ORC logo One Room Challenge guest participant
One Room Challenge Guest Bathroom Remodel
ORC logo One Room Challenge guest participant

Welcome to our home! We recently purchased a 100-year-old house to restore and rehab. I am excited to participate in the One Room Challenge as I also begin sharing our home renovation. If you are not familiar with the One Room Challenge, it is a wonderful idea put together by Linda Weinstein (of the blog, Calling it Home) that encourages participants to transform one room at a time in their home and share the process along the way. The ORC celebrates creativity, inspiration, and originality. In addition, Better Homes and Gardens partners with the One Room Challenge as the official media partner of the ORC. For my very first time as a guest participant, I am going to show you the transformation of our guest bathroom over the next 5 weeks. Take a look at these photos of the bathroom that I took when we first bought the house (we were living in another house while we began this DIY project)…

vintage bathroom with wallpaper on half wall and wood trim on bottom half of wall

This bathroom served as the only bathroom in the house when we purchased the house. The home was built in 1918 and was a 2 bedroom and one bath residence. This bathroom was between the master bedroom and the child’s bedroom and was originally shared by the occupants. I love reminding my children that having a bathroom inside of a home was a luxury back then! You can see the bathtub in the photo below. ..

retro bathroom with dusty pink tile in shower bath

The bathtub is one of the items that I immediately wanted to update. It’s a beast of a bathtub because it is cast iron! It weighs a ton and we knew it would be a bit of a challenge! And, you can see that the color scheme was ivory, beige, and dusty pink…

You can see in the photos above and below, the bathroom opens to each adjacent room. Below, you can also see the linen closet that is in the bathroom on the left wall as you look into the connecting bedroom- it is surprisingly large for the era that it was built. We would like to keep it intact and in keeping with the home’s history.

vintage bathroom linen closet with viewer looking into connecting bedroom

Needless to say, we committed to quite an extensive renovation and redesign while also wanting to maintain the history of the home. My husband headed the huge project of bringing this little gem of a home back to life. It has great bones, wonderful ceiling height, genteel history, beautiful natural light, and an excellent location. Really all it needed was a little (okay, a lot) of love and attention. We are happy we could restore this little lady and we love how she continues to come together. These are our intentions for her one original bathroom and bringing it up to date…

  1. Redesign the layout of the bathroom
  2. Replace the flooring
  3. Replace the tub with a shower only
  4. Remove wallpaper and repaint room
  5. Add more cabinet space

Everywhere I go, I take photos of flooring that I love. I really like the timeless look of black and white tile and knew right when I first saw this bathroom that I wanted to replace the original all white with black and white. My camera roll looks a lot like this (see below) because whenever I see flooring that piques my interest, I snap it and try to visualize what will be best. Here are a few photos that I took for floor inspiration while out and about in Atlanta…

black and white retro tile floor with repeating t pattern
black and white tile flooring with retro feel and diamond pattern
black and white tile floor in checkerboard pattern

For paint color, tile, and cabinetry, I really want to give the room a clean, white canvas and a fresh start. I love an old feel with some glamorous touches. I would love for the personality of the room to shine through with the accessories and art while the foundation of the room stands firm through trends that come and go. I also would like to keep a touch of pink as a slight nod to the original colors (not to mention that I just really like pink).

I am excited to get this entire room completed and shared with you! Please check back each week to see the progress of this restoration, remodel, redesign! I will also add more of our home restoration, in the coming months if you would like to read more about it! Here is what the exterior of the house looked like when we started!

Thank you for stopping by to see the first week of photos in the room transformation. I will add more of the project each week, and I hope you will follow along! Remember to check out all of the rooms that are being designed in the One Room Challenge- it’s like a virtual home tour reaching all across the country (and maybe globe?)!

I look forward to seeing you back again soon!

Cheers xo,

Lydia

Jazz Up Your Life with Ashley Longshore Art

Have you met New Orleans artist Ashley Longshore yet? Let me tell you, Ashley is a force in the world that draws me in like no other. She is equal parts loving and caring mixed with unabashed raw humor and bluntness. Subtle, she is not. But let me tell you what I feel like she IS.

Soaking up the enthusiasm and energy of Ashley Longshore at her show in Atlanta

Ashley is praised for her dynamic use of color while she depicts pop culture icons, makes light of society’s fascinations with luxury items (all the while also making them more enticing and desirable), and sharing her amusements with everyday life. She literally finds the beauty and humor in life itself, embraces it, and paints it in the most spectacular ways. Bottom line, she just draws you in. Sometimes you will hear people say that her wildness is offensive, but I find that her wildness is what MAKES her- she sees life in a vibrant, more exciting way and wants to share it. Ashley’s mouth could be described as more colorful than any painting she has ever created- whatever she is thinking is spoken and whatever she feels… she shares. But, thank goodness that she expresses herself, because that is also the reason we have her art. Expressing herself is a gift she has and she makes it her career ~ a career that she created FOR herself. A career that has her currently as Bergdorf Goodman’s Artist in Residence. At Bergdorf’s in NYC, Ashley had 5 windows showcasing her art and the entire 7th floor- holy cow. She is the first female artist to have a solo show at Bergdorf Goodman’s in the history of the store (which is over 100 years old). She also just teamed up with Gucci on a project- and Diane von Furstenberg asked Ashley to create a collection of portraits of women for International Women’s Month for her NYC flagship store.

