October 2015

Ikea Holiday Preview

Hey Ya’ll!

I know it is still October, and no one wants to hear about the holidays quite yet….. but Ikea put out a new Holiday Preview catalog and I’m impressed. Ikea is amazing because of their price point and style, as they are very approachable and affordable. I’m not going to lie, I’ve used Ikea for clients before ranging from first time apartments up to half a million dollar homes. Ikea has KILLED it for the holidays! I am totally in love with everything and need to hike on over to their store in the next few weeks and snatch everything up! They have amazing glass and tableware, fantastic ornaments and decorations. They even have wrapping paper, ribbons and gift bag!Actually Ashley Ikea Holiday PreviewActually Ashley Ikea Holiday PreviewActually Ashley Ikea Holiday PreviewActually Ashley Ikea Holiday Preview(Photo Source)

Ahhh, be still my heart!   It is all so cute and perfect. I need every bit of it 😉 Check out the rest of the catalog for yourself  and start freeing up a Saturday to head over to Ikea!  Also, I promise to not post anything else Christmas before Thanksgiving from now on!

Until Next Time,



Professional Design: Elevation Apartment Model

Cover Actually Ashley Elevation Apartments

My full time job is being an interior designer and project manager for model homes. I work directly with builders to help design and stage all type of models. I truly love doing it. I love making up faux families and designing a home. I also like to share some of these designs with you guys to get a peak into my day-to-day life. This model is a one bedroom apartment that is for rent in the NOMA area of Washington, DC. I designed this model call Elevation Apartments while working for my firm at the time, Carlyn and Company for MRP Residental and Bozzuto Group. We kept the entire space neutral and layered in textures to add interest. I love how sophisticated and calm the space felt. Take a look:

Actually Ashley Elevation Apartments Living Room KitchenActually Ashley Elevation Apartments KitchenGet a similar look: Stools/Basket/Bowl

When you first walk into the unit, you have an open concept kitchen. We designed it to have rich dark mocha cabinets that have a flat front. We added the element of texture with the mosaic glass backsplash and the chrome in the glass front cabinet and hardware. We added another layer of texture with the woven baskets under the moveable island and with the textured woven tray on the counter.

Actually Ashley Elevation Apartments Kitchen Living RoomActually Ashley Elevation Apartments Living RoomGet a similar look: Ottoman/Drapery/Chair

I love how open and bright this unit is. We kept the walls light and bright with Sherwin Williams Balanced Beige. We upholstered a modern lined sofa with a warm caramel colored velvet and added a balance with fun throw pillows. The room is anchored by the abstract pattern rug in browns and tans. The drapery is a soft gray, and the side chair is light and airy in shape to keep the small space feeling open. Lastly in stead of a traditional side table we opted to fill the space with a long console. Behind the console we used an over sized mirror (ikea!) and anchored it all with a woven ottoman. Actually Ashley Elevation Apartments BedroomGet a similar look: Bed/Duvet Cover/Euro Shams

For the bedroom, we wanted to continue down the neutral path. We chose a linen upholstered bed, crisp white bedding and pops of texture in the pillows. We had an artist custom make the piece above the bed, which is an abstraction of people done on see-through acrylic in black and white. We added some contrast using the same dark wood finish as the kitchen on the nightstands and dresser.

Actually Ashley Elevation Apartments BathroomGet a similar look: Towels/Tray/Stems

The bathroom has the same cabinets as the kitchen. In such a small space it is nice to repeat finishes and colors to make the open concept apartment seem even larger. With that in mind, we repeated the caramel color from the sofa onto the walls. We added a tray for organization and a fun floral for some height!

Until Next Time,


Five Things I Bought This Week

Actually Ashley Thing I Bought This Week


LaCroixWaterOne: La Croix Sparking water, what a game changer. I was first introduced when I started at my new office. The fridge was stocked with sparkling water, and only sparkling water. To be honest, I’ve had other brands of sparkling waters before and was not impressed. After a few days of being ‘forced’ to drink it, I became obsessed. I started to crave its refreshing taste! I bought some from Target for home and now Brian loves La Croix waters too! My favorite flavor is Grapefruit, Brian’s is Coconut.

Blowfish ShoesTwo: Blowfish Ankle Booties. I got mine in-store at DSW. I feel like DSW gets me every time I go in, they force me to fall in love with so much stuff. I’ve never walked into one without buying something.. cough, just like target, cough… Anyway, I just got these awesome ankle booties last week that are blowfish brand and man do they fit perfectly. I am a huge fan of how blowfish shoes fit on me, so these were a no-brainier.

Styled BookThree: I have been following Emily Henderson and her blog for a while. I loved her on HGTV’s Design Star and read her blog weekly. Once she hinted about her new book, Styled by Emily Henderson, I knew I needed it. I loved reading about how she came about her cover photo. I just ordered it on Amazon and can’t wait for my Prime delivery!

