My Dark, Snug Living Room Reveal / by Tash South

This little room has come a long way – it’s taken about three years to get it out of my head and into reality. I imagined it as a cocooning, cosy snug when we first worked with the architect on the plans, and today it is just that.


This area is not large, it measures about 2.5 x 3.5 metres and flows off the open plan kitchen diner that opens onto the garden. I wanted to make a big statement with this small space, the kitchen diner is painted in an extremely light grey (Dulux Night Jewels 6) so I went for a big contrast in colour, using Farrow & Ball’s Off Black EVERYWHERE – even the ceiling and skirting (Mad About The House would approve!) – to intensify the cozy atmosphere and to define it as a separate space. I decided that this space could handle it because it has a large skylight above and is right next to the small glass-walled courtyard, which also lets in quite a lot of light. I’ve broken up the black on the shelves with white-framed art, books and plenty of greenery.

Because this space is so small, I wanted to include some clever storage, as much as I would have loved a statement console or sideboard, it just would not have worked in here, so I designed the media unit wall to make the best use of the space. I wanted it to be practical, to store things like my printer, shredder and board games, but also have space to display books, plants, art and all the lovely objects I’ve collected over the years. So I designed the unit to have closed storage at the bottom and the open boxes at the top that stagger as they rise so as not to block off the skylight. I also included a bio ethanol fire into the design, it’s definitely not the same as having a roaring open fire as we’ve had in our previous Victorian flats, but it does add to the cosy atmosphere when lit.

I absolutely love tan leather sofas and I’d always envisioned one for this space, so I chose Swoon Editions’ Berlin Sofa in tan stone leather, and I’d still like to add a matching leather ottoman or footstool to this space too. The vintage Ercol Windsor chair is one of my favourite pieces, I found it in a charity shop for £15! I painted it and reupholstered the cushions about 5 years ago, so they are definitely due for new covers soon.



I chose the Flos IC wall lights for this room, they cast a soft glow and I love the way the seem to float on the dark walls and flank the Bill Murray print (which is by Replaceface on Society 6). Although I love the Off Black, it is quite dark in here the evenings, which is great for watching TV, but I do need to add a couple more lamps, for now I have the Habitat Burgess lamp and the copper floor lamp is from M&S (both bought a couple of years ago).

This is one of the smallest rooms in the house, but it is one of the best spaces to spend time in. When I’m sitting on the sofa I’m looking at some of my favourite objects, like the ostrich eggs and Seashell Whale’s tale, which we brought back from Cape Town and remind me of home. Most of the artworks were gifts, so they remind me of the givers and my design books are always there reminding me that I need to take a lazy Sunday sometimes and actually open and read them!  Another lovely thing about this little space is that wherever you sit, you can look up and see the sky – a great little detail in the design by MAB architects.


With huge thanks to Pure PR, Andrew Martin (rug and cushions) and Urban Collective (throw) who loaned the items for this shoot.

The habitat lamp was a gift.