Our Favorite Project Yet - Lower Birmingham!

This summer we completed our favorite project yet, a total redo of a home just north of Atlanta in Hickory Flat called Lower Birmingham. If you remember, we first introduced you to this project last August, here! Tori has shared a lot along the way via social media and it’s been fun to see it transform!

The beautiful land this house sits on inspired a woman in the 1940s to put down roots and build her life there, surrounded by expansive horse farms. We came across this diamond in the rough last summer and immediately saw a vision of what it could become, given some time and love. We kept much of the old charm and character while bringing the house into the twenty first century, functionally and stylistically. As we carefully took apart the house, we came across items from past decades that reminded us of the rich history of the house. If only the walls could talk and tell stories of those who have inhabited this home and land over the years!

We absolutely fell in love with this house the moment we saw it. It’s only a couple miles from where Tori’s family lives so she knew it would be a project her whole family could be a part of! Tori’s kids passed by the house each day as they rode the bus to and from school and were able to watch the transformation for themselves! It was really neat for Tori to know her kids could now visualize what she does on a daily basis!

The character of this home was eye-catching! We wanted the home to feel new and modern but stay true to the period in which it was built. We were able to use some elements we found, like shiplap, and repurpose them in other areas of the house. This definitely added to the charm! Tori visualized this home as one where you could sit in a rocking chair on the front porch, drink sweet tea, and read a good book. And that’s exactly how it turned out!

Shiplap Look-Alike Shower How-To

We have received a lot of requests for more information on how we created this gorgeous ship-lap look-alike shower in our recent Clay Street project. So we’re going to spill the details on how we achieved this unique and functional look. Spoiler alert - it’s not actually shiplap!

The two main objectives with creating this shower (or any shower) is making sure it’s durable and waterproof. We chose to use cement board for this application. It comes in wood grain, stucco, and a smooth texture. Cement board is designed to be completely waterproof and hold up under intense rain, wind, and even hail. This shower is doubly protected because we made it completely watertight even before installing the cement board. We used Kerdi-Board for this application. It is an amazing product!

After installing the Kerdi-Board and cement board, we used a high-quality silicone in the grout lines to make sure every last nook and cranny would keep the water out! We finished off the entire project by painting the boards with marine paint (which is used on ships) so we knew it was a full-proof option for our shower project! You can buy marine paint from a marina or Home Depot and Lowe’s have options as well.

There you have it - the short and simple version of this high-impact project! We’re incredibly pleased with how this shower turned out and we hope it inspires and helps those of you who are interested in this sort of look for your own home!

Q&A with Tori Ashmore!

1) What does a typical day look like for you?

I'm not sure if our family has had a "typical" day yet! Between my business, the farm, four teenagers (and all of their games, practices, and music lessons), and my husband's full-time job, each day brings on a whole new adventure. My husband and I make a great team, so we try to switch off which mornings we do the "chores" at home - feeding the animals (some are more picky than others - like those teenagers - and getting those teens on their bus. On the mornings that I don't do the routine at home, I usually try to hit the gym bright and early before work.

As far as the design business goes, every day really does look different. My studio is located in an adorable downtown area near my house, so I will often go there to work on bids and designs and I also meet with a lot of clients! The traffic in Atlanta is absolutely crazy, so I try to work in the office for the first part of the morning - starting the day organized and grounded helps so much!

After the traffic slows down, I'll head out for appointments with contractors and clients, shopping for materials, and inspecting projects. During this time, my husband is at work and the kids are at school. We all try to meet up back at home around 4:30 p.m.

Once the work day is over, I really try to embrace my role as a mom and wife. We do supper together and spend time as a family (even if it's just doing music practices and homework). Supper is very important to us - we put our phones away so we can connect, hear about each others’ days, and swap funny stories! Between the six of us, there is never a dull moment!

2) Which of your personality traits is most helpful for your work as an interior designer?

It's always awkward to talk about yourself, so I asked one of my friends what she thought. She said, "Without a doubt, the personality trait that has made Tori excel is her design work is her adventurous spirit. Just a few years ago, this was a part-time hobby - where many people are when they start a business. But because she was not afraid to put herself out there, to learn the tricks of the trade, and to take risks, she's taken her business from flipping old pieces of furniture to flipping multiple houses! I think her confidence attracts those who want to invest their money, and need someone who's sure they can make their vision happen - and that's Tori!"

