The Design of Soho House

The Design of Soho House

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Eleanor Büsing
Sep 2, 2015

It's common for designers of residential spaces, myself included, to take inspiration from beautiful hotels. After all, what ties up residential style, luxury, and a definitive point of view like a top-tier hotel? One of my favorite brands to draw on is the Soho Group; the London-based private members' club and hotel chain has 17 properties around the world. They range from tiny to sprawling and from rural to urban, but they all have one thing in common: insane style.

Soho House & Co has a team of in-house designers but also collaborates with industry heavyweights such as Tom Dixon, Martin Brudnizki, and Ilse Crawford, so each house has its own unique flavor. The look is rooted in tradition but is also eclectic and contemporary; there's always some modern art or an unexpected pop of color to keep the eye entertained.

Get the Look at Home

While each Soho House is different, and part of the brand's strength is its ability to tailor its signature look to a specific city, there are a few mainstays across the hotels from which we can draw incredible inspiration. Like the idea of a Soho House-style getaway in your own home? Take note...

Use a restrained palette. Taking inspiration from the traditional gentlemen's clubs of London, many Soho Houses feature a rich, masculine palette. Color is important- it's not a neutral look- but it's more likely to be jewel tones, earthy shades, and heritage tones than bright, poppy hues. The paint finish is important, too; no eggshell or satin here- über-matte is where it's at.

Go for luxe, rich materials. No matter which house we're talking about, the designers in charge of creating Soho House spaces love them some velvet, as well as rich leather, heavy linen, and beautiful brass. Even in the slightly brighter and fresher clubs like West Hollywood and Miami, a rich mix of textures is important.

Take inspiration from the setting. Each Soho House takes into account its geographic and historic setting; you'll see graffiti-style art in Berlin, encaustic tiles in Istanbul, and floral chintz in London. Look beyond your home to what's around it: is there a vernacular style for the region that you can draw upon?

Classic never goes out of style. For a brand so associated with the cutting edge of cool, the style of Soho House is really quite traditional. Furniture is often antique or designed to look so, with the 1920s-1930s a particularly drawn-from era. Often the only "modern" pieces in a particular space will be the art, lighting, and accessories.

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