At Mecox, we make it our mission to bring the very best in home and garden furnishings to all of our customers. We are passionate about achieving the perfect balance between indoor and outdoor living environments, and strive to make any space feel expertly decorated, unique and special. One designer that always embodies these elements is Ashley Whittaker. We recently had the pleasure of interviewing her, giving us a chance to learn more about her background and what inspires her designs. Read on to find out more about this highly acclaimed designer.
How did you get into the "design world"?
I started my career in the PR department at Ralph Lauren but after 10 years I was ready for something where I could use my creativity in other ways. I called my friend Markham Roberts and asked if I could intern for him for a few months. This turned into full time position and I started my own design firm several years later. Needless to say, there are lots of days I just want to go back and be the intern!
You're based in New York, but have done work all over, from the Hamptons, to Connecticut, to Florida...What has been your favorite project? And why?
I particularly love the Southampton home I did years ago. It was my first solo project and still remains one of my favorites. We found lots of fun beachy items at the Mecox Southampton store. Everything from the Dining Room chandelier to the outdoor garden stools. We used a great kitchen table from Mecox and tons of colorful Christopher Spitzmiller lamps. I always say, “His lamps don’t make the room, they make the whole house!”
What are your top 3 Mecox picks?
1.The Emily coffee table. I love the classic lines against the organic pattern. I’m using this in a big East Hampton Family Room. I can see it stacked with piles of books and family treasures.”
2.This double sided settee enables you to divide a large scale room. I would love to see it covered in Belgian linen with funky pillows.
3.I can see this Vintage French Octagonal Lacquer Mirror being the showstopper in a glamorous NYC Powder Room. It would look beautiful against a dark navy grass cloth with a brass wash stand.
Your designs are always so well executed. In your opinion, what items are essential for a completed, well designed and curated room?
I like to use the client’s own collections and artwork to make the room more personal. Of course we contribute accessories. A room is complete when the client feels at home in the space.
What are your favorite current design trends?
Chintz is back! For years I have been trying to talk clients into using documentary patterns and suddenly they’re back with a vengeance and I couldn’t be happier.
You have worked on so many beautiful projects and have received some great press...very impressive! What would you say is your biggest accomplishment in your career?
Having my first solo project published nationally is what really jump-started my career. It convinced me that I made the right decision to become a decorator and gave me the confidence to trust my instincts.
You just had a precious baby boy...Congrats!! Share with us how you designed the nursery.
His real nursery is in Millbrook, NY. I found the sweetest woodland scene fabric at Quadrille with deer, pheasants, and acorns. I had it custom colored in pale blue on a pretty white ground. We actually pasted the fabric to the walls, which looks great now but wait until a two year old gets his hands on it! In the meantime, Mommy loves the sweet nursery. Christopher Spitzmiller made the most spectacular faux bois lamp that adds a level of sophistication to our whimsical nursery – something only Chris’s designs can do.
What is your best piece design advice?
When it comes to color, we say, “Go big or go home! If you don’t trust yourself with a big bold colored sofa or wall, add color and prints in small doses. You can accent with punchy pillows or printed lampshades to make a colorful statement in any room.
Any upcoming projects or collaborations you're excited about?
I am very excited about an upcoming South Florida project. We plan to include lots of fun, colorful fabrics and wallpapers – our specialty. I am especially looking forward to spending lots of time with our friends at Mecox Palm Beach. We can’t wait to get down there this winter!
We hope you enjoyed learning more about Ashley Whittaker. If you would like to check out all of her magnificent designs, you can find her here. To learn more about the home furnishings and antiques offered at Mecox, fill out this contact form and one of our friendly experts will be in touch with you soon. We look forward to helping you design the home of your dreams!