The decorator and her sister paired up to design “a magical cottage” in Connecticut, with unwavering support (but no input) from the TV host.
We were high-school freshmen in Albuquerque, New Mexico, when Ariel Ashe first allowed people a glimpse into one of her singular visual worlds. The designer and co-founder, alongside architect Reinaldo Leandro, of design firm Ashe + Leandro, was a relatively shy, self-contained kid, so it was a surprise to learn she’d written a play, which she planned to direct herself.
Alexi, left, in an Erdem dress and Dior coat, with her sister, Ariel, in a dress and coat by Dior, in front of the Maple Leaves quilt at the nearby Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust.
“Of course I remember The Fashionate Kiss!” exclaims Ashe’s sister, Alexi Ashe Meyers. “It was a completely original idea based off of a book she had read, and also her love of fashion and set design.” Though Alexi can vividly recall the anthropomorphized characters (there were a bee and a cheetah, among others) and the distinct way that each one moved (Ariel collaborated with her classmate Jillian Peña, now an esteemed choreographer), as well as the irreverent sound track (Blue Swede’s cover of “Hooked on a Feeling” featured prominently), she can’t remember a single plot point.
The family room in the circa-1790 Georgian country home that interior designer Ariel Ashe renovated with her sister, Alexi Ashe Meyers, and Alexi’s husband, Seth Meyers, in Litchfield County, Connecticut. The custom armchair and ottoman are in a Ralph Lauren velvet, and the cabinetry is painted in Green Smoke by Farrow & Ball.
In what now seems like a foreshadowing of Ashe + Leandro’s signature aesthetic, the aim of The Fashionate Kiss was mainly experiential: Ariel wanted to curate an entire sensory reality and generate a little jewel box of time that transported us to a prettier, calmer, and more inspiring place.
In the entry hall, the lamp was a gift from Diane von Furstenberg and the Persian rug is from Double Knot.
To be honest, Ariel hasn’t changed that much since we were 14. (We’ve known each other since middle school.) On a recent picturesque Saturday, she is touring me through her latest curated mini universe, the Litchfield County, Connecticut, home where she, along with Alexi and Alexi’s husband, Seth Meyers, and their two-year-old son, Ashe, spend many of their weekends. (At press time, the Meyerses were expecting a springtime baby. Their second son, Axel, was born on April 8.)
The guest room’s Serena & Lily bed is topped with a blanket from Mayapple Hill Farm and tapestry pillows from Kermanshah Oriental Rugs Gallery; the mural is by Ananbô.
The idea of buying a home in the area was sparked during a visit to their friend Diane von Furstenberg’s nearby farm, Cloudwalk. A search led them to this red-brick Colonial in the middle of a land trust. “We wanted a quirky place with an English country home feel,” says Ariel, who painted the house in a historic Victorian palette and embellished it with floral wallpaper and murals.
As we enter the cozier of the two living rooms, we encounter Seth, who is writing jokes on his laptop, and the couple’s de facto first child, Frisbee Ashe Meyers, an Italian greyhound who is sleeping by the fire in a custom dog bed designed by Ariel.