Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Beginner’s Guide to Home Decor

We know what a struggle decorating can be. You start thinking about all the rooms that need help, all the shopping that you have to do, all the time it will take, and in short order, it all becomes overwhelming. We’d love to ease your pain a bit with this beginner’s guide to home decor. All you have to do is remember the 4 S’s—space, size, shape and style.


The first S is for space. How big or small is each room and what do you use it for? Answering this question will help you determine the type of decor you need and where it will look best. Compact spacesOpens in a new window may only need the basics, like a light source, something to sit on, some place to stow your things and something soft underfoot.

With a larger space, of course, your options increase, and you can add more furniture, wall decor,  rugs, and lighting options like a chandelier or pendant light. But while you might be tempted to fill up all the corners, keep in mind that negative space can be good, too. Overabundant decor can make a room appear smaller than it actually is.

Here are a few guidelines for fitting just the right amount of decor into your space:

  • In a room with an 8-foot ceiling, the bottom of a chandelier should be at least 30-34 inches above a table. In a room with higher ceilings, hang the chandelier 3 inches higher for every additional foot.
  • Any lighting fixture in a space where you will walk under it should hang at least 7 feet above the floor.
  • Save space by using a double-duty ottoman. It can act as a coffee table or footrest.
  • When placing a rug in most standard-size rooms, leave around 12″-18″ of bare floor between the edges of the area rug and the walls of the room. For small rooms, leave about 8″ of exposed floor.


The next step is all about the size and scale of your decorOpens in a new window. What do we mean by that?  It’s how home furnishings look when placed together, and finding the right mix of furnishings and decor in different sizes is critical to create a harmonious room. An important rule of thumb is to avoid using one-size decor throughout your home, as it’s mixing and matching that enhances visual interest.

To start, find the focal point of each room – that is, what’s the first thing you notice? If the focal point is a fabulous fireplace, art above the mantel is ideal. If it’s a long wall, consider a gallery; hang the largest piece at eye-level (56″-60″ from the floor). If there is no obvious focal point, create one. A roomy sectional can be a focal point. 

Here are some pointers:

  • The width of a light fixture should be the sum of the room’s width and length. In a 10 feet by 6 feet space, for example, you would add the two numbers together to get 16. Therefore, your lighting fixture should be 16 inches wide.
  • You should typically avoid using over sized and large wall art in compact spaces. However, we believe rules are made to be broken, and a lone large piece can be a dramatic focal point.

  • Are you hanging artwork over furniture or a fireplace? Make sure the width of the piece does not exceed the width of the furniture or fireplace. This helps create the illusion of more space.
  • Floor lamps look great near sitting areas and reading nooks.
  • Display tabletop decor in three’s. Using only two candles, for example, looks too “matchy-matchy” and incomplete. The addition of a third candle of a different size creates a more appealing look.


The third S to keep in mind stands for shape. The shape of your home decor matters more than you may know. Curvy or round items bring feminine appeal while angular items make spaces feel masculine. It’s good to have a balance of both, for example, if you have a clean-lined sofa, a round accent table by its side adds balance to the room.

Here are some tips:

  • Stick with square rugs for square rooms, rectangular rugs for rectangular rooms and round rugsOpens in a new windowfor—you guessed it—round rooms. Round rugs also help small spaces appear larger.
  • When creating vignettes, steer clear of lining up objects of the same height. Use different heights to create interesting shapes in the negative space.
  • Place bolster pillows in front of square or rectangular throw pillows for an appealing, layered look. Round pillows can add a beautiful contrast to straight-lined furniture or complement soft curves.


Since you’ve gotten through the first three S’s, it’s time to get to the fun stuff—your personal style. Do you prefer farmhouse, contemporary, industrial or something eclectic? If you have plush neutral upholstery, complement it with black metal accents, leafy greenery and buffalo check throw pillows for a modern farmhouse vibe. If you’re going for a contemporary look, we suggest sticking with geometric patterns, bold pops of color and trendsetting shapes.

