“It’s kind of the ideal product.” Zuma & The Sensory Home
There are few things we love more than seeing Zuma utilised in wholly new and inspiring ways. One compelling example of this can be found behind the front door of The Sensory Home – an innovative new project from renowned interior stylist, Pippa Jameson.
In The Sensory Home, Pippa has breathed life into her own pioneering interior design philosophy – by creating a liveable home space built around the fundamental ideals of wellbeing, revitalisation, and community inclusivity. And at the heart of The Sensory Home project lies the Zuma speaker light system, working to elevate these ideas and helping to deliver Pippa’s vision.
We sat down with Pippa to find out more about her story, the ideas behind The Sensory Home, and how Zuma has helped realise an important and exciting new approach to interior design.
A Lifetime in Design
Pippa began her creative design career in editorials for various high profile interior design magazines, including positions as Interiors Editor for a number of leading UK publications. Spells in television design and freelance roles followed – it was around this time that a member of Pippa’s family was early-diagnosed with Autism. “At this point it wasn’t linked to my career at all…but it meant I was already aware of the senses and sensory design in a very practical way”.
“I had what they call ‘the lightbulb moment’ around 2017”, Pippa tells us. “Something clicked in me around that point…I started to realise the importance of the home environment for everybody. That was when the concept was born.”
Early on in the realisation of this new concept, Pippa met with some pushback around the word ‘sensory’ playing such a prominent role. “It’s a word that can scare people…it can be associated with negative connotations, but only through naivety rather than maliciousness”. But Pippa remained steadfast in her belief that designing with a specific, sensory focus represented a unique and significant new approach to creating liveable homes that focused on the wellbeing of individuals.
The Sensory Home is Born
Pippa’s ideas were eventually brought together in a book – The Sensory Home: An Inspiring Guide to Mindful Decorating, published in 2022. In it, she laid out her novel approach to interior design for the first time. The book describes sensory design as a decorating and styling strategy – ensuring all interior spaces activate the senses in a positive way. “The mission for me was to bring ‘sensory’ into the mainstream…we now know our mental health is intrinsically linked to our home environment. Everything you touch, smell, support your body with…is ultimately going to decide whether your home is working for you or against you.”
After the book was released, the next logical step towards was to actualise these ideas in a real home. “We could talk about the principles, but we needed a real life, tangible case study of those principles”.
‘The Sensory Home’ Comes to Life
An unassuming terraced house in a Liverpool suburb was about to become a world-first – a home designed entirely around the philosophy of sensory living. “We wanted to walk everyone through the renovation process from the start, and clearly demonstrate why we made each individual design choice”.
Down to the smallest detail, every element of The Sensory Home is wholly intentional – designed to elevate the home experience and activate all the senses on a granular level. “For example, the curtains we’ve chosen are from a calm living collection. They’re for privacy, comfort, the materials are sustainable…the mattresses are made using advanced sleep technology, the alarm clocks are sensory, the paints are from a nature collection…”.
Ultimately the goal is to design with emotion first, rather than solely adhering to the specific trends of the moment. Every room in the home receives this same level of consideration. In the kitchen, tactility takes centre stage, with a mixture of pleasing surfaces to touch and interact with. Low noise appliances maintain a calm audible environment.
Throughout the house, careful consideration is given to how and where technology is implemented. “The fundamental question is always, ‘what is the functionality of this room?’. For example, bedrooms are for sleep, so we need supportive furniture, calming colours, and no tech that’s going to keep us alert”.
Utilising Smart Sensory Technology
“Technology is wonderful when it’s used in the right way, and can be kind to our senses…but it can be equally as damaging”. The goal is not to cast aside technology, but to utilise it through products and implementations that don’t go against the grain of The Sensory Home. This is where smart technology starts to play an important and transformative role.
“We’re always conscious of allowing rooms to have flex in how we interact with them…in Liverpool we’re somewhat physically limited in our ability to have a specific space for everyone in the house, so the rooms need to be adaptable”.
