Tue. May 28th, 2024

Siobahn Farley was one of the top design executives at Soho House & Co., instrumental to the redesign of the company’s country-chic Babington House in Somerset, UK, and the openings of Dean Street Townhouse in London and Soho House Berlin. She says the company was intimate when she started and went on to have the “best time.”

“We had big budgets, and Nick trusted me,” says Farley, referring to Soho House founder Nick Jones. “We were working with outside interior designers to start—Ilse Crawford—and he decided, why are we paying them so much when we could do it in-house? So we got our own design team,” says Farley. 

After spending 15 years at the membership club, she left a couple of years ago, citing too many deadlines and slashed budgets. She now runs her own business that specializes in finding antiques and vintage furniture from across Europe for her clients—some of it on display at the Soho Home store in London’s Chelsea. Other items have made it into her terraced Edwardian home in Queen’s Park, now listed for £5.25 million ($6.7 million) with Grant Bates from Hamptons’ Private Office.

Farley stripped the northwest London property of its interior, combining two separate flats into a light-filled, three-story, four-bedroom family home. Its design sense will be familiar to Soho House devotees. A buyer stands to get 3,500 square feet of space, a detached home gym in the garden, solar panels on the roof and a cinema room in the basement, as well as an option to purchase the furnishings outright. Prices range from £6,000 for a large shelving unit and set of 30 antique pots, sold as a collection, to £11,000 for a set of vintage Henning Kjaernulf chairs and £2,000 for a kilim, or wool rug.

“I don’t like anything too modern or too stark,” Farley says of her design interests. “I just wanted to open up the space and make it feel as big as possible. I gave the property a neutral palette and mixed the wooden floors with the natural colors of the antiques we placed in the home.” 

The neutral palate can especially be seen in the ground floor reception room, which has blond terracotta bricks over the working fireplace and walls painted a light cream.

Farley says that when people ask her to define her style, she tells them it’s a mix of midcentury modern and farmhouse country. “It’s a little bit of that Babington House style as well—nothing that will go out of date,” she explains, referring to Soho House’s club, hotel and wedding venue in Somerset.

The designer says she spends the most time in the light-filled kitchen, where her 6-year-old daughter Skye does homework, and watching films on the projector screen in the cozy, wood-paneled cinema room. Farley loves the bathroom in the primary suite; there’s a soaking tub in the bedroom and a large, walk-in, tiled shower. She says this resulted from a compromise with her husband, who wanted a shower while she preferred a bathtub. (Babington House also has freestanding bathtubs in bedrooms). 

Farley says her home took 18 months to renovate: half to obtain the renovation permits and nine months for the actual work.

“It was really frustrating in hindsight. We could have rented the flats out while we waited for planning,” Farley says. “But I just wanted to gut it and see if there was any problems, because you never know when you buy a house.” Fortunately, she says, “The builders were quick.”

The basement required a lot of digging, deep into London clay, to add subterranean space for a guest bedroom, bathroom, plant room and further living space. Farley says that dealing with so much excavated mud was worth it for the additional space. 

A non-modernized home on the same road, measuring almost two-thirds the size, sold for £2.2 million in late 2023.

Farley says it was a dream for the couple to move from neighboring Kensal Green and up-and-coming Harlesden into leafy Queen’s Park. The neighborhood is known for green spaces and quiet residential streets with attractive Victorian and Edwardian brick homes, as well as famous residents including author Zadie Smith and actor Daniel Craig. Farley says that she’ll miss the house and the area, which she considers great for families. They wish, she says, to relocate to the Cotswolds in order to give her daughter an opportunity to grow up in the countryside.

“It’s going to be sad to leave, especially after we finally made it to Queen’s Park,” Farley says, “but my gut is telling me that it’s time for fresh air and for Skye to grow up in the outdoors.” If Farley can purchase a converted barn for storing her vintage finds, so much the better. 

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