February 2016

Our Living Room In Progress

Good Morning Friends,

When we moved into this house, we moved in quick. Brian had owned this home for a few years before we even met, and had been using it as a rental property ever since. His tenant broke the lease, and we were stuck with an extra house.. We knew this one needed some TLC, so we decided to move into it and renovate. Since then, we’ve made steady progress- putting blood, sweat and tears into this place.

Sometimes we get so busy and far a head with projects that I forget to stop and fill you all in. I want todays post to back track a bit and let you see one of the “forgotten spaces”. When we moved in the living room had some weird issues. The flooring when you walk into the front door was a light colored hardwood. This came into the living room in a “hallway” shape, then transitioned into carpet. It was always strange to me that this large room had two different floors… Other than that it needed some fresh paint and we’d be pretty decent!

We started over a year ago when we moved in. Brian immediately ripped up the old carpet and hardwood flooring.
IMG_4612Do you see that weird divide of the yellow hardwood and where the carpet was?!IMG_4629… and how about those pea green walls!
IMG_4721Bye Bye old gross carpet! While we ripped up the old stuff, we let the new stuff acclimate in the garage.IMG_4634

Once it was gone we laid the new hardwood from Home Depot.  Boy, did that make a HUGE difference. After the flooring, we painted the entire room in Sherwin Williams Balanced Beige and the trim Sherwin Williams Pure White. I picked this color because it is that perfect grey/beige color that goes with virtually ANYTHING. To help finish off the space, we stained the stair railings to match the floor and painted the pickets to match the trim. This simple step really modernized the space. After the work was done and the dust had settled, we moved our old furniture in. This is defiantly a work in progress space. But the transformation so far is huge, so I had to share!Living Room Design Actually Ashley BlogsSimilar Sofas // Similar Rug // DIY Coffee Table // Green Pillows // Michael’s Gallery Wall Frames // Woven Basket Art
Living Room Design Actually Ashley Design BlogMedia Unit // Home Goods Chair // Antique Metal Side Table // Art- Photo Taken by Brian // Green Lumbar PillowLiving Room Design Actually AshleyHome Goods Black Side Table // Drapery // Hardwood
Living Room Design Actually Ashley Blog

Here is a sneak peak into the office! This is another “forgotten room” that I will share with you guys soon!


I will leave you with this… How the living room space is actually used on a day-to-day basis!

Be sure to follow my Instagram for some extra good stuff, and check out my Pinterest page to see what has been inspiring me!Screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 8.55.22 AM

Until Next Time,


Wedding Planning: Save the Dates and Photo Books

Good Morning Loves!

This time last week, I was sharing our amazing engagement photos from the ever talented Lauren Nievod Photography. We are seriously so please with how the photos turned out, we couldn’t be happier. On the wedding planning front, we are moving onto the graphic design of the wedding. We need save the dates, invitations, programs, site maps… you get the idea. First up, we need to send out those pesky save the dates. We decided to incorporate our engagement photos into the cards! I turned to the always amazing designs from Minted. I’ve used Minted once before for our Christmas cards this year, and I loved the way they turned out. MIN-053-HPC_A_FRT source

I decided to turn back to them when we were designing our Save The Date cards. I knew Minted had a large selection of wedding items, but I didn’t realize how many different options they had! Not only save the dates, but menus, programs, invitations, table numbers… you name it, they have it. We narrowed it down to the Postcard Style save the dates. The actual postcards ten to be a tad bid cheaper and the postage stamps are less to, double win! I selected a design that I liked and started to play around with it. MIN-010-SPC_D_FRTsource

I dropped in some of my favorite engagement photos until I found the look that I wanted. I changed the color of the center box to be navy to better fit the overall color scheme of the wedding. I really love how the navy looks with these photos! Minted is so easy to make little changes to get the perfect card. I also played around with the back of the cards. I changed to verbiage to be exactly what we needed. Back-Of-Save-The-Date-CardsI love the way the cards turned out. They are perfectly suited to our wedding. Thanks to Minted for such great designs to choose from! Secondly, I wanted to create a photo book to have to look back at our engagement photos. For me, there is something to be said about photo albums.. Seeing them on Facebook or the computer is just not the same as a real live book. I enjoy looking back at my parents wedding album or my own baby book. I wanted to create a keepsake that would have the same meaning for my future self and family! I’ve used MyPublisher in college for a project that required a bound book. The quality was great and they had so many customizable options. MyPublisher is unlike other photo to book companies, in that you don’t just upload and hit “order”. With them, you download an easy to use software that allows you 100% freedom to design. I created a modern, clean lined photo book within an hours time. Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 12.33.52 PM Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 12.33.43 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-25 at 6.59.14 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-25 at 6.58.59 PMScreen Shot 2016-02-15 at 12.34.05 PMScreen Shot 2016-02-15 at 12.34.21 PM

