Pure and Lovely

She had me at turquoise and white striped walls.   Last week, within 4 minutes of my first stop ever at a blog called Pure and Lovely, I was tweeting the author, Ashley, begging her to show off her home at Nesting Place.  She names her furniture people, like real, vintage names, need I say more?

What I like about her home is that although it is strikingly beautiful, it’s welcoming, comforting, and approachable.  It says “I have style and I also have a family and this beautiful home is an intricate part of our every day life.”  It’s a real home, that is really loved. And used.  Her home gave me hope and inspired and motivated me.  If you have yet to stop by Pure and Lovely/ also lovingly known as Supa Blogga Supreme Mama’s blog,  you are gonna love this guest post.  Here’s Ashley::

If you’re anything like my growing family in this economy, you’re not leaving the space you’re in anytime soon. Reality has literally hit home for the masses. So I thought I would share a snippet of my home. Two changes: one big and one small. Simple solutions we personally used, for expanding (and even adding value to) our little bungalow.

We’re not just learning to be content, but loving where we are in the meantime.

We live in a home with no traditional bonus room or basement. I’m sure that compared to an apartment in Sweden, it’s huge. {Space is relative, after all.} We’re not total ingrates, so we love our (smaller) home. When we first moved in, we had one child. Now we have three, 4 and under. I had never planned on three –I’m drowning in GIANT toys and gear.  My children had their own separate rooms, as I felt their gender, age and birth order warranted it. But our home felt cramped. There was no real room dedicated to their play…no area to let loose with their Spiderman v. My Little Pony wars. I then realized that with change in our family came flexible transition for our spaces.

Who’s preconceived notions of a home was I following, anyway?

After weighing the options, I moved our two boys (4.5 yrs. and 9 mos) in together. It took some bribing in the form of pet turtles for my oldest, but the change was well worth it.

The space needed to be gender neutral and budget friendly. So with a few simple revamps, the “playproom” (dubbed by my daughter) came into being. I wanted it to be expressive with colors and clever in function. For me, color can make or break a space, and aqua was a fun choice.

I carried the color scheme into the furniture and accessories to give it a cohesive look. I brightened reds to a fire engine status, where as before they were an aged barn when they sat in my oldest’s room. I changed the chairs around the table, from barn red, to bright red and yellow. I also spray painted the old star lamp yellow, to give it more of a prominent pop. Tada! A {primary with a twist} color palette.

The window valance is literally old pieces of fabric from some pillows I did a few seasons back, held up with a copper pipe and clips. The framed fabric you spy are magnet boards also made from leftover projects. Once I sewed them, I tacked them around a large piece of metal from home depot and framed them in coordinating colors with some MDF (my bff). I wanted the kids to have a good place to display their art, other than the exhausted proverbial fridge. The star garland you see strung across the top, was inspired by one I spied at West Elm last Christmas, and I decided this would work great as another art display. I’ve already caught my oldest trying to use it as a zip line.

This buffet was rescued and revamped it with a two toned, coordinating yellow and red knobs. It holds toys, along with two spare baskets, and a vintage box originally used for (get this) transporting birds. The room is a combination of vintage pieces from our own childhoods, cherished books, toys, and art from our children. The other frames on the wall were made by me to display their photos. They love their play space. I knew I’d succeeded then they refused to leave for an entire week. Doing this ultimately gave us more space, and made our home feel as though we’d gained a room, rather than lost one.

Our second space saving change came with the idea of building a wall. Our bungalow came fully equipped with a back porch when we moved in. Which, in theory, seemed like a good idea. It was encased on three sides. At first, we created an outdoor oasis. But my visions of a relaxing cup o Joe in the mornings were shattered when someone forgot to remind us that we live in the doldrums of the tropics in South Alabama. And for icing on the cake: our back yard is completely dominated by a killer pecan tree that houses everything from gooey caterpillar nests to wombat man eating spider monkeys. True story.

This spring, we’d had enough. We hired a contractor to build a wall for us. (Take that, evil face eating mosquitoes.) This undertaking was quite affordable. Especially considering the value it brings to our home. I call it the veranda, as Florida room sounds like the place where a leather-esque old lady sits covered in palm fronds, admiring her collection of kitschy hula girls and various bobble heads.

