Archive for August, 2012

Today I am announcing a brand new session experience for families expecting a new baby. This session focuses on the relationships and welcoming the baby into the family home and has a smaller time and financial commitment. It has been created for babies 4 weeks old and younger and has limited availability, so be sure to book your appointment early.
Check out the details below!

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I’m so excited today! This is the very first edition of a recurring post I will be featuring on my blog. It is information and inspiration for moms-to-be (and dads), new moms (and dads), or just anyone who enjoys reading and images pertaining to interiors, design, or nurseries.

I hope it’s no secret that I love visiting my clients’ homes! I see the home as a sacred space……a place to love and nurture and bond, to grow and bloom and dream, to teach and learn and create, to find encouragement, comfort, and joy. And I believe the home and the decor should inspire and nurture the people living there. And a baby’s room is so important. That very first room will be where they seek comfort and rest and where their sense of curiosity and wonder begins to develop. I know when I was pregnant with my daughter, planning the nursery gave me such immense joy. I felt that with every item I chose, I was pouring my whole heart into her environment. And when I visit the homes of my clients, I can see the love they put into their nurseries as well. I LOVE photographing a baby’s room. And I thought you might love getting a little better peek at some of these awesome spaces too and learning a little more about how they evolved. So from time to time you will see the Newborn Nestorations post and I will feature images from a client’s nursery. I will ask questions about inspiration, color, design, budgets, resources, and anything else I can thing of. I also have some special posts lined up with interview and articles from experts that you won’t want to miss!

So, without further ado……let’s dive in to this first post and visit Hudson’s nursery and talk with his mommy, Jordyn!

Hello Jordyn. Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions about Hudson’s nursery. I think other local moms and moms-to-be will find it very interesting and inspirational.

Q: Jordyn, I just LOVE Hudson’s nursery! Did you do the decorating yourself or did you have assistance from a professional?
A: I did all the decorating myself. While I would have loved to have professional help or a design team, our budgets did not lend themselves to those amenities. I used the same design method with the nursery as I did with decorating the rest of my house. I make purchases piece by piece and slowly (but surely) pull things together. I dislike the ‘matchy matchy’ way of design and love how different pieces complement each other once placed together. My original goal was to have some ‘antiquey’ pieces because I love that look, but as I started to collect I realized I was as far from that goal as possible.

Q: Did you have a particular theme in mind or a favorite color? What was your starting point for the design and where did you find inspiration?
A: We decided not to find out the sex of our baby. When this happens people typically turn towards neutral colors like yellow. I am definitely not a go with the flow kind of girl but this is exactly what we did. I was not thrilled at the idea of having an entire room painted yellow. While yellow provides a bright and cheery atmosphere I was a bit concerned about how loud it may be. I wanted a color that would tone it down and pair nicely with it so I started searching magazines and internet sights to find the trends this season. I loved the contrast between the gray and yellow and thought it would be perfect for either a girl or a boy. Once the colors were picked out I turned to bedding. After realizing that custom bedding was out of our price range and too overwhelming to choose from I searched the internet for gray and yellow nursery bedding. I found the chevron pattern at and fell in love with it. We matched the gray from the bedding as a wall color and decided to accent one wall with the yellow from the bedding to highlight the large window.

Q: Your paint selections are wonderful too. Do you recall what colors you used?
A: We purchased our paint from Lowes. Valspar ultra premium oatlands daisy was the yellow and Valspar ultra premium passive was the gray.

Q: What piece or item do you think had the biggest influence on the rest of the room?
A: I think the window seat had the biggest influence. I wish I could give myself credit for the crafty vision but after scouring baby rooms (especially gray and yellow themed rooms) on the internet I spotted this bookshelf. Originally marketed in the stores and catalogue as a vertical bookshelf, somebody had the vision to flip it horizontally which I just loved. I knew I had the perfect spot under the large window and could fill it with the Baby’s toys and books. This item was a must have and I had no doubts about it! The bookshelf only came in three colors (black, red and white) and therefore dictated the color of the remaining furniture in the room.

Q: Where did you purchase the furniture for the room?
A: We purchased our bigger items from two different places. We went to Baby Furniture Plus for the crib and the recliner and Ikea for the dresser and window seat. We had to go back to Ikea on 4 different occasions due to out of stock and faulty merchandise. This was quite frustrating! We purchased the white side table/drum and red lamp from World Market, another favorite of mine.