I created a 20 page book that is 15″ x 11.5″. I did this large size so that it can be mixed in with my coffee table books at the house. I even ordered extra copies for both of our parents because I loved the end product so much!  Thanks to MyPublisher for allowing me to be creative with my designs!

Spring looks for a Business Casual Workplace

Good Morning Friends!Spring-Business-Casual-Looks.jpgI am so super blessed to have an amazing job with an amazing boss. He is so nice, that he lets us wear whatever we want to work. Jeans, fine. T-shirt, fine. Shorts, fine. Yoga Pants, fine. I mean we can wear whatever we want. This is all well and good (and makes for a super comfortable work day) but I almost feel like I am becoming too comfortable. You know the saying “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have”? Its not like I am looking for a new place of employment or anything, but I just feel like being able to wear whatever is making me.. sloppy. I am going to try to kick my butt in gear for spring and work towards a more fashion forward workplace look. I have been all over Pinterest and my favorite blogs to try to inspire my new work look. I have rounded up my top 10 Spring looks for a Business Casual Workplace. Check out what is inspiring me:


How adorable is this simple and chic look from Cute & Little blog?! This look is so easy to recreate with a bold colored knit sweater, simple black & white striped skirt, nude pumps and a statement necklace. Cute & Little also added a fun blush colored bag and blush colored trench coat for the chilly spring mornings!

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Forget the same-old pastels you’ve always gone to.. bold colors are always saying “Spring” to me. J’s Everyday Fashion got it right on the money with this fun outfit. This bright colored pencil skirt paired with a leopard printed silky top is perfection! The simple nude bag and belt add sophistication to the outfit. Are you scared of that lime? Don’t worry! This outfit could work with virtually ANY bright colored pencil skirt like this one or this one!

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I love how Hello, Gorgeous! used layers to create such an easy and fun spring look! The pop of mint in that silky top is so great! I love the grey sweater, dark pants, bold chunky necklace and fun bracelet she used to bring it all together. This is still such a casual look, but some how she makes it just the right amount of sophisticated to work in a “dress down” office or casual Friday at your firm.

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I love the “pattern play” that Extra Petite is doing with this outfit. The button-down gingham shirt goes so seamlessly with her leopard print flats! Its funny how just a simple skinny belt let makes all the difference with this look. She also is rocking the trench coat to stay dry in the spring showers, love!

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I love how Sequins & Stilettos is mixing these two bold colors, yet the outfit does not seem overwhelming! She pairs a simple yellow pencil skirt with a beautiful floral patterned top and matching cardigan. She finished the look with neutral heels and a metallic belt for such an easy to recreate look!

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So, I just found Extra Petite’s blog.. and I’m in love you guys! She is so stinking cute and puts together such fun outfits, I CANT STAND IT! After reading her post, I jumped online and purchased this amazing classic plaid button-down top and fun blue pencil skirt. She paired it with simple nude pumps for such an easy 1-2-3 outfit that is perfect for a casual business meeting or a dress down Friday at a more formal office!

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This is an interesting combo for me. I love a good chambray shirt but have never thought of pairing it with a black blazer and printed skirt before! The chunky black heel and fun red bag really make this look work! This would be great to transition from work to happy hour too!

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Once again, my new favorite Extra Petite kills it with this super easy outfit. She used a loose and flowy black and white polkadot top and high waisted skinny ankle pants as the base, then adding in a navy bag and heels to complete this look. Perfection.

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Can you believe this skirt is less than $30.00?! What a steal. I love this simple menswear inspired button-down and uber chic heels to create a simple and tailored look. She is carrying her neutral trench coat for those rainy days, so smart!

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This is another simple pattern + color = spring combo! I am totally loving how J’s Everyday Fashion  used the mint color from the blouse to build on this outfit. She added a great solid cardigan and straight pencil skirt for the base, then added funky heels, nude bag and a simple necklace to complete the spring forward look.

Take Aways:

First take away is how easy it is to take a few statement items like a Pencil Skirt, Nude Shoe, or Tench Coat and repeat it into multiple different looks! After writing this post, I reflected on how many looks had the same similar “bases”.

