Not every designer can pinpoint the moment they fell in love with their craft, but for Asha Maxey, it’s simple. From the time she was very young, Asha knew interior design was in her bones. While her career trajectory led her in other directions along the way, she eventually came back to the work she considers her passion. Today, Asha serves as the founder and principal designer behind Asha Maía Design, serving clients in Alexandria, Virginia and beyond. We sat down with Asha to discuss the founding of her business, what drives her inspiration and the #1 piece of advice she’d give designers just starting in the industry. Asha’s innate talent shines throughout her portfolio, and we know you’re going to love our conversation.
We’d love to hear more about how you first got your start in the interior design industry and how your business was born.
Interior design has always been in my bones. I just always knew I loved the aesthetics of a space and the impact that good design has on the way people feel.
Whenever someone asked what I wanted to be, I’d say an interior designer. However, life gets in the way, and that wasn’t the exact path I took. I ended up getting my degree in marketing and went into a supply chain career. In my spare time, I’d always come back to interior design. Designing and decorating every place I lived in and even friends and family’s spaces. People would always tell me, “this is your gift,” and ask, “why aren’t you doing this for a living?” I’d shrug and say, “one day I will.”
One spring, I decorated my entire apartment and posted the photos to Facebook. It hadn’t even crossed my mind that anything would come from it—I just wanted to share our new space. I got so many likes and comments. People were asking me if I was an interior designer, and if not, I needed to be. I decided that day it was time to start my business, so I did.
How would you describe the Asha Maía Design signature aesthetic? How do you tailor + adapt that to different clients and projects?
I describe our signature aesthetic as a clean and airy blend of classic and modern, filled with layers, texture, and color used in unexpected ways. Our goal is to create spaces that feel fresh, sophisticated, and timeless.
We tailor our signature aesthetic to each client by truly getting to know them. We ask tons of questions by way of our consultation and design homework. We get to understand what colors speak to them. What wood tones, patterns, and materials they love. We then incorporate those desires into our design.
We can achieve our aesthetic in many color palettes, but we always like to incorporate some classic items, clean lines, an air of brightness, layers, and texture. We feel that this blend allows our design to stand the test of time. This is how we’re able to keep our signature aesthetic while catering to our clients’ wants and needs.
Do you have a favorite project thus far? Tell us about it!
If I’m honest, I don’t particularly have a favorite project. I get so captivated by whatever project I’m working on that I feel like that project is my favorite at the time. I get so excited about working out the design dilemmas of the space. Each new project feels like a new exciting challenge, and with each project, I grow as both a designer and businesswoman.
Interior Design & Photography: Asha Maía Design
What’s one piece of advice you wished you’d received when you were just starting out?
One piece of advice I wish I had when I was just starting out was that it is okay to enter this industry without a degree in interior design. I felt like a fraud for so long until I found my tribe on Facebook. I understand that education is important, and you better believe I take it seriously, but I’ve also realized that there are nontraditional methods you can take to get that education. I am a constant learner and am always trying to better my industry and business knowledge. I say if it’s your passion, go for it and do it well!!
Interior Design & Photography: Asha Maía Design
What are your favorite Instagram accounts to follow?
Of course @theidentitecollective, but also
Tell us a favorite recent trend. How about a timeless one?
My favorite recent trend is wallpaper. Although wallpaper has been around for ages, it’s trendy again. Although it’s a recent ‘comeback’ trend, I believe it’s one that will stick around. The prints, patterns, and textures are what will ultimately change.
And my all-time favorite timeless trend is indoor plants. I just love how plants add life to a space. They create an energy that is indescribable yet super impactful. I also love to use them to round out a palette. Often without that bit of greenery, a space can feel flat.
Tell us about the daily rituals that help you thrive as a designer.
I love starting my day in bed, browsing Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration. Not only design, but inspiration from other business owners out there making moves. It’s so awesome to see others doing well, and it helps keep me motivated. Throughout my morning, while preparing for work, I love to listen to Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson, Nina Simone, and the like. It puts me in such a good mood to tackle the day.
Self-care is another daily ritual that helps me thrive. It helps me stay centered and eases the day-to-day stresses that come along with running a business. For self-care, I love to unwind from the day with a cup of great herbal tea or even a glass of my favorite cabernet. A relaxing bubble bath is often a part of my daily/weekly ritual.
A special thanks to Asha for stopping by the blog! Be sure to follow her over on Instagram at @ashamaiadesign for design inspiration and a look inside her latest projects.
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IDCO Studio is a full-service creative studio for interior designers and boutique lifestyle brands. Offering bespoke branding, web design and social media content creation, we help brands built around beautiful living elevate their digital presence to represent the physical spaces they design. Our recently launched limited-release website templates are the perfect way for interior designers to get a luxury website on a budget. These templates allow designers to maintain control of their content. Want to work together? Shoot us an inquiry here.