01.03.2011 | by: Meghan
Homes to Stay

Meet: Ashley Helvey

Betty Macdonald Farm, Vashon Island, Washington

Ashley Helvey is a Seattle-based fiber artist, who brings an age-old craft into the present by mixing traditional felting techniques with cutting edge fashion, art and design. Working with raw wool (and procuring it in a sustainable way), Ashley makes beautiful hand-felted rugs (sold at ashesandmilk.com), while her site-specific installations range from haute craft to high concept: wool-embellished light fixtures; a caveman-inspired lean-to at an LA gallery; and a primitive sleeping hut she built out at a music gathering in Ukiah, California.

Earlier this year, Ashley spent a long weekend at the Betty MacDonald farm on Vashon Island—and her description of the place seems right in line with her simple, rustic, earthy yet undeniably chic approach to design. The farm where Betty MacDonald lived and wrote The Egg and I is open to guests–accommodations in the cedar sleeping loft or cottage. “It felt like staying with family, there were extra linens in the cupboard, cheese, butter and coffee in the refrigerator, everything you could possible need. It was hard to believe we were staying at a bed and breakfast,” says Ashley. “I was most inspired by the way the owner had layered rugs upon rugs throughout the house, even in the bathroom. It made everything feel very cozy.”

[Photos of the Betty MacDonald Farm interiors by Richele Kuhlmann]

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