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Wellbeing at Home: Informality in Design

October 12, 2023

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One of our key values here at Hygge and Cwtch, and one that we strive to achieve in every single project we work on, is putting connection at the heart of everything. Connection to nature. Connection to ourselves. And connection with others. It’s essential to our wellbeing at home yet is something that we can easily sacrifice as life whizzes by. One of the ways we can achieve this as designers, is to focus on what we call ‘informality in design’.

What do we mean by ‘informality in design’?

You’re probably thinking of relaxed seating, comfortable living rooms, casual options for dining at home. The opposite of formal dining and living spaces. And you would be right. It’s definitely in the Hygge & Cwtch style to create homes conducive to relaxing and getting comfortable. The kind of environment where we can most easily be ourselves, which in turn makes it easier to connect with others on an authentic, meaningful level. And you know how much we love those raw, natural materials, which are informal in their very nature.

Informal dining options creating mini moments of connection.
Photography credit: Aga Hosking

But to us, ‘informality in design’ is more than just the aesthetic. It’s about the journey of creating a home which will continue to evolve beyond our involvement as a design studio. We don’t follow interior design ‘rules’, striving to hand over a perfectly completed and styled show home for our clients to slot into.

It’s about getting to know people and their stories. Understanding what is precious to them, both in terms of lifestyle but also the tangible, meaningful items. Heirlooms, keepsakes, treasured possessions. Ultimately, having these special items around you is what will make a space feel truly ‘yours’.

And then – essentially – for us to design with these possessions in mind. Not adding them in as an after thought or, even worse, not including them at all. And not designing a room to within an inch of it’s life, too formal and ‘done’ to allow for growth or change.

Why is it good for our wellbeing at home?

In our own homes is where we should feel most connected to our true selves. We can only feel comfortable enough to truly be ourselves if we can see things every day which remind us of who we are.

Antique furniture adds depth and history to a new space at our Beach Road project.
Photography credit: Kathryn Taylor

This could be the antique furniture, passed down through your family for generations. Family photographs which make you smile every time you look at them. It could be the artwork which you saw, loved and bought, even though it doesn’t ‘go’ with anything else in the house (yet!). It could be the children’s paintings, which you change regularly to keep up with your growing little artists.

You don’t see any of these kind of items in show homes or shops. But it’s what makes the difference between a house and a home. If you are surrounded by these reflections of yourself, which make you happy, it can only have a positive impact on your wellbeing at home. The added bonus is that this approach goes some way to creating a more sustainable home.

Sofas, side table and artwork all clients own existing possessions integrated into our finished home scheme at Beach Road.
Photography credit: Kathryn Taylor

How do we achieve informality in design?

Our approach is one that you can take yourself if designing your own home. Quite simply, here at Hygge & Cwtch, we don’t over design.

We start the design process with anything that is meaningful to our clients and we build the scheme up around it. Those items which mean so much to our clients are non-negotiables.

And we end the design process by ensuring we’ve left space and opportunities for our clients to continue adding to their homes. Building up a rich tapestry of memories, possessions and pieces which give them joy.

Space to add books and treasured possessions for years to come at our St Cadoc project.
Photography credit: Emily Brittain

We don’t do matchy-matchy, or disregard for our client’s favourite items in favour of creating the ‘perfect’ scheme. You will see from a quick look at our portfolio that our style is very much old meets new, with our client’s treasured possessions at the heart of every room.

We love seeing our clients enjoying their newly designed spaces, but we also love knowing that they have the confidence to still add to their home or update the space without the fear of it ‘ruining’ the scheme. So if you’re reading this looking for design tips – don’t plan and design your space to within an inch of it’s life, striving for a ‘finished’ room. Give it the look and the feeling you want to achieve whilst leaving some room for it to grow and evolve over time. There’s no rush.

Informal, sometimes eclectic, yet always beautiful homes are what we do best. If you’d like to work with us on creating your ideal home where you can reconnect at the end of a long day, we’d love you to get in touch for a chat.

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  1. […] recently wrote on the blog about what we called ‘Informality in Design’. This concept is all about not following design rules and creating a home which works for you, […]

  2. […] most recent post that is well worth a revisit, is all about Informality in Design. This made our list of Intentional Interior Design Trends for 2024 as ‘Undone […]

  3. […] Hygge & Cwtch we believe in informality in design. We don’t want to create perfect show homes with not a single item out of place or off-scheme. […]

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