“People are more concerned with longevity and sustainability in items now,” says Beck Simon, a photographic stylist for interior and lifestyle shoots who’s become something of an expert on quality furniture.

Simon says although aesthetics have always been top of mind for the majority of purchases, sustainability is now a key criteria. Avoiding the furniture equivalent of fast fashion is crucial – and saves money in the long run. “If you buy well, you should only need to do it once or twice in your life,” says Simon.

With longevity and customisation in mind, we asked Simon to share four different types of furniture to build your living space around.

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A versatile sofa
A sectional sofa that allows customisation to suit your surroundings is a great place to start says Simon. “Because it’s modular, it suits a large cross-section of different spaces, whether it be a home or an apartment,” says Simon. She says something like the Kato Sofa is ideal, as it allows multiple seats, chaise and fabric selections. “[Because] everything is customisable, it’s quite versatile.”

A statement armchair
Most buyers go with neutral colours for their sofas. Simon says the introduction of an individual armchair is a good way to pop some colour into your space. “You can make it a statement in selecting a bolder colour or fabric,” says the stylist. “Something modern and simple would suit most interiors, [but with] the luxury of fabric selection you can customise it to your preference.”

Light, moveable tables
With the ability to be both coffee tables and side tables, occasional tables offer a simple but effective way to switch up the feel of a room. Something like a rounded, minimalistic table like the Apero makes an elegant counterpoint to the right angles of a room and sofa. “They’re glass and have very sleek, clean lines,” says Simon. “I like them because they’re light and very easy to move around in a space.”

Ambient lighting
How many of us judge the look of a bar or restaurant simply by the strength of its mood lighting? The same effect applies in the home, where clever placement and soft bulbs can alter a mood significantly. “Lighting will always be a consideration for me in a living space, to create a soft, ambient light,” says Simon. She says the sophistication of a feature piece like the Pallino table lamp further adds to the vibe, becoming both a way to inspire atmosphere as well as conversation.

Clever rugs
As the saying goes, rugs can really tie a room together. Operating as both a visual centre of gravity and a subtle demarcation of a room, rugs can subtly alter an atmosphere, even if much of the time it’s subconscious. “The role of a rug within a living space is really important,” says Simon says. “I would recommend a neutral, textured rug to anchor a space. It’s also a great way to divide spaces in a large room.”

This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with King.