At home with Sarah Jones a Yorkshire funeral director with a difference
At home with...Sarah Jones, Funeral director at Full Circle Funerals who is committed to supporting the wellbeing of every bereaved individual and has pioneered the use of light, bright, calm and welcoming rooms where she and her colleagues can discuss arrangements with those who have lost loved ones.
How would you describe your home? I believe that our physical environment has a huge impact on how we feel and all my design choices are informed by my knowledge about design for wellbeing and biophilia. It is very empowering to realise that you can feel more resilient, open and more optimistic with a few simple changes to your home. There are many ways of incorporating nature into our direct environment and when we consider natural colours, patterns, light and textures then the opportunities are endless. We have wallpaper with birch tree patterns, untreated wooden furniture and decorations made from driftwood and dried flowers.
We scatter pebbles and pinecones in large shallow bowls. The colours we choose for our indoor spaces can also be inspired by nature. Choosing colours which are common in the sky, sea, in plants and in the earth seem intuitively like a good place to start. Last but not least, we have as many plants as possible. They filter our air so we have large potted trees, lots of succulents, herbs and botanicals.
Which household items could you not live without? I would really struggle without my teapot and infuser. I have a very simple IKEA one with a ceramic tealight underneath and it makes me very happy. I have an array of loose leaf teas and infusions.
What is on your interiors wish list? I would love to have a skylight in every living space to maximise natural light. I am a big believer in the importance of trying to be true to our circadian rhythms and exposing ourselves to natural light as much as possible is a big part of that.
What is your favourite building? I find the new residential towers, office blocks and community buildings with integrated trees and gardens
really fascinating. The amount of trees that can be incorporated can add up to a staggering amount of forest space. As a throwback to my time as an NHS surgeon, I would particularly love to visit Khoo Teck Puat Hospital in Singapore. It has incorporated so many elements of biophilic design.
Is there anything exciting you in terms of design? Some of the larger design projects taking biophilia to a whole new level. Banyan Tree Resorts is building a hotel consisting of elevated rooms and tree house like pods nestled into the trees. Guests will literally be surrounded by nature, a zoo, bird park and all the animal sounds that brings.
What are you most proud of? I am proud of applying the principles of design for wellbeing and applied them to funeral care. There is a perception that funeral directors services are dark and oppressive places and I would like to help to challenge that. Creating spaces that might help people at challenging times makes me feel very privileged.
What and where is your ideal home? My ideal home would incorporate all of the design principles that I have described but be located beside the sea. I would wake up to the sound of
the waves and seagulls and ensure the sunrises and sunsets that winter makes so much for accessible.
Who would you most like a socially distanced drink with? Claudia Winkleman. I think that she is genuine, funny and true to herself. I think that she would be a wonderfully positive and engaging person to have a drink with. I could also gather her thoughts about design for wellbeing.
*Contact: Full Circle Funerals, a modern funeral directors in Yorkshire, www.fullcirclefunerals.co.uk