Exploring the Fabrics and Colors of Coziness with Apparel Designer Kamber Elyse

To Elyse, coziness is more than just a single color palette or certain material—it’s a state of mind.

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There’s no place like home, and for many of us, that means making ours a sacred space full of fabrics and tones that allow us to feel safe and unwind. Especially in the coming colder months, coziness is key to making the most of your space. Whether you’re a college student living out of a tiny dorm room, or living like a celebrity at a sprawling estate in the countryside, we all need a little corner of the world that feels like home.

ESTATENVY spoke with 23-year-old apparel designer Kamber Elyse about the essential fabrics and colors of coziness that make her Chicago apartment the perfect cozy retreat in the midst of a bustling city.
 
“My studio apartment in the Gold Coast is just under 500 square feet, making it quite literally cozy whether I like it or not,” Elyse joked. Within this small space, her decor mainstays include soft velvet and faux fur accents, a faux cowhide rug, a ruffled bedspread, a vintage treasure chest and a built-in bookshelf that takes up an entire wall. “It holds all my favorite books with my favorite quotes underlined,” said Elyse.
 
These threads of vintage, pastoral, and modern feminine details weave their way throughout the rest of Elyse’s home, from her suede Appaloosa-print footstool to her ornate full-length mirror. The warm light from her grandmother’s antique lamp washes over it all. In Elyse’s words, “It’s all ‘yee’ mixed with a whole lotta’ ‘haw’ over here.”
 
Many of Elyse’s items were handed down or found by happenstance, which she believes speaks to their sentimental value. “I don’t go out and seek my decor and furniture for my apartment,” Elyse said,” In a way, I let it find me. Each piece has its own special story.”
 
“I have a jade green velvet settee couch that I found at a vintage shop which I’ve cherished for a few years now,” Elyse continued. “It has dark oak claw feet with a cushioned wraparound back perfect for an early morning coffee or late night glass of wine. Its sultry color and texture basically exude comfort.”
 
“Recently I found a plush round velvet pillow with quilted stitching in the same jade color. I toss that on my regular, more modern sofa to tie in that vintage feel throughout my entire studio apartment,” Elyse continued. “This quilted effect made by stitching is so fitting because it quite literally mimics a cozy quilt.”
 
As an apparel designer herself, Elyse gravitates towards more natural fibers like wool, cashmere and cotton—”hence the term ‘sweater weather,’” she said. “I’m also super into faux animal furs. These are made from synthetic materials, but are usually backed with a soft suede. I think it’s perfectly appropriate to decorate with synthetic materials since they’re not directly on your skin the way that natural fibers would be.”
 
In terms of color palettes, for Elyse, it’s all about the mood you’re trying to capture. “Maybe it’s my old soul, but I’ve always leaned towards warm, antique colors,” she said. “In the summer it’s obvious to use bright, cool, and nautical colors because you’re seeking lightness over coziness. That’s why I love fall, because you’re able to explore richer palettes.”
 
Elyse feels that the jewel tones popular during colder seasons help to induce relaxation and contentment. “I have a fuchsia fringe lamp with a yellow bulb, and it gives off the perfect peachy glow in my studio,” said Elyse. As the orange light from the lamp mimics the rays of the setting sun or changing colors of autumn leaves, Elyse often lights her favorite candle to create an all-encompassing sense of contentment.
 
“I love mixing textures, colors and prints,” she continued. “Sometimes it’s not even the fiber or material that makes something inviting, but its color or print. I wear and decorate with florals often and there’s something about the subtle differences in styling a summer floral into a fall floral—it’s almost like you gained a whole new wardrobe.” said Elyse. Put simply? It’s a vibe.