Where is that special spot in your home that gives you a place to unwind?

It’s that space that you go to after a busy day, after you’ve taken off your shoes and changed into your favourite comfortable outfit. After making yourself a cup of tea or pouring a glass of your favourite wine, you go to that space that really makes your home feel like home – the place where you can relax, get cozy, and enjoy some downtime in the evening.

For this client, that space was on her main floor, just off the main entrance.

She wanted a cozy room that she could relax in each evening, but that still retained the unique charm of her older home. As the only seating area on the main floor, it also needed to be an inviting space that she could use as a living room when guests were visiting.

So how did I create a room that could be used as her ideal evening retreat?

» Built-in features that work with the character of a room

Capturing the right feel of a room is part of its functionality.

When the function of a room is relaxation, surrounding yourself with the things you need to relax is key. Watching your favourite TV show in the evening is far more enjoyable when you’re not surrounded by clutter or distractions.

To make that work for this client, I began by designing the fireplace and surrounding area in a way that incorporated the electrical for the television. This made it seem like it was a feature that had always been in the room.

» Art doesn’t have to be limited to the walls

I drew inspiration for colour palettes from the beautiful original paintings that my client had in her space. By adding an incredibly beautiful and unique hand-knotted rug, I was able to blend the unique character of the home with the colours that this client found relaxing.

Rugs are an easy way to bring a room together and add visual interest that isn’t overly distracting. Their presence can change the entire feel of a room.

Adding in large floral throw cushions gave the down-filled couch the cozy, welcoming feel my client was looking for while giving a fun pop of colour.

» Investing in quality pieces of furniture is important

There are two main reasons to invest in high-quality furniture for a space like this:

  • Comfort is key. My client wanted a sofa that she could curl up and sink into each evening. That meant it needed to be a comfortable, enjoyable place to sit, but also that it had the ability to endure daily use.
  • As a multi-functional space, the furniture needed to be something that supported my client’s style, since she planned on entertaining friends and family in this room. Blending a modern take on a traditional sofa means it is as stylish as it is functional.

Choosing furniture that fits the room itself is also key. Because this space was narrow, I picked interesting but small chairs to flank the fireplace. This gave a functional conversation area for when she has company.

» Don’t be afraid to mix patterns

Because this room was right off my client’s front entryway, tying the spaces together was important. She wanted to redo the tiles in the foyer and add a runner to the stairs to make them safer.

By choosing vintage-inspired porcelain tiles, I was able to get the bold, welcoming feel my client wanted in the foyer while still bringing all the hard elements in the space together. A blue wool runner was added to the stairs, not only making them safer, but adding a point of visual interest.

» Lighting sets the tone

How lighting is incorporated affects the style and the feel of a space. In the dining room, new drapery was added to give a soft, whimsical feel and help provide privacy from back neighbours. A lantern chandelier was also added, making a bold statement while also providing excellent lighting for any occasion.

Retaining the character and uniqueness of your home is possible when creating a comfortable, multi-functional space. When it comes to relaxation, one of the most important things you can do is invest in high quality furniture for your retreat – if you aren’t comfortable, you can’t unwind.

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