Q: Did you shop local for any of the furnishings or decor? If so, what items did you find locally and where?
I love the different art pieces in the nursery too. Can you tell me about them? Do any of the art items in the nursery have a special significance to you or your family?
A: We purchased two of the art pieces at Portfolio in five points. I have a friend who works there and of course love to shop locally whenever I can. They are Story People prints and the stories of these prints have to do with raising children and we thought that was a perfect addition to a room dedicated to our first child. We also purchased two of the three ‘friendship/witch’ balls at Portfolio. The blue one was previously given to me from a good friend. I thought that purchasing two additional balls would help spread more positive energy throughout the room. All three matched the color theme with the pillows below and I thought hanging them near a window would be a perfect way to expand the eye when entering the room. I also like their significance as they catch what’s good and spread it throughout the room as the sun reflects into the balls.
The palm tree is from Earnest Lee aka “The Chicken Man”. The irony of this purchase is that we bought it over five years ago and could not find the perfect place to hang it. As we were creating the nursery and removing items from what was once the office we found this painting. We thought the colors and theme of the painting was a perfect fit for the nursery.
The sunburst mirror was purchased at an antique shop in Charlotte. I think it’s the closest I got to getting something ‘antiquey’ as I mentioned earlier.
Lastly, the framed elephants are left over material from the pillows. I thought this was a fun and inexpensive way to incorporate more color on the wall and tie together the accents. The frames are purchased from Ikea.

Q: Leftover fabric from the pillows… did you make the pillows? Where did you find that adorable fabric?
A: I was thankful for a coworker who made them for me as a gift. I ordered the fabric online – 2 different sites only because one didn’t have everything I wanted. was one of the places I purchased from…I can’t remember the other place.

Q: Where did you splurge and where did you save?
A: The goal was to save throughout the entire decorating process. With the addition of a new baby we realized our already tight budgets were going to get even skinnier. We chose Ikea for this sole purpose and as a secondary benefit we loved their stuff. The dresser and bookshelf from Ikea, as well as the crib from Baby Furniture Plus, were all reasonably priced items. Where we decided to bend our budget was with the recliner. We needed something that could accommodate my husband’s height and larger frame with comfort and something that reclined. I was assuming we would be spending many hours in this chair. In hindsight, I’m glad we splurged in this area as my predictions were accurate – we have logged many hours in this chair and could not be happier!

Q: What would you say was your very best purchase in preparing for Hudson’s arrival?
A: In reflection on the nursery, I can honestly say that I don’t have a best purchase. The room feels so complete to me and everything seems to complement each other. If I had to choose something that was a favorite, I would pick the chevron and elephant pillows.. They were the last item to be placed in the room and really tied everything together.

Thank you for visiting my blog! If you loved this segment, let me know! Leave me a little love! And share it with your friends:)
Special thanks to Jordyn, the mom, who really took the time to give well thought out answers to my questions and despite her new busy schedule, was so timely as well!
And a big thanks Tania Pineiro-Colamarino of Ama Photography for the awesome new feature logo!

The next edition of Newborn Nestorations is already in the works! So please check back. If you like this feature and want to see more, why not leave a little love below and let me know about it?! And please share with friends and those you know will find the post helpful in their nesting journey!

sharon: What a great post Ashley. I'm sure this will be a popular read on your blog. Xx

Dawn: Oh, my, gosh. I LOVE reading stuff like this!!! I can't wait to keep up with even more newborn goodness.

Anelle: I LOVE this! What a wonderful idea. I love this nursery, too!

Emily S.: This is going to be so much fun, I can tell--- What a cool idea! :) I'll be back, I promise you. Keep this up!

Rachel: What a fun and gorgeous nursery. I am so excited for these posts!

Shelby: What a BEAUTIFUL nursery and such a wonderful idea Ashley to feature some of your clients awesome nurseries and to share "How they came to be." I've seen quite a few nurseries here that have peaked my interest and I'm excited to see more of your Newborn Nestorations!

amy lenhart: i love reading about decorating and looking at beautiful decorated rooms..and even though i am done having babies of my own i adore looking at nurseries!! great idea to have these posts for other moms planning their baby's arrival!

Clarice: This is such a great post! I love love love looking at how people decorate nurseries! This one is beautiful and you did an awesome job capturing all the details!

Kari: I absolutely adore this room! I love the neutral with the bright pops of color - love it. I can't wait to see more rooms featured.

Fabiana Beatriz: This is going to be such a valuable resource for those who are ready to welcome a brand new little one into their home. And Jordyn was so wonderful to share all of this info with your readers!!! I love this post!

Kristin: I love everything about this....I love the room, I love the details, I love the "Newborn Nestorations" feature and will look forward to seeing more, I love the images of all the things I said I love, and last.....I love this beautiful baby! Perfect. Congratulation on the new path, it's a perfect fit for your style and work!

Audrey: I love this idea, I can't wait to follow along and see all the great decorating ideas.

Melissa: Love this new feature Ashley ! Gorgeous nursery and so awesome to hear how mom pulled it all together and your portraits feature the room perfectly ! Can't wait to see more on this subject !

Natalie: Very cool! I love this new feature! And your photos and this nursery!!!

Jerusha: What a beautiful nursery! I love the color and decorations! This is an awesome idea and I can't wait to see more rooms featured.

Tania: This is such an amazing concept! I love it!!! I love the inspiration you give to new parents and the way you capture the nursery so amazingly. So excited to see more!!!!

Carrie Scruggs: LOVE THIS!

Danielle McCarty: Love your entire post, very interesting! And I love your logo for this, so original!!!

