People nowadays are constantly living at a fast pace which is making them feel like their lives are chaotic. I’m sure all of us have at some point of our lives joined the “cult of speed” without even noticing. It happened to me too. Everyday I try to take a step back, being present end conscious in the moment. Getting to know the slow living, I am interested in homes and spaces that would encourage such lifestyle. Stay with me and you will find more about “homes for slow living” and how “slow design” can give you the home you really want. A home for simplifying our lives, slowing down and cultivating community.
It’s not a new concept, but as busy folk stuck in a constant rat race to be the richest, loudest and fastest, taking the time to step back and slow down may just be what we need in 2019.
Live in the moment. Photo: Unsplash
BUT FIRST, WHAT IS SLOW LIVING?
Slow living is a lifestyle which is going back to a simpler and mindful approach to life. Slow living is living in a more balanced, meaningful, and life-affirming way. It emphasises that happiness is not a destination, something that will happen eventually in the future. You know, when we will finally get our dream job, aeran a lot of money and marry our prince charming. Slow living is about understanding happiness as a journey, that we choose to live everyday. It is about enjoying the process, the little moments in life, not just the final result.
In the name of convenience, we sacrificed so much of the little pleasures of life which is cooking, exploring our local resources, and learning about each other. We take shortcuts anytime we can and to be fair to us, society encourages us to as what we are or what we have is supposedly never enough. This seems to be a bi-product of a hyperconsumerism society which is made to keep us unsatisfied in order to buy more. Slow Living is a stop or at least a desire to disrupt that motion.
Take time for others. Photo: Unsplash
A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY
There seems to be a worldwide consensus that everything started in 1986 when Carlo Petrini protested against the opening of a McDonald’s in Rome.This moment would mark the beginning. A few years later, the international slow food movement was officially founded.
Some people have grasp the true meaning of SLOW as an acronym: Sustainable, Local, Organic, and Whole. While some of these principles apply to other aspects of slow living, it’s certainly most applicable to slow food with its emphasis on quality ingredients, sustainability, and local production and consumption.
Believe it or not, apparently almost two decades went by before the phrase “slow movement” was coined by Carl Honoré in his 2004 book, In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed.
A fast approach tends to be a superficial one, but when you slow down you begin to engage more deeply with whatever it is you’re doing. You’re also forced to confront what’s happening inside you – which is one of the reasons why I think we find it so hard to slow down. Speed becomes a form of denial. It’s a way of running away from those more deeper, tangled problems. Instead of focusing on questions like who am I, and what is my role here, it all becomes a superficial to-do list.Carl Honoré
THE SLOW HOME MOVEMENT
Slow home design is the principle of slowing down to design homes and spaces that are sustainable, practical and functional. The slow home movement was founded in Calgary by John Brown, Carina van Olm and Matthew North as a response to the poor design practices that have pervaded the mass housing industry the past few decades.
Brown, Olm and North lay out 12 Steps to a Slow Home and teach designers and builders to strive for a more “considered, calm and intuitive” approach to residential design. The concept is to use well-considered design principles to create smaller homes that will be environmentally sustainable, continue to meet the needs of homeowners over time, and are built to endure. Check out their website to learn more!
HOMES FOR SLOW LIVING
The slow approach to living is not about how little we can live with but it’s about working out what we simply can’t live without. Is about exploring your life fundamentals and incorporate those into your surroundings and lifestyle.Homes with slow living in mind make space for a domestic life that places an emphasis on “being in the moment” and making room for the things that bring us pleasure and happiness.
At home, it’s more than just creating a cosy ambience or a rustic, bohemian aesthetic. Take the effort to grind coffee beans instead of using instant coffee sachets. Make time and space for leisure. Here are some tips:
1.SURROUND YOURSELF WITH OBJECTS THAT ENCOURAGE A SLOW LIVING LIFESTYLE: At home, it’s more than just creating a cosy ambience or a rustic, bohemian aesthetic. Take the effort to grind coffee beans instead of using instant coffee sachets. Make time and space for leisure.
2. CHOOSE SUSTAINABLE FURNITURE: Don’t fret over creased bed linen, a chipped bowl or the patina of your brass lamp – not everything has to be fast, polished or showroom-perfect. Opt for materials that will last long and age gracefully.
3. MAKE IT PERFECTLY IMPERFECT: Embracing slow life means not being afraid of losing control. Make your home perfectly imperfect, make it yours.
4. SHOP SLOWER AND LOCAL: With impulse buys and one-click online shopping leading to lots of unplanned purchases, it can be hard to remember that shopping comes with responsibility. If we slow down our shopping, we can reduce waste and love everything we live with more.
5. LET YOUR HOME GROW WITH YOU: There are those who move into a new place, furnish it in a couple weeks, and are happy to be done decorating. And then there are those who see their home as an ongoing project without a specific end date. By not rushing through the process, you can build a home that reflects your life, rather than passing trends.
6. DESIGN SPACES FOR HEALTH AND WELLBEING: I have written extensively on the topic in this article.
MUST HAVE! THE KINFOLK HOME: INTERIORS FOR SLOW LIVING
I absolutely love Kinfolk magazine, which to me has become a synonym of lifestyle philosophy which has a quintessential and clutter-free daily life at its core. While researching the topic of homes for slow living I came across “The Kinfolk Home”, the magazine’s second hardcover authored by its editor-in-chief Nathan Williams, which was published by Artisan in October 2015. It is the perfect representation of the “slow living” approach to life and interior design.
“The Kinfolk Home” features 35 stylish homes from around the world, all of which reflect the magazine’s slow-living mentality and unique aesthetic. Accompanied by essays and interviews of the people who live in them, these inspiring home tours reveal residences designed with “what their owners can’t live without” in mind —whether it be their favourite artworks, their children’s drawings, a cosy space for hosting friends and family, or a serene ambience that nurtures creativity and reflection.
The function of our homes should dictate the way we decorate them, not the other way around. Instead of either clogging our lives with unnecessary clutter – both physical and mental – or needlessly throwing out meaningful possessions, we can work to determine what brings fulfilment to our lives, and then surround ourselves with those comforts.The Kinfolk Home
Bringing the “slow” aspect into your design approach allows you to create a more considered, beautiful, and intimate living space. And let me end up with another quote, that sums up the slow living concept in a great way.
Slow living is just living slowly, in whatever and however way that means to you. It’s about knowing and passionately loving the things we value, and designing our lives to spend the most time possible enjoying them. It’s about having intentionality and consciousness in our activities, about escaping the mindless scrolling and unproductive multi-tasking and focusing on purposeful action. It’s about embracing the fact that you’re not doing it all – it’s about doing less, but better.”Kayte Ferris