Nature, design & bereavement

July 25, 2016

Going to places where we feel most connected to the earth is therapeutic – somewhere we can walk, run, cry, talk and just be ourselves.

design, nature and bereavement - elizabethdanon.co.uk

A couple of years ago I designed the interior of a bereavement room for mothers giving birth to their stillborn babies. A difficult and highly sensitive topic.

So many families go through the heartache of miscarriage and stillbirth.
Creating an environment where they feel safe, loved and supported is incredibly important.

Before beginning my design, I spent time listening to the midwives and taking on board what it was like to help these women. They told me about the need for time with their baby, a comforting presence and a feeling of safety.

This birthing room is a place where a mother needs to say hello and goodbye to her child, so it was important to be a space where memories could be created.

For the design of the birthing room I placed a wall mural of a forest, with light shining through the trees onto the ground below. Not only did this image portray a calming scene but also a feeling of hope and light.

Nature inspired interior design

I designed custom built touch-open units to hide all the medical equipment, while ensuring it was accessible to the midwives. I took on board the importance of the partner being able to stay with mother and baby and so ensured there was enough space for a double bed. All of the bed linen, towels and blankets were bought especially for this room; the soft textures giving it a more homely feel.

Little touches were added such as LED candles and an iPod dock. Strip lighting was placed around the headboard area for a soft glow.

I think that in places such as hospitals there can be a very clinical feel to everything, which is unnatural and sometimes rather scary.
By introducing natural elements and scenes of nature, you’re able to create a sense of calm. I learnt a great deal from this particular project about our sensitivity to light, colour, the overall ambience and the way in which nature can play a huge role in recovery.

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