How We Live Today
Karen Nairstone from @studioKIND has been instrumental in styling our show home look at Steenberg’s Yard. She’s given us some insight into the way we are viewing, designing and using our homes at the moment.
Our homes have never been under such pressure to perform like well-oiled machines to support our daily lives. From working from home, to relaxing, cooking, home schooling and exercise they have become our own personal biospheres – glimpsed from time to time by others through a web cam, and that will hopefully embrace friends and family again soon.
Authenticity has come to the fore, with independent food producers, artisans, makers, artists and designers being hard hit by Lockdown and restrictions; but gaining increased support, followers and customers through social media and online shopping. We all want healthy lives and healthy homes and provenance and authenticity are integral to this.
Sustainability is also much higher on the agenda for many of us, and a key part of a healthy home. Steenberg’s Yard is a great example of this with outdoor space and large windows embracing natural light and outdoor lifestyles, and a plethora of independent makers and producers on the doorstep creating a valued community. The perfect backdrop to support both our physical and mental wellbeing.
As we spend more time at home, two key interior trends have emerged – a joy of colour – anchored by greens and navy blues with joyful layers of reds, yellows and pinks; and warm earth tones that nurture and soothe.
Colour can be daunting for many of us but like the rainbows put in windows to brighten the day of passers-by, many of us are craving colour in our homes to bring us joy.
A great way to start is with art, selecting a favourite painting or print and pulling out key colours to create a palette. There are some fantastic galleries in the Ouseburn Valley many of which also showcase work online.
Here at Steenberg’s Yard this living space features two large artworks side by side creating a focal point and pop of colour in the dining area. This has been balanced with the rich green bespoke bookcase, which anchors the lounge area and the statement chair and lamp in the study area. Rugs, cushions and lamps provide further opportunity to layer the colour palette and ensure a sense of warmth.
The second home at Steenberg’s yard with interiors designed by @studioKIND_ embraces the warm natural colour palette of the surrounding landscape – the terracottas of the Victorian warehouses and the natural materials used by the makers housed in studios therein.
Terracotta, walnut, ebonised oak and monochrome patterns are echoed throughout the space giving a warm and cohesive feel. The black and white rug in the dining area echoes the palette of the kitchen and anchors the beautifully crafted dining table and Danish inspired Setter chairs by Ouseburn based @_DavidIrwin and @Deadgoodltd
The feature staircase is painted in a warm terracotta highlighting the architecture by @xsitearchitecture and providing a sense of personality.
A large gallery wall with a mix of artwork all within the same colour palette provides interest and highlights the scale of the room, whilst a bespoke study area fits neatly into the alcove to the right of the staircase capitalising on the natural light and creating the perfect work or reading nook.
The long walnut sideboard and shelves above in the lounge area are home to a range of ceramics and plants adding warmth and interest.
As we spend more and more time at home, how our homes flow and function has never been more important. For the last fifteen years, open plan living has been on the rise, maximising space, and bringing people together. But for open plan to work well, it needs to support individuality as well as togetherness.
Identifying areas for working, eating, relaxing, and lounging are important so that we can each do our own thing in the same space and also be together.
Anchoring dining areas with large artwork, rugs or feature pendant lights provides a strongly defined space whether for dining, entertaining, reading the paper or board games.
Storage is also key to open plan living and a bespoke storage wall or long wall hung sideboard provides plenty of storage alongside creating a focal point for the lounge area which isn’t just about the TV.
Positioning sofas in the middle of a room creates a soft room divider whilst allowing views to the balcony from the dining table, creating a warm cosier lounge space.
Lighting is also incredibly effective at helping to define areas. Floor lamps, table lamps and feature pendant lights all create pools of light creating differentiation and interest throughout an open plan space.
A Sense of Occasion
Whilst we can’t entertain in ways we might like to, we still want a sense of occasion and many of us are creating a ‘night out’ experience at home – whether that be setting the table beautifully or eating outside with candles and festoon lights.
Lighting is often central to this experience. A feature pendant light over the dining table creates a beautiful pool of light and if on a dimmer creates a wonderful sense of atmosphere. Coupled with candles on the table and low lights in the rest of the space creating soft viewpoints, it creates a rich and warm tone.
And don’t forget outside, – hurricane lamps, festoon lights and fairy lights can transform a terrace into a magical space after dark giving a sense of occasion and wonder in a way we don’t see during the day.
The light was the first thing that attracted me to Steenberg’s Yard.
Beautiful dual aspect living spaces maximising natural light with a huge wall of glass on to the balcony or terrace. Natural light has restorative powers, as does being outside.
Creating your own ‘green’ view whether it be fig trees and tomatoes or bamboo and grasses, – plants are good for the soul.
Biophillic design has become a huge trend in interiors of public, healthcare and workspaces, but it is also hugely impactful in the home. Recent popularity in houseplants is encouraging us all to be more green fingered and with @wildflowerouseburn on your doorstep, you’re in good hands.
As mentioned earlier, we need our homes to work like well-oiled machines- nurturing us, inspiring us and functioning to the best of their ability.
This goes for the objects within them too. We need them to function perfectly and to lift our moods with their beauty.
Over the last year we have all begun to think more about local production and to support independents. The Ouseburn Valley is a virtual department store of artists, makers and designers each exceptionally skilled at their craft. Here are just a few to check out: