My Midlife Survival Kit: Sophie Rowell

Interior designer Sophie takes a wabi sabi approach to midlife, celebrating imperfectly perfect design, inspiring Ted Talks and Champagne on Sunday.

The concept of Wabi Sabi is something that any midlife woman can relate to. (Even Martha Stewart embraces it within her usually perfect interiors world.) Wabi Sabi is a Japanese philosophy that celebrates the natural imperfections in nature: There is beauty in the perfectly imperfect. Most of us live our lives in a wabi sabi state of mind – there’s far too much going on in midlife to aim for perfection, so we learn to love the bumps and blemishes along the way.

Wabi Sabi is something that interior design consultant Sophie Rowell of Côte de Folk is a fan of. “I believe in embracing a home’s imperfections,” she says. “In doing so you can’t help but create unique and personal interiors. It’s often in the mistakes or imperfections that the magic happens!”

Wabi Sabi Sophie-style is beautiful. After a 20 year career as a fashion editor, stylist and art director, Sophie had her own midlife reset, turning from fashion to interiors, and moving her life from London to Folkestone.

Beloved for her inspiring and accessible style on her Instagram feed, Sophie has also been featured in Harpers Bazaar, and in House and Garden’s The List.

No surprise then that Sophie’s Midlife Survival Kit is packed with the perfect mix of accessible treats, inspiring talks and her favourite way to enjoy her Sundays.

Sophie, we want to live in your Wabi Sabi world.

Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl, £22


You can’t beat a bit of red lippy to make you feel a bit more special. Finding the right red for you is like finding the perfect pair of jeans. It may take time, but it is worth it.

This particular shade has been my favourite for about 20 years. Tip: If you don’t have the time to make an effort with everything else, pop on some red lipstick and voila… You look polished no matter what you are wearing!

Add It To Your Midlife Survival Kit

Ted Talks, Simon Sinek, How Great Leaders Inspire Action, £Free

Simon Senek

I love a Ted Talk, and I particularly like this one by Simon Sinek: ‘How Great Leaders Inspire’. I was introduced to it by my business coach, Pandora Paloma. I watch it regularly as a reminder, a refresh and a constant nudge to myself as I continue the ongoing journey of my midlife career change. 

Add It To Your Midlife Survival Kit

Epsom Salts, £4.99

Epsom salts

Relaxing and perfect after exercise. As I get older I find Epsom Salts are a godsend. I’ve just got myself a PT again. Being menopausal, it’s important for me to do a lot of strength work, so we use a lot of weights in my routine. Epsom Salts really help afterwards to relax my muscles. I take a long (slightly too hot to start bath), and settle in. Another one of life’s little luxuries. 

Add It To Your Midlife Survival Kit

Champagne on Sundays, £12.99


I once heard a feature on the radio about the secret to living to over 100 years old. This old lady phoned in to say she was 99 and that her secret to long life was that she drank half a bottle of champagne, every day, with her lunch. Well that was all the excuse I needed!

I don’t have it everyday but I do open a bottle every Sunday. It’s now become my little ritual. I actually love Lidl’s own brand of champagne and it’s a bargain at £12.99 a bottle.

Add It To Your Midlife Survival Kit

Simone Rocha smock dress, £1595

Simone Rocha

My favourite designer. I have a few of her pieces in my wardrobe and have my eye on this piece in particular. I love everything she does.

I feel she makes clothes for real women. You can have a bum and boobs, as I do (especially now) and they fit, they’re not made for only 5ft 10”, size 6 women.

Simone has an amazing ability to mix the traditional with innovation. I absolutely love her designs and ethos. She’s a very clever lady.

Add It To Your Midlife Survival Kit

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