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Summer Inspiration

Entertaining, Summer Inspiration July 26, 2019

Ashley celebrates grand opening of Chicago HomeStore | Ashley HomeStore

New Beginnings in Chicago

New store openings mean the Ashley family is continuing to expand–which is always exciting news for us! Our new location on Roosevelt Road had a soft opening on Flower truck.May 30th that welcomed new guests with exclusive discounts and activities. The Ashley team also invited some local influencers to get new product sneak peeks. Here’s a brief look inside the festivities:

Activities for Everyone

The opening was held at the rooftop parking garage of the building, giving guests ample room to enjoy the clear weather, sunshine and beautiful Chicago skyline (what a view!).

Branded cupcakes with stickers.Youth & Yarrow Flower Truck provided guests with pre-made bouquets to take home, with the option for guests to curate their own arrangements if they wished. Local food trucks 5411 Empanadas and Yum Dum Truck catered the event with delicious eats.

Influencers and guests alike took a tour of the store to get more information about Ashley’s new products and styles.

We’re continuing to open new stores and anticipate celebrating 1,000 Ashley HomeStores in the near future! Tell us what you’d like to 

Influencers taking tour of HomeStore.

see at a store opening near you in the comments–do you want influencers and fun activities, or perhaps discounts or raffles? We had a blast and hope to continue providing exciting opportunities for guests to experience in our HomeStores!

To see more coverage from fun events like this one, check out our Instagram

Outdoor & Patio Ideas, Seasonal, Summer Inspiration July 19, 2019

Inspire Her Dream Home: Dani Austin’s new outdoor space

It’s officially summer: the season of cookouts, sunshine and outdoor gatherings. We decided to partner with Instagrammer and blogger Dani Austin to transform her patio into the ultimate outdoor oasis.

Dani Austin watering plant with dog.

When thinking of what she wanted for her patio, Austin reflected that her, her husband and their dog Hazel love lounging on the patio at the end of the day. She chose products like an outdoor heater to keep herself warm during the cool summer nights and an umbrella to block out the possibly harmful UV rays. Whether watching the sunset or chatting about their day, the couple often spend time on the patio around 7PM. “It’s our way to relax and connect together after a long day’s work,” Austin explained.

As a resident Texan, Austin loves to spend her time outdoors. “I love to run outside,” she said. “Give me a good trail and I’m good for hours.” Her favorite part about living in Dallas? Being close to family and friends, with her love for Tex-Mex being a close second. “You can catch me at Mi Cocina every Friday night with a margarita in my hand,” she said.

A Patio Fit For All Seasons in Texas

Wide view of patio featuring Ashley product.

For her patio (pictured above), Austin decided to remain minimal. Although her décor preferences change with current trends and styles, Austin said she always goes back to neutral tones of green and tan. Not only are these pieces fashionable, but functional for the outdoor elements and easy to maintain.

Now that her patio area is ready for visitors, Austin is excited to host parties and emphasized the newly furnished outdoor space as a party essential. Seating is a must for large outdoor gatherings, which is why Austin chose a three-piece set to fit all her guests. “I love hosting people over for movie (or) sport events on our patio,” she said. “It’s especially important to have enough seating for all your party peeps.”

Close up of furniture

We were so excited to have the opportunity to work with Dani and create an easy-breezy, inviting space for her guests come party time or a relaxing night with her husband. To learn more about our collaboration with her, check out our Instagram. You can also follow Dani Austin on Instagram and her blog.

Summer Inspiration July 24, 2018

Summer Fun At Home

Ah, summer break: that remarkable time when days are long, cicadas burst into song, and kids have lots and lots… and lots… of free time. Keep boredom at bay by having a list of things to do at-the-ready for the kiddos. That way, they’ll have an array of activities to choose from every day, and you can rest easy knowing “I’m bored” won’t be in their vocabulary for a few months; at least, not until the school year starts.

Entertaining, Home Accessories Ideas, Home Decor & Furniture July 5, 2016


The rainy days of spring have retreated, leaving us to contend with all the fun that comes with summer. Revamp your front and back door areas to make room for summertime essentials. Here are a few tips for transforming your entryway or mudroom into a summery landing pad.

Interior of a white mudroom and carpeted stairs

Swimsuits, beach towels, flip flops and sports equipment are just a few pieces of this season’s ever-present clutter. Need a spot to dry off after a run through the sprinkler, a dip in the pool or sweaty yardwork? Why not transform your entryway or mud room into a cooling spot complete with plenty of areas to stow away gear and seats for drying off? Relief is on the way with some helpful tips for repurposing this space and giving it a warm weather vibe.


Front door or back door, it’s the first place guests see when they enter your home, so it’s worth the effort to clean it up to make a good first impression. Remove anything that doesn’t serve a purpose or isn’t being used—then donate it or trash it. Once you have decluttered the room, add a fresh coat of paint and if you’re feeling ambitious, come up with a theme for the area. For example, you could transform it into a beachy escape by adding plants, baskets and seashells. Make it cheery and bright, a warm welcome for your family and visitors.


Cover the floor as you see fit. This time of year, simple sisal or seagrass woven area rugs are a great choice since they are made for greater durability, come in different sizes and bring warmth and charm.


