Designer Friday: An ASPIRE Exclusive Interview With Andrea Hysmith

A consistent twenty years in the design business has allowed Andrea Hysmith to become the ultra-successful interior designer she is today. Not only does she effortlessly guide clients through the process of designing their unique spaces, but she endows them with years of knowledge from her days in the luxury kitchens and baths manufacturing industry. Her designs are equal parts fashionable and functional, which is no doubt why her design firm, ASH Interiors & Design has become such a namesake. This separates Andrea from most interior designers which is why we are introducing her as this week’s Designer Friday!

For her office, Andrea made sure to make it represent her style. There are rustic elements like exposed brick and wooden beams accompanied by bits of glam like the starburst chandelier dangling from above.

Andrew Joseph: What’s a guilty pleasure you have?
Andrea Hysmith: OMG – I love a romantic comedy!! But it gets better…especially if they are on the Hallmark Channel and have a Christmas theme!!! I love a good cheesy movie while sipping champagne in my pajamas!

Andrew: What’s your favorite cocktail?
Andrea: My favorite cocktail is a classic one. A French 75 – when done right it is the perfect blend of gin with a splash of champagne (notice the theme)! I love champagne so basically add some bubbles and I am a happy girl.

Andrew: What’s the weirdest thing a client has ever asked you?
Andrea: So, I was working on this master bathroom a few years ago with an older couple. They were very conservative, so they really had a hard time with the idea of their shower door being clear glass. After lots of deliberation, they made a “weird” no…we will call it a “unique” requisition. I had to have 3 stripes of textured glass made into the shower door to cover…her boobs and both of their nether regions. They were dramatically different heights so I had to measure their bodies’ to make sure that everything lined up JUST in case one of them had to walk in the bathroom while the other was taking a shower!!!!

This clean and fresh kitchen is found in a luxury condo located in Washington, DC. The brushed gold details make for a sophisticated and chic interior, while the cabrinetry harkens back to the city’s traditional roots.

Andrew: What’s something you always travel with?
Andrea: I ALWAYS travel with a good stiletto heel preferably leopard. They can dress up in jeans, suits…anything. I am neutral in my dress, so I love to have fun with my shoes. They are where I express my personality the most.

Andrew: How would you describe your personal style?
Andrea: In the words of Sheila E’s Glamorous Life “She wears a long fur coat of mink, Even in the summertime…” lol!!!! Seriously – I love Victoria Beckham! All black, tailored with a good shoe, eyeliner and a leopard print shoe makes my heart skip a beat!! Oh, and yes…I do love fur (sorry PETA) and will wear jeans or leggings and aviator sunglasses.

Andrew: What are you most proud of?
Andrea: My “what” is a “who” …I am most proud of my daughter! She is this amazing vibrant 14-year-old who despite life’s ups and downs (she has been through a lot) continues to shine. She is who I work for, she is who I want to make proud and she is who keeps me going.

Every home office needs a spot for guest seating. The metallic furnishings are paired with delicate and soft patterns on the upholstered chairs which perfectly complement this home office’s neutral color palette.

Andrew: What are your beauty secrets?
Andrea: Black Eyeliner and a smile…I wear eyeliner EVERY SINGLE DAY!!!!! Especially with these masks. I find myself looking like Cleopatra because my wing has taken over. But you do what you must do when most of your face is covered. I still try to smile (regardless of the mask) I am so glad I paid attention to Tyra Banks during ANTM!!

Andrew: Describe your design style as if you were explaining it to someone who cannot see.
Andrea: Ok, close your eyes! If Industrial elements and Moroccan fabrics and textures had a baby that combination would perfectly represent a space that I would live in. The juxtaposition of those pieces and texture would encompass all that I love. I love clean lines and industrial elements but would need to add warmth and texture to the space for it to come to life.

About The Designer | Andrea Hysmith; Founder of ASH Interiors and Design is a Licensed Designer, Manufacturer Representative, Speaker and Presenter that has been sharing her knowledge of luxury design and products in the design industry for over twenty years.

Her industry experience includes kitchen, bath, and interior design…focusing on residential and light commercial spaces. Her background as a manufacturer’s representative of luxury kitchen and bath products has increased her knowledge of products, skills in training and business development. Her relationships with the A&D Community have made her a well-recognized resource in the Washington Metro Market.

Andrea recently opened her design studio and office space in Historic Ellicott City becoming the first woman of color to open a brick and mortar design space in this area. In this studio space she works with design clients as well as B2B partners educating them on the luxury products the firm represents.

Andrea is a member of American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), The Hospitality Industry Network (NEWH) & Black Interior Design Network (BID). As well as an advisory board member of the Historic Ellicott City Board. Andrea loves connecting to her clients and peers…she is said to be relatable, knowledgeable, informative, and always fun. She believes that design is truly a lifestyle!

Andrew Joseph is a regular contributing editor for ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME magazine. See more of his work here.

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