Inspired by minimal, clean, Scandi interiors, Cate St Hill’s living room is a calming, cocooning space that offers tranquility, away from the stresses and strains of everyday life. “I find I need a neutral backdrop to be able to switch off and recharge the batteries – pared back, minimal spaces make me feel calm and contented, helping to quiet the noise of the outside world,” the London-based writer, stylist and designer explains. “This space has definitely been designed with wellbeing in mind. From the pale colours and natural materials to the little pops of green and soft textures, it’s a room that has a lovely tranquil feel, no matter what’s going on in my everyday life.
“It makes me feel rested and restored. Walking into the living room is like breathing a calm sigh of relief. It feels simple and minimal, but homely at the same time, thanks to my favourite objects, books, magazines and plants. I just feel instantly at ease when I’m in the space.”
While the room may not have always been so relaxing (it was bright purple when Cate and her husband moved in), Cate had a clear vision of creating a space that celebrated the beauty of the house’s period features, whilst also adding simple modernity: “We wanted to pare the room back and restore some of the elegance of the original architecture,” the interiors enthusiast explains. “We painted the walls, installed white shutters in the bay window and fitted new pale wood flooring to give a light, Scandi feel. The personal touches are more in the little objects that I’ve curated – I could tweak, curate and style the space all day long!”
And, with a south facing large bay window, allowing natural light to flood in through the shutters, teamed with Slaked Lime Mid by Little Greene painted on the walls, Cate’s created a muted backdrop that she can adapt easily, depending on her mood.
“I always think a neutral wall colour allows a space to be more adaptable, I can then add colour and texture with objects and accessories that I can change around when I need or want to,” Cate says. “I love subtly tweaking my home with the seasons – in summer I might add softer pops of green, but in winter I’ll get out the cosy textiles and create a moodier feel. I’ve become slightly obsessed with the colour green and it’s slowly taking over, from green cushions to green blankets.”
Cate’s living room is not just a space for watching TV, but her “safe space and sanctuary”, used everyday; from her first morning coffee to where she and one year old daughter play, and for cosy evenings catching up with a series. “I really think your interior can have a huge impact on your wellbeing, especially as we now spend so much time indoors. I’m an introvert so I find I need a calm, quiet space to escape the world and be myself,” she adds.
Thinking of your own needs is something that Cate believes is of utmost importance when planning your own happy space, to ensure it’s truly reflective of what you want and need. “Instead of relying on trends or getting overwhelmed by the multitude of options and styles on Pinterest, focus on you and define what you need to feel happy and contented at home,” she explains. “When I’m designing a space I always begin a project by thinking about how I want a space to feel – I’ll initially pick out three words to describe the space. It helps to have a framework that you can build on and use to define your own personal style.”
What is your favourite…
… book? Suite Francaise by Irène Némirovsky
…. comfort food? Marmite on toast
… activity? Reading a book
… Loungewear/ pyjama brand? Arket
… Candle scent? Komorebi by Frama
… TV series? Call My Agent (the French version)