Designer Story: Ashley Gilbreath, A Devil for Details and New HGTV Star

Montgomery designer Ashley Gilbreath caught my eye through her Instagram account a few months back. Little did I know then that she had and HDTV pilot in the works, Home Sweet Renovation, which aired on August 20.

Apparently, IG is how HGTV discovered Ashley as well. According to Country Living, “NYC-based production company Departure Films (think: Rehab AddictThe Vanilla Ice ProjectRev Run’s Renovation) was looking for a Southern aesthetic and found Ashley’s Instagram, which is when a producer reached out. ‘I was doing inventory one day in the store and at first I kind of blew her off,’ Ashley says. ‘Number one: This is not my personality. I would never do it. And number two: You really want to have a show about a family in Alabama?’ It turns out, they did.”

I didn’t get to see it — I don’t have HGTV, and even if I did, my Handsome Husband gets so much interior design from me during the week, I think it would be the end of him if I forced it on him during our rare TV sofa moments, too!  Apparently I have this in common with Ashley, who says that she’s too busy chasing her babies with her husband and working to have time for TV and had never seen Fixer Upper until she was doing research as to what an interior design pilot might entail.

TV aside, what strikes me about Ashley is her amazing attention and imaginative use of detail to create luxury even when everything in a room is livable and hard-wearing. So, all the news outlets can focus on her family/work life, I want to focus on her AMAZINGLY STUNNING PORTFOLIO!

(All photos from AshleyGilbreath.com unless otherwise noted.)

hh1Those raffia upholstered built-ins hide a wet bar on one side and a toy closet on the other. Talk about whole family friendly design. I’ll grab a drink while the kiddos play trains. You know what we call a martini? Grown-up water. Kids see the olive and aren’t even tempted.

How about the colors of the built-ins on the other side???? And the aqua buffalo check drapes with floating art and antelope rug. So imaginative.

Brown doesn’t have to be boring (you can check out my Pinterest page of brown rooms!). Not when you add a zebra stair runner and some modern art. The chandelier makes short shrift of the double height entry.

Looks like Ashley took one of those formal brown dining room sets and freshened it right up by mixing up her chairs and some fresh powder blue color. (You can read more ways to freshen up formal dining sets here.)

In another fresh move, look how she takes a rather heavy, traditional four-post bed and lightens everything up with white bedding, a diamond sisal rug, horizontal striped drapes, and acrylic benches.


Another double height entry deftly handled. Isn’t that sheer linen drape an amazing idea! It works because it forms part of the vignette in front of it — tons of character and patina!


I’m going to call this room a “gathering room.” Long table, ample lounging area. Buttoned-up and beautiful without being overly formal. Look at the cornice detail on the blue built-in shelves, again with floating, glass matted art. Love the use of the antique secretary and the modern white cocktail tables.


The devil is in the details. Lovely accent on the custom table cloth, and sweet, granny chic open plaid on the Louis dining chairs.


I adore this kitchen. Ashley really loves these green cone pendants, and you’ll see them again. More horizontal striped drapes! Ladders in the kitchen kill me.


A big room doesn’t necessitate big furniture! All seating is perfectly human sized, but high hung drapes, big mantle art, and a huge armoire handle the height of this room.


Another kitchen favorite. You’ll see why in the next pic.


Look at the detail on the magnetic knife stripe — live edge wood! — and the soapstone shelf above the range. Brilliant.


I have a feeling that Ashley is a Southern girl who likes her cocktail.


I had to show this pic. While this bathroom may seem simple, look at the floor detail — the creamy border brings in the wall and drape color and coordinates it with the cooler whites of the marble, the tub, and the towels.


More details to notice in this boy’s room! The window drapes are trimmed in the same fabric as the reading alcove drapes. Leave that trim out, and it would seem a bit disjointed. Put it in, and Ashley gets a whole extra layer of pattern into her mixx!

marble sink

A totally custom fabricated marble sink console for a narrow little space. Looks like it can’t be more than 14 inches deep. Love the skirt to hide the plumbing.

did it again

Oops! She did it again! Totally on purpose too. The drape and the double height entry. Antiques and linen always coordinate.

rustic bathold cubboard

It looks like Ashley salvaged an original built-in cupboard on the left. Look at the drawers. Why throw the baby out with the bathwater?

kitch detials

Another sweet detail. Look how the marble rises up in front of the window to meet the back apron on the vintage sink. Love how the pleated linen sheers let the light through.



Ashley did the bedroom suite of the Southern Living Idea House a couple years back. This room is so rich and yet serene. Who’dathunk of those gorgeous gray drapes to hide storage and create a cozy reading niche? Accents of dark indigo throughout the space keep everything grounded.


Sweet bathroom details — a scalloped apron front, bridge faucet, sweeping arched backsplash.


So granny chic — decorating with heirloom quilts! The lamps and skirted side-tables keep things from getting too sweet, though. I spy one of my favorite “I-look-like-I-am-hand-block-printed-and-expensive-but-I’m-not” fabrics from Robert Allen.

Robert Allen Ponderosa Pine
Robert Allen Ponderosa Pine


Great bunks! I spy another repeat offender — the antelope rug!

bed with bench

I think this bedroom shows how, even amidst a ton of neutrals, a splash of color can add richness and soul, like with this emerald velvet bench.

stove alcove

A Southern girl is never afraid to use antlers, even in a typically feminine domaine like the kitchen!

via Instagram
via Instagram

One of her latest posts on IG — from the HGTV show!!!

Are you as smitten as I am? I feel I’ve taken a whole college course in interior design detail work! What is your favorite detail?

‘Til next week!




This post may contain affiliate links. All topics, choices, and opinions are my own.


7 thoughts on “Designer Story: Ashley Gilbreath, A Devil for Details and New HGTV Star”

  1. Could hardly believe my eyes when I read that HGTV is considering an actual design show again. Have they finally turned off enough viewers with their flips and flops?? Let’s hope so. Ashely’s work is beautiful. Love her use of pretty colors.
    Thanks for this visual treat.

    1. Amen to that! It’s definitely time to do a better job respecting audiences’ design palates and intelligence!

    1. I bet it’s because of the stay-at-home parents who, while running around after their kids, are still *in* their homes during the day and able to mull over house ideas while they are working. I just wish I could view via the internet when I have the time!

  2. Paula Moreshead

    I think my favorite aspect of her design work is the mixing in and use of antiques with more modern elements, including quilts which I have always loved and still do:) Lots of great new pins!

    1. I agree! That wonderful mix is what gives her interiors so much vitality and soul at the same time.

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