The striped walls are actually siding. We used the natural lines as stripes. I decided since the room was so narrow, it could use something striking on the walls. I adhered to the fashion rule that broad, horizontal stripes make one look wider, and applied it to the room. The application and contrast in real life is quite fun, giving the appeal of a seaside escape.

I refinished the furniture on the porch, a previous clearance find at Target via Smith and Hawken. I also replaced the fabric on the pillows, for something more suiting to the room. I am in no way a seamstress, but I recovered the original cushions to give it a more custom look, to unify the original fabric from the seat cushions, and the new colors on the walls. I also made curtains from linen for the windows. The dresser was a find at a favorite flea market of mine. We refinished it in aqua, and replaced the knobs. This is definitely our family’s favorite room in the house. It added much the needed indoor space to our home, and value, as well. Sometimes, in the afternoons, the kids and I lie on the floor and watch the man eating pecan tree with all the Swiss Family Robinson wilde glory, from the luxury of our cool shelter. Blissful contentment, it is.

Thank you for looking. I’d love to hear…what are some of your ideas for making your space last longer?

Read more about Ashley here, see her dining room here, and stop by her etsy shop, Pure Innovation.


  1. Lovely. Thanks for sharing.

  2. gorgeous! love the bright cheery colors in the playroom and that porch-made-extra room looks just divine! Thanks for the introduction!

  3. That looks like a real HOME to me–I am super-impressed and super-inspired. With a little one at home, I tend to think that function has to supercede form for our family–but it looks like this woman has struck a true balance.

  4. I can see why you were captivated…just wonderful, great style! Janell

  5. Wow, Ashley…beautiful decor!

    I have to ask about the photo art on the walls – the green and white striped ones and the floral/scrapbook paper looking ones with baby pictures. Did you do those yourself? I can’t tell if they’re on canvas or wood, but I LOVE them. I’d like to do something like that for my girls bedroom.

  6. So much inspiration in one post. Thanks.

  7. What a find, this delightful supablogga!

  8. I’d like to be a little child again in that play room! I’m sending the link to my married kids who are planning to renovate a “too-hot” enclosed porch into an office. They’ll love it! And subscribing to her blog. May not be totally my style, but I’m liking some of it alot. :)

  9. I love the photos of her home, and I love her sense of humor. Thanks for letting her share with us, Nester! I am definitely clicking over. :)

  10. Love her style! It all looks so fresh and fun. Thanks for introducing her to us!

  11. Well, you know what’s coming don’t you????

    What is that color in the playroom?!?!?

    And what is the veranda color????

    And where did she get those white frames????

    You had to know someone was gonna ask right? :-)

  12. Beautiful and inspiring — thank you!

  13. omg nester what a great find – i love her blog! now i am super inspired to make my back porch something lovely! thanks. xoxo.

  14. Candy McCarthy says

    I just found your site a couple of weeks ago and I ADORE it! I am IN LOVE with the green stripe picture frames you made – how no earth did you do it? Do you sell? ;)

  15. i stinkin’ LOVE her! i’m zipping over to her site right now!

  16. Wow!! I am in love with these rooms. They are so inspiring to me – and I’m not just saying that because I’m an avid fan of Ashley’s. :) Thank you for getting her to do this guest post – love it!!

  17. Well, I think I can kiss the rest of my day goodbye now. So much pretty to behold over there.

  18. Oh my goodness. Ya’ll are too sweet.

    The blue is benjamin moore robin’s egg, but I’m a total cheapskate, so I beat the man by having it custom mixed at Home Depot. It’s the same in both rooms, as I’ve been trying to unify my home with color. I know I’m awful, and Benji is totally worth it because it goes on like butta, but I was on a tight (TIGHT) budget ;) The grey on the veranda is the same as my little girls room. It’s Behr Irish Mist. And the frames are cheapo Ikea! Hurray for Ikea. I could stay in there all day…

  19. Hi! You are my new hero. Similar story here: 3 kids, 3 bedroom / 2 bath home, no way to upsize anytime soon. I love your colors and style! Love, I tell you. Can’t wait to nose around your blog. Snaps to Nester for showing you off! Oh and I’d love to know paint colors too. I’m painting my daughter’s room this weekend.

