How did s.o.f.t. homes begin?
I have always been indiscriminately inspired by beautiful things. I am equally jazzed by the exquisitely detailed front doors along the canals of Amsterdam and a perfectly designed coffee table at CB2. I am actually as thrilled by a gloriously saturated Rothko on a perfectly lit museum wall as a small back yard ginkgo tree at its peak of autumn yellow.
I took on my very first interior design project at 13 years old when I asked my parents if I could redecorate my room for my birthday. It took two years of scouring local antique shops, neighborhood garage sales, the Wellfleet flea market, and many, many visits to the local Laura Ashley until I was finally satisfied with my curatorial efforts.
While I loved being immersed in all of the beautiful design projects I participated in throughout my adult life, they all involved a lot of compromise and reliance on others to take final responsibility for the ultimate realization of my vision.
In 2015, the need to move afforded me the opportunity to take on a full-fledged historic renovation project from beginning to end with complete creative freedom and total accountability. It was with this project and in this process that I was able to find the same freedom, joy and pride that I felt as a 13 year old girl.
This project became the first "s.o.f.t. home".
What is a s.o.f.t. home?
s.o.f.t. homes is built around the idea that a home should never be rigid, static or "done". Just like the people that occupy them, homes should be free to change and evolve.
A s.o.f.t. home should never feel done, as in "decorated," and never be done, as in "finished". You don't need to cover every surface or fill every corner. Leave room to fall in love with new things in your life and in your travels.
I believe that the foundation of a home, the interior architecture and applied finishes, should be interesting, have a ton of depth and character, but also a very simple and consistent color/finish palette that extends throughout the space. I like to layer in color and pattern throughout a home using textiles and art. This consistent base layer means that whatever a room's purpose or personality, they all relate to one another and the whole house easily flows from one room to the next. It also means that things can easily move around and change over time without enormous effort or expense.
s.o.f.t. means that every surface or piece of furniture that you intend to rest your body on should be comfortable. Your home is your refuge and you should feel your most relaxed and comfortable self when you are in it.
What is next for s.o.f.t. homes?
My business philosophy mirrors my design philosophy in that it isn't rigid. I am open to any and all design/renovation/restoration opportunities that might cross my path.
I am passionate about preserving and restoring the historic character of Chicago, so I am currently renovating two historic greystones with 7 vintage apartments.
I am also searching for just the right property to renovate, restore, furnish and sell as a turn-key home. While the idea of buying a furnished home is common with second homes and vacation properties, I believe that many young busy professionals, making their first home purchases, would appreciate acquiring a furnished and functional s.o.f.t. home that they could move right into and start making it their own.