Here are some suggestions for nailing your style:

  • Start by collecting inspiration. You can collect physical pictures or build a digital Pinterest board. Look through the images and remove what doesn’t fit. Then, think about why the remaining images caught your attention. VoilĂ ! You’ve defined your style.
  • Build your room around a single color. You can use varying tones of the hue you choose, or you can pick others colors to complement it. This works really well for building a gallery wall, too.
  • A black and white palette is a safe place to start if you are not confident in mixing colors. You can, however, add pops of color to the black and white palette for a dramatic effect.

  • Add interest to a room by mixing and matching patterns. For example, a white pillow with thin, black pinstripes pairs well with a black pillow that has white polka dots. Round out the look with solid black pillows. The trick to pulling this off? Black is the dominant shade. It is prominent in one pattern while it is understated in the other pattern. This rule can be applied to any color or type of decor.
  • If you’re more of a glam person, don’t be afraid to deck out your space with mirrored and metallic decorOpens in a new window.

We understand that it can be tough to nail down your interior design style. Here’s a nifty and easy to download guideOpens in a new window to point you in the right direction for choosing decor.

How helpful was this guide for you? Share your newly decorated room with us on social media using #myashleyhome.

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Springtime Bar Cart Displays

Stow the sweaters and soak in the sun, because spring is here! It’s the perfect time to throw open the windows, stir up a delicious spring-infused cocktail and invite friends to celebrate our favorite season.

Entertaining is a breeze when your guests can help themselves to drinks and refreshments—and what could be easier than a fully stocked bar cartOpens in a new window? Designing your bar cart with ever-flowing drinks and supplies—all while positioning it as a fashionable statement piece in your home—is easier than you think.

Tips & Supplies for Your Springtime Bar Cart

Here’s how you can make your bar cart functional and stylish:

  • Place bottles on the bottom shelf to balance the cart’s weight (you don’t want it to tip over). Also, consider sparkling water, lemonade, and/or sodas with your alcohol assortment so guests can mix drinks to their preference.
  • Place pre-cut citrus and toppings in a bowl with toothpicks nearby so guests can garnish their drinks themselves.
  • Keep supplies such as glasses, tongs, a decanter, shaker, stirring sticks, napkins and an ice bucket stocked so guests can self-serve.
  • Add plants. Choose your favorite springtime flower bouquet as a way of drawing the eye. Try daisies, tulips, or even sunflowers for that burst of brightness.
  • Add a decorative trayOpens in a new window or a two-tiered platter for hors d’oeuvres and small snacks.

The possibilities here extend as far as your imagination will allow, but remember—make the most of the space. Your layout, along with the color scheme, is what’s going to make magic happen.

Tropical Fun

Photograph provided by PinterestOpens in a new window

Color takes the cake… or should we say, the drink… in this display. This bar cart has excellent placement in front of a charming piece of abstract art, which helps bring out the brightness of the flowers and watermelon towel. Pops of gold on the rims of glasses, trays, decanter lid, and shaker also tie back to the wall art’s color scheme and incorporates a refreshing, feel-good vibe that we’re obsessed with.

Blushing Beauty

Photograph provided by InstagramOpens in a new windowOpens in a new window

There’s no shortage of supplies or style here. Shades of pink and green are brilliantly arranged on the three shelves of this bar cart. We love how the coordinating colors add a touch of refinement against the pale blush wall and gold accents—which, might we note, is a fantastic spring color. With plenty of drink options to concoct, this is a glamorous springtime display that you can also use any time of year.

Spring Farmhouse

Photograph provided by PinterestOpens in a new window

Instead of alcohol, tea time is another perfectly acceptable way to while away the afternoon with friends. Spring isn’t just about bright colors, it’s about renewal, freshness and rebirth, so if color isn’t your thing, you can keep your bar cart neutral and still celebrate the season. Case in point, this stunning, minimalist chic bar cart, which captures the essence of farmhouse style. White flowers, along with the simple grain of the wood shines through in the best of ways here.

Caribbean Flair

Photograph provided by YouTubeOpens in a new window

Enrich your outdoor space with a touch of Caribbean spice. The sunny color yellow is the star here, from the flowers and lemons to the place mats and napkins. Even a pitcher thirst-quenching Caribbean lemonade, complete with plenty of sugar and a touch of vanilla, falls in line with the yellow  theme. All the essentials are on hand to create amazing island memories, even if you’re stuck on the mainland. 

