How Pod-Style Living is Changing the Way Canadians Stay Home

LIV Your Best Life

By Brooke Madden

It’s 8:45 a.m. and your alarm sounds. You throw on your blazer, slip into your sweatpants (they’ll never know), brew your coffee, open your laptop and sit down to start your work day. You open the project due by this Friday, and you spot the pan in the sink your husband used to fry, well, something that looks sticky. It should definitely be soaking. But that’s okay. You can forget about that. That’s a chore for another time. You open the project due by this Friday…and your laundry is piling up. Maybe you should throw a load in super quickly. You’re home anyway, you may as well. You open the project due by this Friday…and your teenager is definitely sleeping through his algebra Zoom. You should probably wake him, right? You open the project due by this Friday…and you forget why you opened it in the first place.

Working from home comes with its challenges, and designer Lisa Kooistra knows this first hand. That’s why, after travelling abroad with her husband and contractor Ryan Kooistra of York Renovation & Designs, she brought Pod-style living to Canada.

What is a LIV Pod?

A LIV Pod is a small space outside of your home for you to utilize however you please. Most popularly, unsurprisingly, as a home office. They’re moveable, sustainable structures that merge indoor and outdoor living via floor to ceiling windows. As fully insulated, customizable rooms, LIV Pods are creative getaways users can access anytime. Making staying home a little more exciting.

“I get ready, I make a coffee, and it’s like I’m leaving to go to work, but I’m not getting in my car,”
comments Lisa.

The change in environment helps Lisa and her clients disassociate from common household distractions. Pods can be used as a creative sanctuary; a space highly conducive to productivity. The Pods’ signature floor-to-ceiling walls fill the space with natural light; something infrequently found in most home offices. Natural light increases your brain’s production of serotonin, which boosts your mood and helps keep the mind calm and focused. When you’ve finished your work day, you can easily lock up your Pod and head back inside. Steps away sure beats rush hour on the Gardiner! Rather than post-2-hour gridlock, your “Honey, I’m home!” moment happens in an instant.

While a home office space is the most popular use of the Pods, LIV Pod possibilities are limitless. “They can be created to be anything!”, the designer notes. Coming in 90 and 106 square feet, or custom sizes, your Pod can function as a dance studio, a cabin, a gym, a yoga studio, a sound-proofed recording studio, or a commercial pop-up style venue! 

The larger, custom-sized Pods can be equipped with running water, meaning the space can even function as a small apartment – a more affordable alternative for adult children who are having trouble saving for a place on their own. It is important to note, the custom sized Pods with running water do require a permit. Lisa says permits are not difficult to obtain. However, if you’re satisfied with the 90 sq. ft. – 106 sq. ft. options, your LIV Pod is installed permit free!

While Lisa says that each pod is designed with her own classic, contemporary flare, they are absolutely customizable. From flooring, to colour palate, to decorative lighting fixtures, “we can help with small finishing touches, so people can add their own kind of flare as well!” 

In addition to being visually customizable, LIV Pods are built to withstand even the harshest Canadian winters. Meaning, you can customize the location you’d like your Pod in. Up North at the cottage? Easy! They’re moveable spaces that are designed to last. “Were taking into account all the technical aspects of how these can be used in any environment,” comments Lisa. “We’ve engineered them so they can take very heavy snow falls,” she elaborates.

Along with the Pod’s ability to survive in any environment, they support their environment! “All of the materials we use are sustainable,” comments Lisa. From the exterior panels, to the roofing system, to the paint, even down to the insulation, Lisa invests in the most environmentally friendly, sustainable materials. The helical piles that the Pods sit on are completely removable and barely disrupt the land beneath them. These sustainable materials are sourced from Ontario, with a few exceptions. These exceptions still exist within North America.

With a start-to-finish timeline of just eight weeks (and working toward less), LIV Pods are sustainable, Canadian-sourced, innovative spaces that can fit your any need. Whether its a zen space for yoga, a rad space for jamming, a mini apartment, or simply a place where you can open that project due by this Friday, it’s a space that’s truly yours.

“Our main goal was to have a really well designed space. Something that is going to stand the test of time, something that will grow with people in their lives.” 
– Lisa Kooistra