Now that we’re spending more time at home than ever, it’s important to ensure our surroundings are conducive to the myriad of new purposes we’ve increasingly found ourselves carrying out within our four walls.
In addition to being our place to retreat and relax, our inside spaces have suddenly taken on multi-tasking roles as our home office, exercise space and the hottest new venue to catch up with friends (virtually, of course).
Whether your day calls for being productive, inspired, creative or social, the way you set up your environment can significantly impact on your state of mind and the ability to maximise the use of your space.
The KOOKAÏ Store Design Team (who create our beautiful boutiques throughout Australia and New Zealand) have shared their favourite tips for styling your stay-in space for whatever your day ahead might bring!
1. LET THERE BE LIGHT
In addition to delivering much-needed doses of the sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D (which helps to boost mood and keep us healthy), natural light helps to freshen the air in a space, aids with focus and alertness, and brings an overall uplifting energy to a room.
Maximising the use of sunlight is one of our preferred sustainable design elements, as it helps to conserve energy through bringing warmth to a room and minimising the use of artificial light. In overly bright spaces, we love using sheer curtains as a way to filter excess light, create defined spaces and add a cosy and feminine feel.
These can be bought ready-made, are easy to install and suit most design aesthetics. Where a space receives limited natural light, the introduction of white light can bring an overall feeling of ‘lightness’ through the use of white design elements, such as walls, furnishings and finishes.
2. SET THE SCENE
We find one of the biggest creativity blockers is clutter, and so the first thing to do when setting up a space at home is to declutter any excess items, and create an overall feel of minimalism without taking away too much from a cosy, homely vibe.
We like to elevate our favourite pieces in a room, such as artwork or a particular piece of furniture, with the right placement or use of feature lighting to help personalise a space and allow the focus to be on features we love.
It’s also important to make purposeful use of a space, ensuring you’re set up comfortably and ergonomically, and in a way you won’t get easily distracted. Packing up your workstation outside of working hours is also a must where possible (especially where it’s a multi-use space!), to allow the space to revert back to a living and relaxation space, maintaining a clear separation between work and play.
3. KEEP IT FRESH
Greenery features heavily in each of our boutiques, as plants not only purify the air, but also look great aesthetically and have a visually calming effect. There’s even been studies that suggest plants increase levels of positive energy, reduce stress levels and improve productivity.
Fresh flowers bring a similar energy to a room, and are an easy and inexpensive way to introduce new colours and keep your space feeling fresh.
If your gardening skills leave a bit to be desired, the Plant Society’s book has some great tips on styling and caring for indoor plants (they also have stores in Sydney and Melbourne!).
4. SCENT ESSENTIALS
As one of our most powerful senses, the sense of smell and the use of the right aromas can create an ambiance of relaxation, awakening, and inspiration in a space.
We recommend opting for scents that aren’t too overpowering; that are subtle and complement a space, without dominating it. We use the KOOKAÏ Signature Scent throughout our boutiques, which we’ve now made available to purchase as a reed diffuser. The scent combines our own blend of Mokara Orchid, White Lily and Spring Moss for a fresh, delicate and feminine aroma.
Candles and palo santo are also an easy way to bring the right mood to your space through scent.
5. COLOUR CRUSH
When it comes to colour, we generally work with a fairly neutral colour palette, with subdued pink hues and metallic highlights, that let the vibrancy of the KOOKAÏ collection take centre stage.
For stay-in spaces, the same design principles can be applied, by using neutral, natural finishes like light timber, stone and marble, and adding in splashes of colour that speak to you and the type of mood you want to project in the room.
Cushions, throws and rugs are an easy way to introduce colour and texture to a space, and are easy to change over to suit the energy you’re trying to create for a particular day or week!
6. FINISHING TOUCHES
We try to give each of our boutiques finishing touches, to add some flair that’s unique to that boutique, complements the location, and suits the local KOOKAÏ customer. In our Pacific Fair boutique in Queensland, for example, we drew inspiration from the laid back, beach lifestyle of the Gold Coast, using resort-style shutters on the windows and cane furniture in the lounge area. In our James St boutique, we repurposed some bricks from the original façade of the building and used them to create a coffee table.
We’ve also commissioned artworks from some incredible Australian artists such as David Bromley, Jai Vasicek, and Ash Holmes to fit our colour scheme and general design aesthetic for each of our new concept stores.
At home, small design elements can be used to personalise your space with artwork, imagery, and photos. Framing photos of people, places and moments can trigger positive emotions and make you feel instantly relaxed in your space.
The use of stacked coffee table books also works aesthetically as an on-trend design element, and functionally for moments of procrastination to spark new ideas or provide a reprieve from your WFH routine. Our go-to books for creating a coffee table stack, are anything in the fashion, design, and cooking spheres!