  20. she’s a friend of a friend & i’ve followed her blog for a long time. love her blog & her style. she’s absolutely hilarious! so glad to see thsi feature. her house is amazing!

  21. I just came across this blog yesterday and added it to my favorites! So exciting for them to be featured here and I truly hope great things come to their business through The Nesting Place!

  22. Love this post and your ideas, thank you!

    I’m right with you in terms of re-thinking room uses. In the past year I’ve turned the “formal” living room of my home into a children’s bedroom by adding french doors and a heavy quilt curtain. The dining room has also undergone transition, first to a second living room/seating area and most recently I’m in the process of turning it into a school room/play room.

    It was so freeing to start to think of my house space in terms of what works for our family right now vs. what the rooms are intended to be!

    Thanks again for your ideas, so inspirational!

  23. gorgeous!! and moving the boys in together- its on my agenda already! YAY! Glad to hear it worked out well for them, Im hoping it does the same for us!

    and now im headed over to visit- and probably add another blog to the roll! lol.

  24. I love your creativity….I love the rotary phone painting…..your use of color is beautiful! I was intrigued by the siding on the wall for stripes! Very neat!


  25. Wow pretty and practical! Thanks for turning me on to her blog!

  26. it looks amazing! Way to go and what a great space for your children!

  27. I know I know, her blog is GREAT and I love her home…..every single thing about it. Makes me want to go paint paint paint :).

  28. That is a wonderful space! I love it! I know what you mean about being content with where we are, and making the space we have work for us. Thanks for the inspiration!

  29. I’m in love. I’ve already gotten a million ideas from a post on just two rooms! Is that possible! Clearly my full time job is getting in the way of revamping my house and my crafty time! Thanks for sharing your gorg house!

  30. Love these pictures, I love how light the rooms feel without being insubstantial.

    Also, I got the Ultimate Tassel Guide! I made tassels! I am so happy with my results, if you want to peek: http://barnaclebutt.blogspot.com/2010/08/hooray-for-tassel-mania.html

    I am a happy and satisfied shopper, thanks for the e-book; I love it!

  31. gosh she’s purely lovely!!!! And so stinkin’ funny I almost had my water squirting out of my nose.
    thanks for the awesome link!!!!

  32. I love Ashley! Her home is so gorgeous! I will definitely be taking a trip over to her site. :)

  33. Umm oh my gosh. Gorgeous.

  34. Gorgeous! I can’t wait to read more over at your blog!! :) I, too, am determined to love my small home & make it lovely for my family. We don’t have space to waste, so every room gets use pretty much every day. Our dining room is getting a makeover now, and going casual, as that fits our entertaining style and family best.
    Thanks, Nester, for sharing your find with us! :)

  35. What beautiful rooms! So well thought out, where neither style nor function were compromised. Thank you for sharing!

  36. I love both rooms. They are gorgeous and practical. It’s definitely not the size of the house that matters; it’s how you use it, and you appear to be using every inch to the fullest.

  37. Ooooh!!! Ahhhhh! Can’t wait to go check out her bog and etsy shop. Thanks for sharing, Nester.

  38. *STANDING UP LOUD AND CLAPPING!** I LoVe it !!!!!!!!!!!


  40. I love this so, so much. I’m decorationally challenged, but just emailed my husband to show him that framed fabric in the playroom and put in a request for metal and MDF from Home Depot. :-)

  41. I Am so inspired by this we are in the middle of a simular set up and I can’t wait to finish my playroom project! Where did you find that star lamp!?! I am in love with it!? Thanks for sharing your decor and ideas are wonderful!
    God Bless!

  42. hey! It’s an old pottery barn kids lamp. I spray painted it once I was tired of the color. Not sure they carry them anymore…maybe ebay does! ;) thank you!

  43. Playroom is sweet! Too much stuff in the other small room. Made me feel claustrophobic!

  44. I was going to comment on those wonderful rooms. I love her style. Funny that someone felt the need to be negative. Those were just a few shots and she didn’t even show the entire space. I think it’s perfect.

  45. Attractive section of content. I just stumbled
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