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A Before & After House Tour Full of DIYs You Might Actually Do Yourself




House tours might be one of my favorite pieces to produce for this site. I get to spy on other people’s homes FOR MY JOB, reach out to them, get excited by their excitement, and show off someone’s hard (and really beautiful) work with all of you guys. What could be better? We very much plan on doing more of these this upcoming year (according to the survey we currently have up, people seemed like they wanted these more regularly) as long as you guys continue to crave them. So, let’s get into our first house tour of the year, shall we?

As was the case with the house tour we ran of Francois et Moi, Emily passed along images of Ashley Goldman of The Gold Hive’s home for me to reach out about featuring on the site and I overreacted (as I usually do, though I can only blame my raw passion for decorating) and likely screamed something along the lines of “YES THIS ROOM SETS MY HEART ABLAZE. WE MUST DO HER HOUSE.” I saw her bedroom reveal when I was following last year’s One Room Challenge, and that board and batten is so good. The circle detail on the molding in her master bedroom (keep reading for more on that) KILLS ME every time. Such a simple, subtle detail that just does so much heavy lifting design wise. I almost fell over the first time I saw it. I loved it so so so much, saved it probably about seven times without realizing and just thoroughly was impressed by the quiet yet impactful vibe of this room.

Then, maybe a few weeks after touching base with Ashley and locking this in for the blog, Jess (our Senior Market Editor who, at the time, was helping with social), suggested posting an image of the mural in the office of Ashley’s home. The tree “wallpaper” in there definitely felt like something Em would be on board with (the woman loves herself a tree), so Jess set to researching information on it for the caption. And that’s when we found out it wasn’t a wallpaper at all. No, it was HAND PAINTED. Just wait until you see it later on in this post. It’ll knock your memory foam slippers straight off your heels.

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Behind the front door of Ashley’s super cute Craftsman in San Diego is a tub-full of elbow grease courtesy of all the DIY projects she took on, from the two we already mentioned (molding in the master bedroom, hand-painted mural in office) to painted kitchen cabinets paired with a concrete countertop.

“When my husband Ross and I bought our home, it was neglected and in need of a lot of care,” says Ashley. “After doing a very serious deep clean, refinishing the floors, repairing the plaster walls, updating the electrical, replacing the HVAC, and getting the home livable, I focused on designing the home room by room. The 1915 craftsman bungalow has much of its original charm that we’re really proud to maintain, but I also infused new furnishings and decor along with modern upgrades for living in the 21st century.” The DIYs abound, and for each room, we link out to all the gritty details and how-tos from Ashley on those, as well as the shopping URLs we know you’re going to want to know about.


Livingroombefore 1


Ashley says this front room was mostly about cleaning up the wood work (new floors, drywall, refinished bookcases) and then bringing in more modern furniture pieces to balance the original architectural details of the early 20th century home.

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Wall Paint | Blue Chair | Chandelier | Floor Lamp | Gold Frame | Buffalo Check Pillow | Gray Chair | Beach Painting | Black-and-white Vase | Coffee Table | Rug

Dining Room Ba

A coat of fresh paint went a long way (as it normally does) to making the heavier dining room feel light and bright.

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Wall Paint | Table | Chairs | Chandelier | Rug (similar) | Candle

Dining Room Art Detail

Vintage art graces the picture ledge that was original to the house. Also, pretty smitten with the idea of hanging plants and greenery from the insanely charming art rail. The mirror in the original built-in curio cabinet reflects light that comes in from the front windows, which is a helpful takeaway for anyone trying to figure out how to help a darker, small room.


Office Ba

One of the most impressive transformations in all of Ashley’s home is the handpainted mural in her office. The “before” of the room was perfectly nice, but the after stops you dead in your tracks:

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THAT IS NOT A WALLPAPER. That is handpainted. Let’s take a moment to give this the honor it respects (and here’s a closer look):

Office Wall Detail

Ashley transformed this space for the spring 2017 One Room Challenge and uh, it’s impressive. In fact, it won that season, and was one of two spaces selected by House Beautiful’s Editor in Chief for top marks, and I can see why. It’s an eight-color painting she designed in Photoshop and projected onto the wall to paint, which took her over 60 hours to execute.

