Habitat Collaboration – Designs in Mind’s Members’ beautiful artwork adorns homeware at Habitat!

Collaborations
Orange and yellow mugs hang on a shelf ready to be purchased.
Habitat Collaboration – Designs in Mind’s Members’ beautiful artwork adorns homeware at Habitat!

We are pleased and proud to announce that our Members’ designs, featured on Habitat homeware products, are now available to view and purchase at our local Oswestry Sainsbury’s store. This is just one of the numerous high profile collaborations we have had the pleasure to be involved in.

This week’s blog is also a collaboration, of words, from me and our Artist Lead, Bridie. We hope that our words give a clear picture of the unfolding journey that our design studio and Members have been on during this collaboration. The designs are featured on household items taking pride of place in homes all over the UK and perhaps even beyond. You can see below (left) our beautiful collaborative products in our in-studio gallery wall at our studio in the heart of Oswestry. The products on the right (pyjamas, cushions and homewares)  are from our collaboration with Scion, which also took place in 2023.A gallery wall showing brightly coloured teatowels, diffusers, and prints, with green chairs in the foreground.
mugs habitat - Designs in MindBridie wrote: ‘The benefits of art and design on Mental Health are not limited to the creators themselves. Art and design can foster community and connection, creating spaces for dialogue and understanding among individuals who may be grappling with Mental Health challenges. The power of storytelling through visual mediums can break down stigmas and open up conversations that promote empathy and support. Working with Habitat on this project has felt like we are able to have that conversation on a much wider scale, and outline how it is something which isn’t exclusive, we all have mental health, and just like plant life, it must be nurtured in order to flourish.
Recognizing the profound connection between art, design, and mental health, communities and organizations around the world are joining hands to promote creative initiatives that support well-being. Public art installations, expressive art initiatives and design interventions in healthcare settings are just a few examples of these collaborative efforts. Collaboration is the underpinning idea of Designs in Mind. Whether that’s on an internal level, with our collaborative design approach; or out in the community.
Through these initiatives, individuals from all walks of life are finding solace, inspiration, and autonomy in the beauty of artistic expression and thoughtful, yet purposeful design.
After we received the brief from Habitat we had a discussion with our Members about what they considered to be a happy space. A reoccurring theme appeared that was centred around nurturing plants and watching them bloom and flourish. Growing things is a symbol of positivity and growth, something which resonates with us as a key value of the Designs in Mind process.
Plant life, with its vibrant colours, intricate patterns, and tranquil essence, has long been a muse for artists. But beyond mere inspiration, it can be a catalyst for purposeful art that enhances mental well-being. The act of translating the beauty of plants into art brings nature’s calming presence into our homes, creating an environment that nurtures our mental health.
The variety of colours and structures in plant life allows people to respond in their own way, whether that be a literal representation or a more abstract one. The pots and containers are a strong part of many of the designs and also allowed members to be extra playful with pattern.
Members identified the happiness they felt when they had plants in their home so we decided that would be a key point to pursue. We also talked a lot about sounds and smells and the way our senses can make us respond emotively. We have a lot of plants in the studio and people often say how it makes the environment feel more positive.
diffusers habitat - Designs in Mind
One of the first workshops we ran was based around a simple collage exercise. Members were challenged to create simple postcard sized collages using a limited colour palette and one area of applied pattern. Responding to still life, we encouraged members to focus on the essence of the plant , exaggerating it features and overall personality. When choosing colour palette, they were asked to reflect the plants personality in their choices.
The allure of flowers and plants is undeniable, with their vibrant colours, intricate shapes, and soothing fragrances. They have long been associated with serenity, rejuvenation, and a sense of connection to the natural world.
Stress Reduction: The mere presence of flowers and plants in our surroundings has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety levels. Their calming influence can be harnessed through art and design, as artists translate the beauty of nature into visually appealing patterns and designs.
Biophilia: Humans have an innate connection to nature, known as biophilia. We are naturally drawn to the patterns and forms found in plants and landscapes. Surface pattern design inspired by botanical elements taps into this connection, creating designs that resonate with our deepest instincts.
Colour Therapy: Nature offers a rich palette of colours, each with its own emotional resonance. Vibrant flowers and lush greenery can evoke feelings of joy, tranquility, and positivity. When incorporated into surface pattern design, these colours can have a profound impact on our mood and mental state.
Creativity and Self-Expression: Engaging with plant-inspired design allows individuals to explore their creativity and self-expression. The act of creating or appreciating these designs can serve as a therapeutic outlet, providing a sense of accomplishment and personal fulfilment
Mindful Connection: Observing the intricate details of plants and flowers encourages mindfulness – a state of focused awareness that has been proven to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Surface patterns inspired by nature invite us to slow down, contemplate, and connect with the world around us.
As the workshops developed, we travelled from the drawing from life into the imagined. Playing with ideas of smells and sounds, feelings of the rainforest started to appear and wildlife started to feature heavily. The juxtaposition of home environment versus an imagined fantastical one seemed to underpin the whole project.
Pattern was taken from natural forms and emulated in large scale ink drawings, it was then manipulated to create surface pattern on some of the scenes and objects in the prints.
When we were working on the workshop plan I was looking a lot at post war design and print, and used contextual references of 1950s pattern designer Jaqueline Groag, then incorporated Pablo Picasso’s designs for fabric. We also created mood boards that showed a lot of work from the Viennesse secessionists. Post war design saw the increase in abstracted forms and bright uses of colour. It also referenced nature and the forms within nature to create accessible affordable prints for people to use in their homes. We felt as though this chimed perfectly with how we consider print and design at Designs in Mind, so that was a big influence on the project.
Our Members share their thoughts on how it feels to have their designs on the Habitat Homeware range. I was keen to hear, how does it feels that their design is being bought and displayed in people’s homes, all over the UK?
“It’s a bit of a shock and a bit of a surprise because I didn’t expect. I didn’t think for one minute my drawing would be considered. It was flowers in a vase design on the pink mugs and tea towel.” Sarah
“Proud! It gives me a sense of purpose to know my designs can reach so far To have worked on products being sold on a professional basis has been a boost to my self-esteem. It’s lovely many others members designs are mixed in with my own. My design is mixed in with others members and is on one of the scented candles, it is like a sea coral design.” Kay
“Well, to be honest, it’s humbling to have something that I’ve designed on products with a recognised company such as Habitat. I wasn’t really expecting it as I don’t really think that far ahead. For me it’s about the process and the journey, which is the main thing, it keeps you rooted and I appreciate it. It also shows the excellent work that our artists from Designs in Mind present to our Members. It’s a team effort. not just me, it will be someone else in the future. To me drawing trees and leaves is the exciting bit; so I will leaf it there.” Carl ‘our resident joke teller’
“These are my beautiful flowers and Louis’ vase. I feel very proud that a design of mine is being sold all over the UK; and by such a great company like Habitat. I like shopping there myself.  Prices are reasonable and most people can afford to buy an item or two from our Designs in Mind collaboration. I have informed my friends and they are buying the tea towels as presents for their friends and family; isn’t that great! Hopefully we can do more collaborations with them in the future.” Josune
“It was super duper good that Habitat have Designs in Mind Members artworks on their products, we all worked together on these designs during our studio days. My design was the vase that Josune’s flowers are in.” Louis
To purchase, head on over to Sainsburys in Oswestry, or visit
Thank you to Bridie, and all Members for your designs and comments.
Blog Co Written by Bridie – Artist Lead, and Willow – Social Media Co-ordinator.