If the kitchen is the hardworking hub of the home, then the living room could be considered the lazier younger sibling of this space.
These days, homes are all for the open-plan central living space and, if this is what you have, you'll most likely want to soften the utilitarian edge of your kitchen with the cosy allure of the living space. Here are a couple of elements I really value in such a central zone.
When I want to be transported to the lazy days of summer, I simply play around with my pieces to strike a balance between the seasons. This first living room was inspired by my trip to Turkey. I loosely wrapped old ferry rope around a column and hung a pond sailor found in a junk store on the wall. Splattered-water cushion and the dip-dyed knitted piece used as a window treatment are reminiscent of fishing nets and sea tones.
As the weather turns a little gloomier, I can't go past the luxury and romance of a suspended potbelly stove. The perfect companion to such an eye-catching piece is the oversized coal bucket, hand riveted with a whittled wooden handle, for kindling and firewood. I love that all the industrial elements of this space – exposed brick, wrought metalwork, rustic palette – are softened with the many layers of the sofa. I'm a textile lover at heart, so I can't deny the appeal of a soft sofa to sink into.
If things are feeling a little too conventional, take everything down a notch. I took this in a literal sense in this space, inspired by my many Indian adventures. I love the way that the informality of the floor-height seating arrangement meets the opulence of the columns and the striking door. Throughout India you see leftovers from the British Empire. I also love the mix of countries here – pull in an old fan, add a carved marble elephant and lounge around for the afternoon.
Well if it isn't another potbelly stove. I am clearly drawn to old favourites, and you should be, too. There are some things that you can't help but fall back on, whether they are a small flourish or a hero piece. I like how this space is much lighter and brighter than the other, and it just goes to show that you can play with differing degrees of light and dark to turn an interior into your own.