Secondly, I love moving away from a pastel only mindset for spring, and introducing some more bold and saturated colors. 

Lastly, Anyone else notice that only two of my looks had flats? I need to suck it up and start breaking out the heels a bit more. Sigh.

Well, thats it for now! Check out my Pinterest FASHION // STYLE board to see more of what I am digging on right now! What did you think about my soon-to-be fashion forward spring looks? Let me know in the comments below.

Until Next Time,


Wedding Planning: Engagement Photos

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Before I start this post, I need to do a public announcement:

1- If you hate Valentine’s Day and don’t want to see mushy-gushy-loved-dovey photos.. don’t go any further… That’s all I got today.

2- If you’re one of Brian’s friends, stop right there. For some reason, Brian thinks mushy-gushy-loved-dovey photos will hurt his street cred and his friends will make fun of him (side eye).. Please don’t tell him about this post so he won’t make me delete it. Please?

A few weeks ago Brian and I did an engagement photoshoot with Lauren Nievod Photography.  Lauren was fantastic in every way, shape and form. She was amazing at ‘coaching’ us, and making our natural movements seem beautiful and effortless in the photos. Somehow she was really able to capture how we really are on film and I am ever so grateful for how great of a job she did. We met Lauren at Sugarloaf Mountain in Maryland. The location boasted a ton of different areas and backdrops for such a wide range of scenes. All of the photos were take at the same general 2 mile radius within a 3 hour time frame, and only one major outfit change, amazing!
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All photographs are taken by Lauren Nievod Photography, to learn more about her photos check out Facebook and her Blog! I can not rave about her enough! I also wanted to touch on the fact that while the above photos look like they could have been 5 outfit changes and multiple different days, with a few tricks you can also have such a great range with only ONE outfit change. Yes, I only changed my clothing ONCE!

Outfit Selection 1Look One:

On Him- Plaid shirt, dark jeans and a black coat, worn open for some photos, worn closed for others.

On Her- Red target sweater, dark jeans and a long necklace layered with a charcoal jacket. Make the most of this outfit by opening and closing the jacket!

Look Two:

On Him- Same plaid shirt, same dark jeans.. remove coat and layer with a sweater like this one from Banana Republic

On Her- The only outfit change of the day.. Same jeans, remove boots and add booties, switch to light colored sweater and statement necklace. Make the lost of this outfit by layering in accessories like a picnic basket, blanket or sign

Look Three:

On Him- Same plaid shirt, same dark jeans, same sweater.. simply add a beanie. You could also try adding a hat or scarf for a different take!

On Her-  Same jeans, same sweater, same booties and necklace.. again, just added a beanie and a navy coat for an entirely different look. It took 15 seconds to switch it up!Outfit Selection GroupWhat do you think of Lauren’s photos? Aren’t they fab! Leave me a comment below to fill me in on what you think!

Until Next Time,


Top Funny Valentine’s Day Cards

Sometimes I get really tired of the uber romantic-lovey-dovey v-day cards in the super markets. I’ve decided to branch out and find a more punny (see what I did there) card for my fiancé this year. Are you still looking for a fun Valentine’s Day card to give to your sweetheart? Well you’re in luck! I’ve rounded up my favorite, funny, and slightly crude Valentine’s Day cards just in time for February 14th Valentines Day Cards



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Hope you have a great weekend, and happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you get an amazing card from your loved ones, or be sure to give your favorite someone a laugh with one of these cards. Feel free to reach out and connect- Check out my Pinterest Page, Instagram and Facebook Page or leave me a comment in the space below! I love hearing from you!

Until Next Time,


Professional Design: Harrison Apartment Amenities

Apartment Complex Common Area and Amenity Spaces Actually Ashley BlogsWelcome Back!

