September 2015

Easy Kitchen Remodel- Part Three Reveal!

Kitchen Remodel RevealKitchen Remodel Cover

Welcome back!

I am very excited for my first official reveal! We finally finished the kitchen remodel. If you’ve missed it, you can check out the first two posts about the kitchen here:

Easy Kitchen Remodel- Part One

Easy Kitchen Remodel- Part Two

Now, Let me remind you what the kitchen looked like when we started the process:IMG_4264With some paint, drapery, hardware and a chandelier we have the after:Actually Ashley Kitchen Makeover 6Actually Ashley Kitchen Makeover 7 Actually Ashley Kitchen Makeover 2 Actually Ashley Kitchen Makeover 1 Actually Ashley Kitchen Makeover 4 Actually Ashley Kitchen MakeoverActually Ashley Kitchen Remodel 1.2Actually Ashley Kitchen Remodel 1.3

Drapery/Barstools/Lighting/Kitchen Table & Chairs

So what do you think? I am totally in love with how simple it was to paint our cabinets, yet how much of a difference it made! It was an instant change. Leave a comment below to let me know what you think!

Until Next Time,


Easy Kitchen Remodel- Part Two

How have you guys been? This week has been fabulous here in the Washington, DC area. Fall weather hasn’t quite hit and summer is starting to give way. it has been a nice 75 degrees with sun and a breeze all week!

So I am pretty excited because we finally picked a paint color for the Kitchen Remodel. If you remember from Easy Kitchen Remodel- Part One we have already added some new stainless steel appliances to the space. Just adding that makes a world of difference!

Our home has a pretty open layout and I wanted to highlight that. I decided to paint the entire downstairs one color in order to open it up and feel larger. I wanted to stay neutral, and landed on Sherwin Williams Balanced Beige (Sw7037). I’ve used this color for years as a designer and have really fallen for it. It is one of those go-to can’t go wrong colors. This is a “greige” or a grey-beige. Depending on what is next to it, and the lighting Balanced Beige can be a light grey or a soft beige. It is perfect for my open concept lower level.

We tried out a bunch of colors for the cabinets but landed with Sherwin Williams Grey Matters (Sw7066). This was enough of a dark contrast to not blend into the wall color but also went with the existing backsplash.

We removed the doors and painted them out in the garage. Each cabinet and door needed a really light sanding, but that was it.

IMG_8197Please don’t judge me! I know it looks like a bomb went off in these photos. I am embarrassed as I should be. In my defense we had to take a lot of stuff out of the cabinets in order to paint.. IMG_8189

Hello, Bella! I just realized she photo bombed this!

IMG_8200The cabinets ended up needing almost four coats. I say almost because they needed a good 3 coats and one final touch-up coat. It took a long time! We then added these sleek bar pull hardware that we ordered from here.  Lastly I followed Sarah’s super easy DIY Tutorial for adding soft close doors hinges over at Thrifty Decor Chick’s blog. You can see her entire post here.  It was literally as easy as one-two-three. We lined up the hinge, screwed in in place and then shut the door. Our cabinets are so tall that we ended up needing one at the bottom and one at the top to support the weight of the door.


VIA: Thrifty Decor Chick


Again- I am sorry the counter tops are a complete reck! I promise it doesn’t normally look like this. We need to go back and paint the inside of the glass door cabinet. We were going to try and see if we didn’t need to do it (because its going to be a pain) but now that the doors are back on it is so noticeable.

Check back soon to see the final reveal! Lets chat- Leave a comment below and let me know what you think!

Master Closet Makeover: Update

Hi everyone!

We’ve been very busy over at our house. We have so many projects going that it is hard to keep you all up-to-date! Last time I talked about the Master Bedroom Walk In Closet- I showed the before photos and the plan. Boy, a lot has changed since then! We demolished out the center wall and added hardwood flooring (same hardwood as we are using in the bedroom- more on that coming soon)
Actually Ashley Closet 2.13Just by removing that center wall the closet feels 10 x larger. Its amazing how much of a difference it makes! We started by adding the pallet wood accent wall. This was a “free” wall treatment at hopefully will have some major impact. We gathered a bunch of pallets from local stores and ripped apart the wood to get the individual boards. We started the wall at the bottom and used a nail gun to tack in each row. Actually Ashley Closet 12

We continued up the wall, trying to find the right fit in length and height of each board. Not all of the pallets were the same size, so we really had to find the right board for each spot. We cut the ends of the boards with a saw to get it to fit perfectly. Actually Ashley Closet 3

I have to be honest with you, I’ve seen a pallet wall treatment 100 times on Pinterest, but man did it look amazing in real life. I was impressed.

