Bold and Beautiful: Ashley Whittaker Design

I am pretty sure if you have ovaries and a cancelled subscription to Domino Magazine you have this pictures pinned, clipped, stored in a design folder or up on your inspiration wall. I think it was one of the most popular examples of the resurgence of bold wallpaper into the modern day home in the past decade. I still love the drama it creates and it’s images like this that spurred me on to being a designer.

ashley whittaker zebra wallpaper

The design genius behind that paper (and space) is New York designer Ashley Whittaker (Spence) and she- or her work, rather- happens to be gracing the cover of this month’s House Beautiful with a single gal apartment featuring the exact same paper (which is Zebrine by Rose Cumming, by the way). I absolutely love spaces like this- all “I am Woman and Damnit My Apartment Will be Pink and Zebra!!!”  I did one myself not too long ago and it’s still one of my favorite spaces I’ve done. Even made the web-pages of CNN.


Single women are fabulous clients- I have quite a few of them- and their decisiveness and courage in taking bold measures within their spaces to make themselves- and no one else- happy inspires me daily.  We can all do a little more to make ourselves  happier!



I simple adore the multi-functional pieces in this room- the desk meets dining table, the cocktail side table that turns into another chair…. in small spaces everything must have a function!


I adore the interview with Ashley especially for it’s help in demolishing design “untruths” about small spaces!   If you have a tiny entry, wallpaper it with a big scale, bold paper! White paint will make it look smaller, not bigger! Take your tiny spaces and embrace them, don’t apologize for them!


What a happy soothing bedroom, isn’t it? A little bargain purchase meets over the top luxury (sheets) is the best way to be.


So let’s celebrate the ladies today.  And if you aren’t single- well- that certainly doesn’t mean you can have a leopard stair runner in your house. (AHEM!)

P.S. You’ll have to buy the book in order to find out how I got THAT one past the hubby! :)


  1. That whole spread is GORGEOUS! I was drooling over every amazing detail in that apartment last night. Just have to find the right way to make my house look that incredible!!

  2. Sing it sister! This single Bostonian lives in a dollhouse in Beacon Hill, but it is pink, green and zebra. On a morning when I was bemoaning my lack of a plus-one, your post reminded me just how delightful it can be to make all of your decisions yourself! Love your blog!

  3. I was hoping that you would post about this apartment, I received the magazine yesterday and I thought the entire space was perfection, wouldn’t change a thing! BTW, that Boston apartment is still one of my favorites :)

  4. Your opening line has to be one of the best I’ve read ever on a blog! You are a wonderful writer and I so enjoy your blog every day. And I really appreciate the inspiration of single ladies design – a single vision not muddied by a couple’s compromise and so bold and beautiful. It’s just so fun and enjoyable. I’m happily married so I love living vicariously through these designs and reminds me of my pink apartment days. But it also inspires me to take more risks and enjoy those bold design choices. Thanks!!!

  5. Erin, this is fabulously fun, bright and perfect for a single lady! I love the yellow stool in the kitchen! The living room though, I could easily live in that space! It IS so good to do exactly what we want! (I am a widow)

    2013 Artists Series

  6. I completely agree! I saw this in House Beautiful and immediately dogeared every page of this apartment. I am in love with the navy zebra and then entry wallpaper. Here’s to the ladies!

  7. Going out on a limb…”Get your ex back” might be spam. Just saying. :)

    So weird that a comment section has spam. Who the hell is that bored? And that much of a loser?

  8. DOMINO-the mention of that wonderful magazine always makes my heart skip a beat a little. The end of that magazine was like losing a friend-it helped me design my first apartment and then condo. Thank goodness for blogs, like this one:), and all of my saved issues, to inspire the design of my current house. many thanks!

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