Sophie Harrison Interviewed by Sotheby's Home

Designer Profile Sophie Harrison.png

What inspired this career path for you? 
I suppose I was lead to this path instead of choosing it outright.  

Everything in my life, starting with growing up in the wild world of haute couture fashion and Parisian flair to being praised for my boarding school rooms, or the dinners and houses I designed.  

From traveling the world and witnessing creative diversity to eventually settling in to and striving with the hustle and bustle of New York City. 

My life slowly guided me to luxury interior design.  Now I use that experience to create a unique eclectic esthetic that I combine with my clients’ individual tastes to create interiors that truly reflect who they are, just like I did for myself.

What is your go-to source for inspiration? 
Traveling, books and nature have always been my staples. Although, I also enjoy wandering around capturing l’air du temps by observing the creation of quality crafts. 

I love to see something being made, and have always been a big fan of, and even jealous of, craftsmanship because of the enormous amount of passion, pride, and dedication that goes into creating something by hand.

Tell us about your creative process:
I have this process I call, the “box”. 

First, I deliver 10 magazines and have the client put all the designs they like from the magazines into the box. 

Then, I have them go into their closet and choose their two favorite articles of clothing and add those to the box as well.  

Then, I ask them to share their favorite song or something that makes them feel really good.
I tell them, “I don’t want you to think about this.  I want it to be almost instinctive for you. If you have something particular you absolutely want or don’t want please tell me.  For everything else, listen to yourself and let yourself go.”

Once they’re done, we have a walk through the space and I ask them questions to describe what they would like, why, and how they want to live in it.  Those questions are one of the most important parts of my process because I get to dig deep into creating something I know my client feels innately attached to.

Describe your style in 6 words or less:
Eclectic, colorful, timeless, comfortable, luxurious, and humoristic.

What’s a staple in your toolkit?  
I’ll give you three: 

  • my iPhone

  • tape measurer

  • and my glasses!

 Who do you look up to in the design world?
I really admire my mother, Maud Frizon, for making architecture on your feet always elegant, fashionable, and fun.  

For me, she revolutionized the haute couture fashion industry in a way I aspire to revolutionize luxury interior design. I admire our 18th-century perceptions of what was luxurious, but I believe it can be so much more.  

I also pay particular attention to Axel Vervoordt, Richard Shapiro, Francois Catroux.

If you could design a space for anyone, what kind of space, and for whom would it be?
I have encountered so many different aesthetics and ways of living I respect and admire that there is no particular style of decorating to love. 

Mixing, matching, and customizing what works together rather than just repurposing formulated decoration is what inspires me. Eclecticism rather than uniformization is my guide.

Color would also be very important to the space I design.  It is a way for me to share an emotion or state of mind, and what makes a house a home if not for the emotions it produces?

Tell us your favorite design related word, phrase, or quote:
”Fashions fade, style is eternal.“ -Yves Saint Laurent

Which design blog, website, TV show, or magazine would you be lost without?
Call me classic, but the inspiration I derive from travel is so important I’d have to say World of Interiors and National Geographic.

What do you love about Viyet?
The practice of timelessness. By showcasing pre-owned, time-tested furniture you reinterpret value to an object that has already lived a previous life.