Next we begin to construct the center towers that will hold up our clothing rods. We acquired some closet system goodies from Brian’s Mom, se we already knew what size our towers need to be. We constructed large rectangles with partial board to start. We added a fixed center shelf to add stability to each tower. We then started to screw in each of the closet system items. We have pullout pants racks, shoes racks and a jewelry tray. Actually Ashley Closet 8Actually Ashley Closet9We used the drill to add holes for our movable shelfs, also made out of cut partial board. We bought little wood pegs from the local hardware store to hold up each shelf. We wanted to add some non-fixed shelfs for more flexibility in the storage.
Actually Ashley Closet 13Next we realized that we needed to paint. In retrospect we should have painted the room first, before even laying the new hardwood. The pallet wall proved very difficult to cut into, and the new hardwood proved very hard to not spill on. Lessons learned! We moved the shelves into the center of the room and painted the walls a nice grey tone to make the soon-to-be white shelves pop.
Actually Ashley Closet 5So here we are! We have new hardwood floors, an amazing pallet wood wall, and custom shelves! We just finished painting them and I must say it is a world of difference! Actually Ashley Closet10Actually Ashley Closet 6

Still have a little bit of painting and a lot of cleaning to go, but couldn’t wait to show you guys the progress. So, what do you think? Are you digging the DIY Pallet Wall as much as I am? Leave me a comment below, I always love to hear what you think!

Stay tuned for the big “Master Suite” reveal! The Master Bathroom is almost done, and we are doing a quick update to our bedroom. Photos to come soon!

Master Bathroom Renovation: Trim and Paint

Hi Friends! Thanks so much for following along on our Master Suite renovation! Man, has this room already come such a LONG way in these last few weeks. I’ve been neglecting an update since the last post showing the bathroom tile.  If you’ve missed the last few posts you can catch up here:

Master Bathroom Renovation: An Introduction

Master Bathroom Renovation: Demo Day!

Master Bathroom Renovation: Starting Tile

Welp- We are trucking right along! We finished all of the tile! It took us a little longer than we had originally planed it to, but are so happy about how it turned out. Once the tile was in place Brian and I installed the simple two sided framed glass to the top of the half wall and installed our AMAZING shower head combo. It has a rainfall element as well as an adjustable hand-held part that has multiple spray settings. I am obsessed with it. ACTUALLY-ASHLEY-BATH-UPDATE-4ACTUALLY-ASHLEY-BATH-UPDATE-1I love the open concept shower stall. It allows so much more natural light and ventilation! I am also very excited to have a bench to sit and shave in the shower. Its the little things, right? Once the tile was completed Brian added new molding to the window. We knew we were not going to add window treatments, but we still wanted to dress up the windows a little bit (we back up to woods, and it is kind of nice to shower and see the trees!). We also started to test a few paint colors. I always like to paint a block on the wall to see how the light throughout the day treats the paint. In the store I was 100% sure i’d love the bottom grey color, but up against the tiles in the daylight it turned so purple. So happy we did a test patch before painting the entire room! We decided to pick the top color. It is a beautiful light sage green and it goes perfectly with the neutral tiles and crips whites. I’ll revel the color name when we finish up the renovation!
ACTUALLY-ASHLEY-BATH-UPDATE-11Once we had a paint color we started the trim detail that is *hopefully* going to make this room. We did a traditional board and batten style using 2 x 4. We simply laid out a horizontal piece about 48″ above the floor and used a nail gun to tack it in. Once that horizontal stripe ran across the room, we measured the pieces needed to create the vertical elements about 18″ apart.   

