Interior Designer Ashley Hanley helps bring a fresh overhaul into a 1970s Dutch Colonial in Richmond, Virginia.


When Ashley Hanley was introduced to the homeowners of this Richmond, Virginia home they were in desperate need of a refresh that reflected their style and a more functional layout to accommodate their growing young family. The owners recently purchased the 1970s Dutch colonial home to address the needs for more space and a desirable neighborhood. However, the 1970s design features created a less than appealing layout, minimizing the amount of natural light, making the interiors feel even darker and more weighed during the pandemic. Enter Ashley Hanley and her team of tradesmen who thoughtfully reconfigured the downstairs of this home to create a fresh, functional and light filled home for the owners.

Ashley Hanley

A new view into adjacent rooms from the foyer that were not visible prior to the renovation.

The first area that needed to be addressed was the foyer which was dressed in random patterned slate flooring from the seventies, a front door that didn’t match the style of the home and undersized entrances to the adjacent rooms. To fix these issues, doorways were moved and widened to allow for more natural light to enter the home and the wall between the stairwell and dining room was opened to create more space and improve the overall flow. Finishing touches of adding a period style colonial door and herringbone porcelain flooring completed the foyer refresh. Lastly, instead of crowding the newly spacious entry, Ashley forwent furniture and installed an artwork gallery to greet guests along with fresh spin on Colonial painted trim.

Ashley Hanley Design

Foyer looking into the dining room over the newly opened staircase. New railings, spindles and newel posts were part of the stair rebuild to reflect more of a true Colonial style rather than the 1970s spin on Colonial, which leaned more country farmhouse. Trim paint is Farrow & Ball Light Blue and walls are Farrow & Ball Wimborne White. Artwork sourced through Liza Pruitt and framed at Frame of Mind.

A view into the foyer from the new living room. Ceiling lights from Circa Lighting, art lights from Visual Comfort, tile from Morris Tile, front door and storm door from Siewers Lumbar painted in Fine Paint of Europe Hollandac paint and matched to Benjamin Moore “Black”.

Equipped with Ashley’s keen eye, a skilled team of tradesmen and the homeowners’ willingness to take a big risk, rooms were swapped to create a more livable layout with a more functional flow. To begin this process, a large built-in that was blocking off a larger opening to the foyer was moved into the home office turned playroom, and a large cased opening was made between the dining room and living room. Both of these changes brought in the much desired natural light and helped create a more thoughtful entertaining space for the homeowners and their guests. One of the homeowner’s key requests was to make sure that the living spaces could function not only formally also being compatible for modern, family living. Ashley approached this request with durable upholstery, timeless case goods and combined beautiful textiles with family heirlooms to strike the perfect balance between casual and elegant.

The new “formal” living room. A pair of sofas custom made by Hallman Furniture are swathed in a durable Crypton fabric by Fabricut that looks like a beautiful slubby linen fabric. A mixture of patterned pillows from Kravet, Sister Parish and Soane line each sofa. Anchoring the room is a family heirloom high boy with a collection of blue and white jars curated by Ashley for the homeowners. A large sisal rug, wicker chair from Wildwood Home, a rattan mirror from Ballard Designs and a grasscloth covered coffee table from Serena and Lily help ground the formality of the room. The oushak rug is from Greenfront Furniture; lighting is from Visual Comfort and end tables are from Woodbridge Furniture.

A perfect flow from room to room. A peek into the dining room through the brand new opening from the living room. Walls are Farrow & Ball Matchstick and trim is Benjamin Moore Super White.

A custom designed cabinet over the existing mantle hides a TV so that the formal living room can also serve double duty as a casual space for watching sports with family and friends. The etagere is from One Kings Lane, fireplace screen by Frontgate, floor lamp by Visual Comfort, garden stool by Legend of Asia, custom tufted chairs by Hallman Furniture in Kravet fabric with Sister Parish pillows, sisal rug from Sisal Rugs Direct and custom ottoman by Hallman Furniture in Holland & Sherry leather.

