Space reimagined. Life better.
Sophia Shibles, ASID, and her namesake interior design firm create pared down, layered and relaxed spaces, rich in natural light, texture and organic materials to welcome, inspire and calm clients in their homes.
- What’s your go-to classic color choice?
- Color or absence of color? A perfectly warm white lets artwork and textiles to shine - gotta love it. Some of my favorite non-colors are Farrow & Ball's Pointing; C2's Cotton and Benjamin Moore's White Dove and Winter Orchard. When it comes to real color, Sherwin William's Gentleman's Grey is the perfect navy with enough grey to feel sophisticated. Fleur de Sel, also by Sherwin William's is a gorgeous light grey with a hint of green and blue. And Benjamin Moore's Revere Pewter is a perfectly warm taupey grey - best in rooms with lots of natural light.
- Is there a hotel that’s most inspired your work while traveling?
- I'm not sure one particular hotel has directly inspired my work. But many have left me with impactful visual memories. Casa de Sierra Nevada in San Miguel de Allende is actually a collection of 18th century mansions in the heart of this cobblestoned city. At check it, you receive two keys. One opens the door to "your" building - all of which have suites off of an interior courtyard teeming with gardens and fountains. The second key unlocks the best surprise. This door opens onto a huge flat parklike courtyard with a decadent pool at its center surrounded by colonial stone arches. A picture is worth a thousand words: http://www.cntraveler.com/hotels/mexico/san-miguel-de-allende/belmond-casa-de-sierra-nevada--san-miguel-de-allende
- Which pieces of technology do you use to document design inspiration?
- I have a Pinterest problem - LOVE it. I also use Google photos, houzz and dropbox.
- Where do you go to spot new style?
- Manhattan never fails to recharge my creative batteries. It happens when noticing a detail on an antique building for the first time, checking out a newly designed boutique, or just people watching. New and new-old styles always seem to surface on my wanderings through the streets of New York City.
- Do you have a favorite restaurant (for the design and the food, of course)?
- Design wise, The Musket Room in New York is one of my favorites. Exposed original brick, a live edge bar, mid century furnishings, concrete tile, and rustic wood floors combine with lots of natural light and greenery creating a modern and warm space with a great vibe. Food-wise, Koji's in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica is my favorite. They serve some of the best sushi in the world - sorry Nobu - in a lovely outdoor space filled with tiny white lights, lots of natural wood, crushed stone and a warm ocean breeze.
- What’s your favorite small museum in the world?
- Museo Frida Khalo (La Casa Azul) in Mexico City is a must see for anyone visiting this capital city. Frida Khalo first lived in this early 20th century blue house with her family and then later with her famed artist husband Diego Rivera. The museum is filled with artifacts from their lives as well as select pieces of their art.
- How do you usually start your weekend?
- Friday nights mean take-out, a family movie sprawled out on the sectional and a great dessert - popcorn and peanut m&ms is one of my favorites, but chocolate chip cookies or straight dark chocolate will also do.....
- Who or what is your biggest design influence?
- I can't choose - and that's so not the way my creativity works. Design influences evolve depending upon what aspect of my work I'm trying to develop. The forms, textures, colors, materials and patterns found in nature, however, have always guided my design work and continue to do so today. I am forever snapping photos of patterns in the wet beach sand, collecting driftwood with the most perfect finish you'll ever see, and touching every kind of plant that catches my eye.
- How do you keep it all together?
- Who says I do? Some days I'm better at it than others. If I had to choose one thing to keep me sane, it would be running. The rhythmic movement, fresh air and music allow me to tune everything out. Running refreshes my body and rests my brain which is churning a million miles an hour at every other moment of the day. And as some brilliant soul once said, "salt water is the elixir of life - the ocean, sweat and tears will cure anything that ails you."
- Design a garden: groomed or freestyle?
- Depending on what you mean by groomed, I think I choose freestyle, thoughfully-designed freestyle of course.