Sophie Ashby, designer and founder of namesake Studio Ashby, has become the go-to name for unique and arresting interiors. Her broad-minded approach is informed by, among other things, photography, contemporary art, classic antiques, a love of colour, humour and ‘beautiful things’. Last year she was named designer of the year by both House & Garden and Elle Decoration. We stopped by her studio to covet everything in it – and pose a few questions…
Book that shaped you
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. I still think about that book most weeks.
Accent/language that turns you on
Oh I love an accent – all of them! Irish, French, Italian, Swedish…
Chichu Art Museum by Tado Ando in Naoshima, Japan. There is a room where you take your shoes off so that you can feel the floor beneath your feet as you look at five enormous Monet water lilies in the most perfect natural light. It’s breath-taking and overwhelmed me emotionally in a way I’ve never experienced before (read: tears).
Margarita on the rocks.
Baked beans (with more grated cheddar cheese than beans) on buttery toast.
Most memorable meal
Spaghetti vongole with a glass of cold white wine on the beach in Puglia.
Best vintage find
Beautiful Japanese ceramics and kimonos I bought in the best flea market I’ve ever been to in Kyoto, Japan.
Homewares you hunt while travelling
Design decade you feel at home in
All of them, I just love so many different styles and moods – I feel like I’m easily pleased if it’s done well.
Go-to spa treatment
A facial that promises to make me look younger and more glowing.
How do you unwind
Watch a film, read a book, or tinker in the garden.
Your must-pack outfit
My Pleats Please Issey Miyake pieces, they travel so well and I always feel good in them.
Most stylish place (in your opinion)
I find Italians and Italy deeply stylish.
City you’d move to
Best place you’ve ever swum
I always love swimming at Boulders Beach with the penguins.
It’s not a holiday without…
@account to follow
@united_in_design the charity I co-founded to address the lack of diversity in my industry.
Pool or ocean
Define love in three words
What life’s for.
Sophie was photographed at Studio Ashby’s central London HQ by Louis AW Sheridan