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Wall Paint | Desk Chair | Desk | Rug | Pendant | Clock | Roman Shades

The rest of the room was reorganized to work better for how Ashley used the space with budget-friendly storage, new window treatments and lighting, and more.

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Art Print | Wall Sconce | Vintage Camera | Globe | Basket | Storage Cabinet | Drawer Pull 



In her kitchen, the main projects included doing something about those floors, refreshing the cabinetry without swapping it out, adding a little more storage and rethinking the countertops.

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Cabinet Paint | Rug | Vinyl Tile | KitchenAid | Dish Towels | Canister | Base Cabinet

It’s easy to see that “before” shot and think a total gut job would be the only way to make it stylish and liveable, but when there isn’t room in the budget for a full renovation, you get creative. Vinyl checkerboard tiles and a robin’s egg blue paint on the cabinetry totally leveled up this kitchen space without a total overhaul.

Kitchen Side By Side1

The original laminate countertops were replaced by DIY concrete (read all about that process here). Ashley also got crafty and added in a simple wood breakfast bar and prep space next to her retro stove.



This is not the “before” before, but rather how the room looked before a pretty easy but impactful transformation for another One Room Challenge by Ashley.

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Again, paint pulls a ton of weight in this room’s makeover as does a tight and polished color scheme. And because this room is used predominently as a guest bedroom (when Ashley and her husband aren’t Netflixing in here), the pull-out sofa doubles as a bed.

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Wall Paint | Rug | Drapery Hardware | Curtains | Colorblock Throw Pillow | Minimal Art | Sofa | Chandelier | Ottoman | Side Table | Framed Art Print | Moulding | Picture Rail Hook

The added art rail echoes the one in the dining room and feels original to the home (even though it’s new). Painting it the same dark color as the wall means it doesn’t detract from the actual art itself. To see all the DIYs in this room, check out the six-week progress posts here.


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Before the Spring 2018 One Room Challenge, Ashley’s master bedroom was perfectly nice and full of light, but the “after” is a testament to the power of architectural detail:

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Panel Paint | Wall Paint | Lattice | Rug | Bed | Bedding | Framed Collage | Sconce | Flush Mount | Roman Shade | Button Switch Plate | Button Dimmer Switch

“I made over our master bedroom during the One Room Challenge in the spring of 2018,” says Ashley. “I added a board and batten wall treatment, removed a doorway, added a door to the backyard, created a seating area outside, then incorporated lots of art and beautiful furnishings. One day, we hope to add an ensuite bathroom, and access to the backyard.”

Bedroom Side By Side

Door Paint | Patio Door | Door Handle | Nightstand Vase | Alarm Clock | Brass Tray (similar) | Small Line Drawing | Speaker

That little round detail near the sconce above the nightstand still, after all these months since I first saw it, makes me do a double take. Ashley mentions that they matched the molding pattern from the dining room to make this feel original to the 1915 home.

Emily Henderson Golden Hive House Tour 21

Dresser | Black-and-White Art | Giraffe Print | Table Lamp | Mirror

This wall here used to have a door to the kitchen, which was removed and drywalled so the board and batten could go in (and there could be wall space for a dresser).



“The bathroom has had the biggest transformation to date,” notes Ashley. “Unlike the other rooms, it was completely gutted down into the crawlspace and up into the attic. The 100-year-old plumbing was updated, the beehive was removed from the inside of the wall, and the mold was hauled away. Our only bathroom now has brand new finishes that should last another hundred years.”

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Wall Paint | Turkish Towel | Sconce | Sink | Wall Tile | Medicine Cabinet Latch | Faucet | Soap Dispenser | Shelf | Decorative Wall Vent

The mix of tile works so well here because of two things: varying scales but a uniform color palette. And I’m sorry, but how darling is that new decorative wall vent that you’d swear was original to the home?

Bathroom Side By Side

Hex Floor Tile | TubPainting | Bath Mat | Candle

The deep charcoal gray brings in a contrast that is needed in a space with so much white (otherwise, the risk would be creating a space that feels almost too new and pristine for a 100-year-old home). For all the details of this bathroom renovation, check out Ashley’s posts here.

