Family Inspirations With Sophie Conran

For Sophie Conran, interior design and cooking are far from just a hobby, they are a way of life. With parents that have made their names in the world of food and interiors, it’s little wonder that these two things play such a big part of Sophie Conran’s day-to-day life too.

Growing up, Sophie would spend time with her Dad, Terence, in his design studio and her mum, Caroline, in her kitchen and now as a mum and business woman herself she has turned her own passion for cooking and home interiors into her work with her eponymous homeware brand

This means that a typical working day for Sophie will consist of having breakfast with her husband and children, before driving to work for a 10am start. Meeting with her team to go through their to-do lists for the day is her first task and Sophie says that she loves the fact that every day is different. “There are always various product launches to plan, licensee partners to meet with, recipes to trial, blog posts to write. The day always go by so quickly, with so much going on.”

Despite the hectic schedule, an important part of the day for Sophie and her team is lunchtime, when they all take a break together and catch up on non-work related things.

Work over and there’s often time for socialising in the evenings too. “During the week we go out quite a bit,” Sophie comments.  “There are so many exciting and diverse restaurants to go to in London, but we also cook at home too, for friends and family. My two ‘children’ (who are 18 and 21!) are living at home at the moment too and they also love cooking and entertaining.”

The weekends are just as busy, although Sophie’s focus shifts from her business to renovating the family’s house in the country. “It’s a huge project which will probably take the rest of my life!”, she laughs. “There is always so much to do so we are kept busy either in the house or in the garden, but just being there and escaping from the city is really therapeutic.”

“Quite often the whole family will come down for the weekend and we go on long walks, cook lunches and dinners and then settle in by the fire.”

Sophie draws a great deal of inspiration from her mum when making her house into a home. She says: “My mum is very ethereal and inspirational in the way she applies technique and colour. My own home is comfortable, uplifting and homely. My kitchen has bold pink walls, with open shelving packed with all my kitchen tools.

“My bedroom and home office have a softer palette of pastels that’s very calming, while my sitting room has lots of red and orange to create energy. I like to use colour to create the atmosphere most appropriate for the use of the room.”

Growing up in a very busy household means that Sophie takes great joy from entertaining regularly at home and is used to having lots of people around. “It’s great to have get-togethers and spend time with friends and family. I love cooking and I also enjoy decorating the table and making beautiful floral centrepieces. I think good food is important, but it shouldn’t take over the evening. Pies are perfect for this! They are easy as you cook them before-hand. Love is the most important ingredient!”

“I’m a keen cook and my favourite dish changes with the seasons. At the moment I am cooking lots with beans and pulses and root vegetables. They are my current favourites.”

With such a love of entertaining and cooking, it’s perhaps unsurprising that Sophie’s favourite room in her home is the kitchen. “It is the heart of our home and is a very creative space. I spend most of my time in the kitchen, whether it be cooking, having friends over for coffee, eating with the family or just relaxing and reading a book.”

When it comes to complete downtime though, Sophie admits she likes nothing better than enjoying a quiet night in with her husband, and indulging in a hot bath with delicious bath oils and candles. “I love sitting by the fire in a pair of cashmere tracksuit bottoms, hand-knitted socks and a big jumper!”

Article written by Kelly Lavender taken from January 2014 issue of Heart Home magazine.