With an eye for vintage finds and creating the perfect ‘mix-and-match’ room, Interior Designer Sophie Bloomfield has a track record of knowing what looks good. Having previously worked as Beauty Editor at Harper’s Bazaar, we discuss Sophie’s journey to establishing her own business and becoming her own boss.
Having started collecting vintage textiles in my twenties (from vintage quilts picked up in thrift stores in LA to finding embroidered French linens on Portobello, there was an ever increasing pile of ‘this could make an amazing cushion…’ fabrics that obviously never made it to being a cushion), it was when we moved house in my thirties that I really threw myself into bringing all my endless moodboards of pattern, colour and texture to life. From cheetah print stair runners to an endless array of silk ikat cushions and vintage lighting in every room, I really went for it. After seeing it all come to life, I found my friends began asking me to layer their homes with a similar collection of vintage finds and interesting mixes of colour and pattern. It’s grown from there; the decorating I do best is very much not interior architecture. It’s the mix of unique pieces, gorgeous colours and vintage lights and textiles that interests me. Of course a space and layout has to ‘work’ but I’m not into overly staged and perfected spaces; for me the aim is that a client should be able to pass off my work as their own, as a home which has just naturally evolved to look effortlessly cool, unique and welcoming.
Having spent years in magazine offices – I was the Beauty Director at Harper’s Bazaar but decided to become an Editor-at-Large for Bazaar 7 years ago when I had my third son - the initial appeal was flexibility, but the real benefit has been how varied my work has become: alongside interiors projects I still consult for beauty brands and am also soon to launch a kids sweats and streetwear brand (the insta is whatever.sweats). This feeling of being able to build things for myself – as well as be around my kids more of course- is the best thing about owning my own business.
Well, it’s easy to make somewhere look fab when you’re lucky enough to have high ceilings! With my own house, as with all projects, I didn’t have one set inspiration in mind, it’s more just an instinctive feeling of what ‘works’ in the space and thinking about bringing elements together that chime but aren’t matchy. Pretty much all of the furniture and lighting is vintage. The main consideration with the space was to have the kitchen in the nicest part of the house. If given the choice and luxury of reconfiguring a house, I always wonder why people so often put the kitchen in the darkest/lowest ceiling space: given that most of us spend so much time in the kitchen I always like to put this in the room with the best light and ceiling height if I can. Another big reason for putting the kitchen in the middle of the house like this is to have a seating area next to where I cook: I’m not into formal dining spaces, but I definitely love sofas and texiles in kitchens to warm them up!
It depends on the project, but it does tend to be the kitchen. I worked on a house in Notting Hill recently for which the feel of the kitchen was completely transformed by just moving the kitchen table to a different part of the room, so that we could create a cosy area with sofas and benches. Having the kitchen as a focal point and social space that isn’t clinical or boring is a great starting point for the rest of the interiors to flow from.
Always go for vintage furniture where possible and look past the dodgy old upholstery – go for unique shapes (the more unusual the better) and then reupholster them in fabrics that are much simpler and timeless. For a sofa and two chairs, for example, you can find 3 completely different styles of vintage pieces but then reupholster them in a cream velvet, sheepskin and linen all in a similar shade: you’ll get that timeless feel with an injection of personality. I love to add bold prints and vintage textiles in strong patterns (a recent obsession has become buying vintage Hungarian cushion covers!) but to keep things timeless and flexible I’d add these as accents such as tablecloths and cushions. It’s nice to be able to move things around not feel stuck with strong print or colours.
I wish I had a clear answer to this but I’m not sure I do to be honest! With 3 kids and work on, it’s hard to find a lot of time in the day to unwind; I do love to go to pilates classes a few times a week and walk the dog. The only time I really unwind is when I’m on holiday; I like to totally, totally switch off.
I’m so loving all the candy stripes! I love the pink and red stripe shorts set – on holiday I’d wear this over a bikini, but at home I’d put the shorts with an oversize cashmere jumper or the shirt with vintage jeans. The pink and white sun dress is fabulous, too – in the city I’d put an old American Vintage grey t-shirt under it, but in the sun I’d wear it with a tan and Birkenstocks!