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Thank you again to Ashley for opening her home up to us to photograph and share with you guys. Be sure to check out Ashley’s blog for more DIYs and shopping resources, and keep an eye out for more One Room Challenges to come from her (we hope!).

Fin Mark


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0 responses to “A Before & After House Tour Full of DIYs You Might Actually Do Yourself

  1. I can see why you fell for this house, and the DIY. Absolutely stunning. It helps that the old house clearly has good bones, but Ashley’s eye for design really makes the place shine. I particularly loved the round molding by the sconce (who wouldn’t??), the buffalo check kitchen floors, and the brightened dining room. The period details are to die for!

  2. It really is so refreshing to see a great kitchen makeover that didn’t rely on a massive spending spree. I like eye candy as much as the next gal but it doesn’t actually help me much — with my own home — to see a $50,000 kitchen renovation with all new cabinets, flooring, countertops, etc., etc. Most people can’t afford that. The only idea I get from that is: Spend lots of money and you, too, can have a gorgeous kitchen.

    This kitchen makeover is actually realistic for most people. And it looks beautiful! Which goes to show that you can update a kitchen without spending a fortune. Nicely done.

    1. Glad you like my lil’ kitchen! All of these renovations were meant as a stop gap between moving in and doing a full renovation. I did the whole makeover for under $500!

      I hate to break it to you, but we’re going to be renovating this space and building a brand new kitchen – and adding a bathroom – and a closet in 2019! I think you’ll still like it though 😉

      1. Funny, I’d take your kitchen (in its current state) over mine! But I certainly don’t begrudge your renovating it. I’m just glad to see the terrific $500 makeover. Very inspiring.

      2. Stage 1 renovations (what YHL calls them) are important too! As you mentioned, so many people are in rentals where a major reno wouldn’t make sense but some basic, cheap changes could greatly improve live-ability, and so many more of us don’t know/can’t afford what we really want yet, but these cheap changes are great in the meantime! Or, some kitchens don’t need a whole gut, but implementing a small update like concrete over some laminate countertops or a fresh coat of paint on the cabinets could be all the kitchen needs to feel updated and fresh! Thanks so much for sharing on your blog, and thanks EHD team for featuring Ashley!

  3. What a gorgeous transformation!!! This does not look like a DIY remodel. The quality of the work and the details are amazing! Well done!!! Thank you for sharing!

  4. Gah I just love Ashley’s home and her blog, I’ve been stalking it for months now! I especially love her attention to great quality details, she has beautiful art and rugs that match perfectly with her vibe. And if we all don’t want to go rewire our entire homes for push button light switches now…. SO good!

  5. Gorgeous, and I really love the panelling in the bedroom (as well as that blue sofa – swooon!)

    I’m a little confused about who wrote this post though, can posts be credit to non-Emily (Henderson) writers in future please?

    1. I was also confused about the author at first! (“Who is the Emily that Emily is referencing??”) Putting Arlyn’s name at the bottom isn’t ideal. I think in the past there’s been an intro at the top at least? “Hi, Arlyn here to share this home tour…” kind of deal.

    2. Sorry for the confusion! I wrote this. It’s noted at the bottom, but probably just not clear enough. Glad you like Ashley’s home as much as we do!

  6. Yay! Very happy to see Ashley’s home get the attention and praise it deserves! Her blog is one of the very few I check regularly apart from Emily’s, so could not be more excited about this crossover 🙂

    1. Me too! I found Ashley through Emily (an Instagram pic she re-posted) and I’ve been following her ever since. She has a such a great eye, and it’s so inspiring that she has done so much of the work on her house herself. It’s fabulous!

  7. this is amazing. omg. that board and batten detail. and all the lighting. i’m so in love! thank you for sharing this!

  8. So excited for you to share Ashley’s home on your blog! I’ve been a fan of hers for a couple of years now I can’t get over how much she’s done in such a short time. The details are spot on and you could tell she puts her heart into it. Thanks for sharing and look forward to more of this in 2019

  9. Wow. I’m floored by this house — every dang photo had me gasping. Keep up the house tours, I love them!

  10. Hi Emily,
    My husband and I will be building a house this summer. We have an architect, but I’m worried we’ll get to the end and the house will be lack soul and personality. Do you have any pointers for specifically new builds and how to add character/personality. If you’re looking for an idea for a blog post/topic, it would be very helpful!!!

