The design duo behind Ashe + Leandro is made up of Ariel Ashe and Reinaldo Leandro. The pair met when they were both working for Manhattan design firm Pierce Allen before joining forces to open their architectural and interior design firm in 2008.
Ashe grew up in New Mexico, which serves as inspiration for her work. She graduated from NYU for set design and worked as an apprentice for set designer on Saturday Night Live before going the interior design route and joining Pierce Allen.
Leandro grew up in Venezuela, which also serves as a point of inspiration for him. He got his Master’s in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University. He worked at Pierce Allen, and then another firm for 3 years, before partnering with Ashe to open Ashe + Leandro.
In an interview with Architectural Digest they credit their professional success as a team to the fact that they “have exactly the same taste and style, down to the smallest details.” They modeled their firm after Pierce Allen and describe their approach as “a fusion of his crisp, modern point of view and her imaginative use of color, form, and texture.”
As their success has grown they’ve had clients such as the guitarist from Coldplay, Mindy Kaling, and Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber. Here are some design tips they’ve shared along the way:
A Home is Personal
Your home is a very personal place, so keep yourself in mind when decorating and arranging it. Choose things you love and that have meaning to you to make it truly feel like home. The pair meets with clients before every project and gets to know them so that they can create a design that’s perfectly personal to them. In their own homes some of their favorite pieces are those from their family.
Neutrals Create a Blank Canvas
The pair uses a lot of blacks, whites, and neutrals in their designs. (Especially white for the walls.) This creates a blank canvas for everything else to stand out. They like to showcase the artwork, textures, and natural elements.
Design is a Process
To them, design is a creative process and collaboration from beginning to end. In the bio on their website they describe it as:
We achieve unique results not only from experience and academia but by embracing instinct, ingenuity and humor. Motivated by our collaborative rapport with our clients we are able to generate both meaningful and functional designs that reveal a clear narrative from the conceptual stages to the actual built experience. The use of shapes, materials, textures and lighting are specific to the conception of each scheme.”
In your own home do the same. Go with your instinct and choose things that will create a meaningful end product for you. If something doesn’t work, or an arrangement of art or furniture doesn’t feel right, rearrange it, move it, or start over. Getting to end results can be an iterative process until you achieve a final product that speaks to you.
Did you incorporate any designs from Ashe + Leandro? Anything you want to incorporate? Tell us in the comments below!