Ariel Ashe and Reinaldo Leandro have cultivated a celebrity clientele through interiors that trade on an organic minimalism in which lots of wood warms frequently monochromatic palettes, achieving something approachable yet august.

All photos by Shade Degges

When did “timeless” replace “timeliness” as a design goal? For many designers, including Ariel Ashe and Reinaldo Leandro, of Ashe Leandro, rooms that appear ageless are the ultimate success stories these days. On Manhattan’s Upper West Side, a prewar apartment by the duo seems delightfully time-defying. In the living-dining area, the five main elements evoke the kind of organic modernism that has been in style for well over a century. Ashe Leandro Ruemmler chairs encircle a Barber Osgerby Tobi-Ishi table for B&B Italia, which stands beneath a vintage Fontana Arte light fixture and is overlooked by a painting by Paul Fägerskiöld. Even the architecture, the designers note, has been edited into “a clean and serene white canvas for the art and furniture.”

We love the tension between the clean and minimal architecture and the more organic shapes of the furniture, especially our own Ruemmler dining chairs. These clients were the first to have them.”


Design philosophy?

“For us, three things are important when it comes to design: instinct (that gut reaction to the space and its context), honesty (both about the materials we chose and the way the client actually lives) and humor.”

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