  11. Such a beautiful home! I love the balance of traditional and modern. And love the affordable kitchen refresh. Thanks so much for sharing.
    BTW, I agree with another commenter that the writing of the post was a bit confusing. Hard to tell who was writing it. Anyways, great content!

    1. Sorry for the confusion! We’ll be sure to credit up top instead of down at the bottom next time.

  12. I love this entire house!!!! One of the things that kept me going “YES” is that she kept the color of, and worked with a lot of that beautiful molding. She also kept the thin orange (oak?) flooring like I have in my 1950s house. This gives me inspiration to work with what I have rather than wishing I had a huge budget to replace the flooring with something more modern.

    It is so refreshing to see tasteful updates that reflect the personality of the house rather than trying to make it something that it is not. The updates to the bathroom and master bedroom look original to the house – just freshened up.

    1. Yes! I love that she kept the original wood molding! I would have been tempted to paint it, while also feeling obligated to leave it for historical reasons — but she made it look really great here! And I agree that all of her updates honored the style and history of the house. So inspiring! (even though my 1950s range has none of these architectural features…)

    2. Hi hi! The wood floors in here are quarter sawn white oak with a satin oil-based poly coating. The oil-based finish makes them more amber in color, but you could refinish your old floors and do a water-based stain if you want the look of the wood, but less of the “age”. Here’s my blog post about fixing up these floors!

      I vote for working with what you’ve got – if what you’ve got is original hardwood! <3

  13. This is a beautiful home. So full of character! That robin’s egg blue paint on the kitchen cabinets is to die for. I have always been hesitant to consider such a bold color but it looks amazing. I have been planning on doing a cabinet color change because my cabinets need some serious love and I think I’ve just been inspired to go for it!

  14. YES! The Gold Hive – love, love, love. 🙂 I love seeing a mix of white walls and moody walls – be still my heart.

  15. Not sure why who wrote this, Arlyn says at the bottom. Anyway great post, love all the details. Happy New Year! Now let’s see if my comment posts. for some reason they never do anymore. Sure would like that fixed. Thanks.

  16. I have never wanted to move into a house more. I’ve always said my house is 1950’s craftsman, but after seeing this tour I realize that I have a long way to go with architectural detailing!

    Thanks for sharing! 🙂


  17. Loved this feature! As someone with a 100-year-old house, it’s always inspiring to see how other homeowners with old homes have renovated old spaces on a budget. I’d also be curious to see home tours from people who took a boring, builder-grade 80s house and added character and style in a budget-friendly way. I know that it’s plausibly we may one day move, and if we do, it’s likely we would end up in a newer, uglier home (like this:,land_type/2816190_zpid/1980-1995_built/38.61469,-90.281525,38.558468,-90.373793_rect/13_zm/).

    So I’d love to discover ways people are making these 80s and 90s style homes beautiful. Thanks!

      1. Me three, says the owner of a rectangle ranch from the 80’s. I have been considering architectural trim in the death-by-boredom hallway but am not sure what style best fits the home & my decor (despite several re-reads of your wonderful paneling post last year) – also fear that only having it one place will look odd but don’t have the time/energy/desire to do it in the main living spaces.

  18. I love seeing historic houses with the original wood trim since I generally like white trim. This house is just beautiful!

  19. As a fellow owner of a 1915 bungalow, this post is my FAVORITE!! I just love the transformation of these spaces. Many of our home’s original built-ins and features are similar and this gives me so many ideas for future projects. Thank you for the inspiration.

  20. What a beautiful job Ashley did on her house. I like to DIY myself but I could never accomplish all that Ashley did. She also has great taste!!!