Art by Ashley Longshore

And the reason that I love Ashley and her message so much is that Ashley’s story reminds me to be the type of mom that embraces her children’s personalities, qualities, interests and differences – and to remember that they are here to leave their own mark on the world and not necessarily the mark we may have envisioned they should leave. I love the reminder that our kids aren’t simply replicas of their parents to forge the exact same path or the path we have created in our minds for them. I really love that. Ashley is an example of what is possible when you let a child grow into their own rather than trying to force them into a certain mold.

I love the beautiful place setting with the cheeky message
Artwork by Ashley Longshore Photo by Lydia Menzies
Commissioned artwork by Ashley Longshore

I was originally drawn to Ashley’s story of her childhood that she freely shares. As a child, Ashley’s mom wanted Ashley to fit into her ideal vision and Ashley’s Dad was very happy to see her soar on her own (you can read more in Ashley’s words in the questions below). Fast forward several years, and you can clearly see the results of being allowed to pursue her own vision for herself.

Artwork by Ashley Longshore Art

Ashley is the type of business lady that inspires all business ladies (and men) to step up and strengthen your game. She encourages us all to stretch ourselves to be better than yesterday and to be unapologetically ourselves- while also reminding us to be our best selves on our way to realizing who we are and what we are capable of achieving. But her way of sending that message is unlike what you might imagine it is…it varies from a gorgeous post of her work on Instagram to the craziest meme or video you’ll see all day- and both are typically sprinkled with expletives and captions that will make you blush or make you laugh out very loud. She’s a hoot, as we say in the south.

Ashley is from the south which I also love. She was raised in Montgomery, Alabama (near where I went to college) and went to boarding school in Gainesville, GA (near where I live now). She is now in New Orleans which seems like a perfect match to her unbridled energy. In New Orleans, Ashley has assembled a team of ladies to help her run her gallery, and they seem like one, big, happy family who really get things done- and have a great time doing so! When I was interested in one of Ashley’s pieces of art several years ago, Ashley sent me a video of herself showing me the art but she first showed me around the gallery. I thought it was a brilliant move on her part. What a personable way to share your products and to see the personality behind the art! It stuck with me because it was helpful but also such a treat to receive such personalized attention.

I had a chance to ask Ashley a few questions recently and I wanted to share those with you…I feel like Ashley’s overall message in life is very uplifting just like her art. She is inspiring and unique- and I am so happy to have her work in my home as a daily reminder of all of the good that she shares!

Here is what I am talking about – directly from Ashley’s mouth…

Self Portrait by Ashley Longshore. Photo by Lydia Menzies

1.  You have worked so hard to accomplish goals and you encourage others to do the same…what are some of the goals that you set for yourself for the future?  I want to have a career like Andy Warhol and I want to leave a legacy like Peggy Guggenheim. I want to give lots and lots of scholarships and buy HUGE buildings and fill them with artists for the public to enjoy. I am a big art collector and hope to display my personal collection so that people can enjoy for years to come… I want to help artists understand that giving up 50% to a gallery is NOT the only way to have an art career. I want artists to have MONEY so they can make their biggest ideas come to life!!!!!!!! 

2.  Tell us about your Dad. He seems like a really cool guy to have in your corner. I adore my own dad, and learn so much about life from him. What can other parents learn from your father about raising a child?  He is the BEST. He always let me be me.. and he let me follow my passions… the best gift he ever gave me, was to cut me off and let me figure out how to financially take care of myself….. he is self made…. he taught me work ethic …. he is my favorite human. 


3.  My teenage daughter wants to ask…what is your favorite thing to paint? I love to paint everything.., the act of painting brings me soo much joy…. it is the foundation of my journey to self love… art saves me everyday, it brings me soooo much JOY! 

And, with that, I think my feelings about Ashley’s art have come full circle…her bright, colorful, happy, larger-than-life artwork brings me so much joy probably because it was created out of her joy. There you go! I think it all makes perfect sense! What are your favorite paintings by Ashley Longshore? I am drawn to the “Audreys”. You can see her gallery of work here.

Lance Jackson, Lydia Menzies, Ashley Longshore, David Ecton