Founder, Studio Ashby
Sophie Ashby is half South African, half English and grew up between Stellenbosch (Cape Town) and the UK. Her teens and schooling were spent in South West England. Sophie broadened her design vocabulary through a BA in History of Art at Leeds University, going on to study Interior Design at Parsons, The New School for Design in Manhattan, New York. Sophie is passionate about the arts, is a Young Patron of the Royal Academy and has lectured at Central St Martins. Her strong architectural and design sensibility developed over the following years with sound mentorship and a personal curiosity for “beautiful things”.
Sophie founded her interior design & creative direction practice, Studio Ashby Ltd, in 2014 at the age of 25. Before branching out on her own, Sophie learnt her trade working for two very different interior design practices. Her first position, as an apprentice to Victoria Fairfax, a brilliantly talented, classical interior designer is where Sophie garnered her love antiques, understanding of colour and sense of proportion. Sophie then went on to head up the interiors team at the small, creative agency Spring & Mercer where she had the opportunity to develop her own, unique, sense of style and learn about the wider responsibilities of running projects.
With a long-held determination to set up her own business, Studio Ashby was born as Sophie won her first client; within weeks, one client quickly swelled to 3 and things have continued to grow, steadily from there. Started from a laptop, with no investment and working from cafes, Studio Ashby has grown to become a team of twelve, with a studio in Notting Hill.
Studio Ashby creates spaces with a unique identity. Ashby’s aim is to bring authenticity to each project, not only in the selection of furniture, lighting and art but in its use of a natural palette of materials and textures. Unswayed by the passing dictates of fashion, Ashby draws on her love of antiques, colour, contemporary ‘world art’, modernist furniture, photography and her latest discoveries to deliver an eclectic richness to each interior.
Studio Ashby’s relationships with artisans and craftsmen, extensive resources and continual foraging play an integral role in developing each project. Humour and a love of objects with an explicit narrative result in a carefully balanced body of work that creates cohesive spaces with a sense of honesty.
Studio Ashby’s roster now includes a townhouse in Hyde Park, the amenities and 9 Limited Edition Penthouses in new residential development One Crown Place, a large duplex penthouse in Battersea, a lakehouse in the Lake District, a Nigerian influenced restaurant in Mayfair and Georgian Villa in Holland Park.
Recently completed projects include a hotel in the winelands of South Africa and a holiday house in France in Capestang, on the canal. A large penthouse in Chelsea for a young Russian family. A beach house in sunny Salcombe, Devon. A rambling country house in Somerset for the actress Gabriella Wilde and her young family.
Studio Ashby were shortlisted for the International Interior Designer of the Year 2015, 2016 and 2017.