It’s certainly been an eventful year for all of us and as we have become increasingly conscious of how precious life is it is more important than ever that we look after each other and our planet too.
Following the outbreak of Covid-19 words like compassion, protect and nurture have been increasingly used in the media and we are all now yearning wellbeing in whatever form we can get it to help us gently recover from what has so far been a pretty traumatic 2020.
We are spending more time than ever at home and are consequently looking for spaces that bring us comfort both physically and emotionally. We are seeking reassurance and need our homes to bring us inner calm and contentment so we can start to make sense of the world. Personally, I find a connection to nature hugely beneficial to my mental health and wellbeing and that is a strong driver in my business - I hope that my products contribute in some way to a sense of comfort and happiness with their nature inspired origins and calming colours.
Key interior trends for 2021 clearly touch on a link to nature, an appreciation for the handmade and ethical and sustainable practices. As Kate Watson-Smyth (of Mad About the House) says ‘there is no doubt that we are all becoming more aware of the need to decorate our houses sustainably and in a way that is less damaging to the planet’ - she has set up Do Less Harm - a Directory that is designed to help interiors shoppers ask the right questions and base purchasing decisions on those companies and providers who are trying to reduce their harmful impact on the planet.
Careful consideration - as a small business, I try to do my bit regarding care of the environment. Rather than use lots of specialist equipment for my design process, I tend to use whatever is to hand which might involve scrap card, old coffee granules, greaseproof paper and redundant fabric sample books if appropriate, I am a big fan of re-use and recycle! My designs are printed onto natural materials in the UK using eco-friendly inks and I always try and plan my fabric use to minimise wastage whilst assembling the products which are handmade (also in the UK). I love a bit of upcycling too and I am delighted with the outcome of my sideboard makeover below – you might recognise this inky blue piece as a prop in many of my photos! (paint from Jack & Atticus) I try to always be mindful of the environment with my choices where I can and it is certainly a work in progress.
Being mindful of the choices we make for our homes also helps to bring joy and contentment , and as Michelle Ogundehin writes in her book, Happy Inside home-making is ‘absolutely fundamental to good health and happiness. A home that actively supports and sustains your wellbeing can be a game-changer - your secret super power in today’s profoundly unpredictable world'.
Paint is a great and relatively inexpensive way to start creating your reassuring space and more and more paint companies (e.g. Dulux, Earthborn, Farrow & Ball, Mylands, Little Greene) are now checking their environment friendly credentials which is great news.
As mentioned in a previous blog, colours which align with nature are becoming more popular as there is a growing desire to connect with our planet. I am generally drawn to calming colours and tend to use a muted palette with the occasional pop of colour (in both my wardrobe and my artwork) much like that in nature.
So as we find comfort and contentment in our homes we should also continue to be mindful of the choices that we make and consider the stories behind the things we surround ourselves with. If we all focus on being both kind to each other and the planet we will at least be making steps in the right direction for our futures.
Of course for guaranteed calm and wellbeing you could always transport yourself to the coast with pieces from the Coastal Collection and my new Coastline print certainly radiates soothing tranquillity - reminders of a holiday by the sea can certainly encourage a positive mood!