Monday Morning Coffee

Every week I ease into it by drinking coffee and getting inspired with pretty things online. Grab your cup and join me for 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.

I am always browsing the internet and Pinterest for inspiration. There are so many amazingly talented people out there, doing such big things. I love sitting back early on a Monday morning with my laptop, with my warm cup of (now decaf) coffee. I sit, relax and enjoy what everyone else has to offer for pretty things and great ideas. Sit back with me and see what is inspiring me on Monday Morning Coffee! Follow along on Instagram with the hashtag #ActuallyAshleyMMC and share your pretty things too!

One:Designer Becki Owens knocks it out of the park with this fresh and light Master bedroom. The photo above is from the feature in Good Housekeeping Magazine. I really love that bed, with the linen and nail heads! I am also swooning over the white shiplap ceiling!


Patti from Old Things New created this really beautiful Easter inspired center piece for her dining room table. Can you believe it is faux flowers?! Oh, and that urn! So pretty. I’ve used the same lambs ear and peonies in my own arrangements before. I am now itching to create something even half as beautiful as this!

Three:How genius is this DIY headband storage idea from Live a Little Wilder Blog? Sarah said her daughters headbands were getting out of hand- so she glues some clothes pins onto left over wood… simple solutions are the best solutions. I see this DIY in my future for our upcoming nursery project!


Source  Source

There is something on my mind lately that I just can not kick. Maybe it is the winter blues, and the urge for spring to hurry up already… but I want some live plants in the house, bad. I have plans of fresh herbs in the kitchen and beautiful flowers on my bedside table. Then, I saw a photo of the most beautiful tree plump with fresh fruit. Now I can not get a Meyer Lemon Tree off of my mind. Stay tuned for this one!

Thanks so much for stopping in this morning and checking out what has inspired me to get going this week. Remember to share your Monday Morning Coffee inspiration on Instagram by tagging #ActuallyAshleyMMC.

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):

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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,


Wedding Planning: Wedding Photos

Get the scoop and sources from our rustic lake side wedding in Crozet, Virginia

Welcome back! Thanks for being so patient with me as we take a break and move into our new home in Ohio. It has been a whirl wind month filled with demo, packing, unpacking, sanding, priming, painting and a lot of mystery bruises. I can’t be the only gal ut there that gets about 5 bruises a day while doing any sort of project, right? Anyway- the house is moving a long and I cant wait to share some progress updates with you all. Until then, I want to share the final post from our wedding Planning Series.

Brian and I feel so blessed to have had our dream wedding day last May. We opted to go against the grain and have a very small, private and DIY wedding. We rented out 8 cabins around a lake in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Crozet, Virginia. We kept it simple by only inviting our parents, siblings, grandparents and my two best friends. We hosted all 20 guests for a three day mid-week wedding. We enjoyed going to wineries, breweries, hiking, fishing and tons of family time. It was such a relaxing week, filled with so much joy and love. Our wedding was truly a reflection of what we enjoy, and I am so happy we decided to get married in our own way.

We stayed at Montfair Resort Farm, which is a family owned and operated property that operates as an eco-friendly and rustic destination for vacations and events. We rented out their entire property for three days allowing each guest to have a beautiful rustic cabin to stay in. Our guests arrive on Tuesday, where they found custom DIY welcome baskets in each cabin. We held a “welcome dinner” that night, which was made my Brian’s brother who is a chef in Pittsburgh. After dinner, we enjoyed a big bonfire besides the lake.

We held our wedding ceremony the following day at a scenic overlook on the property. We woke up early and decorated the isle ourselves, and put up the alter decorations. It started to rain while we were decorating the alter, but we finished up laughing about the downpour. I distinctly remember my friend Becca saying to me “A wet knot is harder to untie than a dry knot!”

We retreated from the rain to our cabin where I did my own DIY hair and makeup surrounded by my mom, and soon-to-be sisters and mother-in-law in our cabin. We laughed, ate and enjoyed the morning together. Brian’s mom made our wedding cake, and we decorated the cake together that morning. Once the rain subsided we made a break for it and had our ceremony just as the fog began to lift over the mountains. Everything was so green and lush after the morning storm, and was the most beautiful backdrop as we said “I do”.

