Sophie Lou Jacobsen’s ‘Functional Art’ Is the Secret to Transforming Your Space
Whether you own or rent, when it comes to designing your space it can be easy to forget about the smaller details, and instead, become entirely preoccupied with the big picture. And, big picture thinking ultimately means big additions - large, encompassing pieces of furniture (and art work if your budget allows) that centre your space and act as a bedrock for your design aesthetic.
While these larger pieces certainly play a large part in dictating the look and feel of our homes, when it comes to creating an overall aesthetically pleasing space - particularity when working with a small or storage lacking situation - the devil can ultimately be found in the smallest of design details.
No one proves this point better than New York-based, multidisciplinary designer, Sophie Lou Jacobsen. With a design ethos and brand centred around beautifying items we might have traditionally hidden away, her namesake is focused on transforming the most ordinary - and traditionally boring - objects into functional pieces of everyday art.
Utilising multi-coloured glass (think baby pinks, soft purples and poppy oranges), ribbed textures and curved silhouettes. Sophie works her creative magic, transforming household necessities like jugs, glasses and bottles into cool, modern-day heirloom pieces.
Below, we chat to Sophie to learn more about her creative process, what it’s like running her own design business and get an inside look at her eclectic Brooklyn loft that had a past life as an Italian restaurant institution.
Hi Sophie! Can you tell us how and why you first started your business?
I’ve been working in design for about a decade, in various agencies or studios or on a freelance basis. I’ve always known that I wanted to have my own studio practice, and it’s something I’ve been building up in the background slowly over time. I responded to a brief for a group exhibition during New York Design Week in 2018 with a collection of homeware goods, where I experimented in working with glass for the first time, and it was really successful. I loved the result of working with this material, and people seemed to respond well to the objects I had designed as well. I naturally just kept pushing that collection until I realised that it was something I could actually turn into a business. It’s been so much fun.
What is the best part about running your business?
I love being able to set my own schedule! The freedom of being able to choose the hours I’m working, which moments need to be intense and which can be more relaxed, and not needing to clock in and clock out at a certain time everyday is extremely liberating and good for my soul. I’m someone that likes to work really hard under pressure, and take it relatively easy the rest of the time. That’s not really conducive to working in an office environment. I also love to be fully responsible for myself and my future. It can all be extremely daunting at times, but also so rewarding.
What is a typical day in the life of Sophie Lou Jacobsen like?
It takes me a long time to wake up, and I love taking a good hour for this part of the day, sitting on the sofa with coffee! If I have the time, I also like to try to do a bit of yoga after that, and then I can shower and get my day going. I work alone, so the day to day of running a small business is actually very unglamorous. I’m usually either answering emails, packing and shipping orders, or looking at spreadsheets. It's a lot of running around and carrying boxes up and down stairs and printing and taping. But in those rare moments when I somehow have all that stuff done, I can draw, read books or do research, or even take an afternoon for an inspiration trip to galleries or a museum. And those are the moments that make all the rest so worth it!
Your bedroom is beautiful. How does it reflect your personality?
Thank you! This bedroom has definitely been a continuous effort on my boyfriend and my’s part to get it somewhere we are happy with. It’s a lofted bedroom with two small closets, which also consist of all of the storage space in the entire apartment. So it’s been a constant game of stripping back (possessions) and adding storage in clever ways, so that the room can still feel light, clean, and minimal. I tend to like having a lot of objects as decoration, as you can see throughout the rest of the apartment, and that’s not really possible with the layout of this room. So it's a matter of really just having one or two special things that brighten up the room.
What's your best advice for creating a calming bedroom?
Good storage!!! The bedroom is definitely the place that gets the cluttered and messy the easiest and most quickly (for me), when I’m constantly tidying up the rest of my apartment and living space, the bedroom can sometimes be left as an afterthought. Good, clever storage solutions which make it easy to put stuff away quickly has been so helpful. Aside from that - a lot of natural lighting for waking up in the morning, and soft ambient lighting for winding down at night. And fresh sheets of course!
What does your nighttime routine look like?
In an ideal world, I’d be cooking dinner most nights at home while listening to music, watch a good movie or tv show, and have a bit more time left to read before going to bed by midnight. Unfortunately, that hardly ever happens! It’s pretty hard to stick to a routine in a city like New York. I’m a very social person so I’m often meeting friends after work for a drink or for dinner, or some event, though all that has obviously died down a lot since the beginning of the pandemic. Lockdown has been pretty enlightening in terms of having these nighttime routines, and I’d like to try to incorporate more of that into my day to day life
Shop Sophie's look with White and Sage in our Build Your Own Bundle.
For more from Sophie, follow her at @sophieloujacobsen