Judith Mackin’s Tips On Making A Living Room Cozy

Every home should have a cozy room: a space where one can truly relax, be calm, and connect with loved ones. Judith has broken down how she has made her Cottage Living Room on the Kingston Peninsula an oasis for her and her family with 5 important tips that one should consider when trying to achieve a cozy setting!

1 | Colour Palette

Choosing a colour palette first helps with deciding how to proceed with the following 4 points. In Judith’s space, she wanted to honour the Kingston Peninsula and incorporate nature along with its heritage as it was built by the Loyalists in 1802. With this in mind, Judith kept things neutral with white walls, organic with her leather chairs, warm with the wool blanket, and gave it character with local art, ceramics, and vintage furniture. This gives the room the illusion that it’s been frozen in time.

2 | Furniture Arrangement

The arrangement of furniture can either make or break a space. Too often do we think that our furniture needs to be placed around the perimeter upon which everything needs to be worked around. This set-up lacks intimacy and is ultimately not a great use of space. Judith wanted to bring everything central into the room, so she used the coffee tables as a starting point and built on from there. She chose to set the sofa and chairs not in front of the fireplace, but rather to the side, to help give the room more flow, openness, and balance.

3 | Decorating

Once the furniture is in place, it’s time to decorate! In Judith’s case at the Cottage, she wanted to bring in decor items that reflected her environment. After a few visits to local thrift stores and pawn shops, Judith was able to collect a variety of antique vases, candleholders, picture frames, and decoys, along with local pottery. When styling her bookcase, she kept in mind her colour palette and chose her favourite design books, and laid them flat. For on the walls and around the room, Judith chose warm blankets, a deer head from Port City Pawn, chopped wood, patinated antiques, and original art too.

Thanks to it’s rural location, there’s no real need for privacy shades or curtains at Judith’s cottage. Instead, she opted for macrame window valances from Naomi Studio (Naomi Peters).

4 | Lighting

It’s easy to forget how important lighting is until you’re in a room with bad lighting, even though it’s debatably the most essential element! Lighting can be broken down into three categories: incandescent light, candlelight, and natural light. When bringing a space together, it’s important to consider a good overhead light that can be put on a dimmer, like the Cocoon Acorn pendant Judith used ($389 from Tuck).

Ensuring that there is a good distribution of light all year round, especially in a room where you will be spending a lot of time, should be a priority. Then, having some table lamps and floor lamps allows for a nice ambience.

Candles are beautiful regardless of if they are lit or not. But when they are lit, they give a beautiful glow and easily set a relaxing mood.

Lastly, natural light makes a world of difference! In Judith’s space, the amount of natural light coming through her new Marvin windows from Ultimate Windows & Doors actually makes the space look bigger! With the light bouncing off the white walls, it brightens it even more. The big windows allow one to feel more connected to nature, too!

5 | Furniture 

When picking the proper furniture, it’s imperative to think of the purpose of the room and who lives in the home. From there you can decide what material and furnishings to choose. For Judith, she often entertains friends and family with young children as well as pets. With this in mind, she brought in durable materials like leather, which patina beautifully over time, and a sofa with a slipcover that she can easily wash. Both the sofa and chairs are classic looking, meaning they will age well over time and not need to be changed out. The low backs on the chairs and sofa do not obstruct the view out the window. The softness of the material and construction of the furnishings allow you to curl up easily with a book or glass of wine in front of the fire. For the coffee tables, Judith chose real wood to keep with the rustic theme, as well as choosing a material that looks good over time.

BONUS

Where you can, fill your space with pieces that have meaning to you. Connecting with your surroundings helps you cherish all that it is that makes a house a “home”. It allows you to be more thoughtful of your purchases in ways that encourage you to support local artists and businesses, to get creative with repurposing antiques, and having a smaller footprint by thrifting second-hand goods.

Featured Gus* Modern items from Tuck: Carmel Sofa Washed Denim White ($2900), Cabot Chairs Saddle Brown Leather ($1950), Metric Coffee Table Walnut ($925), Metric End Table Walnut ($525), Avro Rug Oatmeal 8×10. Other items from Tuck: Black Ticking Cushion ($69), Metal Vase ($15), Chilewich Kaleidoscope Placemat Black ($13), Christiana Myers NB Coat of Arms Small ($90), Christiana Myers Comforts of Home ($90), Christiana Myers Live free of Die ($50)  

Featured Gus* Modern items from Tuck: Metric Coffee Table Walnut ($925), Metric End Table Walnut ($525), Avro Rug Oatmeal 8×10. Other items from Tuck: Metal Vase ($15), Chilewich Kaleidoscope Placemat Black ($13)

Featured Gus* Modern items from Tuck: Metric Coffee Table Walnut ($925), Metric End Table Walnut ($525). Other items from Tuck: Metal Vase ($15), Chilewich Kaleidoscope Placemat Black ($13)

Scout on the Carmel Sofa Washed Denim White ($2900) with Black Ticking Cushions ($69) form Tuck!

Featured Gus* Modern items from Tuck: Cabot Chairs Saddle Brown Leather ($1950), Metric Coffee Table Walnut ($925), Metric End Table Walnut ($525), Avro Rug Oatmeal 8×10. Other items from Tuck: Black Ticking Cushion ($69), Metal Vase ($15), Chilewich Kaleidoscope Placemat Black ($13), Christiana Myers NB Coat of Arms Small ($90), Christiana Myers Comforts of Home ($90), Christiana Myers Live free of Die ($50)  

Featured Gus* Modern items from Tuck: Cabot Chair Saddle Brown Leather ($1950), Acrylic I-Beam ($450) Avro Rug Oatmeal 8×10.

From Tuck: EQ3 Rubix Ottoman in Lana Grey Fabric ($269) next to an antique library card cabinet.

From Tuck: EQ3 Rubix Ottoman in Lana Grey Fabric ($269) next to an antique library card cabinet.

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