Who else is always here for a home makeover story? Of course, the *really* good ones are more than just decorating tips and interior pics—they offer a distinct perspective and personality, advice you didn’t know you needed, crowd-sourced recs, unequivocal how-tos, and plenty of ways to improve your space if you’re short on time or money. Ashley Goldman’s The Gold Hive has all that got going for it and more.
The blog follows along as Goldman thoughtfully renovates and beautifies her 100-year-old California craftsman bungalow. She and her husband bought the San Diego fixer-upper (their first home!) in 2015, and she’s been restoring the original elements since, optimizing the space for the couple’s needs and tackling tasteful upgrades throughout. Full of inspo and insights, The Gold Hive shares the ins and outs of Goldman’s design decision-making, and all the deets of her experiences—everything from her favorite overalls to wear for roll-up-your-sleeves DIY work, to nailing the loveliest landscape lighting. She’s currently in the process of a cool kitchen remodel we’ve been keeping a close eye on—can’t wait to see how it turns out!
Goldman is also an artist and art education professional with years of experience working in museums, so she brings a unique creative energy to her home improvement projects (just peep the 1600s-style mural she hand-painted in her office). That also means she brings a next-level eye to selecting 20x200 artworks and answering our quickie art-related interview Qs. Her one-of-a-kind 5+5 touches on sustainability, seeking out artwork with salient messages, the power of empty space to emphasize those extra special pieces, and more. Big surprise (jk) for a home renovation hotshot—three of her five edition selects feature architecture! — Team 20x200
5 Perfect Picks
1) Gary's Ice Cream, Jacksonville, Florida by John Margolies
I love retro Americana and I especially like ice cream. There's something charming about the colors and the classic ice cream stand but also something sad about the rundown and closed up shop.
3) House on Masters Street by Esther Pearl Watson
I really like the flat and simple painterly style of this artist's work. Plus, her series featuring UFOs and some strange childhood experiences gives me a chuckle. Can you also tell by now that I really like architecture in art?
5) Gas station. Kern County, California by Dorothea Lange
This photograph is poignant because even though it's over 80 years old, it still hits home today. The notion that "big men" are out to take away our democracy, economy, rights, and environment is so sadly true. I like art when has a strong message, makes me think, and includes beauty in the composition and the charm of the hand-painted sign.
5 Q's + 5 A's
1) What's your favorite museum?
Oof that's hard to pick. My first answer is to say MOCA, but I will say I'd love to visit The World's Largest Collection of Smallest Versions of Largest Things museum. The concept is just too good.
2) What's your most coveted coffee table book?
I'm a sucker for Things Organized Neatly: The Art of Arranging the Everyday
3) Do you prefer a single statement piece or a salon wall?
4) If you could be reincarnated as an artist, who would you want to be?
I've always loved Mary Kelly. I'm a fan of her work and I'd love to have her hairstyle which I've never been able to pull off.
5) You've got $5m to spend on one piece of art. What would it be?
Ohhhhh. I'd find an artist working in renewable energy and spend $5M on solar panels and windmills.
5) You've been chronicling your kitchen remodel over the past few months—the progress is so fun to watch! As someone with a background in art, you must have all sorts of ideas for the new space. What's your approach to tackling blank walls?
The funny thing is I'm currently yearning for blank walls! Sometimes I feel the need to fill every negative space with a clock, a plant, a light, a small piece of artwork. But I feel like the special things get lost when all the space is full. I'm hoping to have a few statement pieces of art in the kitchen and very few other things so I don't lose sight of the pieces I love.
The 411 on Ashley Goldman
Ashley runs The Gold Hive, a home renovation and design website where she shares the journey of restoring her 1915 craftsman bungalow in San Diego. With a degree in art, and years of work in contemporary art museums, Ashley applies a creative approach to decorating. Plus, her experience as an art museum teacher provides the passion for sharing experiences. Her three bedroom home is her biggest art project to date! When purchased in 2015, the house was in disrepair and needed a lot of work. She cleaned up the home and has been restoring the original elements as well as giving each room a unique look. She hand-painted a mural in the likeness of a 1600s etching in her home office, redesigned her den with original trim details and a deep moody wall color, transformed her master bedroom with period-appropriate millwork, renovated her bathroom for a classic yet modern look, and temporarily transformed her retro kitchen on a tight budget. In addition to old charm and home design, Ashley is passionate about sustainable living, the environment, and art. All of these interests combine in the design of her home and what she shares on her blog thegoldhive.com.