3) Are you a morning person or a night owl?

Without a doubt, a night owl! I get so much done after everyone is tucked into bed - the house is quiet and I can curl up on the couch with my laptop. No one is usually calling or texting to interrupt my time. I'm definitely not a morning person - my family is very familiar with my morning "wave" which they know means "good morning...I love you...but don't talk to me!"

4) What is your favorite Atlanta-area restaurant and why?

This is a hard question because I love eating out and trying different foods! Atlanta has so many things to offer! Probably my most frequented restaurant would be one in the Avalon, a fun outdoor shopping center not to far from us. It's got stores, great restaurants, and a movie theater. El Felix is my favorite - great steak tacos, homemade tortillas (!!), and chunky guacamole. Right across the street is Cafe Intermezzo, a beautiful little European cafe with decadent desserts and great espresso. The combination makes a great girls’ night or date night with my husband!

5) Have you always wanted to be in the interior design business or is this a career path that has caught you by surprise?

Yes and no. I grew up as the daughter of a contractor so I was constantly around the building or rebuilding of homes, making them beautiful and functional. Around college, I decided I didn't want to be a part of that industry. I guess when it came time to "grow up,” I wanted to try something totally different than I was used to at home.

After going to college, getting married, and starting a family, I just started being pulled back to design. Like my friend mentioned, I started buying furniture pieces from local yard sales, refinishing them, marketing them online, and selling them. Then, I started consulting for my friends who wanted to redesign their homes, refinishing kitchens. The next thing I knew, I was designing spaces, then whole houses! While I love interior design, I also love the architectural design side of things. It's fun to remodel or build onto a home to make it the perfect space for its family, and I feel like this expertise helps me when working with contractors and builders.

6) What is your favorite room in a house to design?

Whichever one I'm currently doing! I love all the rooms and the unique challenges they offer. But, if I had to choose, it's probably a tie between kitchens and a master suite.

For me, the kitchen is the heartbeat of my home. It's the place I gather most often with family and friends. So when I design that space, I want it to be the most functional room in the house, but also create an atmosphere that everyone wants to be in.

I'm a huge romantic, so of course the master suite appeals to me also. I think every couple needs an oasis, where they can go to relax and rejuvenate together. Those moments are helped by simple luxuries, good design, and organization - and of course I always want to throw in some great spa-like features in the bathroom for those busy moms!

7) If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be, and why?

Definitely Europe - I love the culture and the centuries-old beauty in the simplest of places. I have a painting in my living room that reminds me of a cottage in the French countryside! That's my happy place!

8) What is your favorite holiday tradition?

Each year, our kids get a special ornament that kind of encapsulates their year or achievements. My mom did that for us, and it's so fun to have a tree full of memories. I also host a Christmas tea each year for the wives of the other pastors that my husband works with. We often don't get a lot of time to spend together because of all our busy schedules, so it's always fun to set a beautiful table, gather all the teapots, and enjoy food like scones and clotted cream together.

9) What's your favorite recipe to cook for your family?

We are big fans of Mexican food! I grew up in Texas, so of course my entire family has been taught to love Tex-Mex. I like that it's quick and easy to prepare, and everyone can customize it to their liking!

10) What is the most rewarding part of your work as owner of Farm Chic Design?

When we've taken a project from start to finish, and I get to see the client's face when they see the finished project! I put all my effort into each one of my projects, so there's a lot of joy in giving that finished project back to the clients I've grown to love!

The Why + How of Adding Color To Your Home

Some people are drawn toward neutrals. Some are drawn toward a lot of bold color! We’re talking today about how to beautifully incorporate color into your home in a way that is tasteful, budget-friendly, and cohesive!

Adding pops of color to an otherwise neutral palette is a great way to add interest to your a space. Even if you’re naturally drawn to a subdued space, finding just the right ways to incorporate color will add a little punch to your room!

If you’re inclined toward a lot of color in the first place, learning how to add it tastefully can be helpful. Because color choices are often trendy, adding them in bulk becomes expensive if you like to replace items as your tastes change. In addition, excessive color on top of color in a room doesn’t allow a place for the eyes to rest.

So let’s learn the why + how of adding color to a space! We hope you enjoy these simple tips!

Why should I add color?

Color adds interest - it’s the spice of life. We see it all around us in the world! Including color in your space is an outlet for self-expression, allowing your personality to shine!

