Project Showcase: Hardware Updates with Ashley Mayes

Ashley Mayes runs the blog Bigger Than the Three of Us where she showcases the process of renovating her family’s house. She also likes to post DIY tutorials for projects such as tiling, hanging open kitchen shelves, and more. Ashley’s blog is unique because she often shares cost information for real-life house projects – something not many other bloggers do. Examples include detailing the costs to replace your front doors or to have asbestos abated. The combination of the “grittier” type of renovation posts along with Ashley’s distinctive style sets Bigger Than the Three of Us apart from the rest.

Ashley’s house is traditional with beautiful built-ins, a curved staircase, and other lovely architectural details. Since she is a lover of the Mid-Century Modern style, she has developed her personal style to be a mix of traditional and mid-century features to best work with her home. Because of her love for vintage pieces, she tries to incorporate at least one stylish vintage piece in each room. She then meshes mid-century and traditional vibes with the other accents in the room. Ashley finds design inspiration in her love for travel. Walking around European countries is a favorite pastime – she is inspired by the juxtaposition of old and new often found in Europe.

Ashley recently finished updating her hallway. While hallways must be functional, they’re generally spaces that can’t accommodate furniture but must accommodate utilitarian pieces such as an attic fan, smoke detector, and light switches. Ashley found that the most challenging part of the update was figuring out how to draw the eye away from the utilitarian pieces she couldn’t make beautiful.

While her house has beautiful architectural details, the builder had installed basic hardware that didn’t match the rest of the house and stuck out like a sore thumb. As she’s been renovating her house, she learned early on how quality upgrades really change the look of a space – so much more than just buying new pillows or rug.

While looking for a quality upgrade for her doors, Ashley found Nostalgic Warehouse and fell in love with the backplate and doorknob options, specifically the Studio short plate and Craftsman knob. She upgraded all of the door hardware in her hallway and other areas of the house to match the refined architectural details of the home. Adding character and beauty in long-term pieces, such as door handles, really contributes to the overall feel of the space.

For readers wanting to add style to their house, Ashley recommends starting with a piece you love and not feeling like you have to rush anything. She also suggests following a few people on Instagram that have a style you love. Save their images to a folder and then look at those images and see if you can find a trend. The trend that ties the photos together can be a great starting point for adding style to your house.

One of the main things Ashley teaches on Instagram and through DIY projects on her blog is that most projects aren’t hard, although they can be intimidating to just start. To get started with door hardware, users have to know what size of door they have so each handle fits. Once they determine this, the next step is to take off the old door set and put in the new one. Readers don’t have to be intimidated by the process of upgrading their doorknobs – it’s a simple process!

In January 2018, Ashley started a DIY design podcast with her co-host Suzannah Stanley who runs the blog Create/Enjoy. Since they both have always felt comfortable talking about DIY projects, home renovations and more, it was a natural fit to take their written content and turn it into a fun-to-listen-to podcast. Listen to episodes of Your Home Story for more DIY and design tips!

Up next for Bigger Than the Three Of Us is a DIY powder bathroom renovation. Ashley is also focusing on content for the year that readers have asked for, including tips for selling on Facebook marketplace and how to find and source art. Thanks to Ashley for sharing her final photos of this great door hardware update with us!

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