Inside our homes: Adam Batty
Here at Nest, we genuinely love what we sell. We don’t just live by our ‘buy once, buy well’ philosophy when we’re in the office, we love to fill our homes with the designs we sell too.
Join us for a tour of Nest Website Editor Adam’s home, as we chat style, sustainability and what makes good design.
A true design connoisseur, Adam joined the Nest team as an Ecommerce Website Editor in early 2020. Responsible for adding new products to our website, he spends his days immersed in great design both at work and at home.
Since moving into his new home in 2019, Adam has spent the past few years furnishing his spaces with carefully selected pieces of design. Keen to see how his vision has developed, the Nest marketing team were very kindly invited inside for a look around…
Would you be able to tell our readers a bit about you and what sparked your interest in design?
I come from an art background and have found my journey to interiors to be quite an organic one. My passion for the arts, in general, began at art school in Leeds in the early 2000s, and I arrived in Sheffield to do my master’s degree in 2010. Along the way, I found that quite a few of the people that I looked up to in other disciplines had connections with design, and it all went from there.
Jean Prouvé and Alvar Aalto were probably the first designers that made a big impression on me, but I take inspiration from a diverse range of places such as the painter Henri Matisse, the French New Wave of cinema, tattoo artists, street artists and emerging contemporary artists like Hernan Bas.
My wife Beth is really interested in furniture in general, so when we started to build a home together it was fairly natural that we would take a design-driven route. We moved into our home in Sheffield in Winter 2019, and live there with Godard, our Boston Terrier.
Your beautiful home features a carefully curated selection of designs. When choosing furniture and lighting for your home, what qualities do you look for?
Our home is very much a collaboration of two contrasting approaches. As I say, Beth is really passionate about design too, particular the more contemporary fare, while I tend to look to the past and heritage in what appeals to me.
I am as much about the processes that have gone into a piece as I am about a particular aesthetic. I like to understand how a piece was made and why it was made that way, and I like to discover the person or people that made it.
I also try to stick to original colourways and finishes where possible, so, for example, when purchasing an Eames LTR Occasional Table last year, I spoke with our contacts over at Vitra and attempted to establish which finish that is available now is closest in style to the ones that Ray and Charles Eames would have initially made.
Would you say that the designs you own influence or enrich the way you live? If so, in what way?
Certainly. Away from the obvious benefits such as living in a nice space and being around nice things, it also gives me something to think about and understand. I like to think of it as an art gallery logic. As a general rule for living this is something that sits pretty high on my agenda; I take great value from this, with everything either serving a purpose or holding a meaning.
Do you have a favourite space in your home?
I have a little nook on the third floor that has been left purely to me for decorating. I use it to store my extensive library of books and collection of films and have a nice lounge chair in there. I’m a little bit of a maximalist at heart, and while the rest of the house is calming and organised, my nook is just a little bit chaotic.
During the pandemic, it became a makeshift office, and it was such a nice space to be confined to. We only moved into the house a few weeks before the pandemic shut everything down, and it really helped us to appreciate just how lucky we are to live in such an inspiring house. I also love the outdoor spaces. In total, we have three enclosed ones, including a secluded roof terrace. On a hot summer’s day, there’s little better than opening all of the windows and doors and just letting the place breathe.
From your perspective, what is the role of design? And what elements make a design a good one?
For me, it’s about feeling. It’s an instinctive thing, and about filling your life with positive and inspiring elements. Design is all about solutions, and I see a great design ethos as something that extends far beyond its basic function, and as something that one can look to for wider inspiration for living well.
When it comes to furniture specifically, I like clean lines and simplicity, true minimalism where every element serves a purpose.
Is there a particular designer that you think everyone deserves to know about?
Jean Prouvé is the greatest of all time as far as I’m concerned. His work is unique, but not in an ostentatious or obnoxious way, and his influence can still be seen in great contemporary design.
Prouvé was a fascinating guy in general, having lived several lives. He started out as a blacksmith, before his skills as a craftsman saw him working with some of the most influential architects in France, which eventually pushed him to work in that field himself.
He was also a pivotal figure in the French resistance during the Second World War. The Prouvé Standard SP Chair is probably my favourite ever design object.
What was the first piece of forever design that you bought for your home?
The Artek Stool 60. There’s something really democratic about that particular piece for me. It does what it does better than any other object in its class, and the aspiring design collector can buy it for a relatively affordable price. I’d have to save for years to buy an Eames Lounge Chair or a Wassily Chair, but the Stool 60 is an accessible piece.
Working as a Product Editor here at Nest, your love for design really shines through in your descriptions of our products. Has working within the industry changed your perspective on anything mentioned above?
I’m very much an optimist and a bit of a dreamer, and as such my appreciation for art and design hadn’t really taken into account the logistical side of things before, which is something that I’ve naturally been introduced to in my current position.
My role at Nest definitely relies upon my passion for great design as a driver for my day-to-day activities. Passion naturally breeds enthusiasm, and I like to think that that shows in the manner in which we present our products here at Nest.
As you know well, our philosophy here at Nest is ‘buy once, buy well’. In your opinion, what are the most impactful ways in which we can all begin to shop more sustainably?
Sustainability is a major interest of mine and the general Nest concept of forever furniture ties in fairly organically into this approach of living responsibly. I am fully aware that it’s not possible for many of us to fill our houses with design-led pieces, but I see it as an ongoing project that will take decades to complete. Generally speaking, I think it’s important that we make considered purchases where possible and take care of the things we buy.
I’d encourage everybody to research and look into the origins of an item they are looking to purchase, be it furniture, clothing or the food they eat. Sustainability isn’t just about looking after the planet on an eco-logical level either, but also ensuring that the production chain is one that works in a fair and safe way at every stage for all involved, be it the person that cuts the tree used to make a wooden chair, or the person sat behind a computer screen at Nest answering customer queries.
What’s next for your home? Is there anything else on your design wish list?
I’ve half-promised myself a Prouvé Fauteuil Direction Armchair for my fortieth birthday in a few years’ time, but Beth is determined that our next big buy will be the Menu Low Plinth, having coveted it for years, so I think that will be our next purchase. I’m also a little obsessed with the USM Haller range of modular furniture which we’ve just begun to stock. It would sit beautifully in my nook.
Do you have an inspirational interior? Share your home with us over Instagram by tagging us @nest_co_uk. Looking for your own piece of forever furniture? Browse Nest today to discover thousands of everlasting designs.
Image credits: Max Hawley