After our short and sweet ceremony, we took photos around the property with the ever so talented Lauren Nevoid, who took our engagement photos earlier this year. Lauren had such great visions on how to transform the surroundings for such breath taking photos. My favorite photos are of us canoeing after the ceremony on the lake.

Later that evening we hosted our “reception” at a local restaurant a few miles away in Charlottesville, Virginia. C&O restaurant was fantastic, and allowed us to rent out the art gallery next door for a private dining room. It was so nice to be able to have all 20 of us sitting down at one table to enjoy such a beautiful meal together. After dinner everyone returned to Montfair, where mostly everyone changed into more comfortable clothes. We then returned to the lake front to cut the cake and enjoy a huge bonfire.

Having only our family as guests made it so easy to be calm and flexible that day. I couldn’t be more excited to share these photos with you guys! Sicher-2Sicher-9Sicher-55Sicher-56Sicher-13Sicher-16Sicher-18Sicher-15Sicher-27Sicher-34Sicher-42Sicher-47Sicher-48Sicher-52Sicher-53Sicher-60Sicher-61Sicher-71Sicher-68Sicher-74Sicher-124Sicher-125Sicher-127Sicher-133Sicher-142Sicher-149Sicher-154Sicher-97Sicher-98Sicher-100Sicher-116Sicher-118Sicher-121Sicher-103Sicher-104Sicher-129Sicher-163Sicher-167Sicher-168Sicher-174Sicher-176Sicher-177Sicher-180Sicher-181Sicher-184Sicher-188Sicher-194Sicher-200Sicher-207Sicher-210Sicher-218Sicher-219Sicher-221Sicher-224Sicher-226Sicher-228Sicher-229Sicher-232Sicher-234Sicher-237Sicher-243Sicher-254Sicher-268Sicher-274 Sicher-288 Sicher-290Sicher-279Sicher-312Sicher-325Sicher-351Sicher-369Sicher-401Sicher-395Sicher-413Sicher-415Sicher-419Sicher-421Sicher-425Sicher-428Sicher-430Sicher-433Sicher-439Sicher-440Sicher-444Sicher-445Sicher-449Sicher-455Sicher-457Sicher-459Sicher-464Sicher-466Sicher-469Sicher-473














































Sicher-652Sicher-664 Sicher-665Sicher-663 Sicher-682 Sicher-677 Sicher-672 Sicher-667 Sicher-686Sicher-661 Sicher-657Sicher-655That’s a wrap! It is so nice to be able to re-live our wedding day by looking at these photos. I hope you were able to find some inspiration from our wedding as well! Let me know in the comments below if you’d like a specific source for anything 🙂

Be sure to keep up over on Instagram and Facebook– I’ll be sure to share more images of the moving progress over there, as well as touch base with a post really soon!

Until Next Time,


Moving Break!

Hey Guys!

Just wanted to stop by real quick to let you know I’ll be taking a tiny break from posting while we are moving into our new house. Words can not express how grateful I am for you guys sticking by me of this first year of blogging. I can hardly believe I’ve already hit the one year mark! Over the last year, I feel like I have really started to grow into my own blown style. I look forward to continuing to make progress and changes to the blog as I really find my own little niche in this huge blogging world. I looked at my numbers today, and I am stunned to see I have over 33,000 views from my pins on Pinterest. Like, I mean I am STUNNED. I can not thank you enough for taking the time out of your day to look at my little blog, it means so much to me.

With the new house, I look forward to having so many more projects and exciting things to share with all of you. This house has a really different feel to me, and I look forward to seeing how my design style changes as we start to transform this into our forever home. I can not wait for what is to come!

I’ll be back soon enough, but be sure to like my Instagram and Facebook pages. I will be posting some quick (and probably not too pretty) progress shots as we start to paint this baby! Wish me luck!Actually-Ashley-Ohio-Home

Wedding Planning: DIY Flowers and Alter

Hi there!

Thank you so much for all of the love on the recent launch of my E-Design Services! It is something I’ve been itching to do for quite some time, and I’m happy that the timing is finally right! I am floored that I already have booked four of you to work with in the last week. I am so excited to get going on these projects, and I’m hoping to be able to share them with you soon!

