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At home with: Chris Glass

The home of Chris Glass, Soho House's Cities Without Houses European membership director, is an eclectic marriage of bohemian and chic. From the dark - almost-black - green hallway that envelopes you as you enter before giving way to the high-ceilinged, bright rooms filled with the scent of fig and citrus, to the books, treasures and art from near and far, every inch has its own personality.

Here, in the Berlin flat he has called home since 2014, he talks about how working at Soho House has changed his own tastes, where he finds design inspiration, bold colour choices, phallic art and the thing he treasures most.

Chris Glass, Soho House CWH European membership director

The building is unspectacular, but it’s in the heart of Mitte and just a few minutes’ walk to Soho House Berlin. I’ve lived here for five years, collecting, changing, knocking down and adding things as I go. Home means everything to me, my oasis to escape Berlin’s hustle.

'My job requires me to be "on" at all times, but I can manage that a bit better at home. I love to entertain, but again, that's on my own terms here. Home is the place where I can let my hair down, if I had some.

Berlin can often have a hard edge, so it's influenced my flat in the sense that I wanted something to counteract it, something cosy, personal and sophisticated. When I started designing the space, I first looked at what existed and needed to be celebrated, then found a way to build a room around that. I chose bold colours that impart warmth and elegance, the kind of colours that people notice.

Living so centrally, my neighbourhood can feel overrun with tourists and everyone going about their weekend business, but that also has its up sides. I enjoy people-watching from cafes, looking at what people are wearing, what shopping bags they're carrying, what accessories they're sporting… Mitte is great for that because you see such a cross-section of people from near and far.

I grew up in a much larger, suburban house but there are a lot of similarities. My parents' home told their story and mine tells my own - touches of places I've lived and travelled to, artists I know and love, mementoes from family and friends, and things that I treasure because I've worked hard to be able to afford them. My parents collected antiques, so I guess that's where my love of vintage comes from, and my father was a florist so the house was always filled with flowers.'

Vintage Treasure

'A couple of years ago, I opened a shoppable apartment and event space in Berlin called aptm. It's set up like a flat and you can buy the furniture and objects in it. I use it as a platform to highlight artisans and pieces I'm fond of. Original in Berlin, Jo. Van Norden and Holm Vintage are all vintage shops I check regularly.'

Favourite Space

'My bedroom is filled with light first thing in the morning and the wall colour makes me happy. My desk, a new addition, is a favourite spot to sit and read while I have my tea. Generally, the tip is to avoid dark colours in small spaces, but I choose colour based on personality, not the space. If you feel like a brooding red or a rich, royal blue - do it. Make it a strong, intentional choice and flood the space with colour.'

Treasured Item

'There's a cookbook called Calling All Cooks that includes regional recipes from all over the southern United States. It's a series that my mom and aunt collected and gave to me. It's decidedly simple, but it holds a flood of memories and possibilities in its pages.'

Collector's Item

'Most of the pieces I have were gifted to me by the artists or friends and some I gifted to myself. I'm far from being a collector, I simply focus on what I like. The running theme seems to be religion and genitalia; God only knows what that says about me.'

'[I find inspiration] mostly on Instagram and interiors blogs. I reference vintage shops, books and magazines for specifics too. Hotels are a big inspiration and, of course, Soho Houses. When we opened the House in Istanbul, I asked the design team about every little detail because I was fascinated with the design and the pieces they'd sourced.'

Has spending so much time in the Houses influenced your own interiors style?

'Absolutely! I love our style and how it tells individual stories with each House. It's helped me hone my own style in that I wanted something that was in contrast to where I worked, but just as stylish. The Barcelona club speaks to my tastes most, with its mix of Catalan tradition, mid-century modern silhouettes and Brutalist ceramics. It's unrestrained, but still elegant.'

'I live for high-low. Very few people can afford to buy only high-end and mixing creates texture and warmth. Rugs, lamps and wall colour are good things to invest in because they give you bang for your buck. Save up for a good sofa and, in the meantime, beautiful cushions can transform a mediocre one.'

'I have a lot of stuff therefore generally I am not looking for more, but when I really love something, I tend to buy it. I like when objects have a story to tell. the sofa is a variation on one that was in the Berlin House when we first opened. That one was bigger, a huge statement piece, with a bold floral pattern - I loved that sofa, so this is a bit of a connection to my early days in Berlin.'