Having just opened a private studio for her residential clients in Notting Hill, Sophie Ashby is a hot name on the London design scene right now. From luxe washed out textiles to sophisticated color schemes, we adore her signature modernist-meets-eclectic style. Influenced by globe trotting around the world, as well as dreamy English countryside hues, she talks us through the inspiration, tips and photographs of her favorite residential designs to date.
get savvy with your Small touches
Want to add soul without spending too much money? My fastest (cheapest) trick is to paint a room a stunning color and add a few palms and succulents - just don’t over water!
imagine the empty space
Before decorating a room, start by imagining the space as an empty volume; then start filling it one-by-one with beautiful objects you love. This way you will make the most of the space, whilst layering it with enough books, plants, accessories and soft furnishings to make it feel homely and full of character
Don't be afraid to add art
Adorn the walls with pictures, photos, postcards and paintings! Frame anything that means something to you. I always make sure to pick up a unique piece on my travels that will remind me of a wonderful memory.
mix and match
You can get much better quality products if you buy antique rather than going to Ikea (often at a similar price, if you go to a good market). I make a point of browsing every month and pick up plenty of amazing bargains.
blend old with new
One often makes the other seem more beautiful. A classic example is this old Empire chest of drawers I used with a contemporary piece of art hanging above.
use white foundation pieces
Nothing you clean with, sleep in or eat off should be anything other than white. Ever.
Don’t follow trends too closely and try to remain unswayed by passing dictates of fashion. They change very quickly and you don’t want to be stuck with things that feel dated a few years later. Rather draw-on your unique love for objects, antiques or art. Choose things that inspire you!
Try not to imitate or reproduce. Be respectful of designs, especially in the realm of furniture and lighting. Don’t buy copies or reproductions of classics, instead find an original by a new young talent or a design graduate and support the designs of the future instead.
follow your gut
Trust your gut instinct and be true to your own style. Your home should be an extension of your own quirks and passions. Use as many personal touches as possible! Design should enhance our lives - it should make you feel good and happy coming home to.
Don’t try to make it anything too perfect, I always find character and personality emerges from a bit of chaos.