I also wanted to say thank you for the love on the last Wedding Planning series post- DIY Rustic Wedding CakeI am so happy with how our $60.00 cake turned out, and so grateful for all of the help from our family in pulling it off! Sicher-623Its been way over two months since our wedding, I still can’t believe it. I received our wedding photos back from our wonderful and amazingly talented photographer Lauren Nievod. You might remember her work from our engagement photos that I shared last winter. I am really excited to share our wedding using Lauren’s photos little by little. Just in case you’re new around here lets recap the overall wedding plans to get you up to date:

We decided right off the bat that we wanted a very small and affordable wedding. 20 guests and under $10,000.00 to be exact. To be honest, a wedding was not very important to either of us and the expense of a full blown wedding seemed silly. We wanted to be able to invest our money into a new home instead. We decided to take a different approach, and to think outside of the box for a venue. We opted to rent out 7 rustic cabins around a lake in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. We would enjoy some time in nature and with our family before we would be married at a scenic overlook on the property. I knew that we would have to be doing a lot of the work ourselves because of the remote location and in order to keep costs down.

Last Fall, Brian’s sister was getting married. Before her big day her florist quit unexpectedly, leaving her without anything… She was searching for a good florist that could do her wedding but was having no luck. Now, I’ have no real experience as a florist but I stepped in and offered to do her flowers for free.

The one major catch was that I live in Washington DC, and her wedding was in Pittsburgh. There wouldn’t be enough time from when I got into town to the ceremony for me to style fresh flowers. I knew I’d have to do all the flowers prior to her wedding and then travel with them to her wedding. Now, we all know real flowers weren’t making that kind of trip and still looking nice. We decided to go with faux flowers and see how they looked. To my surprise they looked and felt so real. Everyone was pleased, their wedding was beautiful and I chalked it up to a win!Image-10585447-230671450-2-WebLarge_0_f39112fe6fac46704fb91505a0950cb3_1

With the experience of helping on a prior wedding under my belt, I felt pretty good about DIYing my own wedding flowers. I knew I needed the basics- bouquet, boutonniere, flowers for the isle. I also wanted some sort of flowers to decorate the arch we would be married under. Like any other bride- I spent approximately 7 billion hours on the internet getting ideas. I shared some of my ideas in this post showing off our Navy & Blush color scheme.Navy Blue and Blush Wedding Colors Actually AshleyWith that inspiration in mind, I went shopping. I purchased all of the faux flowers and vines from my local Hobby Lobby. It took me a few weeks at a slow pace, but I got it all done with lots of time to spare. Here is the overall view of the scenic overlook where we had the ceremony:Sicher-221For the front of the ceremony area I wanted to add a little welcome sign. I purchased a board at Home Depot, then took it home and stained it in Midwax’s Walnut. I used the Silhouette Cameo to design and create the vinyl lettering for the sign. I bought a $15 easel from Michael’s and spray painted it in navy. We draped a Hobby Lobby vine over it, and using some green floral tape we attached a few simple pink roses to it.  Sicher-222Sicher-228Sicher-226For the isle, I created little floral bundles using various faux flowers combining them with floral tape (and a lot of hot glue). I cut long strips of navy ribbon and attached it to the floral bundles, allowing them to flow down a bit. Each bundle was slightly different, but I tried to use the same flowers in each to create unity. I used simple plastic pew hooks to attach the flowers to the chairs. These were so simple and fast to make, really any crafty guy/gal could tackle this project!Sicher-224Sicher-229We wanted to make the birch archway feel a bit more glamorous, so we decided to add drapery. I purchased $9.99 (for the pair!) curtains from Ikea. We used a left over birch branch as the ‘drapery rod’, and simply used zip ties to attach it to the arch. The curtains covered the zip ties so it all worked out! We attached the ready-made vines from Hobby Lobby directly to the drapes using a staple gun. I had made two longer floral clusters for either side of the arch, and a small flower cluster for the top. We attached these to the drapes with navy ribbon. Sicher-234Sicher-232Here is how it all looked during the actual ceremony:

