summer home ideas

Hey hey and welcome! If you’re just dropping by from The Inspired Room we’re so glad you came by!


When Gina from The Shabby Creek Cottage asked us to participate in the Summer Tour of Homes this year, we were so in. Mostly because we thoroughly enjoy stalking other people’s interiors through the www. We’re creepers like that. So let’s pretend you’re hanging at our home in real life, and we’re serving you a choice beverage with fun refreshments and a side of laughter. Let’s also pretend you don’t see the three loads of laundry perpetually piled in the corner. Today is filled to the brim with photos and ramblings galore. But if you’ve never been by before… let us introduce ourselves. We’re Ashley and Jamin. Two college sweethearts residing in the tropics of south Alabama with three little ones and a crazy dog…


One day we woke up, and decided to stop pining away for that dream house we hoped for. A home isn’t about that to-the-trade nonsense or unattainable ideals of perfection. As morbid as it sounds, we decided there may not be a “next” house, and that maybe it’s all about making where you are a happy, fun haven for the every day. So we made a conscious decision to embrace where we are now and love it for what it is. We’ve slowly transformed our cookie cutter home into something truly us.

Here we believe that you should do what you love, because you love it. A home is all about the belly laughs, sweet memories and time together. You’ll also find we’re a little guilty of sarcasm and too many throw pillows but we’re hoping that’s an endearing quality.

So… welcome!


But first, let’s start here. Because this is what our home looked like three days ago, and I’ve been scrambling to get it all put back together again so I could show you guys a few new additions. We had a leak which lead to the discovery of some mold that’s been happening since January and I’ve been close to losing my everlovingmind. If there’s anything we’ve learned in this journey, it’s that you have to embrace imperfection and reality, as well. So just know that our home is real. And whenever there’s a pretty picture, there’s an equal amount of junk in the background.


Here’s what our home looked like the day we moved in. Builder’s beige paradise, y’all!


And here it is today.


We decided to go for it, and just installed hardwoods because of said leakage. Lemons. Lemonade. I’ve wanted them for eight years, so I’m not complaining.


The living room (and the kitchen) are the heart of our home. We love these little custom pieces that have made it personal for us. Our coffee table, and instagram frame were a fun way to infuse some color. And because inquiring minds want to know, sofa deats here. {Is it deets? I like deats.}


We finally upgraded the mantel I’ve always hated… because I mean if there’s a leak it makes perfect sense to fix up your mantel, right? {We decided that necessary flooring replacement was definitely justifiable. If ever there was a time…  #ifyougiveamouseacookie}


Over the past year, we’ve let our home work of us instead of working for our home. We’ve simplified a lot and developed some fun systems for getting it under control. We use this old crate to store whatever memories we have, rather than keeping them scattered all over our house in random places. Last year, we purged our home and got rid of about half of our belongings and stuff-in-the-drawers-and-closets-clutter. You can read more about how we’ve simplified in our lazy gal’s survival guide series.


We built this little media center to suit our needs and free up more floor space. The art you see is from the wonderful artists who have graciously participated in our Handmade Home book series.


My southern cohorts will think we’ve lost it. But down with the ceiling fan! We were delighted to add this light last week, as well. It completely changes the feel of the space. {More details coming up on that!}

From this center space, you can see what’s going on in the kitchen. When we moved in, it looked like this.


After living with it a few years, we decided we were over it. It was one of our first major transformations on a major {major as in tiny} budget. It’s amazing what a little paint can do.


One of our all time faves is our fridge. We painted it with chalkboard paint, and have enjoyed it even more over the years than we would stainless.


Another simple little touch has been this pantry door we built to add some character.



We recently painted our dining room table, and moved it into the kitchen because sometimes we lose our minds and like to play musical furniture. We have never enjoyed it more.


And from this angle, you can see our laundry room. We use it as a bit of a hodgepodge. From the mudroom to a craft room and catch all… here’s what it looked like before.




I’m too sexy for my laundry. Aintnobodygottimeforthat.

laundry_room_ideas laundry_room_board_and_batten laundry_craft_room

Here’s what our dining room looked like the day we moved in. We didn’t get to pick out a thang. They really loved brown.


This space has evolved over the years, but recently we totally rebelled and got rid of our dining room space altogether. It’s something we never thought we would do, but we’re homeschooling. It’s kinda crazy and blows my mind daily that no one has died yet, and that we all love it so much. Who knew?


