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Why this works: Dissecting a living room

I love breaking rooms down and figuring out what makes them work. At first glance they might feel beautiful, unachievable and unobtainable, but with a bit of poking around, looking under the covers and digging deep you’ll find a formula before too long. Let’s take this space for instance – Jenna Lyons’ old pad that was shot for Vogue. I know it’s probably been featured a zillion times before but with good reason. It’s super cool! Here’s why it works so darn well.

I love that there’s a nod to the traditional. All out-there interiors in my book work well with some sort of traditional bones. Jenna and I both have oodles of that in an our choice of older style houses. No fear if your pad doesn’t come complete with coving, trimming and fireplaces though – firstly, you can fake that! Secondly, you can still add some traditional, classic shapes. If everything is from the same period it feels a little bit one-dimensional so mix it up I say. It doesn’t have to be through the big pieces either, you could opt for ornate style mirrors or gilt like Jenna’s, artwork, side tables, and traditional shapes like Jenna’s amazing George Sherlock sofa.

These are all pieces that tell a narrative and look like they have a history. Speaking of the sofa, what takes this space to the next level is the upholstery. That bright, zingy yellow found on a traditional looking sofa is pure genius! It updates it, gives the space a contemporary and fun vibe and tells you someone supremely creative lives here.

I am a big fan of ethnic rugs they have such a relaxed cosy vibe and I am forever mixing them into my interiors. The pile is important the thicker and fluffier the more relaxed (super important for living rooms). I’ve got them all over my pad and despite all being old vintage pieces they’re about as resilient as a pale rug can be. Oh and mine are all cream and double OH I have two dogs who like to roll in mud, and still they work!

Last up there’s a great mix of finishes and texture heaven. Check out the contemporary artwork, the traditional chandelier, and then the rustic, textured heap of wood in the alcove. It’s that mix of raw wood finishes with polished surfaces that is so clever. Throw in the fluffy rug, woolly cushions and a whole lot of pattern and you’ve pretty much nailed it I reckon.

In a nutshell a rustic, traditional, ethnic, modern combo works brilliantly. It’s timeless and always in style!


Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 10.52.00Clockwise from top left: Ballroom chandelier | Dancer photo print, Lumitrix | Swiss cross cushion, Etsy | Circle log holder, Graham & Green | Gold specs | Leopard jacquard café capri, J. Crew | Wool boatneck sweater, J. Crew | Beni Ouarain vintage carpet | Snowdrop sofa,

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