It's Fall Y'all: {tips from an interior designer}

Happy Saturday truth-seekers, live out-louders, and football fans!  I am saying a prayer for our Auburn tigers today...anybody else?  As I mentioned last week, I'd like to share with y'all some great advice from Montgomery interior designer, Ashley Gilbreath.  I had asked Ashley if she would share some of her decorating tips with our readers before deciding to do the 31 Day of Living Out Loud series and I think it is so neat how well her comments tie into our theme for this month.  Ashley has always struck me as the type of person that has followed her dream and in honor of this interview, today's 31 Days of Living Out Loud series is this: take initiative.

Ashley is the owner of Ashley Gilbreath Interior Design and Parish. She has a knack for celebrating timeless neutrals and blending old and new elements into sophisticated practicality, always aiming to showcase the client’s taste and style above all. Alongside husband Barrett, daughter Cates and two boxers (Lawyer and Coco), Ashley lives in Montgomery’s Old Cloverdale neighborhood in a historic, Southern “Arts and Crafts” home she and Barrett restored.

You are known for restoring old homes in Montgomery.  How did you get started in this and why do you love it?  What has been your latest project?

I got started in this because I couldn’t find anything in the area we wanted to live like I liked it…so why not do it yourself.   After we got offers on the first house, we realized this could be profitable so one house turned into 7…all historic renovations.  I adore redoing old houses.  The trick to making them work is keeping them historic.  It is kind of addictive.  Giving life to something that was worn out and unused is fulfilling.  I generally always rework the layout to make it more suitable to today’s lifestyle.  It is like working a puzzle.  Space planning is my absolute favorite.  Our most recent project is 704 Felder Ave which can be seen on our blog.


Football season has officially begun and fall is here.  What suggestions do you have for transitioning your home from summer into fall?

I am big on neutrals year round.  This gives you the opportunity to be seasonal year round.  Add an extra throw over a chair or change out your pillows and bring in seasonal flowers and plants.  Something fresh is always the answer in my book.

 I love checking out your blog posts about new items in your Montgomery store, Parish.  Can you give us a sneak peek into what's trending for fall and where we can find it? 

Ohhh…I just got back from market this afternoon.  There are some fun things coming our way.  There are some great new throws coming just in time for cooler weather, anything architectural and wooden is a big trend (great driftwood bowl on it’s way), starburst mirrors are always great accessories that never go out of style.  Brass is big right now too.  Not the shiny brass all of our mothers had…unpolished brass is the look going  now.  I am obsessed with these swing arm lamps.  They are perfect anywhere.

You have moved a lot over the years.  We are in the process of selling our first home and it has been much more difficult on me as a homeowner than I expected (I applaud you for having the skill to move!).  What advice can you give about selling a home?  

HA!  Get medication.  There is nothing fun about it at all.  Just keep in mind that there is an end at some point and the goal is to make a little change in the process.  Maybe wine is the best advice?!?

 At the bottom of your signature is Colossions 3:23-24 (one of my personal favorite verses by the way!).  What do you love so much about that verse and how does it help you with your work?

Often sitting at this desk I feel like I’m doing nothing for His kingdom.  This verse helps me to realize that you can be beneficial in even the smallest things.

 You have a growing family and am owner of an interior design firm...what tips do you have for other working mothers on balancing home and work?  How does your knack for designing translate into your own home?

At the moment I have a 2 year old sitting in my lap and coloring between my arms as I type.  This isn’t ideal.  HA!  It is very  hard to balance the two.  My time with Cates is so precious to me because I don’t get enough of it.  I make it a priority to actually leave this desk at 5 every day and try not to be here on the weekends (the weekend part is virtually impossible, like today).  The reality is that work will be here every day but she will not.  There is nothing more important than playing Mom.

Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen

Day 1 - 31 Days of Living Life Out Loud

Day 2 – Why?

Day 3 - Illuminate

Day 4 - Believe

Day 5 - It's not about the noise level