As a wellness-focused coliving brand, our mission is to drive social change through exploring and promoting the concept of living well. We build nourishing shared living environments. We design them to foster connection and elevate the lifestyle and wellbeing of our residents. Here are the four pillars of our live well concept that we developed over the recent years. You can apply them in your daily life, often at a small or no cost, to achieve a more connected, healthy and fulfilling lifestyle.
Biophilic design – living well starts at home
Humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life. While we are all different, there are many elements of a building design that almost universally affect how we feel within a space. These include thermal comfort, shapes, colours, symmetry and so on. It is called biophilia. Since people spend around 90% of their time in built environments, it’s what we strive to provide in our Hive Homes. And many features associated with health and wellbeing can be easily incorporated into a home.
Surround yourself with nature
The benefits of experiencing and interacting with nature for physical and psychological well-being are well documented. Your home should ideally have plenty of nature around. It should have access to a garden to relax, exercise and feel more connected with yourself and others. Try introducing amenities there that harness and attract wildlife, like in the photo below. Interestingly, according to recent research, the UK population has spent more than £200 m on bird food during the pandemic. It’s because of our biophilic inclinations that we turn to in a crisis.
If all that is not possible because you live in a heavily urbanised neighbourhood, try venturing out to find a patch of greenery that’s nearest to you. Spend time there every day if possible. It will soothe you and relieve the tensions of the daily modern life.
But it’s not only outdoors that you can connect with nature. Bring the nature inside the home by filling it with plants and other elements of nature. Interiors featuring natural elements are much more healthy, relaxing and allow for more focus. Here are some great plants to keep at home for their calming and cleansing effects: jasmine, lavender, snake plant, aloevera, gardenia, spiderplant, valerian, English ivy.
Let in natural light
Natural light does have mood boosting qualities and direct correlation to our mood, happiness and general wellbeing. Especially morning light can have a huge impact on our health and happiness. So make sure you have breakfast near a window with plenty of natural light.
If you’re lucky enough to be designing your home from scratch, opt for building orientation that provides a lot of natural light, and plan for larger windows and skylights.
But there are other ways to flood your home with mood boosting sunlight. You can reflect light with mirrors, go for reflecting materials in your interior design, and choose a front door with a glass panel. Clearing cluttered window sills can also release more light than you would think!
A simple way to make use of light for your general wellbeing is also using dimmer switches rather than simply choosing to have the lights on and off. It’s an example of how we give our Hive residents a greater sense of control and comfort by allowing personalisation of their space.
Go for natural materials, shapes and colours
Our secret to a home supporting your overall health is mixing natural and reclaimed materials with artifacts of modern life and technology. The Hives feature lots of reclaimed wood, handcrafted furniture, and upcycled items.
It’s incredible how you can give life to old items by thinking out of the box and reinventing the old. And there is no limit to what you can create. Here is the result of our upcycling project that gave new life to an old surfboard, old railway sleepers and whiskey barrels in our secret garden. Upcycling in its simplicity transforms products, waste materials, useless and unwanted products into new materials or products of better quality and for better environmental value.
It makes a huge difference for interior design when you go for shapes and colours that occur in nature. Green is the prime colour of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises. So combine it with colours of the natural environments you enjoy the most. Remember to use organic shapes in your decorations – they are guaranteed to make you feel good.
How we do it
Here is an example of how we introduce biophilic design in our Hives. Take this small communal space. We combined abundant daylight and plant life, known to lower the heart rate and blood pressure, with reclaimed wood and soothing green wall colour, offering calm and comfort. The resulting space supports stress reduction and a tranquil mood.
Since it’s a communal space intended to support connectivity, we broke away from uniformity in the flooring. We mixed three different types of wood to engage the senses. Notice the breakfast bar mounted in the window, overlooking 500 sqm of landscaped gardens. It can also serve as a ‘refuge’ for residents seeking to withdraw from group activity and focus on their own work. Our point here was to balance usability with the intent to positively influence people’s health, attitude and overall happiness.
From me to we – the importance of community
Personal wellness is linked not only to the environment, but also the people that surround you and how you interact with them. That’s why we strive to build spaces that foster connection and facilitate a harmonious and authentic way of sharing life.
