Fascinated by a sense of place and an idea of home

Sophie Ashby is founder of Studio Ashby. Her different experiences have each fed her understanding of design, its power and its possibility.
Ti Gong

Sophie Ashby

Who is she?

Sophie Ashby is founder of Studio Ashby. She grew up between South Africa, London and Devon. Ashby studied History of Art at Leeds and Interior Design at Parsons in New York. And her different experiences have each fed her understanding of design, its power and its possibility: From the vast nature of the South African landscape to the small rooms of a Victorian townhouse in the city, the urban intensity of New York to the rural charm of the English countryside.

As a result, she is fascinated by the sense of place and the idea of home. She started Studio Ashby at the age of 25. Based in Notting Hill, the company has been going for nearly 4 years now, with a team of 12 and working on residential and commercial projects across the world.

Please share with us some of your works and name the one you are most proud of.

I work with clients to create something that is truly authentic and unique to them. I am proud of all of our projects as each one has taught us something, inspired us in a new way and opened the door for something else.  

Are you currently involved with any projects?

I am currently working on One Crown Place in London, a mixed-use development in the Sun Street conservation area behind Liverpool Street station. At its foot is a row of Georgian townhouses, soon to become One Crown Place’s boutique hotel and members’ club. The nine residences on the top seven floors are labeled the Sophie Ashby Collection and we have also designed the amenity spaces at One Crown Place, including the gym, treatment room, 14-seat cinema, residents’ lounge and a private dining room.

What’s your design style?

Studio Ashby has inspired a style of mixing modernism with timeless classics. I have taken inspiration from my design heroes without mimicking and I admire the optimism of those who are looking to change the future. This is reflected across residential and commercial properties giving each project true originality.

Where are you most creative?

When I am away from it all, preferably in nature or walking around an exhibition, with time to think and no distractions.

What does your home mean to you? 

Home means everything to me, it’s where I feel most comfortable, relaxed and happy.

Me and my husband Charlie (British menswear designer) share a love of beautiful things; our flat is layered with art, objects, books, antiques, textiles, ceramics and plants.

We always buy things on our holidays and just shipped back some stunning ceramics from Positano, Italy. I believe it’s the story behind the stuff that makes interiors interesting.

What do you collect?

I collect art. I personally am a big supporter of the contemporary art scene in South Africa and buy lots from my favorite galleries and artist there.

Where would you like to go most in Shanghai? 

I would like to explore the contemporary art scene, take a walk down the West Bund cultural corridor and visit some grand old temples.

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