Nature connected homeware design, to me, means a return to simplicity. Raw, honest and long-lasting materials in natural colours and textures. There can be a botanical element, but this is by no means not a necessity. Better yet, a nature connected space would have real, breathing, air purifying, mood lifting plants. These are the principles of Biophilic design where Biophilia refers to our love of life and innate need to connect to nature for wellbeing. It’s what the Chalk & Moss shop and blog stands for; helping you remove stressful, ageing toxins and artificial environments from your interiors, by bringing in nature and natural materials. I want to help you create a calm, balanced space that is both your retreat and a place to welcome your guests. I offer you a careful selection of sustainable homewares, furniture and accessories that meet the values of Biophilic design.
Top Drawer design fair, which took place 9-11 September, asked me to curate the best of nature connected design at the show in a “window display”. This display was in the seminar area of the show, where industry experts like Holly Tucker (founder of notonthehighstreet) and Sophie Conran gave valuable insight into how to create a successful design business. The seminar programs and curated displays were arranged by designer Abigail Warner.
I’d like to let you into my head for a moment, sharing the designs and exhibiting designers I selected for this nature connected design window display. I sell some of these in the Chalk & Moss shop, while others were new to me (some of which are coming to the shop soon). If I’ve not marked them as being in the shop or coming soon, I’d love to hear in the comments below which products and/or designers you think I should add to the shop!
To introduce you to the concept, please read the following description from the display:
When I saw Camilla Thomas’s designs, a seascape formed behind my retina, transporting me back to happy holiday memories. With a Scandinavian feel, these textiles are designed in Wales, and made at a family run mill in Lancashire. Camilla’s designs keep you warm through the winter while never giving up that mental connection to the seaside. Her cool blues and greys are offset against a pop of colour in the detail or reverse.
The Sea Fret collection is inspired by the pattern left in the sand when the tide goes out. It’s woven from 70% merino wool and 30% donegal tweed mohair yarn. The subtle grey tone, reminiscent of pebbles at Penmon Point on Anglesey, is beautiful against the red detail on the blanket and back of the cushion.
I love London based Creative Rally’s attitude to homeware design. They are a Lifestyle Brand and Creative Studio, creating soothing 100% soy wax candles, coupled with a stunning offering of event floristry and lifestyle photography. Founder Anna showed some of her talents by providing foliage for the nature connected window display at Top Drawer. Her luxurious candles are hand poured into dark glass jars for a deep, relaxing glow. Plastic free, of course!
It’s rare to see me without one of my Turkish peshtemals (hammam towels) from Luks Linen. These versatile 100% natural woven textiles are beautifully soft and stylish. The size and weight make them perfect as quick drying towels at home or away (they pack away really small), used as a cosy scarf or as a carefree throw. I wouldn’t contemplate a car journey or flight without one draped around my shoulders. Ethically made by family ateliers in Turkey, products are in the softest 100% cotton, while some are a linen, silk or wool blend to suit different seasons and uses. So in any environment, you carry a grounding touch of nature with you. All Luks Linen products are OEKO TEX certified, and packaging is recycled. You can shop the Luks Linen collection on Chalk & Moss here.
The Organic Company
If you’re looking for ethical, plastic free cotton products in beautiful earthy colours, The Organic Company is a welcomed companion. On a daily basis, I use their cotton food produce bags, all purpose bags, kitchen & wash cloth, eco lunch bag, organic shopper and more. Pictured here is the brand new pale rose All Purpose Bag (and just out of sight, top right, is the washable kitchen & wash cloth). The collection is a great mix and match, with Scandinavian style shades of green, white, black, rose, pale blue, and grey available for most products. Check out The Organic Company’s plastic free homeware design on Chalk & Moss here. We’re the first supplier of the brand new All Purpose Bag!
Eco friendly twine from Aberdeen, this colourful collection from Nutscene will instantly get those creative nerves twitching in your hands! I instantly pictured myself as a macrame expert, sitting by the fire enjoying my craft. The variations on offer are fabulous, with candy twisted twines, earthy jutes, extra chunky, iconic tins and more. I’m considering selling sets of Nutscene products.
Also Home’s range of soft furnishings and homewares are simple, honest and calming. Natural textures and soothing tones bring a peaceful, Scandinavian quality to your home environment. I really wanted to include their oversized linen scatter cushions in the display, but didn’t have space! They also have gorgeous throws and blankets. You can see their white bowl on display, with Elena Deshmukh’s card inside it.
With hand embroidered cards by Elena Deshmukh, the intricate design is a gift in itself. In giving something as lovingly crafted as this, you tell the person you really care. I featured the celebration floral design in my display. There are many other messages on offer with embellished birds, jewels and more. You can really imagine Elena’s early years, hunting through her mother’s sewing kit for treasures! The sustainably sourced paper and envelopes come from the Lake District, by a company that started over 160 years ago.
Linda Bloomfield’s porcelain homeware design is a pure tactile treat. The silky soft dimpled collection, shown in my nature connected display, fits perfectly in your hand. Once you cradle that dimple, you’ll never want to let go! As a former scientist, Linda makes her own luscious glazes in pink, turquoise and grey. These often form in a little pool at the bottom of the vessel. Her pieces are hand thrown in her West London studio. Linda’s handmade porcelain tableware, dinner set, vases and mugs and cups are sold in the Chalk & Moss shop, here.
With Chive, comes the joy of succulents, corals and air plants to those not keen on the maintenance. The ceramic corals are a new addition to the collection, featuring lots of fun and colourful designs in lifelike forms. The air plants are a great touch too! Their decorative ceramic coral can be seen to the right of Linda’s pottery above.
Bark & Rock
If you like carrying nature with you, do have a look at these unique wood and stone notebooks by Bark & Rock. Rejecting the throwaway culture, this one’s a keeper! Handmade in the UK by a wood crafts expert, this refill notebook will age beautifully at your side.
Join’s botanical candles, room diffusers and spray mists are utterly perfect for any lover of nature and natural things! I find many scented candles overpowering and artificial, but Join’s scents are quite the opposite. They are soothing, invigorating and you can feel the good it does for body and mind (sorry, I know that sounds kinda cliche, but it really is true). With a wide range, all handmade from vegan soy wax and essential oils, I particularly love the healing Bay & Rosemary. Coupled in the homeware design display with my favourite gift from nature – earthy moss.
I’m so excited to say that join’s products will be coming soon to the Chalk & Moss online shop! If you’d like to know when, just sign up to the Chalk & Moss newsletter here.
I hope you enjoy this nature connected homeware design display. I’d love to hear your reactions and suggestions for the Chalk & Moss shop!