Sicher-325I kept Brian’s boutonniere simple. I used two small with faux flowers as the base. I mixed in faux eucalyptus to add greenery and a pop of navy with the little blue branch. Once I liked the arrangement of the faux flowers, I began to warp the bases with floral tape. I used hot glue to secure the tape at the end, then wrapped the base in navy ribbon to hide the tape. Lastly, I tied a small bow out of twine and hot blued it under the flowers.Sicher-237For my bouquet I kept is small and simple. I used 7 larger roses and peonies in a mix of blush pink and white to start. I then added in layers of lamb’s ear, eucalyptus, and the same blue branches. Once I was happy with the size and shape I began to wrap the base with the floral tape, hot gluing as I went. I left the very bottom of the stems exposed to try to achieve a more ‘real’ look. After it was all secure, I wrapped the base with navy ribbon. I cut a long piece of ribbon and attached it to the bottom, allowing it to flow freely. Sicher-515I am so happy with how the faux flowers turned out. It saved me so much time & money, and I honestly don’t think anyone noticed they were fake!

Sicher-224Later in the day we went to a local restaurant to eat dinner. I took two of the chair flower clusters with us. I made simple “Mr.” and “Mrs.” signs using pre-cut wood, spray paint and the cameo cutter. I used tiny little clothes line clips to attach them onto the bottom of the flowers Sicher-567It was such a simple way to reuse the same flowers from the ceremony!

That’s it for our DIY wedding flowers. The overall costs of the vines, flowers and supplies to make them came to $650.00. I know that seems like a lot for fake flowers, but I had a bunch left over. Not too bad considering the average wedding florist budget is around $1500.00. (My coworker spent $7,500.00 on her wedding flowers, yikes!). I hope you enjoyed the post. Please check out my Instagram and Pinterest pages to see more from our wedding!

Until Next Time,


Wedding Planning: DIY Rustic Wedding Cake


Hello there!

Its been over two months since our wedding, I can hardly believe it. I just recently received our wedding photos back from our wonderful, beautiful, and amazingly talented wedding photographer Lauren Nievod. You might remember her work from our engagement photos that I shared back in February. My jaw about hit the floor when I opened the photos from our wedding day. She captured each moment so beautifully that looking back at the photos was truly like reliving the day.

I am really excited to share our wedding through Lauren’s photos little by little, one detail at a time. I want to do it like this so I can share more details about each piece that came together to make our wedding day perfect. Today I am giving you the full run down of our DIY Rustic Wedding Cake. But first, lets recap the larger wedding plans to get you up to speed!

We decided right off the bat that we wanted a very small and affordable wedding. 20 guests and under $10,000.00 to be exact. To be honest, a wedding was not very important to either of us and the expense of a full blown wedding seemed silly. We wanted to be able to invest our money into a new home instead. We decided to take a different approach, and to think outside of the box for a venue. We opted to rent out 7 rustic cabins around a lake in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. We would enjoy some time in nature and with our family before we would be married at a scenic overlook on the property. I knew that we would have to be doing a lot of the work ourselves because of the remote location and in order to keep costs down. That meant DIYing all of the decorations, flowers, invitations and you guessed it, cake!

Luckily, Brian’s mom is an avid baker and had actually made the wedding cakes for his sister’s wedding last year. I quickly roped her in for the project. We started with a plan, which involved finding a few photos from Pinterest of rustic cakes that I liked. We also made up a “mock” cake with cake pans that I shared on Instagram for me to see the size of the cake she was planning.

We decided on a three tiered cake. I wanted to have two flavor options for the wedding, and the top tier to save and freeze for special occasions like anniversaries. My mom and I found a perfect cake stand at Home Goods. It would be so simple to recreate by using a piece of sliced wood and gluing a small wooden bowl to the bottom. The size of our largest bottom tier was determined by the diameter of the cake stand. It ended up being a 10″ Chocolate cake with Peanut Butter Cream for the bottom, 8″ Vanilla cake with Strawberries and Cream Cheese for the center and a 6″ Yellow cake with Berries for the top. Our wedding was centered around the mountain surroundings, and being on a lake I really loved this inspiration image for our cake topper.


