in process

This post is really about the beginning of my bedroom makeover, but I remembered I never shared the final version of FireCracker’s Christmas gift. I posted sneak peeks at it before Christmas. She loves to carry bags around, so I made a special one for her Christmas present.  It is my normal wonky sewing skills, but it works. I was very much inspired by this one – if only I could sew like she does!


And now the start of the story of my bedroom….when I was trying to decide the colors for the room I kept coming back to these old tins.

Originally I was going to do a mural of that painting on the wall, but knowing my constant need to change things I decided it probably wasn’t the best use of my time right now. All those pretty paints will be popping up here for another project soon.

After painting several different colors on the wall I ended up with “muslin”….

Once the paint was up I started removing base boards and tearing out the carpet…(most would recommend painting after you take out the baseboards and carpet but I wasn’t ready to move out my bed). Tearing out carpet is one of the most gratifying things to me. It might be odd how much enjoyment I get out of pulling up tacking strips and taking my knife to the carpet.

Chicken wire….lots of chicken wire….

When looking for some new fabric to replace the previous pillows I couldn’t find anything affordable for the look I wanted. I decided to experiment bleaching and dyeing fabric (thank you Martha…tutorial here). Warning: the process of bleaching and dyeing fabrics is highly addictive. I now feel the need to experiment with all the 100% cotton fabrics I can find for $1.00 a yard.

I picked fabrics that reminded me of vintage linens…not ones that I would normally buy. I am not a fan of the original version of this fabric, but once it was bleached and they dyed…I like it. You’ll be seeing more of it.

A few more things to experiment with….new pillows coming!

So now the bedroom is emptied and my kids think having a bed in the living room is beyond exciting. I, on the other hand, hope the disarray in my house will be worth it in a few weeks. Clutter stresses me out.

I hope you have a great weekend!

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  • laura - ooo….looking forward to the updates:). and can’t wait to try bleaching some cheap fabric! thanks!

  • Emily L. - Haven’t seen you since Mandy’s wedding, but wanted to say I love your blog. My favorite parts are when you post ideas about how you are trying to teach your kids compassion toward others. (Totally random sidenote, but the colors in the illustrations in “Caps For Sale” kind of remind me of the color combos you keep talking about.) My sister is going to take your next photography class… her husband got it for her for Christmas. She’s so excited. P.S. If you want an invite to our blog to learn about our adventures abroad, just send me an email.

  • amy - You’ve got me totally intrigued….and believe it or not…hubby just bought some fabric dye (He’s honestly trying to make baptismal robes that change from wed to white when dunked in water…i know…).

    Anyway…definitely going to steal some of his dye to work on some fabrics I’ve got lying around – thanks for the inspiration!

  • Lindsay - I have a feeling this is going to turn out really really cool. I wish I had your talent and mad skills!

  • Yanet - I’m so looking forward to seeing the outcome. I’m sure it’ll be fabulous. What will you do with all the chicken wire? Hmmm…

  • Karen Davis - LOVE the dye job…they’re gorgeous, and I will definitely have to try it out myself 🙂

  • Danielle - We are in the midst of a redo here also! Bookshelves and toys all over my living room! Can’t wait to see!

  • Amy Holgersen - I needed this post. Makes me get my butt in gear on my own mbedroom makeover!

  • Jacquelyn - I am so jealous of your 4 poster bed! Love your use of color, it’s so refreshing!

  • Anna Marie - Oh wow, this is so exciting, Ashley. I would want to be spending every available second to get it finished. Have fun doing it! I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE IT!!! Oh, and I had no clue you could do that with fabric…SWEET!

  • Jessica - wow, I can’t believe you are undertaking that on your own! “I am woman, hear me roar”, that is you!! Soo….I have to know where Firecracker got her shirt!!!! Please, do tell!

  • emily anderson - if only we could all be so inspired by salted cheese sticks. lol.

    can’t wait to see the finished product…

  • lesley graham - you are so inspiring! i get so comfortable with NOT changing anything because i hate the disarray too. i can’t wait to see what you come up with! you rock lady.

  • amanda torres - Hello, Ashley? Is there anything that you can’t do? Can’t wait to see the final product. AND, I can’t even comment on the purse. More thought on it would put me over the edge. Beyond precious!!!

  • Taylor - The tutorial linked doesn’t mention the process for bleaching. Did you still do the salt and everything for the bleach? I’ve never bleached anything, can you tell LOL.

  • Shannon - I can not wait to see the finished project!! Your bed is gorgeous and I love the colors!

  • andy - it’s so funny that you posted this about bleaching material. just yesterday i bleached a crib skirt for my daughter. my mom bought it a year ago and it was more purple than the pink in her room. i bleached it not sure what would happen but thinking that even if it went all the way white it would be better than the purple. it came out great. light pink.

  • Ruth - Clutter stresses me out too. We remodeled most of our house last year and it just about killed me. It is supposed to be fun and you almost feel guilty for complaining, but the end result IS worth it. Every day I look at the spaces we’ve finished and it makes me happy. Can’t wait to see the big reveal!

  • Seamingly Sarah - I can’t wait to see the final product! I also can’t believe the amount of work you are putting into this! My idea of redecorating is taking down all the frames in our house and making my husband repaint them. Tearing up carpet, painting…we did that when we first bought the house and I don’t think I can bring myself to do that again.

  • Jill E. - amazing what some dye can do. i love your inspirations. is there a name for that pattern? agree with everyone else look forward to the final product!

