before & after: chocolate shop makeover

If you’re suffering from the winter blues, then this Before & After should immediately cheer you up with its fresh, springy palette. Ashley Hubbard and Robert Ludlow are the couple behind Fleurir Chocolates. Last April, they decided to plant some roots and open a retail shop, and they set their sights on this charming little space that used to house a modern jewelry boutique. I think they’ve struck the perfect chord, with a few dramatic elements — the wood wall, gorgeous wallpaper and lighting fixtures — punctuating a clean, neutral, pared-down space. Beautiful work, Ashley and Robert! — Kate

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Read the full post after the jump!

Time: 6 weeks (including wait time for permitting); actual work time about 4 weeks

Basic Steps: Robert and I scoured the Internet to collect hundreds of inspiration photos — including Design*Sponge, Pinterest, Blissful Blog, and so, so many more — to get a general sense of what direction we wanted to take. From there, we enlisted our friend Leah Moss who has a small design business to help us pull everything together and translate those photos and our countless other ideas into an actual shop (mind you, she was almost nine months pregnant at this time). From there, Leah made a couple sketches to serve as a launching point for finding the appropriate furniture, fixtures and colors. Because we were on a tight budget, we relied heavily on repurposed, recycled and salvaged materials, which we mainly found at Community Forklift and several of the old barn antique shops in Maryland and Virginia. Luckily, we were going for a rather rustic feel, which made recycled and refinished items a reasonable option.

My number one piece of advice is to be patient — everything will take roughly three times longer than you anticipate. You will spend a lot of time looking through junk in order to find the exact right piece, and then you will spend even more time working on that piece to transform it into something you can actually use. Also, recruit your friends/family. We were very fortunate in that so, so many people volunteered to help us with labor/crafting/shopping, which is not only helpful but also makes the project more fun overall. — Ashley


  1. Rachel says:

    Beautiful! It looks so cozy and sweet.

  2. Colby says:

    I love this! Great use of the reused and repurposed materials. I do want to know how they got the branch to hang on the wall. Anyone have any thoughts?

  3. tracy a says:

    simple and so pretty!!

  4. christiana says:

    Gorgeous! Beautiful shop, beautiful chocolates! :)

  5. ernø says:

    It is perfect, love it !!!!

  6. donaville says:

    that is the sweetest (every variety of that word) chocolate shop ever!

  7. This is one of the most visually interesting, yet soothing to the eyes spaces I’ve seen in a long time! It looks fresh and creative, but not contrived. Love it!

  8. Girloliver says:

    What is the paint color? Beautiful shop!

  9. Love it and love the care and attention that went into every piece choice. Great advice on planning that everything will take 3x as long as you expect. Lots of good luck!

  10. IKDO says:

    Simply stunning! The mix of materials and colors used completely tie the room together.

  11. Ashley says:

    The paint color is Grey Horse by Benjamin Moore. We attached the branches by screwing small eye hooks into the wall and wrapping metal wire through the hooks and around the branch. We then painted the wire and hooks to match the wall and branches.

  12. April says:

    Beautiful!! Love everything about this, especially the mix of materials and the sawhorse table/desk.

  13. Libby says:

    I adore your desk and have had a vision for something like it in my mind for a long time! Mind sharing where you got it or how you pieced it together? Thanks much!

  14. Kim says:

    Awesome job, Leah!

  15. Jessica says:

    That tree is so beautiful!

  16. We love it! Beautiful make-over!

  17. Thanks, Jessica! I was the artist who made the tree. I used paint, branches, bean cans, laundry pins, wax paper golf tees and tennis balls. – Nicole Bourgea,

  18. So beautiful! I love all the use of the wood!

  19. Gabby says:

    WOW! Everyone should keep an eye on Leah Moss!!! With this much vision and talent, she is destined for greatness!

  20. Michaela says:

    What a beautiful and unique little shop! I love all the wood details!

  21. Leah Moss says:

    Thank you! And thanks to Ashley and Robert for the shout out. This was such a unique and rewarding experience. I’m still a little bit in mourning over the fact that it’s done, and that I’m no longer staple-gunning moss to boards and sanding paint off reclaimed wood on a regular basis. However, sweeter than the shop itself are the actual chocolates–consolation!

  22. Sandy says:

    I love it, it’s got such character!

  23. Jennifer says:

    Wonderful mix of materials; both serene and interesting. I love it!

  24. Melissa Anne says:

    Looks great! BTW where is that desk from?

  25. D.U.R.A says:

    Loving the new look. It’s very airy and fresh!

  26. Bea, OT says:

    So gorgeous! I wish I could see it in person! Hmmm…chocolate!

  27. larissa says:

    so awesome! I love the pop of the turquoise table!

  28. Very nice! I absolutely love the blue bench, we are hunting for something similar for our kitchen.

  29. Looks so yummy
    Love the use of wood

  30. angela says:

    Having done this myself, I really admired the result and all the effort put into the project. It looks great and I particularly love the desk! and I really agree on your advise to be patient. Congratulations and best of luck on your new store.

  31. Katie says:

    Wow! I would love to be able to get a little boutique that’s like this! So cute, classy, and a great backdrop for your products!

  32. Beautiful, love the simple transformation!

  33. megan says:

    ashley- i’m so excited to see you on here! the shop is beautiful and the chocolate is to die for! i’ll pop in soon! – megan from anthro

  34. dana says:

    what are the prints in the frames?

  35. Regina says:

    I gasped! :D

  36. Jamieson says:

    I visited this shop in Georgetown a few weeks ago! Was just beautiful and charming. AND the best part…the chocolate was delish!

  37. Oh how I LOVE this makeover. Breathtaking, brilliant, beautiful.

  38. Elizenda says:

    Love it, love it, love it!!!! Congrats to the team who worked on this makeover! Can you come over to my house? ;)

  39. Heather Mills says:

    Love the colors! But where would the chocolate selling be happening–the only thing missing?

  40. zhing says:

    how gorgeous! i’d definitely buy chocolates from this cute store! :)


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