Ross and Ashley Goldman and their cat, Mabel, have lived in their 1915 San Diego, CA craftsman for two years. Much of that time has been spent making their house into a home, highlighting the beautiful original details of the century-old structure, and creating a modern respite fit for sitting back and reflecting on all of their hard work. All of which led Ashley to create a blog to document their renovations, The Gold Hive — a name created from a combination of their last name and the literal hive that was found in their home when they bought it. When she’s not working on the house, Ashley can be found at a local art museum where she works on programs with school kids, anthropomorphizing her plants and vintage portraits, or making pies.
Ashley and Ross both grew up in the suburbs, in 70s tract housing, only a few blocks away from each other. When they were looking to purchase their first home, they knew they wanted one with a little more history than those in which they spent their childhoods. Unfortunately, San Diego isn’t replete with historic districts. The couple looked for two years before they found their craftsman gem in a neighborhood only 15 minutes from downtown that somehow retains a small-town charm despite its proximity to the city center. With all of the charm, the mom-and-pop shops and restaurants, it’s not hard to imagine how difficult finding an available house in that neighborhood would be — Ross didn’t even see their house before Ashley had to put an offer in because he was working out of town (he’s an audio engineer for live events) and there were only two days the home was being shown!
One thing the “before” photos can’t accurately depict is the stench that awaited the industrious couple. Ashley remarked that it was so bad at first that they could barely stand inside — a delightful combination of old cigar smoke and pet urine. “It took us three months of floor refinishing, wall retexturing, cleaning, electrical updates, and a restored bathroom before we could move in. We did a lot upfront to get the house to a place where we could put our things inside, but for the past two years since then, we’ve taken a slow approach to renovations and decorating,” Ashley shares. While there was something of a rush to make their home livable, since then the actual decorating of the space has had an organic flow that took shape as Ashley stumbled upon a perfect piece of art, vintage piece, or as they needed furniture. They’ve also not rushed into remodels, but instead lived in their home, hosted parties, friends, and holiday gatherings learning exactly what their needs are before launching into a project. While they don’t feel like their home is “done,” they actually relish in the process and the discoveries they make in getting there, and now, at least for a little while, they get to kick back and watch their favorite Netflix dramas. Follow along to see the work they’ve done so far, and hear what they still dream of changing up. —Rebekah
Image above: “Here is view into the den and down the hallway to the bathroom. It isn’t the biggest of masters, but with the adjoining den, it feels like a suite. One day, we hope to add a bathroom to the master. The photo over our bed is from our wedding and it is printed as an engineering print for $7 at Staples. I hung it up two years ago when I felt like I needed something temporary on the walls and it’s stayed this whole time,” Ashley explains.