The first outdoor collection from Soho Home is here

The first outdoor collection from Soho Home is here | Soho House

With sunloungers, sofas, dining tables and more, Soho Home’s Chief Creative Officer explores the inspiration behind the 21-piece collection

Monday 4 March 2024   By Teo Van Den Broeke

Soho Home – interiors by Soho House – was first introduced in 2016 in response to our members who wanted to buy the homeware found in our Houses. Each season, the Soho Home team produces collections inspired by the most popular pieces from Soho House 40 Greek Street, New York, Babington House, Bangkok, and beyond. This year, Soho Home has introduced outdoor furniture for the first time. Available from this month, the 21-piece collection of sunloungers, dining tables, chairs and more combines the classic style of Soho Home with fabrics that can be used outside.

‘We’ve taken some of our bestselling indoor silhouettes and engineered them so that they’re fully outdoor,’ says Gareth Lewis, Chief Creative Officer of Soho Home. One such piece is the Garret, a channel-tufted swivel chair available in a variety of colours and fabrics for indoor use. ‘It’s taken years to get the outdoor version of the Garret right,’ says Lewis.

The first outdoor collection from Soho Home is here | Soho House
The first outdoor collection from Soho Home is here | Soho House
The first outdoor collection from Soho Home is here | Soho House

‘What you find with a lot of outdoor furniture is that it’s usually just a frame with an upholstery cushion laid on top, but a few of our key outdoor pieces are fully upholstered,’ he says. ‘All you need to do is hose them down, because they have in-built channels in the seat designed to drain water. The fabric is specifically wicking, so that it draws all the moisture out, and the upholstery is of a high grade, meaning that it’s tested to react well to sun and heat.’

The resulting chair manages to achieve that rare trick of feeling like a beautifully made piece of furniture that also happens to be ready for outdoor use, as opposed to a hard-wearing item of outdoor gear that looks as unattractive as it does weatherproof. ‘You’d never expect to find the Garret in a garden. It looks too nice to be outside, but it’s designed and engineered for that,’ says Lewis. 

‘I really challenged the team to create all of the pieces with the Soho Home Design language running through them, so that we weren’t falling into outdoor furniture tropes,’ Lewis adds. ‘I didn’t want the collection to look like standard garden furniture. The table top of our round Breno bistro table, for instance, is finished with a sunray pattern, rather than standard slats. We’ve also done a terrazzo table, which was hard to perfect. We have a great relationship with our friends at Pierre Frey and, like we do in the Houses, we’ve used their hard-wearing outdoor fabrics on some of the upholstered dining chairs.’

Other key pieces include the Gaspard modular sofa, inspired by the bestselling Eldon indoor sofa. There’s an outdoor version of the Morrell dining chair, upholstered in the weather-resistant Pierre Frey fabric Lewis refers to, and there’s the striped Ardingly sunlounger, based on those found on the lawn at Babington House.

‘Each piece in the collection is inspired by a House,’ explains Lewis. ‘We’ve mostly connected them through patterns. I was at Soho Farmhouse the other day, and there’s an outdoor upholstery pattern used there that we’ve used on the outdoor dining chair and throughout the collection,’ he says. ‘We really wanted to make a version of our Eldon sofa, so we developed the Gaspard. It has this tubular construction on the back and we engineered a powder-coated metal frame to make it more fun. It’s a much more “outdoor” expression of our classic indoor sofa, which is cool.’

The first outdoor collection from Soho Home is here | Soho House
The first outdoor collection from Soho Home is here | Soho House

Lewis’s excitement about the new collection is palpable. ‘I love the double sunlounger with the outdoor canopy,’ he tells me, describing what is effectively like an outdoor four-poster bed – all angles and generous proportions; the kind of thing that wouldn’t look out of place on the lawn at Saltburn. ‘It’s whimsical and fun,’ he says. ‘I can imagine somebody dropping one down in an English country garden and it being an amazing place to spend the afternoon.’

‘We’ve curated patterned fabrics alongside our signature House stripes, rich wood tones and bold colours to provide a well-rounded collection that represents our unique take on outdoor living,’ says James Patmore, Soho Home’s Design Director. Patmore worked closely with Lewis on the collection, ‘culminating with the launch of the outdoor version of our customer favourite, the Garret chair. It truly represents the collection and our ambition to create design-focused, curated yet comfortable outdoor spaces.’

One of the things that members most love about Soho Home’s indoor collection is its adaptability. The dining chairs, sofas, desks and beds have an understated yet homely appeal, which means they’re easy to work into an existing environment. On whether the new outdoor collection will be as easy for members to build into their gardens, terraces and balconies, Lewis says: ‘In terms of styling outdoor furniture, my view is to take your indoor cushions outside when you need them. That’s how you’ll get a great look that mirrors your home. You’ll be comfortable, too, rather than having to contend with scratchy outdoor cushion covers.’

The challenges of creating high-quality outdoor furniture that will stand the test of time were multiple, explains Lewis. ‘One of the biggest has been finding good manufacturing partners. It’s taken us this long to create outdoor furniture, because we didn’t want to rush and create pieces that weren’t going to be delivered in the condition we wanted, or last in the way we wanted them to.’

Soho Home introduced bathrooms for the first time earlier this year, which has proved popular with members. With garden furniture now being introduced, could kitchens be on the horizon?

‘What we’re trying to do is expand our range, so that we can offer our members more,’ says Lewis. ‘We’re moving into entryways, expanding our mirrors, and working on water-rated lighting [for bathrooms]. We want to give our interior designers and members the opportunity to fully outfit their homes with the look of our Houses. 

‘In the future, I see us doing outdoor kitchens and cabinetry,’ he continues. ‘That would be a good thing. It’s all about pushing our assortment forward and bringing Soho Home closer to the Houses. That’s what our members want, ultimately.’

Explore and shop the Soho Home outdoor collection

The first outdoor collection from Soho Home is here | Soho House