Must Haves: Lighting

I always get asked about easy ways to update a space without breaking the bank.  Lighting is one of the many ways to easily update your space, and I think you'd be surprised at how affordable new lighting can be.  Today we are sharing some of our favorite lights that will help you refresh your space without costing you thousands. 


*Some affiliate links were used on this blog post, which means that we make a small commission from your purchase (at no cost to you). Thanks for supporting Southern Farmhouse Designs in this way!*

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Take down those builder fixtures, donate your lamps from 1990 & update your space with a new light.  I promise, you won't regret it!

Refresh Your Space in 2018 | Part 2

I'm back this week sharing the next steps to refreshing your space.  If you missed last week, then head here for the first part of this series.  By now, you've chosen the spaces that you want to focus on & have them prioritized.  You've made a budget for your space, gathered inspiration and have somewhat of a plan in mind.  Now it's time to move on to the phase 2.  

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1. First Things First--CLEAR IT OUT

In order to really transform a space, you're going to need to clear it out.  Take everything out of the room, built in, drawer, pantry...whatever it may be.  Start making your piles-trash, sale, donate, reuse.  There may be items hiding out in this room that you can use in another space. which is great, but let's get it out of this room while you work on it.  Find another spot for it for now.  Anything you haven't used in the past 5 years will more than likely not be used again, so go ahead & get rid of it too-move it to the trash, sale or donate pile.  

If the room you are working on has storage closets, now is the time to go through those closets too.  Clear them out as well.  It may be a lot of work now, but you'll be so happy when the room is finished & every space in the room is clean & organized.  

Once you get everything in it's pile, take out the trash, take your donations, and sell the rest.  You can use the money you make on the items that you sell to buy new accessories for the room.  




This part isn't fun, but let's go ahead & tackle it while the space is cleared.  Get out your gloves & clean your room.  Go ahead & get the baseboards, blinds, fans.  Wipe down any shelving, cabinet faces.  Give this room a good deep cleaning before we put it all back together.  


It's time to take inventory of what you have & what you will reuse in the space.  Furniture, bedding, accessories, baskets, etc.  Make a list of all the things you plan to reuse in the space.  

Now, look & see what else you need/want  for the space & create your shopping list.  Go back to your Pinterest board you created for the room.  Is there anything that you want to look for while you are out shopping?  This is just a quick list for now.  We will go back  to add dimensions of furniture, rugs, drapes, baskets sizes, etc to make a more in-depth list a little later on.


So you've got a clean & empty room & now it's time to get it all put back together.  I always like to start with some sort of space/furniture plan.  If you are working on a closet or pantry, a furniture plan won't be necessary, but you may need to plan out how you are going to organize your items in your space. 

In my own home, I don't normally draw my plan out on paper like I do for my clients, but that's only because I don't mind moving things around 100 times until I get the perfect placement. If you'd rather not move things around a lot, then use my measurement guide below & have fun drawing out the space.  I can tell you from personal experience though, you'll probably end up moving things around even after you draw it out.


Important things to consider with space planning: 

  • Function - How will this space function?  What will you be using it for? Make the space work for you & your needs. For example, if you know your kids will be playing in your living room, then you're going to need pretty, yet practical toy storage. 
  • Flow - Do you need to create walkways?  Do these walkways make sense with how you are/will be using the space? 
  • Take Some Measurements - Getting measurements of essentials, so you can add all the details to your shopping  list will help you out tremendously.  Here are a few things you probably need to get measurements for :
    • Rug
    • Windows for curtains, drapes, and shades
    • Shelving-height, width & depth of your shelves for baskets & accessories. 
    • Furniture-make notes of specific maximum & minimum sizes for pieces that you need to buy. 


Take your shopping list & get to work buying everything you need for your space.  

My Favorite Online Sources


Antique Farmhouse

Joss & Main


(Use code: ASHLEY7DC to earn 5% back)



Brick & Mortar Stores



Home Goods

TJ Maxx

Tuesday Mornings

Local Thrift Stores

Local Antique Shops

Take your time with each room.  You may not find everything you need for your space on your first shopping trip.  Waiting to find what you are looking for sometimes takes time.  I promise the wait is worth it. 


Once you have everything you need for your space, start putting it back together.  Look back at your Pinterest inspiration to get you started.  Take your time & enjoy this part of the process because it really is a lot of fun.  You can always leave a comment or send us an email with your questions.  

If you need any extra help or just find the whole process overwhelming then check out our Rooms to Go that we've already put together for you, or contact us about a Complete E-Design Package. We'd love to help you put your space together! 

Refresh Your Space in 2018 | Part 1

Happy New Year, friends!! Many people are making resolutions to get in shape, finding their word of the year & are inspired to make changes in their lives.  I set goals for myself & dream about what I hope to accomplish in the upcoming year. As the decorations come down our homes seem bare.  I purge a lot of my things, rearrange, restyle.  It seems like the perfect time to refresh some of the spaces in my home or finish projects that I've neglected over the past few months. Do you need to refresh your spaces this year?  This two part series is going to guide you in doing just that.   For the next 2 weeks, I'm going to walk you step by step to taking any space in your home & helping you give it a little facelift. Are you ready to get started?  