  • tiffani - Looks great! I am guessing you added lace to your little babe’s shirt?? If you didn’t-I would be surprised:) It is so cute-so I think I am going to try something like this to my little girls shirts! And I really can’t wait to see what you are doing with ‘lots’ of that chicken wire**:)

  • Green Gracie Home - amazing…I cannot wait to see the final transformation. I am fascinated by the dying/bleaching of the fabrics.

  • Jamie - I have never, ever thought about dying/bleaching fabric to get it “just right.” Genius! Once all my craft supplies are unpacked at my new house, I’m giving this a try. Your ideas are so cool.

  • anna - love the bag, how sweet. 🙂 and the fabric dying looks amazing. never tried it, but now it kind of makes me want to give it a try. 🙂 I wonder if the bleaching process weakens the fabric too much?

  • ashley jensen - I just know you will be doing something beautiful with those wood floors! The bleaching and dyeing of fabrics does look addicting. I really like the fabric and colors you have in there right now too!

  • Katie P. - The colors are all so pleasing! and the final product will be so rewarding! Also, I just keep thinking about how exciting my mom and dad’s bed in the living room would have been when I was a child. I still kinda think it would be fun now, in my own house, as a mom. I am sure my husband would disagree! 🙂

  • Kristen Haufschild - Absolutely gorgeous and inspiring! I can’t wait to see the final product!!

  • Jen - I have nothing really to say, other than I totally covet your style.

  • Heather - i ADORE your style and can’t wait to see it when you’re finished!
    firecracker’s purse is so great!!!

  • Dacia - Oh I can’t wait to see how it comes out! I’m sure it will be awesome. Now you’ve got me curious about bleaching and dying fabrics… hmmm.

  • Jess - Oh my word you are so brave for starting a project like that – in the middle of your house with four kids! More power to ya!

  • Anna - loving the color palette you chose for your room! can’t wait to see the finish product!

  • christina larsen - Can’t wait to see the finished project.

  • allison - Wow, I love the colors you chose! That teal is just to die for. I’m in the middle of some home makeover stuff, too, so it’s inspiring to see yours coming together 🙂

  • Laurie J - beds in the living room are TOTAL excitement for kiddos! 🙂 thanks for the peek at the makeover–I love the dyeing and bleaching fabric tip. If it’s addictive maybe it will take over my addiction to chocolate. Maybe

  • AshleyAnn - here is a link with more info on bleaching fabric:

    I did not add the lace to her shirt…that was a gift from a friend.

    The wood flooring is the plywood subfloor…

    I don’t know the name of the fabric pattern…I got it at Hobby Lobby.

  • amber - That is SO smart. I’m about to take on the task of pillows for our living room…and now I’m even more excited:)!

    Clutter stresses me out too…but it keeps coming back to find me. Geez.

  • mandi - I checked that book out from the library- the idea of bleaching and dying fabric really sounded good to me too! Oh, and the tins! I was thinking how funny it would be to paint a mural of the salty cheese sticks on the wall!

    Your color scheme is the same scheme I just painted the exterior of my house. We did a taupe on the walls, that gold on the window trim and the teal for the doors. We have 2 front doors (80+ year old house). I love, love, love it!!!

  • Mary - I am addicted to dyeing fabric…it is so awesome!

  • Leanne - to bleach and dye or not? what fun!!

  • twirling betty - Firecracker’s bag is just utterly gorgeous. Those colours, blue yellow and grey have been turning over in my head lately – love that combination. And all the cute trimmings and embroidered personalisation. Such a special gift.
    And I look forward to seeing your bedroom as it progresses. I’ve no doubt it will be spectacular at the end. Spectacular in a subtle, cool way…not in a Liberace way, of course! Clutter stresses me out too but when it’s in pursuit of a greater good I can cope. Just. For a very limited time.

  • Katie - LOVE it – can’t wait to see more and wow your bed and the colour cushions really stand out now against the wall 🙂

  • Lori - Okay – I love her purse- must make one or get one…:0)
    also – love the wall color, it looks so refreshing and I cannot wait to see the end result…so excited…also, I already bleach & dye my hair…soooo, why not try fabric?? good tips. thx. I love that tin with the repeated print on it…it is so pretty. love it.

  • Kim - What about the chicken wire???

  • giozi - wow wow wow you reall yare a super woman !!!
    My house need a paint right now, but nobody say anything, me neither my husband. ha ha ha.
    I like your tote more 😉

  • jade - Awww Ashley I LOVE the sweet bag you made. Now I’m thinking I need to make another for Chloe.

  • Jackie - I love that you were inspired by a tin of “Salted Cheese Crackers!” The colors are great! Can’t wait to see the finished results!

  • Amanda - I love the inspiration tin on the right! Can’t wait to see what you come up with for the rest of your room.

  • sarah - Can’t wait to see the finished product! Ripping up carpet-my favorite activity! We don’t have one scrap of carpet left in our home due to my addiction!

  • the whyte house - i love the dresser color. very pretty. since you’re already sleeping in the living room, you guys should camp out there one night w the kids. we like to pitch a tent in the basement from time to time for the kids. 🙂 haha.

  • Kim - Yes, I want to know about the chicken wire too! You have totally inspired me to do my bedroom , which has never been decorated since I moved in 7 years ago:(

  • spano - Hello, your website is very pretty !!!!!!
    just one question, I would like to know the exact color of the blue of the chest of drawers in the background of the photo….thank you very much !!!!!!!!!

  • Busy busy busy | OhSweetWhatever - […] – as well as a bit of  ’bleach & dye’ experimentation (a little bit like this), I intend making a teething/nursing necklace (like this) And I stopped in at the greengrocer to […]