A compendium for luxury living
Katharine Pooley On: Designer Grey Living Rooms

Katharine Pooley On: Designer Grey Living Rooms

The interior designer reveals how to create her serene, modern look

Jon Sharpe
By Jon Sharpe, Chief Creative Officer

Located just off of the King’s Road, Katharine Pooley’s London townhouse schools in the art of multitasking chic. Despite not having made any structural changes (yet!) in the two years she’s owned the property, the designer has made the most of the residence by combining spaces harmoniously to offer a home sufficient for the needs of a modern family. Her kitchen-cum-snug (which she admits sold the house to her for its “American feel”) is the more informal of these multifaceted spaces; the formal, a combined, elegant living room and dining room.

A serene grey palette is subtly accented with the bronze tones of Yin Xin artwork, contemporary casegoods and occasional furniture contrast traditional upholstery (her fauteuils are stunning!) and Easten-inspired accents, from Katharine’s own range, strike a balance between layered and composed.

What do you need in a living room?

For me, the most important things [about a living room] are that it’s welcoming for guests and cosy. To achieve these things, I like to use a neutral colour palette and soft lighting. Technically we have two living rooms/areas. One is the snug downstairs which is a more informal area. The upstairs living room (pictured here) is more formal, but is well-used as a space to welcome guests and also to entertain guests after dinner.

How would you describe the vibe of the room?

Luxurious, but also relaxed. Design is all about colour and whilst there [are] a number of statement pieces in the living room, these are all brought together by the relaxed, neutral greyish green tones on the walls as well as the curtain fabric.

My Designer Living Room – Katharine Pooley living room 2 –
Image credit:

How did you make the most of the space’s bones – large windows, high ceilings, classic mouldings and fireplace?

With high ceilings and large windows, curtains really are a must and so to make the most of these we used a luxurious silk curtain fabric which complemented the overall colour scheme. Also, I love the classic mouldings and fireplace so didn’t want to add too much detail here – simply fresh flowers and a mirror from Louise Bradley which hangs above the fireplace.

Your coffee table is a real statement piece. Are you seeing a trend towards unique coffee tables of late? What drew you to this one in particular?

Definitely – lots of our clients love to have a statement piece in their living area and the coffee table is a popular choice, particularly with metallic finishes or an interesting texture; the latter is what drew me to the table in my living room. I bought it from FBC London.

How did you combine a living and dining room whilst still maintaining two distinct areas? 

It’s all about the placing of furniture so for the ‘living’ part of the room, we chose a statement coffee table and anchored the other items of furniture around this, including the Amos side table sold in my boutique. The dining table is very much on its own on one side of the room ensuring that the two spaces complement one another.

What was your main challenge in designing this space?

Whilst the room is a large room for London, it’s not that big a space to create a living and dining room. Therefore I had to think cleverly about the design and where to place the furniture to ensure the room didn’t feel too cluttered.