NEW YORK – In 2013, Architectural Digest included design firm Ashe + Leandro on their "ones to watch" list – and nearly three years later, the exceptionally talented duo has more than lived up to that prophecy. Led by interior designer Ariel Ashe and architect Reinaldo Leandro, the pair has become a go-to for those looking for imaginative and indelibly cool, yet livable, spaces. (A reputation that hasn't gone unnoticed by some of today's most stylish tastemakers, including Naomi Watts, Rashid Johnson, Seth Meyers and Olivia Munn.)
Sotheby's spoke with Ashe and Leandro about their biggest source of inspiration, why they love antiques in a contemporary room and which pieces from our upcoming Design auction they would add to their collection.
PHOTO: MIHA MATEI
Please describe your aesthetic in three words.
Modern, eclectic, tangible.
What is your number one design rule?
Trust your instinct.
Is there a major design rule you like to break?
There are no design rules.
As a design duo, how has your style evolved?
Our experience has certainly broadened our horizons, but we have stayed very true to our core. Our designs are decidedly contemporary yet honour the past with a polished, timeless synergy.
Why do you like working with antiques? What do they add to a space?
Pieces with history add to the story of the project. They have a certain gravitas that new pieces don’t carry; they are witnesses to another era. They have a natural patina that exudes lived-in luxury.
Do you have advice for integrating antiques into a modern home?
Only get pieces you love. That is the secret of a well-curated space.
What is your greatest source of inspiration these days?
We both place big importance on travelling for inspiration.
Is there a period or style of 20th century design that you especially like to draw from?
We are naturally drawn to mid-century modern, but it’s important to mix it with contemporary and pieces from other time periods.
PHOTO: MIHA MATEI
BANNER PHOTO: FRAN PARENTE