When Jonathon Litchfield is asked to pick his favourite items in his living room, he can’t come up with anything.
“That’s actually a hard one,” he admits. “I only have favourite pieces. I don’t really keep things that I don’t really love.”
As the owner of high-end concept shop Litchfield in Vancouver’s Gastown, he’s got an eye for design that spans just about every aspect of living—from clothing and furniture to mugs, books, and apothecary. The inspiration for his store actually came from his own life, in which he was already carefully editing the pieces in his home. As such, his living space—an apartment located in downtown Vancouver—is the heartbeat of his exceptional taste.
Like with many business owners, Litchfield often gets his best work done from home (at the store he usually ends up perfecting displays or chatting with customers), so his living room needs to serve a dual purpose as both a relaxation space and an office. Still, everything is immaculately placed, thought out, and styled. There’s his desk, for one thing—an Ilse Crawford design from her exclusive Sinnerlig collection for Ikea—and a set of short, leather chairs (because low furniture makes him feel grounded); and there’s the hand-turned wooden sphere sitting pretty in a tray on his marble coffee table, as well as the vitruvi Charcoal Stone Diffuser with essential oils to set the aromatic tone. The whole room is bathed in natural light thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows, giving the high-rise apartment an airy, breathable feel.
“I usually have a pretty strong vision of what I want, so rather than going shopping and finding something that catches my eye, I go looking for the thing that I know that I need,” Litchfield explains of his design process. “And I think that’s why I end up with things that I really love and everything is purposeful—because I’ve gone to look for that thing. And that’s how I source for the store as well; I think, ‘I want X,’ and then I go look for it. ‘I want sunglasses that look like this, I want lotion that feels like this, I want rugs that are made of these materials and are these colours.’ It’s not what comes to me, I go to it.”
Aside from all of the natural light, Litchfield’s living room has a few tasteful lamps that offer a soft glow come sundown. “I love to feel grounded and kind of cocooned in my space,” he says. “It’s gotta be something primordial, it’s like being in a cave at night and you’ve got your little glowing fire. It feels so comforting.” When he’s not working at his desk, he’s sitting in one of his chairs and making lists or reading a book—though he admits that his downtime is minimal.
Notably, he doesn’t have a television in here (“I think when it’s there in front of you, you’ll use it—so I don’t want it,”), and instead a large print of an image taken by local photographer Britney Gill hangs on the wall.
“There’s a story here. It’s not just this aesthetic Instagram moment, this is real life—and the reason that I love having this as a big piece for me is this is what I want to be when I’m 87 or 76 or whatever,” he says of the photograph, which was taken in Italy. “I’m there with my life partner and we go for a morning dip whether it’s nice or not, because it’s part of our ritual, and whether you are in a good mood or bad mood that day, that’s part of it. I can see her swimming away because he’s bitching at her and she’s had it, they’re gonna stomp up to their cottage and then they’ll be fine in five minutes. I think it’s a really aspirational thing, and it’s a beautiful moment in real life.”
Speaking of ritual, a big part of Litchfield’s self-care practise is scent. He tailors his aroma to match his mood, much the same way a person cooks dinner based on what cravings call for (“some nights you feel like a rich Bolognese sauce,” he points out, “and other nights you want something bright and Asian”). Invigorating Eucalyptus and calming Lavender are a favourite diffuser pair for him when he’s working, and he also loves woodsy Spruce and grounding Frankincense to warm things up in the colder months. And newly acquired cleansing Ceremony Essential Oil Blend is finding a role as his go-to evening aroma. “Scent is, for me—it always has been—that fourth dimension of a room that you can’t see, but it completely finishes it,” Litchfield says. “I always have scent going. I think it’s just as important a texture in a room.”
From the Ceremony currently wafting from his diffuser, to the book called Small Pleasures that makes him laugh, to the gold tray that he likes to put his coffee mug on, Litchfield’s living room is the epitome of style, dotted with everyday objects that fill his life with beauty. Just don’t ask him to pick his favourites.