Beachside woman gives tips on creating a budget-friendly, beautiful home
By Meagan McGone
BREVARD -- Ally Schmidheiser describes herself as a southern girl with "a serious crush on all things pretty."
And she's not just talking about her two pups, Winston and Tito, who she refers to as her "fur babies."
The Satellite Beach resident has an affinity for photography, interior design and repurposing furniture. She shares her passion with the public through www.homebyally.blogspot.com, which has attracted more than 28,000 views to date.
Mrs. Schmidheiser started the blog in December 2010, while living in North Dakota. Her husband, who serves in the U.S. Air Force, was stationed at Minot Air Force Base at the time.
"My inspiration for starting my own blog came from family and friends, who knew my love for all things interior design, repurposed furniture and do-it-yourself projects," she said. "I decided to create a blog and attempt to help others create a home, no matter where they may be living or their budget."
Her husband received orders at Patrick Air Force Base in July, bringing the couple to Brevard to start a new home, where Mrs. Schmidheiser gained a new group of followers.
"The response from the community has been outstanding and so supportive," she said. "I love getting to know the locals here and can only hope to meet more, who will share my love of furniture and home."
On her blog, she reveals step-by-step instructions for projects to beautify the home, such as turning spaghetti sauce jars into soap dispensers and creating just about anything with burlap.
Her favorite project is a farmhouse-style computer desk she recently built with her husband.
"It felt amazing to do something for ourselves, and especially do it on a tiny budget," she said. "There is much more appreciation I feel in doing, crafting or building something on my own. The satisfaction makes it worth it."
In addition to the tips on her blog, Mrs. Schmidheiser offers furniture painting, décor services, custom-built furniture, and handmade signs and crafts. And several times a year, she holds repurpose sales to put all of her work on display.
"They are usually large hits with the locals in the area, who know about my blog," she said. "The last repurpose sale I had in Minot, I had more than 60 people standing at the end of my driveway waiting to see everything. It was amazing and made me feel so wonderful to see how much support I had. I can only hope to gain that much support and more here on the Space Coast."
She said that her love for repurposing furniture and interior design runs in her blood, as her great uncle owned an interior design business for many years in Wilmington, N.C., and her mother and grandmother have kept the passion alive.
"I remember when I was growing up, we went through about five couches because my mom would always redecorate every couple of years," she said. "Growing up, I would always rearrange my bedroom in my parents' house and steal decor from across the house to put in my bedroom."
When Mrs. Schmidheiser is not out gathering supplies at Lowe's or building projects in her garage, she and her husband try to volunteer at the Florida Dachshund Rescue as much as possible.
"Our fur babies are our worlds," she said. "We do not have children yet, but we consider our dogs our children for now. Adopting our dogs has been one of the best decisions we have made together besides marrying each other. They are entertaining, humorous and the most loving dogs on the planet. They will make any bad day better."
Mrs. Schmidheiser said that ultimately, she would like to turn her craft into a career.
"This would mean that I would never work a day in my life," she said.