At home with… Rachel Khoo
With a passion for patisserie, home cooking and travel our latest ‘At home with’ guest, Rachel Khoo, has found success with her delicious creations and relatable on-screen personality. Over the past decade, Rachel has released 6 successful cookery books, and has become a regular face on television including hosting ‘The Little Paris Kitchen‘ on the BBC which has been aired all over the world.
Now, in a slightly different role, Rachel has become editor-in-chief of her new online community, Khoollect, where she and her team celebrate finding inspiration in the most unlikely of places. With Rachel’s new venture, she required a place to call HQ so she embarked on a journey to completely renovate a London based apartment that would become Khoollect’s office, a creative studio to shoot her cookery books and a place to relax and entertain with friends and family.
We recently caught up with Rachel to take a sneak peek inside the beautiful new multi-purpose living space, which was a 15-year dream in the making for Rachel, to discuss interior inspiration and home renovations.
Khoollect is about finding inspiration in unlikely places, where do you usually find inspiration when it comes to your home interiors?
A lot comes from travelling and keeping your eyes simply open. You can find beauty and inspiration in something as simple as a door sign.
Rachel’s dream studio – a multipurpose kitchen, creative studio and living space
And where is the most unlikely place you felt inspired?
The last few months I’ve been following various different carpenters on Instagram. Combining beauty with functionality isn’t easy but you often find it in things such as a beautifully crafted fitted wardrobe, for example.
Many of your recipes are inspired by your time in Paris, what do you think of Parisian décor and has this influenced any of your interior decisions?
Paris for me seems like a long time ago now. I haven’t lived in Paris for over 7 years now. My style has evolved from that very eclectic hap hazardous look put together into something a bit more thought out. Instead of having loads of objects I’m now more selective about what I keep in my home. I’ve been very careful with how I decided to furnish Khoollect studio. Almost all the items have several functions.
A modern take on a country kitchen style (image via Khoollect)
What advice would you give someone who’s starting a home renovation?
Think long and hard how you want to use the space. How is it used on a daily basis? I often think the bedroom space is a lost space as it’s only occupied in the evening. That’s why I decided to design a wall bed which meant the bedroom could transform into a white studio/office space or bedroom.
Rachel exploring the building site that would soon turn into her dream studio (image via Khoollect)
After the renovations and decor was complete – a day lit studio with space to relax
Which part of the process did you enjoy the most?
Coming up with solutions to making the space multifunctional but still cosy and personal.
Our Aissa sofa bed creating a multi-functional space in the compact Khoollect studio
What was the first recipe you cooked in your new studio?
It was hot buttered toast with a fried egg and a splash of Tabasco. Sometimes simplicity is the best!
Rachel’s new apartment and the kitchen had to be as adaptable as her Little Parisian Kitchen (image via Khoollect)
Was there a particular look or feel you wanted when styling your studio?
It had to be both functional but homely. I didn’t want it to feel too cluttered so many things are hidden away in smart storage.
The hub of Khoollect HQ studio (image via Khoollect)
As a frequent traveller, what home comforts do you most look forward when you return?
A soak in the tub with a hot cup of tea and a square of chocolate.
You own Hetty bed in a box – what made you choose this particular design for your studio? And have you enjoyed a night’s sleep on Hetty yet?
When I visited sofa.com shop I really liked that it was beautiful but also very functional. It could double up as a seat, coffee table as well as a bed. I haven’t slept on it yet but my mother has. She said it was very comfortable.
The Khoollect studio features a space for Rachel and guests to sleep, which includes our practical Hetty bed in a box that can be taken out and put away when needed to maximise on space
Our Hetty bed in a box made up ready for overnight guests
You’ve recently chosen our Aissa sofa bed for your Khoollect HQ as well. What was important for you when looking for a new sofa, and what drew you to this particular design? We’d love to hear about the room it is in, how have you chosen to style our Aissa sofa bed?
A few things were very important:
I went around the shop sitting on all the sofa beds to see which ones were comfortable. Aissa has a deep seat which means you can really relax into the sofa. I want to be able to curl up on the sofa with a good book and a cup of tea.
I wanted it to look classic but not be dominating the space. The sofa sits in the kitchen space but I’ve used a vintage rug and a chandelier to create a living space. The sofa is a key part of creating the living area in the kitchen space.
Busy kitchen by day, relaxing place to lay your head at night