as the other areas of the house are picked up.
I do think there must be some energy-inducing power to the gorgeous color in Ashley’s home. To think that she has done this in only 2 years while working full-time is giving me a bit of a kick in the pants to get on some of my own projects. Her stamina is awe-inspiring. Not to mention the fact that she is due for their 3rd child any day now. Phew!
Thank you Ashley for allowing us to “step inside” your lovely jewel box of a home! Want to see more home tours like this? Check out the rest of the Step Inside series HERE.
Photography: Ale Cretul