Comforts of Home: Design Tips and Tricks for Creating Your Cozy Abode at Harbor Heights

  |     |   Lifestyle

When mapping out the design of Harbor Heights, it was all about the unmatched waterfront location and views, both from individual residences and the third-floor Sky Terrace, with unfettered 270-degree views of the water and Capitol that instantly creates indelible images of a tranquil environed that is unrivaled. Interior designer Alona Pernula was ready to embrace the surroundings in her work. It was important to bring the outdoors in, whether it was adding in a window, adding firepits for sunsets and starry nights, or amenity spaces with lots of natural light to give residents the feeling of being outside even when the weather is chilly. Our team sat down with Alona to learn more about how the interior design of Harbor Heights came to be and how she envisions residents transforming their spaces.

A 55+ Approach

Harbor Heights is embracing a new 55+ demographic, active living for mature adults was always at the forefront of the project. With an exercise room, movie theater, game room, craft room, and Maritime Bar, residents could embrace an exciting lifestyle from within their building. “All these spaces are designed to encourage connection and activity while also being thoughtful of potential accessibility challenges” Alona states. These indoor shared spaces, along with the Sky Terrace’s fire pits and cabanas, offer multiple lounge seating options to accommodate flexibility for all ages while providing comfort, whether it’s lower lounge seating or higher “hip chairs.” Throughout these common areas, following ADA guidelines and wheelchair accessibility is of utmost importance.

Making A Quaint Space Feel Like Home

In smaller spaces, people tend to overdecorate. While we love to bring all our décor and seasonal flair out, it’s important to leave various areas open in an apartment. An open space allows you to create a focal point in the room. Leaving a few blank walls will give your eye visual rest and allow you to focus on important and meaningful feature elements within the space, so that the space is calming instead of cluttered. Life at Harbor Heights is all about “living simply with intention,” as Alona puts it. When moving into the new space, you will learn to get rid of belongings that don’t mean as much to you and letting go of extra clutter. Along with keeping your space streamlined, keeping your expensive bases a neutral color is a way to get longevity out of your pieces. Simply adding accent colors dependent on the season can completely transform a space without having to acquire new furniture.

Filling Spaces Without Clutter

To fill those empty spaces in your new home, creating rhythm and variation in scale are what will make the area feel balanced. Going back to ancient times, the partition of three has always been a rule in design. A large, medium, and small piece will work together better than three large pieces. For example, first setting down a tall vase, then setting a medium sized art sculpture next to it, and then a smaller book. “This concept is present in forms in nature and beautiful architecture and is scientifically proven to be the most aesthetically pleasing arrangement. The most famous architects in history use these guiding principles to create harmony and proportions within their designs. Every design I create, weather tabletop arrangements or a floor plan for a large-scale building, uses these guiding principles as a driving force,” Alona elaborates. By adopting this mindset, your home will feel balanced and look organized. And using something meaningful like a picture or family heirloom to fill the space, will always make it feel homier than with meaningless décor. If an object does not bring you joy, let it go and leave space for items that bring those happy memories.

Transitioning into the Fall Season

As the leaves change color and the skies turn gray, it’s time to turn our homes into cozy abodes. Take cues from nature within your decorating, using the inspiration from the robust colors on the trees and spices in cooking to guide you in your home. Have fun with accent pieces like throw pillows, large textured blankets like a cable knit throw or fur. Then, add in some scented candles to make your space fit the season. You could even head to the Olympia Farmers Market to find fresh produce, pumpkins, and gourds to fill your counterspace with the ultimate autumn vibe.

Crafting Your Space

While it can be difficult to right-size, the apartments at Harbor Heights are designed with active living top of mind. With the inspiration of Alona’s design tips, and the efforts put into making Harbor Heights a unique space for all, it’s time to start your creative journey with decorating your apartment. Bringing in the stunning Olympic views, seasonal touches, and the ancient design practices, your new space will soon turn into a cozy abode that truly feels like home.

Visit or check Alona out on Instagram @pernuladesign to view more of her work!

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