My Style Story: Sophie Robinson

We chat to the interior designer about the return of cream and how antiques ground a scheme

Sophie Robinson by Luca Sage

I live in a late Victorian farmhouse in East Sussex. It’s set in the countryside right by woodland. Inside I’ve expressed my love of colour so it’s very bright on the inside with lots of modern-country design references – tongue and groove and Victorian encaustic tiles in the hallway.

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I’ve always been into colour. But over the years my style has grown and got more mature. I’ve always liked mixing vintage with modern pieces. I don’t think I have a go-to colour because I like every room and project to feel different. But I do like to have an accent of yellow in most of my rooms.

When designing a room I start off by putting a whole scheme and mood board together and I think about how I want the room to feel – what sort of ambience I want to create within a space. Then I’ll put colours and patterns together and play around with those before I go picking paint and flooring.

The oldest object in my home is a Victorian console table that belonged to my grandmother. I really like having elements of antique furniture in my home because my colour schemes and a lot of the pieces I choose are very modern and bright and I feel that mixing them with antiques helps to ground the look and keeps it sophisticated.

I collect needlepoint tapestries. I gave my collection to an upholsterer who patchworked them and covered a bench with them, which is now in my living room. It’s quite a talking point.

Lots of people inspire me. Recently I’v discovered an Australian designer, Anna Spiro, who is great with pattern. Someone recommended her book and said, ‘You like colour and pattern, you should buy this.’ And, wow, I love it.

My favourite UK landmark is Brighton Pavilion because the interior design is completely bonkers and lavish and OTT. I just love the crazy turrets and Indian-style architecture. It’s insane.

The interiors shop I couldn’t live without is Liberty London. I can’t afford anything in there but I just like going there for inspiration. One of my favourite websites is Wallpaper Direct – I think it’s just brilliant. It has loads of designs in one place and a really good search engine. I rely on it heavily for choosing wallpapers.

The interiors trend I’m glad to see the back of is grey. I think it’s a very dead and depressing colour. But all the creams are coming back now. It’s all cyclical.

I think Pantone’s colour of the year, Living Coral, is very warm and enlivening and a happy colour. It is something you can use easily as an accent if you have existing grey or navy or any of those sombre shades. I designed a range of bedlinen with Secret Linen Store last year, including a white linen set with a mini hot coral pom-pom trim around the edge. It’s that little splash of coral that’s more liveable with than using it as a wall colour.

While I’m working I love to listen to podcasts. I like Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes’ The High Low just for an update and a bit of news and culture. I also love Desert Island Discs and Sarah Beeny has a podcast called Round the Houses, which I’ve enjoyed.

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* Hear more of Sophie’s decorating advice on her podcast, The Great Indoors.