Podcast, Ep. 246: How to Live in Color with Sophie Robinson

Designer Sophie Robinson on the How to Decorate Podcast

Designer Sophie Robinson

We are beyond excited to have UK-based stylist and interior designer Sophie Robinson on the show! Sophie has over 20 years of experience working across TV and magazines. She hosts her own show, Dream Homemakeovers with Sophie Robinson, where she transforms homes with her keen eye for paint, patterns, and furnishings. Sophie also judged the best emerging design talent on BBC Two’s The Great Interior Design Challenge. Throughout her blog, online courses, and TV shows you’ll find that Sophie’s secret sauce is her use of color (or “colour” if you’re in the UK). She’s on a mission to liberate us all from the beige and boring! Sophie’s personality is as colorful as her work, and we loved talking to her about her process and the psychology behind it. We’ll also dive deep into her tips and tricks for how to LIVE IN COLOR!

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • How Sophie knew at a young age she wanted to be a designer and how she grew to love color.
  • When and where did Sophie officially begin her career?
  • Sophie dives into the psychology and importance of color.
  • How can you make color choices feel cohesive?
  • How our emotional connections to seasons can play into our color choices.
  • Are we allowed to have more than one “season” in our home design?
  • How do you find the values and undertones of colors?
  • Sophie describes how to rate colors as “soft” and “hard.”
  • Why Sophie recommends evaluating your wardrobe and environment to discover your color palette.
  • What is the best way to gather and arrange a mood board?
  • Why it’s important to have physical swatches even with the ease of digital services.
  • What is the biggest color mistake Sophie has ever made?
  • How does Sophie describe the very popular minimalist style?
  • Sophie helps Taryn pick some colors for her dining room in The Schwartz House.

Decorating Dilemma

Hello ladies and fabulous guest! Thank you for answering my previous questions! It was so fun and helpful to hear it discussed on the podcast. I’m back with more dilemmas 🙂

My house was built in the late 70’s. You walk in the front door to a large entryway, and if you turn left, you walk down two steps into the sunken living room. I have a navy-blue velvet sofa on the way to replace the sofa in the photo, and I would like two matching chairs to replace the two next to each other in the living room.

My vision is an eclectic mix of modern and traditional, I love maximalist style and mixing color and pattern.

 Here are my questions:

  1. What would you suggest for wall treatments/windows/moldings? I’d like to get this figured out before I choose curtains and wall colors.
  2. How do I paint the walls in these rooms where there isn’t a break with closed casings?
  3. Can I do wallpaper on walls that have texture or do the walls have to be flat (mine all have texture)?
  4. Should I paint the stone on the fireplace? If so, what color?

Any other thoughts would be so welcome! Thank you very much!!

Stacey

Hi Stacey,

You have great proportions and a generously sized living room, and the layout is not complicated so that’s great! The big windows are lovely, and I can see the treetops and lots of gorgeous natural light. I don’t think this home is lacking, personally. You’ve got good bones! We might have some cultural differences on this, but I don’t think you need to add any moldings. Here in the UK, we are into honoring the integrity of the architecture, and when I hear the word “moldings” it’s quite different than what you may think in terms of just adding texture to the walls. That said, my rule of thumb is never to put period moldings into a home that is older than your house. So for instance in your 1970s house, I wouldn’t put Victorian, Georgian, etc. In terms of window treatments, you want to keep this light and openness, so I would stick to ones that are minimal. I think Roman shades would look great or you could have curtains, but just keep them very tailored. I am afraid I can’t tell you what color to paint your walls! After listening to this podcast you know you have some work to do in terms of figuring out your color choices. You can mix patterns and plains as long as there is a common thread throughout. In open-plan spaces like this, people tend to stay neutral throughout as to not overwhelm, but I think you can do really cool things with paint. I would keep the ceiling one color throughout; it doesn’t have to stay white but I would keep it light. I think using the 90-degree turn of the walls is a perfect natural breakpoint to change colors; you don’t need an architrave or molding to do it. It all depends on what tonal family you choose in order to choose actual colors. You could also use cabinet doors as an opportunity to paint.

Please let us know which color palette you choose, Stacey. Send pictures!

Mentioned in This Episode:

Please send in your questions so we can answer them on our next episode! And of course, subscribe to the podcast in Apple Podcasts so you never miss an episode. You can always check back here to see new episodes, but if you subscribe, it’ll automatically download to your phone.

Happy Decorating!

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Abbey Nolte

Abbey is a homegrown Georgia peach who loves a fresh take on Southern design. When she’s not sharing her best tips to help you unleash your inner decorator, you can find her working behind the scenes of the How to Decorate blog and podcast.

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  1. Reply

    Stephanie Hsiang

    March 30, 2022

    So delighted to hear from Sophie Robinson on your podcast! I’m a huge Sophie fan. I feel like we’re friends, she just hasn’t met me yet. Ha! Such great tips on color all around.

    • Reply

      Mallory Thomas

      April 1, 2022

      Hi Stephanie,

      We’re so glad you liked this episode! Thanks for listening.

      Best,
      Mallory

  2. Reply

    JENNETTE

    March 29, 2022

    Loved this episode! I am a huge fan of Sophie Robinson, and this episode gave tons of good tips. Can’t wait till her new show hits the states!

    • Reply

      Mallory Thomas

      April 1, 2022

      Hi Jennette,

      So glad you liked it! We’re looking forward to watching her new show too.

      Best,
      Mallory

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