In quotes: Sophie Ashby

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In quotes: Sophie Ashby

The acclaimed interior designer is moved by Monet, comforted by beans on toast, and never travels without some Issey Miyake pleats

Team Smith

BY Team Smith21 October 2022

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…

Sophie Ashby at Studio Ashby by Louis AW Sheridan | Mr & Mrs Smith

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…

Favourite museum/gallery
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).

Favourite cocktail
Margarita on the rocks.

Comfort food 
Baked beans (with more grated cheddar cheese than beans) on buttery toast.

Sophie Ashby at Studio Ashby by Louis AW Sheridan | Mr & Mrs Smith

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.

Sophie Ashby at Studio Ashby by Louis AW Sheridan | Mr & Mrs Smith

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 
Cape Town.

Best place you’ve ever swum
I always love swimming at Boulders Beach with the penguins.

Sophie Ashby at Studio Ashby by Louis AW Sheridan | Mr & Mrs Smith

Best beach you’ve ever found
Anywhere where you’re the only ones there; those gorgeous little coves in Italy and Greece only accessible by boat.

It’s not a holiday without… 
The sun.

@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