Inspired Conversations: At Home with Ashley Lang

Stepping into Ashley's home is like walking into the coolest, most curated antique store where you can literally hang out all day long. And this is no surprise, because in addition to being a preschool teacher, Ashley is also the dealer and collector extraordinaire behind Alatiques, which can be be found in the Glenwood Antique Mall as well as on Instagram. Her style is collected and grounded by gorgeous antiques, but with a fresh take and an impeccably styled look. Most of the items in her home have stories and were placed with great intention. And, when we said you could hang out there all day long? It's because not only is the home incredibly warm and inviting, but Ashley is the same! Here's a little about her style in her own words. 

How would you describe your design aesthetic?
I always admire when I walk into a space with a lot of color or unexpected placement. One of my best friend’s mother has fabulous taste. Her homes have always been impeccable. She is the queen of angles. Furniture is always turned and placed so uniquely. I just stand and marvel but I tend to like balance and symmetry. I am very linear in design as opposed to undulating movement. Sometimes that makes design tricky in an old home. Many things are askew, so I had to play some tricks with the eye when it comes to placement. I tend to lean more towards neutrals and muted tones, but I do like a pop of color here and there. In a perfect world, I’d a have an all white home. It’s my favorite color. I do like a great deal of texture and pattern, though. I really enjoy textiles and I have a small obsession with rugs.
How has your style evolved since you decorated your first home?
To be honest, I’ve always been fairly steadfast in my style, whether it be fashion or interiors. I keep bags and shoes for a decade or more. I’ve had the same hair style for basically my entire life. Many of the pieces I have in my home, I also had in my first that I purchased in the same neighborhood 20 years ago. One the the first antiques (vintage is more appropriate, as it was more than likely not 100 years old at the time), I purchased in college was a small farm table. Many years back I had the legs cut down to make it a coffee table. It’s on my front porch right now.
I was a unique child, I suppose. I asked for furniture and décor as opposed to what most teenagers put on their wish list. I still have an Eastlake dresser that I got for my 16th birthday. I also have a trunk with blue milk paint that I got for Christmas when I was 15. I will never sell them. That is the blessing of antiques. Their beauty and style are timeless and only grow more appreciated with age.
When decorating your current home, what did/do you use as inspiration?
While I admire many designers and constantly learn from them, my biggest inspiration is probably my mother. I got my artistic abilities, design sense, and love of antiquities from her. My home was built in 1928. I’m kind of a purist so I tried to keep with the era of the home. Most of the light fixtures I had installed are from the 20’s. My favorite is a Parisian street lamp that I purchased from a dealer on the East coast. I had Dave Smith make it into a hanging fixture. It can be seen the minute you walk my front door.
What is your favorite room in your home?
I suppose I’d have to say the kitchen although I do love my dining room as well. When I was searching for a home in 2018 after a 12 year stint in Chicago, I really wanted a home with a kitchen that I could gut and make my own. I love to cook and entertain. It’s a tall order to find in Brookside these days as so many homes have been redone. 20 years ago there were a plethora of homes that needed love.
To maximize the space I removed a few walls, a couple of closets and the original gas flue to open up the once galley kitchen for the remodel. I designed the space around my 5 foot farm sink with drainboards. I used the same cabinet makers that did my home in 2002. They are a husband and wife team out of Columbia, MO. She and I were in the art department together in undergrad.
What is your philosophy on new and old when it comes to furniture? Or splurge pieces vs. affordable?
I love to mix old and new. If a space is designed right, you don’t even notice. I will say most of my casegoods are antique, but I do have a couple of new things mixed in. Hopefully you can’t tell. (Wink) Upholstery pieces I tend to buy new because my Golden and I are hard on the them. I do love a slipcover. My white couch is probably 15 years old, is on her third Golden Retriever and basically looks brand new. She gets washed often.
I see nothing wrong with a good splurge piece here and there. I hold onto things for a long time so why not spend a little. I’d rather have a quality piece for a long time than a bargain that falls apart or looks shabby. There’s nothing better than finding a treasure at an affordable price though! It’s all about the hunt!
Is there anything you are still on the “hunt” for? 
I am always on the hunt for things! Being an antique dealer, I have the luxury of trading things in and out of my home. Quite a few pieces in my home I actually purchased with the intent to sell but they walked in my space, landed in a perfect spot, and stayed. One example is my beautiful caned Porter chair with a leather seat which is sitting front and center in my formal living room. Currently, I am looking for matching (or similar more preferably) nightstands for my master bedroom. Unless it is a family piece, I get bored with my inventory and like a change. It keeps things interesting!
Do you have a favorite piece of furniture, art or décor?
What a tall order to answer as I have so many treasured pieces.
Furniture: Furniture changes in and out of my home so often. If it doesn’t sell for some time, I’ll bring it home for bit. If you look closely, many things have price tags still on them. I do love my European pier mirror though. I purchased it at my favorite antique store in Columbia, called McAdam’s. I have been shopping there for years. They delivered it to KC for me and installed it! The piece I will likely never part with though is a primitive wardrobe that is in my bedroom. It housed all my Golden Books in my room when I was a baby..
Art: Many years ago I would have said a Mike Savage painting I had commissioned for myself as a 30th birthday. It’s a fountain called “Dancing Water” that is in downtown Aspen on the mall. It’s hanging in my den currently. But now I might say another painting I had commissioned from my favorite professor in college, Terry Martin. It’s a landscape of the Missouri River from Rocheport. This view can be scene from a winery called Les Bourgeois were we spent a lot of time in college.
Decor: I cherish my grandmother’s china. It’s Autumn by Lenox. I also have a pair of foo dogs that are really old that were my mother’s.
Was there ever a piece that “got away”?
I had a James Mont style horseshoe chair. I held on to it for quite sometime hoping to come upon another so I’d have a pair. Eventually, I put it in my booth. It sold quickly and about three days later the one popped up on Marketplace. Sigh.
Most heartbreaking was a Heriz rug I purchased for myself as a housewarming gift after the purchase of my first home. I bought it from a fellow dealer at Mission Road Antique Mall. He gave me a very good discount. At the time it was the most expensive thing I had ever purchased for myself other than a car. Truthfully, now that I think about it, maybe even to date. It appraised for over double what I paid. Turns out it was a rare Heriz that had a signature lime color (almost why I didn’t buy it) that was a marking of its actual origination from the town of Heriz in the 1940’s. When I moved to Chicago 15 years ago my very shady movers “lost” it. After months and months of battling with them, I gave up. Taught me a valuable lesson in insuring things other than art and jewelry. It still brings an ache to my stomach when I think about it.
Where are your favorite places to shop for furniture and décor in Kansas City?
My favorite place, hands down, for almost 24 years was Mission Road Antique Mall. I spent hours upon hours in there. It made my heart happy and am so sad it’s gone. Glenwood, were i am a dealer (and many others from MRAM) is the next best thing. Nothing will ever replace Mission but our staff and dealers are amazing!
I absolutely love Woodson Antiques in Raymore. And, who doesn’t love a little First Fridays in the Bottoms! Mockingbird Mercantile is a must stop for me. I also really enjoy hitting antique stores in some of the surrounding small towns like Greenwood, Weston and Belton to name a few.

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