Ashley Sutton Talks Designing The Magical Iron Fairies Kuala Lumpur

Ashley Sutton

The design story of Iron Fairies starts with the desire to set my mind free, when I was working in the mines at Fremantle in Western Australia. You’d be underground for so long, you’d just about lose your mind. I started thinking about fairies. I dreamed that a group of miners would forge iron fairies that would come to life when the sun comes up, but turns to rust unless protected by magic fairy dust made by all types of rock. I started doing some sketches. These drawings were then published into a children’s fairytale book called The Iron Fairies Vol 1 to Vol 3.

The most exciting thing about interior design is that there are no real rules apart from making sure that the contractor builds what you’ve envisioned with very little compromise. I’m very intrigued by rammed-earth homes, as well as buildings that are made from stone, iron, and glass to complement their surrounding landscapes. Sustainable architecture is as crucial as ever as humans are killing the planet fast, and we need to minimise negative environmental impact through strategic use of materials and space.

Iron Fairies Kuala Lumpur

Once you step into the magical Iron Fairies, you should feel like you are in a working fairy-dust-making factory, where the underground vibe comes through, and you feel like you’re in an escape from the traffic, noise, crowd, and everything else. It’s an imagination of the unexpected.

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Iron Fairies Kuala Lumpur is the biggest of all Iron Fairies, with a secret butterfly room. The butterfly room features more than 50,000 butterflies and one million bottles of fairy dust. This is where the miners store the caches of bugs from the garden above, and would use the wings for the fairies that they “cast”.

My one design mantra is to create a space that takes you away from the filth of big cities and makes you dream. It’s about what it’s in the head, to bring the essence of design to life.