Good Ideas

A Styling Guide to Achieve the Coziest Living Room


A Styling Guide to Achieve the Coziest Living Room 

5 simple tips to design your dream living room space. Photo by Andrea Davis / Unsplash.

Here in Canada  – especially during the long cold winter months, we need to take our coziness, and living room time very seriously! I mean, who doesn’t love an extra cozy living room? Aside from being Interior Designers, we are also specialists in all things Hygge.

Have you ever heard of the term Hygge? Hygge – pronounced “hoo-guh”, is a Scandinavian word for a mood of coziness and comfort, with feelings of wellness and contentment.

We want you to make the most hygge out of your lounge space this winter, so we made this quick living room styling guide for your own inspiration!

Comfort is King

When selecting the larger pieces of furniture, always go for functionality and comfort. Nothing is worse than ordering your ‘dream couch’ only for it to arrive and be as comfortable as a tree stump. These days there are so many great places to shop, so you shouldn’t ever have to sacrifice style over comfort ever again! 

When ordering large pieces online, make sure you read reviews of other customers. Most places can also provide fabric swatches so you can feel the fabrics, and match them to your space.  

The cloud-soft comfort and the added console provide comfort and functionality to any space. Photo courtesy of Albany Park, Kova L-Shape Sectional + Console.

Textures Galore 

A calming, comfortable, and cozy living room doesn’t always have to be layered with lots of furnishings. You can achieve the same cozy feel by using rich textures and shapes. A plush rug, like this Bogota Rug from Style In Form, is easy on the eyes and soft on the feet. Soft blankets and pillows are also an easy way to add different textures to your space, and it’s a budget and storage-friendly way to have fun with colour or swap out with the seasons. 

Photo: Bogota Rug from Style In Form

More Pillows and Blankets Please!

If we could have it our way, there would never be enough pillows or throw blankets. The name of the game is COZY after all. Having extra pillows around is perfect for when having guests over because they can double as floor seats! 

Throw pillows and blankets are so versatile and can help make a space more cohesive with your other decor. When the blankets aren’t in use, they are a great styling piece to place over the arm or back of a chair or sofa. We are currently loving the colourful and fun pillows and throws at Urban Outfitters.

A cozy mix of textures. Photo courtesy of Good Space Plans Online Project: Seymour Street

The Flicker of a Flame 

When it’s cold outside there is nothing cozier than sitting by a warm fireplace. Even electric fireplaces are a good option to provide warmth, ambiance and relaxation… No fireplace? No problem! Opt for a nice candle, or check out West Elm’s Yule Log Videos! The crackle of a fire, and a glass of wine – need we say more?

Pops of colour you can change with the seasons. Photo courtesy of Good Space Plans Online: Gray Avenue

Hopefully, this guide has inspired you to make the most of your living room and for you to soak in all of the Hygge this winter.  

Need some help beyond this guide? Book a consultation with us today to begin transforming your home for the holiday season and beyond! 

Photo courtesy of Dwaina Sprauge Interior Design Project: Renewed Spaces – Lion’s Bay

5 Design Tips for the Perfect Home Office


5 Tips to Design the Perfect Home Office

For most, an extra bedroom to convert into a full-sized home office is few and far between – especially in our hometown of Vancouver. But with a few simple design tips and tricks, there are many ways to convert any space into a calming, ergonomic productivity haven.

Whether it’s a corner of your living room, a large closet, the side of your stairs, or a nook with a view, we’ve compiled our best design tips to help you achieve the perfect home office that inspires productivity, sparks creativity, and supports work-life balance.

Here are our top 5 expert tips to design a beautiful home office.

Design your dream home office with these 5 simple interior design tips.

1. Don’t work in your bedroom.

If you’re strapped for space in your home, you may consider setting up base in your bedroom. Our advice? Don’t do it. Working from your bedroom can actually contribute to poor sleep, as your body starts to associate your bedroom with work, instead of sleep. Sleep experts agree that for a better night’s sleep, reserve your bedroom for sleep and intimacy, not for work.

