Makeovers

Create a Cozy Corner

How to turn a small, unused space into a multipurpose one with mega style! Design by Allison Willson, photography by Lauren Kolyn.

by Allison Willson,

Sarah Richardson Design, Designed by Allison Willson

It’s kind of hard to believe we built this nook from scratch. Originally an atrium, we finished the second floor hallway by carrying through the flooring and wall panelling. We turned it into the cozy nook you see here by adding furniture and giving it it's own design scheme. While it merely needed a table and chair to be functional, adding a few details made this area multipurpose - perfect for homework, family game night or a mini office. We also made some bold choices when designing this nook - read on for two important tips to successfully transform a small, unused space into a unique, multifunctional one.

1. Choose Pieces that Serve a Purpose

Working in a small space means the function of every individual item needs extra consideration, as there’s less opportunity to layer or repeat elements to make a statement. This nook is an open area of the home, so styling to minimize both clutter and maintenance was an important factor. We only included elements we knew would be both functional and beautiful.

Must-haves pieces:

  • Pedestal-base table with stools: I think this style of table is the most practical, as the multipurpose stools can easily pull in without worry of leg obstruction, and slide in to save on space when not in use.

  • Compact chair: incorporating a sleek chair like the Margot Chair from the Sarah Richardson Design furniture collection gives the space versatility. Pairing it with a stool instantly transforms this area into a reading corner.

2. Opt for a Standout Scheme

Sometimes small spaces are overlooked, but with a little more thought they can still look like fully realized rooms. In this case, we chose Kelly Wearstler’s 'Channels' fabric in Plum Oat – a punchy graphic pattern with great contrast - and used it to create a custom Roman blind. We carried through this graphic motif with the installation of the 'Bubbles' pendant that bears a similar striking form. The overall colour pairing may seem unconventional (hello yellow and burgundy!), but with spaces that aren’t used every day, you can afford to have some fun!

Sarah Richardson Design, Designed by Allison Willson
Sarah Richardson Design, Designed by Allison Willson
Sarah Richardson Design, Designed by Allison Willson

Source Guide:

pendant, 'Bubbles' from Lampcage | Roman shade fabric, Kelly Wearstler 'Channels GWF-3101.911' from Lee Jofa | Margot Chair, Thomas Stools from Sarah Richardson Design | chair fabric, Kirkby Design 'Corn Fleck K5105/31' | stool fabric, Robert Allen 'Berry Crush Dream Chenille' | pillow fabric, Kelly Wearstler 'Groundworks GWF3108-412' from Lee Jofa | pedestal table, custom by Cabinet | glass vase from Jong Young Flower Market | bowl, vintage | paint colour, original to home

Photography by Lauren Kolyn