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Give Your Home Instant Curb Appeal in 3 Easy Steps

Curb appeal is a major thing when owning a home. It’s the world’s first impression of your most favorite space but probably the last thing you think about when decorating. First comes paint, then furniture and accessories and maybe you get around to throwing a mat outside the front door or a flowers if you’re really lucky. Well Ashley Brooke and her crazy cute red door abode are coming to the rescue with three easy steps to instant curb appeal.

I’m going to be honest here, the design feature that truly sold me on this home was the entrance. Specifically the red front door. Seriously. As soon as the Realtor showed me a photo of the house, in my brain, I had already moved in! It didn’t matter to me what the inside looked like because it had a red door and all was right with the world. A few years after moving in, we’ve finally settled in and are beginning to make all kinds of fun changes to it. But the one thing that will forever be is the red door.

Since my obsession with the front of the house is real, I am always looking for ways to dress it up. Having the big red door is wonderful, but it’s really not the easiest to style since it’s SO. RED. It also does not help that Central Florida presents a few unique challenges to landscaping outside. Between the balmy Florida heat and humidity and the flower-eating deer that roam the neighborhood, many plants do not stand a chance! So when we decided it was time to get serious about the front door decor situation, we needed a serious plan!

The first order of business: accessorize! Before thinking about plants we knew we needed new planters. The ones we had were falling apart. They were also charcoal black and not really giving the front of the house that Southern charm we were looking for. And that’s when we found these pretty ones from Pottery Barn! We relocated the red Adirondack chairs to the front porch from the back yard and chose striped blue and white pillows to soften the look of it all. Besides, blue and white stripes match just about everything and especially red. WIN!

Once all the new front porch staples arrived we called in some reinforcements for the landscape design. Our gifted friends at Porch Therapy came to the rescue! I have a “green-ish” thumb and can keep things alive, but I needed some advice on what in the world to plant in our gorgeous new pots. Something that could handle extreme heat and an insane amount of humidity. If that wasn’t all, I really didn’t want to plant more deer food.

The ladies from Porch Therapy recommended all kinds of plants and came up with the Preppy-Meets-Southern-Tropical theme for the arrangements, which I had never thought to do! The front of our home is very “Southern” looking and I always thought that without hydrangeas or geraniums it just would not work… But I had never thought outside the box, and I am SO glad we did. After that, we were ready to whip our front door into tip-top shape!

In our Planters

Silver Buttonwood, Caladiums, Diamond Frost Euphoria, Echinacea, Alocacia, Canna Lily, and Blue Daze. The trees are Weeping Podocarpus.

Okay, so I know what you are thinking, “Ashley, that is a lot of work!” But honestly, you just need a plan and it will all fall into place. I pinky promise! So here you go friends, get out a pen and write down these three steps to help you get started:

Step 1. Assess your space.

What do you have room for? A wreath? A pot or two? Chairs? Map it out and decide what the space can handle and what you could do that really would make an impact. I already had the chairs and knew I wanted to incorporate them, so I just added pillows and pots. That part was easy!

Step 2. Find your colors/know your climate

Too often I find myself picking up a “pretty” wreath for the front door and bringing it home only to realize, “yes, that is pretty… but your door is red. Pink and purple flowers do not match. At all.” Honestly, that has happened far too many times. After realizing that we needed to stick to primary colors, everything got a lot easier. Those aqua blue pillows are pretty, but they won’t match, get the blue & white ones….etc. etc.

This also helped a ton when it came to plant selection! We knew our lane. Also, I had to come to grips that we didn’t live in North Carolina where we could have hydrangeas galore. I live in Florida. It’s 1,000 degrees in the Summer and, strangely enough, our neighborhood has more deer than people. So once I came to grips with that, the plant selection made more sense. Also, it’s comforting to know that we didn’t just pot a whole bunch of deer food.

Step 3. Get outside of your box!

This is hard for me. I like the comfort of a box, but after talking to professionals I realized… I can pot an actual tree? Again, no idea why I didn’t comprehend it until now, but pots aren’t just for flowers.

Also, move those pots around. If you have a perfectly symmetric front porch or entry way like we do, don’t just stack them up on your steps. Get a little asymmetrical, add some interest! You’ll be so proud of yourself when you do!

See, not so hard! Just get yourself some new pots, talk to your local nursery about what really works in your climate, and play around with it! Whether you are in an apartment or house, you want your guests’ first experiences in your home to be special. So why not start with the front door?!