2. Repainting? Choose earth tones.

Are you feeling the urge to paint your work area? Consider choosing a colour that inspires you, makes you happy, or makes you feel at ease. Shades of blue evoke calm and productivity and help to brighten up a space, while those who find their happiness outdoors may find a shade of green more enticing. You can also add these earth-toned elements through decor, plants, or your favourite antiques to make your space a calm, comfortable area to work from.

Earth tones and elements invoke calm and productivity.

3. Separate your space with a room divider.

With limited space, you might find yourself making use of little nooks and crannies. Find a cozy corner of an existing room or table and add a visual separator from the rest of the room. A foldable room divider is great, because you can fold it up at the end of the day and enjoy time with the family together.

4. Get comfy.

Comfort is everything when you’re working. If you’re sitting at a desk for hours at a time, opt for a chair that is ergonomically designed. If you enjoy working from a more relaxed position, consider adding a couch or comfy chair away from your desk to mix things up.

Get comfy with different working options that allow you to switch it up. Designed by Good Space Plans Online.

5. Get a second opinion.

We spend so much time in our homes that it can be difficult to see our space in any other way. Bringing in a professional interior designer can help you find the best place to set up your home office.

To help get you fully settled into your at-home work-life, we’re now offering Single Space Creative Consultations, for those looking to transform their flex spaces into dedicated and personalized workspaces. These new Creative Consultations include an Inform Call and Creative Preview Package to help get you started. Contact us today to book your consultation.

Past Good Space Home Office Projects

Tranquil Home Office Overlooking Okanagan Lake

Tranquil Home Office Overlooking Okanagan Lake. Kelowna, BC (2016). Design by Dwaina Sprague Interior Design.

This beautiful workspace is fit with everything and a view! Built-in cabinets are the ultimate space saver, while the open, well-lit shelves beautifully display all our clients’ books and prized possessions. Having recently retired, our clients wanted their new Kelowna lakefront property to be modern, simple, and clean, while still retaining the warmth of their previous traditional home. This second-floor open workspace is perfect for all sorts of post-retirement projects. Check out the full project here

Mature Home Office with Built-in Desk

Mature Home Office with Built-in Desk. Vancouver, BC (2015). Design by Dwaina Sprague Interior Design.

Designed for a family of “almost empty nesters”, this mature home office with a stunning wood built-in desk has no shortage of storage. The earth tones of stone greys and wood provide a calming space to put your head down and get some work done. Check out the full project here

Bright Office Den Overlooking the City

Bright office den overlooking city. Vancouver, BC (2011). Design by Good Space Plans Online.

If you’re short on square footage, why not opt for a room with a view? We set our clients up with a bright, well-lit workspace in their downtown condo. The large windows and natural light in this room make this bonus den a perfect space to think up your best ideas!

Simple, Tucked-Away Corner Workspace.

Simple, tucked-away corner workspace. Vancouver, BC (2020). Design by Dwaina Sprague Interior Design.

Any flex space can be turned into a beautiful workspace! With a growing family with many interests and hobbies, our clients needed their open basement to serve many purposes: a guest room, craft area, TV room, music room, and home office. Making use of the cutest little nook, we converted this flex space into a fully functional workspace with a work station that offers the peace and quiet of a home office, while still close enough to the rest of the family. Check out the full project here

Walk-In Pantry x Home Office Combo

Walk-In Pantry x Home Office Combo. Vancouver, BC (2016). Design by Good Space Plans Online.

This stunning walk in pantry home office combo is the ultimate food bloggers paradise. We combined our clients’ love for food with their passion for work to create this built-in desk, perfect for meal planning and recipe searching. We can only dream of the recipes made in this space!

Looking for more design help on your next home office project? Book a consultation with us today

Home office design spaces: Solutions for working at home, full- or part-time.

Case Studies

Home office design spaces: Solutions for working at home, full- or part-time.

