Q&A with Jennifer Ashton


Get to know Jennifer Ashton...

Where do you find inspiration when starting a new project? 

“People, places and things!! When it comes to color stories I love to look to uniquely different artists for inspiration and the streets in Santa Fe offer a ton of inspiration walking distance from my design studio adjacent to Canyon Road.”

Where did you grow up? Has that had an influence on your design aesthetic? 

“Southern California - I grew up in Los Angeles and 30 minutes from Downtown LA and 40 minutes to the beach!!

The grit of downtown LA to the slick styling of West LA; both gorgeous cities contrasted to the beauty of the beach cities created unique pictures and stories for me growing up. I lived with a beautiful diversity of people, saw so many incredible homes from the outside to the inside; a world of interior stories that spoke about the people who lived in them. Distinct cities from Chinatown, to Olvera Street, to the beauty of Laguna Beach……magically different places…..lively and spirited!!

I gravitate to rhythm in design, boldness and unique beauty!! These are design expressions I crave to create for my clients with ART as a dramatic focal point!!”

What inspired (most excited) you about this year's theme / house?

“Embedding my family roots into my space! My thematic influence comes from Guanajuato, Mexico. My Grandma Mary recently celebrated her 100th birthday and was born in Guanajuato, Mexico and migrated with her family in the early 1900’s and found a beautiful life in Los Angeles. Beautiful memories of my great grandma Chila, my grandma Mary visting with my mom on early Sunday afternoons watching them in their traditions of faith, food and entertainment….tv novellas, mexican music and homemade tortillas are forever in my heart and soul!

Design Provocations…….for this year’s space!!

Taking inspiriaiton from a 150 year old mexican cultural phenomenon this is the most unusual attraction I have known. El Museo de las Momias (The Museum of the Mummies) is considered one of Mexico’s best tourist attractions, described as both fascinating and strange, the museum displays 100 corpses preserved and contained for all to see. A visitor shared the sentiment of appreciating life more after you see death. Death preserved as art…a bit macabre. The inhabitants of Guanajuato have embraced both the social and historical impact of this destination and American scientists continue
to study for forensic and anthropology.

Taken from my great grandma Chila…...simply put..”mija, death is part of life!! ”

Is there a design rule you love to break?

“Color Rules! I love to mix up color in unusual ways!”

If you were reborn as a piece of furniture or decor object, what would it be? and why?

“I would love to be a sexy chaise lounge with beautiful curves. ”

What would be your dream project? 

“My dream project would be designing and furnishing a modern-euro style farmhouse where all my family could come and stay sited along a beautiful river to fly fish and share good times!!! ”

Finish the sentence:     Every room needs _________. 

“LOVE and PASSION!!! Not to mention amazing folks, natural light, amazing art, fresh flowers, and music!!!”

Jennifer Ashton