Ashley Lastovica’s Blueprint for Chic Coastal Home Transformations - 30A

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Ashley Lastovica’s Blueprint for Chic Coastal Home Transformations

By: Martin Liptrot | Posted Feb 7, 2024

Deep in 2023, it’s hard to recall a world without influencers or entire broadcast channels dedicated to home renovation and interior design. But 13 years ago, when Californian Ashley Lastovica started her Instagram account (@thefancyashley), people were unsure what a blogger — or a vlogger — even was.

Now, with global followers measured in six figures, her websites and social media feeds showcase her style and design tips for home décor, entertaining, fashion, and DIY renovation to her faithful followers.

“I have always been interested in fashion and design,” said Ashley. “When I discovered Instagram 13 years ago, it was an opportunity to do what I love, my way.”

A graduate with a degree in television production and broadcast journalism, Ashley worked in various media roles before settling in Texas with her husband and two kids.

“When we moved to Houston, our new house was a semi-custom construction, so I had a lot of fun being involved in the design process, picking out the finishes, and creating a personalized feel for our house,” Ashley recalled. “I thought, ‘This is what I want to do.’ So I started documenting the process, though I wish I’d captured more of it and posted more updates online.”



Ashley’s early blog posts reflected her passion for fashion and design, featuring her personal style choices, home decor, and family events. However, it was with the advent of Instagram Stories and their short video format that truly enhanced her storytelling capabilities, fostering a deeper connection with her audience.

“I’m a lifestyle blogger,” she said. “I pitch myself as your ‘virtual best friend, providing ‘live in’ advice, inspiration and ideas and, through DMs, sharing links to products and shopping I think my followers will enjoy. Using video, and leveraging my TV and media background, really helped bring these ideas and stories to life.”

But with a second Houston house now complete, Ashley was in need of a fresh project. She and her family had been holidaying on Florida’s Northwest Gulf coast for years when the opportunity to buy a property and live full-time at the beach presented itself.

Ashley expresses enthusiasm for revitalizing homes with history, particularly those from the eighties and nineties that beckon for a contemporary touch. “When our current home came on the market, it was clear to me that it was the exact project I had been searching for,” Ashley recalled with excitement.

So, in the summer of 2022, Ashley and her middle-school-aged family headed to the sugar-white sands and emerald waters along Florida’s Scenic Highway 30A for a new adventure – one she has shared across Instagram for her followers and fans to enjoy.

Ashley revealed that, even though she didn’t have any construction experience, she decided to take the reins on managing her home renovations and learning a ton along the way.

“I’m sure the contractors were like, ‘Who is this chick? but from my previous career I know how to manage projects, keep to tight deadlines, and move at speed,” she added with a smile.  “In my Texas house, I was able to execute a full kitchen renovation in under four weeks,” she said. “There were no days when I didn’t have crews in my house. I’m all about getting the project completed as fast and as efficiently as possible; which I’ve found is not the norm in a lot of construction projects.”

Ashley is innovative and creative but down-to-earth and practical too. She is just as happy to recommend an outfit from Target or a home furnishing steal from Walmart or Amazon as she is to showcase a chic designer brand or boutique product – something welcomed by her legions of fans. That intuitive sense of style is reflected in her design and renovation business, where Ashley shares her tips and insights for those interested in remodeling their homes. Ashley begins her evaluation of a home by assessing its ‘good bones’ – this goes beyond structural soundness to include the layout, orientation, natural lighting, and views.

She contemplates whether she or her clients could envision themselves living in the space and utilizing it to its full potential. The kitchen, which she considers the heart of the home, plays a crucial role in her design philosophy, reflecting the contemporary trend towards communal living spaces.

The preference for large kitchen islands has grown, as they serve multiple purposes: a place for children to do homework, a communal spot for meal preparation, a casual dining area, or as a central hub for social gatherings. This contrasts with the less functional peninsular worktop of her previous home, which she felt interrupted the flow of the kitchen into adjoining spaces.

Ashley also considers the challenges and opportunities of owning and living in a beach house.

“Typically, beach houses are smaller and more compact than homes in suburbs or urban neighborhoods,” she said. “As a result, they must be very efficient, not just in design but in how we use them. Large open plan spaces that combine kitchens, living rooms, TV rooms and family dens mean the space can be flexible and adapted to how the owners – or guests – live.”

The other advantage of a beach house is, hopefully, better weather. This means the outdoor space can be incorporated into the home.

In her 30A residence, the inclusion of an outdoor kitchen, complete with a pizza oven, a fireplace, and a cozy seating area, effectively extends the indoor living space. The installation of sliding doors and expansive French windows blurs the boundary between inside and outside, creating a sense of spaciousness throughout the home.

Ashley also believes your choice of colors, materials and textures is important too.

“Currently, every new home I see is white-on-white with stainless steel. It keeps everything bright and maximizes light, but I think adding texture is important too,” Ashley said. “In our home, when we bought it, it was all dark wood, colors and surfaces. We brightened it up, but we have added matte black highlights and brass fittings too. I also like basket weave – lights, tables, chairs and rugs – as it brings contrasting textures into the design. I also love tiles. Our backsplash is a rather unique glossy brick that stretches all the way to the ceiling. Why stop halfway up the wall?”

Ashley also refreshed the house’s original characteristics, infusing additional texture and character by enhancing the wall paneling and the beams on the ceiling.

Ashley’s blogs and videos are notably user-friendly, presented in bite-size segments. Her work highlights simply yet impactful changes that can significantly elevate a space.

“Even though extensive renovations can run into the tens of thousands, there are cost-effective tweaks that still pack a ‘wow’ factor. I like to think of it as luxury on a budget,” said Ashley.



Ashley guides her followers to online shopping sites that have become a preferred option for many. Not only are there great bargains to be had online, but they also offer the convenience of saving time, an increasingly valuable asset.

Ashley’s blogs and social media influence have led her to expand her business, and she advises and guides homeowners looking to create their dream home.

Clients today seek efficiency and expediency, particularly those eyeing properties for investment or rental income, desiring minimal hassle and quick turnaround times.

“I advise them to start with the main rooms of the house. Get the kitchen right, improve the living room flow, and freshen up the outdoor areas where you spend a lot of your time,” Ashley said. “For most people, the en-suite in the guest bedroom can wait.

“I love working with people through my channels and platforms – whether that is people who come and stay at our beach house, followers of my fashion and lifestyle blog, or new viewers and followers on my home renovation sites and reels,” she said.

And the future?

“While I keep my gaze on the near future, I’m thrilled at the prospect of partnering with exceptional clients in 2024, to assist and enhance their home décor journeys. I’m equally enthusiastic about capturing the progress of my upcoming endeavors and showcasing a series of striking beach home transformations to our followers.”

To learn more about Ashley Lastovica, visit her website or follow her on Facebook and Instagram

 

 

 

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Martin Liptrot is British but has lived along 30A since 2004. After a global career in advertising he has now made NorthWest Florida his home and runs local PR and Marketing Agency www.98RepublicPR.com. Martin’s passions include Soccer, Cricket, Rugby, Formula One and Horse Racing. He is a fan of craft beers and fine wines and enjoys good company and long lazy lunches in any of the spectacular restaurants on 30A.

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