Target BasketFour: Here is the story. I like throw blankets. I use one almost every night as we sit and watch TV. I corral them all into a blanket that sits on the floor in the living room. Brian HATES this basket. It is industrial style and made of old metal with wood handles. Brian hates this because the metal constantly snags on the throw blankets inside and he has to bend down and untangle them every time I ask him to pass me a blanket, lol. So while on my Target run I grabbed this super cute and snag free woven felt basket. Its simple and cute and makes life a little easier.

KnoxThomasFive: You ever have those friends of a friend that you somehow connect with on social media? Well, I have a bunch of them. I am a sort-of-acquaintance of Truly and ended up following her via social media as she opened a new Etsy shop called KnoxThomas Designs (named after her super adorable baby, sorry I am a creep, okay?!) After seeing a few of her Jewelry designs I instantly knew I was a s sucker and that it was only a matter of time before I placed my order… I ended up getting three gold bracelets with coordinate on them. I had her inscribe the coordinates of the place me and my two best friends met and will give them to them for Christmas… I hope they are not reading this!?


Until Next Time,


Home Tour and Outdoor Living

Well, summer is completely gone and autumn has taken its place. Its starting to get dark earlier, it chilly at night and the leaves are just about to turn. I have to say, Fall is by far one of my favorite things. I love the crisp weather. People stop looking at me weird for always wearing pants and long sleeves.. Hey, I am cold alllllll of the time. Fall finally means it is normal to layer.

Somehow, some way, I never shared out outdoor living spaces with you guys over the summer, accept for our DIY Fire Pit.  FIRE-PIT-DIY-ACTUALLY-ASHLEY-COVERSHere we are gearing up for the first frost and I’m going to finally get around to posting about our new deck we had put on in June. Sorry guys please forgive me. Truthfully, we rarely used the deck this summer. It gets direct sunlight out on it most of the day and it was just too dang hot out there. We will have to invest in some sort of shade providing device for next year. Other than the heat, the deck is great. It is a good size to be able to grill and hang out. We love it. Actually Ashley Home Tour- Deck4 Actually Ashley Home Tour- Deck Actually Ashley Home Tour- Deck2 Actually Ashley Home Tour- Deck3

Patio Furniture / Throw Pillows / Area Rug / Side Tables / Tray / Pitcher

Also, I have recently started a home tour page for the blog! Please feel free to be nosy and snoop around our house. I’ll try to be updating this frequently to keep you all up-to-date on the progress of the house. It is so exciting to look back at the before photos of the house and see how much progress we’ve made in such a short amount of time. Thank you all for being along for the ride!Home Tour Actually Ashley

Until Next Time,


2015 Great American Living Awards Recap

Okay friends, get ready for a “humble brag” post.. If you follow me on Instagram, you got a sneak peak of my outfit that I wore last week for the Great American Living Awards held in Tysons Corner, Virginia. The Great American Living Awards honors the building industry’s best and brightest. The GALA program is the most prestigious residential design, sales, and marketing competition in the metropolitan Washington market. Builders, architects, marketing, merchandising, and advertising professionals have judged these awards for more than 50 years and to win a GALA is considered the “Best of the Best.” The company that I work for, P [Four] was up for several interior design and merchandising awards.

Gala 2015- Interior Design Winners


P [Four] won five interior design categories! While I was not the designer for any of them, I still want to share the amazing work my co-workers have done:

Winner for Interior Merchandizing of a Detached Home $400,00-$500,00- DR Horton & P [Four] for Easton at Woodmore Town CenterActually Ashley GALA 2015

Winner for Interior Merchandizing of a Detached Home $500,01-$600,00- M/I Homes & P [Four] for Cannonridge at Scotland HeightsActually Ashley GALA 2015

Winner for Interior Merchandizing of a Attached Home under $300,000- M/I Homes & P [Four] for Dickenson at Scotland HeightsActually Ashley GALA 2015

Winner for Interior Merchandizing of a Attached Home $300,001-$350,000 M/I Homes & P [Four] for The ClaremontActually Ashley Gala 2015

Winner for Interior Merchandizing of a Attached Home over $850,000- KB Homes & P [Four] for The MidoriActually Ashley GALA 2015

Lastly, a design I work on while at my previous design firm won for Interior Merchandizing Multi Family New Construction, Amenity Spaces for High Rise- Dittmar Co & Carlyn and Company for Virginia Square TowersPicture354513f3d1c9c8715 54513f2348fb0791 54513f63608e5506 54513fb7776db605 54513fcf16b6d688 54513ff00b567956

(I have a bunch of photos of this one because it was one I worked on while working for Carlyn and Co)

Overall my first GALA was amazing and I had a ton of fun. It was a great way to network and see some beautiful designs from the Washington DC area. I am so proud of my firm and all that they have accomplished this year. I am so excited to be working with so much talent! Here is the P Four team on stage to receive an award. 12143187_945768792179206_4701032476828732259_n

After the awards we ate, drank and obviously had some fun in the Photo Booth.. It was nice to be able to goof off with old and new co-workers alike 🙂

img_gs_201524077_10082015_201524077 img_gs_182152224_10082015_182152225 img_gs_215624810_10082015_215731737
12144846_945767212179364_988122491668302174_n img_gs_201435317_10082015_201435318 img_gs_215600819_10082015_215600819 10082015_184334

If you’re wondering about my dress, it is the Alice Dress by Monique Lhuillier. It is a beautiful royal blue lace dress, hit just at mid thigh, and has a wonderful high neck and long sleeves. I styled it with nude pumps by Steve Madden, a simple Patent Skinny Belt from Merona by Target and clean gold hoop earrings like these. It can be rented for less than $50 for 4 days from Rent The Runway! PS- THE DRESS HAD POCKETS. POCKETS!

