Exclusive: At Home With HouseBeautiful's Sophie Donelson
HouseBeautiful's Sophie Donelson has invited Flaneur to her home for an exclusive sit-down interview and an exclusive tour of her NYC apartment.
For Sophie Donelson, editor-in-chief of HouseBeautiful, it was always about color. Whether it's a painting, a pillow here, a trinket there- Sophie's curation-oriented style and eye for observation makes her the perfect example of a Flaneur. The mother of two maintains her post as a career woman about town- a decision maker and an influential voice (it’s not unlikely you’ll find her giving a keynote or a speech at least once a month) all while keeping together and beautiful home full of color and life.
Sophie’s control of color and her eclectic blend of avant-garde and world design with family-centric details makes her a perfect voice for the families that care about style and don’t want their houses to go sterile and permanently baby-proofed. Sophie Donelson proves you can have it all.
The setting: for Sophie, home is where the heart- and food- is. She lives in the eclectic and comfortable Jackson Heights, a diverse quarter of Queens, NYC, just a subway ride into the boisterous Manhattan. Sophie's return home is like a getaway to a smaller town, albeit an extremely diverse one with hundreds of languages spoken and hundreds of cuisines at her fingertips. It's a bonanza of color and personality- even her children attend the public school to find themselves faced with children from all over the world, dressed in their styles, sharing their cultures.
Sophie's home life is relaxed- her two children are well-behaved and handle themselves around the collections of art, books, sculpture, and bouquets. A, central large living room opens into a dining room with fresh fruit piled high on the glistening white table. A cadenza plays host to everything from toddler's toys to a vintage clock. In the most unexpected way, Donelson has managed to incorporate her children's necessities into the broader story of the house; the primary colors of childcare provisions often seem jarring and out of place in many homes. Sophie's handling makes the yellows and reds of plastic blocks seem just as important as the rusty red of her comfy sofa. Rather than hide the toys, its a celebration.
A giant, monochromatic white palm tree looks like something out of a Doctor Seuss book, but when paired with a large pencil sculpture, it almost feels like it's waiting to be colored in. This playful energy runs throughout the Donelson's home.
Sophie's bedroom is an escape from a work life that can run into overtime. See how Sophie handles her day-to-day stresses and maintains balance:
Sophie's bedroom is a place to unplug and unwind, but that doesn't mean it must be spare. Instead, the bedroom is loaded with mementos and knick-knacks- things Sophie's picked up over the years in her travels- to be reminding and relaxing. Her bedding is Flaneur (read more about that here).
Sophie's love for fine art is undeniable, see her talk about a particularly special piece she's had since college:
All through Sophie's home, one can find a surprise around every corner. At work, Sophie keeps the color streak alive. See her talk about how HouseBeautiful has totally reengaged with color as she came on as editor-in-chief.
Finally, shop some of Sophie's color selects from Flaneur's collection. We invite you to think differently about color like Sophie has and to, of course, change the sheets!
See our in-depth look at Sophie's bedroom here.