marie claire’s Style Guide To An Urban Retreat

Bold simplicity starts with key furniture pieces paired with a considered, modern palette.

Picture the perfect living room. There’s a timeless couch, statement furniture pieces, windows dressed in floor-sweeping curtains, and contemporary homewares to complement the space.  

If you’re trying to keep up with a fast-paced lifestyle crammed with daily commutes or constant Zoom meetings, this serene space might just be the antidote you’re looking for; a place to unwind and exhale. And you don’t have to go off-grid or embark on a wellness escape in Thailand to find it.

Here we worked with Freedom Australia to curate an urban retreat, using a monochrome colour palette, tactile materials, and playful silhouettes. Designing a living space like this takes restraint and consideration of key pieces, guided by the ethos of less is more.

With Anna McCooe, editor of marie claire Lifestyle, we share our top three style rules to bring this relaxed yet sophisticated look to your own living room.



Style rule 1: Keep it tonal

Choose colours from a considered palette to keep things simple. Use monochrome and neutrals as a base, then add depth with soft hues of pink, purple and brass gold. In this living room, the big-ticket items (such as the snow white Westport 3.5S sofa, grande black coffee table by Freedom and a statement textured rug) cement the tonal scheme. 

The oversized sofa with classic slipcovers and cloud-soft pillows looks right at home in this space, providing the perfect base to introduce a touch of colour and character with a diverse array of cushions. As Anna McCooe says: “Cushions in a room are like characters in a play. Points of difference drive the story forward.”

Freedom Buffet

Style rule 2: Choose texture

Style the hero sofa with a statement coffee table or buffet unit and add a touch of contrast with modern vases or lamps. Don’t be afraid to mix textures or experiment with different shapes and finishes to add dimension to your space. Look for brushed metals (as seen above in the Gold Dome Lamps by Freedom above), raised prints on cushions, soft fabrics, and textured detailing on furniture.

Pictured above, the Labyrinth Buffet by Freedom is more than just a support act, introducing a dark, earthy hue and unexpected texture. The geometric door design is crafted from mango wood and accented with glam gold handles, surrounded by glimmers of glass, gemstones, and brass. In terms of flooring, select a rug with a subtle pattern in muted colours, such as Freedom’s Zurah Floor Rug which anchors this space.

Freedom table

Style rule 3: Make shapes

Shape is a playful way to surprise the eye. Contrast the straight lines of furniture and walls with curves to create points of interest. Floral arrangements are a fail-safe way to bring organic forms to flat surfaces or sharp corners.

If you have a small living space, add a statement arched mirror to the wall to create the illusion of more room. Once you’ve established the style foundations of your space, add the finishing touches of key design pieces to create a space that’s uniquely yours.

Brought to you by Freedom.

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