A Charming Life

Remember the formal living rooms of our parents and grandparents—the ones we weren’t allowed to enter except under very special entertaining circumstances? According to American interior designer and antiques curator Jan Showers, no space is sacred—or at least, it shouldn’t be. In her third book, Glamorous Living (Abrams, 2020), she writes that every room of the house ought to be equally comfortable and inviting. Living rooms, like the one we fell in love with shown here, are filled with books and other meaningful items that are visually complex, both texturally and stylistically. Nothing, Showers insists, is more passé than monochromatic, matchy-matchy decor. This second-floor reception room in a Belgravia townhouse in central London is imbued with personality. Several of the pieces are the delightful vintage finds of the owner, whom Showers describes as having a wonderful eye; he discovered the sheeny bird sculptures in Paris. A small life sculpture is not tucked away in a fusty glass case but is playfully displayed atop a stack of Cartier coffee table books. The art-filled apartment, which includes a Warhol edition over the mantel and a Lucian Freud to the left, also happens to pair solidly with Pantone’s Color of 2021 choices—Ultimate Gray and Illuminating (aka bright yellow)—proof that Showers has her finger on the pulse of interior design.

1. Arenson Yellow Ceramic Table Lamp // crateandbarrel.com
2. Rye Decanter // simonpearce.com
3. Brass Cranes // frontgate.com
4. Andy Warhol Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom Print // 1stdibs.com
5. Raging Sideboard in Cherry // hustonandcompany.com
6. Bat Lounge Chair by GamFratesi // danishdesignstore.com
7. Candle Holder by Bloomingville // fitzandbennetthome.com
8. Liev End Table // jossandmain.com
9. Glacier Rug in Sunny // angelaadams.com


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