Here we go…

September 28, 2009


Filed under: Uncategorized — Ashley Hawthorne @ 5:01 pm

I have been collecting images of what I want the interior of our house to be like.  Never underestimate the power of magazines and the internet to inspire you, my friends!  Here are a few that will work specifically with the ranch style home.  This post will focus on major living areas as opposed to bathrooms and bedrooms.  It is all about emphasizing the linear nature of the plan, the large windows, connection to the outdoors, the 60’s and 70’s era, etc.  For the most part, it will be “light” in color as far as walls and ceilings.  I’ll probably stick with the cool neutrals (think gray, slate, icy whites) as opposed to warm (think tan, khaki, almond, antique white).  As a general trend in the industry- neutrals have gotten “cooler” in color temp.  Tweaking your paint just a bit can really give your house a major update!


i love everything about this image.  i’m going to do a sheet floor (will read like this one), but ours will be a darker pewter gray to hide dirt, the light i’m leaning to for over the dining table is a natural material much like this one, and of course the dark painted cabinets make me drool!!!  i love them love them love them!  i’ll never be able to keep the house this neutral, so imagine it with a few BRIGHT paintings and fabrics.


the main room is very long (plan to follow in a later post), so this is a great example of defining zones within a single room.  our sofa is similar to this one as well.


the chair in the foreground is of the era of the home (as are my 2 white funky panton chairs).  most of the classic chair designs that you see in places such as Design Within Reach (dwr) are from this time.  I’m constantly seaching ebay and bidding on things but EVERY time i get outbid!  i think its those dang ebay snipers.  anyone know how to get around that???


oh so pretty and livable.


i actually have that funky white chair in the middle (panton chair)!  two of them are the end chairs at the dining table!  i love the whiteness of the walls here.  all the living areas flow together like this one, so seeing room to room is something to always keep in mind.


September 22, 2009

Now for some pics.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ashley Hawthorne @ 1:44 pm

Before Exterior


Go ahead and say it.  It is not exactly screaming out CURB APPEAL!!!  Let me be honest.  I have never loved this house.  This girl cant lie!  Kyle’s mom and I have had multiple conversations about “what are we gonna do with that house??”  I always thought it was so boring and really just could not even imagine it being cute.  That’s okay!  Ranch houses were never meant to be precious/adorable/cute.  They are designed to be understated/quiet/clean/modest.  Enough said.  I’m over cutesy.  It was sad to break away from that but I think I got the idea!  Think funky floral anthropologie hobo purse vs a square camel michael kors bag.  There is beauty in both 🙂

After doing a lot of research I discovered that your technique for “designing” the exterior and even the landscape should be very much influenced by the home style, and by doing that, this house will gain a lot of sophistication.  The cottagy style that I am used will no longer fly.  Super casual flower beds that were just a random mix of everything from bananas to geraniums and ferns were adorable by the other house but this one needs a little more of a clean approach.  That is the same with the exterior paint colors.  Cool grays are what the house is screaming out for.  Of course, I am considering bringing the blue door from the old house!  What do you think?

Simple hedges (i love hydrangeas the most!), stainless house numbers, exterior sconce, and mail box will finish off this look!

After Exterior

After (excuse the amateur photoshopping!  it will be a theme around here.)


Chiasso “Ilum Outdoor Light”


Chiasso “Stainless Envelope Mailbox”


Chiasso “Sausalito House Numbers”

September 21, 2009

What is a Ranch style home?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ashley Hawthorne @ 6:30 pm

The house is a Ranch-style house- hence the name “Ranch Dressings”.  I have honestly always been drawn to cottage style homes which belong to a previous generation, but lately there is a revival in the “appreciation” for the Ranch style (almost a sub-culture online!).  What is this style of architecture?  Ranch-style houses (also American ranch, California ranch, rambler or rancher) are a uniquely American domestic architectural style. First built in the 1920s, the ranch style was extremely popular in the United States during the 1940s to 1970s, as new suburbs were built for the Greatest Generation (lived through the Great Depression) and later the Silent Generation (born in the Great Depression).  The ranch house is noted for its long, close-to-the-ground profile, and minimal use of exterior and interior decoration. The houses fuse modernist ideas and styles with notions of the American Western period working ranches to create a very informal and casual living style.  Land was really cheap when these were developed, so unlike “garden district” neighborhoods and the ones that have the precious little bungalows- these developments have expansive lots and are often wooded.  (In Baton Rouge- think Old Bocage, Pollard Estates)

The following features are considered key elements of the original ranch house style:.

  • Single story
  • Long, low roofline
  • Simple floor plans
  • Open floor plans
  • Attached garage/carport
  • Sliding glass doors opening onto a patio
  • Large windows
  • Windows often decorated with shutters
  • Large overhanging eaves
  • Cross-gabled, side-gabled or hip roof
  • Simple and/or rustic interior and exterior trim

Most people see this as the “Red Headed Stepchild” of real estate.  Upon further inspection, however, you can start to see some of the features that made them so popular in the 70’s.  Their lots are huge, the rooms flow into each other effortlessly, “family” living areas are all open to one another, and the connection to the exterior is always pretty obvious with the large windows and adjacent patios.  My guess is that these neighborhoods are on the brink of a major comeback!  The emphasis on community and “gathering” as families and groups of friends, hospitality, and outdoor living all point to these homes being a great investment!

2 photo examples:



Here we go…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ashley Hawthorne @ 5:49 pm

Kyle and I have decided to do something a little crazy.  Lets just call it our next big adventure!  We live in a TINY house right now and have put it on the market and have decided to renovate and move into the house he lived in before we got married.  Three generations of Hawthornes have lived in that house!  It only seems fitting that we do the same!  Being an interior designer, I guess you can say I have a little bit different approach to what a house should be.  To Kyle- it is a shelter.  That is totally cool, and the simplicity of his thinking in this area is a great balance to me!  Haha!  He is such a trooper and really just doesnt even care if he comes home and I’ve painted the front door bright turquoise (true story), or the kitchen a really obnoxious lavendar (true story).  In fact, I’m not sure he notices and that is even more awesome.  As far as the flip/renovation for the house, we are going to try and do alot of the work ourselves, and most certainly will blog the experience!  I have a feeling it will be pretty hilarious at times, and for those of you who are interested in interior design- hopefully it will teach you a few things about how we think!  …a look inside the chaotic mind of a designer!

Hello world!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ashley Hawthorne @ 5:35 pm

Welcome to This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

Blog at