Co-live and share
“As an ecologist, I can say that we humans are the ‘ultimate social animal’. Our whole evolution has been based on our ability to connect, communicate and be empathetic towards each other.”Gabriel, social impact advisor of B-Hive Living
We are biologically designed to live in communities of up to 150 people. It lets you meet and interact with people on a deeper level so that we can ultimately achieve a fulfilling lifestyle. At B-Hive Living we found that diversity is key to an exciting lifestyle. Surround yourself with people from different backgrounds that share a positive outlook on life. If your mind is set on living alone, find ways to participate in communal activities and give back to society. Find ways to share: your skills, knowledge, resources, experiences. You can read about how our resident Max went about it in the middle of lockdown here.
Participating in society in a meaningful way as well as coliving makes you open to explore new ways to relate to other people. Learning to respect and accept the differences will make you question some old assumptions and beliefs you might have. You will therefore learn to unite, collaborate, and exchange. This is how we manage our Hive communities at B-Hive Living.
Find your tribe
We recruit the right people for our Hives by means of our stringent vetting process. It results in a inclusive, diverse and vibrant community with plenty of opportunities for personal and professional growth. If you are anything like our residents, what you can do in your daily life is look out for people with a positive attitude and friendly personality, and desire to socialise and contribute to the community. You will then end up being part of an eclectic community of people from all walks of life that contribute to your fuller understanding of the world and purposeful lifestyle. They say you are who you surround yourself with and there’s a lot of truth in that.
Approach people with trust and empathy. When people feel they can fully express themselves, they feel supported to reach their fullest potential.
At B-Hive Living you have a number of solutions on tap. On top of our social events calendar, our life, nutrition and fitness coaches are at the disposal of our residents. The Hives also feature green outdoor areas, workout facilities, kitchens adjusted for multiple users, etc. They are all designed to inspire healthy habits and a more fulfilling lifestyle. With a little bit of motivation and knowledge, you can achieve it on your own too.
Most of every day you go through is made of habits you’ve developed in the course of your life. The trick to a healthier and more fulfilling lifestyle is to hack those little habits and turn them into more life-enhancing ones. From getting well hydrated first thing in the morning to taking control of snacking, to ongoing learning of new skills, there are multiple tricks you can use to elevate your lifestyle with minimum effort. You will find some of them on our blog!
To sustain connections you’ve made with awesome people, and possibly turn them into lifelong friendships, take good care of your social life. Make time for people you care about. Change your surroundings once in a while. Be open to meeting new people. At the Hives we facilitate it by providing a monthly calendar of engaging social and wellness events. They not only involve our residents, but also connect them to the local communities.
“there isn’t a choice between human and financial success, they are one and the same.”Phillipa and Tom Carrier, Designed for Wellbeing
We believe it is possible to create a profitable enterprise while doing good, and that the same rule can be applied in everyone’s life. Having an ethical and sustainable lifestyle does a whole lot of good to the world as well as your own holistic wellbeing.
Sustainable living involves reducing the amount of Earth’s resources that you use to help protect it. It sounds grandiose, but every one of us can have a share in this goal.
There are a number of ways you can do this. You can limit the amount of energy and water you use, use eco-friendly products and alter your diet to include more consciously sourced produce. Limiting the use of plastic will make a big difference. Go for your favourite reusable items, like a water bottle or cup. Another way to make your and everyone else’s life a bit better is giving away used items. If you don’t use a product or wear a piece of clothing anymore, give it to a charity shop or someone you know would make use of it to help reduce waste and make space for you to breathe fuller.
Rely on small local businesses
Our Hives are the result of a plethora of collaborations with an eclectic mix of inquisitive artists, dreamers and crafts people. Just a few of those featured in our blog are muralist Curtis Hylton, woodcraft artist Daniel Pereira, and painters and decorators Father & Daughter. Relying on small local businesses lets you discover absolute gems of local craftsmanship and art. It also makes you more connected to the local community, and often provides for a unique, higher quality and customised service for an affordable price!
Chat to us to share how you introduce elements of our live well concept in your daily life. We would love to hear from you!