Until Next time,


Master: Reveal!

Actually Ashley Maser Bedroom RevealHello Friends!

Finally!! I can not tell you how excited I am to have both the Master Walk-in-Closet AND the Master Bathroom done. Like completely done. I even have a semi-designed bedroom, that is fully painted with new hardwood floors!! I feel like it has taken us forever.. but without further adieu, here is the freshly renovated Master Suite!Master Bedroom Actually Ashley Blogs Master Bedroom Actually Ashley Blogs 3 Master Bedroom Actually Ashley Blogs 2Master Bathroom Actually Ashley BlogsActually Ashley Closet 11 Actually Ashley Closet 2There it is! A DIY miracle if you ask me..  Side note, if you’re wondering how come my bed doesn’t look like a magazine, I can tell you exactly why. Do you know how hard it is photograph a bedroom without a single dog jumping up on the bed?Master Bedroom Actually Ashley Blogs 4

Five minutes after I took the photos this is what our bed looked like. It never stood a chance. Master Bedroom Actually Ashley Blogs 5

To see the before photos and catch up on the full remodel process check out these previous posts:

Master Bathroom Renovation: An Introduction

Master Bathroom Renovation: Demo Day!

Master Bathroom Renovation: Starting Tile

Master Bathroom Renovation: Trim and Paint


Master Closet Makeover: The Plan

Master Closet Makeover: Update

Thank you so much for stopping by, I hope you love our new Master Renovation as much as we do! Please leave me some feedback in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!

Until Next Time,


Feature: Rocks Rehabs 2

Hi friends!

I am so sorry I missed a post on Sunday. It has been a very crazy week for us.. we’ve been doing so many projects, busy at work.. they day just really got away from me. But I am back! I actually am getting ready for the Great American Living Awards (GALA 2015) which awards the building community and designers for the best merchandizing for model homes. It is an honor to be able to go to represent the amazing company I work for, P Four. I promise to post some photos and a recap of the events!

In other news..  Another Rocks Rehabs collaboration has come to life! I get giddy every time I see a house make such a huge transformation. Joe from Rocks Rehabs does such an amazing job keeping the true character in each and every home he works on, and that’s why I was so excited last spring when he asked me to work with him on a few designs. If you missed the last post, check it out here.

The second home I can’t wait to share with you is a beautiful single family home right off of Druid Lake in Baltimore, Maryland. Rocks Rehabs really out did themselves with maintaining the original charm, and I am so excited that my kitchen and bathroom designs were used to enhance the home. The house was built in 1917 and boosts 5 bedrooms and 4.5 baths.

Before:                                                                                                              After:


Stunning, right? Yes, I know, you need to see more. You can check out the current listing or Facebook for additional before and after photos of this amazing historic home.

If you are in Maryland and interested in buying or selling a home, contact Joe from Rocks Rehabs and Keller Williams Gateway for the best customer service around

Until Next Time,


Guest Bedroom Makeover- Reveal

Actually Ashley Guest Bedroom Reveal CoverHi Friends!

I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel with the projects we started this summer. It is always so rewarding to see the final product of something, but for some reason a DIY project just always seems better for me. I wanted to update you guys on our Coral and Navy Guest Bedroom that was inspired by a Trina Turk Coral Duvet. You can check out my Guest Bedroom Plan and see all of the sources for this post. Without further adieu: MAT_7673 Actually Ashley Guest Room Reveal7 Actually Ashley Guest Room Reveal5Actually Ashley Guest Room RevealHello photobomber, Willow! (…and her favorite toy duck)Actually Ashley Guest Room Reveal1Actually Ashley Guest Room Reveal9Actually Ashley Guest Room Reveal4Actually Ashley Guest Room Reveal8Lastly, I wanted to give you guys a quick list of items that I think are smart to keep in a guest bedroom. These are from personal experience of staying the night as a guest in many friends homes. It is nice to have items on hand so a guest won’t have to come searching for a towel when they want to shower, or ask if they can raid the fridge when they need a snack!Actually Ashley Guest Room Stock

I hope you guys enjoyed the reveal! Willow has moved right in and claimed this room as her own, so at least we know someone likes it…

Leave me a comment below to let me know what you think! I love to hear from you all!

Until Next Time,