Making a scene

With modernist Palm Springs in mind, we curate a living space that strikes a stylish balance. Follow our lead – it’s all in the detail.

In association with Citta.

When it comes to decorating your living room, style and comfort should not be mutually exclusive. A well-edited interior both intrigues and soothes the senses, simultaneously catering to the desire to entertain and impress or curl up for an evening in.
Start by structuring the space with conversational seating in mind. Here, we selected a coffee table as a central focal point, then arranged the sofa, chairs and smaller, moveable pieces around it. Items such as occasional chairs, an ottoman and side tables give you the flexibility to switch things up to suit the occasion or your mood.


Once you’ve landed on a layout that works for you, prepare to personalise it with a whole lot of layering. Think of your furniture as a blank canvas for the decorative elements you can integrate to create depth and interest.


Adding cushions is an easy way to bring your lounge to life. Collect a mismatched selection you can switch with the seasons. You may like to begin with a couple of standout designs, then complete the picture with a supporting cast in various styles and sizes in the same colour palette.
Rugs are a useful tool for delineating a living area in an open-plan interior. Teaming two together will bring another dimension to the scene. You’ll want to find a happy medium between decorative and over-decorated – it can be a bit of a balancing act. Whatever you do, remember to leave space for living!


  • DESERT BLUSH Sun-kissed pinks, tangerine tints and earthy hues bring with them a summer vibe you can enjoy year-round.
    COOL & CALM Introduce watery greens and faded blues alongside chalky neutrals to develop a tranquil aesthetic.
  • SINGLE SHADES This is a classic way to combine texture and pattern. Choose organic tones and rough weaves, and go for gold as a glam accent.
  • PRINT & PATTERN Mix different-sized prints in similar colours to bring interest and excitement to a space. Break up with a block colour to avoid creating chaos.


There’s something therapeutic about the act of arranging, allowing your personality to shine via vignettes on shelves and tables, in corners and on walls. Building a look that’s ‘you’ won’t happen overnight, but follow these simple steps and you’ll ensure that rather than being a cluttered hot mess, the displays you curate will be cohesive and well thought-out.


  1. Pick a hero piece. Identifying an anchor gives you a starting point
    for a composition. We began with the photographic prints, as we knew they
    were going to dominate in scale and they created a theme for the colour scheme.
  2. Build with books. A shelf should be both beautiful and functional, so books are integral here. Stack them horizontally and vertically to avoid too-symmetrical rows of spines.
  3. Add accessories. Limit your palette so individual pieces don’t compete
    for attention; remembering that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts will make your styling more sophisticated. Sit single dishes on top of stacked books, cluster objects of varying heights in trios and group like items to amplify the visual effect of the collection through repetition.
  4. Go green. Flowers add instant life to any scene. Infuse your home with the fragrant freshness of cut or potted blooms, or try oversized foliage for a more dramatic, lush look.
  5. Step back and critique. Termed ‘negative space’, the gaps you leave between your objects are equally as important as the pieces themselves. Sometimes when an arrangement’s just not working, all it needs is for you to subtract an element from the equation.

If you’re not already a collector, consider keeping an eye out for crystals, shells, stones, vintage candleholders, handmade pottery, cut glass, botanical art, antique implements or birds’ nests. The possibilities are virtually endless.

MAIN IMAGE Segment tray, $79.90; Talo coffee cup, $25.90; Purl Stitch throw, $239; Oro cushion cover (gold), $129; Cinderblock cushion cover (patterned), $69.90; Parker Woven Fringed cushion cover, $89.90; Appaloosa Ikat Woven cushion cover (spotted), $79.90, all

WHOLE ROOM Tilt shelves, from $990; Fable armchair, $890; Cinderblock cushion cover (patterned), $69.90; Sonora cushion cover (nude), $59.90; Hem ottoman, from $1390; Hem sofa, from $2790; Interlock cushion cover (patterned), $69.90; Coachella Fringed cushion cover, $89.90; Appaloosa Ikat Woven cushion cover (spotted), $79.90; Sunshine Embroidered cushion cover (natural), $69.90; Adler Woven cushion cover (mustard), $79.90; Knit Cotton Round basket, from $24.90; Kawiya Woven throw, $229; Frey Handwoven Cotton rug (grey lined), from $199; Camino Handwoven Cotton rug (tangerine geometric), from $199; Segment coffee table, $890; Segment side table, $540, all Floral arrangements (pictured throughout), Remaining credits, see overleaf.

COFFEE TABLE Casa cushion cover (blue and white), $59.90; Tea and Bergamot soy candle, $39.90; Marble Curved serving board, from $49.90, all Large crystal, $190, Remaining items, stylists’ own.

SHELVES 1178 Laverne photographic print by Tom Blachford, POA, Glass bonsai by Amanda Dziedzic, $257, Marble Curved serving board, $49.90, Crystal geode, from $70, Miracle Hill photographic print by Greta van der Star, POA, Tixie frames (set of 2), from $89.90 each, Vintage West German pottery (orange and brown tones), from $60 each, MIDDLE SHELF, FROM LEFT Small Brass Gava dish (gold), $19.90, BMF Nagel Model S22 candlestick holders (chrome), $60 each, Crystal quartz geode sculpture, $150, Large Brass Gava dish (gold), $119; Pillar candles, from $4.90 each, BOTTOM SHELF, FROM LEFT Brass Gava planter (gold), $44.90, Yiselle Lowrey photographic prints (in Tixie frames) and additional items, stylists’ own.

Words & Styling  Alice Lines & Imogen Tunnicliffe
Photography  Simon Wilson

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