This idea of flex within the home space was realised in The Sensory Room – a space where Zuma became pivotal. “This house in Liverpool is just a normal, terraced house”. With a product like Zuma, it was possible to utilise limited space to create a room that could be adapted into a sensory haven, where required. With the help of Zuma “…you could just be listening to the radio or a podcast…or very easily someone with really intricate and specific needs could maximise the Zuma app and have it become a really sensory related space through meditation or calm”.
The joy of these sensory specific spaces is that they can be enjoyed by anyone who lives in the house. “We all experience overstimulation through technology. It’s very hard to unplug when we have a home office on our phones…it penetrates our minds”. Yet there are unquestionable positives to be found when tech is controllable on a sensory level.
Zuma and The Sensory Home
“When we were developing the house, I really felt that we needed a tech partner”, Pippa tells us.
After a conversation with Chris Haslam, a tech journalist whom she met whilst working at Good Homes Magazine, she was introduced to the team at Zuma. There was a clear alignment of ideas from the very start. A site visit with Sarah Chiappi, Zuma’s Head of Sales, soon followed. “The house was a building site! She really did have to have a vision”.
“We decided to make The Sensory Room the real hero of the project…and this is where we installed Zuma”. Four Lumisonic speaker lights were introduced into the sensory space, underneath two chez beds that acted as the centrepoint for the sound. “The practicalities of installation were really straightforward…they just replaced the existing spotlights”. The Zuma team remained on-hand to ensure the project ran smoothly from start to finish.
“We created this cocoon-like space, with a wraparound single colour throughout”. Comfort, cosiness, and privacy were at the heart of the design. “When we turned on Zuma for the first time, it added a whole new dimension to the space…it really brought the sensory room to life”.
“For us,” Pippa explains, “it was really clear that this [Zuma] was a state of the art sound and lighting solution that was perfect for calming environments…and would really support that flex that was so important to the space”. Having a piece of technology in the house that could act as a light, a speaker for music, radio or podcasts, and support the needs of neurodiverse individuals meant Zuma was a perfect fit.
“It was a no-brainer”.
Universal Technology for Everyone
“Because it’s so customisable, it has endless possibilities…and its functionality is so simple”. Zuma’s universality, it turns out, was key. “It feels accessible for everyone and really progressive and relevant to what we’re trying to achieve in The Sensory Home”.
Designing spaces for neurodivergent individuals means empowering homes to adapt to varied and specific needs almost instantly. Zuma gives sensory homes the freedom to do exactly that, whenever and wherever required. “Someone might need loud noise and bright lights to feel comfortable, and someone else might need the exact opposite of that…Zuma is a product that allows for all of these possibilities and different needs pretty much simultaneously”.
“From a neurodivergent perspective, it’s kind of the ideal product”.
The Future of Sensory Design
Since its launch, The Sensory Home has led the charge in sensory design’s rising popularity. Thanks to Pippa, more and more homeowners are taking sensory considerations into account whilst designing their home spaces. To further amplify this design revolution, additional sensory homes are planned for the future, and a Sensory Home Consultancy Service recently launched as a resource for anyone wishing to bring the exciting and arguably life-changing philosophy of sensory design into their own homes.
And further tantalising endeavours lie in The Sensory Home’s future – edit collections and collaborations with Sensory Home partners are in the pipeline, offering exciting and exclusive product lines designed around the Sensory Home concept.
There’s a distinct authenticity to The Sensory Home idea that means it intrinsically feels destined for big things. Unsurprisingly, Pippa agrees. “In the end it makes so much sense – of course we need to design with our senses. In that respect, sensory design really does feel like the way forward”.
Wherever The Sensory Home goes next, Zuma remains a fundamental part of its future. “Zuma is an ideal partner for us. For what it’s able to deliver…the value on the return of Zuma is absolutely huge”.
‘The Sensory Home: An Inspiring Guide to Decorating’ is available now. Our deepest thanks go to Pippa for taking the time to talk to us.
Are you an interior designer?
Zuma’s versatility in the home space is just one of the reasons interior designers love our revolutionary speaker light system. If you’re an interior designer interested in specifying Zuma, reach out on the contact form below to book in a free, no-obligation demo with one of our sales team!