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HAVEN:
BEAUTY SIMPLIFIED
20 May 2024
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At Mead Quin, we put our hearts into our work, and we approach each project with a deep sense of intention. Our mantra — “beauty simplified” — is more than two simple words. It provides us with a touchstone for every decision we make.


What are the qualities that make something beautiful, versus something that is simply well-made, or merely pretty? I think the answer lies in the natural world, which is inherently beautiful. The fundamental principles found in nature — order, balance, proportion, usefulness, meaning — all help define what is beautiful to us. We’re drawn to them in the same way we’re drawn to light, kindness and well-being.

 

The question we ask ourselves as creators, then, is “How do we follow nature’s lead? How do we enhance rather than detract from the beauty we see in the natural world?” We begin with mindfulness about what we are creating, and awareness of the impact of our choices. We are not just filling space to fill space, but working to enhance the lives of the human beings that will live in the spaces we create.

For me, the word simplified signals a sense of timelessness. A recent trip to Milan reminded me of the importance of things that last. In ancient cities everything is beautiful — crafted in a slower, more thoughtful way, and made to last. The phrase we’ve chosen as our touchstone distills for us the importance of beauty that ages gracefully and design that lasts.

 

We live in a culture of consumption, and as our world continues to speed up, we are outpacing nature — constantly making and consuming more and faster. The result, for the most part, is unfulfilling. To some degree, we’ve lost our way, and the first step in bringing ourselves back is to be mindful, to pay attention and — for us — to help our clients make choices that allow them to connect to the things they surround themselves with. There is an uncomfortable sense of weightiness to a space that contains too much. We try to give our clients room to slow down, room to breathe, and allow their senses to sharpen. We help them find the comfort that comes from knowing that what they have is enough. And by partnering with organizations like Make it Home we can help our clients give new life to beautiful, useful furnishings that they no longer need, (and that might have ended up in a landfill).

 

The discussion of our consumer culture, and the protection of nature and its resources, is a topic far too vast to tackle in a single blog post or an individual design practice. However, the purchasing decisions that are part of the work we do are an entry point into the greater discussion, and they matter. We talk with clients about the importance of investing more in less, and we advocate for choosing things that have lasting value.

 

In our partnerships with architects and landscape designers , a sense of cohesion and shared purpose is essential to creating a home that belongs, and feels tucked into place. We want our interiors to draw our clients into a home that feels safe, welcoming and warm, while the architecture and landscape in turn draw them outdoors into nature. In this way, there is a push and pull between indoors and out — a conversation that marries the two and allows the human being to participate in the elements, because this is who and what we are…part of nature. It’s not something outside of us that we control. It is something we participate in with care and consideration. At their best, architecture and design give the inhabitants of a particular space a sense of belonging, comfort and connection.

In the end, beauty matters — it is fundamental to our well-being as individuals and as a society. In nature, purpose and beauty are entwined. The more we can do to appreciate, emulate and form a bridge to the beauty found in nature, the more we are of service to our clients.