Discover Ash Design’s Inspiring Methodology in an Exclusive Interview

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Ash Design is a London-based interior design studio, but that wasn’t always the case. More than ten years ago, Ash Design’s founder Sharon Elafouf was travelling around the globe, gathering experience and expertise in the interior design world and working with some of the best names and challenging clients.

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Having earned a degree in Interior Design, Sharon Elafouf started her journey as an interior designer in Paris in the most “organic way”, as she nicely puts it. Working with mainly French clients and achieving successful results, her business came to grow by word of mouth and it ended up changing as the years went by. From a work based on “decorative schemes”, Ash Design’s founder switched to projects that involve “space planning and architecture”. It was around that time that she integrated her approach, “offering clients a new dimension” of what she was doing.

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However, the choice to embrace this profession was something that came fairly easy to the interior designer, seeing as she was never a stranger to the world of travelling and staying at different hotels within each stay. This enabled her to “experience hotels and restaurants of authenticity and of significance”, meaning her vision and perception of these places ended up being different than the ones of an ordinary person.

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With this strong perception background, and with the growing interest in collecting contemporary decorative art, Ash Design’s founder believes her work is an extension of her private life and all the experiences that influence her on a daily basis. And even though this is one of the ways she keeps up with the latest trends – visiting all the art and design shows, travelling between Paris and Miami all the time, and keeping a close eye on a handful of her favourite interior designers – the most important element in every Ash Design project is their timelessness. They try to create spaces which are to be enjoyed by families and that at the same time “must be carefully thought out spaces that stand the test of time”.

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But of course that, in order to create these unique spaces, Ash Design’s founder must find inspiration somehow. And she had just told us that one of her biggest sources of inspiration is Peter Marino. Why? Because “his work encapsulates the benchmark brands he is designing so accurately through his sophisticated and forward-thinking interior architecture, textiles and art”, as Sharon Elafouf so gracefully stated. However, Jean Louis Deniot and his architectural choices and colour palettes are also at the top of the list of inspiring interior design personalities for the Ash Design team. It is with this in mind that they always decide upon French artisans and craftsmen in their bespoke work for clients, as well as vintage and contemporary decorative art, which enables them to be in constant touch with many galleries and artists, sort of becoming their own source of inspiration.

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The true question we must ask ourselves when admiring Ash Design’s work is how they encapsulate all their values in their work, and the philosophy they follow as a team and as an interior design studio. Thankfully, Sharon was kind enough to answer that for us and explained that her philosophy is to treat each project as it was her own, always being very detail oriented. In a second phase of the conception, she also likes to “add a personal touch to the project which makes it unique to the client living in the space”. Moreover, they have been working with scent, especially vanilla and wood. Sharon, for example, like “to create a personal fragrance to enhance the atmosphere” at the end of each of her projects.

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We can appreciate every single one of these elements in one of Ash Design’s 2017 projects in Tel Aviv, the founder’s hometown. “This is a 3,000 square foot multiple bedroom apartments, located in Richard Meier’s iconic architectural skyscraper,” explained Sharon. And what is so unique about the apartment is how it is “purposely pared back of statement monochrome, predominantly black and white, teamed with bright contrasts.”

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Geometric patterns have also been chosen to complement the architecture both inside and outside of the apartment. Multiple precious metals, stones and textured finishes were also chosen and inspired by the “luminous light” that the designers found at that level. In the end, and as Sharon stated, “The apartment is a subtle backdrop designed and expertly curated to maximise the growing decorative art collection it houses”.

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More recently, and actually still in development, Ash Design is designing a large home in the sunny island of Ibiza. The team is currently involved in every aspect of the design, both indoors and outdoors. According to Sharon Elafouf, “it is a unique opportunity to create something truly bespoke” and put all their knowledge and expertise in the field on this one specific project.

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And while we still don’t know what comes next for Ash Design, we definitely know we can only expect truly bespoke interiors, with high-quality materials and a feeling of effortless elegance.


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