The kids love their space, and I find them in here daily, “after-hours” creating or working on their own. Over the process of a school year this space evolved into a nice little school nook.


An old cabinet and barn wood are my main bookshelves along with some baskets for keeping the mills academy library under control.



Because of beercanmoldpocalypse14, our bedroom has been looking a lot like this.

But stay tuned. Because we’re close. I can feel it in my bones.


Here’s a sneak peek of what’s to come.


While we’ve been waiting, we also tackled the closet… it’s now a family space because it frees up their closets for their toys, and works with our floor plan. See more before and afters here. 



Here’s our bathroom before.




And another sneak peek:


When we moved in, our back porch looked like this.


This was another little change that gained us some square footage, and changed up the feel of our home to work with a growing family. We built a wall and it made a huge difference.


It is the perfect place for parties

But for now it’s our studio.



The boys share a space, and love this loft bed.



It’s really freed up some space for their room and playtime.

stained_dresser boys_dresser

Last summer, we decided to bust down the wall between these two closets, and make it a walk through with barn doors.


And we redid their playroom space this fall, which has seriously helped with the storage. {sources here}


We built these bookshelves and cubbies


And created some watercolor wall art.



Emerson’s space was another update last summer. It may seem silly, but it ended the co-sleeping situation around here. {sources here}


{Click away for how to’s on all the deats}



One of our all time fave additions is this dollhouse. We, uh, I mean Barbie, recently did the inside as well. Emerson helped pick everything and it was a bit of a family project. Oh the hours of doll fun that’s already been had. It’s our greatest hope that one day our grandchildren laugh at the 2014 fab interiors. ;} handmade_dollhouse_study



And our favorite getaway? The back yard.

the_handmade_home_15Another shot of the fabulous UPS brown before:


And all of the revamps: {See our backyard bliss series, here.}


It’s made our home feel even bigger – a great little getaway.


Thanks for letting us ramble and share with the longest post in the history of ever. It’s been a lot of elbow grease and time, but we do love our little handmade home. It’s a haven for the every day.


Let us know if you any questions and if we can help or shoot you in the right direction! Be sure to check out all the amazing tours below, as well!

Next stop: Hop on over to Jenn of My Fabuless Life to see what she has in store for her awesome summer tour!

summer_tour_of_homes_2014Monday, June 2nd

Monday, June 2nd

The Shabby Creek Cottage
The Nester
At The Picket Fence (Vanessa)
Thistlewood Farms
The Inspired Room

Tuesday, June 3rd

The Handmade Home
My Fabuless Life
Finding Home
In My Own Style
The Hunted Interior

Wednesday, June 4th

Inspired By Charm
Jennifer Rizzo
Madigan Made
Makely School for Girls
Funky Junk Interiors

Thursday, June 5th

Jones Design Company
Beneath My Heart
The Pennington Point
White Buffalo Styling Co.
Southern Hospitality

Friday, June 6th

At the Picket Fence (Heather)
Desert Domicile
Tatertots & Jello
Home Stories A to Z
Live Laugh Rowe

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Responses to summer home ideas

  1. It’s doesn’t get more summery 😉 than your gorgeous, bright and cheerful home. Love it so much!

  2. Kathleen says:

    Beautiful summer tour! It is so bright and cheery, plus it`s honest. It`s rare to see a home that not only looks gorgeous, but feels comfortable and real too. I love it!

  3. Lindsay says:

    I love it Ashley! Y’all have created such a lovely, cheerful home! It’s so creative, so color-filled, and I know it’s fun!

  4. YOU GUYS. I love your house! I don’t know how I’ve never seen it before today, but I’m drooling all over my keyboard here. Just amazing. You’ve totally gained a new internet stalker, I mean, reader. High-five for an awesome job!

  5. Jeanne says:

    What a great tour Ashley and Jamin! I have to ask, since I’ve been visiting your site for a few years and never asked before (and I have 3 girls and MIGHT have a secret crush on that awesomesauce disco ball…) where ever did you find said disco ball? I could see one sitting pretty in our living room bouncing light all over the place. LOVE the new floor in the living room! Been toying with laying new flooring in our living/dining/foyer. Hey, can you call my husband and put in a good word? 😉 Can’t wait to see the master/bath reveal! Bet you can’t wait for it all to be over either. Happy days!

