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.