How to Make Cozy Look Cool

Natural touches meet glam pieces and bold colors in this step-right-in Georgia home from Prefit Magazine.

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Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

The House

Florals can make a room feel warm and inviting…or stuffy and outdated. Overdoing them can be especially hard to resist if you happen to grow flowers for a living, as Leah and Ken James do: They own a greenhouse business in Georgia. “We gravitate toward nature-inspired design elements anywhere we can find them — in wallpaper, art, furniture, even light fixtures,” says Leah. The couple and their teen daughter, Amelia, used to live in a house on the grounds of their company, but in 2016 they moved to Athens, choosing a Craftsman-style home built in 2002.

They worked with local designer Jade Joyner on several major updates — replacing the cold terra-cotta-tile floors on the first story with heart pine, renovating the kitchen and a bathroom and painting all the rooms. Then came the fun part: choosing wallpaper and art. The result — a mix of cool floral patterns, warm wood and modern metallics — makes their take on cozy totally fresh.

Entryway

Leah and Ken’s love of stuff found in nature is on full display here: The teak sideboard by Noir has seagrass door fronts, and the driftwood coatrack from Roost is a definite conversation piece. The moth print by Joseph Scheer “looks like a natural history museum exhibit,” says Leah. “I’m also fond of the pink.” The lamps are by Arteriors, and the vintage runner is from designer Jade’s store, Metal + Petal.

Living Room

It perfectly encapsulates the home’s style: equal parts comfy, earthy and whimsical. “The wood coffee table reminded me of mushrooms when I first saw it,” says homeowner Leah. (It’s by Noir.) The fireplace is surrounded by graphic cement tiles by Clé. Leah kept the rest of the room’s pieces simple, with a sky blue tufted sofa and leather wingback chairs, all from Anthropologie.

Living Room

With its wire grilles and brass Scout & Nimble lights, this bookcase has old-school-library appeal, but quirky floral wallpaper from Anthropologie and unexpected collectibles — a cactus here, an elephant there — make it hip. “I liked the pattern so much, we used it in the mudroom, too!” says Leah. At designer Jade’s suggestion, she removed the dust jackets from the books for a prettier look.

Dining Room

The striped drapes (made with fabric by Designers Guild) are rarely closed — the couple always wants to enjoy the view. Inside, the room feels informal yet fab thanks to molded plastic chairs with wood bases by Hay, and a brass light from Anthropologie. Leah likes the asymmetrical shape — and the way it resembles leaves sprouting from a branch. The blue-and-white table runner is from New Market Goods.

Kitchen

“The old kitchen was so strange, it was almost a deal-breaker,” says Leah. It had stainless steel cabinets, an orange-and-teal checkerboard backsplash and an amoeba-shaped bar. They redesigned the space around the cabinets (in too good of shape to trash!) with subtly eye-catching elements: a white geometric tile backsplash, marble counters with a waterfall edge and a retro-style fridge. Now it’s a modern classic, with a Leah twist: an emerald green peninsula. The wood barstools are from Inmod.

Bathroom

This is Amelia’s territory, shared occasionally with guests; she helped pick out purple tile for the shower and coordinating Anthropologie wildflower wallpaper (she is her mother’s daughter!). The double vanity is new, with bowl sinks repurposed from the old one. “Since Amelia loves makeup, we gave her good mirrors,” says Leah. These are from Bungalow 5. The macramé wall hanging is from PapuShoi on Etsy.

Master Bedroom

For an intimate vibe, Leah chose a rich wall color (Old Navy by Benjamin Moore). “Ken enjoys the simplicity of the room,” she says — code for no bright flowers. For airiness, they had the top third of the walls and the pitched ceiling painted white. A yarn tapestry above the fireplace by artist Lauren Williams coordinates nicely with the navy. Leah refreshed the Design Within Reach bed and nightstands from their old house with brass lamps by Arteriors and a quilt and shams from West Elm.

Amelia's Bedroom

Originally the plan here was soft pink walls, a bronze CB2 bed and matching pastel accessories. But as it started to come together, the room felt too subdued for the 13-year-old, who spends time here listening to Taylor Swift and watching makeup tutorials, with dog Marigold by her side. Leah brought in a bright vintage rug from Metal + Petal and a comforter from Designers Guild with bold, oversize flowers. The butterfly wings are from an old Halloween costume.

Guest Bedroom

What started out as a feature wall behind the green velvet Anthropologie bed became wallpapering all four walls in a design by Osborne & Little. “We had extra, so we went for it,” says Leah. To balance the vivid walls, she picked a mirror with a rattan frame from Made Goods and tree trunk side tables from CB2.

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