It did’t take us all that long to complete the trim! So simple and not too expensive for the custom look we are going for. Next we added a simple center shelf between the two vanities to make this space a little more useable. I guess before you could use this as a true vanity, or maybe even for a clothing hamper? The shelf will add more storage for us, so we decided to do it!ACTUALLY-ASHLEY-BATH-UPDATE-8

Lastly we painted! We did a crisp simple white on all of the trim and the sage green on the upper walls, bulkheads and ceilings. I wanted the strange angles and architecture of the bathroom to “go-away”. Painting it all out like this helped to do so.

ACTUALLY-ASHLEY-BATH-UPDATE-6Eeeek! Ya’ll, I am feeling like we are making some major progress! It still has miles to go, but it is finally back to looking like a real room! I am really hoping to have this project completed this month and have a reveal post out to you soon! Gosh, how exciting! What do you think of the bathroom progress? Let me know in the comments below! I love to hear from you. 

I’ve also been doing some major “pinning” this week- Check out my pinterest and instagram to see what has been inspiring me this week!unnamed

Fall Retail Preview 2015

Fall Preview: 2015 Retail

Normally I post every Thursday and Sunday, but yesterday I was really sick. Like down and out, first cold of the season sick! I apologize for this post being a tad late, but I am excited to share my favorite fall finds with you guys! I love adding small touches to my existing décor to really give the feeling of the season. Check out my favorites:


1- ZGallerie: Set of 2 Striped Owls– $18.00

These little guys are perfect to add into a mantle or table setting for fall. I have a huge thing for owls, so I am always excited to see them this time of year! The add a little bit of whimsy to my fall décor which makes me smile.

2-Pottery Barn: Turkey Carving Platter– $139

This is a great platter for Thanksgiving! Imagine it in the center of your thanksgiving table setting. This is not only perfect for turkey but imagine a meat and cheese tray for appetizers, or use it for fun fall treats like brownies on your desert table.

3- Pottery Barn: “Gather” lumbar pillow– $39.50

I really love to add in seasonal pillows to my décor. It helps to keep my décor fresh and exciting. I love this little “gather” pillow because it is not too theme-y and will go with existing décor flawlessly.

4- Crate & Barrel: Faux Oak and Acorn Spray– $10.95

Faux leaf sprays are an easy way to add major fall decorating impact. They are simple to arrange into a vase, pitcher or even a bucket to add anywhere. I love having sprays on my console table in the entry of my house as well as a smaller version on my kitchen counter.

5- Pottery Barn: Pumpkin Embroidered Napkins– $25.50 (set of four)

For me, I like to keep my tablescapes clean and simple this time of year, but adding layers to warm up the space. These linen napkins are a simple way to add to your fall table without being over-powering. They are machine washable which makes them a perfect addition!

6- Pottery Barn: Outdoor Happy Halloween Banner– $29.50

Everyone is selling these fun holiday banners, are they are a super easy way to add to your existing décor to create some fun fall vibes. Pottery Barn has an outdoor burlap and jute version which makes decorating for Halloween so much more fun! This is great to use over some simple hay bales or across your front porch.

7- Pottery Barn: Antique Mercury Glass Pumpkin- $24.50

I love the texture that mercury glass brings to a space. These are simple, timeless and beautiful. They are also a great size, making them easy to add to fall vignettes. I am defiantly picking up a few of these beauties to scatter into my fall décor.

What fall products are you digging right now? Leave me a comment below and let me know what I am missing!

Until Next Time,


Guest Bedroom Makeover

Design Plans and Décor Boards for the Guest Bedroom

Hello There!

We have several rooms in our house that desperately need some TLC. One such room is a spare bedroom that I am going to use as a Guest Bedroom. I spotted this amazing Trina Turk coral geometric print bedding on pinterest and immediately knew I needed it. I fell in love with its slightly preppy vibe and was so drawn to the color! After playing around with a few color combos I decided I liked the bedding paired with a deep navy blue with gold accents and crisp whites. To help figure out the direction I wanted this room to go in- I created a mood board to add in the layers of color. I love how using a mood board can really help guide the textures, colors and shapes you want to add to a space without the commitment of purchase. Its like test driving a room!


Once I created the mood board to help guide my design, I broke it down a step further to create a “shopping list”. I edited this from my mood board slightly, deciding to change a few things as I went. I used this shopping list and mood board while buying for the room. If I was out at a store and saw something that might work, I had an instant reference to remind me of my style goals and to keep me on track.