Are you itching to return to the office? Or are you in the group who absolutely loved working from home during the pandemic? Despite the spotty Zoom calls, constant interruptions from the kids, and the challenge of staying focused with the fridge within arms reach, working from home also came with a lot of benefits for working professionals across BC.

We’re still holding out for a “return to normal” here in BC, but don’t go repurposing your newly created home office into a guest room again anytime soon. Many business owners are working on new “hybrid working models” to allow employees to continue working remotely, at least some of the time. 

So what might a hybrid work solution look like? What does it mean for our productivity? And how do we design the feel and function of our homes for hybrid working? 

What a hybrid work model might look like

Hybrid work solutions are not exactly a new thing. In fact, many tech companies and trendy start-ups have had hybrid working environments for years before the pandemic hit. Now, many businesses are looking to these innovative companies to determine what a hybrid model might look like for them. 

After seeing what remote work has done for their employees’ productivity and mental health, several large companies are working on developing hybrid work models to give their teams more flexibility in their working hours and locations. We may see businesses start offering flex working days, where employees have dedicated office and work-from-home days. Or maybe, employees will be offered a bank of work-from-home days each month to use as they choose.

For working families, this may be exactly what is needed for coordinating school and work schedules. 

We’ve also heard about companies transforming their traditional offices and cubicles into multi-purpose rooms, where employees can book space to work or collaborate on projects in a more open environment. The idea is to foster a greater sense of community and openness, both physically and mentally, among the company. 

Why hybrid work models are essential

People seem to always fall into one of two camps – they absolutely love the flexibility of working from home, or they can’t wait to get back to the hustle and bustle of the office. Now that working professionals have been given a taste of the freedom and flexibility of working from home, they have a better idea of the pros and cons of both. 

As interior designers, we know exactly how important your physical space is to your mental health and productivity. With calming spaces designed specifically for their needs, we’ve helped our clients create fully tailored workspaces that help them focus, brainstorm, and collaborate more than ever before. 

But now that it’s no longer mandated to work from home, it’s a good idea to give employees the choice to work from where they are most comfortable and productive. For some, that may be returning full-time to the office for a much-needed escape from family, while for others, home is a quieter, more serene place to get work done. 

Additionally, this flexibility will help employees better handle their work and personal matters. I mean, how difficult is it to get anything done when you’re constantly stressing about when to leave the office to pick the kids up from school? With a flexible work schedule, working parents can stay close to home and take care of their loved ones when needed, without missing an entire workday.

How to stay organized in a hybrid working model

While hybrid working models have many benefits, they can wreak havoc on the mindset and productivity of those who like routine and structure. If you are given the option to work from your home office, here are some tips for staying productive at home, while still achieving that ideal work-life balance:

Have a dedicated space for work

Set up a dedicated home workspace in an area away from other people in your home. If space is limited, use a decorative divider to separate your work area from the rest of the room. This also serves as a physical barrier to help separate your work life from your home life.

Duplicate your desk layout

Consider using the same layout when setting up your workspace at home and the office. If your phone is always to the left of your computer, do the same at home. We recommend using the same computer mouse at home and work too. 

Work from the cloud

Transferring files back and forth between office network drives and your home computer or work-supplied laptop can cause confusion. Ask your employer to support cloud-storage solutions for files or virtual access to your work computer so you can always access your files, whether you’re in the office or working from home.

Need help designing your home workspace?

If you are preparing your home for long-term working from home, we’ve got you covered. We spend so much time in our homes that we may not see what’s obvious in front of us. Bringing in a professional interior designer can help you find the best place to set up your home office. 

New this season, Good Space Plans Online is now offering single space Creative Consultations, for clients inquiring about transforming their flex spaces into dedicated and personalized home workspaces. Starting at just $400, these new Creative Consultations include a get-to-know-you Inform Call and a Creative Preview Package to help get you started. Contact us today to book your consultation

How to correctly measure your indoor space


How to correctly measure your indoor space

As online interior designers, we work with our clients to bring their visions and dreams for their home to life through our virtual interior design bespoke services that are centered and focused around YOU. Part of that journey includes getting our clients to measure their room and built-in furniture, so we can provide an interior design plan that’s accurate to the space they’re living in! 