Your mission is to make the space more useful by introducing designated storage areas for everyday necessities. By attaching shelves with adjustable hooks, you’ll have spots for hanging keys, jackets and handbags right where you need them. The top wooden shelf provides ample space for sunblock, hats and maybe even a seashell or two.

Below the shelf, place a table with a shelf. Add bins on the lower shelf and presto—you now have the perfect spot to hold beach towels, flip flops, pet toys or anything else that gets dropped off at the front door. A lamp or two will help cast a pretty glow over your neat and tidy “welcome center.”

If you have the room, a bookcase extends your storage and display potential. Find one that fits your space and fill it up with bins or baskets and a knick-knack or two.

A storage bench can serve double duty by giving you a place to take off your shoes and put them away all-in-one.

Add little touches like a cart on casters. These come in handy for wheeling in groceries.

Perhaps a stylish coat rack will fit in the corner—a great idea for hanging up wet items.

With an entryway transformation, odds and ends won’t end up in the rest of your home and you’re sure to make great first impressions when guests admire how you’re keeping it all organized in style. How do you rearrange for summer? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments section.

Bedroom Ideas, Entertaining, Party & Event Ideas June 30, 2016

Tasty Ways to Stay Cool This Summer

For most of us summer is the season we spend out and about whether it be at a pool party, on the water, or at a barbecue. But with the temperatures constantly rising, we’re always in need of ways to beat the heat! Did you know there are certain foods that will help keep you as cool as a cucumber?Six Children Have a Water Fight Round a Paddling Pool in a Back Garden


By the way…the water and electrolytes found in cucumbers serve to hydrate and replenish your body.



Watermelon is 91% water and a naturally terrific hydration choice.



Juicy peaches also supply vitamins A and C.

Peach isolated on white background

These three food items are perfect eaten individually or combined into a quick, easy, and heathy salad.Cucumber-Peach-Watermelon-Salad

Peach & Cucumber Watermelon Salad
courtesy of Angela Muir





Bleu Cheese crumbles (I prefer gorgonzola)

Fresh Mozzarella slices


Balsamic Vinegar (really really good quality)


  1. To assemble this salad you'll want to cut your watermelon down the center and cut 1" slices.
  2. Then take a cookie cutter and cut out rounds. My cookie cutter was 2.5" diameter.
  3. Take a slice of mozzarella and place it on top of your watermelon round.
  4. Then chop up your peach and cucumber into tiny squares to top the watermelon & mozzarella.
  5. Thinly slice your shallot and place a few slices on each round as well as the bleu cheese, I probably put about 1 tablespoon of bleu cheese on each round.
  6. The last step is to drizzle with a good quality balsamic vinegar.

Craving something sweeter than a salad?

Grab a Bomb Pop and celebrate National Bomb Pop Day! If you’re up to try something new, here’s a recipe for DIY bomb pops via The Little Kitchen.

bomb pops




  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar


  • 3/4 cup sugar water
  • 1 cup chopped seedless watermelon
  • 2 to 4 drops McCormick® Red Food Color (optional)


  • 1 cup sugar water
  • 1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Imitation Coconut Extract
  • 1 cup coconut milk


  • 2 cups sugar water
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick® Raspberry Extract
  • 5 to 7 drops McCormick® Blue Food Color




Bring water and sugar to boil in small saucepan on medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar.

Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature.


Pour syrup into blender container. Add watermelon and cover.

Blend on high speed until smooth. Using a measuring cup with a spout or the OXO measuring beaker, pour watermelon mixture popsicle molds to fill 1/3 of the way (for my popsicle molds, that means 0.8 ounce). Freeze for 1 1/2 hours or until set.


In a measuring cup, mix together coconut milk, sugar water and coconut extract. Fill the freezer pop mold until it is 2/3 of the way full.

Add the aluminum top and add the popsicle sticks. Freeze for 2 hours or until set. At about 1 1/2 hours, remove the aluminum top and put popsicle molds back into the freezer.


Add sugar water mixture to another measuring cup. Stir in raspberry extract and add blue food color. Mix well. Pour into the freezer pop mold until full and freeze 4 hours or overnight or until firm. Follow manufacturer instructions on how to remove the popsicles.
After unmolding, popsicles can be stored in zippered plastic bags in the freezer, use wax paper to keep them separated.

If it’s just too hot to handle outside, these tips will help cool you off indoors.

Step up your fan game. Ceiling fans, floor fans, or even small fans on your nightstand will do the trick. Cotton is king. Another thing to consider to help you sleep like a baby is cotton bedding. Cotton is a lightweight fabric that is perfect for the summer months. Ashley HomeStore has many options available in coverlets and throws.

Aldis Coverlet and Sham Set in soothing cotton sateen with a classic basketweave pattern.

Aldis Coverlet and Sham Set

Amare Coverlet and Sham Set is purposefully finessed with a timeworn hem.

Amare Coverlet and Sham Set

Carencro Throw's airy weave caresses with a featherweight touch.

Carencro Throw

Enjoy these fun tips to help you get through this summer the cool way!