Brian’s little sister Chelsea was taking a wood shop class for her final year of high school, so just like her mom, I roped her in for a project. It was so nice to have so many details created with the love of our family. It truly made each item so special. Chelsea did an amazing job creating the canoe and ores.Sicher-98Sicher-102Unfortunately I haven’t found a good source where you can find your own carved canoe cake topper, but I’ll keep you posted if I can source one! Brian’s mom made the cakes at her home before bravely driving them the 3 hours down to the lake (with three dogs in the car, mind you!) The morning of the wedding she brought them to the cabin I was getting ready at to ice and decorate. Sicher-97Sicher-100Once she had beautifully iced the cake and added the canoe cake topper, I was called in to help decorate. Brian’s sister and Grandmom had already laid out the flower selection for me. We used all faux flowers from Hobby Lobby for the entire wedding. I wanted to have the flowers for the isle and bouquet done well a head of time so silk flowers fit the bill and looked so great. Honestly, no one really realized the flowers were fake until they touched them.Sicher-48Sicher-50Placing the flowers on the cake was really trial and error. With the icing being a sort of messy look, it was easy to pull them off and replace them as we went. Sicher-116Sicher-118Sicher-113Sicher-112Sicher-122We started with the three largest flowers placing them diagonally down the cake starting with one by the canoe and moving downward. We then layered in the smaller flowers to create groupings at each layer. Lastly we used bits of small vine like flowers to connect the groupings. I couldn’t be happier with the final result! Overall the cake was very inexpensive.. the cost of 6 boxed cake mixes, some fresh fruit and ingredients for the icing, the faux flowers (mostly left over from the other wedding flowers) and the $20 Home Goods cake stand! I think we spent under $60 for the entire cake. Here are the photos of it all done, and the cake cutting:Sicher-623Sicher-626Sicher-628Sicher-632Sicher-635And it wouldn’t be a good wedding if the dogs didn’t get some cake!Sicher-637Sicher-639Sicher-640I made this cute little sign with my Silhoutte Cameo. I picked up the navy board from Michael’s craft store for .99 cents. I also grabbed a wooden plate stand and pink spray paint for the sign holder. The grooms “cake” was a big bowl of dirt with a gummy worm B for Brian. Sicher-644Sicher-642Thats a wrap for our DIY style wedding cake. I can not thank Brian’s mom and sister enough for their help and contribution. We are so grateful for their love and support! Be sure to stay in touch! You can find me on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook to see even more! Be sure to check back for when I share our isle decorations and florals with you!

Until Next Time,


Dining Room and Kitchen Design Plans

Dining Room and Kitchen Design Concepts, Furniture and Color Boards

Hey There!

I am still in shock that it is almost the end of June. Where on Earth did this year go? I am not complaining, you know I am excited for the end of the summer! If you’re new around here- My Husband and I are relocating from Northern Virginia to Columbus, Ohio at the beginning of September. We purchased a beautiful home and I can’t wait to get in there and start designing! I shared the design plans for our Florida Inspired Family Room at the beginning of the month and our Formal Living Room last week.

I am on a designing roll, and am happy to share the next room with you today! I am combining the design boards concepts, color scheme and inspiration images for our kitchen and dining room!

As you might remember from previous posts, I am a huge fan of having a consistency to your home. I love when I walk through a house and from room-to-room it feels united and linked. Lucy from Craftberry Bush wrote a wonderful post on how she did this exact same thing in her own home using a single color pallet in different tones.  I used rich neutral colors, layers of different textures and pops of navy blue in the design concepts for the Living and Family Rooms in order to create the cohesiveness in our new home. I plan to continue that theme into this space.