    • Hey girl! We are LOVING the floors. DO IT YESTERDAY. Our home actually feels bigger. Seriously just do it. We still have carpet in the littles’ rooms and the HS room because our budget only went so far, and they prefer it in those areas, but DO IT. ;} The mirror balls are actually a funny story and they’re both from Ebay. You can see the specifics behind them both, here. I kept them {yes, two defunct mirror balls which we still love} they work! Have an awesome day, Jeanne and thanks so much for your sweet words!

      • Jeanne says:

        Ha ha! What a story!! Can’t believe I missed that one. The floors would be an investment for sure. Right now, our foyer and half our living room have laminate and the other half of our living room and dining room have real wood. Close in shade but different widths, plus none of it is level and there is an odd transition between the two. Then there is a section of the living room closest to the kitchen that is carpeted. I know, JUST DO IT ALREADY! :)

  6. Brittany says:

    I love your home and your style, and the new floors are gorgeous :) Did you guys build the bench in the entryway? I’m hoping to convince my husband that building a bench to use at our dining table would be super easy 😉

    • Brittany says:

      Never mind! I found the post :)

      • Hey Brittany! So glad you found it. Did you have a question about the price of it in another section? It was just a little wood – and I think we literally grabbed it from our garage. You may want to price it out at your local improvement store – and adjust the measurements to your needs. Ours sits short, perfect for the kiddos – so if you plan to use it next to a table, make sure it’s tall enough.;} It will also vary based on the type of wood, the pricing in your area, and the paint. If I had to guess, around 50? Sorry I can’t be much help! We usually just roll with what we have or mix it with what we have… and we are never that good with estimates. ;}

  7. Mindy says:

    Your home is just the most inviting, sweet space! No wonder your kids continue to create after hours : )

  8. Abbey says:

    You guys have completely transformed what was already a nice home into a vibrant, spectacular place that exudes life, fun and happiness. It’s inspiring! So, thanks :)

  9. Love your home! I can’t pick a favorite, it’s all great!

  10. So many great little snippets I took away…pretty patterned white board…laundry soap in drink dispensers. Your home is so cozy and friendly. Looking through these photos made me want to walk a day in your kids shoes. Such a wonderful and inspiring home to live in! They are lucky! Beautiful as always.

  11. Oh my word, I love it all. You home is so fun, bright and cheerful. I love the outdoors too. What a fun fort for the kids, itis wonderful. Great job on the house, it really is fabulous.

  12. Ya know… you could start your OWN Pinterest kinda type place. I’ll be here for DAAAAAYS. And is it wrong to want to chalkboard up a new black fridge?

    Dang girl… head just exploded!

  13. Carol says:

    Oh my goodness, your home is awesome! I love all the color and fun additions you have going on. I think it is wonderful that you threw caution to the wind and made your home “your home.” It’s a truly wonderful and creative space to raise children.

  14. Lisa~ says:

    Well this is just what I needed….all of your awesomeness in one post so I can come back and visit over and over. Love every last drop! Lisa~

  15. Kelly says:

    I am obsessed with the rug in the school room that looks like binder paper. Any info on where it’s from? My husband and I are both math teachers, so that feels right up our alley!

  16. as always, I love your home. beautiful

  17. tara says:

    looooove your home.
    so inspiring.
    never gets old to look at on the www.

    pinned like crazy today.

  18. I love the updates! I can’t get enough of your style and how much that transformed the space.

  19. lynn says:

    WOW I am amazed big time to see your house!!! It is PACKED with so many cool/fun/beautiful ideas – there are just too many to count! I am certain it is a magical place for your children to grow up in. My words just aren’t saying enough, but I could go on and on and on… THANKS!!

  20. Everyone loves what you guys tend to be up too. This sort of clever work and exposure!
    Keep up the great works guys I’ve included you guys to my personal blogroll.

    Here is my web site … Judy Neinstein Great site

  21. Joni Webb says:

    omg – the cutest house ever! i love the facade and the back yard too!!!! just adorable. love it all – thanks so much for sharing your beautiful home.


  22. I just love your home and how much fun it is. Every view from every room is so pretty and well put together.

  23. Jacque says:

    of all the homes on this tour, your’s is my all time favorite!!

  24. Monnaie says:

    Nice interior designing and interior furnishing!

  25. Kim says:

    Did you make that adorable outdoor fort for the kids?? If so, how did you do it? I love it!

  26. Verla says:

    I love all of your chandelier! Could you please tell me where you purchased them? You have amazing talent in decorating, thanks for sharing with us.