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Soho Look: What it Is & How to Achieve it in Your Living Room

by Ann Ferguson

If you've heard of the Soho House, then you might have some idea about the "Soho" look everyone is raving about. But even if you haven't heard of it, you won't be able to help yourself from exploring the unique vibes this style brings to your home.

The Soho look originated in the Soho House, a private member-only club aimed at those in the arts, politics, and media. And what makes the club unique is it's eclectic and cozy aesthetic, juxtaposing contemporary art with high-end design. But you don't have to be a member of this exclusive club to get the look for your home!

So, how can you achieve this look in your living room? Follow our checklist!

Incorporate Local History & Art

Living room with lots of local art

The critical aspect of every Soho House is the inspiration each one grabs from the local culture and history. Almost every "House" is in a historic building, which they then incorporate into the overall design style. This way, they embrace the local history and story of each house.

As for your home, if you live in a historic district or neighborhood, you have a leg up on getting started. But if you don't, it's no problem. Instead, research your home, neighborhood, or what makes your city unique and use it as a foundation for your design. Some ways you can do that include:

  • Incorporating local flora and fauna into your wallpaper.
  • Selecting vintage pieces from the era when your city was first established.
  • Hunt for artwork made by local artists or commission some for unique pieces.
  • Work Georgian, Victorian, or Edwardian styles into your design (pick the one that speaks to you!)

Color Palette

Woman looking at different color palettes

When it comes to the Soho look, choosing the right colors is essential. The general rule is to get inspiration from the items and places around you, like finding a shade of blue in a local flower and using it as part of your color scheme. But remember to restrain your color scheme and avoid bright colors.

Look for heritage tones, which draw on palettes from the past, or comfy earth tones like green, grey, and brown to create a comfortable and relaxing space. You can also use toned-down jewel colors like blue or red to add a dash of pizzazz. Overall, find a color you love and roll with it because the important thing is whether you're happy with the colors.

Layers & Textures

Another aspect Soho House utilizes in their clubhouses that you should recreate is the high saturation of layers, patterns, and textures. Each house mixes different textures, materials, and colors, using a maximalist approach to create a sense of comfort.

Try to overlap patterns in your living room or pair multiple fabric types. You can even combine design styles — it's all about freedom of expression. So, if you want fuzzy throw pillows and knitted throws, go for it!

Classic Meets Contemporary

Living room with classic and contemporary furniture

The main characteristic of any Soho House is how it combines traditional furniture and vintage pieces with custom, contemporary pieces. The Houses often draw from the 1920s through the 1930s with velvet armchairs and vintage mirrors, interspersing those with modern art splashes. So, you'll want to look for vintage furniture that speaks to you and embodies the style you want, along with custom pieces.

Other ways to incorporate this look include:

  • Use brass candelabras and candle sticks to create a luxurious style.
  • Accessorize with books, especially old books, and place them strategically in your design.
  • Paint bare wood walls in warm or muted colors to accent your vintage pieces with a modern feel.
  • Add patterned wallpaper of vintage furniture's time to complete the Old World vibes.

Pro Tip: Make a statement with a big rug to elevate the room, infuse patterns, add coziness, and create a vibrant focal point that highlights your furniture.

Rich Fabrics & Durable Materials

Living room with rich fabrics and durable materials

As you look for furniture pieces to complete your living room Soho style, you'll need to find the right balance of luxury and comfort. And that comes from selecting rich, durable fabrics like cotton, leather, velvet, and heavy linen as well as durable materials like dark hardwoods (oak, walnut, mahogany, etc.) and brass.

Velvet is especially beneficial because it provides plush seating, anchors your space, and is durable enough to withstand daily wear and tear, so it lasts a long time. But don't think you're only limited to velvet — choose what works for your home!

Pro Tip: Mix up your textures with parquet flooring or exposed wood & make a statement!

Lighting

Last but certainly not least is the lighting. You can set the mood and tell your story with the proper lighting. Naturally, there are several ways you can do this; you can find clean, modern pieces for a burst of contemporary design or go more traditional with antique shades and bases. You can also curate a mixture of minimalist lighting and ornate pieces while placing table lamps around your space for a cozy feel.

Once you choose the fixtures, you can go further by selecting the suitable bulbs. For instance, halogen bulbs cast a warm, amber hue that is key for creating a cozy living room. But vintage LED bulbs offer that industrial look that can give your living room some edge. No matter what, choose what feels right to you.

Pro Tip: Create more mood lighting by swapping your traditional switches with dimmers.

Get Your Soho On

Soho living room with huge art fixture

Now that you know more about the Soho look, it's time to start redecorating your living room! So, dig into your local history and art and become inspired! And don't forget to check out your local Westco Home Furnishings to balance your space with traditional and contemporary living room furniture.

If you have any questions, give us a call or stop by! We'll help you find what you need to create a cozy living room you can't wait to relax in!