Scarlett Supple was one of the lead designers behind Soho House Mumbai. Here she discusses the thought and feeling that went into the design of our into the design of our first House in Asia, from sourcing vintage furniture to aligning the House style with the location.

'Mumbai was a real labour of love. The project started about six years ago and I came on for the last three. It was an incredible experience. We lived in Mumbai for about two years. It’s an amazing place and I travelled all over India, finding suppliers and sourcing pieces.'

The House is in the north of the city, in an area called Juhu, which is where all the artists, actors and film stars live - so it’s quite Bollywood. It’s next to a really lovely residential area called Bandra. It’s slightly different to the south, which is a lot more traditional with all the ex-colonial buildings. But it’s really beautiful and it’s a real hub of activity. At the weekends, they have lots of festival celebrations, you can’t actually move - on the road or the beach. The House is quite a striking building. It’s white, neoclassical, very angular with amazing views all the way across the Arabian sea, and it’s right on the beach. You’ve got all the coconut palms and everyone milling around outside just off Cecconi’s, so it’s a lovely feel.'


'India is such a hustle bustle crazy place, it's amazing, you're outside and there’s hundreds of different things going on. Then when you go into the House, we did all this lovely tropical planting to create a little haven, and then you’ve got the Allis bar which is a really fresh and serene space. We have layers of colour, and still lots of the traditional techniques, like block printing and all the teak wood. We tried to keep it slightly fresher downstairs so that it’s quite relaxing when you go into reception. The climate is always at the forefront when you’re doing anything, so there are Crittall windows which are shaded by handmade woven rattan blinds because the light can be quite harsh.'

For the club we looked at designers like Robert Kime who is very traditional and really layers his spaces. We wanted the space to be a mix with elements of traditional English style. We used a Lewis and Wood fabric that has an Indian motif. We always do the different height armchairs - if you’re coming towards a low seating area, you automatically feel like you want to relax rather than if you see a sea of dining tables. It totally changes the whole space and makes it feel more welcoming.

For the floors we used teak which is a local material but laid it in a slightly more English parquet pattern. We use local suppliers and they cut every piece by hand and then laid it. We had quite a few tries to make it that really warm colour because teak naturally, inherently is quite orange. So we had do quite a few layers. They have this natural, it’s almost like a pigment, and they put it into this oil and they keep adding and adding until you get to the perfect colour.

Vintage Treasure

'With the club floor we had high ceilings which was lovely but we still wanted it to be really cosy and 'Soho House-y'. We looked at a mixture of influential English old school designers, as well as those houses that have been there forever in India and you go in and there’s antiquities everywhere from all over the world. It’s still really hard to find all those antiques because they’re kind of quite saturated now but we found a couple of people who have these enormous warehouses in Mumbai and you go in there and everything is piled to the ceilings and you find these most beautiful things and they’re covered in dust. Then you strip them back and make something amazing.'

Clear Skies

'The club is a special space because of the double-height ceiling and the amazing views from the balconies. We had lots of planting and enormous trees in there which meant you could use strong colours without them looking too punchy. The walls are in Farrow & Ball's Oval Room Blue - we tried hundreds of different colours because we wanted it to be vibrant but not garish and so we went for a slightly more muted blue. It really brought the whole space together, the slightly fresher blue on the walls and the teak floor. The ceiling was a vast space, a mass of white so we decided to extend the colour - it’s almost like a textured plaster. It made it feel a lot cosier just to paint it slightly darker.'

In the Shade

'We know the Samarkand Design team really well and they’re lovely. They get some of their shades made in India so we did that, we actually went to a lot of markets ourselves and they have saris - loads of beautiful saris- and also just, there’s an enormous market in Mumbai of all block-printed cotton. Just hundreds, and so we got a lot ourselves and just got them made up and then we had a couple of Matilda Goad’s which were really lovely to have the rattan because you get that and the Fermoie shades as well.'

Adding interest to a blank canvas

'The bedrooms are all lovely sizes. There were concrete tiles on the floor in the bathrooms which were quite punchy, almost art deco, so we took references from old Bollywood cinemas and that era for the patterns, because there wasn’t too much detail in the actual architecture of the room. And because the ceiling heights were quite low, we added the arches and clad the ceiling with the timber. It’s nice having a mixture of materials; we scraped it back so that you could see the texture on the timber and on the floor we did this woven sisal, which worked really well - it’s better in that kind of climate than a wool carpet too.'

'In the bedrooms the cushions and quilts were all block-printed and we had four different colour schemes for the rooms. These are also from Jaipur; they’re all handmade and stitched in the quilting and they block-print the patterns. We did bespoke ones for each different room. We did wallpaper in the bedrooms because it just made it feel a lot cosier. We did that in two of the bedrooms, and the ones that are on the sea we did them in a slightly fresher paint - Cromarty from Farrow and Ball, which is a lovely green.

It’s more practical to have beds and bedside tables made bespoke, but we always want some vintage in the mix too. The dealers restored vintage armchairs for us which are beautiful and slightly more deco. We found hundreds and hundreds of deco tables in the same warehouses in Mumbai. In every room there’s a different pair, or we put a little vintage sofa at the end of the bed.

We really wanted it to be so wherever you were in the world, you know if you lived in Mumbai, you would go in there and you saw all these amazing little details that reminded you of their culture but also created loads of layers so it felt like you were coming into a Soho House and it was a whole serene space that you could relax in: which is really unique in Mumbai because lots of their hospitality spaces are really contemporary and really clean, it was quite hard to get them to understand this concept, but actually I think they loved it because you know it was like sitting at home.'

Soho House Mumbai

Soho House Mumbai is a members' club and hotel overlooking Juhu Beach, with a rooftop pool and bar.