Taking accurate measurements in your home isn’t only for new furniture or interior design projects. If you’re selling or renting your home, your realtor will want dimensions. Or, if you’re going to put a room or a suite on Airbnb or VRBO, your guests will probably want to know how big the room or suite is. 

Measuring your space can be easy, as long as you have the right tools in place. Below read our 5 tips to measuring your indoor space correctly. 

Pro tip: Download the cheat sheet we give to our clients when they start measuring their space! 

General measurement tips

We don’t want you to make costly mistakes because you incorrectly “estimated” the space in your condo or house. Measure everything twice, or even three times if you’re unsure. If you can get the same measurement two to three times, then chances are it’s accurate. 

Your measurements will be recorded in inches for best accuracy. When writing your measurements use the two-line marks to indicate the inches. If you’re preparing measurements for an interior designer or someone else, ask their preference for the measurement units in case it differs. 

Step 1: Gather your supplies

You don’t need much, but there are a few things you need before you get started measuring your space:

  • A pencil (yes a pencil…just in case you make a mistake)
  • A tape measure: Make sure it’s an easy-to-use one. 
  • Grid paper: Get a pad or piece of grid paper (or download a sample one from our “How to measure your room” PDF resource download. 
  • A friend: When measuring large spaces, one of you can take measurements and the other can write them down. Or, if using a traditional tape measure, have them hold one end for you.

BONUS TIP: Get a laser tape measure! They’re often the size of a cell phone and take measurements by bouncing a laser off surfaces and calculating the distance based on how long it takes the laser to bounce back. These are inexpensive and extremely accurate. It’ll save you the hassle of dealing with a flimsy metal tape measure (which often need two people to hold in place for longer measurements).

Step 2: Draw your room

First, draw the approximate shape of your room. If possible, make it as large on the paper as possible so you can easily fit in all the details so it’s easy to read. 

Then, do your room perimeter dimensions and write them on the exterior of your drawing. Be sure to add ceiling height if applicable too. This is usually written in the center of your drawing with the title “Ceiling Height” or “CH”.

Next add any exterior wall or room elements like doors, windows, built-in furniture, and fireplaces. Here are some tips for measuring these elements:

  • Doors: Use a quarter circle to show which direction a door opens.
  • Crowded walls: If you have crowded spaces, use an arrow pointing to the element to write down the measurement where there is more space on your paper
  • Trims: If your windows or doors have a trim, ignore it when doing your measurements

Next, add your measurements for all the above elements if they are applicable to your project. For example, an interior designer will want to know the width of the fireplace so they can suggest an appropriate-sized art for it, but your realtor won’t need this level of specificity to sell your home. 

If there are any elements that may affect the placement of new elements in your room, such as vents or a radiator preventing a couch or table from closely abutting the wall, make a note of these areas for your designer. 

Here is an example of what your drawing might look like when you’re done: 

Step 3: Measuring tips for furniture and appliances

If you have any pieces of furniture you want to keep in your new space, provide your designer with these dimensions too. Start by measuring the length, width, height, and diagonal width of your furniture. If it helps, draw a simplified 3D outline of the furniture item and write the dimensions on it. 

If you’re anticipating buying any new furniture, large pieces, or irregularly shaped items, measure a few other spots in your home to ensure it fits:

  • Send your designer the width, length, and height of any door frames or hallways between your exterior door or garage, and the room the furniture will go in. 
  • If there are any bannisters in this path, be sure to indicate how tall they are (often furniture that doesn’t fit down the hall can be lifted and carried over the bannister or railing). 
  • Check and make note of any fixtures that may impede the path of your new furniture too. 
  • If you are in a building with an elevator, don’t forget the elevator dimensions too. 

