AN EXCLUSIVE STORY WITH ASHELY PETRONE.
Minimalism has gone mainstream thanks to a mix of Marie Kondo, millennials on the move, and a growing desire for a more meaningful life with less. And if you've been on Instagram lately, the increase in minimalist, modern design is hard to miss.
One of my favorite accounts to follow in this regard is @arrowsandbow , where a wife and mom of three shares her family's journey from living in an RV to renovating a small Spanish-style home and airbnb, all of which she's designed in the dreamiest of ways. Her name is Ashley Petrone, and she was lovely enough to answer a few questions for me so I could share her story with you all here.
While one should never base his or her worth on a number of followers, it's clear that 174k+ people have chosen to follow Ashley's account for a reason. Her photos spark joy and inspiration, and her tone is so genuine and relatable. "I'm just a stay at home, homeschool mom that decided to take a chance and pursue my dreams. Our family said yes to adventure and it changed our lives!," Petrone said.
I first discovered this adventure during their 17-month stint in the RV. I thought it was the coolest home on wheels I had ever seen, then realized a family of five was living in it - even better! Naturally one's next question might be: why choose to coexist in 180 sq ft? "We purchased land and decided to build a home. In the meantime, we just couldn't imagine paying more for a one bedroom apartment than our five bedroom mortgage was. We thought, why not live in a trailer on our land!? So we did it!," Petrone said.
She admitted that it felt like a shoebox some days, so they had to intentionally shift their focus and continuously choose to have a good attitude - which taught them some very valuable lessons. They got rid of almost everything they owned, noting it was "life giving and so freeing!". But the one thing they missed? A laundry machine! "It was tough with the kids not to have one," Petrone added.
Now, Petrone and her family are enjoying life in their newly renovated home, laundry machine included, but still maintain a minimalist lifestyle. The Spanish style casa is inspired by a trip to Tulum, Mexico and a mix of organic, cozy Australian brands. However, it doesn't just look amazing without some serious work. As with most renovations, Petrone recommends going in with the expectation that something will most likely come up, so it's best to prepare financially and keep an open mind. In the end, it's totally worth it.
She says this experience has really bonded the kids together and has encouraged them to use their imaginations more. It has also formed a stronger bond in her marriage. Her advice to couples taking on similar adventurous projects? Respect one another! "What we've found and how we work so well together is that we allow each other to lead when our strengths are stronger. So respecting that and having fun along the way!," Petrone said. A fun journey, indeed.
If you want to see their beautiful home, Cali-cool RV, latest venture into airbnb, and all the joy in between, check out @arrowsandbow on Instagram right here!
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