By Megan Murray
If Brighton was a colour, it would surely be a rainbow. This famous seaside city is a kaleidoscope of happy beach cliches - striped deckchairs and sticks of rock - which sit side by side with a thriving art and music scene, and a role as the LGBTQIA+ hub of the UK.
As a centre for so much creativity, Brighton's contributions to design are many. From a host of antique and vintage furniture shops and independent makers to Art Deco architecture and art galleries, its aesthetic is unique.
Soho House member, creative consultant and resident, Alexis Foreman, says that her excitement for the city never wanes. 'No matter where I've been, as soon as the train pulls up at Brighton station, I get that same feeling of being back in a place that welcomes me, offers up fun, creativity, sea air, and a quality of life that I've not felt in other cities,' she explains. 'I think it's these qualities that influence the interior scene in Brighton. An aesthetic that's rooted in the open-minded DNA of the city.'
Here, Foreman shows us how to explore Brighton as a local with her list of must-visit design spots.
'I recently moved to the Preston Park area where I discovered this gorgeous cafe (there are three altogether: Brighton, Kemptown and Hove) and now it's become a regular brunch spot for me. The food is great and the interiors are beautiful. The owners, Karin and Barbaros, are lovely and also run Sand interiors, so if you love the textured walls and rustic style, then Karin is definitely worth chatting to. One of my favourite restaurants, The Set, is also based there in the cellar, Wednesday to Friday evenings.'
'The well-known North Laine and South Lanes are a must-visit, but a new little area I like to stroll through is the Hanningtons Lane. It's pedestrian only, and has been beautifully designed and curated with independent shops and pop-ups, which rotate all the time. Brass Monkey was one of the first shops to take its place there and their ice creams are a bit of a weakness for me.'
Brighton Museum & Art Gallery
'During the warmer months, the Pavilion Gardens are alive with people catching up and picnicking on the grass. It's so beautiful there - the architecture, flowers and tree-lined pathways are enchanting. You can take a tour of the Pavillion itself, but I prefer the museum and art gallery. My favourite area is the 20th Century Art & Design gallery, which is the first thing you see as you walk in. It's filled with some amazing Art Deco and Modernist pieces.'
'Floral design studio, Phohm, is such an aesthetically-pleasing store and studio to walk around. It's filled with flower arrangements, rustic vessels and an amazing sofa, providing lots of design inspiration. They run workshops in the shop, and the space is available to hire for shoots. I recently found out that you can bring your own vase or vessel for them to fill with an arrangement, then take it home or have it delivered.'
'Workshop has always been one of my favourite shops in Brighton, and now they've expanded to a larger location opposite the original store. There's a cafe area, so you can browse and order great coffee, sandwiches and cakes. The owners, Ryan and Jayson, are the loveliest - so welcoming and kind.'
Riddle & Finns
'There are actually two Riddle & Finns - one on the seafront and one in the South Lanes. My husband and I always book a table at the latter for our birthdays (we're a day apart) and anniversary. It's become tradition to order oysters and a glass of bubbly before choosing our main. I've always loved the interiors here; the combination of marble tops, tiled walls and chandeliers, with details like the little shell butter dishes that come with the bread basket.'
Brighton Beach House
'And, if you're visiting Brighton then, of course, you should visit Brighton Beach House. The interiors is one of my favourite things about it, particularly the colour palette of Brighton blue and rich terracotta, and the art collection. It's actually inspired me to include more colour in my home.'