living room

The living room is huge. It’s one of the things I love the most about the flat, and as it’s south-facing it gets lots of sun.

The sofa is the Fancy Nancy from Sofa Workshop and has been used in many, many magazine shoots! It’s got a subtle midcentury look that just works with pretty much any room setting. It’s all about the buttons and the piping, for me. I’d wanted it for about six years, but it was always too expensive. I literally used to harangue Sofa Workshop stores, asking them if they would sell me their display model, but as it was one of their signature pieces they said it was unlikely to ever be sold off. Then, one day, I was shopping and saw it in the window with a big red CLEARANCE tag on it, and marched in and told the rather stunned sales assistant that I had waited six years for it and that I had to buy it. I got about £1000 off, so I was really chuffed.

I choose pink because it’s a (surprisingly) easy colour to live with, bold without being dominant, and adds warmth to my white walls and grey floor, which is painted in Farrow & Ball's Down Pipe. I've got a bit of a pink obsession, actually - I have to restrain myself. My other colour obsession is mustard yellow, and I'm planning on using accents of that in my spare bedroom.

I think colour is incredibly important in interiors, but personally I like to keep it restrained to a few bright splashes, set against a white background - this really maximizes the light and sense of space. Dark walls and lots of heavy patterns make me feel quite claustrophobic. White walls are also more forgiving on imperfections, which helps when you live in a period property that could really do with a replaster…

The Ercol table is an original 50s one found on eBay and is one of my favourite pieces of furniture - the patina of the teak top is just beautiful. The paper lampshade is from Habitat.

I found the mirror in a junk shop for £10. It’s an old dressing table mirror from the 1960s - I’d seen one reused in a similar way on one of the design blogs. It weighs a ton so I had to hang it with a huge chain.

The fairy lights are from Cox & Cox. I put them up for Christmas but they’re just too pretty to take down. I’m not into ornaments or clutter, and these shelves are the only place in the flat where I allow myself a few chosen items, mostly old family photos. And my deluxe Scrabble board, which is too big to fit into any cupboards!

Over the years working on interiors mags I’ve learnt that it’s not realistic to try to live in a ‘photoshoot’ room. It’s too sterile, and too impersonal. I’ve seen a lot of expensive homes that have been interior-designed to within an inch of their life, and to me, they often just look like hotel rooms. Your home should be a reflection of you.

Photos: Sophie Duckworth