Take a look at the design and inspiration board:
Dining Room Kitchen Furnitue Boards Sources

 1. Pendant Light  | 2. Similar Counter Stool  | 3. Wood Chandelier  | 4. Drapery  | 5.  Similar Dining Table  | 6. Similar Dining Chair | 7.  Vintage Inspired Area Rug  | 8. Similar Neoclassic Dining Chair

Sources: Kitchen Look Photo  | Cutting Board Art  |  China Cabinet Look Photo  | Buffet Look Photo

Ahhh! Be still my heart! I am so in love with the natural raw woods. Each is a different tone and color but by layering each one, it creates a depth that wouldn’t be achieved with a single wood tone. I am offsetting this raw wood with some crisp painted white elements like the counter stools, white painted kitchen cabinets and white painted built-in’s in the dining room. Now, let me show you the floor plan of the kitchen and dining room so you can get a lay of the land:

Dining Room Kitchen Furnitue FloorplansThe Kitchen and Dining Room are right next to each other. The Kitchen is open concept to the Family Room. The Dining Room is directly open to the Living Room. Inside the dining room on each corner is a  beautiful custom built-in china cabinet with glass doors. I have plans to pain these babies and give them some updating! Both spaces are a great size for our needs. It is a great layout to furnish! I am so excited to get in there and see this plan come to life! Now, onto the before photos of the Kitchen:Kitchen Before The kitchen currently has a great layout and the cabinets are in great condition! However, I think the dark tone of the cabinets makes the space feel tight and like a cave. To help with our budget, I plan on keeping the cabinets and counter tops for now. I plan on painting the cabinet a crisp white and adding a marble stone backsplash. Additionally, I want to lighten the walls and add new hardware, lighting and artwork. I really feel like these simple and inexpensive changes will make a world of difference in this space!

What do you think of the plan? I placed the order for the furniture a few weeks back. The dining chairs just arrived and they are so beautiful in real life! I can not wait to see the light fixtures as well! I hope you are diggin’ my ideas for this new house! Check in on Facebook or Instagram and let me know what you love about it!

Until Next Time,


Living Room Design Plans

The Living Room furniture and design boards for our new home in Columbus, Ohio

Welcome back!

How have you guys been! I am so happy that summer is finally here and it has been such a great one so far. I’ve been so busy trying to get stuff packed up, organized and ready. I am so excited about our big move coming up at the end of the summer! If you missed my post- read all about how we came to our new house in Columbus, Ohio. If you remember back to that post, we purchased our home that was actually not even for sale. We knocked on a door of a home we found absolutely beautiful and hoped for the best. Luckily the previous owners are some of the sweetest humans we’ve ever met and they agreed to sell us their home… crazy, right?

 Ever since then, I’ve been dreaming big and ordering new furniture for the new house. I shared the design plan for our Family Room in last weeks Florida Room Design Challenge. I love how the plans for that space turned out. It feels comfortable and like home, which is just what I wanted for that space! I want our entire house to feel cohesive, so it is important to me to continue the feeling of the Family Room into the other areas of our home.

I set foot to design the formal Living Room with that idea in mind. I’ve decided to keep the neutral and navy color scheme, and to continue to play with different textures to add depth to the space. I want this area to come off a little more formal than the Family Room, so I ditched the soft fluffy rugs and slip-covered furniture for a different take: think rich fur hides, sisal rugs, rattan, slick metals and comfy linens with nailhead trim. Take a look:Actually Ashley Living Room Furnitue Design Board1. Drapery  | 2. Similar Watercolor Horse  | 3. Silver Table Lamp  | 4.  Silver Side Tables  | 5. Similar Navy Throw Pillow  | 6. Linen and Nailhead Sofa  | 7. Similar Coffee Table  | 8. Hide Area Rug  | 9. Sisal Area Rug  | 10. Oversized Wall Clock  | 11. Live Lemon Tree  | 12. Similar Canopied Porter’s Chairs  | 13. Gold Bar Cart  | 14. Navy Tufted Bench  | 15. Blue & White Ginger Jars

What do you think? I love the layers of texture on the board, and I can’t want to see it in real life! A few items we are reusing from our old home (like the navy tufted bench from our previous guest bedroom and the gold bar cart from our previous dining room). Mostly everything else has been ordered and we are patiently waiting for the boxes to start to arrive! There are just a few things I can not decided on..

