Wonderful Women Interview-Heather Ashton, US Interior Designer
US-based Interior Designer and Principal of recently launched, Los Angeles-based Heather Ashton Design, Heather Ashton has collaborated with some of most iconic innovators and trendsetters in the hospitality and lifestyle space.
Some of her mentors include renowned hotelier Andre Balazs, retail renegade Evan Cole, award-winning designer Mary McDonald and the late style icon Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy.
Through her diverse experience in all aspects of architecture, design, space planning and project management, Heather has developed the distinct daring style she is best known for today—bold interiors that strike a playful balance between the classic and the contemporary.
Her most recent work includes a range of projects from a glamorous luxury home in L.A. LIVE’s Ritz-Carlton Residences to several projects for The Patina Restaurant Group, including Tangata restaurant at the Bowers Museum, and a refresh of the Thompson Beverly Hills Hotel’s guest rooms as well as Caulfield’s Bar and Dining room.
In the near future, Heather plans to create a signature line of home furnishings, which reflect her artful and accessible aesthetic.
Describe a typical day for you?
Alarm goes off at 7am. Because I work from home, I jump in the shower and dress as if I’m headed to the office. I’m most productive in the morning so I start by doing emails and client communications.
Then it’s off to shopping, sourcing and site visits. By midday, I unwind with yoga or horse riding. For me, getting out of my head for an hour allows the stress of the morning to settle and morph into creative solutions, which lead into the second half of my day.
My evenings are spent with friends over dinner or on the sofa with my dog and my iPad reading design blogs and looking for new and exciting furnishings and home goods.
It is so easy to get absorbed by work that, for me, it’s really important to make time for a good laugh with friends to keep me sane!
What do you feel are your biggest achievements?
I feel thankful everyday that I’m able to make a living in a creative field, which satisfies me.
From working alongside world-renowned boutique hotelier Andre Balazs to serving as creative director for retail renegade Evan Cole’s visionary venture, H.D. Buttercup to collaborating with award-winning designer Mary McDonald on incredible projects, I am very grateful to work in hospitality and retail design where I get to see the public interact with my work and be part of the larger cultural conversation.
What’s in your handbag/satchel etc?
I’m like a pack animal…I have all the normal girly stuff, lip gloss, sunglasses, etc., but because I spend most of my day in the car visiting sites, I have material samples, fabric swatches, iPad, and always at least one design magazine.
I can’t live with out my Muji notebooks that keep me organized!
I have 4 of them in my handbag right now, color-coded, so I know what notebook to grab for each job.
And I carry snacks, usually almonds and dried fruit to help me avoid all the amazing fast food LA is famous for…
What are your ambitions in life?
My ambitions have always led me to travel. I’ve seen so many places amazing places during my time spent as a creative director for H.D. Buttercup, traveling the world with the buying team.
My dream is create a line of home furnishings with designs culled from my visits to Europe, Morocco, India, South America, everywhere! There is always more see and more cultures to experience. Endless inspiration!
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
I will have that line of home furnishings in production and be working on fabrics and accessories to complement my line. I will be up in the air as much as possible. I would also like to fit more hotel projects in there, too!
What advice would you give a budding interior designer?
Interior Design is very collaborative and I could never be successful without my amazing team of vendors and contractors.
Always create and cultivate great relationships. The connections that support my design vision are the true secret to my success.
Finally, happiness is…
Beautiful friendships, beautiful surroundings, adventures and a happy dog.
Bravo Photo: F. Scott Schafer.
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