Coral Bedroom Actually Ashley


Now that I have a design plan I broke my design up into a “shop list” and a DIY list”.  This helps me decided a head of time what I think I have time to create on my own to save a little bit of money rather than just purchasing it all. Once I have my lists I am ready to start shopping! I’ve already ordered the bedding and can not wait to see it in person!

Shop List:

  • Bedding
  • 2 Navy Lamps
  • 1 White Lamp
  • Sheer White Curtains
  • Wooden Blinds
  • Mirrored Dresser
  • Navy Tufted Bench

DIY List:

  • Transform old nightstands with paint
  • Created a tufted headboard
  • Custom Navy & Coral Artwork

Lastly I’ll leave you with two dark and dingy photos of the soon-to-be guest bedroom from when we purchased the house.

Coral-bedroom-before-actually-ashley-2 Coral-bedroom-before-actually-ashleyI know, it needs some help! The room is pretty large and has great natural light. A fresh coat of paint and some pretty furniture will go a long way, promise! What do you think of the design plans and mood board. Share your ideas in the comments below!

Until Next Time,


Getting My Fix: Stitch Fix Review 3


While this post is sponsored by Stitch Fix- As always, all of the comments and opinions in this post are my own.

Stitch Fix Review 3 Actually Ashley 10.39.35 AMHi Friends!

I am so excited to share another great shipment from Stitch Fix! I have really fallen in love with how easy and convenient the service is! If you haven’t tried it yet, they describe themselves as “For busy women on the go, Stitch Fix is the personal styling service tailored to your taste, budget and lifestyle that helps you look and feel your best every day”. You simply fill out a style profile, tell them your budget, them BAM! They mail you 5 amazing items that are pick out just for you. You have a week to try them on before you mail back what you don;t love and keep the rest! Amazingly easy! I also feel like a little girl on christmas morning when I get to open my package, I am so excited to see what I got.

1: Lovappella Cheyanne Printed Maxi Skirt- ReturnedStitch Fix Review Maxi Skirt

I had requested to have some Maxi length items in my shipment so I was excited to see that they sent me some! This Maxi fit perfectly, however I was not too sure of the color. I don’t often wear baby pink and purple so I sent this one back.

2: Papermoon Stanford Mixed Material Top- KeptStitch Fix review Grey Top

This is a really fun little top! The front is a light chiffon material while the back is a cotton. It was a great fit and I loved the light grey color. I paired the top with my necklace I got from my last Stitch Fix Shipment (similar) and a cute navy blue blazer from Target. I can easily wear this top with jeans on the weekend or a pencil skirt for work. perfect!

3: Margaret M Christine Pencil Skirt- ReturnedStitch Fix Review Pencil Skirt

This skirt fit me pretty well but I always seem to get a “pucker” above my butt. Does anyone else have this problem with pencil skirts? I just seem to have extra fabric that pulls away at my waist.. I decided to return this even though the color was a perfect teal. I paired this with a white ruffle button down and a coral cardigan. 

4: Gilli Liana Maxi Dress- Kept

Stitch Fix Review Maxi DressWow! This was a perfect Maxi Dress if you ask me! The top had a few cute layers of fabric that sort of wrap around, and the printed bottom was very flattering! I really loved how I feel when I wear this! It is also cute to pair with a jean jacket!

5: Pixley Leighton Metal Bubble Necklace- Kept

Stitch Fix Review NecklaceThis necklace was light weight and a great shade of gold. I paired it with a Denim Shirt here as well as looks 1 and 4. I feel like I will get a ton of use with this necklace!

I went onto my Stitch Fix profile and requested the stylists to send some fun fall items for my next shipment. Fall is one of my favorite times of year. I am mostly always cold, so its finally time that I don’t feel strange wearing long pants and sweaters to work! Let the layers begin!

Until Next Time,


DIY Backyard Stone Fire Pit

Happy Labor Day weekend!

In order to make our stay-cation a little more exciting, we decided to upgrade the backyard with a little DIY action! We picked up this little fire pit kit from Lowes. This kit included the stone pavers and the metal fire ring for just under $200.00.


