Via Asha Design is an international interior design firm with main offices in Brooklyn, NY & London, UK. The co-founding sisters, Oyin Antwi & Sade Hoffschroer have built a successful business transforming spaces across the globe. Their approach to collaborating with their clients incorporates a unique twist to traditional interior designing, as their services are mostly created online via their design portal providing detailed visuals and endless options for approaching any space and budget . The design firm was recently added to The List by House and Garden and continues to be regularly featured in online publications, such as Apartment Therapy.
It was our pleasure to dig a little deeper and get to know the two women behind Via Asha.
CB: Tell us a little about yourself, what got you interested in design?
Sade and Oyin: “We grew up in a family of fashion designers and artists as well as engineers and politicians, so early on in our academic pursuits, both our skills and interests in the arts juxtaposed with our knack for mathematics and the sciences. This led us both to choose careers that tied together our love for the creative and technical– Sade pursued Computer Aided Engineering and Interior Design, Oyin pursued Industrial Engineering (IE) and has applied it to creative industries including fashion, fine jewellery, and home textiles.
Via Asha Design was born in 2014 by our desire to bring interior design services directly to people in a manner catered specifically around today’s busy lifestyle, with our goal to make design accessible, affordable, and a guided, streamlined process for all.
CB: How would you define your style?
Sade: “I would define my style as ‘storytelling’ – both in my personal style and in design, I find there is something very satisfying about articles of clothing or décor that visualizes your life’s journey. The things we put on and/or put in our space allows us to reinforce the story of who we are or can help us tell a new, better story.”
Oyin: “I would define my style as ‘classic, minimalist with a twist’ – both in my personal style and my interiors style, I like to keep the main articles classic with clean lines and then accessorize with design elements that pop, to strike a conversation.”
CB: What are some current or recent projects that you have enjoyed working on?
Sade: “On the UK side, we are currently working on the design of every room in a home belonging to a couple moving in together for the first time. This project brings together two individuals from different background and worlds and begs a space that honours all that they come from and now share in one co-habitation. To date, this project has taken us from the vibrant colours of the Far East corners of India, the intricate décor accents of North Africa’s Morocco, to the sophisticated glam of California, all in their English countryside home. We have truly enjoyed getting to know the couple’s eclectic style and desire for their home as we design with the freedom of bold colours, patterns, and metallic statement pieces, with a touch of English charm.”
Oyin: “On the USA side, we recently completed the full redesign of a luxury Spa in Brooklyn, NY (Joire’s Spa and Studio) during the quarantine months in NYC. The owner wanted to transform the original combined Spa and Hair Salon to a full Spa experience with an oasis, Garden of Eden décor style – In the reception area, we designed the space incorporating lush tropical greenery, a rain waterfall, and curved neutral furnishing for a fresh, airy, and relaxing atmosphere upon entry. We also transformed the previous hair wash back room to a Spa Sauna and Waterfall shower room for the perfect detox session before the client journeys on their services.”
CB: Where do you draw inspiration?
Sade: “I draw my inspiration from people! We are fascinating creatures, many with stories of a life once lived – tales of love, of travel, of dreams & hopes, of strength and achievements, of humanity, of life; all woven into a piece of cloth, or trinket box, or pattern print, or piece of furniture. Learning these stories of the person who tells it today, and then creating a design that honours both story and teller, whilst setting the scene for a new story to be lived in their space, is the real inspiration behind every design we create.”
Oyin: “I draw my inspiration from Nature – I am constantly inspired and in awe of how neutrals and pops of colour can live and flourish harmoniously through each season. As first-generation West African immigrants living in the diaspora, being one with nature and drawing inspiration from natural, earthy elements (woven textiles, brass, concrete, woods, etc.) is something I constantly go back to for inspiration.”
CB: Who is your favorite designer or architect and why?
Sade: “Frank Lloyd Wright. I am inspired by his organic architecture philosophy of designing in harmony with nature and our surrounding world.”
Oyin: “Zaha Hadid. I am inspired by her ability to bring fluidity to geometry. Though her architecture was considered ‘modern’, they weren’t just ‘white-boxy’ buildings; they had character, told stories, and struck conversations.”
CB: You have used Coterie Brooklyn pillows in your project(s)… What initially drew you to the shop? How do you incorporate the pillows in your/clients decor?
Sade: “I was initially drawn to Coterie funnily while designing Oyin and her husband’s new city apartment. I took them through Via Asha Design’s e-design process which starts with them taking a Style Quiz – through this, I discovered that they wanted a space that was ‘Afro-modern’ tying in elements of West Africa in texture, colours, and décor elements, while still incorporating a modern, sleek touch. A simple, neutral base palette was used for their space (black, grey, white, woods), with pops of brass, gold, and mustard accents. I wanted throw pillows for their grey velvet couch that would bring out colours in the Triptych artwork in their living room and dining areas, which is when I discovered Coterie pillows and fell in love with the Sequana and Aria Saffron + Off White pillows which they fell in love with. Coterie offers a wide array of African-inspired simple and elegant patterned pillows, beautiful earthy tones with just the amount of colour pop to fit almost any design and style palette, making them a go-to for us when working with clients with all different design styles.”
CB: Are there any emerging trends you’re excited about?
Sade: “I am excited to see the trend of sustainable materials becoming normalized in home style and décor. As we learn more and more about the world around us, from the people and culture we share it with, to nature and – its wonderful gifts and cry for our help in securing its future, sustainability is becoming a talking point we are now inviting into our everyday environment. We are expressing our individuality and values loudly and clearly in our habitats and taking a stand on eco-friendly living.”
Oyin: “I am excited about the (re)-emerging Wabi Sabi design trend. With all the complexities of life as we know it right now with the global pandemic, racial injustice protests, and everyday chaos, I love that we are all prioritizing peace a bit more in our spaces and embracing the imperfect neutrals from nature in home decor”
Coterie Brooklyn, Clarity Collection