How do I add color?

I recommend starting with a neutral palette. It’s a great idea to make your larger, more expensive home purchases less colorful and more neutral. This would ideally be all of your large pieces of furniture. Mostly neutral furnishings will ground your space so you can layer colors and textures on top. Now, there is absolutely no harm in having a colored (whether bold or subtle) upholstered chair or desk, but try to keep the bulk of your pieces neutral. Then add color in items that are less expensive and can be easily changed out!

Throw Pillows

Throw pillows are relatively inexpensive (depending on where you buy them) and at $20-$40 each, they can be changed out or rotated every season or every few years when you get bored with your current color scheme. You can also add pattern + texture with pillows!


Incorporating color and pattern through curtain panels is really easy and not too expensive! You can often find sales on curtains that will allow your space to feel fresh and updated while keeping your wallet happy.


This is probably the most obvious way to add color! And it might be the cheapest too. A can of quality paint costs anywhere from $25-$45 and can give your room a huge boost of personality! Whether you paint an entire space a muted color or go bold on an accent wall, the options are endless!


Yes, wallpaper is trending again! From traditional glued-on wallpaper to removable peel-and-stick versions, there are many methods to incorporate wallpaper into a space. You can upgrade a small powder room by adding a punch of wallpaper to all four walls. Or you can give a nursery an extra special look by putting up a subtle or bold print (whichever strikes your fancy) on the wall behind the crib!


Plants you say? YES! Plants are one of nature’s best sources of color! Go fill a cart at the garden center with a variety of houseplants - large + small - and you’ll watch your house come alive! Of course pay attention to lighting and watering needs.


Family photos, art ledges, baskets, mirrors, vases, lamps, bedding, throw blankets, and other decor pieces are an obvious way to add color and contrast to a space. Trading things out every once and a while, moving things around your home, or grabbing something new at your favorite store or market adds a lot of visual interest and keeps things from getting boring! You can really have fun with these items - let your personality shine!


Even though they’re usually a bit more expensive, a rug can also be a fun way to add a pop of color! Invest into a beautifully colored, timeless rug and it will bring your space life for years to come!

Photo by Jonny Caspari on Unsplash

How to Identity Your Unique Design Style

Before starting a home project of any kind, it’s a good idea to have direction concerning your own personal design style! Some people can easily identify what they love and others have a harder time. Today we’re giving some pointers on how to hone in on your unique design style before you start that next project! Having direction will keep you from overwhelm - there are SO many choices!

Start by asking yourself these questions (and write down your answers):

  • What overall style is your eye drawn to - layered, minimalistic, a little of both?

  • What colors excite you - bright tones, pastels, neutrals?

  • What patterns could you see yourself incorporating?

  • What's your instinct - matchy matchy or eclectic?

  • Do you like industrial?

  • What are your thoughts on rustic elements?

  • Are you drawn to modern, sleek pieces?

  • Do you find yourself loving traditional furnishings?

  • What are your favorites textures?

  • In what era was your home built? This can set the tone!

  • How do you want to incorporate family photos + personal items?

  • What’s the main function of your space?

  • What kind of organization need to be incorporated into your space and how can you make it not only functional, but beautiful?

Once you’ve answered these questions, let your answers guide you as you design + shop. Say no to things that don’t fit your criteria and say yes to things that do! There’s no harm in buying, trying, returning, and trying again until you get the right fit! Your design style does not have to fit in a box - and actually - it's probably better if it doesn't! That's what makes it unique - it should be a cohesive collection of everything YOU love!  

Photo by Leone Venter on Unsplash

How to Incorporate Texture Into Your Home

Texture is one way you can add character and warmth to your home's design. We're sharing our favorite ways to incorporate texture into a home!


Rugs are probably one of first things you would consider when thinking about adding texture to a room. They're always a good choice! There is nothing like bare feet on a comfy, cozy rug, especially during the colder months! You can find high piled rugs, low piled rugs and everything in between! Consider the function of the room before choosing a rug. A high piled rug would work best in a bedroom while a lower piled rug would work well in a high-traffic area!

Window Treatments

Window treatments cut through the starkness of walls and windows and add physical and visual texture to a space. No matter what style of treatment you choose, it will soften your space immensely - not to mention add a lot of color and pattern!