  • Fire Pit Kit or 36 Flagstone Wall Bricks
  • 2 Small Bags of Sand
  • 2 Small Bags of Gravel
  • Shovel
  • Household Level
  • Tamper

STEP ONE: The first step is deciding where you want to place your fire pit. It is important that the space be pretty level. We picked a spot close to the back of our yard and away from the house. If you purchased the kit, you’ll need a 49″ diameter circle in the grass. We used left over spray paint to mark out the diameter.

STEP TWO: Next use your shovel to clear the sod from inside your circle. Once all the grass is removed, use your level to create a level surface. This is an important step, so don’t skip it!

STEP THREE: Once you have a nice even surface, spread out your two small bags of sand. Use the Temper to pack down the sand. Again, use your level to make sure the ring is nice and even on all sides.



STEP FOUR: Now that you did all of the prep work, you’re ready to start laying the paving stones. Place the stones so that they are firmly touching the ones next to it, creating your first circle. For the second layer, lay the stone onto the center of a stone in the first layer. Continue around the circle fitting the stones snuggly to the ones on either side. Continue on to the third layer the same as the first making sure the third layer’s joints match the first layer’s joints. Note: It is recommended by the manufacturer to use concrete adhesive with each brick. We want to be able to move this fire pit in the future, so we decided not to attach the pavers making them non-permanent. FIRE-PIT-DIY-ACTUALLY-ASHLEY-8FIRE-PIT-DIY-ACTUALLY-ASHLEY-7FIRE-PIT-DIY-ACTUALLY-ASHLEY-6
STEP FIVE: Now that you have all of the pavers in place, use your level again to make sure it is still even. Shift or move stones accordingly. To install the black metal fire pit insert, simply move it into place so that the rings lip rests on the inside edge of the fire pit stones. Pour the two bags of gravel inside to cover the sand. Use the Temper to pack down the gravel. FIRE-PIT-DIY-ACTUALLY-ASHLEY-4

STEP SIX: Enjoy! We added two adirondack chairs like these ones, two white side tables, and two outdoor ottomans to create a outdoor living room!  The outdoor ottomans are great for the dogs to come up and cuddle and enjoy the last bits of summer with us! Brain caught a candid shot of me and the dogs enjoying the fruits of our labor.
FIRE-PIT-DIY-ACTUALLY-ASHLEY-2FIRE-PIT-DIY-ACTUALLY-ASHLEY-11FIRE-PIT-DIY-ACTUALLY-ASHLEY-12I know this looks photoshopped, but I swear its not! The reflection for the fire really messed with the camera!


Thank you guys so much for reading. I hope you guys enjoy what is left of your long weekend, and get out and make something! Safe travels back home! Leave a comment below and let me know what you did for Labor Day. I’d love to hear about your adventures!

Until Next Time,


Master Closet Makeover: The Plan

Hey Guys!

We are trucking full-steam-ahead on both the master bathroom renovation and the kitchen mini-makeover! I am so excited to see so much progress on both of these projects. We purchased an amazing stainless steel fridge and finally picked a paint color for the walls and cabinets for the kitchen. I’ve devised a trim plan to add dimension and interest to the walls of the bathroom. I can’t wait to share both of these projects in a few short weeks!

While we are crazy busy with all of that on our plate- Brian and I decided that while the master bath was all torn apart and a mess, we might as well just renovate the master bedroom and walk in closet… Crazy people, I know. Our current closet is pretty big, but has a ton of wasted space.

Here is the BEFORE:


The current Master Closet plan has a wall in the center to divide the space into two sections. The problem with this is that it is just too small with this center wall. When I hang clothing on both side of the “hers” side, I cannot walk in between the hangers. I am also in desperate need for some shelving space and shoe storage. 

I took a minute to draw out the new floorplan and Brian even sketched out his idea for an amazing feature wall. He wants to use the old pallets we have in our storage room to create a wall treatment on the back wall. We also inherited some Ikea closet system items (pants hangers, jewelry bins, men’s shoe rack and a pull our tie rack) from his mom. We are going to try to re-use these system parts into our custom built shelves.unnamed

With our plan in place we started to demo the center wall. Stay tuned for the update on the kitchen and bathroom as well as the final product of the Walk in Closet update!
We are planning a low-key Labor Day weekend and enjoy a stay-cation. Tune back on Sunday night to see our little DIY Fire Pit build in the back yard! S’mores please!

Until Next Time,