This month we hosted the first in our series of events for interior designers, which saw members of our interior designer programme join us for drinks, canapés and conversation at Soho House 76 Dean Street. Soho House Design Director Linda Boronkay was interviewed by Kate Watson-Smyth, who runs the award-winning interiors blog Mad About the House and has just published her second book.

After asking Linda whether she could have her job, Kate moved onto exploring the distinctive style of Soho House, and whether becoming responsible for such a well-known look was a daunting prospect for Linda when she took on the role of Design Director. Linda talked about how every new House is a creative challenge, not a case of ‘copy and paste’ because 40% of a room’s furniture is vintage so there’s no chance of repetition from House to House. She went on to say that there’s always a signature armchair in each House, adding ‘Lighting is the most challenging but the most rewarding aspect of the design – the jewel in the crown of a room, the sparkly bit!’

She explained that Nick Jones constantly tasks the design team with making sure each piece of furniture is comfortable, versatile and interchangeable between day and night. ‘That’s a big difference to a home – furniture has to work very hard. We also like to play with perceptions - when you lower a seat height you immediately become more comfortable.’ On being asked which is her favourite House, Linda said, ‘The latest one! So right now Greek Street. It was daunting – the original Soho House opened in 1995 and was Nick’s baby. We knew all the members would be coming back. We kept a lot of the original features, furniture and layout. The circle bar had to remain, just in a new location and members were really happy to see those familiar features.’

Linda draws inspiration from a diverse range of sources: ‘I get inspired by Vogue and movies and fashion blogs as much as interiors sites. Gucci, Isabel Marant, fabrics, colours, textures - it's fun to try that in a club – you don’t have to live with it! You go there to have fun.’ She talked about her childhood and its influence on her chosen career, explaining how her family home in Hungary was ‘very eclectic, full of antiques and contemporary art. A Hungarian version of Soho House!’ That early experience taught her an important lesson: ‘Be brave and don’t be afraid to mix different styles and eras. Appreciate the aesthetic value of things.’ Her career took off after she won a design award at university and started her own company doing interior design on residential projects – ‘it’s a lot more personal, you learn to listen’ - before going on to work with Martin Brudnizki and Tom Dixon.

She talked about how the design team makes a House authentic and relevant by always starting with the building and the location, explaining that the project designers and architect live in a city for 10 to 6 months before opening a House there to make sure the design is relevant and location-specific, a home from home. They work with local craftsmen, for example in Barcelona where they made the lampshades, so local members recognise familiar design elements. ‘We want people to wake up in Barcelona and feel like they’re there, not anywhere else.’

Linda then took questions from the audience that ranged from how she shops for vintage to how the designers work with the art team to fill a House with newly commissioned art. She described the feeling when a project is finally completed and the House is open; ‘The magic when the first cocktails are mixed and the music comes on and the first members walk in… I have to keep my distance for a month then I can go back and relax.’

To enquire about the Soho Home interior design programme please contact our Customer Care team or call +44 (0)20 3819 8199

Soho House 76 Dean Street

Our members' club in London's Soho is located in a Grade II-listed Georgian Townhouse