Throw Pillows

Throw pillows are an easy and relatively inexpensive way to introduce texture into your space. The layering effect of adding pillows to a couch or chair is one way to add visual texture as well as the actual varieties of textures on the pillows themselves! You can choose from a variety of materials - cotton, linen, sheepskin, wool, silk, and leather. Many pillows even incorporate multiple materials on one pillow! 

Variety of Woods

You may not initially think of woods adding texture to a home, but stop and think with me. Texture doesn't just have to be something you can feel - it can be something you see! When you eyes pass through a room, there should be a variety of surfaces for them to land on - creating visual texture! Using multiple kinds of woods is one way to achieve this feel. Flooring, furnishings, and decor all play into it!


Plants can add loads of texture (and color) to your space! Throw them on a side table, on a shelf, or on a console, and keep large ones secured on ground level. Keep a variety on hand - large and small, sturdy and whimsical. Plants are generally inexpensive and can pack a punch on the texture front!

Variety of Decor

Decor - art, frames, candlesticks, pots, knick knacks, baskets, figurines, etc. can be mixed and matched to create a warm and textured space! Don't stick to just metal or just wood or just porcelain - mix it up! Throw in a bit of each and watch your space come alive.

Throw blankets

Throw blankets are super functional and pretty inexpensive. Keep a large basket handy with a variety of blankets handy or place a couple in specific places around the room or on a bed. Blankets are an easy addition that add so much visual layering and texture to a space! You have your choice of velour, linen, sherpa, fleece, or woven!

Photo by Ember + Ivory on Unsplash

How to Create a Chic Nursery That Grows With Your Child

Putting together a nursery that will grow with your child is so important - both financially and stylistically! If you create a theme that is very "babyish" you'll be forced to rethink your room plan once that baby quickly grows into toddlerhood and beyond. Here are some ways you can put together a stylish nursery with elements that will work for years to come!

To start, find some inspiration photos on Pinterest! Create a board and pin away - this will help you determine what kinds of styles you love. Be on the watch for what high-end designers are doing throughout people's homes, not just in nurseries. You can take cues from their design choices and incorporate them into your nursery to create a cohesive and more grownup feel.

Secondly, choose a color palette. Something soft and serene for the walls is always a good choice, though an accent wall (using more saturated paint colors or wallpaper) is a fun option too! You want a baby's room to feel restful, calm, and serene. Definitely include color but balance it out with calm places for the eye to rest. Find three or four or five colors you'd like to incorporate (including neutrals). Choosing a palette early on will help guide you as you look at decor and furniture.

Next you will want to think about incorporating design elements you would use in other areas of your home - multiple textures, beautiful furniture, soft window treatments, rugs, pretty lamps, plants, and wall art. Using some or all of these elements will help the nursery fit seamlessly into the rest of the home's design!

Even if the room has wall-to-wall carpeting, throw a rug on top for extra comfort and texture. Use baskets - they add function and texture! Find a unique, one-of-a-kind dresser and throw a changing pad on top instead of spending money on a changing table. Add a pop of color in your window treatments or crib bedding! Invest into a neutral, good-quality rocker - you'll use it a lot! Find a pretty dresser lamp or floor lamp for added ambiance and soft lighting. Plants are a cheap and beautiful way to pops of life to the room - keep a large potted plant on the floor or stick a few up on a wall shelf! Show off your unique style with wall art that reflects who you are - maybe it's a painting, or a palette sign with a beautiful saying, or a gorgeous mirror, or multiple items corralled together on the wall! You may even choose to switch out your run-of-the-mill overhead light fixture for something a little extra special. The options are limitless!

Functionality is key, especially for a child's room so put some thought into it. Keep clutter to a minimum by having "a place for everything and everything in it's place." Find a beautiful, lidded hamper for the corner of the room. Incorporate a drawer and closet organization system. Make sure you can access essentials easily and quickly - for diapering, feeding, and changing. Have an easy-to-reach place for extra sheets and blankets. Unless your child will have a dedicated play room, he or she will need space for toys in the near future. Design the room with that in mind and think about where you can incorporate book shelves or racks and toy bins. You can make your nursery both functional and beautiful! 

Lastly, consider how the room can easily transition from a nursery to toddler room to big kid room - they grow faster than you'd think! Using classic and neutral pieces will allow your room to last and transform bit by bit over your child's first years of life!

Photo by Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash