Designer Ashley Hanley Creates a Home to Make Guests Feel Like They’re Staying at a Boutique Hotel

Audrey J. Powers

When designer Ashley Hanley set about revamping a 1939 Richmond Colonial Revival she calls “small but mighty,” her goal was to make guests feel as if they were staying at a boutique hotel, with thoughtful touches and “amenities” like a screened porch. “My client had been considering this project pre-COVID,” says Hanley, “but when the pandemic hit, the need for this extra living space became even more important.” As such, the designer made sure this space “felt like a true extension” of her client’s home, complete with an outdoor living space and plenty of vibrant color.

blue table lamp, wicker mirror, lily and water wallpaper


pink painted walls, gold coffee table, blue sconces


“I packed a punch of color and pattern in each room to reflect my client’s bubbly personality,” explains Hanley. Her client was also keen on incorporating dog-friendly textiles and furnishings for her canine, Mimi, a wish Hanley met with pieces like an indoor/outdoor rug from Dash & Albert.

Read on to see how she pulled off the dog- and guest-friendly abode—proof that sometimes, there’s no place like home.

Living Room

white living room, gray couch, white sofa chairs, fireplace


“This is the first room you see as you enter the home, and it helps introduce in smaller doses all of the fun colors that we have throughout the home,” explains Hanley. The homeowner had already purchased many large furnishings before enlisting the designer. But that didn’t mean her job was done:

Once Hanley joined the project, she added new fabrics to the room—on pillows, window treatments, and accent seating—to give it a “more cohesive look,” while new lighting, a lighter wall color, and an amalgamation of newly acquired artwork give the space fresh life.

Ceiling Light: Worlds Away. Artwork: Liza Pruitt. Wall Color: Farrow & Ball’s Wimborne White. Chair Pillows: GP&J Baker. Sofa Pillows: Schumacher. Rug: Dash & Albert. Sofa, Chairs, Etagere, Coffee Table, and Bar Cart: Client’s own. Wicker Tray: Target.

Breakfast Room

breakfast room, white dining chairs, white and blue stripped chair cushions, white storage, floral curtains and table top


“There is no formal dining room in this home,” reveals Hanley, “so, we wanted to make sure that this space could function beautifully as a casual, everyday room as well as a fun space for entertaining.” To bring this vision to life, the designer enlisted floral window treatments and a matching tablecloth in Schumacher’s Pomegranate Botanical fabric, along with white bamboo-inspired chairs from Williams Sonoma Home, making for an inviting space that looks like something of a dollhouse.

Window Treatments and Tablecloth: Schumacher’s Pomegranate Botanical. Light Fixture: Visual Comfort. Lampshades: Ballard Designs. Chairs: Williams Sonoma Home. Chair Fabric: Perennials FabricsJake Stripe. Wallpaper: York Wallcoverings. Glassware: Kirklands. Plates and Bowls: Vintage. Vases and Napkins: At Home. Placemats: Scully & Scully. Flatware: Amazon. Table: Client’s own.

Home Office

home office, pink painted walls, office chair with wheels, marble countertop


home office, pink painted walls, pink storage, blue window seat cushion


Like many of us, the homeowner sought a more functional work from home space during the pandemic—and it proved to be an “unexpected necessity,” given that client was used to traveling often for her career but was instead homebound for a much longer period of time than anticipated. As such, Hanley had a custom desk created, with built-in shelves located atop, and a neighboring window seat that hides a printer and file storage underneath.

To make this room feel even larger than it actually is, Hanley painted the existing slate floors in white, and she also painted the walls, built-in shelves, trim, and ceiling in Farrow & Ball’s Pink Ground.

Valance: Sister Parish’s Mayfields Fabric in Pink Stripe. Pillow: Osborne & Little’s Muette Braid trim on Kravet fabric. Cushion: Fabricut’s Soft Spot piped in a blush pink fabric from Kravet. Desk and Window Seat: Custom. Walls, Trim, and Ceiling Color: Farrow & Ball’s Pink Ground. Hardware: The Home Depot.

Guest Bedroom 1

hguest bedroom, pink and white linen, white bedside table, floral wallpaper


Hanley’s client frequently hosts friends and family for weekend visits in this home, so “she wanted to create memorable rooms that would make her guests feel like they were staying at a boutique hotel.” One such space is the first of two guest bedrooms, which happens to be the smallest room in the house.

This particular room “created a challenge for fitting a bed large enough for two guests.” Hanley adds that what made this space even smaller was an old door that led into the primary closet, which had to be concealed “so that we were able to accommodate a full size bed comfortably in the space for her guests to enjoy.”

The pièce de résistance is undoubtedly the dreamy floral wallpaper from York Wallcoverings, which is complemented by a custom headboard from Kravet and bedding from Biscuit Home.

Ceiling Color: Benjamin Moore’s Rose Rococo. Ceiling Light and Lamp: Visual Comfort. Wallpaper: York Wallcoverings. Headboard: Kravet. Bedding: Biscuit Home. Coverlet: Williams Sonoma Home. Bed Skirt: Ballard Designs. Bench: Chelsea House in velvet fabric from Kravet. Rug: Stanton’s Habitat. Mirror: Wisteria. Nightstand: Client’s own, sprayed in Farrow & Ball’s All White. Draperies: Schumacher’s Zanzibar Trellis Matte. Mirror: Vintage.

Guest Bedroom 2

guest bedroom, blue seat, blue and white floral curtains


The second guest bedroom is a frequent spot for the homeowner’s dog sitter, who stays here with Mimi, the family dog. Here, Hanley wanted to fashion a “beautiful and eclectic retreat just like the other guest bedroom, but also one that will hold up to doggy paws.” She utilized an indoor/outdoor rug from Dash & Albert called Samson, a velvet-covered bench with fabric by Crypton, and budget-friendly bedding from Pottery Barn Teen.

Draperies: Schumacher’s Salisbury Chintz. Wallpaper: York WallcoveringsGarden Lattice. Bed: Client’s own, modified with finials and fretwork from O’verlays. Bench: Custom from TCS Designs, Inc., swathed in velvet fabric from Fabricut. Bolsters on Bench: Schumacher’s Pavilion, with Scully & Scully trim. Bedding: Pottery Barn Teen. Large Euro Pillows: Sister Parish’s Burma fabric, as well as silk fabric from Kravet. Lamps: Client’s own. Lampshades: Etsy. Nightstands: Mainly Baskets Home. Rug: Dash & Albert. Ceiling Paint Color: Sherwin-WilliamsWindow Pane.

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