  21. I adore a California Craftsman, and if I were younger and more handy, I’d love to get a fixer-upper to do a similar reno to this one. First, I’m SOOOOOOOOO happy she didn’t paint the woodwork. Even with nearly all the woodwork stained brown (I don’t mind painted wood in a kitchen or bathroom), it’s still a light and bright house. I live in a 1980’s townhouse condo, with all the builder grade boringness that implies. When we did a top to bottom renovation about 15 years ago, we add arts-and-crafts details (our kitchen is arts-and-crafts inspired). The door and window moldings were all changed to chunkier a&c ones. Suddenly, the old builder grade doors looked even uglier than before. Our gc had his carpenter make us all new Doug Fir interior doors that look JUST like the ones here. It’s amazing how much difference such details make. And, of course, is why reno budgets skyrocket!

    P.S. that ‘before’ pedestal sink is ubiquitous and useless…the new one is perfect! If you don’t have room for a cabinet, you have to get a sink top where you can at least put your toothbrush and soap out at the same time.

  22. It’s great to see a makeover with some DIY. As a diy’er myself and someone on a pretty tight budget. I love to see such great style without a gut job and overhaul. That kitchen! (Swoon). It’s convinced me to give the feathered counterparts treatment a try, since our kitchen needs a second refresh and we’re still a few years away from being able to redo it completely.

  23. As someone who lives in a 100 plus year home with original woodwork, thank you for not painting all the trim, doors, and builtins white.

  24. Lovely home, thanks for sharing.

    Please list authors at the beginning of the post rather than the end so we know who’s writing as we read instead of after! Since you consistently have multiple authors now, have you ever considered building an author feature into the blog so that author name is consistently placed and we can click on their name to see all their posts? Might be helpful for everyone. 🙂

  25. This is definitely the most I’ve clicked on links within a post for a looong time. I think my favorite thing about this home boils down to the perfectly blended old with new. She did GREAT with the colors and wood tones, and I’m particularly impressed by how the more heavily remodeled areas don’t scream Old House New Bathroom/Bedroom. Very sensitive updating!! And my second favorite thing is that it looks homey, not just pinterest-y.

    1. Thanks for this comment! I love that you feel my home is homey because I do, too! Yay for blending old and new and thanks for clickin’ over to my little corner of the internet. See you over there!

  26. All the heart eyes on this post! What a beautiful house and I love that it was done little by little on a budget that most people can understand. Keep these types of posts coming, please!

  27. YESSSS. This is the kind of thing I want to see more of in 2019. LOVE the home tours. Personally, it helps to see how others make a home their own and make an entire space cohesive (vs. 1 room at a time reveals). Keep em coming, EHD team!

  28. I love seeing Ashley’s home on here! I found out about her from the ORC (or was it thru chrislovesjulia’s?) and have been smitten ever since. She is FULL of days, brilliant decor choices and day to day life tips including recycling and organization. And she’s adorable, witty and fosters animals. She is the total package ❤️ Good luck to all the other designers out there keeping up with this chick!

    1. This comment brought a little tear to my eye. Thank you for the kind kind words! I’m so glad you love following along and appreciate the things I do (old houses, animals, sustainability, wittiness, etc).

  29. I love everything about this post. And that house has me swooning!! Thank you for sharing it!! 🙂

  30. Lovely and SO nice to see how much beauty you can create on a more limited budget. #HonestMaterials

  31. Eeeek! I love seeing my home through the eyes of the EHD team! Thanks for all the love and the beautiful feature! I’m blushing and gushing and doing back flips over here. <3

  32. LOOOOOOVE this post! Keep them coming! I love finding out about cool new blogs to follow and this one is a great example. I also love hands-on, DIY (but still GORGEOUS) complete makeovers.

  33. Thank God they didn’t paint the woodwork (except for the medicine cabinet). I love makeovers like this where the projects are something I could see myself doing but they enhance the basic style of the house rather than try to make it into some style it isn’t. I think the bedroom paneling is the best example of this. Loved this story–more please!

  34. Love this house, thanks for sharing! And this is exactly my favourite kind of post, please keep them coming! 🙂

  35. Thank you for not painting all the beautiful wood. The reasoning is usually that the room is too dark. You’ve proved putting the white paint on the walls instead of the wood does the trick. Also, love the old stove. Bravo!

  36. LOVE LOVE LOVE! More old home tours please! Ashley’s home is so inspiring. Really enjoy her blog and all of the details she pays attention to. She has great content and DIYs.

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