A colourful home tour with visual designer, Sophie Elinor!
Sophie's colourful home aesthetic perfectly reflects her artistic style. It is colourful, joyful, filled with dopamine-inducing colours and textures. There are one-of-a-kind pieces adorning every room, both her own creations and carefully curated pieces by other makers. It is such a celebration of how your home should really be a reflection of what makes you happy. We can't help but smile when looking at her home!
We are super lucky to have Sophie as part of the team here at Mustard bringing her signature splash of colour and creativity to any of our projects! Over the years we have seen peeks into Sophie’s home, whether in the background of a zoom call or through photos she has shown us, and we knew that it was the ultimate reflection of her skills and artistry.
Recently, Sophie’s home was featured on Apartment Therapy (because they recognised how awesome it was too!) and we thought that it was too good not to share here! It was the perfect opportunity to ask Soph some questions about her home, colour, designing… and her favourite locker, because that’s the ultimate question to ask, of course!
Hey Sophie! Tell us all about your amazing home.
My home is super colourful, brimming with art and plants, and overall pretty joyful, I’d say!
It’s especially sentimental to me because it used to belong to my Nan, Heather. She was a fiercely independent and dazzling woman who worked as a dressmaker, and she single-handedly raised my Mum and aunty here. She always made sure that her house was a welcoming space for cousins twice removed and friends of friends, and I think you can still feel that warmth.
Even before my Nan lived there, the house had a long history. It’s a 100+ years old miner’s cottage, so it has a lot of wonky personality in its old bones.
I bought the house off my Mum about five years ago, and since then I’ve been very slowly doing the place up. It’s been really rewarding to discover and highlight things like the tallowwood floorboards, and the pops of coloured glass throughout.
‘I just love how vibrant tones automatically bring with them a sense of celebration’
One thing I’ve worked really hard at is pulling joy to the surface. Colour has always been important to me, and more is more, so the collective aesthetic is quite bold! I just love how vibrant tones automatically bring with them a sense of celebration, and balancing that with the history of the house feels really special.
Your house is such a beautiful burst of colour — where do you draw your inspiration from?
I think first and foremost it comes from family. I was raised in such a creative, colourful environment. My Mum’s an art teacher and my Dad’s an industrial arts teacher, and they constantly have multiple projects on the go. As a result, my brothers and I were also just always making things; tinkering in the shed or making a mess with paints. It’s a source of pride, an expression of yourself and a gesture of love to make something by hand. That’s just how it is.
'Colour feels like home’.
Colour has forever been baked into that, too. Our walls were always covered in our own creations, and in the art of friends and family. If any item of clothing was left out for too long, Mum would embellish it with brightly coloured puff paints. Colour feels like home.
Since I was a kid, I’ve kind of emotionally understood why colours made me feel good, but the further into my design career I get, the more I realise this is backed up by loads of science. There’s a lot of psychology in it, and so much of our moods and outlooks and confidence can be shaped by colour. It’s really exciting to explore.
What is your favourite thing about your home (you don’t have to pick just one!)
If we’re talking about rooms, my favourite place to be (and the space I spend most of my time in) is my small sunroom home office at the front of the house. It gets the most beautiful morning light, and my plants grow wild in there. My desk sits underneath a big bank of louvre windows, looking out onto my cottage garden and the street below. It’s full of bright, vibrant artwork, and the combination of light, greenery and colour always makes me feel creatively stimulated. When my Nan lived here, this was the room where she did all of her dressmaking, so sometimes it feels like that generational, feminine creativity is baked into the walls.
If we’re talking about specific objects, I think it’s a three-way tie between my giant pencil, my disco eggs, and my wacky inflatable tube men retractable door mural! They’re all very silly things I’ve made myself, which add big dollops of whimsy.
Linen and Petal Cushion, Kip&Co | Domed lamp, Litfad | Wall artwork, created by Sophie
What was your starting point and how did your home get to the awesome place it is today?
The very first thing I bought for the house, with money I’d earnt from designing, was a rainbow pompom rug I’d been ogling on Etsy for months, and I think that definitely set the tone!
‘Sometimes it takes a while to see what’s in front of us’.
I was much more conservative with colour when I was in my early twenties — there was a lot of all-white everything going on — but that rug was a revelation. Every time I looked at it, it made me happy. It felt quite momentous to realise that I could cultivate those feelings by being more considered with my surroundings. Looking back, it also seems ridiculously obvious, but sometimes it takes a while to see what’s in front of us.
I guess that’s one nice aspect about going slowly, too. You have a lot of time to soak an idea in, and see how it fits. It’s probably taken me a good ten years (I rented it before I bought it) to get the place to where it is right now, and I still have so many grand plans I want to see through. That’s the thing with old houses, I’m learning — there’s always so much to fix up! Seeing that progress gives me motivation to keep chipping away.
Each piece seems so carefully chosen or designed, colourful and curated! How do you decide which pieces make the cut?
I am a notoriously slow decision maker, and I will often spend weeks mulling over pieces. Some things need to be practical and some can be purely for beauty. It’s a bonus if there’s a special story attached, and of course colour makes me swoon.
I try to be really thoughtful with what I bring into my home, so a lot of the furnishings, décor and artwork is handmade by family, friends, and artists I love. Those sorts of things make the cut easily, because I know I’ll treasure them forever. My Dad has made some incredibly special pieces for me over the years. He built my bathroom vanity from rosewood that belonged to his Dad, who I never got to meet; he surprised me with a bench made from pieces of my childhood cubby house; and had me absolutely sobbing with a mirror he created from an old timber bedframe that has the actual imprints of his grandparents in it.
I’ve painted a few murals on the walls with my Mum, and that’s a real thrill. Once upon a time that behaviour would’ve got her in trouble! Mark-making like that can feel like a big commitment, but I have to remind myself that it’s just paint.
The typographer in me loves decorating with type, so the house is peppered with large-scale lettering I’ve created for various design projects and exhibitions.
For big purchases like couches, or even with things like bedding or artwork, if I’m struggling to figure out whether it’ll fit with the rest of the house, I will bust out some design skills and literally photoshop it into the room. That’s my most failsafe method, and it hasn’t let me down yet!
‘I can never go past a good pop of pink!’
What’s your desert island locker (the locker you would choose to keep if you could only choose one!)
It’s got to be The Shorty in Berry. It was already my favourite, but if I’m on a desert island, I want the brightest, most visible colour there is! She’s compact and versatile and easy to move around, but I reckon she’s also gonna be the one to grab the attention of a passing rescue vessel. I can never go past a good pop of pink!
Sophie’s home tour has definitely got us thinking about how we can ‘Be More Sophie’ when it comes to doing what makes us happy in our homes rather than keeping it neutral because that’s what feels most ‘safe’. A locker is always a great place to start when it comes to adding a pop of colour, and you can always start small with The Shorty before working your way up to a more statement piece like The Twinny!
If you want to see more of Sophie’s work, you can check our her website (+ even pick up a piece of her cool type of your own!)