Nov 23, 2023 | Carpet One Floor & Home
Design by LISA KOOISTRA | Photography by STEPHANI BUCHMAN
Unveil the secrets of crafting a cozy oasis with Lisa Kooistra, the creative mind behind Lisa Kooistra Design. Discover her insights into balancing functionality and warmth in interior spaces through the fusion of cozy home decor ideas.
These clients wanted us to work with the existing footprint of the home but completely update all the spaces with new paint, furniture, and decor. The idea was to create a very timeless approach and keep a lot of the main pieces neutral, but then add warmth throughout the decor that could be easily switched out.
Creating a functional and well-designed home is the most important first step for me in interior design. Once we have created a cohesive design for the home, we can start selecting finishes and items that have a certain warmth while mixing in different fabrics and textures. Layering and adding help to achieve this overall look and feel of coziness within your home interiors.
Often, I use wood flooring, and in this project, the floors were already in this home. We ended up keeping them because they added character and another layer of warmth from the wood tones inspired by natural elements. In keeping with the dark floors, we added a warm white to the walls and mixed dark and light furniture, while the flooring grounded each room.
It’s important to make sure everything is balanced. If there is a darker sofa, then allowing the area rug to have interest and be in a lighter tone will help offset the dark floors. Having a dark, neutral sofa also allows us to add colour and pattern with different textures of pillows and decor. Whether it's by adding a stylish faux fur throw or a mix of natural materials, we plan each area in the design phase to make sure we have a consistent overall balance of colour, texture, and pattern.
Pro Tip: It’s also important to pick the right drapery! This creates a certain vibe but can also change the colour of a space once the sun shines through. As a designer, I like to stick to neutral tones for a backdrop while maintaining balance and warmth in the items that are added to a space.
There are certain areas in a home where using direct light is important, especially for working environments. A lot of these spaces allowed us to use more ambient lighting. This helped to create that cozy environment throughout. Selecting the right lighting is important, and each space can thrive in its own way with different light sources and colour tones. Each light fixture was selected specifically for the client’s needs and to achieve the overall cozy approach.
Pro Tip: For warmth, ensure you have layers of different light sources, such as overhead lighting or a table lamp.
We really wanted to bring the warmth of the existing stairs to life. We found there to be a beautiful richness to this tone and wanted something to really pop when you opened the door. Creating this statement added so much warmth, impact, and uniqueness to the space. An entrance should have as much impact as a powder room—it shows off your style!
We chose very warm paint colours throughout in a creamy white. This was a nice accent against the dark floors and contributed to the warm and cozy atmosphere. We then kept a lot of the lighting more neutral. Because the flooring was dark, we added rugs that were nice and light and tried to sprinkle other light fabrics and textures with pillows, drapery, and other smaller furniture pieces. This allowed us to add texture to these items and mix them with some patterns and warm tones to achieve that cozy feel.
In bedrooms, you want to create a sense of calm. I like designing bedrooms with elements of softness that reflect the client and instill a sense of tranquility. It's a private space and should be a place that is unique to you and feels like a personal retreat. The main function of this space is to relax and sleep, and design elements like the bed should be at the forefront.
Quality bedding and year-round seasonal layering elements like pillows, throw blankets, and duvets bring visual impact and comfort; they can help maintain the right temperature for sleeping, especially during the winter months. Adding an upholstered bed also adds an element of warmth, with the caveat of layering the right pillows, bedding, coverlet, and seasonal throw to keep the home cozy.
Another area of plushness to consider is the area rug, which adds warmth and coziness. Drapery is an important element in a bedroom, as it not only contributes to coziness but also buffers sound. In this bedroom space, we wanted it to add warmth while also adding to the neutral layering of other fabrics.
Creating cozy nooks with unused space is important to help pull a cozy room together. Seeing open or unused space is not ideal in your bedroom or your main living space. Balancing the larger pieces with small reading nooks, oversized chairs, benches, coffee tables, and more not only enhances the functionality of the space but also contributes significantly to the overall cozy vibe. We added oversized and plush chairs in a lot of these spaces and benches in the hallways to layer in warmth, along with the idea of being able to sit wherever in leisure.
Lisa Kooistra is the creative director and principal interior designer for Lisa Kooistra Design. This design firm has become known for crafting inviting, functional, and aesthetically pleasing spaces.
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