By Megan Murray
For a city that's so shaped by its history, it was important for our first House in Paris to honour its iconic past, while revelling in the evolving creative scene.
Located in the thriving district of Pigalle, Soho House Paris brings to life the 19th-century home of French poet and artist, Jean Cocteau.
His distinctive style has influenced design elements across the five-floor House, including a mosaic-tiled floor in the entrance, and murals from painter, Roberto Ruspoli.
At the heart of the House is a courtyard garden with a glass roof to make drinking and dining outside possible at any time of year. As well as 36 boudoir-style bedrooms and a wellbeing space, the House also features a pool terrace, and the subterrain Cabaret Room.
Here, we explore how history, art and Parisian culture inform the design of Soho House Paris, led by our lead designer, Severine Lammoglia.
History and architecture
'For Soho House Paris, we looked to the past in multiple ways,' says Lammoglia. 'While we were inspired by the history of the city and the creatives who have lived there, we also wanted to bring some of our own personal history back into the light.
'In recent years, we have embraced a more contemporary style, but Paris was a chance to return to the old Soho House. Our interiors are known for textural depth with an emphasis on trims, fabrics, and patterns. The period mouldings and architectural features lend themselves to a feeling of maximalism.
Honouring French culture
'Paris is sophistication personified. We reflected this in the decor with a soft, muted colour palette across the House - nothing loud,' explains Lammoglia. 'In the bedrooms, we looked to the boudoir styles of 18th-century France with rich fabrics like velvet, which were used to upholster furniture with delicate fringe trims.
'The basement was a pivotal space to show off the city's personality. Our Cabaret Room hosts films, DJ sets and burlesque performances, with an aesthetic inspired by the Moulin Rouge. The huge, silk gathered ceiling and red velvet walls are designed to feel dramatic and evening appropriate.'
Kate Bryan, Soho House's Head of Collections, set out to do something a little different with Soho House Paris, curating our first collection entirely of paintings.
'For me, Paris is the home of painting,' says Bryan. 'In our Houses, there's a mix of photography, multimedia art and drawings, but this House responds to conversations over the last century asking, is painting dead?
'In the age of installation and video art, there's a question of whether this type of work can still satisfy our lust for art. But in a place that's been home to some of the world's greatest painters, it's an opportunity to honour this practice.
'I commissioned artists who were born, trained or spent a large part of their career in Paris, asking them to respond to a particular wall panel. Commissioning big pieces next to each other has an element of risk, as you don't know what they will look like.
'I appreciate taking an approach that matches pieces to the decor, but for me it spells the death of art. I think risk is inherent in a collection that puts the artists and their stories first.'