Last week I shared some photos of a commercial conference and business center I designed with my previous Interior Design firm, Carlyn & Company. This week I am excited to share another Professional Design Feature with you! I love this series because I am able to share a different aspect of interior design with you guys. I love being a designer, and being challenged to design new and exciting spaces. Previously I shared some model homes I designed, the Verde Model and the Neutral Apartment.  Outside of model homes I help to design a lot of commercial spaces. This feature will highlight an amenity space and common areas of an apartment complex I helped to design with my pervious firm, Carlyn and Company. Harrison Apt Actually Ashley LobbyThis is the front door, and main entrance into this apartment complex. We set the tone for the entire building in this lobby area. We wanted the building to be sophisticated, chic and a layering of neutrals and textures. The two seating areas to the left and right of the concierge are exactly the same. Inset into the wood backlight panels are two commissioned artworks that the owner of the building had done. We used custom oval area rugs to anchor each seating group and added texture with these carved stone tables.Harrison Apt Actually Ashley Loby

The concierge desk is a custom built in with wood and stone accents. We used pendants like these to create task lighting above the work space. We added texture with accessories and a fun floral arrangement.Harrison Apt Actually Ashley Spa

Residents have use of a personal spa! They can hire a massage therapist to come and use this space… a dream!

Harrison Apt Actually Ashley Click CafeOn the other end of the lobby is a “click cafe”. This space is meant for residents to come and relax. There is a warm fireplace with seating to cozy up with a book. There is a countertop are that is perfect to set up shop with work or your computer. There are little pod seating arrangements that are great to read the newspapers or sit with a iPad. I love how these silver river stone coffee tables add some whimsy and edge to the space. This little seating area is versatile and is a great asset for the residents of this building. Harrison Apt Actually Ashley Lounge Harrison Apt Actually Ashley Lounge 2 Harrison Apt Actually Ashley Lounge 3This is the largest of the common areas for the residents to enjoy. This is a great lounge space with 4 different seating zones. Each end of the room is flanked with large stone fireplaces with TVs inset above. These two zones are great to hang out with friends. The back of the room sits in front of a HUGE window that actually can open up creating a large indoor/outdooor area. In the center of the space you’ll find a large table that is perfect to sit down with some snacks while hosting friends in the space. Harrison Apt Actually Ashley Demo Kitchen 2Harrison Apt Actually Ashley Demo KitchenThe last space in this virtual tour is the”Demo Kitchen”, which is right on the other side of the fireplace. This area boasts a large chief kitchen, with mirrored ceiling. This is an area where a professional chief can come in and teach cooking classes while residents enjoy! There is an oversized counter space where you can sit and enjoy the cooking lessons. There are also additional tables that can be re arranged to add seating where needed. Lastly there are large built in wine storage units for wine tasting experiences. How cool is that? How come none of my apartments had this??

Thats it for now, I hope you enjoyed the visit into this apartment complex design! Like to see more Interior Design ideas? Follow me on Pinterest or Facebook to see what else I’ve been up to!

Until Next Time,


Wedding Planning: Navy & Blush Wedding Scheme

Good Morning 🙂

I’ve been full-steam-a-head on the wedding front this month. I posted last week about keeping wedding costs down and how to plan an entire wedding in six months. I am excited to share some of my DIY ideas and wedding color scheme with you guys!

After about a month of non-stop pinteresting.. I went back through all of my wedding pins and tried to find a common ground. This really helped me to narrow down my goals and the overall feeling I wanted for the Big Day. Most of my pins included a rustic/chic style with simple and sweet details. After confirming and booking with the venue, I was able to further tune into my vision. We booked with a campground for the wedding. I know it might seem a tad-bit out there, but I am confident it will not look like that on the wedding day. I used the camping venue to really hone in on the rustic details in my pins, and considered the May date to settle on the color scheme. Navy Blue, Slate Grey, Blush Pink and a pop of Mint and White.

Navy Blue and Blush Wedding Colors Actually Ashley

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Bottom Row: Left, Right

I love that this soft pallet speaks to the time of year (spring) but also the the setting of our event. The soft pinks, whites and mint will be brought out in the florals, white the rustic elements like the raw wood create some contrast.

I’ve also started to plan and organize the trip for our guest. I’ve begun to set a schedule of events and timeline for the ‘weekend’. (I say weekend even thought it is a Tuesday-Thursday wedding). Every single one of our guests (and us) will be traveling multiple hours to get to our destination, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I am hoping that this schedule will help smooth over any bumps we might run into. I am also planning and crafting some welcome baskets.  Because of the travel, I want s

ome fun little gift baskets for our guest to combine the wedding favor and traditional gifts. For example, a bride might give her parents and her soon-to-be inlaws some small sentimental gifts, or the couple might give the wedding party gifts. I am going to include these items into my welcome baskets. I am also planning to include some camp-wedding must haves like bug spray and area maps.
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What do you guys think? Do you like the color scheme we’ve picked out? Leave a comment below to check in with your thoughts!

Until Next Time,