noël ashby

June 21, 2010

“Chicago has character, grit, lots of trees, the lake,
and it is a great place to make things.”

Where was your favorite place to live?
I’m quite happy where I am now so I’d have to say Chicago is my favorite place to live. It has character, grit, lots of trees, the lake, and it is a great place to make things.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
My favorite room in my home is without question my studio. I spend most of my time there, surrounded by things and possibilities: visuals, tools, wire, fabric, and the like—to me it’s wonderful.

As a child I used to dig around in my Dad’s home office and I was amazed at all of the things he had—paper clips, a stapler, pads of papers, and there were specific places to keep all of this great bounty. I now have the same, just on a larger scale.

What are your interests outside of design?
I like people a lot, and most activities involving people… music, art, food. I’m also quite fond of tinkering around with things, walking my dog Hank, going to yoga, or going to see or do something that I’ve never done before. This latter usually involves snacks.

Who are your design icons?
There are so, so many both past and present, and across all disciplines: music, art, and fashion as well as design. I always love seeing what Hella Jongerius is up to or what the Bouroullec brothers are doing.

Your personal decorating style is _____?
Spare but personal. Most things out in my home or up on the walls have meaning to me… be it hammer heads I found at a garage sale, artwork, my Grandmother’s ceramics, or a stack of washers that I know someday are destined to become something else.

Form vs. function?
One is reliant upon the other.

What was/is your biggest indulgence?
Just one?

What’s your favorite element/possession?
I’m quite attached to most of the things I surround myself with but home is never home to me until the hammer heads are up.

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
Besides color or a beautiful lack of color, almost anything hung up in multiples becomes interesting and if it happens to be something you really like, well, all the better.

To see all of Noël’s current designs for CB2, go here.