Gail: Awe - what a great feature! I love hearing the details about how people design the beautiful spaces in their homes.

Dori: Love this new idea you've had for your blog. This first post was a fabulous read. So nice to see other people's ideas on decorating. Thanks for your beautiful images to pull it all together.

Tatiana Fiumefreddo: Are here one high-quality schools where you could twice main newspaper writing and creative writing?

Recently I was asked to visit the home of this precious little baby boy for his newborn photography session. He was an excellent subject, as were his adoring parents! You can tell he is well loved and I could not believe how much he had grown when his parents brought him by to pick up his order a couple of days ago. It happens so quickly!

Check back later this week to see more images from this little baby’s nursery and learn all about the inspiration behind the room!

amy lenhart: such a cutie!!!! love the yawn picture!!!

Kara Layfield: Precious!! I LOVE the ones with Mom and Dad individually. Beautiful session as always Ashley.

Kristin: Beautiful images!!! I think I might need to pop-in every day and love-up that image of the baby yawning. That makes me happy from head to toe!

Shelby: What a beautiful session for this handsome little guy! I love how mom and dad are looking at him and that yawn image - what a perfect moment!

Gail: So sweet, precious and absolutely adorable!!! That little yawn was contagious and the whole set is simply perfect! Great work!!!

Kel Ward: Such a sweet little babe! His hair looks just like the hair my youngest had when he was born. Memories. Anyway, I love these images, as usual. You totally rock the newborn sessions with your creative eye!

Have you seen Meow Meow Music yet? No?! Well, you know about Smart Girls at the Party, right? If not, you are missing out…..especially if you have a daughter who is smart and fun and interested in…..well……just about anything! Smart Girls is a project my sister, Amy Miles, has been involved with for a while now with friends Amy Poehler and Meredith Walker. It’s a show that celebrates girls being themselves and all the cool, fun, interesting and amazing things they are doing. Amy Poehler is the host of that show, Meredith Walker is the producer, and my sister is the show’s musician. Recently, they launched a channel on YouTube with the original Smart Girls at the Party show and all new episodes. And they have added a new show created and hosted by my sister called Meow Meow Music, which is a cat-themed music show. Yes, a cat-themed music show. You may wonder, what exactly is a cat-themed music show. Because I did! :) Well, you should really just tune in and find out.

If you tune in to today’s episode, you will also see my daughter! During Spoleto Arts Festival this year my sister asked Riley to be the Charleston SC correspondent for the show and to interview Jake Shimabukuro! Jake is a simply amazing ukulele artist. And he is so passionate about his work. It was a joy to listen to him talk all about his experiences and his background. And he was so kind while interviewing with my daughter. Afterwards he played several songs for us and we were just thrilled for that opportunity. He is so incredibly talented.

Check out the episode here. And be sure to check out the Smart Girls station and all of their shows. Subscribe if you like what you see! Meredith has a show coming to the channel soon too, so there are lots of great things going on over there and you don’t want to miss the fun:) And here is a link to Jake Shimabukuro’s site too!

Here are just a few images I was able to grab during Riley’s interview with Jake.

Fabiana Beatriz: Riley, you were just as sweet as Jake was charming. What a fabulous opportunity!!! You are just as talented as your amazing mama.

Shelby: Wow! What a great experience for Riley! She was an awesome correspondent. Thanks for introducing me to Jake! Ashley - amazing photos! You must be soooo proud!

Gail: Ashley, I think I've said it before, but your ability to tell a story with your images is INCREDIBLE!!! Way to go Smart Girls - sounds like an incredible experience and Riley sure is talented... just like her mama!

Amber: LOVE this post. LOVE! Incredible images and dang, I'd be SO proud of Riley!

Laura: Your daughter is soo cool and did an awesome job! I can imagine that you are incredibly proud of her as you rightfully should be. Great pics, great story. Jake does need a cat. :)

Detra Dowling: Oh my goodness Riley how awesome!!! I'm so jealous of the natural talent that runs in your family -- but so proud of you!

Laura Morita-Yeun: Shut UP!!!! Riley got to meet and interview Jake? And you got to be there too? HOW LUCKY ARE YOU??? Riley did a wonderful job with the interview, and your pictures are wonderful. Jake is madly talented. Have you heard his version of Bohemian Rhapsody? What a wonderful experience. Did I say I love the pics? Yeah, I think I did. Awesome!

Danielle Frank: What an amazing experience! Great captures, Ashley!

Cari Berry: What a cool opportunity for your daughter! And how special to have you there to capture it on camera for her!

Kel Ward: Oh my gosh, I would have DIED if I was able to do something like this as a teenager! These photos are awesome and what a cool project they're all doing!

Krissy Allori: So cool! The photos are fantastic!

Jen Gasper: Oh my goodness, how fun for her! She is absolutely adorable. She seemed so calm. Not sure how she could be that way interviewing such a good looking musician. :) Love the images!

Kristin: What an exciting day for Riley AND Jake! These are fabulous!

amy lenhart: what an amazing opportunity!! so much fun!! and awesome photography too!