The Nook: creating a cozy space (that you'll actually use)

You're about to move into a new space--what pieces of furniture come to mind?

For the living room, the sofa is almost always first. So you move in, buy/move your sofa in. Eventually, you get a coffee table and a rug, then come the side table and a console. Maybe lighting and art eventually make their way in after months of staring at blank walls.

You're so thrilled with your new space that you invite all of your friends over. So exciting! They arrive and then it dawns on you--how do you fit ALL of those friends on your three seater sectional?

Let me tell you how--accent chairs! I have a deep obsession for a good accent chair. Unlike the sofa, which is large and looming (and therefore, most often neutral), accent chairs are where you can make a statement. They are also how you can create another "area" within your living space; one which you will actually use if you ask yourself these questions:

a. How do I envision myself in this space?

b. What do I want to accomplish in this space?

c. How do I want to feel in this space?

d. What is my budget?

While working with Claire & Stephen, we narrowed down the main goals of the space as comfort, functionality and flow.

They wanted to be able to use the space to lounge, so the dimensions of the chair were key. Adding in lighting and a side table were imperative so that they could read in ample light and have a piece of furniture to set their glassware and books on. Claire and Stephen also wanted the space to feel as distinct as possible while flowing with the rest of the living space that we worked on upon move-in. The existing pieces in the space, although useful at first, no longer fit into the aesthetic of the space and were not as inviting as they once were. Taking all of this into consideration, we set a budget for the entire nook space.

Speaking of budget, let me put a common myth to rest: most people do not decorate their entire home all at once. Despite what you see on TV, designing a home, let alone an entire living room is unrealistic. Along with the financial burden of investing in quality pieces, buying everything at once is not ideal for the overall aesthetic. One of my core beliefs as a designer is that a home is not created all at once. Furniture and decor are collected over time to create layers. Those layers give meaning to your home and culminate into an overall vibe. Be patient with yourself and you will reap the benefits in the years to come.

Back to Claire and Stephen. After sending over a handful of initial proposals, we narrowed down the selection to two. Based on the dimensions of the chair (we took into consideration their heights most of all), we decided to go with the below proposal. The Article chair fit into the aesthetic that we were looking for, was big enough to curl up in, and had rave reviews.

After measuring everything out with painters tape and discussing the dimensions from a distance thanks to FaceTime, we proceeded with the ordering process. Once all pieces arrived, I styled from afar. Although Claire and Stephen had a good sense of where to position everything from the renderings, nothing is ever as good as adjusting it all in person (or as close to in person as is possible).

After & Before


+ Accent Chair: Article Timber Charme Tan Chair

+ Side Table: CB2 Drift Natural Teak Root Side Table

+ Sconce: Serena & Lily Flynn Single Wall Sconce Wicker

+ Art: Urban Outfitters, Tessa Neustadt Polignano