Spring Cocktails to Kick Things off

If you’re looking for some spring cocktails to adorn your bar cart, here are a few recipes to get you started:

Slice of Life

Photograph of a red cocktail with a watermelon on the cup.


  • 1.5 oz St. George Terroir Gin
  • 0.5 oz Savannah Bee Company honey water
  • 0.75 oz watermelon juice
  • Slice of watermelon (garnish)
  • Basil (garnish)


  • Combine honey and water 1:1 to make honey water.
  • Combine all ingredients, then charge and shake with ice in a Perlini carbonated cocktail shaker.
  • Strain into a cocktail glass with a slice of watermelon and basil garnish.

Credit: seven lampsOpens in a new window

Spring BlossomOpens in a new window

Image of a cocktail in a small short glass with a blush color to is and ice at the top of the drink.


  • 1.75 oz BLOOM gin
  • 0.75 oz rose liqueur
  • 0.33 oz strawberry liqueur
  • 0.33 oz agave nectar (optional)
  • cucumber slices


    • Put the ingredients in a cocktail shaker.
    • Shake and strain into a rocks glass or tumbler over ice.
    • Garnish with a cucumber slice.

We’re head over heels for the bar carts featured here. We hope they inspire you as you plan your next party or get-together.

There are hundreds of ways you can freshen up your bar cart for spring; from exciting colors, to faux flowers and accessories, we hope this has inspired you to get creative and play with design in your space.

Have a bar cart you’d like to show us? Make sure to use the hashtag #MyAshleyHome for a chance to be featured on our Instagram.


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Delighting in Decorating + Spring Mug Rack

  When I put away the clean dishes after our brunch last weekend, I hung some of our new blue coffee cups on our mug rack. It made me so happy to see how springy the rack looked with this particular mix of mugs! It’s such a small thing, but isn’t finding a bit of […]

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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Mommy + Me Girls Room Makeover With Natalie Thompson

Impressing us left and right, Natalie Thompson from Deeply DistressedOpens in a new window is at it again with her stellar design skills. This time, however, she enlisted the aid of her daughter Endia, and turned her latest project into a bonding moment. The mother/daughter team sought out colors, chose stylish furniture, and not only designed a chic, functional new space, but they created great memories as well.

Teaming up with Ashley HomeStore, they redesigned Endia’s room and added their own personal twist.

One thing’s for sure from this redesign—Prince Olive the cat certainly loves lounging on the new bedspread!

Image of a cat sitting on top of a little girls bed with its leg in the air.

Endia’s old room was filled with muted pastels, tinged with a hint of farmhouse and metallic, but it’s since been transformed into a colorful bohemian paradise.

Inspiration for the Room

This wasn’t just another room makeover for Natalie—it was an opportunity to bond with her daughter and create long-lasting memories. But it came with its set of challenges, especially since they live in smaller quarters. This meant Natalie needed furniture for Endia that was durable, had lots of storage, slimmer builds and was versatile with other decor styles. This was especially important since Endia loves art, and needed plenty of room to store supplies, clothes, and other crafts for day-to-day activities.

Their journey started with Endia’s request, which was simple: she wanted colors and animals. At their local Ashley HomeStore, Endia fell in love with this colorful array of wall art and pillows.

Endia’s excitement over the colorful selection of pillows was the “a-ha” moment Natalie had been waiting for. Using this as her guide, she let the whimsy of fantastical colors and fringe lead the way to bring the room together.

Product collage of a little girls room showing a bed, lighting options and other home accessories.

A Stylish Headboard

This white canopy bed frameOpens in a new window is a stunning focal point in Endia’s room. Not only does the bed have ample space underneath to store supplies, but Natalie enjoys how the frame is “super in style,” making it easy to switch out colors and canopy decorations the next time Endia is hit with a bout of creativity. It’s just what the style doctor ordered. We’re in love with the vibrant colored fringe and hanging poms.

Natalie calls this a win-win, and we have to agree.

 A Brightly-Colored Bedspread

Endia was instantly drawn to this colorful bedspreadOpens in a new window because of its rainbow squiggles. We’re obsessed with how Natalie paired it perfectly with eye-catching pillows for a pop of different patterns and textures. The dog and cat on each pillow are full of life, and just what Endia wanted—a fun burst of animals and color.

