The Value of Home | Jane Heath of Heathwalker Studio
We would like to introduce you to a talented and inspiring woman, Jane Heath. Jane and I connected many years back through a design blog course we took together. Since then we have continued to follow each other's journey. Jane has remained an inspiration. Her style and sense of design is one to aspire to. The driving force for her design business and her blog is good and simple design. If it's functional and beautiful then it is a success. We could not agree more. You must make sure to follow her on Instagram and get inspired by some of her projects at Heathwalker Studio. One of our favorites... Check out the Tractor Shed!
We hope you enjoy learning a bit from Jane about what values she uses to guide her style and purchasing and how these set the overall tone for her home.
Please introduce yourself: What do you do for a living? And where do you live?
I’m an architect and run the architecture and design studio Heathwalker Studio. I live with my partner and nine-year-old son in North London, right next to Hampstead Heath. We love this little corner of London, with close connections to the city but with the most wonderful wilds (and not so wilds) of the Heath always beckoning.
I also run a design blog, Owl’s House London. I started it as a sort of creative outlet when I was on maternity leave; from there I first connected with Lauren.
Describe the aesthetic / style within your home?
Our home is an eclectic mix of design classics, inherited pieces, and flea market finds. I adore brocante and antique shops, and can happily scour them for hours. We have a number of paintings and sculptures by artist friends - Frances Kearney, John Behm, and Rachael Long.
I like to keep things minimal, but the boys love colour and the energy of things, so we live somewhere in between.
Can you share three values that guide your life? Why these three?
Kindness, simplicity, positivity.
We live as simply as possible, within our means and as locally as possible. I think kindness is underrated, to ourselves and towards others. And I’m inherently a positive person. Why be anything else?
How do you make sure to keep your life in alignment with these values?
We shop consciously and locally, walk and use public transport. We design consciously. Sustainability in the construction industry is a massive issue (59% of waste in the UK comes from our industry) so we are very aware of the responsibility we have as architects and designers to do better.
What ritual during the day holds the most value for you and helps you achieve what you wish to?
I’m not a ritual person, and don’t particularly respond to routine, although there is a certain amount of routine involved with raising a child. But I do love coming home at the end of the day to my home and sanctuary. I work from home 3 days a week which is such a joy. The other two days I work in an office with other creatives and I appreciate that, too.
How do you feel that your values affect the energy of your home?
Our home is relaxed, a little worn, simple and uncluttered. Keeping it uncluttered is a constant battle but one I’m prepared to fight, as I can’t feel relaxed in a muddle.
Why is home important to you?
My home is my sanctuary. It’s where I can get centred and recharge.
We feel books are an important aspect of a home. They add life and encourage learning and growing in a nurturing space such as the home. Do you have a favorite book that inspires you? Why?
I’ve just finished reading Alain de Botton’s The School of Life; I love reading philosophy books. I also love Joan Didion, and anything set in ‘60s and ‘70s West Coast America, which resonates with my Australian heritage - that sense of freedom and space. And my art and architecture books are prized possessions.
What objects in your home hold the most value to you? How do they add joy to your life?
Simple design is always the best. I don’t like excess or anything without a purpose. Our Alvar Aalto stools are the perfect example of a beautiful thing with many uses - side table, stool, bedside table, something to stand on...
How do your values guide your purchasing? What criteria do you have for items that come into your home?
Everything must be functional and beautiful - William Morris’ mantra is definitely one I live by. I’m quite ruthless about what comes in to our home. I once spent many, many months looking for a dustpan and brush (though I’m not sure I should admit that!)
What aspect of homemaking do you feel the most connected to? ( i.e. cleaning, cooking, gardening, decorating, home repairs) Explain why.
I enjoy all aspects of homemaking as long as I have sufficient time to do them. Except DIY. As an architect, we are used to having trades doing things perfectly for us, so I am frustrated when I don’t have the skills to do those things well!
Explain in one word, how your home makes you feel.
photo credits in order of appearance | Cathy Pyle, remaining: Owls House London