San Francisco- and New York-based designer Margaret Ash is no stranger to the mix. Her sophisticated interiors are defined by an expertly curated selection of antiques, vintage pieces, and custom furnishings, which is why shopped Sotheby’s Home items in her latest project. It’s an eclectic bunch, but Ash makes it work, crafting a layered, collected space fit for modern living. Check out how the designer put the goods to use and shop for similar pieces below. Photos by Julia Sperling

What were your clients’ goals for the redesign? Can you walk us through the design process?

The clients wanted a colorful and playful home. The first time we met, we talked about using lots of color, texture, and patterns to create a warm, cozy, family-friendly but still chic atmosphere.

Late 19th Century Continental Gilt Metal Faux Bamboo Tall Easel

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Because we did not do a complete renovation of the space, we had to work with existing conditions in the rooms. There was an air vent on the floor that dictated the width of the custom bookcases. We wanted to fill the space to the left and right of the bookcases, and the easel with art was the perfect solution to add height to the right of the bookcase.

Upholstered Dining Chairs 

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The dining room is deeper than its length, so the dining table is extra deep as well, making it a substantial piece in the room. We needed grand dining room chairs to make them in proportion to the table. We loved the lines and finish of the Sotheby’s Home chairs, and their scale was the perfect fit.

Vert Print, Rouge Print, Janue Print

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We went searching for art for the banquette area, knowing that we needed something abstract or minimal as to not compete with the dramatic photograph over the fireplace. I searched high and low at local galleries, and online on several websites. I hadn’t originally thought to use consignment art, but when I clicked on the art section on Sotheby’s Home, it was a true meant to be moment. The Vert, Rouge, and Jaune prints were the perfect combination of minimalist art with bold yet understated colors.

Painted Faux Bois Armchair

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The vanity table has a dual purpose as a home office when the clients need to work from home every once and awhile. Instead of a traditional skirted slipper chair, we opted for a chair that had arms, yet kept the femininity that a slipper chair would have had.

What qualities do you look for when choosing vintage furniture and accessories?
I believe you need at least two antique pieces in a room, but the more the better. It is also important to mix periods. Now that doesn’t mean any periods mix well together. It takes experience and education to know what pieces work together well.

Where are some of your favorite places to go for design inspiration?
Honestly, anywhere. I find that when I am in the car or on a plane, I come up with my best ideas. I always fly with a notepad and trace paper so I can sketch out ideas as they come to me.

Can you share any do’s or don’ts of decorating that you live by?
The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of a low price is forgotten.

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