Fashion designer Ann Mashburn, along with her husband Sid, opened their first shop in Atlanta in 2007, introducing their unique curatorial eye and design chops to the world. Not surprisingly, a cult following soon developed and has been going strong ever since. As a former fashion editor who assisted the legendary Polly Mellen at Vogue, Ann also became known for her sought-after personal style: a touch tomboy, confidently feminine, and totally effortless. Today she’s a bona fide tastemaker, trusted for her edit of what’s out there, and unique designs for what she thinks is missing. Since that first shop, she and Sid (who himself logged years as a designer for the likes of Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, and J.Crew) have sprinkled the south with their connected stores, Ann Mashburn for womenswear and Sid Mashburn, catering to gents. At each location they aim to go beyond mere retail to something charmingly experiential, akin to being invited over to the Mashburn’s own stunning home (pictured above). Discover the Chairish picks setting Ann’s fashionable heart aflutter, how raising five daughters has helped her come to terms with a bit of IKEA, and much more!
On Design At Home:
Is there any particular type of item where Chairish is your go-to?
I think the art is really easy to navigate – there is enough at a price point that won’t crush me if I get it and it isn’t exactly perfect in my own space (I have a few daughters I can “regift” to!).
What’s your favorite thing about designing with vintage pieces?
Something old adds warmth and originality.
What are home decor categories where you tend to go vintage rather than new?
Frames…and I never met a French bergère chair that I didn’t love.
How does your home reflect you as a person, and how does it reflect your personal style?
Sid and I have moved often and have raised five daughters – our homes are filled with things we love but we have never had the time to truly “decorate” and finish. I have come to love the jumbled-up vibe, partially out of necessity – it is hard to avoid the “lived in” look when your house is being SUPER “lived in” by so many people.
Do you have a favorite way to mix high and low at home?
I think we have done a good job of it on our store design – at home, we absolutely have a bit of IKEA, but design for me is not so much about high and low for the sake of it, it’s more about what looks good and makes sense in the space.
What are some of the major influences on your design aesthetic?
I still have a tear sheet from a NY Times Magazine from 1989 or so. It was vintage/antiques mixed with a few modern pieces. I had absolutely no idea how to decorate, but I remember thinking how cool it looked and literally every room I have ever tried to decorate is some rendition of that image in my head. I am a huge Francophile so I have gone down the French road over and over again as well.
On Design In Her Stores:
How have you approached designing your stores? Is each store decorated differently?
Sid and I really designed these stores together with help from amazing contractors and architects here in Atlanta. Each store is a little unique. I have used this analogy before – we have five daughters who look similar, but different – they look like they came from both Sid and me. The same holds true for our stores – we did not want to look like a chain – but special places of discovery that may remind you of our first store, or at least the first one you went into, but interesting and fresh enough to make you feel like it was new to you. I really love to go to each store – I actually “ shop” them differently and discover products that look new even to me!
Why did you decide to create stores that double as places to “be” as well as shop?
We wanted the shops to feel personal, and we were using our own money to actually make and furnish them – so a lot of our own furniture ended up in there out of necessity. We used a lot of interior tear sheets from homes rather than retail spaces for inspiration, so it really just ended up that way. Our respective experience in the industry really informed the way we approached this business. I was a fashion editor and Sid a designer, and we were inspired by the hospitality of the restaurant world where we had both worked as younger people. I look back and think that it evolved into the kind of space it was MEANT to be, but we truly never sat down and had a big plan. I do remember thinking, when it was done – wow. This is better than I could have imagined. Grateful!
What are some of the elements a place you want to “be” has to have?
Great music, enough air and light that it feels relaxing, and by far the most important thing, friendly people who just want to help.
You’re famous for your perfectly curated store. Are you also a careful curator when it comes to items in your own home? Any advice for people that struggle to edit?
Are you kidding? We are a family of seven and have moved many times so I am constantly editing. I am very sentimental – and it is hard. I hate clutter – so my homes tend to look more simple – and may LOOK edited – but my basement tells the real story! For Christmas this year I got Sid a professional organizing service to come in and help and it has been a total game-changer. We are half-done and it was the very best thing for us.
On Her Lifestyle Favorites:
Favorite travel destination to relax:
I love to ski. Even though it’s physically active, it is completely relaxing. My daughter and I just came back from Sun Valley, which I love for skiing because it is so low-key.
Favorite travel destination for design inspiration:
We do so much work in Italy – and it is impossible not to be inspired by the family-owned businesses and the heritage of craftsmanship and artistry. The Italians LOVE what they make, what they eat – truly how they live. They love to talk and share and it is intoxicating to be around. Our trips there are tiring and made of a lot of long days and trekking around from factory to factory, but so refreshing creatively.
Favorite hotel to check in to:
I absolutely love the Jefferson Hotel in Washington D.C. But since I am usually there for work, visiting our shop in Georgetown, I would say that I would prefer to be checking into Hotel Privata in Sils-Maria, Switzerland. It’s not fancy at all, but it means I am on a true vacation.
Instagram! (love-hate relationship)!
Favorite morning beverage (and how you take it):
2% Latte. Hot!
Favorite thank you/hostess gift:
A book that I have enjoyed and want to share.
Favorite adult beverage:
They call it ‘ranch water’ in Texas: Tequila, Topo Chico, and lime.
Inches make champions. Or step by step…or…today or never??
Favorite entertaining essential:
Votive candles and great music.
Carolyn Carr. (Beautiful artist AND beautiful friend.)
Favorite thing to collect:
Daughters (and shoes).
On Her Local Favorites: Atlanta, GA
Taqueria del Sol. I eat a $2.89 fish taco for lunch nearly every day of the work week and even after almost 12 years I never, ever tire of them.
Favorite hotel to recommend to visiting friends:
Four Seasons Midtown.
Favorite local culture hub:
Our coffee bar in our shop!
Favorite local attraction:
Buford Highway – It is an amazing several-mile stretch of completely authentic, family-owned restaurants of every type of ethnic food under the sun – Vietnamese, Bangladeshi, Szechuan, Mexican. It feels like you are taking a faraway trip even though it’s just 20 minutes from my house.
Favorite local flea market/vintage hunting ground:
Scott Antique Markets, which takes place once a month and is fantastic.
All photos courtesy of Ann Mashburn