Big Announcement – I'm BACK!

Well hello. It's been a while but I have a pretty solid excuse. Drumroll please...

I am now a FULLY QUALIFIED, LICENSED ARCHITECT!*

After 3 years of high school classes, 5 years of undergrad, 1 year of post-grad, 6 years in the big wide world, and 1 year of test taking, I finally have that beautiful little Architect's stamp. And as much as I hate to admit it, I learned A LOT while studying for those tests.

But wait! There’s more!

Read More
Furnace VS. Boiler VS. Heat Pump

The good and bad of the most popular heating systems.

Heating and cooling uses more energy that any other system in the house. You can save A LOT of money by selecting the right heating equipment. So the question is, what IS the right heating equipment? As you can imagine, the answer is complicated, but here's a breakdown of the three most common energy sources for today's home.

Read More
Tank Storage VS. Tankless Water Heaters

The good and bad of the most popular water heaters.

With every new project I ask: What type of water heater would you like, tank storage or tankless? And over the last three years homeowners’ answers have been varied, but most people just seem confused. Here are the pros and cons to clear things up.

Read More
Lessons from Our DIY Wedding

9 Rules for a Successful DIY Wedding.

October 1st was the one year anniversary of my and Mike's DIY wedding. This past year has given me lots of time to reflect and talk with family about our big day. Then, last month, I participated in my best friend's DIY wedding. Now I'm doubly qualified to dole out some advice.

Read More
Winter in West Maine

We quit our jobs to travel and work at a ski resort!

About a year ago, Mike and I moved our RV from Texas to California. It was the start of a grand adventure for us, a dream come true. You see, over the years, we slowly converted to a minimalist lifestyle. We did this not only to push our limits and define our priorities, but to reduce our cost of living and save money! For the last year, we have been reaping the benefits...

Read More
Pros and Cons of Shipping Container Homes

So many clients and friends ask me about the seemingly perfect idea of container homes. You know: homes that use shipping containers as their structure and enclosure. Until now, I couldn't really offer an opinion except to say, "Yeah! Those DO seem perfect in every way." But nothing's perfect, right??

Read More
In Defense of Meat

We interrupt our regularly scheduled program to give you this... an education on animal farming! My husband and I recently spent a week helping our good friend Katie on her farm in Rhode Island. What we learned there was totally mind blowing.

Read More
Ashley Hopwood
The Most Common Ways To Build Your House

The 3 Most Common Building Delivery Methods to Help You Decide

The building industry can be very confusing. Who does what? There are SO many services and materials needed for even the simplest home remodel. And there are SO many places to get them!

Who do you choose? Which process is the best? Well, I can't tell you that. But I CAN help you weigh the positive's and negatives. 

Read More
Money Making DIY Remodel

This client's DIY remodel increased his home's value by $120k!

Blair remodeled his kitchen with his own two hands. He wanted a new space AND a higher home value. After two years, thousands of dollars, countless late nights, and missed weekends the project was complete. During a recent refinance, Blair's home appraised for $120k more than the purchasing price. It was all worth it. 

Read More
Crazy Designs by Other Designers

A few crazy designs I have to share.

Our articles have been a little bit serious lately... so here's a few very quick videos of the coolest, funkiest, most creative designs I've seen in the last few months.

Read More
What is Minimalism?

Why minimalism may be just what you're looking for.

When I talk to friends about the Minimalist lifestyle, they can be quick to judge. I’m sure they’re imagining a house with white walls and weird art, a life with no embellishment or pizzazz. Fortunately for me, that couldn’t be further from the truth. For all those curious people, here are my minimalist principles...

Read More
Open & Eclectic Encinitas Home

A beautiful living room and bathroom remodel for a fun-loving South African family.

At our Christmas party two years ago, I was approached by close family friends. They were tired of their cramped, non-functional living room and bathroom and wanted some ideas of how to rearrange the space.

We came up with a design that made the living room feel open and continuous with the deck; welcoming and hospitable for gatherings large and small. We also gutted the upstairs bathroom to give the client a huge shower and beautiful, usable vanity.

Read More
DIY Design: Bang For Your Buck

7 things that make the greatest impact on your interior design.

It's that time of year again. You're coming down from the holidays. The decorations come off the walls and you think, "hm, this space needs reorganizing." Or it needs a fresh coat of paint, or a new couch, or a recent photo hung on the wall... you get my point. 

BUT, you don't have enough money! It's a conundrum that I hear from friends all the time. Don't worry, there's a solution: GET THE MOST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK.

Read More
San Diego Modern Coastal Apartments

A stunning transformation of this apartment building into a contemporary heaven.

This client bought a four-unit apartment building in very rough shape. His goal: develop into modern, rentable apartments. Together, we designed and permitted a complete remodel. Read on for more photos of this Modern Coastal historical apartment building!

Read More