October 2016

Monday Morning Coffee

Drink your cup of coffee and get some inspiration with me on this weeks Monday Morning Coffee.

While this post may contain affiliate links- As always, all of the comments and opinions in this post are my own.

Happy Halloween Friends! I am traveling for work this week which has already been a bit crazy!

Its always a little bit more of a struggle to wake up on a Monday morning for me. I like to ease into my work week buy taking my time on Monday mornings, drinking a hot cup of coffee and browsing pretty things that inspire me online. I’ve been thinking- instead of just inspiring me to get moving on the work week, I’d like to start sharing my Monday Morning Coffee routine with you too. So, grab your cup of coffee (or tea if that’s your thing.. ) and settle in for my new weekly series “MMC”.

One:navyblushandgoldlivingroombystudiomcgeeStudio McGee has been one to watch for a while. I am constantly oogling their Instagram feed. Shea and Syd are a beautiful couple with two adorable kids and a lot of ambition. They started their own design firm and it has really taken off- for good reason.. I love all of Studio McGee’s designs and find a lot of inspiration from them. They recently launched a new online store which has all kinds of goodies. I just purchased two of their watercolor floral pillows for my living room and absolutely LOVE them. Be sure to check out their site, its so good!

Two:lisa-mendes-traditional-home-show-houseI was flipping though an old copy of Traditional Home Magazine this morning and stumbled upon this beautiful kitchen from the 2015 Junior League of High Point Designer Showhouse. Interior Designer Lisa Mende did this stunning black and white kitchen. That wallpapered ceiling! That oversized hardware! An orchid on a blue and white bowl! Brass accents! There is so much to love in this mix of modern and traditional. Be sure to check out more designs from this fun showhouse too!

Three:37677036_026_bHow cute is this little shelf! It would be darling in a kids bedroom. I really love the little brass details at the bottom of the rope. It is a tad pricy at $108.00 but if you’re feeling crafty I bet you could make a DIY version for way less.

Four:gender-neutral-nursery_plaid_masculine_feminine_modern_graphic_black_white_cream_wood_simple_modern_1500-1024x653I’ve been a big fan of Emily Henderson for a loonnngg time. While her taste is more mid century for me- I respect her as a designer and lets face it, she is funny as hell. I loved watching her show on HGTV (rip) and I read her book Styled from cover to cover. Emily has started a new series on her blog where she is getting down to the nitty-gritty and designing really affordable rooms. Like really affordable. I love this gender neutral nurseryfor under $1,500.00. Thats really good, man! Kudos to Emily!


davidson-tufted-headboard-52030-746Lastly, I just wanted to share this fun Wayfair find with you! I ordered this tufted wingback headboard for our guest bedroom and it just arrived. Look, for $235 bucks I wasn’t expecting much bit boy am I pleasantly surprised! This headboard is so great and had a really pretty nailhead detail on the sides. It is seriously beautiful! Plus it was easy to put together so that is always a win!

Thanks so stopping by and checking out what has been getting me going this morning! Tune in every Monday for my new inspiration series Monday Morning Coffee- Or follow the hashtag #ActuallyAshleyMMC on Instagram

Until Next Time!


Monday Morning Coffee

Drink your cup of joe and get inspired with things that got my attention this week on MMC.

Transitioning from weekend to weekday is hard. Its always a little bit more of a struggle to wake up on a Monday morning for me. I like to ease into my work week buy taking my time on Monday mornings, drinking a hot cup of coffee and browsing pretty things that inspire me online. I’ve been thinking- instead of just inspiring me to get moving on the work week, I’d like to start sharing my Monday Morning Coffee routine with you too. So, grab your cup of coffee (or tea if that’s your thing.. ) and settle in for my new weekly series “MMC”.


You have to click through Sean Anderson’s beautiful interior design portfolio. He creates stunning spaces that fuse together layers of textures, natural elements and just­ the right mix of old and new that is timeless. His portfolio seems to have two main styles to it: light and airy spaces or moody masculine rooms.. and I am totally digging both.


This really playful printable from InstandTreds Etsy store would be so perfect in a bathroom or framed near a makeup vanity. Insert the crying laughing emoji here!


Check out Julia from Cuckoo4Design’s helpful video on how to create your own DIY abstract artwork! She makes it seem so do-able and easy that this might be on my to-do list this winter!


I am taking a lesson in pattern mixing and bold color combos from this fun designer portfolio! Sarah Bartholomew combines several different design styles and lots of fun to make a very unique combination that I am really loving!

Thanks for stopping by! Talk soon!

Until Next Time,


Kitchen Update

Good Morning!

Thanks for checking back with me on the progress of our new home. We moved in over a month ago now, I can hardly believe it. September came and went in the blink of an eye.

Thank you for the wonderful feedback on the progress of our living room. It is nowhere near done, but it feels so good to see how far it has come over the last month! today I wanted to give you an update on how our kitchen is coming along. Remember, these photos are not going to be cute or pin worthy. Please don’t judge me!

