As with clothes, the way you decorate a room expresses your personality. In its most ideal form, it signals to guests how you interpret yourself. In this round of Real Cool People, Real Cool Apartments, we check out the London home of Racil Chalhoub, the founder of womenswear brand RACIL. Our intentions behind the creeping: to learn what she’s all about.
Tell me about yourself. What do you do?
I was born in Beirut, Lebanon and raised in Paris, France. I’m the CEO and designer of Racil, which I launched in 2015. I always knew I wanted to have my own line, even when I was a buyer, but I couldn’t decide what it would be. One evening, as I was getting ready for an event and couldn’t find anything to wear, the idea of a tuxedo came to me. I wanted something versatile, timeless and fun — something that works in all sort of situations and at times of day. That’s what made me start the brand.
Knightsbridge. It’s so convenient! I’m close to everything, and Harrods is right on the corner.
Who do you live with, animals included?
Me, myself and I.
What’s the first thing you do when you come home? First thing you take off?
I put the music on and make a coffee. Then I take off my shoes.
What about the first thing you put on when you come home?
Where do you design from? What kind of space do you need to feel creative?
I actually like to design from home. I sit at my dining table-turned-desk and transform the place into my creative bubble. I can stay like that for days and spread all my drawings on the floor. I usually have Sex and the City on in the background; the girls keep me company.
What’s your ideal, practicality-is-no-concern, lounging-at-home outfit?
A ball gown and huge earrings.
What did you think about when decorating?
I lived in my flat before I redecorated it so I knew exactly what I wanted. I thought mostly of comfort and how to get the best layout in order to maximize space. I had also collected a good amount of art and designed the place according to where I could hang each piece.
What are your favorite home “scores”?
My neon pink front door. I also love my floor. Instead of changing them, I had them polished and painted gray.
What are your top three tips when it comes to finding/buying items for the home?
1. Fall in love with every piece you buy, as you will have to look at it every day.
2. Don’t buy anything just because you need it. Keep looking for the perfect piece.
3. Make sure it is comfortable and cozy above all. Home is meant to be your happy place.
What are your favorite household goods/home decor stores?
In London, I love Liberty — it’s a department store with great bits and an amazing section for wallpapers and soft furnishings. I also love the Conran Shop, the stores on Goldborne Road and Harrods. Otherwise, ABC Carpet & Home in New York and Orient 499 in Beirut.
Most unexpected place to find great things for the home?
Markets. I believe in browsing and collecting pieces that provoke something in you when you see them. Always visit the local markets when you travel. You will find wonders!
What’s the one thing every home should have?
Books and flowers. I buy some every week — they just add life to your living room.
Photos by Viv Yapp.