A Renaissance Of Honest And Authentic Interiors

February 11, 2021

As the headlines of a frustrated world dominate the media, our usual ways of daily living have essentially been invited into a new forum of thought that questions our values and challenges our responsibilities and socio-cultural mores. 

The trendy “new normal” phrase presented itself and became a popular visitor in our conversations and media in 2020.  While the pandemic served as an impetus to take a more serious look at our physical health, climate change has steered us to adopt a new perspective about our lifestyles in a modern society of fast consumerism.   An awareness of sustainability that slowly and consistently bubbled to the surface and finally entered our consciousness.

The result…a renaissance of repurposing,  upcycling and recycling as one of the biggest current movements in the retail, fashion and interior design industry. The birth of a new age, the Kindness Economy.

In an article by Forbes, ‘Upcycling Your Way To Sustainability’ consumers are now looking for products whose sustainability attributes align with their lifestyle and values. This is exactly what resonates with British renown retail matriarch Mary Portas, who is actively engaged in redressing and integrating concepts of the Kindness Economy into London’s retail neighbourhoods such as High Street.  For Portas, people are consciously shifting from a ‘buying from’ to a ‘buying into’ mentality which is based on the brands that connect with our values. She has coined this shift as Status Sentience.

In fact, people are now holding brands and companies to a higher sustainability standard.  Vogue fashion magazine is also embracing the repurposed era as fashion designers are now focusing their creative energies to the design of unique upcycled pieces from unsold overstock. 

This new era of an eco-conscious mindset has an inherent dimension that it carries because it transports us back to our roots, addressing and questioning our basic human tenets of our livelihoods, physical, emotional and mental well being. An era of intentionality through mindful choices. 

Historically, vintage heirlooms and  furniture pieces were symbols of class, especially in traditional English homes. Even with the shades of their faded patinas from their storied past, these unique pieces of character were never thrown out but instead reused or repurposed.  

Mixing old with new is a great way to repurpose vintage pieces.

As society and innovation evolved, the simple path of living diverged into a fast paced boulevard where novelty sped the fast lane leaving tradition behind in the dust. Time and money served as the driving forces for buying fast, short-lived mass produced items where quality took the backseat and convenience took the front.  

Yet it is in our traditions where our principles are rooted. And so by taking the inward journey, emotional nostalgia transports us back to remind us of what sincerely makes us feel good, loved and secure. 

Headboards, night tables and lighting are great finds to easily upcycle.

When it comes to interior design, this means answering a new call to design and craft spaces that cultivate kindness. A space that is authentic and honest honouring the uniqueness of its inhabitants and the spirit of where they came from. 

Look to your communities to locally source vintage art.

The Sanskrit word Metta has the meaning of benevolence, loving-kindness, friendliness, amity, good will, and active interest in others. A spiritual practice that is renown for illuminating our inner integrity. 

“We can open to everything with the healing force of love. When we feel love, our mind is expansive and open enough to include the entirety of life in full awareness, both its pleasures and its pains.”- Sharon Salzburg, Loving Kindness

These aspects are what the team of designers at Callender Howorth are currently tasked with as we set out to remodel the 10 cottages at Broughton Hall Estates in Yorkshire, a sprawling countryside sanctuary and wellness retreat.  

This inspiring purpose-led project will be up-cycling some of Broughton Hall’s relics as well as locally sourcing pieces to repurpose.

A holistic collaboration of honest, sustainable materials, thoughtful patterns and textiles, emotional colours and inspirational art and decor will comprise a soulful final edit that breathes and reflects Broughton Hall’s philosophy of a new humanity.  

A humanity that is mindful of our personal interconnectedness to the harmony of nature and to our divine selves by offering a serene and spiritual place to renew, recover and shift the fundamental energies of our personal, societal and environmental values. 

A place that serves us to illuminate our inner integrity and where we are inspired to become a part of a new Kindness Economy.