With a soft, muted palette, sumptuous yet tactile textiles and sleek furniture, Luke Arthur Wells has cleverly curated his living room to be a space he loves.
“For me, my living room is definitely my happy place in the home. It’s an open plan space, and having recently completed the kitchen, it’s the first part of the house, a bit of a renovation project, that feels properly finished. It’s by far the space I spend the most time, and where I’ve best worked out how to make it work, layout-wise. It’s a narrow Victorian house, so it needed some careful consideration,” the writer, stylist and award-winning blogger explains.
While updating the living room wasn’t initially a first priority when he moved into his Victorian terrace home in Colchester, Essex, as it was in good condition with original floorboards and a beautiful feature fireplace – Luke soon found the dark-stained floorboards felt ‘oppressive’ and decided a new floor was needed, and so the living room renovation began.
“With a new light floor for a base, the rest of the scheme is a mix of off-white, beiges and interesting textures,” Luke says. “The original fireplace was restored, and put back to black cast iron, and new tiles added to both chimney breasts. A modular Swyft sofa, a DIY marble coffee table and textured wool rug make up the seating area. I love to watch TV, but putting a large one in this sort of house is tricky, as there are so many alcoves. The Samsung Serif TV is on a stand, and provided an answer where a TV stand would make the television look too top heavy. In another alcove, I made a built-in cocktail cabinet for entertaining, topped with a granite shelf with beautiful marbling.”
“There are a few pieces I really cherish in this space. The Travertine side table is one of my favourite things I own, while the Tulip style dining table is something I’m sure I’ll take from house to house.”
One of the ways Luke has ensured his space remains a sense of calm is by adding plenty of storage, underneath his staircase, hidden by a slatted feature wall. “It’s a very zen, peaceful room, and I’ve managed to incorporate all the storage I need to keep it clutter-free most of the time. Those things are very important to me – mess gets me very stressed,” Luke laughs.
Another trick that Luke shares, which has benefited his space, is the importance of soft lighting. “This room takes on a different character at different times of the day. In the morning, it’s such a bright space, it’s the perfect place for relaxing with a morning coffee. In the evening, it’s a really cosy space,” he says. “Lighting is such an important part of home design, and having lived in this space in a few incarnations, I feel like it’s really perfected in this space now. The key? Swapping out a second pendant light in the seating area for wall lights – I’d go for wall lights over a pendant any day of the week to light a space, I hardly ever put the ‘big light’ on in any room!”
Of course, whilst chatting tips, we had to ask Luke for his advice for creating our very own havens in our homes: “Always pick a style that actually speaks to you, and avoid going all-in on flash-in-the-pan trends for big purchases,” he says. “When they do eventually fall out of fashion, you’re left with a big reminder of an out of date trend that you can’t always change. If you truly love it anyway, it’s no problem, but I’ve started to veer towards timeless for those key pieces now!”
What is your favourite…
I do like to read, but I’m going to be controversial and go for a coffee table book. My favourite right now is Kelly Wearstler’s Evocative Style coffee table book, so much amazing inspiration and one of my favourite interior designers.
…. comfort food?
Pasta, nothing better than a big bowl with lots of cheese, always!
… craft or activity?
We landscaped our small courtyard garden a year ago, so I’ve really been enjoying planting up the space and seeing it come to life. It’s really grown in this year, and it’s so satisfying to see.
… loungewear or pyjama brand?
Calvin Klein, always my go to!
… candle scent?
I’ve just tried the Fig Trees fragrance by Jo Loves, and it’s definitely one of my favourites.
… TV series?
I’ve been binge-watching Stranger Things over the last little while. I also recently watched the TV series Julia about the chef Julia Childs which I think is a bit of an undiscovered gem. It’s such a happy watch!