The Benefits of Natural Materials for Kids - an Interview with Laurence Sevy
I’m so excited to publish our second blog post interview with Laurence Sevy of: Quietly - Holistic Interiors.
The interview with Laurence is special for two reasons:
Firstly, it was a real "live" face to face! Laurence has lived for years in France and UK but she has been living in Tel Aviv for the past few years. The interview took place in a cosy café, where we got to know each other while having a fascinating conversation which I’d like to share with you here, shortly.
The other reason is the content of this interview, which is very close to my heart. It goes far beyond design and aesthetics, since Laurence’s approach is very much influenced by her awareness of the importance of using natural, healthy & sustainable materials. During the interview she shares her knowledge and thoughts with us. I’m sure you’ll find it as interesting as I did!
Hi Laurence, thanks for joining us! Tell us a little bit about yourself :)
I’m Laurence, I have worked in the field of design my entire adult life.
I was an interior stylist for interior magazines, and I worked as a design writer for 20 years. At a certain point I felt like everything I did was lacking meaning. It was basically like guiding people to produce more and more items such as: sofas, chairs, lamps etc...
A few years ago I started Quietly, which combines my knowledge in interior design together with a search for a quieter way of life. Quietly aims to create spaces that calm the body and the mind, finding a way to support our mental and physical wellbeing. I do that by using natural and tactile materials that awaken the senses, as well as using other ways that help me slow down and balance my own life like yoga and meditation.
How did you get into this field of designing with natural materials?
Many people are aware of the air pollution problems but not many know that the air in our homes is more polluted than the air outside, about 3-4 times more, even in cities. This is due to chemicals contained in glues used for furniture or carpeting, in the paints we use on walls, as well as regular household products. It’s important to reduce the amount of toxins that enter our interiors as much as possible.
Using healthy and natural materials for interior design was always important to me. I actively research for materials that fit this description: Are eco-friendly, do not create waste and have a positive impact.
Where do you get your inspiration and knowledge from?
I go to design weeks at least twice a year, which are highly inspiring events.
I also research actively and arrange meetings with brands that share similar vision. Many of the meetings and relationships actually started on Instagram.
What is so special about natural materials and what are the specific benefits of using them for children?
In general, the tactile touch of natural materials has a proven physiological effect on our bodies and on our minds. It slows our heartbeat, lowers our blood pressure, helps reduce anxiety and depression.
it's a lot more calming for us to be surrounded by nature. We’ve been surrounded by nature for millions of years. It’s only for the past 200 years that we’ve been surrounded by concrete.
Natural materials have a calming effect that helps children focus and calm down. Touching wood has a neurological impact on a child's brain; it induces psychological relaxation.
Take the example of simple toys made of wood, they enhance cognitive development and stimulate imagination. It it offers the kids the opportunity to explore sounds, tactility or even taste. What happens if they bang the toy on the floor, what happens if they turn it around, stack it, roll it etc etc, as opposed to pressing a button and waiting to be entertained...
If you had to choose 2-3 essential items for children made of natural materials, what would they be?
Some sort of construction blocks made of wood. It supports open-ended play which means there's no specific end goal or rule to the game. A child can create whatever they want with it. It lets his creativity run completely free.
A natural playing mat - like cork mats because it's super-tactile, insulating and comfortable to play on.
A doll made of wool or textile, that has a natural touch and that the children can connect to.
Thank you so much Laurence for this enjoyable and interesting interview 🤎 And thank you for reading! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Follow Laurence for lots more inspiring content on her IG account:
And her website: https://www.quiet-ly.com/interior-design