The first issue of Warehouse Home launched only a few months ago and has already proven to be a great success. We chatted with founder and editor Sophie Bush to find out what inspired her to start a publication focused entirely on warehouse living. Throughout the interview we've included a selection of her favourite artworks from the Rise Art collection.
What was the spark that led to My Warehouse Home?
I worked in publishing for almost a decade prior to launching Warehouse Home. I was lucky enough to work on some of the world's most renowned titles, but I had always wanted to run my own business. I spent a lot of time trying to have "ideas" over a glass of wine. But, in the end, the most exciting opportunity came along completely unexpectedly. Three years ago, my husband and I bought our first home in a listed warehouse conversion in East London. We fell in love with its exposed brick walls, steel columns, galvanised piping and hardwood flooring. We were keen to decorate our flat in a way that was in-keeping with the rich heritage of the riverside wharf, but at the same time modern and stylish. Scouring websites, blogs, magazines, books and shops for inspiration, it became clear that 'industrial chic' is hugely popular. However, there didn’t seem to be a single place where we could find a carefully curated selection of the best furniture and accessories for a warehouse home. That’s how we were inspired to create mywarehousehome.com and publish Warehouse Home, to share special finds, news and inspiration with others living in warehouse or loft apartments or looking to inject a bit of industrial chic into their homes.
I particularly love your breadth of vision – how the Warehouse Home aesthetic can translate within a myriad of different interiors – a London townhouse, a country cottage, a modern minimalist flat, and indeed a warehouse conversion. What are your tips for mixing and matching design styles?
Thank you! Warehouse homes lend themselves to a variety of different interior design styles. These are buildings with real grit and character so you can be quite bold with your décor. While some people choose to channel the heritage of the building and complement original features with vintage furniture and accessories, other might choose to be very daring with metals, concrete and colour. Others still will mix and match vintage, industrial and contemporary elements. There's no right or wrong approach!
Warehouse Home also has a loyal following of readers who don't live in warehouse conversions but simply like that “industrial chic” or “loft living” style. Bare bulb lighting, factory trolleys, industrial furniture can all be incorporated very successfully into any home – the trick there I think is to select just one or two statement pieces.
My advice for any home owner is to follow the guidance of William Morris, who once said:
“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
And how does the My Warehouse Home aesthetic extend to collecting and hanging art? Any examples which particularly excite you?
There are so many different options when considering artworks and wall art for a warehouse home. If your style is more traditional, you might consider vintage maps or black and white photography. But if your style is more contemporary, you could certainly opt for bold colourful pieces. What I love about warehouse conversions is that they combine heritage and industrial features. These are strong, characterful buildings so don't be afraid to experiment when selecting artworks to hang in your home. And remember that if you are fortunate enough to have larger, open-plan spaces it's important to select artworks that suit the scale of the space; choose one or two big statement pieces or hang smaller works in groups as a feature.
Would you apply the advice of William Morris to collecting art as well?
Art is so personal. At the end of the day, the most important thing to me is that the pieces hanging in my home make me smile. My home, my style, my taste in art… they're as individual as I am!
Your aesthetic in four words?
Eclectic | vintage | industrial | monochrome
What are the decision points for your art acquisitions?
I instinctively choose art that surprises me, amuses me or reminds me of a place or person that I love. Then there are the more practical considerations, of course, such as the size of the artwork and the colour scheme and function of the room in which it will hang.
In June you will publish the second issue of the Warehouse Home newspaper- how exciting! As someone from the publishing world, how did you find the translation from website to physical newspaper?
Our plan for the brand was always cross-platform. We launched mywarehousehome.com with a mind to later publishing a printed newspaper. The site enabled us to build the brand and establish a loyal audience before launching the bi-annual newspaper. Modern day publishing is about creating engaging content across platforms, using digital (a web and social media presence) to enhance and extend the experience of your printed product as well as engage potential new readers. Warehouse Home is a bi-annual publication so mywarehousehome.com enables us to maintain our relationship with our readers between issues and share plenty of additional content beyond the publication.
And was there a specific visual aesthetic or any particular design details for the newspaper you were committed to from the outset?
We were always very clear that Warehouse Home would be a premium print publication. It is distributed directly to high-end warehouse conversions across the UK and needed to immediately engage their residents. As the publication is bi-annual it also needed to be “built to last” - for this reason, it's printed on an expensive, heavy paper stock that is hard-wearing as well as enabling beautifully clear, vibrant printing. In order to resonate with the unique character of these warehouse conversions, the design of Warehouse Home draws on both contemporary and heritage elements.We spent a long time researching Victorian journals and newspapers (it was during the Victoria era and industrial revolution of course that many of these warehouses were built) – they informed the newspaper's masthead, page furniture and font styles. But then we have been very careful not to create a publication that is overbearingly “ye olde” in appearance and incorporated plenty of contemporary design elements too. The content also covers everything from antique and vintage original furniture and lighting to modern trends using materials such as copper and concrete.