Warehouse living is a firm favourite of RSG customers and so we were delighted when the founder and editor of Warehouse Home, Sophie Bush, agreed to take 10 mins out to talk to us all about her business, home and favourite RSG pieces!
Sophie started the successful Warehouse Home media brand after moving into her very own warehouse home. Inspired by warehouse interiors and spotting a gap in the market, Sophie now publishes a bi-annual magazine, Warehouse Home, that was an instant hit with her customers and readers and what’s more the digital editions have already been enjoyed in over 100 countries worldwide. Industrial warehouse style conversions are on the rise, so we found it really interesting to hear what it’s like living in such a desirable setting which is jam-packed full of character…
1. Let’s start at the beginning, what inspired you to start your successful website and blog mywarehousehome.com?
In 2012, I bought my home in a warehouse conversion in East London. Through the process of searching for furniture, lighting and decorative accessories to suit its original features – exposed brickwork, columns, loading bay doors – I realised that the industrial aesthetic was absolutely everywhere. Hotels, restaurants and bars are all channelling the industrial look – and a large number of homeware retailers were catering to it too. I had worked in magazines for years and launched two successful ventures for a leading magazine publisher. But I left my job in 2014, keen to launch a business of my own and knowing I’d spotted a gap in the market.
2. What is it about warehouse style that you adore so much?
Industrial conversions are filled with grit and character. There is an authenticity and originality to such properties and their features and a real sense of heritage. These are not cookie-cutter homes. Every property is unique.
3. You publish a bi-annual magazine, Warehouse Home, what motivated you to start the magazine and how did you identify this gap in the market?
I launched the business with a 5-year plan and a print & digital magazine was always at its heart. Having spotted the widespread enthusiasm for the New York style ‘loft living’ lifestyle and aesthetic, I had also noted that there was no premium media brand catering for the look and serving as a single point of reference and inspiration. Launching the blog first enabled us to refine our understanding of the market and audience before publishing the debut issue of Warehouse Home magazine in November 2014. Since launch, we’ve now published five issues of Warehouse Home – and the digital editions have already been enjoyed in over sixty countries worldwide.
4. Tell us about your home office, how is it styled and how do you organise it so that your business works as effectively as possible?
The study is the one room in my home with very few original warehouse features. But it demonstrates that vintage and industrial designs really work in any setting. I work from a large oak table, which provides plenty of space to spread out page proofs and clippings. The lamp is a classic Lampe Gras N°207 from DCW éditions. The library trolley, originally from the University of London library, was sourced from Retrouvius and holds all of my reference books.
5. Is there anything in your home that you would like to change or renovate in the future?
The bathroom is top of my agenda. I have plans for a monochromatic sanctuary with a roll top bath and industrial light fixtures. But I would have to draw myself away from Warehouse Home long enough to manage the project!
6. If someone wants to incorporate industrial style into their home, what would be your top tips?
There are so many different ways to interpret ‘industrial style’: you might opt for a raw industrial aesthetic characterised by concrete, plywood and bare metals; or you might choose a vintage look punctuated by classic factory designs sourced from vintage and salvage shops; alternatively, you might select a modern look that incorporates industrial design classics from brands like Tolix and Lampe Gras. The great thing about channelling an ‘industrial style’ is that you can combine raw, vintage and contemporary elements. If you are lucky enough to live in an industrial conversion with features like exposed brick, these elements can take a bold scheme and one or two heavy-duty designs will really enhance the unique character of the building. But contemporary apartments and country houses can easily accommodate industrial touches too – start with smaller items, such as light fixtures and decorative accessories, to build your confidence.
7. Your book, Warehouse Home, is set to be released on the 4th of May this year. Tell us a little about it?
We’re delighted to be publishing the debut Warehouse Home book with Thames & Hudson. And it’s a really beautiful book. We’ve scoured the globe for the most exceptional homes in former mills, factories, tanneries and, of course, warehouses. It is the ultimate resource for everything from how best to preserve and complement original architectural features to style ideas for adapting vintage and reclaimed pieces for modern living. The book has a practical structure, looking at how to make the most of a space while retaining its authentic features, such as exposed brickwork, concrete floors and mezzanines, and showcasing real homes to demonstrate how successful this can be. A ‘Decorative Details’ section provides tips on how to recreate the warehouse aesthetic in any home, with repurposed pallets, bricks and breeze blocks, galvanised piping and more.
8. Name three interior designers that you love and explain why?
There are three individuals featured in the Warehouse Home book whose work I really admire. Mark Lewis has transformed a former upholstery factory in London’s Shoreditch into an incredible home characterised by raw concrete ceilings, reclaimed timber and vintage industrial style fixtures. The kitchen includes a beautifully conceived traditional walk-in pantry lined in white subway tiles – I would love to recreate this in my own home if I could somehow find the space! The old lift transformed into a walk-in closet is an amazing feature too! Also in London, is a project by Mark Rochester in a former print works. Mark is strictly speaking a salvage expert, but this project demonstrates his talent for sourcing and placing original furniture and lighting to suit an industrial scheme. Finally, the Warehouse Home book also includes a project in New York, a ‘gentleman’s loft’, by interior designer Brad Krefman, which features custom-made industrial-style sliding doors as part of a sophisticated scheme that really complements the heritage of the building.
9. What exciting things are in store for Warehouse Home in 2017?
We had so many requests to make print copies of Warehouse Home magazine even more widely available (it has always been distributed free of charge directly to high-end warehouse conversions), that we have started to sign up select independent retailers to sell the magazine. We will also be launching an online subscription service. Then, of course, there’s the release of the Warehouse Home book in May – there will be various exciting events to coincide with that. And we have a few other things in the pipeline, about which we’ll keep you updated!
10. Finally, name 3 RSG products that you love!
It’s so difficult to select just three, but these are current favourites:
This bedside cabinet is practical yet stylish and an easy way to inject a little industrial style into a bedroom, the galvanised piping lamps are full of character and the smoked glass bulbs are stunning!
Quick Fire Questions
1.I am happiest when…I’m with loved ones.
2. My favourite magazine is… Warehouse Home of course! I’m hugely proud of what we’ve achieved in just 2 years.
3. My dream holiday would be… I’ve always wanted to go to Antarctica.
4. My ideal day would be spent…. with family on a long walk ending in a pub lunch. And I would probably squeeze in some work – because I genuinely love what I do!
5. My personal motto is… borrowed from Walt Disney: “Whatever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it, they will want to come back and see you do it again, and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.”
6. My guilty pleasure is… Time off!
7. The last film I saw was… Live By Night – look out for the amazing warehouses in the opening scenes!
8. My favourite book is… a first edition my husband found for me when we first met.
9. In five years’ time, I want to be… Discussing the continued success of Warehouse Home!
10. The three things I can’t live without are… Day-to-day sadly it’s three apple products: my MacBook, iPad and iPhone. I haven’t found a way to publish magazines and books without them yet!
Fans of Warehouse Home who particularly want to enjoy the magazine in print are now able to order every issue published to date and they can pre-order warehouse home issue six which will be published in June. For more information visit My Warehouse Home.