At first glance, the Petersons’ home is as California cool as can be—neutral shades, woven woods, and hints of indigo that evoke the ocean. But if you look closer, or let Ashley take you on a tour through it, the common thread is a series of pieces she’s plucked during her global travels. A vase from Morocco here, pillows upholstered in fabric from Thailand there, and artwork from Positano, Italy, upstairs.
“It didn’t look like this when I got it,” says her husband, Thomas.
Picture this: In 2013, a bachelor is putting a down payment on a duplex in Cardiff and inviting roommates to live with him. Cut to 2017 and that bachelor is now planning his wedding. It was around that time the soon-to-be Mrs. began reimagining the place. Over the course of three years, Ashley worked from back to front to make the house a home.
Out back, they replaced a decrepit retaining wall that framed three outdoor entertaining areas, swapping out wood for stone. A dining table now stands where an old pepper tree had been, and a fire pit and chairs have taken the place of a raised garden. Smack dab in the center is a conversation set from Target, complete with Ashley’s own pillows that she retails through The Lifestyled Home, the interior design firm and Etsy shop that she runs upstairs.
Step two of the facelift was installing luxury vinyl plank flooring throughout the home. Then resurfacing the kitchen cabinets, and from there moving upstairs to update the primary and guest bathrooms. The former is a stunner, with terrazzo tile flooring and an open shower with a linear drain.
Ashley uses two of the four bedrooms upstairs for her business. At the top of the stairs is her product photo studio, and around the corner is a smaller bedroom that’s the perfect size for her office. Here, she dreams up her designs and sews pillows, dog beds, and other goods made with textiles sourced from all over the world.
The vintage fabrics are her favorite, especially bolts from Africa and Southeast Asia. Her keen eye for vintage decor is evident not just in her product catalog, but throughout her home.
“How do I style? Mixing vintage and modern, and adding in pieces of interest that are sentimental. We always try to buy something every time we go on a trip, whether it’s art or a little vase,” Ashley says. She has a dedicated styling closet below the stairs to store all the pieces she collects and likes to switch out on occasion.
But a few are too sentimental to stow away. The dining room shows off mementos from her grandparents: a Chinese chest, a painted bowl, a seascape painting, sheepskin chair covers from New Zealand.
“I used to not love my grandparents’ stuff, but now some of my favorite pieces in my house are from them,” she says, and adds a bit of advice: “Decorate with things that speak to you instead of buying things to buy them—over the years, I’m doing less of that. Everyone should try it.”