There’s no denying that we like decorate around. In fact, rearrange bookshelf or one coffee table is our version of meditation. But what if you had the chance to build and decorate an entire house from scratch? Now, that’s the dream and that’s why we love Ashley Robertson’s hometown tour so much. Founder The Teacher Diva The fashion blog built her five-bedroom home in Dallas, Texas in 2018 and we’ve lived vicariously with her ever since. Now, she and her husband, Austin, and their two sons – George and Charlie – live happily ever after, well, at least that’s how it looks in the pictures.
But, of course, she didn’t do it alone. For this project, Robertson collaborated with award-winning interior designer, Ginger Curtis of Urbanology Design to create a home that is truly an extension of her personal style: modern luxury with a touch of glamor! Curtis explains: “I like to look at the space as a whole, its surroundings, as well as the people who live in it. “I also look back in time to find inspiration from decades ago. I am so moved by nature and organic artisan moments. “Being able to design this home from start to finish with complete creative freedom was a dream come true for Robertson and Curtis was indeed on her wish list. “We wanted to create a space for Ashley and her family that was not only livable/comfortable but also branded with her style and her business,” she outlines. “She uses her home as the backdrop for a lot of her content, and it was important that we took this into consideration.”
Keep scrolling to learn more from both Curtis and Robertson about how this beautiful home came to be, including some tips for new designers or beginner homeowners. Get ready to pin things because this one is a stunner!
How would you describe the architectural style of the house?
GINGER CURTIS: Modern tradition. Architectural features are recognizable but have a fresh modern twist.
Are you facing any budget or time constraints?
CURTIS: We’re on the right track on budget (with a few spends). The biggest delay was during the build phase, which we patiently worked on. Ashley and Austin had a great attitude and were incredibly patient.
How did you and Ginger decide on a color scheme?
ASHLEY ROBERTSON: She knew I wanted neutrals but also pulled me into doing things outside of my comfort zone… and I’m so glad she did!! I was placed on an all-white kitchen and she encouraged me to use black and wood details. I like it.
What is your biggest discovery?
ROBERTSON: Great number of. Probably our lighting equipment. I love them all so much. Oh, and the marble on our island. It’s very different from what I’ve seen in so many other spaces. It’s like art to me.
We love the nuanced, neutral approach throughout — how do you keep your designs balanced and timeless?
CURTIS: Lots of textures and fun moments with art, lights and soft patterns.
Can you outline your minimalist design approach?
CURTIS: First, we start and look at the most foundational elements of the house, including floors, walls, ceilings, and views to the outside. It’s a good balance of not adding too much or too little. We work to carefully edit the ins and from time to time re-edit until we have the right balance. Color really matters, this above anything else will evoke and boost the mood in the space. Choose the colors you want to combine carefully. Ask yourself what mood/feeling you want each room to evoke. In our new book Beauty by Design, we have a whole chapter dedicated to this.
What do you think your house says about you?
ROBERTSON: We wanted cutting-edge design while having a home that we could actually “live in”. We have two young boys and need a space for them to grow and play. Curtis was able to give us the design and styling we wanted while still having space for the boys to play. I don’t want people walking in and feeling like they can’t sit on or touch anything.
Any tips for creating a space that is minimalist yet warm and inviting?
CURTIS: Natural and organic elements always bring coziness and beautiful texture to a space. It’s a lovely blend of modern yet cozy.
What is your favorite thing about space? Do you have a favorite room or design feature?
ROBERTSON: My favorite rooms are the den and the master bedroom. The office is dramatic and everyone who enters the house wants to stop and take a look inside. This also means I have to make sure it’s clean, ha! My office has some really cool moments that I think people are naturally curious about. Our bedroom just brings a sense of relaxation and calm. Curtis wanted it to feel like a hotel room, and I think she nailed it.
What advice can you share for those just starting out in design?
CURTIS: Take the risk, don’t be afraid to experiment with new ideas or where your inspiration comes from.
List your main design influences specifically, what design principles do you borrow and implement in your own practice?
CURTIS: I have to point the queen here, Kelly Wearstler. Her ability to escape symmetry and still create balance is a marvel. We often look for purposeful ways to generate interest through asymmetry.
Can you share any design tips or tricks?
CURTIS: Duplicated! We like to double or even triple the width of the curtain to create volume and texture. Fabric is great, but more fabric is even better!
Do you have any wise words to share with those who are about to embark on a home design project?
CURTIS: Be patient — so be patient. There are many challenges in the industry that are beyond anyone’s control due to supply chain issues and we will all have to wait a little longer for our projects to be completed.