Sophie Robinson doesn’t need much of an introduction. Sophie gets beamed into our homes each year on the hit TV show, The Great Interior Design Challenge. But there is a lot more to this super successful stylist than just being a TV presenter and judge. Sophie Robinson is a professional stylist who works with top brands in the UK. I was so glad that Sophie agreed to do an interview with me.
As a stylist and working with magazines, you’re on the forefront of interior trends. Which one/two trends have you enjoyed styling in the past few years, and which trend did you find challenging.
I’ve really enjoyed the way bold colour is well and truly back in fashion. After a decade of neutral pared back schemes with Scandi simplicity we are seeing the trend for robust colour schemes with bold hues and patterns and eclectic styling at the forefront of the design curve. This is far more interesting for a designer as you have so much more to play with, and i find colourful interiors so much more expressive.
Can you share with us a major highlight of your interior styling career?
One of the more noteworthy jobs I have been commissioned to do was one year I was asked by Madame Tussauds to design 5 room sets at the Ideal Home Show…for their waxwork celebrities! We had Jamie Oliver in the kitchen, Tom Jones in the Bathroom, George Clooney in the dining room and Joanna Lumley in the bedroom. It was great fun trying to draw up the type of brief I thought would fit each Celebrity client. Kind of dream job – as none of them could answer back!
A lot of us know you from the Great Interior Design Challenge, can you tell us a little bit about how you go about judging a room?
Daniel and I spend a lot of time judging the room at look at and discuss every detail. First up is ‘have they answered the brief’, that’s a big consideration as we firmly believe that good design should fit the client and answer their needs and wants. Then we’re really impressed if they’ve gone that further mile and exceeded expectations. We’re not impressed though if it’s all fur coat and no knickers.
We are looking for the practical demands to be met too. Next I’m looking for creative flair and originality. When we are looking for designers who can go all the way, we like to see some individuality, not just ideas lifted from a magazine or Pinterest. And finally I’m really impressed if the room has been styled well. The finishing touches and curated displays can make a real difference on how a room hangs together.
The third series of the Great Interior Design Challenge is expected to be airing in the New Year.
When you are styling a photoshoot, where do you begin and how do you know when the room is done?
When I’m styling a room for a photoshoot I usually start by putting too many props in the picture – I like to see all the elements – heights, shapes sizes, patterns, plains – all of this. Then I work by stripping back, removing items until I’m pleased with what’s left. It’s often a case of less is more but you never want a room to feel sparse or gappy.
If someone reading this was thinking about styling their own home, what advice would you give them?
I think you can make a massive difference to the home you’re in, just by restyling the objects you already own. For example you can create a great focal point by gathering many pictures on one wall to create a gallery. It can look so much more impactful than lone pictures dotted around the room. Use the same logic with your ornaments too. Group a selection on a sideboard or console and create a table scape with pieces of varying height, odd numbers work best. Another trick is to arrange items in pairs, a pair of pictures hung low over the sofa, a pair of lamps on a console table or a pair of mirrors either side of the bed can give a room a certain feel of harmony
Image credit: Sophie Robinson as designer and House to Home.