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The Alternative Blog

Interior designer, journalist, and television star – Sophie Robinson

Sophie Robinson is an interior designer, journalist, and television star with over 25 years of experience and has become a leading authority on colour. Her mission is to inspire millions of people to have the confidence to create vibrant, individual homes. Sophie’s latest venture is her online interior design school and colour workshops, where she helps people discover their own sense of style and put an individual stamp on their homes.

Sophie is shaking up the interior design world with her vibrant and unique style. Through her many brand collaborations, social media presence, and work with retailers and homeowners, she is showing us that all things beige and boring can be banished for good. With a focus on creating beautiful, liveable spaces that reflect the personality of each client, Sophie has established herself as one of the foremost authorities on interior design.

We asked her all about what drove the choices for her floors, where she finds inspiration, and how to pull together a stylish scheme.

Sophie Robinson at home – the landing with Alternative’s Seagrass Herringbone Carpet. Photo by Alun Callender

Alternative Q&A’s

Describe your country home and who lives with you

We live in a late Victorian farmhouse with my husband Tom and son Arthur. Our house started life as two small farm workers cottages. The previous owners extended it in the 80’s so it’s a little bit of a mish mash but as my husband is a builder, we are slowly making improvements to it. It’s a typical Sussex tile hung exterior, low ceilings and small windows but it’s cute and cosy. However, our ultimate dream is to add a lovey glassy extension at the back.

How would you describe your unique style?

I’m a maximalist at heart and love beautiful things, so my home is a riot of patterned textiles, artworks, and objects I’ve collected. My colour palette is bold and saturated, so it delivers plenty of punch! I’ve found that through sticking with my palette of core bright colours, all the eclectic elements in my home sit together harmoniously.

Sophie Robinson at home – kids bedroom room with Alternative’s Margo Selby Stripe Frolic Pegwell Carpet. Photo by Alun Callender

Where do you find your colour and design inspiration?

Everywhere. I’m often inspired by new textile or wallpaper ranges that come out. I have a box where I squirrel away my favourite designs, for use on future projects. I also love to look at other interior designers work on Instagram both here in the UK but also in the states. Fashion and textiles are also another great place to look, especially for inspiring colour palette inspirations.

Fabric and wallpaper by British designer Charlotte Gaisford

How do you design a room scheme?

I always begin by asking how you want to feel in a space. This will then direct me to the type of colours, furnishings, furniture and styling I will put together that supports this feeling. I think we get too focused on how we think a room should look, which is of course important but never the place to start.

What advice would you give when choosing a colourful and/or patterned carpet?

First, I’d congratulate them. Going for a bold colour and pattern on the floor can be a wonderful way to make a strong statement in a room, and too often the floor is overlooked. Signature patterns usually work well in a room where you want to create impact. Busy patterns will create energy and intrigue. A smart stripe will draw the eye, up the stairs for example, for a striking effect, or help a small room look longer. Geometric patterns go particularly well with floral wallpapers, I love the juxtaposition of something flowing and organic next to a tight respective pattern, it creates great friction.

Sophie Robinson at home – the landing with Alternative’s Seagrass Herringbone Carpet. Photo by AlunCallender

You have used Alternative Flooring throughout your home, what first attracted you to the brand?

Yes, I have! I’ve been using them for years, and they are my go-too for patterned carpets. I love the wide selection, gorgeous colour palettes and designer collaborations. I have opted for the Seagrass Herringbone Carpet as my fitted flooring throughout my upstairs floor because it takes rugs really well, and I love to have a different pattern in each room.

Sophie Robinson at home – the guestroom with Alternative’s Seagrass Herringbone Carpet. Photo by AlunCallender

What is your favourite room in your house and why?

It changes all the time but currently, my conservatory. I absolutely hated it when we bought the house. It’s UVPC plastic and has been used as my husband’s tool shed for the past 5 years. But we gave it a makeover before Christmas, and I just cannot believe the transformation. After emptying it of tools and bikes we simply painted it and wow what a transformation. We hosted Christmas dinner in there and I had a girls get together last weekend. It’s a wonderful entertaining space.

What is the next project for your home?

The garden. We have a big space and it’s felt overwhelming to tackle so we just do a bit at a time. Tom built a great tree house for Arthur in lockdown, which is magical. However, I want to create some terraced areas around the outside of the house. We have the most beautiful view and I’d love to have a seating area where we can sit back and enjoy it.

Sophie Robinson at home – the office with Alternative’s Margo Selby Ribbon in Magenta Rug. Photo by Alun Callender

What is the next big thing for interiors?

I think we will continue to feel more confident about expressing our own unique identities through our interiors. Now more than ever our homes are our sanctuary, the place where we get to feel our best, and we no longer view them merely as a property investment. Remember all those blank beige walls on zoom calls over the past couple of years. Well, they’re a thing of the past! We will continue to express ourselves with colour and pattern and the maximalist trend is gathering apace. The futures bright, the futures bold!

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The Edit - home style by Alternative