You may recognize Gugu Mbatha-Raw from Disney+’s Loki or The Morning Show – but she's about to become a force in the design industry, too. Despite her place at the peak of Hollywood, Gugu has ventured into a new, somewhat more personal role as an artist – focusing particularly on painting.
During lockdown, her portraits of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor were labeled as a 'viral sensation' – and she has since shared further works of Chadwick Boseman, Desmond Tutu, and Kevin Hart (a co-star in her newest movie, Lift).
Her rise in the design industry means she's quickly becoming a master of decorating with art – and it would seem that Soho House agrees. In celebration of their new Westbourne Grove Studio in London, Gugu shared advice with Soho House Magazine around decorating with art in the home, and naturally, we took note. And the top of the agenda? Using art to change the tone of your home throughout the year.
When visiting Soho Home, Gugu was unsurprisingly attracted to the rotating artwork in store (created in collaboration with M.A.H Gallery). However, it is the neutral base behind the artwork that matters in terms of bringing artwork into the home.
'I’m really attracted to the idea of having a relatively neutral canvas and – depending on your mood or the season – changing the tone of the space through art,' Gugu says. 'Home is somewhere I want to relax, and I find color very energizing – which is good sometimes, but not when you’re resting.’
Gugu's room color ideas work in every room, whether you're bringing art into your bedroom, living room, or making a statement in your entryway. As long as the base is neutral and versatile – you can ensure any painting looks good in your home – even as your change your pieces to adapt to your mood (and the seasons).
Gugu's rule for using neutrals is tried and tested in her own home – but her interior design tips don't end there. Alongside exhibiting art, she also shares how to create a spa-like ambiance in your home – most primarily in the bathroom.
'I like quite a clean, calming space,' she says. ‘I love the sanctuary of a big bathtub and a bit of downtime, especially when you’re jet-lagged after traveling or decompressing from a busy day on set.'
So, subtle paint ideas, bold artwork, and big bathtubs all have a seal of approval from Gugu. We're ready to take on her advice at the next opportunity, via Soho Home, naturally.
Sign up to the Homes & Gardens newsletter
Decor Ideas. Project Inspiration. Expert Advice. Delivered to your inbox.
Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.
Small backyard layout ideas – 9 clever ways to arrange your outdoor space
These small backyard layout ideas will save space and instantly make your compact plot feel bigger and brighter
By Holly Crossley Published
This feature in Jonathan Scott and Zooey Deschanel's living space is 'reminiscent of Parisian design,' designers say
The 1930s Georgian revival pays homage to its roots with a vintage-inspired aesthetic that's just as current this 2024
By Megan Slack Published