1. Choose Your Room

Walk around your house & decide which room(s) need some love.  It can be a full room, a built in that needs restyling, your pantry or junk drawers that need to be organized. Which will be the simplest? Which room will take the longest? Figure out the 3 rooms/spaces that you want to tackle & prioritize them.  Once you have them prioritized now comes the fun part.  Take before pictures of the room you'll be doing. Be sure to share your before pics on Instagram tagging me @southernfarmhousedesigns & using the #ROOMREFRESH2018 hashtag.  

2. Create a Budget

This part isn't all that fun but you'll thank me when it's all said & done.  Sit down & create a budget for your space.  What is the max that you can spend on this space?  And don't think that just because you have a small budget doesn't mean you can't make a big impact.  I promise you can, and I'll teach you how a little later on.  We will get very creative with your budget.  Write down your budget & plan to stick to it!

3. Get Inspired

Now for the fun part, head on over to Pinterest & create a board specifically for your room.  Go crazy pinning, be sure to make notes on the images of what you like.  Once you've spent a couple of hours pinning (because we all know we can't just spend 10 minutes on Pinterest at a time), then go back through your board.  Delete anything that will take you out of your budget.  Example, if you cannot afford to hire someone to come in & put in new flooring in your room, then don't pin floor tiles.  You may have to DIY that & paint your floors or find a rug to cover the floors.  If you are changing out light fixtures & you have your heart set on one that is over $1500, but your budget is only $700, then go ahead & take it off your board.  No need to keep staring at it because it's not going to happen.  Don't fret though, you may be surprised to find something similar for half the cost once you start shopping.  

In all seriousness though, go through your board & curate it.  Keep things on it that you actually love & can do within your time frame & budget.  Images that you love, but just can't do now, put on another board to save them for later.  

4. Make a Plan

You know your room, you have your budget, & you have been inspired, now it's time to come up with a plan.  Figure out exactly you want to do in your space--adding new lights? Painting? New rug?  Make a list of all the new things you need in order to complete the project.  You may even get crazy & draw your space.  It’s so important that you make some sort of plan.  It can always change as you go, but it’s a good idea to start with a plan. 

Four big steps for this week to help you start the process of refreshing your space.  Next week we will tackle some fun & not so fun parts, but essential steps that must be taken. Be sure to download my Quick Guide Checklist to guide you through the process! 

Christmas Playhouse Tour 2017

There is something about designing kids spaces that I LOVE...really really LOVE!  If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen my kiddos playhouse a time or two on my feed.  Last Spring my dad & I designed & built a playhouse for the kids.  It's not your average playhouse because, to be honest, I'm hoping to kick them out one day & use it as my office, so it's a little larger than a normal playhouse.  Okay, so it's a one room farmhouse.  I LOVE IT so so much!  The kids spend a lot of time out there playing when the weather is cool enough & they are begging me to run electricity out there so we can put in a window unit so they can play during the Texas summers.  We shall see, sweet kids, we will see. 

Anyways, I had this grand idea to decorate the playhouse for Christmas so it could be a cute backdrop for our Christmas card pictures.  And let me just say, I want to move in it now.  I used Christmas decor that I already had on hand that we have used in our home &'s just precious.  My sister in law, Grace aka Grace Laird Photography, came by a few Saturdays ago to snap some pictures of the kids for our cards & she also snapped a few of the playhouse.  I love every single one.  

Welcome to our Christmas Playhouse 2017


On days when my kids are in the house driving me nuts, well you will find me out here hiding out. ;)  

Enjoy the outtakes of their sweet photoshoot! & Merry Christmas friends! 

Holiday Home Tour 2017

It's been a month of Sundays since I've blogged.  Life has been so full & crazy busy.  I'm excited to be back & sharing our home with you for the holidays.  

I love Christmas. This holiday brings back so many wonderful memories from my childhood---renting a large van so our entire family---Granny, Poppy, my parents, aunts, uncles & all the cousins would pile in & go look at Christmas lights together.  Performing the Christmas story at church & making ornaments for our tree every year.  Christmas Eve gathering our family at my granny's.  We'd spend the day drinking apple cider, playing games, watching old home videos & eating.  Then we'd end the night opening gifts & staying up way too late.  On Christmas morning immediately after seeing all the goodies Santa had brought I'd call my other set of grandparents, Maw & Paw, & they'd make the 20 minute drive over to come see all of our gifts.  And we'd spend the rest of the day eating leftovers from Christmas Eve, napping & playing with all of our new toys.  

My mom's tree was never fussy, just full of ornaments that my brother & I made over the years.  There was never a theme for the tree & she always let us decorate it.  I loved that.  We never had to worry about breaking an ornament or messing anything up. Our tree represented us & our family.  

As an adult, I wanted the same for our tree.  Most ornaments have been collected through our marriage & the kids have made.  Nothing fussy or fancy because we aren't fancy people.  Each year I tend to do less & less with our decor.  I like keeping it pretty minimal---greenery & some pillows. Just adding those few things can really warm up the house & make it feel like Christmas.  

Welcome to our home.  If you were here, I'd make us some of my granny's apple cider and we'd sit & chat about your Christmas traditions.  


Thank yall so much for coming on this quick tour.  You can see more photos over on my Instagram feed @southernfarmhousedesigns.  I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas full of blessings & lots of amazing memories!  I'll see yall in 2018, friends!