Photography : Danielle Nichol Photography | Floral Design: Porch Therapy | Dress: J. Crew | Art Direction: Ashley Brooke Designs | Chairs / Planters / Drinkware: J. Crew

This Bohemian Home was Inspired by One of Our Favorite Blockbusters

For these homeowners, building their dream home meant really honing in on their vision. The end result looks a little like the classic Father of the Bride abode (which let’s be honest is one of the best movie homes ever) meets bohemian, eclectic details. Things picked up on travels, gorgeous family photographs and cozy layers can all be found in this winning combo captured by Daphne Mae.

After planning this home of ours for over three years, we couldn’t think of a better way to commemorate such a thrilling change in our lives than with photos. We chose a traditional floorpan with a large foyer, complete with a rounded staircase, stone cast fireplace, and a white kitchen.

I always wanted our home to feel very, ‘Father & the Bride’ with a twist of Modern Boho, if thats even a thing.

Kitchen and Nook

Pendants: Circa Lighting | Barstools: Wisteria Home Decor | Jute Rug: Rugs USA | Dining Table and Chairs: Cost Plus World Market  | Juju Hat: Etsy

I always wanted our home to be traditional with a twist of modern eclectic. I love the look and feel of a home well lived in, something that has collected memories from places and time.

We’ve incorporated things that my Husband and I have picked up on our travels, as well as, things we’ve simply had forever but still love.

Beyond that, to have a welcoming home, one that just kind of hugs you when you walk in was our main goal. We’re in the season of life where dirty floors and little visitors are the norm, so keeping it a place that is relatable and reflects our lifestyle was also huge.

Living Room

Rug: Rugs Usa | Coffee table, sofa and chairs: Restoration Hardware | Pillows: Danielle Oakey Interiors, MaeWoven, Pillows by Elissa, BohoPillow | Gallery Walls Photo Frames: Pottery Barn | Black and White Woven Bench: Cost Plus World Market | Planter: Lowes | Console Table: Wayfair | Woven Stool under Console: Target | Basket under console table: Target


Bed: Restoration Hardware | Positano Print: RubyandB (Etsy) | Rug: The Woven Home | Mudcloth Blanket: The Bee and The Fox | Lamps: Target | Nightstands: Pottery Barn


Rug: Rugs USA | TeePee: Etsy | Play Table and Chairs: Restoration Hardware Kids | ToyBox: The Land of Nod | Wall Decals: Urban Walls


Crib: Babyletto | Rug: Etsy | Horse Print: Minted | Wallpaper: Spoonflower


Photography: Daphne Mae

A Gender Neutral Nursery with the Prettiest Wallpaper Backdrop

My new favorite nursery design choice? Wallpaper. We’re seeing it in sweet spaces for little ones time and again, and it’s such a fun way to make baby’s space truly unique. Case in point? This dreamy nursery designed by Lark & Linen for Sarah Lane, complete with a kitty hamper, plush buddies and a mirror that I want for myself! See more captured by Heidi Lau right here in The Vault!

From Lark & LinenDesigning nurseries has quickly become my absolute favourite thing to do. Being able to create a soft and serene space for a baby boy or girl to-be, knowing full-well that it’s where they’ll be forming some of their earliest memories, is a pleasure I can’t begin to describe.

So when my friend Sarah hired me to do hers, despite a particularly hectic schedule, I couldn’t say yes quickly enough. With the sex of baby E a surprise from the start, we began with a gender neutral nursery design, with plans to infuse more feminine or masculine elements when baby made his or her debut.

We used the fabulous flamingo print wallpaper as a jumping off point, and kept everything else soft, simple, and elegant, so it could really shine. With a palette of soft greys, subtle blues, whites and creams we ended up with a lovely space, perfect for him OR her.

I’m thrilled to announce that Baby E has since arrived, and I’ve been told that she (squee!) is already enjoying her sweet little space immensely. For a full list of credits and sources, head on over to my blog, Lark & Linen.

Make DIY Wallpaper Panels for your bebe’s nursery!

More inspo for your bebe this way…

30 of the Cutest Ever French Baby Names
Creative Celebrity Baby Names That Aren’t Totally Crazy Pants
60 Twin Baby Name Pairings that Would Make Mary Kate + Ashley Jealous

Photography: Heidi Lau Photography | Client: Sarah Lane | Interior Design: Lark & Linen