When “Carrie Underwood” and “Reba McEntire” nearly fought to the death, Ariel Ashe got a crash course in poultry relationships. Despite being told she was buying four hens and a rooster for her Martha’s Vineyard summer home, the warring divas ended up being two of the three Wyandotte-Red Star roosters and had to be rehoused. Meanwhile, first-time chicken owner, one-half of the AD100 design team Ashe Leandro, was settling happily into her new home, a modern take on a classic New England farmhouse in Chilmark, designed by Ashe and her business partner, Reinaldo Leandro.
After buying a condemned Cape Town home nestled among sheep and goat farms on the Atlantic Ocean in 2017, Ashe spent two years dreaming of what she would build on the small, sloping plot. During this time, she also met her future husband, filmmaker Zach Heinzerling, and the couple had a daughter, Agnes, who was born in April 2019, the same month they finally opened the new residence. “I was a bit terrified,” admits Leandro of the design of the house. “Because it was for someone so close, I really wanted to pull it off – and I think we did.” Ashe’s two new roommates dictated some layout decisions, such as using the basement as a screening room where Heinzerling edits his films and placing Agnes’ bedroom near her parents’. But the designer, whose 14-year-old business has become one of the most in-demand in the country, with clients including Seth Meyers (her brother-in-law), Naomi Watts, Liev Schreiber and Jake Gyllenhaal, had strong inclinations for the house she wanted.
“Although the exterior is very clearly in the vernacular of New England,” says Leandro, who studied architecture in his hometown of Caracas and New York, and admits the local style is not one he masters very well, “we had a bit more freedom to explore inside. rabbet, and the stairwell is lit by lantern sconces.A guest suite, however, is painted in Benjamin Moore’s Santorini Blue, a choice inspired by a house on Patmos, where Leandro vacationed. a summer, and the concrete Moroccan tiles in the kitchen, sourced from carpet merchant Ashe in Marrakech, are meant to evoke an Italian cucina, where possible citrus and oil stains will only add character.” Because it was terminated during COVID, I felt like we could never travel again, and I I really wanted the rooms to take you away,” says Ashe. “Even though Martha’s Vineyard is a vacation spot in its own right, you can’t beat a Patmos rental house filled with 20 different blues, or an old Italian farmhouse with thick plaster walls surrounded by olive trees.”
Of course, whenever you want to be back on the vineyard, all you have to do is step out onto the 1,000 square foot porch to see the ocean beyond the rolling sheep pastures dotted with oak trees and beetles.