A Before & After House Tour Full of DIYs You Might Actually Do Yourself
***Written by Arlyn Hernandez | Photography by Sara Tramp for EHD
House tours might be one of my favorite pieces to produce for this site. I get to spy on other people’s homes FOR MY JOB, reach out to them, get excited by their excitement, and show off someone’s hard (and really beautiful) work with all of you guys. What could be better? We very much plan on doing more of these this upcoming year (according to the survey we currently have up, people seemed like they wanted these more regularly) as long as you guys continue to crave them. So, let’s get into our first house tour of the year, shall we?
As was the case with the house tour we ran of Francois et Moi, Emily passed along images of Ashley Goldman of The Gold Hive’s home for me to reach out about featuring on the site and I overreacted (as I usually do, though I can only blame my raw passion for decorating) and likely screamed something along the lines of “YES THIS ROOM SETS MY HEART ABLAZE. WE MUST DO HER HOUSE.” I saw her bedroom reveal when I was following last year’s One Room Challenge, and that board and batten is so good. The circle detail on the molding in her master bedroom (keep reading for more on that) KILLS ME every time. Such a simple, subtle detail that just does so much heavy lifting design wise. I almost fell over the first time I saw it. I loved it so so so much, saved it probably about seven times without realizing and just thoroughly was impressed by the quiet yet impactful vibe of this room.
Then, maybe a few weeks after touching base with Ashley and locking this in for the blog, Jess (our Senior Market Editor who, at the time, was helping with social), suggested posting an image of the mural in the office of Ashley’s home. The tree “wallpaper” in there definitely felt like something Em would be on board with (the woman loves herself a tree), so Jess set to researching information on it for the caption. And that’s when we found out it wasn’t a wallpaper at all. No, it was HAND PAINTED. Just wait until you see it later on in this post. It’ll knock your memory foam slippers straight off your heels.
Behind the front door of Ashley’s super cute Craftsman in San Diego is a tub-full of elbow grease courtesy of all the DIY projects she took on, from the two we already mentioned (molding in the master bedroom, hand-painted mural in office) to painted kitchen cabinets paired with a concrete countertop.
“When my husband Ross and I bought our home, it was neglected and in need of a lot of care,” says Ashley. “After doing a very serious deep clean, refinishing the floors, repairing the plaster walls, updating the electrical, replacing the HVAC, and getting the home livable, I focused on designing the home room by room. The 1915 craftsman bungalow has much of its original charm that we’re really proud to maintain, but I also infused new furnishings and decor along with modern upgrades for living in the 21st century.” The DIYs abound, and for each room, we link out to all the gritty details and how-tos from Ashley on those, as well as the shopping URLs we know you’re going to want to know about.
LIVING & DINING
Ashley says this front room was mostly about cleaning up the wood work (new floors, drywall, refinished bookcases) and then bringing in more modern furniture pieces to balance the original architectural details of the early 20th century home.
A coat of fresh paint went a long way (as it normally does) to making the heavier dining room feel light and bright.
Vintage art graces the picture ledge that was original to the house. Also, pretty smitten with the idea of hanging plants and greenery from the insanely charming art rail. The mirror in the original built-in curio cabinet reflects light that comes in from the front windows, which is a helpful takeaway for anyone trying to figure out how to help a darker, small room.
One of the most impressive transformations in all of Ashley’s home is the handpainted mural in her office. The “before” of the room was perfectly nice, but the after stops you dead in your tracks:
THAT IS NOT A WALLPAPER. That is handpainted. Let’s take a moment to give this the honor it respects (and here’s a closer look):
Ashley transformed this space for the spring 2017 One Room Challenge and uh, it’s impressive. In fact, it won that season, and was one of two spaces selected by House Beautiful’s Editor in Chief for top marks, and I can see why. It’s an eight-color painting she designed in Photoshop and projected onto the wall to paint, which took her over 60 hours to execute.
The rest of the room was reorganized to work better for how Ashley used the space with budget-friendly storage, new window treatments and lighting, and more.
In her kitchen, the main projects included doing something about those floors, refreshing the cabinetry without swapping it out, adding a little more storage and rethinking the countertops.
It’s easy to see that “before” shot and think a total gut job would be the only way to make it stylish and liveable, but when there isn’t room in the budget for a full renovation, you get creative. Vinyl checkerboard tiles and a robin’s egg blue paint on the cabinetry totally leveled up this kitchen space without a total overhaul.
The original laminate countertops were replaced by DIY concrete (read all about that process here). Ashley also got crafty and added in a simple wood breakfast bar and prep space next to her retro stove.
This is not the “before” before, but rather how the room looked before a pretty easy but impactful transformation for another One Room Challenge by Ashley.
Again, paint pulls a ton of weight in this room’s makeover as does a tight and polished color scheme. And because this room is used predominently as a guest bedroom (when Ashley and her husband aren’t Netflixing in here), the pull-out sofa doubles as a bed.
The added art rail echoes the one in the dining room and feels original to the home (even though it’s new). Painting it the same dark color as the wall means it doesn’t detract from the actual art itself. To see all the DIYs in this room, check out the six-week progress posts here.
Before the Spring 2018 One Room Challenge, Ashley’s master bedroom was perfectly nice and full of light, but the “after” is a testament to the power of architectural detail:
“I made over our master bedroom during the One Room Challenge in the spring of 2018,” says Ashley. “I added a board and batten wall treatment, removed a doorway, added a door to the backyard, created a seating area outside, then incorporated lots of art and beautiful furnishings. One day, we hope to add an ensuite bathroom, and access to the backyard.”
That little round detail near the sconce above the nightstand still, after all these months since I first saw it, makes me do a double take. Ashley mentions that they matched the molding pattern from the dining room to make this feel original to the 1915 home.
This wall here used to have a door to the kitchen, which was removed and drywalled so the board and batten could go in (and there could be wall space for a dresser).
“The bathroom has had the biggest transformation to date,” notes Ashley. “Unlike the other rooms, it was completely gutted down into the crawlspace and up into the attic. The 100-year-old plumbing was updated, the beehive was removed from the inside of the wall, and the mold was hauled away. Our only bathroom now has brand new finishes that should last another hundred years.”
The mix of tile works so well here because of two things: varying scales but a uniform color palette. And I’m sorry, but how darling is that new decorative wall vent that you’d swear was original to the home?
The deep charcoal gray brings in a contrast that is needed in a space with so much white (otherwise, the risk would be creating a space that feels almost too new and pristine for a 100-year-old home). For all the details of this bathroom renovation, check out Ashley’s posts here.
Thank you again to Ashley for opening her home up to us to photograph and share with you guys. Be sure to check out Ashley’s blog for more DIYs and shopping resources, and keep an eye out for more One Room Challenges to come from her (we hope!).