Living room details. Drapery fabric is by Soane and lamp by Visual Comfort. Botanical print is vintage.

The old built in from the living room fits perfectly in the newly designated playroom, creating a lovely place to display family heirlooms along with hidden toy storage. Chair is custom by Hallman Furniture in Groundworks and Perennials outdoor fabrics and the elephant basket is from Home Depot. Hardware and library lights are existing. Ceiling wallpaper is by York and wall and trim paint color is Sherwin Williams Moody Blue.

The newly appointed family room was once the spare room filled with leftover mismatched furniture and random toys. Equipped with French doors to separate but keep visible views of the playroom, one large family friendly space was established. Custom millwork above the fireplace, along with a fresh paint color and larger opening into the foyer round out this once forgotten room. Chair and floor lamp by Ballard Designs, accent table by Accents Beyond, fireplace screen by Frontgate, console table by Oomph, abstract painting sourced through Liza Pruitt, rug by Annie Selke and new tape trim on existing drapery panels by Schumacher. Coffee table, sectional and pillows all existing from homeowner. Wall color is Farrow & Ball Wimborne White and trim is Benjamin Moore Super White.

Ashley Hanley esign

Dining room looking into the new living room. Trim is Farrow & Ball Light Blue and wallpaper is Schumacher. Chairs, demi lune chests and mirrors are Ballard Designs, lamps by Avala Home, table by Woodbridge, lantern by Visual Comfort and outdoor rug by Couristan Carpet.

The dining room shines with natural light thanks to the new stairwell and large opening to the living room. A mixture of formal and causal elements create the perfect mix for the homeowners to use for all occasions. Drapery panels are by Cowtan and Tout.

A custom built hall tree by the side entrance creates the perfect perch for jackets, shoes and bags with a glimpse into the dining room. Runner is from Oushak Chic.

An unused kitchen desk makes the perfect nook for the homeowner’s dog, Boone, to rest while meals are prepped. Custom dog bed in fabrics by Fabricut and Perennials with applique by Atlantic Embroidery Works. A custom valance in Schumacher hangs above. Frame from At Home and blue and white pot is vintage.

A beautiful breakfast nook to coordinate with the rest of the home’s refresh. Small but impactful changes were made in here to complete the look – fresh paint in Farrow & Ball Wimborne White for the walls and Benjamin Moore Super White for the trim. A new door to the porch to coordinate with the new front doors, freshly painted and recovered chairs in Farrow & Ball Light Blue and Quadrille fabric, Schumacher drapery panels to match the new valances and a new light by Visual Comfort complete the kitchen makeover. Small painting sourced through Liza Pruitt and large painting is vintage from West End Antique Mall.

The final space in need of a major overhaul was the laundry room and mudroom area. Originally this area severely lacked storage and had an awkward layout, complete with an unused door leading to the porch and a poorly positioned hallway. Ashley and her team removed the old porch door and repositioned the door to the hallway, simultaneously improve the floor plan and creating an abundance of space for storage and cabinetry. Lastly, coordinating lighting, paint and flooring tile was added to tie in with the front of the house and create cohesive look for the both the front and rear entrances of the home.

Custom cabinets hide dog food and cleaning products, while the adjustable shelves hold extra laundry products, beautifully displayed in glass jars and wicker baskets from Target.

A new Dutch door greets you from the hall before entering into the newly remodeled laundry room. A bench under the window for a place to sit to put shoes on or off before leaving or upon entering the home. Custom window valance in Kravet fabric with The Fringe Market trim.

Ashely Hanley Design, Laundry Room

The homeowner’s dog prefers to sleep in her kennel, so we created the feel of a kennel by carving out a nook in the corner, complete with a custom brass insert grille door. Cabinets, beadboard and trim in Farrow & Ball Light Blue and walls in Farrow & Ball Wimborne White. Cabinet hardware by House of Antique Hardware.