Creating the green room

An art installation combining flowers, leaves and romantic lighting has been created at a leading Lake District hotel.

The biophilic circular frame, almost two metres across, was installed in the dining room at Windermere’s Cedar Manor Hotel in time for Valentine’s Day.

Inspired by old fashioned large blooms, it features high quality silk roses, peonies, magnolia and hydrangeas mixed in with trailing ivy and eucalyptus leaves, and is fitted with remote control LED lights which have scene setting controls.

It’s the work of Alison Tordoff of Fidget Design who worked with Alex Wickens on the installation.

Biophilic design is about humans’ innate connection to nature and natural processes to improve health and well being of spaces we live and work in.

Alison was inspired by the work of design guru, Oliver Heath: “It’s about bringing the outside in and relevant health benefits, making a mindful and relaxing environment.”

Heath says there is evidence to suggest that by incorporating biophilic design into our built environments, we can increase our health and wellbeing. “Biophilic design acknowledges that we are instinctively connected to nature and that through exploring this connection within the spaces that we live, relax and work in, we can positively influence our physical and psychological health.”

Caroline Kaye, co-owner of the Cedar Manor, agrees, but was equally impressed by the visual impact of the art installation.

“It looks so beautiful, and it’s appropriate not just for Valentines but also for Mothers’ Day. We love the way it’s transformed our dining room.”

She added: “The theme is perfect here. Botanists went travelling and brought back exotic species of plants, and that’s why we have our  Cedar tree.”

Cedar Manor look up

Watch the installation being created here





Ready for Romance?

As we creep thankfully towards the end of January, our thoughts turn to…love.

February is the month of St Valentine, and romance is all about stimulating the senses, of course, so here we might have something to learn from Neanderthal man, the first Romantic guy. He had it all worked out.

So let’s get down to some Neanderthal basics; we need to get the combination right for our five senses. Each one of our senses is a trigger for creating a wonderful memory. For example, a real fire – as Neanderthal man knew well – can help relaxation and reduce blood pressure.

Not just supposition, it’s now medically proven. Scientists have discovered a link between a burning fire in the hearth and a “significant” reduction in blood pressure. Flickering flames, combined with the crackle and roar of burning logs, possess a hypnotic calming effect.

Fires also “cement” a bond between individuals sitting next to them. The University of Alabama study may also go a long way to explaining the recent surge in popularity of wood burning stoves, whose sales have risen 300 per cent in recent years.

And of course, fire also provides, heat, light, a means of cooking and encourages people to gather and be sociable. The perfect ingredients for romance.

You can find the right setting for Valentine’s Day at my favourite romantic hotel and restaurant, the Cedar Manor in Windermere. Favourite not least because I designed the bedrooms!

Short on cash but big on love?  Invite him or her to dinner by sending a real love letter – not a text, not an email.

Set the table beautifully. Recreate a romantic restaurant feel, using crisp linen table cloths and napkins, add some sparkle with napkin rings, polished chrome goblets and silver candle holders. Flood the room with tealights.

Write your own poem or a special message around the edge of the plate using a Sharpie pen. Hold hands across the table. Then snuggle down on the sofa against our Love District range of cushions..

The key to romance, you see, is being impulsive and aiming to surprise. Happy planning!