Muse of the Month - Sophie Warbuton, Host Home
Host was born out of a search for fun, affordable homeware. After renovating her house, founder Sophie Warburton was looking for pieces to decorate her new home. The high street felt too 'obvious', while high end shops were out of budget. By working directly with craftsmen and manufacturers and only offering direct-to-customer Host cuts out all the overheads that other retailers often pass on to their consumers. We caught up with Host founder and former Style Director for the Telegraph to chat all things interiors, life and style.
How do you juggle your business with life and small children?
You prioritise! The trick to juggling is knowing which balls are made of glass and which are made of plastic. We have help which makes life easier, so you do what you can when you can. I have fits and spurts with Host – but not having a physical retail space definitely makes it easier.
What is your go to day-to-day uniform?
I used to be a fashion editor and never thought I had a uniform until one of the girls I worked with told me I did. It’s always jeans, a white t shirt, jumper then a blazer. Lots of neutrals. So, it’s more of an unintentional uniform really.
What's the fabric of the hour?
I’m desperately hunting for madras fabrics (a very lightweight southern Indian check) but in a heavier weight cotton. It has an amazing different colours and depth; I think it’s the new gingham!
Most productive time of the day?
First thing in the morning then 7pm onwards. Afternoons melt away with young children!
Favourite season and why?
I love real spring, when its baking hot for the first time. Everyone gets a bit of a ‘spring’ in their step and there are daffodils for sale in every supermarket. We have already had a couple of spring like days this year and its made me realise how much I missed it.
2023 - what’s in it for you?
For Host we are really trying to do less but better. We went through cycle of everyone wanting more stuff and more newness but that’s just not sustainable in so many ways. We only want to launch a product if there is not just a gap in the market for it, but a really a need for it too. We are trying to be a little more conscious of what we are creating – so its about slowing down a bit; being a little more considered about how we do things.
What London Velvet product have you got your eye on at the moment and where would you take It for its first adventure?
London Velvet’s Beach and Corduroy totes are the perfect day-to-day piece, I’d take mine everywhere all the time! They are big and sturdy enough for all my adventures.
Fool proof dinner party dish…
Anything by Jane Lovett – she is an amazing woman from my parent’s generation. Everything in her books you can cook in advance and it’s all ready to go so you can enjoy catching up with friends with a glass of wine in hand, rather than being chained to the oven!
Song that’s stuck in your head?
Something between and incy wincy spider and twinkle twinkle little star
Book you can't put down?
Miss Benson's Beetle by Rachel Joyce. It’s the perfect commutable book. Easy reading that you can put down and pick up.
What your tips for the perfect dinner party tablescape?
Candles are an easy win. Put them in the freezer beforehand and they take twice as long to burn. A fun water jug always looks great on the table too. Lastly, supermarket flowers – get the discounted ones that are looking sad and pick out the good ones then put them in bud vases!
Homeware item your obsessed with right now?
I’m still obsessed with Moro Dabron. Beautiful scented candles made in an earthenware vessel based on Fulham pottery but a modern update on them. They also work as a gorgeous posy vase after you’ve used them.
Any new products your excited to launch?
There is the most amazing embroidery in Vietnam and we sell these monogram pillows which we launched at the tail end of last year, thankfully now just back in stock. Another thing I’m working on is merging old and new. So, we are getting classic beautiful heavy cotton tea towels and adding ‘naughty’ words to them.
What homeware trend can you just not get on board with?
I struggle a little bit with trends in its essence as I think things should be kept and past on. I’ve fallen for this myself at Host and I really want to try to only sell items that don’t date.