First- I’m not 100% in love with the drapery. I have not placed the order yet for them and might hold off until we are in the house and I get paint on the walls. It might be too much pattern for the space and I might end up with a more neutral linen drapery layered with woven shades. Secondly, I am back and forth on if I want a lemon tree or a fiddle fig leaf tree for the room. Both choices have so many good qualities, its too hard to pick right now. I’ll need to sit on this one!  Lastly, I can not settle on a furniture layout for this room! I have three favorites so far:

Option One:

The entire seating area is turned to face the fireplace (and possibly TV mounted above it). I would add an additional tall bookcase between the windows at the bottom of the floor plan. I plan to make a console table with Brian that will have a metal base and wood top for right behind the sofa.


Option Two:

I would turn the sofa and place the two Porter’s chairs next to one another, adding a small table in between them. I would move the gold bar cart between the windows with the horse watercolor above it. I would still keep the DIY console table behind the sofa.

Actually-Ashley-Living-Room-Option-TwoOption Three:

Like option two, I would turn the sofa and place the two Porter’s chairs next to each other. The entire group would flip around and the bar cart would move to be centered behind the chairs on the bottom of the floorplan.


They all have the same basic elements and each have almost the exact same furniture. Option one requires an additional bookcase in between the windows, while options two and three require an additional side table. No big deal either way, but it has been so hard to decide! What do you think? Which layout would you use, option one, two or three?

Actually-Ashley-Living-Room-Layout-Vote Leave me a comment below to help me decide! Be sure to check out my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to stay up-to-date on what I am up to!

Until Next Time,


Big News: We’re Moving!

Hi There!

Long time no talk! Its been over a month since my last post, eeekkk! I’m so sorry to be so absent over the last month.. So much has changed in my life over the last few weeks. I posted about the final stretch of wedding planning and how I would be missing in action for the month of May. Little did I know that when I’d be ready to come back to the blog, not only would we be newly weds, but we would also be moving!Actually-Ashley-VA-House-SoldBrian is an Air Traffic Controller, and his job is being relocated from just outside Washington DC to Columbus Ohio. Wow, so many amazing and big life changes at once! We are happy to say our home in Virginia sold in 4 days. We are so lucky to have sound an amazing house in Ohio on 60 acres of land that I hope to transform into our home. It is a beautifully maintained 4 bedroom colonial that has been truly loved by its owners. When we first found out we’d be moving to a completely new state where we knew no one, I was a little panicked. We knew we wanted a few key things in our new house:

  • Brian wanted land, the more the better.
  • I wanted a place we could stay for a long time. A forever home of sorts.
  • We both want to start a family here, so we need space and a few bedrooms.

Other than that we were open to options. We looked into building, buying and fixing up, as well as turn key options but nothing felt right. We looked a dozens of homes but did not feel attached to anything we saw. On a whim we stopped at a winery near Columbus to take a break from house hunting. There we met the wonderful owner, Jim, who became an instant friend to Brian and I. Over the next few weeks Jim asked around to help us try to find a hidden gem. A winery customer mentioned to Jim that their neighbors might be looking to sell their home in the next few years and gave us the address. With no other information and some courage Brian and I knocked on the front door and asked the owner if they like to sell us their home. After an afternoon of hanging out, bonding and good laughs, the rest is history and we have purchased our dream home in Ohio that wasn’t even for sale. Brian’s job doesn’t start for a while, so we have leased back our new house to the previous owners until they can find and buy a new house. They weren’t listing the house after all… We will be moving to our new home September 1, 2016. Actually-Ashley-OH-HouseYou might ask…”Wait, you’re not moving until September but you’ve already sold your old home?!”  Well, yes. We didn’t know what to do at first because we only have about 4 months until we move. After a little research and some more courage, we’ve purchased a full size RV camper to call home for the time being. We were forced to sell most of our belongings which will give a fresh start when we move into our forever home. The camper has been surprisingly great so far. Its not too much to clean, and we have everything we need including a little fireplace and flat screen TV. Its like HGTV’s Tiny House! IMG_7283 IMG_7280Well guys, that my big news! I am so excited to start the next chapter of our lives. I am so ready to design and decorate this amazing new home and share the progress along the way!

I am also so excited to begin to share how our wedding went! I couldn’t have asked for a better day, it was filled with so much love. Once our amazing wedding photographer sends us over the photos I’ll make sure to share them with you!IMG_7409Until Next Time,