We stayed in our house with the previous owners over the summer for a few days so they could show us around the area. They have been so wonderful to us and so very welcoming. Here is our kitchen before when we stayed with them (Sorry for the humans, they didn’t realize they’d be featured on the blog):

img_8089 img_8091

I knew right off the bat that I wanted to paint the cabinets. The dark wood with the dark counters felt so… dark. It needed to be lightened up a bit. I also hated the bulkheads. Especially the one floating in mid air above the countertop. I knew if we painted the bulkhead and the cabinets the same color throughout the rest of the kitchen it would make the ceilings feel taller without having the cost of buying new cabinets (aka the big bucks). We took on the task of painting these babies ourselves. Huge shoutout to my mom who lost a week of her life painting these with me- I love you, you’re the best. dsc_0562 dsc_0561We started by making a huge mess on the counters removing the doors and drawer fronts. We laid them all out on the porch to sand and paint separately. We sanded each with 220 grit sandpaper then washed them with TSP. We propped the doors up on 2×4 so we could paint the edges. dsc_0593We decided to use the same bonding primer on the cabinets that we used on the walls. It took 3 coats of primer and 2-3 costs of paint to get the dark wood fully covered. dsc_0583 dsc_0585I also took this as my chance to remove said bulkhead above the counter, rip out the cabinets and bulkhead above the stove and take out the backsplash beadboard… and really piss off my husband. We’d decided to paint and not do anything else for a bit. I got ahead of myself on this one.  dsc_0589Its not pretty, but its progress. The kitchen looks amazing with the cabinets painted white and even kept the same hardware. dsc_0612I want to add a decorative range hood over the stove top, with floating shelves on either side to house our every-day-dishes. This is the closest thing I could find that kind of get the idea across:Floating Shelves, Concrete Counters, and Marble Herringbone Backsplash || Studio McGee:


So now the debate is on to find the right backsplash tile that has the look we want but the price point we can afford. I picked up a few options from Lowe’s and Home Depot. img_8752I love the look of the white/grey marble mosaics but these four options got the boot because they all run from $10-$15 per square foot. We’ve got some ground to cover so that number has to be cut in half, yikes.

dsc_0613These two options are from Floor and Décor. They are between $6-$9 per square foot but are much smaller scale than the pervious options. It hard to tell but the actual individual tiles are less than 2 inches long x .5 inches. It seems so tiny on such a huge wall.

I’ve ordered a few more choices. I’ll hopefully find one that is perfect in both style and price here shortly!So that is where we are at!

We still need to:

  • Build a DIY faux range hood with under mount light. The stove top has a built in fan so we do not need it to be anything more than pretty
  • Find and install the marble mosaic backsplash.
  • Hang new light fixtures. I’ve had two electricians in here this week to get me quotes. I’d like to add some recess lights and hang oversized pendants over the “island”.
  • Find and install a new faucet. I’d like something a little bit more modern-farmhouse style
  • Long term: Replace counter tops and install a farmhouse sink. That will have to wait a few more years.

Thanks so much for stopping by and checking out the progress on the kitchen. Slow and steady wins the race, right? Right?!

Until Next Time,


Living Room Update: We Painted Everything..

Hey There!

Happy to be back to check in and let you know about the progress on our new home. If you’re new to the blog- My husband and I just purchased a new home. We moved from Washington DC to Columbus Ohio just over a month ago. The house was perfect and needed nothing done… but you know me… I decided that every room needed to be painted, that we needed new lighting, and some minor demo in the kitchen.Actually-Ashley-Ohio-Home We’ve been busy over the last few weeks but still have so much to do. I am excited to start sharing our journey along the way. Lets start with the living room! Let me warn you- these photos are not cute, not worthy of Pinterest, and just to show you where I’m at. Please don’t judge me too bad!

This is photos from the day we got the keys to the house:dsc_0547 dsc_0551 dsc_0553dsc_0549I love this space. It has beautiful trim details, large fireplace, and wonderful windows. But, the blue paint made the room feel so heavy. I decided to paint it. I feel like some white on the bottom of the walls will help lighten the entire space. We are lucky to have 4 beautiful windows that over look the garden, and the white paint will help to reflect the natural light. I opted to paint the top of the walls a light and airy blue/green color to add contrast and brightness.

 The house had all oil based paint, which if you’ve ever moved into a house with oil based paint, you know it is a nightmare. Every surface needed to be sanded, cleaned with TSP, two coats of bonding primer, three coats of latex paint… like I said, nightmare.

 Here is the room after a good sanding and cleaning with TSP:dsc_0581 dsc_0582Let me tell you, it feels so much happier being painted! We ditched the little dividers in the windows and just painted the window sills black. I am hoping it will be less harsh once we have window treatments. We dropped in our furniture and I tossed in some random accessories to make it feel sort-of-like-a-real-room. Here is the current state:dsc_0615 dsc_0614

So what’s left?

  • Swap out the sconces for something more our style. I am thinking something with a more sculptural aspect to it but haven’t found the right one yet.
  • Hang some curtains to add texture. I just followed this DIY Tutorial to make my own Lucite rods, I couldn’t be more excited for them to arrive. I really feel like they will add a level of sophistication to the room.
  • Hang some artwork in the space. I have a bunch of stuff to play with, but I am waiting to hang the curtains so I can get the right heights for the artwork.
  • Play with the accessories to make it feel like our home.. notice my huge pile in the corner? I said don’t judge me!dsc_0619That’s it for the progress update for the new living room. I’m so happy you stopped by. Feel free to check out my Pinterest and Instagram to see all of the house progress!

Until Next Time,