Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Smile, breathe and go slowly.....Thich Nhat Hahn

I've talked about Wabi Sabi and I've blogged about The Barefoot Home....2 concepts that really appeal to me and make so much sense in the world of design. Now here's one more that caught my attention when I was doing that favorite of pastimes - surfing the web. It's called the Slow Home Movement.


I've heard of the slow food movement, the alternative to fast food. Like fast food, "fast houses" are designed for a quick first sale rather than long term satisfaction. A Slow Home is a place that feels good to be in and makes our lives easier. Its a place where we can be ourselves. The slow home movement stresses simple design that is an oasis of calm in a fast paced world, it is design with depth, practical and sustainable by being light on the environment and benefits the planet without sacrificing quality of life. It is the kind of good design we don't notice, like a comfortable pair of shoes you forget you're even wearing, its intuitive, invisible and effortless.


A Slow Home offers the idea of a simpler and a lighter kind of domestic life. These images will help clarify the concept a bit more....
















So how do you go about making your home a Slow Home? Here are some basic rules....you don't have to be a professional architect or designer to start making your home "slow"...


1. Locate your home in a walkable neighborhood that minimizes the use of a car


2. Have a good flow between spaces with a strong connection to the outdoors


3. The front and back entries in a Slow Home are spaces, not doors


4. All indoor and outdoor spaces have good light and are easy to furnish


5. The kitchen is compact with an efficient layout, good work surfaces and sufficient storage


6. A Slow Home has an appropriate number of well designed and modestly sized bathrooms (Ok, this one will not work for me...I need MY OWN bathroom and it has to be BIG).....


7. The service spaces are unobtrusive and highly functional


True that many of these are a bit difficult to follow given that often we don't have a choice over the house design or construction, but you get the idea. Its about a hassle-free, easy, relaxed home...one that never stresses you out. While you may not be able to do everything on this list with your existing home, there are many things you can do to support a slower, healthier lifestyle. Start with de–cluttering, so that you only live with things that you love or use frequently. As you replace items in your home, look for things that are well–made of natural and non-toxic materials (e.g. solid wood versus laminates). Identify the ways your home does and does not support what you want to do, and see how you can make changes over time to eliminate what isn't working and enhance what is. Take your time, be thoughtful, and think of your home as a slowly evolving sculpture that cares for you and is an expression of who you are. 
For more on this and some really informative videos, go here.

9 comments:

TIP Homes said...

Lovely post,Kamini :)

The Ketchup Girl said...

what a brilliant post, Kamini. Loved reading it.

Rekha said...

Nice post, the pics are clean, uncluttered and refreshing. Loved the idea!

Anonymous said...

Very nice. I love sitting there and watching the birds and life go on by :-)

My3

GB said...

Sunlight. That's what I need! :) Loved the serenity conveyed by the pictures.

Patricia Torres said...

Loved reading this post.. Never heard of a Slow home before..

The only issue I have is.. although my home is in a walkable neighbourhood.. our main gate faces a service lane.. which immediately faces a main road.. Although its not a high way or anything.. but there are always cars!! The road is actually rather busy..

Saying that.. in Dubai.. coz we dont build our own houses.. we dont have much of a choice.. Any solutions??

Oh and I love the painting you are giving away!! :-)

Shilpa Kamath said...

That's a beautiful home and I loved the last pic of the wall lined with book shelves! Very cozy and comforting.

Sound Horn Please said...

LOVELY post! Gosh K! Your posts are always so informed. I love reading them :)

Iniyaal said...

Informative post... The clean and uncluttered homes in your photos look impressive. Love the concept of a slow home, though practically it might be difficult to implement all the pointers for a slow home. For instance, my parent's home in coimbatore comes close to a Slow Home... But we had to go in for closed front and back entryways for safety due to the high number of wild dogs and snakes in the area.