London-based interior designer Lonika Chande is known for her modern takes on classic English style, devising spaces that are at simultaneously lovely and lived in. To shop a selection of pieces inspired by Lonika’s gathering space below, click here.

Lonika Chande
Lonika Chande. Portrait by Milo Brown.

How would you describe your approach to designing gathering spaces?

I gravitate toward schemes that combine rich colors, playful textures, and patterns in a comfortable and warm way. I love the details, mixing new, vintage, and antique pieces with curated art, books, and other treasures. There is a sort of layered eclecticism to these spaces.

What’s your technique for blending vintage pieces with newer objects?

You have to enjoy the process and have fun experimenting. For example, an antique chair in a modern stripe, or a mid-century sideboard paired with a contemporary lamp. It’s also about accumulating old pieces in a way that is meaningful to you: a quilt that was your grandmother’s or a bamboo chair that you found while on a trip. These make for the best bits to sit alongside the new.

Lonika Chande
Interior by Milo Brown

How do you find the right finishing touch to make these kinds of rooms feel complete?

Number one is not to be too precious about it, and to use what you have and what you love. Also focus on varying textures and materials. A vintage terracotta flower pot sprouting a fresh herb adds much more than, say, a vase of artfully arranged store-bought flowers. It’s also about the balance — something that draws the eye in, seen alongside something quite simple.

What makes this room a special gathering space? What makes it work?

Staying true to the original interior architecture of a building is important, and spaces sit so much better for it. Yes of course, there are ways of fudging this—contemporary joinery can look wonderful in a period space, for example, painted in a more classic color. I love how spaces evolve and change in this way.

Excerpted from issue 7 of Magazinish, the print companion to To shop our collection of pieces from this story, click here.

Lead image: Interior by Simon Brown


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September 9, 2022

Dennis Sarlo is the executive editor of Chairish and a lover of all things design-related. Prior to joining the team, he served as the executive editor of Dering Hall and was the first site director of Architectural Digest. He was also part of the founding team of travel startup Jetsetter. He lives in New York.