In 2016 we talked to former Soho House Design Director Vicky Charles about her career and her role in developing Soho Home.

'I’ve worked for Soho House for almost 20 years. I’d just finished university and was waiting tables in Café Boheme and Babington House had just opened. I moved to London, worked on film festivals and events, then moved to New York and opened Soho House New York. I’ve been running design for about 8 to 10 years.'

'The first design project I worked on solely was the Soho Beach House Miami bedrooms. We collaborated with Martin Brudnizki on the public spaces - James [Waterworth, head of creative] worked for Martin at the time in our office in New York and we did the bedrooms and public spaces together. So that was the first one, and Soho House West Hollywood. Waldo [Fernandez] was the initial designer who started it and I finished it. I've worked on all the American Houses.'

'Every project has different deadlines and deliverables so you focus on one at a time, you get absorbed in that, then you move on. We have 86 people in design and development and I spend time with them all. The three biggest projects we’re working on are Soho House Barcelona which is opening very soon, we’re renovating the Berlin apartment for September and in the US we’re starting to look at Cecconi’s in Brooklyn - that’s a big one. And we’re doing a lot of private homes which is what more of my time is spent on.'

'Private homes are incredibly different. The clients come to us because they want the Soho House aesthetic but you have to make it right for that family or whoever lives there in their space, so it’s not a cookie cutter thing. Someone’s home is so much more personal. There’s the obvious stuff of not worrying about mini bars, but there's also a different level of comfort – it’s fascinating. Most of the homes we’ve worked on have been total gut renovations - everything from coat hangers to pots and pans, curtains, paint colours and bathroom tiles. Of course there’s personal bits here and there and that’s important because it makes the home theirs.'

'Each project always starts with the building or the space. Whether it’s a new build or a building that we’re renovating, a lot of time is spent looking at the light and the finishes. We document things that are already there so we get to know the bones of the building. Then you’re thinking about who’s using the space. If it’s a family, you want as much information from them as possible about their lifestyle and how they want it to feel when it’s finished. If it’s a club or a restaurant you’re still thinking about the customer, what kind of experience you want them to have. Are they going to be using it all day, if it’s a member, is it comfortable? If it’s a restaurant, what kind of food is it, is it more of a café or a fine dining experience?'

'From there we use mood boards to get the initial look and feel. Then we focus on the finishes and that’s done digitally. We use Pinterest, a lot of Tumblr blogs and we have a big image bank that we trawl through. With Berlin we’ve been looking at fabrics for inspiration, a lot of 1970s colours. In Ludlow we found some amazing 1940s Chinese deco rugs and those colours were really the inspiration for one of the rooms. It can come from anywhere and then you start to build what that is with mood boards, to really plan the room.'

'I think [the Soho House style] is evolving currently. We’ve always mixed ‘the grit and the glamour’, worn but comfortable, like velvet and brick - that’s kind of our look. But we’ve just done two properties – Ludlow and Malibu - where the buildings have been so different to what we’ve done before that we’ve had to really look at the design and do something a bit different. I work with really young talented designers who are always trying to push out the box and do something a bit different which is inspiring. Because nobody wants to do the same thing all the time. But there is that recognisable ‘home from home’ feel whichever House you’re in, I think it’s because the same people have been doing it for 20 years, so subconsciously we’re all doing it together. And Nick of course, who’s using it, who’s the client.'

Murcott Jute Rug

‘I love the texture, the squares are really lovely. You could layer other rugs on top, such as vintage kilims, which is something we do at Soho Farmhouse. It’s also really practical so it’s ideal for any space.’

Spoon Armchair

'We affectionately called this chair the Spoon because of the shape, which was inspired by one I found in a vintage flea market years ago when I was working on the restaurant at Dean St Townhouse. It’s the ideal chair for a bedroom because it’s compact and the colour pops against a dark wall.'

Portobello Throw

‘It’s so luxurious, soft and snuggly – perfect in the bedroom or on your sofa, you always need it first thing in the morning and late at night. It’s also ideal for taking on a long-haul flight - when you travel, you want it in your bag.’

Burleigh ceramics

‘I went to the factory and designed this collection with the team. It’s a twist on their traditional patterns; super chic simplicity in black and white.’

'My own home is completely different to work, although maybe subconsciously a bit of 'work style' bleeds in. It’s very hard to hone in on what you like because working in design I love so many different looks and when I come home I just want to look at a white wall! I’m lucky because my husband’s really creative as well and it’s our family home, so he drives a lot of it.'

'We live in New York - we have an apartment in the city during the week and we just built a house in upstate New York. We bought an old 1860s farmhouse which we’ve totally gut renovated and we did a very Japanese style of burning the wood so it’s black and modern with big windows – very different to anything I do at Soho House. But we are at a standstill with decorating because I haven’t got the energy! I quite like white walls, mattresses on the floor and white linen and that’s it. It’s totally minimalist.'

'I’m constantly influenced by trends. We got inspiration from the latest Gucci campaign – some of it bled into Ludlow and some of it’s bleeding into Berlin. There’s a whole thing right now about slightly ‘off’ colours like lime green, peach and teal, playing with colours that don’t really work but kind of do, like reds and greens. Using colour is the best thing about my job. It starts with finding the right combination of colours. If I had my way in my house I’d have it so bright but my husband would leave! And I’d constantly be redoing it.'

Soho House New York

Visit Vicky's home town with a stay at Soho House New York