A Matching Dresser and Mirror

Letting the splendor of colors take center stage, this white dresser and mirrorOpens in a new window set is the ideal neutral room complement. A blank canvas along with the right height, its smooth-gliding drawers ensure there’s no slamming or sticking.

A Vibrant Area Rug

How cute and feminine is this rugOpens in a new window? Pink matches the medley of colors in Endia’s room for that ultra-refined, finishing touch. The fact that it’s 100% cotton means it’s also soft on the feet. Comfort and style combined; it’s a home run for the bedroom.

Whimsical Wall Art

Adding to the fun, animal wall artOpens in a new window brightens things up and accentuates the pillows and squiggly bedspread. It’s certainly something exciting to look at every day— dressed up walls that express and inspire Endia’s artistic side.

Repurposing Existing Furniture

“Having extra space on her desk and floor make for plenty of room for activities.”

As for the rest of the room, Natalie kept Endia’s existing night stand and re-purposed it by painting the drawer front a different color to match the room’s new color scheme.

A vanity, which doubles as a desk, sits by Endia’s bed so that she has plenty of space to do her homework and create art.

Finally, Natalie added a long, bench-style ottoman at the foot of the bed, so putting on shoes—as well as storing them underneath—is effortless. Tufting on the creamy cushion brings a pinch of fancy to the eclectic mix.

The Final Room Reveal

Image of a little girl with a happy excited face while standing in front of a canopy bed.

What a joy it was working with this fabulous mother/daughter duo to create a room that illustrates Endia’s artistic side. We hope she loves it as much as we do, and we hope that you have as much fun as Natalie and Endia did when you tackle your next redecorating project.

Follow Natalie @DeeplyDistressedOpens in a new window, and be sure to check out our Instagram for more updates, highlights, and takeovers from our Ashley Insiders.

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Dining Room + Mother’s Day Brunch

Blue and white dishes dining roomThis post is in partnership with World Market Can you believe Mother’s Day is only a couple of weeks away? What do you have planned? My family loves to make breakfast together, so we quite often make plans to host a brunch during the holidays. We had a family brunch on Easter and we’ll be […]

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Monday, April 23, 2018

3 Ways to Fix a Smelly Trash Can

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Marcus and Kristin’s Home Office and Outdoor Oasis Transformation

When YouTube’s favorite newlyweds, Marcus + KristinOpens in a new window, bought a home in need of a little TLC, who do you think they turned to? Why, Ashely HomeStore, of course! With a home office crying for some creative design and an outdoor patio begging for definition, they welcomed our help.

First up – Marcus’s guest house, AKA, his new office space.

Marcus is an aspiring actor, musician and filmmaker – you could say he is a triple threat. He loves his detached office, or, as he has referred to it, his man cave. Because he’s so involved with the arts, we wanted to give him a space with just the right furniture and accessories to help him express his creativity.

Marcus loves the modern simplicity of the Zardoni sofaOpens in a new windowfrom Ashley HomeStore, and we added Starmore bookcases with open shelving to show off all his camera gear and prized possessions. Another focal point of the room is the sleek and functional Lobink office desk. Once we all assembled the large items, we got busy working our design magic…and the results are amazing! On point accessories and wall decor really make the room pop.

We are beyond happy that we could help Marcus and Kristin design such a functional and comfortable office space.

With the home office complete, we turned our attention to the next project – transforming their patio.

Marcus and Kristin love the outdoors – though perhaps not as much as their dogs, Camper and Honey. How exciting to give all four of them an outdoor space where they can relax, entertain and play.

First up: clearing the deck to get a good idea of the space available. Then, we added the Facet Marquise rug and Hatchlands park benchesOpens in a new window. With that great foundation in place, all it took was a few colorful pillows and poufs to turn their patio into a true outdoor oasis.

We loved spending time with Marcus + Kristin, their energy is infectious and we couldn’t be happier to give them a space to enjoy and grow in. Check out their latest vlog for more behind the scenes look at the home officeOpens in a new window and outdoor transformation. (insert vlog)

Do you want an office space makeover of your own? You have the chance to win one, enter our home office sweepstakes today and you too could receive a home office transformation. (enter link)

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