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The Fundamentals of Slow Living

By  Celine  Nanena   |  5th November 2020

We tend to be unconscious to how time dictates the pace of our lives. We have the solution through slow living which encapsulates a connected, balanced and mindful lifestyle approach. A sense of peace cultivated by simple pleasures, values and using resources judiciously.  

Slow living is a way of life by choice, a philosophy, and a state of being. It curates the self, planet and home by living in an organic, natural way. The ‘fast food’ movement enticed Carlo Petrini and a group of activists to intercept slow food which focused on comfort, taste and the quality of food. The movement emphasised health and richness of locally grown, slowly prepared cuisine compared to unhealthy fast food.

This movement sparked an expansion across broader branches; slow designThis branch of slow movement seeks a universal and sustainable approach whilst sourcing from local and regional materials. Design supports local industries, workshops, and craftspeople when designing a product and a wide range of materials and social-economic factors are considered before physically crafting. Slow design encourages stripping design back to its essence by re-focusing on craftsmanship, quality and creating tailored and timeless solutions

Slow design takes into account more profound well-being and the findings of positive psychology which is associated with human flourishing or prosperity – the factors that contribute the most to a well-lived and fulfilling life. Elements of interior design which evoke a positive or negative emotional response in people beholds the goal of encouraging creativity, peace and happiness. 

Slow living: Wabi Sabi embraces the imperfection 

The term “Wabi” can be defined as ‘rustic simplicity’ and being in tune with nature with a focus on embracing what you have and who you are entwining a less-is-more approach to your life.

“Sabi” prevails longevity and the beauty of age and wear through taking pleasure in the imperfect, in both objects and people.

Wabi-sabi can be recognised through natural materials like wood and clay developed in interior design, or through earthy palettes of black, browns, greens, greys and rusts or any other reduced colour that creates a mesmerising and soothing ambience. 

Benefits of embracing slow living 

Adopting this way of life makes you more conscious of your time, how it is spent and how you can appreciate it more. This mindset holds a healthier you; the more you slow down, the less stressed you become, the better you eat, and fewer illnesses arise. Expenditure savings is another advantage of this lifestyle, adopting the slow movement process will provide high-quality pieces in your home that will last a lifetime. 

10 tips for implementing slow living through your home 

Organise – Create spaces for where specific items can be found. Revisit all your rooms in your home and simply think how can your things be more organised, it could be from investing in a compartment divider for drawers, creating a command station for your to-do lists, adding a towel rack, hanging a hair station or merely storing your shoes heel to toe.

Putting slow living into perspective, the entryway is the first sight upon entering home no matter what the size, it is vital to create a space for essentials. This may be implemented by purchasing a key holder cabinet or hanging hooks for the smaller essential things in our lives. 

Remove the items which you no longer utilise or if you struggle with the thought of wasting, perhaps change your perspective to ‘giving away’ what is not needed in your home. Charities, schools, friends there are plenty of recycling options.

Meaningful decor – Slowly find, restore and invest in items which bring happiness to your home. This process is not to be rushed; it could be reframing old pictures which are special to you or purchasing items which portray stories behind them. For example, the Moonlake Marble and Steel Coffee Table inspired through our designer 12h, who once experienced a mesmerising moment upon the lake with his friends whilst the moonlight glistened across the water. Through this design, he wanted to keep that memory alive and by the swipe of a touch aligns a sparkle for a final touch for the recreation of this memory. 

Embrace – Once you have removed all the unnecessary, unmeaningful items in your home – you are left surrounded by all the things you love and treasure. You will be able to embrace the joy and fulfilment of these items in the presence of your decluttered home. 

Lighting – The overall mood in interior design is highly impacted by how well the space is lit. As we know, the healthiest source of lighting comes from the sun. The natural light embellishes the atmosphere in your surroundings to create that ambience you desire. Where natural light is restricted in one’s interior space, it is suggested to implement warm lighting to reduce an increase of sadness and enhanced anxiety. Instead incorporating lighting brings a sense of relaxation and boosts creativity in the interior where natural lighting is reduced. 

Utilise colours – Colour elements inside your home can have a significant impact on one’s mood upon entering, the fact colour can generate or enhance certain emotion it is vital to implement to your slow living process. Vibrant shades such as yellow, orange and green encourage socialising and communication. Darker shades of green, purple, deep blue, and red reflect a gloomy feel, although if applied adequately, can evoke a sense of comfort.

Natural plants – Plants cleanse the air by absorbing toxins, increasing humidity and producing oxygen besides this natural advantage, plants bring a harmonious feel. Studies have shown indoor plants improve your productivity, concentration and even memory retention since the presence and proximity of them being indoors can reduce stress, fatigue, and cold-like symptoms. 

Find appreciation through design – Finding reasons behind your design choices will help you effectively save and invest in timeless pieces, which only gain sentimental value and later may be passed down through generations. This not only can help minimise environmental impacts around the world but also brings a sense of gratitude in your home for what you own.

Strive for sustainability – The slow living mindset observes saving the planet where possible by reconsidering your home energy sources to be eco-friendly for our environment and the communities. 

Adopting slow living into your everyday life is simple. By changing habits and adopting new perspectives, you can be rewarded with significant health benefits, wealth, and be more environmentally conscious at once. 

All images via Pinterest

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