By Megan Murray
Since 2015, we have been welcoming members to what's affectionately referred to as 'The Farm'. Spanning 100 acres, this rural escape is a place for members to breathe easy, away from the hecticness of life and feel a connection to nature. Ensuring that Soho Farmhouse's design reflects this, with a focus on comfort and calm, is a huge part of why it works.
When we first opened, the original Grade II farmhouse at the heart of the site led our design concepts. We treated it as if we were recreating a family home full of personal touches and character, using comfortable seating such as vintage, leather armchairs and deep-seated, linen-covered sofas, with floral-patterned wallpaper alongside earthy tones and textures, like terracotta pots and hessian rugs.
Since then, its style has evolved with the site's continuous development, including our new Farm Huts, which favour more modern-looking features such as pastel terrazzo flooring, limewashed walls and modular sunbeds - while still retaining that original essence.
Eight years on, and the decor of Soho Farmhouse is one of our most recognisable around the world due to its consistently reclaimed, handmade, and lived-in feel. It's something our members often like to recreate in their homes, and with advice from the interior designers who brought this idea to life, you can give it a go, too.
Here, Soho House interior designers Graham Moore and Lucy Packard, alongside Soho Home interior stylist Candy Murray, share how to get the Soho Farmhouse look at home.
Creating a colour palette
'Soho Farmhouse's core palette is natural-based neutrals with desaturated accent colours picked out along the way. For example, in a bedroom, the walls, floor and furniture may all be natural tones, but we'll use a hint of pink and blue in soft furnishings and lighting to create interest,' explains Packard.
'We use dusty, greyish pinks with slate, graphite blues and deep, earthy reds. We would never opt for bright, primary colours - always secondary, tertiary hues. Green is another important colour throughout the entire site. It has an instant connection to nature, which is fitting to the location and creates a calming feel. In Pen Yen, we've used a strong, fresh green; forest green in the Piglets; pale green in the Garden Rooms, and sage on the towels.
'At home, pair accents of colour with warm neutrals, such as putty instead of crisp white. Another tip is to try a textured paint to create a limewashed effect on the walls. This gives the space a sense of depth and movement, and can make it feel older and lived in, too.'
Layering tactile, natural fabrics
'While every space at Farmhouse is different, each one will have a neutral colour palette as its base. Whether this is the timber flooring and walls in a Cabin, or creamy, limewashed walls in a Farm Hut - it's important that when introducing similarly toned materials to this scheme, they are obviously textured to create depth and ensure that the room doesn't look flat,' says Moore.
'We typically mix rougher fabrics together, combining the likes of hessian and seagrass on rugs with creased or wool linens on seating upholstery, and then something soft like boucle for cushions. It's about layering texture on texture, but always in a rustic way.
'The context in which you use a fabric can also have a lot of power. Mohair could feel opulent in one setting, but paired with a Navajo print the look completely changes. Think about where fabric is being used and what will sit around it.'
Don’t fall into a cliche
'One of the ways I would describe Soho Farmhouse's aesthetic is "surprising". We didn't ever want the decor to feel quintessentially English, and while there are influences from the surrounding countryside, the rustic look is built through looking to other cultures and styles,' Moore describes.
'In the Piglets, we took subtle inspiration from Morocco, while the Hay Barn has a loose 1970s feel, and the Cabins use American materials like reclaimed wooden floors from Wyoming and Navajo-inspired prints. On first look, you might think Farmhouse is all florals, but you need to incorporate different layers for an eclectic, well-rounded space.'
Choosing key furniture styles
'There are reoccurring furniture styles throughout the different areas at Farmhouse. When choosing sofas, we look for an unfussy, classic shape - but it should still feel elegant. Think high-backed and deep-seated with strong arms and harder lines. Instead of a modern or 1970s shape, for example, we'd lean towards vintage styles. Then, to incorporate a relaxed feel, we'll choose a creased linen upholstery that sits a little big on its shape. We don't need it tucked in too tightly,' explains Packard.
'Going to Soho House should feel like being in someone's home, so comfort is always at the heart of our design. The upholstery fabric shouldn't be perfect; we opt for a lived-in material, paired with a more formal shape. Soho Home's Roma sofa was actually designed for Farmhouse, so it's the ideal piece if you're trying to recreate that look.
'It comes in a natural linen, and I'd advise dressing it with textural cushions in a chunky wool fabric. Our approach to cushions is always the more, the merrier. Mix fabrics, patterns, trims, piping - it's all about getting that layered look. You don't want them to look perfectly arranged, they should look like they've always been there.'
Pulling a scheme together
'Every scheme is different and depends on the architecture and feel of the space, but there are some simple rules you can take from Farmhouse to inform your home. Keep floors reclaimed and rustic in earthy tones using wood, stone or tiles. Never opt for a slick or polished finish - the more handmade or worn-looking, the better. Let the bigger pieces of furniture take the neutral colours, choosing sofas and chairs in soft tones and textured upholstery,' agree Moore and Packard.
'Pick your accent colours and use these on accessories such as cushions, throws, rugs, and lighting. Then, mix some patterns through the cushions, rug and lampshades, but nothing too modern. Global prints work nicely - such as a Persian rug - next to a geometric pattern. Floral patterns are great when used sparingly, but you don't want anything too quaint.'
Make a feature of the bathroom
'Many people imagine the huge tubs when they think of the bathrooms at Farmhouse, but if you don't have room for a freestanding bath there are many ways to make a feature of that space,' says Moore.
'We keep the colour palette neutral and natural. In the Piglet bathrooms, for example, the floor is a warm grey concrete, the walls are rustic timber, and then we use pops of colour with brick red and dark green in the tiling and finishes.
'Bathrooms don't tend to be the biggest rooms, so we opened ours up with large mirrors positioned against the wall. A big, distressed, window-style mirror will make the space look much larger and feel elevated.
'To further lift the space, create a feature around how you store bath linen. A rustic ladder lent against a wall can be styled with towels on it, or we use Soho Home drinks trolleys to display them, as well as bath products and somewhere to put a glass of wine, too.
'Finally, tiles are a good way of creating a feature - my advice would be to use more expensive tiles, and less of them. A small splashback of handcrafted tiles can bring in some different colours to the scheme. Rule number one is that they have to look handmade. It needs a crackle, an unfinished texture. Pattern-wise, we often use geometric in a bathroom because floral would be too cliche. Your tiles should pull out some of the accent colours across the overall scheme and the entire look shouldn't be too ornate or with flourishes - think rustic, handmade, and as if it's worn in.'
Rustic finishing touches
'The right flowers add colour and charm to a room. At Farmhouse, we prefer pretty, loose arrangements that look like they've come straight from the garden,' says Murray.
'Vases such as glass bottles or old cans can be found anywhere - from antiques shops to car boot sales. Filling your home with freshly cut flowers can seem like a luxury, but just a few well-chosen blooms can enliven and transform a space. We prefer simple, laid-back displays rather than anything too fussy.'
Pick out furniture designed for and inspired by Soho Farmhouse
'This is an easy one, but we have pieces that were either created especially for the Farm, or are heavily inspired by it,' says Murray.
'We have lots of clients using the Soho Home interior design service who ask for the Soho Farmhouse look, and the first thing we do is take them through the appropriate products. The Foxcote bed, with its traditional sleigh shape and Chesterfield-style headboard, can be found in the bedrooms at the House, as can the Murcott jute rug.
'For accessories, the textured Landry cushion is an easy addition to your sofa, and the Reade wall lights are lovely above two bedside tables.'