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WITH SOPHIE PATERSON

We caught up with Sophie Paterson, Interior Designer extraordinaire and mother to 20-month-old daughter Ava.
She set up her company Sophie Paterson Interiors 10 years ago, following a stint working exclusively on interiors for a London developer. The company works on high-end residential projects across the UK and abroad. They currently have 18 projects underway and focus on creating contemporary classic interiors that will stand the test of time.
Sophie lives in Surrey in a Georgian style house with her husband Kevin and daughter Ava.

AVA WEARS STELLA MCCARTNEY KIDS
PASTEL COLOUR FRILL SLEEVE DRESS

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Being open and listening to others is a vital skill as a designer and you never stop learning from each job.

 

WHAT FIRST PUSHED YOU TO DO INTERIOR DESIGN?

 

I’ve always loved interior design right from the age of 7, I was constantly rearranging the bedroom I shared with my sister. When I turned 16, I did work experience at Zoffany and Cole and Son in the Chelsea Harbour Design Centre. I took design at a higher level for my International baccalaureate but then steered away from interiors at University as I was scared it was too much of a niche industry to be able to secure a stable job – so I studied international management with Spanish at Bath University.

Halfway through the course, I knew it wasn’t for me but I stuck it out to get the piece of paper. I’m glad I did it as I speak fluent Spanish but as soon as I left I knew I wanted to get back to my passion for interior design. I took a job as an events manager for a restaurant group but was offered the chance to do the interiors for a developer who came to view our Mews House (we were asking for his advice on whether to convert the garage into a larger kitchen) he loved how I’d decorated the house and asked me to recreate it in his latest project.

It was incredibly scary to do something like that without the formal training but I was never afraid to teach myself. I learnt how to do scale drawings using SketchUp and learnt from all the expert tradesmen on the job. Being open and listening to others is a vital skill as a designer and you never stop learning from each job. Our first project together was a huge success selling for the highest price per square foot in that area and we went on to work on more projects before I set up my own company to focus on predominantly private high-end residential design, but to this day I still do a lot of work with developers which I really enjoy.

 

I love the rocking chair as this is where I get most of my cuddles from Ava when I put her to bed each night.

YOU’VE HAD SO MANY SUCCESSFUL PROJECTS THROUGHOUT THE YEARS, DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE?

It’s hard to pick one, but I would say either the Cobham project or the Knightsbridge project – as much for the process and the clients as the end result. Both were so satisfying to work on as the client loved what we did so much, which is so heartwarming as a designer.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS YOUR DECORATING STYLE?

Contemporary classic with a delicate use of colour and some rustic chic influences.

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION FOR YOUR HOME?

Everywhere – I’m always looking at antiques, gardening books, Pinterest. Doing my own home at the weekend and building on my garden design is how I relax.

HOW DO YOU START THE DECORATING PROCESS?

We always start with space planning before I move onto the colours and fabrics which is my favourite part.

AVA WEARS CYRILLUS
WHITE AND NAVY KNIT JUMPER

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The animal art and the soft pink colour scheme is perfect for a baby and toddler – stimulating with the art and restful with the colours at the same time.

FOR AVA’S NURSERY, DID YOU TRY TO APPROACH THE DESIGN ASPECT IN A DIFFERENT WAY FROM THE REST OF THE HOUSE?

I would say it flows with the rest of the house and I wanted to ensure it would grow with her so I didn’t make it too baby like. But the animal art and the soft pink colour scheme is perfect for a baby and toddler- stimulating with the art and restful with the colours at the same time. As always I started with the space planning and then sourced a lot of the pieces in the US.

DO YOU HAVE A COLOUR SCHEME OR THEME FOR THE ROOM?

Yes – dusty pink, white and gold. I don’t love themes but there are a lot of animals which is good as Ava is obsessed with animals!

 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE SPOT IN THE ROOM AND WHY?

I love the rocking chair as this is where I get most of my cuddles from Ava when I put her to bed each night.

HOW HAVE YOU MADE THIS ROOM A FUN SPACE FOR AVA?

Through the art, the toys, the large rocking horse, the rocking sheep. There are also lots of low-level baskets so she can reach her own toys.

ANY FAVOURITE ITEMS IN THIS ROOM?

The Stephenson bros rocking horse is a future heirloom.

 

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO YOU WHEN DECORATING A SPACE?

Think about how it will be used, ensure you get the right layout and choose the appropriate level of practicality when it comes to the fabrics and furnishings.

AND LASTLY, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE PARENTS TACKLING A HOME DECOR PROJECT?

Create a Pinterest board, once you have pinned for a while you will see a clear picture emerge of why you really like and will have a clear direction rather than just buying random pieces hoping for the best.

 

With thanks to Sophie Paterson X

 

 

GET THE LOOK

CAM CAM
PINK ROSE ORGANIC SAVANNAH MOBILE

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RICE A/S
SMALL SQUARE RAFFIA BASKET

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SEBRA
VINTAGE ROSE CUDDLY ELEPHANT

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GARBO & FRIENDS
GREY OLLIE COTTON BLANKET

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