Walking on sunshine: It's no surprise that when rug designer Helen Yardley and her husband moved into their light-filled north London home, they decided not to scrimp on the flooring

Our five-bedroom house in Camden, north London, was built in 1851 and we moved in around 10 years ago; our daughter was conceived two weeks after we settled in. I like the living-room because it's very high, light and peaceful, especially after being stuck on the Tube. It has some of my favourite art in it, including something by Hughie O'Donoghue, bought from Purdy Hicks on Hoxton Street - although I normally hate it when people are obsessed with buying named pieces when it's not from the heart.

I designed the rug around 10 years ago; when we were decorating this room, we wanted to go for something contemporary, but which was not going to age. We had a new Exmoor oak floor from Bernard Dru that was oiled rather than varnished and its patina is starting to look great. My husband, Simon, is very particular about these things: if it costs a bit more, it's worth it, as it will give you joy always. Unfortunately, when we were about to move in, the fireplace was stolen, but we replaced it with something that looks more contemporary from Lawscot.

One of my favourite things is a wooden Buddhist flame, which I bought from Joss Graham, an antiques dealer near Victoria, which does mainly textiles; it's like going to the British Museum, but you can take things away with you. The object is a symbol of peace and I bought it as an offering after I'd had a shouting bonanza with my husband.

There is a wooden chair that I like, which my dad gave my mum and I sat in as a child. It's very comfortable. The wood is skewed and has a bit of give - it feels good against your back, especially since we have resurfaced it with felt. I think you can buy them at the design store Twentytwentyone.

We also have a piece of slate from our house in Cornwall. When we moved in there we replaced a lot of the Delabole slate in its roof. This piece was a bit misshapen but has a wonderful texture, and I love the yellow lichen. I have a lot of slate left that I want to use, but I don't yet know how. n



Helen Yardley's rug gallery is at 28-29 Great Sutton Street, London EC1, tel: 020 7253 9242, www.helenyardley.com

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