Woodgate Showhome ‘Sustainable Lifestyles’
In this project, Jigsaw explores inexpensive design hacks and environmentally conscious decisions to promote sustainable living for first-home buyers seeking a long-term home.
The Thakeham Group are one of the South East’s leading developers, specialising in the development of private residential communities of leisure, education, and business. Their objective focuses on providing affordable homes of sustainability to enhance quality of life for residents, and restoration of the environment. Through on-site and/of off-site renewable energy sources, Thakeham aims to make all Thakeham Homes zero carbon by 2025 through their ‘Sustainability Strategy’. You can find out more about this here.
Located in West Sussex, Thakeham have been working on a development in Woodgate to encourage first-home buyers to transition away from the city. Woodgate incorporate the benefits of countryside and city living with direct connection to Brighton and London, whilst accommodating a safe, environmentally conscious village community.
Alphium & Establishing the Brief
Alphium Homes are a sub-brand of the Thakeham Group, specialising in developments finely tuned to fit the specification of first-home buyers. While still maintaining Thakeham’s environmental strategies and values of conscious living, Alphium’s objective was to design a show home that appropriately captures the personality of first home buyers, while promoting conscious living through sustainable materials and inexpensive design hacks to inspire Alphium purchasers. Working collaboratively on previous Woodgate projects, including the marketing suite and cafe, Thakeham appointed Jigsaw to achieve this.
Jigsaw’s Interior Designers believe it’s their duty to tell a story for what they stand for through their services, treating each project with a fresh perspective in collaboration with their clients to achieve the objective. To gain insight of the brief, Jigsaw arranged an eye-opening seminar with Thakeham’s Head of Sustainability, who educated them on how making more eco-friendly decisions in their service will sustain material life while assisting in environmental restoration. Jigsaw established that first-home buyers are likely to be a new or growing family, so the show home should present a home of personality appropriate to the demographic, while accommodating long-term residence that naturally evolve with the family dynamic.
To achieve this, Jigsaw wanted to incorporate inexpensive modern architectural and interior design hacks within the show home, that can be applied to any simple space without permanence to inspired and be replicated by Alphium purchasers. Most notably, the living room features acoustic panelling on the walls, that can be both easily installed or removed.
Designers also carefully considered the use of wall paint to establish “zones” within open space environments such as the kitchen/dining area, also designed to adapt to the current “working from home” lifestyle, incorporating multiple functionality. These creative decisions are not only efficient in establishing personality, but can be applied accordingly to the purchaser’s preference without permanence.
While Jigsaw’s interior architects can make sustainable additions to meet the brief through carefully selected bespoke joinery for long-term flexibility, consideration of eco-friendly materials were also necessary. For example, Pia and Ivana, two interior architecture designers at Jigsaw who have collaborated on multiple Thakeham projects, replaced MDF countertops with plywood, a more recyclable material still effective for functionality that would evolve with the space’s purpose. Achieving some design hacks, however, would require collaboration between both Jigsaw’s interior architecture and design departments. For example, the interior architects replaced some light pendants with simple hooks, to promote the use of removable power sources alternatively to fixed lighting, providing flexibility for residents to modify. It was essential that the interior designers expanded on this.
You can learn more about Jigsaw’s interior architecture services here.
Aless, Jigsaw’s lead interior designer, is an advocate for environmental restoration, volunteering as a Regional Rep at Surfer’s Against Sewage in her free time, so wanted to incorporate these values in the project by minimalising plastic use through her services. The kitchen/breakfast area was inspired by current trendy bars and quirky cafes, so it was appropriate to introduce alternative plastic use, such as bamboo/metal straws, and refillable storage containers, effecting replicating the theme. A refillable dish soap dispenser and bamboo washing brush head was all implemented.
Jigsaw’s interior design’s approach to the brief formed a ‘bring-the-outdoors-indoors’ stylistic consistency, featuring an earthy colour palette of greens, oranges, and accented gold, to form a connection between the resident and the natural environment. According to a series of field studies conducted by Kuo and Coley, an individual’s connection with nature further encourages a connection amongst others and the world. Aless successfully accentuated this connection through a range of clear and subtle trends. Most notably, there are house plants carefully placed consistently throughout the show home as a reminder of our relationship with nature, and carefully selected dried flowers, supplied by Atlas Flowers, who preserve nature in its beauty without causing harm to it. In the bathroom, a beautiful large faux green/living wall of plants was installed to inspire biophilic design at a much larger scale.
Considering All Things Sustainable
Sustainability isn’t only achieved through material consideration and encouraging a connection with nature, but it’s also important to be aware on the environmental destruction caused by mass producing companies, so Jigsaw wanted to promote the use of handmade, sustainable accessories of both large and small businesses. Emma Shipley is a graphic designer who specialises in fine drawing, with inspiration from myths, legends and nature. She is renown for bringing originality through her craftsmanship, drawing each design by hand, and her stock is now available in some of the best stores and boutiques around the world, including Liberty and Fortnum’s, in London.
Her unusual style and admiration for the natural world brings a unique feel to a space. Her wallpaper is used for feature walls consistently throughout the show home, specifically in the entrance/hallways and kitchen/breakfast area, to accentuate the home’s personality.
You can learn more about Jigsaw’s interior design services here.
Upon completion of Woodgate’s show home, Jigsaw are heavily for their collaboration with Alphium and Thakeham Homes, developing environmental awareness of material and sustainability that will continue to inspire them in future projects. Much to Jigsaw’s delight, the show home has provided incredible inspiration for the purchasers at Alphium, receiving great praise from Thakeham’s Product and Design Director, who have since informed that they have had a very successful sales period.