August 8, 2011 by Robin Plaskoff Horton
For The Common Place, known as an “autonomous, radical social center” in Leeds, England, designers Donna Walker and Sarah Barrett created Home Sweet Home, a project sprung out of the desire to craft a cozy outdoor social gathering spot out of what was once just rubble. Starting out with a yard in much disrepair at the back of the center, the duo felt the space had a lot of potential to become a useful social gathering place for center’s members.
A Safe Sense of Community
Since the ethos of the center was to create a place in the city that rebuilds some of the things lost in our lives, the center offers a sense of community, affordable food, entertainment, a place to relax, talk, meet, or find information on many of the issues affecting our lives–the designers embarked on creating a home in the city that to meet these needs for everyone.
Out of the Bathroom and Into the Backyard
By focusing on the aesthetics of the home, and working with familiar domestic objects and patterns, Walker and Barrett aimed to evoke associations of comfort and safety.
In an attempt to blur the boundaries between interior and exterior, the designers raised up and replanted the garden, upcycled bathroom furniture as seating and plant beds, and stencilled wallpaper patterns onto the brickwork.