Step 4: Take photos

After you’ve done your measurements, your designer will want a scanned copy of this file along with photos of the space. A great way to do this is to stand in the centre of the space and pivot to take a picture of each wall. Try to take photos during the day so it’s easier to photograph. You can take photos from your phone as long as they are clear enough for the designer to get a good feel for your space. 

If you’ve got a bit more tech-savvy, consider using your phone to record a brief video walkthrough from the door to your space, then pan around to show the space. This is another great way for a designer to get a better sense of your space, and possibly spot a measurement requirement you forgot. 

Download our cheatsheet to measure your rooms

Remember the proverb “measure twice, cut once” and you’ll be fine. For a little extra help, download our free Measure Your Room cheatsheet (which includes a sample grid you can use for your next room drawing.  

Ready to start your own project? Visit our plan selection to choose the right package for you.

Getting the Hang of Art Decoration: Our Foolproof Art Hanging Guide


Getting the Hang of Art Decoration: Our Foolproof Art Hanging Guide

Part of interior design is ensuring that all the pieces of a space work together. That includes the furniture, fixtures, homewares, accessories, decorations, and last but not least, the artwork. Presenting your art in your newly decorated space can become an artform itself! 

You may have small pieces and larger pieces and are unsure of how and where to hang them. While it may seem daunting at first, we can help you create the masterpiece you’re dreaming of. Follow along as we share a variety of ways to hang your art in your home to complement your space and your own unique style. 

Looking for more at-home support? Why not download our art hanging measurement guide!

Hanging your art on a wall

If you’ve got an empty stretch of wall space and a canvas or framed piece to fit into it, our advice is simple! Hang your art so that the center of the frame is about 60 inches above the floor. 

Hanging your art above furniture

Whenever you’re hanging art above chairs or sofas, you want to make sure that your art is not wider than the seating that you’re hanging it above, and that it’s centered above it. You want the bottom of your artwork to be 6 to 8 inches above the furniture once it’s hung! 

For hanging art above tables, you’ll want to follow the same rule about width of the art we mentioned above. Allow for 10 to 12 inches of space between the bottom of the art and the surface of the table. This may need to be adjusted for other decor items on the table such as lamps. 

Hanging stacked grouping in small spaces

Hanging stacked groupings of art in small spaces such as between two doorways is a popular choice to fill negative space. In this case, space all of your artwork evenly either 1 or 2 inches apart. The centre of your display should be 60 inches up from the floor. 

Hanging stacked groupings in larger spaces

A larger display can feel a bit daunting to put together, but with some patience and time, the reward of the final product is more than worth it! 

Apply the same initial rules as above – space everything evenly 1 or 2 inches apart, and make sure the center of your display is 60 inches above the ground. 

Pro tip: Try laying out your artwork on the floor first and rearranging it until you have the perfect combination that works for you. 

Salon style grouping in larger spaces

A mixture of artwork and objects can really bring a wall to life! 

We recommend using paper, scissors, and brown paper to create templates of the art sizes and shapes you’re planning to hang. Use painters tape to hang your paper templates on the wall to create a mockup of your new display before committing to hanging in any formation. 

Leaning art and mirrors

Leaning art or mirrors can look great in a lot of different locations, such as on mantles or shelves, furniture, on a narrow ledge, or even on the floor. 

We recommend securing all heavy leaning pieces or mirrors to the wall to avoid any accidents, especially if you have children or pets! 

Art on bookshelves

Art can bring a little bit of life to a bookshelf and fill some empty space if you haven’t got enough reading material to pack the shelves yet. 

Try using plate stands or easels on bookshelves to make the art stand out. 

Now you’re ready!

Hanging art is often an overlooked part of pulling your space together. After moving or renovating a space, it’s frequently the final task, and people will grab a stud finder and a screwdriver, and hang the art without measuring. 

With a little extra time and care, properly hung artwork will not only make your space more appealing to the eyes, it will also tie together the entire room. 

With this guide, you’re prepared to hang any and all kinds of art! Want to keep these tips for a later date? Grab the downloadable measurement guide we give to all of our Good Space clients!