Healthy Homes – Guest Blog

Grigoriou Interiors have long inspired us with their dedication to creating healthy interiors. We were quick to purchase Elina Grigoriou’s book Wellbeing in Interiors which sits close to hand in our office. The book talks about how our lives are shaped and impacted by the places we spend most of our time in and the simple changes we can make for the better. Elina explores all of the aspects of delivering designs for wellbeing including aesthetics, ambience, light, acoustics, space design and psychology. Our thoughts, feelings and behaviours and much of our physical and mental health and wellbeing depend on our indoor spaces.

Grigoriou recently specified Clayworks in an interior design project and have kindly written a guest blog, exploring why.

Clay walls to bring warmth and a quiet simplicity to a private residence refurb

by Grigoriou Interiors

The client approached us specifically as they wanted a sustainable home that was environmentally friendly and supported their wellbeing. The clients were experienced in the usual journey of refurbishing a flat but relatively new to emotional wellbeing design aspects.

The client’s main objectives were to create an authentic look to reflect their personalities and lifestyle; they wanted to incorporate natural materials, liked deep textures and broad strokes, well-made items and beautiful arts and crafts.

The client was the drive behind the use of clay. We proposed it and it hit the spot by being one of the most loved textures. The clay surfaces are breathable and healthy yet feel soft to the touch. The smooth texture of the clay creates a sense of warmth and adds a quiet simplicity that is the perfect base to bring out the client’s artwork. The corners were finished with a traditional curve and pinch at the top and bottom to create a seamless and smooth look.

The clay finish was also used in the bathroom with an 8mm backing added to the clay topcoat, creating breathability and a self-regulating moisture surface to improve air quality.

We selected colours that would align with the colour psychology pallet selected, and which would complement the large amount of artwork and complementary finishes in the interior. The clay texture has lots of interest already so this texture was already an active element to colour. The natural colourings work beautifully with the other interior finishes, notably the solid wood parquet and the painted timber doors and joinery.

Clayworks were very supportive in the whole process of specification and delivery. Their experience in the industry showed through their proactive advice and ways to work around challenges in procurement and application. They recommended several qualified applicators and we selected one who, although not the lowest cost, gave the highest value and then some. We selected Guy Valentine as the specialist applicator and would recommend him to anyone. He worked extra hard to get the walls right and to ensure the sequence of works went the right way to safeguard the clay.

If we had some advice to give to other designers it would be to leave the installation right at the end of the project, as Guy recommended, and to consider the installation of any other items such as joinery which might slide into place along clay surfaces. There is a lot of creativity to explore with clay and to use it in carefully located spots in commercial areas too!

Find the full case study on the Grigoriou Interiors website.

Buy Wellbeing in Interiors, by Elina Grigoriou at RIBA Books.

Photos by Agnese Sanvito.