Meet Ashley Merrill, Founder of Lunya

The driving force behind Lunya sleepwear is a design lover and problem solver by nature. Her line concentrates in making sleeping better (hot sleepers, cold sleepers, she has it all covered) and why not? Live life a bit more relaxed. 

What inspired you to create Lunya?
I could relate to the problem, because I was someone who was wearing my husband’s shabby old clothes in an effort to be comfortable, so I was passionate about solving it. I had a strong vision for what I believed was possible, and I felt there could be a great business to be had in solving it well.

Our homes are personal spaces — and it makes perfect sense that we should approach the way we dress at home the same way we take care in decorating (even in the areas of our home that others won’t see). Why do you feel that others should do the same?
I see home as the space that you do for you. Most people know how good they feel when they are wearing their most flattering pair of jeans, and I think we should aspire to feel that confident (without trading comfort) in our most intimate space. Nothing feels more out of place in a beautiful home than ratty sweatpants.

We love every piece in the Lunya collection — which one is your favorite?
My favorite pieces change depending on the season, but lately I’m really feeling the romper for its comfort, casual cool, and versatility.

The Lunya aesthetic is sophisticated and modern, yet comfortable. Does that also translate into your décor?
I hope so! Interior décor is one of my true passions. I spend a lot of time at home, and like to make my home a reflection of my taste and the environment it’s living in. As an example, we are building a home near a creek surrounded by oaks and sycamore trees. The interior is modern and always minimal, because the less is more aesthetic has always been my go-to; but I’m bringing in pieces that have a lot of character and wear to them —worn leather, mid-century chairs, and warm neutral colors to invite the outdoors in.

With Lunya’s focus on sleepwear, we can only imagine just how gorgeous your bedroom is. How did you decorate this space?
This space kind of drives me crazy because I look at it so much, and I constantly find myself wanting to change it. I have a cool headboard made of indigo mud cloth and a great walnut bench from Kalon Studios, and a fun vintage mod deco bust. Everything else in the room tends to rotate in or out, depending on my mood.

Clockwise: Arlus, Mid-Century Modern Telescope Sconce. Mid-Century Modern, Italian Aluminum Pendant.

We also love Lunya’s mini collection for little ones. How did you approach creating the bedrooms for your own children?
The mini romper was so fun. We had to make it because so many people were requesting one for their children. My son is obsessed with firetrucks, but I have a strong aversion to red/orange, particularly in sleeping spaces, so his space all began with a picture we have of two bright green fire trucks parked at a beach. The whole room is teal, blue, and this hot green firetruck color. I found this awesome removable sea-green Jewel wallpaper at Chasing Paper. I got him the Oeuf perch bunk bed and painted some Ikea stools in a fluorescent green/yellow.

My daughter’s room was born from her love of rainbows. This was the first thing I bought for the room and everything was decorated around it. The FLEXA Play was also a big source of room inspiration.

What is your favorite brand for sheets/bed linens? We’d also love to know about what mattress and pillows you’ve selected for your bed.
I have these ridiculous bamboo sheets. I’ve tried every single company’s sheets and nothing compares. People who stay at my house freak out and beg me for the name. The problem is, the only way I get them is by emailing the factory, which makes the whole thing even more special

I have a Casper, Leesa, Tempur-Pedic, and a traditional pillow top mattress at different rooms in my house. I tend to prefer the Casper, as it’s somewhere between the Leesa and the Tempur-Pedic on firmness. I also love down box-style side sleeper pillows. I put dust mite covers on everything because they can really aggravate allergies.

As an entrepreneur and CEO, your days are very busy. How do you unwind before bed?
TV is my vice. Handmaid’s Tale, Planet Earth on repeat, Mad Men, Netflix standup.

How do you balance the demands of motherhood with the demands of running a business?
Not super well. I don’t know if there is a formula for this, but I do my best. I try to keep work meetings and commitments after 6pm to a minimum. My husband and I are also pretty committed to weekend family time.

Where do you see Lunya in five years?
I hope everyone views their home and their time in it as important. I want people to value their sleep, and I hope Lunya is an important part of their nighttime wellness ritual. From a business perspective, I think Lunya has an incredible product and team, and I have high hopes for bringing Lunya to lots of homes.

What do you do the second you come home?
Strip off the day physically (and metaphorically) by putting on Lunya. Then I cuddle my babies and help them get ready for bedtime.

What’s on your nightstand?
Gerolsteiner water, +one candle, a couple Hay trays, and my iPhone.

Lunya, +one candle

As an entrepreneur with a strong digital background, how do you balance “screen time” for you — and your kids?
I watch TV after the kids go to bed. It is my vice, but also really helps me escape and unwind. I generally watch for 1.5 hours a day. My phone is a lifeline to my kids when I’m at work, and to my work when I’m with the kids; but I’ve been working on leaving it in the kitchen when I’m hanging with them. Frankly, it’s hard to detach, but it’s important, so I try to work at it. My kids watch TV about 1 hour a week on the weekend, and we don’t currently let them on phones or the iPad.

What surprised you most about motherhood?
How incredibly full-time it is. I remember thinking I was busy before I had kids. HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA

How do you keep your “eye” fresh? Where do you go for inspiration? (Any must-follow Instagram accounts?)
Pinterest and Instagram are my go-to sources for inspiration, and @contempoperth, @annaleena.interiors, @studioolivergustav, and @just_my_design_taste are some of my recent follows. I also use Instagram when I travel, and it helps me find obscure spots.

If you could decorate your home with any five pieces from Viyet, what would they be and why?
I love the geometric mass of these chairs. They are very masculine but would be fabulous mixed with a curved couch to femme it up a bit.

I love these silk panels! I could think of lots of places to put these.

When I was in Stockholm, I saw mixing of 18th century blue and white pottery with mid-century and Scandinavian modern pieces. These would be great mixed in with my home décor.

This sconce and pendant light used together over a bed would be fantastic.

Bungalow 5, Cobalt Perch Hand-Painted Silk Panels

How has your décor aesthetic evolved over the years? How has it changed since becoming a mother?
I have moved into a more modern minimal aesthetic over the years. I think as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that trends come and go, so buying things that you love, and maybe things that are a mix of styles, will feel cool and current longer. The art is in the mix!

Visit www.lunya.co for more

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