Reader Design: Ashley's Farmhouse Boho Home

Ok, y'all (side note: now that I'm a Seattleite I never say that word outloud, but boy does it feel good to type it!). 

Daylight savings has happened. The days are officially darker, and Fall - and perhaps even Winter - are already here. Today, we're taking off to Montana and fully embracing all there is to love about this season with a tour of Ashley's home. 


It's some mutt-ish mix of boho, mid-century, and rustic and replete with all the Fall vibes. This is a perfect opportunity for an edition of "I Spy: StyleMutt Home Reader Design." Count the Fall references in this home - all things layered, cozy, and Thanksgiving-inspired - and we'll see if we come away with the same number. Deal? 

From Ashley:

I strive for functionality that also looks good. I strive to promote a sense of coziness and cleanliness in my home. A space that is clutter-free but also has a ‘lived-in’ feel (because, yes, real people live here!) I take pride in creating an oasis for my husband to come home to after a long day of work.

This oasis was created with a lot of DIYing, bargain hunting, and creativity. In the living room, Ashley and her husband transformed the cookie cutter box fireplace into the stunning stone masterpiece you see. All it took was a lot of sweat and, per Ashley, maybe a few tears!

In the living room, they negotiated and landed a "dinged" floor model version of the farmhouse table they were eyeing; those display scratches didn't detract at all from the table - in fact, they added character! 


In the master bedroom, they added some character again with a DIY shiplap wall. Now... I know what you're thinking. Thank you, Joanna Gaines, for the shiplap obsession that's rocking the nation. But Ashley knows that despite its current trendiness, the feature is still completely her. 

I don’t pay too much attention to trends, but instead gravitate towards classic and timeless pieces. I don’t want to feel like my décor is dated only months after designing a space. With that said, I do have shiplap in my home which is very “trendy” right now. But shiplap isn’t new, and I love the interest it adds to a space – so that is why I have it in multiple rooms, not because it is “in”. There is already talk about people regretting their decision to shiplap their walls, but I love it and have no regrets! At the end of the day, as long as your space brings you joy, that is all that matters!

At the end of the day, all that money and time is well spent if the results makes you feel content, happy, and home. 

[I’ll always invest in] anything that is well built and serves as functional décor! I love finding pieces that are made with quality materials and will stand the test of time. With that said, I also love finding functional useful items and displaying them as décor in my home. This dual purpose makes it worth a splurge!

Thank you for the tour, Ashley! Your home is so full of love and built to withstand any season. 

Follow Ashley along on Instagram @ashley.joyfullygrowing for more. See you all next week! 

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Fashion Guide From Someone Who Has To Wear Clothes Now

Hello there, friends! I know, this is crazy. A fashion post on a home decor site - it's nuts. I've had this post in my head for a while but kept pushing it back thinking what in the universe do I have to share about clothes. Because that's a thing now - sharing about clothes. And there are some seriously well qualified people out there doing a darn good job of helping us all get ourselves dressed in the morning! But I've discovered a new perspective on my wardrobe that maybe some of you can relate to. You see,

I work from home. Like this guy:


Yup. I can work with anyone anywhere in the world right from my own living room, and it doesn't matter a squawk what I wear.

But there's been a changing wind comin' around since the Fall started! Seems this is the season for a decorating refresh as the StyleMutt Home team has been busily responding to daily inquiries about our design services. I've been scheduling and handling each consultation and lunch meeting on behalf of the team and its been almost one every day. And sometimes the clients are individual home owners/renters, other times they're an entire production network, building management company or corporation. As someone who's first post college job was personal training, followed by staying home to raise our three babies, followed by this work which my soul LOVES, I haven't had a lot of need over the past decade plus for particularly nice clothes. I LOVE fashion and being creative with putting outfits together, but I've never ever had a need for 'creative professional' attire. So, to all you friends recently entering a different kind of workforce - the work from home and sometimes in front of people force - I'm sharing a quick round-up of 5 days worth of presentable, not too businessy, comfortable, multi-functional outfits.

1. Casual Networking

I'm easy, guys - it takes one hand to count the number of individual pieces I leave the house wearing on a typical day, (I count the hair as one), and social-professional gatherings aren't much different for me. We get invited to a lot of local events at some of our favorite shops and meet-and-greets with other designers in the area, so it's helpful to have easy-on outfits like this that I can comfortably mingle in.


2. Laid Back Client Consult

By laid back, I mean the client. If the client is a fellow casual bohemian, I let my earth Mama come out. This one is my favorite and feels the most 'me'. It's my natural style; simple pieces, simply styled, let the hair down and namaste. LOL! Seriously though. This is my comfort zone.


3. Get In the Game

Moving on, this is my least favorite outfit of the bunch. It just doesn't feel 'me'. But in this day and age of "You do you!", I'm calling BS. If you own a business, particularly a creative business where you are virtually selling your own self, you have to be willing to play the game, or at least ride the bench. Hear me out - Yes, you want to represent you, and your individuality and unique style. But if your unique style is so far out there, it can push people back a bit. This wouldn't be such a big deal if you didn't need those people to trust where their money is going. Your presentation, personality, pricing and portfolio, (I swear I didn't intend the 'p' thing), aren't strong enough to stand on their own. It doesn't matter who you are or how amazing your work is, (unless you're Lady Gaga); you must look like you care. You must appear to be a responsible adult who knows how to show up and get stuff done. If I don't know a lot about the potential client I'm meeting, this is what I'm wearing, or some variation of it. It's safe, which perhaps is the problem I have with it, but I doubt anyone else will so I'll wear it.


4. Step It Up Client Consult

If I'm ever facing a potential design project that challenges my confidence, this is what I'm wearing. Because I know I can deliver what the client is looking for, I just need their trust. And nothing says "trust me, I can get the job done" like a shift. I mean, if Hillary Clinton had just shimmied herself in a shift...But seriously, a well fitting shift helps me lift my head a little higher. And well fitting, by the way, doesn't necessarily mean stiff. This one's made of jersey!


5. Installation/Photoshoot Day

And you'd better believe there are snacks packed in that satchel! Unhealthy ones, no less. This is a tricky one because on installation day, (and even when I'm just taking pictures!), I sweat. It's usually fast paced work and I don't want to intrude on a client's space any longer than is necessary! I'd rather wear an old race tee and running pants, to be honest. But the next best thing is trusty jeans and a tee. Denim with a bit of a stretch so I can move free is a must, and a couple layers up top so I can pare down when I start getting warm.


That's a wrap, folks! I don't know if this was helpful for anyone but it sure was fun for me! Hah! I think photographing a few favorite outfits and defining out loud how they are a useful tool for this business has helped me at least get a clearer sense of my own professional style. If nothing else I would highly recommend this exercise yourself, even for private documentation, so you can find a comfortable direction for your professional style.

Thank you all so much for coming by today! This was by far my most vulnerable post, but you guys are a fun group and I thought we could AT LEAST laugh about the dude in the first picture together!