This February we are taking you to Italy to meet our BASK Muse: Originally from Ireland, Aisling, a graphic designer and interior stylist, now lives with her husband in the beautiful surroundings of Tuscany in a home that leaves her guests in awe on a regular basis. It reflects her deliberate choice to relocate, driven by a health condition and the need for a change from city living to a slower, simpler lifestyle.
Thanks for being part of this Aisling! Can you tell our readers who you are and what you do?
Hi, I’m Aisling, a graphic designer and interior stylist, who quit the city for the mountains of Italy.
How important is an active lifestyle to you and what does it look like?
Living on a mountain with no flat roads means most every day activities become a form of exercise, so life here is pretty active. Also for me, being in nature is a form of therapy, walking and talking it out is a great cure.
Who or what do you consider to support this?
We are very fortunate to have mountains and hiking trails right on our doorstep, we try to walk daily, whether long or short, as our exercise. I love a good hike with my husband or friends, especially when it ends with a lovely lunch together. There is aways a positive energy after we’ve been hiking.
Aisling on one of her daily hikes
What is your earliest vacation memory and why?
I remember summer holidays in Ireland, the car full with my family, cousins and boxes of food. We would drive to the west coast of Ireland, usually to a caravan by the sea. Days were spent at the beach, or exploring and only returning when we were hungry. I’ll never recall how we all fit but they were magical days.
Summer holidays on the West Coast of Ireland
What is your dream holiday destination. Any recommendations you would like to share?
Having our home in Italy is a great base to explore the country. We recently visited Puglia and loved it, and there is more to discover there. Morocco is a country we love to return to. Marrakech is a feast for the senses; the smells, sounds, and colors are amazing. When I've had my fill, a night in the desert or the Atlas Mountains provides a wonderful contrast. One recommendation is Kasbah Bab Ourika, only 35 minutes from Marrakech, with stunning terraces, panoramic views and beautiful interiors. It is an idyllic oasis, a perfect place to unwind.
The Atlas Mountains near Marrakech
What are your favourite places to bask in the sun?
An Italian terrace is a pretty special place to bask, always accompanied by a good book. Our own terrace, with its grapevine overhead, provides the perfect balance of sun and shade. I also love a riad rooftop terrace in Morocco where it seems you close the door on the city and there is silence.
Aisling enjoying a book on her terrace
How do you approach sun protection, do you have any recommendations?
Being fair skinned and blessed with Irish freckles I have to be careful in the sun. I wear SPF 50 daily on my face and on any exposed body parts. I try not to be in the high sun, preferring to be in the shade and wearing a shirt to cover arms and shoulders.
How do you choose styles to be active and out in the sun?
It can get very hot in Italy during the summer so hiking clothes need to be breathable and I prefer loose activewear. For days by the river I love to wear my BASK Zipper Sun Top.
What is more important to you functionality or style.
I'd say a bit of both! Living on a mountain, functional clothing and footwear are crucial, but every now and then, I enjoy being a bit impractical—trotting down to the village restaurant in a pair of heels can be quite fun!
How would you describe your own body image, which parts do you like to show off most?
I'm not sure if there's any part I particularly like showing off, but my legs are pretty hardworking, getting me up and down the mountain paths, so I suppose they are in the spotlight the most. I don’t particularly enjoy summer dressing; I prefer Spring or Autumn. I love masculine, oversized clothing. It's not necessarily due to body image; I just appreciate the fit and shape more. Plus, it's nice to leave some things to the imagination.
What gives you confidence in your daily life?
Being around honest, genuine people and engaging in good conversations brings out the best in me, I think. When I am at ease, it fuels my confidence. That, along with dressing in a really great suit or a man’s shirt, enhances my confidence as well.
Who are the people in your life that inspire your confidence?
This past year, I’ve watched my sister remain positive, generous, and kind throughout her illness. During moments of imposter syndrome or when I feel there's something I cannot achieve, I think of her positivity and how supportive she was to me. I am learning to turn that doubt into confidence.
Any advice you would give your younger self?
I believe that for my generation, the goal was to go to college, start a career, and have future security. If I could tell my younger self something, it would be to take some risks, start a business, and embark on an adventure. However, I also believe it’s never too late to follow a dream, change your path, and find happiness doing something that you love.
How important is sustainability to you, how do you incorporate it into your life?
I try to make sustainable choices in daily life. Some choices have developed naturally from our love of vintage furniture and homewares, opting to buy preloved rather than new where possible. We visit shops less than we did when living in the city, so our food and shopping choices are more considered, resulting in less food waste and more recycling.
What is your favourite piece from the Bask line and why?
I really love the Bask Zipper Sun Top. As well as a cover up and giving me sun protection it is a great fit and shape.
Aisling in the Zipper Sun Top
Follow Aisling on Instagram .
Stay in Aisling's beautiful home.