Inside Guide to: Slow Design

Slow Design or Slow Living; enables people to spend more time and to truly engage with what they doing or making. It’s all about being present and bringing focus to the task at hand, ignoring all distractions and enable deep concentration and awareness through the process.

“To promote slowness or what we call ‘Slow design’ as a positive catalyst of individual, socio-cultural and environmental well-being. Slowness doesn’t refer to how long it takes to make or do something. Rather, it describes an expanded state of awareness, accountability for daily actions, and the potential for a richer spectrum of experience for individuals and communities.” (SlowLab)

We are often designing ways to consume information as quickly and efficiently as possible, to get stuff done and move on immediately to the next thing. We have trained our minds to multi-task and many of us spend the day chasing our tails that confuses the brain and causes anxiety in the body.

Slow-Decorating

Slow-Decorating is an intentional approach to building up an interior that reflects an individual’s style. Be mindful of the objects that you purchase and ask yourself the following questions;

  1. What is the story I want to create for my interior?
  2. Why am I attracted to this specific object, does it have a story behind it?
  3. Is this locally or handmade?
  4. Will it fit into my current scheme, or is this an impulse buy?

Creating a space that truly reflects you will take some time and patience. Alternatively it’s easy to furnish your space in a week and flip through some magazines, purchase a corner suit that was on special, paired with a black steel shelf and a cluster of round tables. Efficient yes, but you can typically get over the look very quickly. Sometimes it was an impulsive buy and what you liked in the moment, only for later on to wonder why you bought that in the first place. We have all fallen into that trap. Instead take a slow approach, take time to think, research and explore your style. To figure out what that style is, look closely at how you dress, dietary eating, and your favourite places to dine. Example if you wear a monochromatic clothing palette with a simple tailored design and one item of jewellery then you could explore modern and minimal interiors. If you find yourself wearing a mix of colours, eclectic pattern & textures, explore maximalism or ethnic interiors. Your environment around you is a clue to what your Interior style is. Take a slow approach and let’s break it down:

Authentic home

As discussed above, spend the time to research and figure out what your style truly is and what you gravitate towards with objects that have a story or connection. When an item is mass produced, copied from a catalogue, it feels inauthentic and often cliché. Like a sprayed pineapple sculpture or a “vintage” look alike cupboard that is made from chipboard. Look for items made from natural materials and that are hand crafted.

Explore your style

Colour trends change each season, instead of buying those trends off a catalogue, slowly collect items and curate a mix of objects to tell your own story. You could pop into a vintage store a hand pick a mid-century dining table, then go to your local furniture designers to get custom chairs made from solid timber to compliment the tables. Collect handmade pottery from small local businesses and source natural plants from small nurseries. Items that you have collected from your travels, self-made or family pieces to build up your home for a personalized touch.

Practicing mindfulness can bring the idea of slowing down and moving forward. Let’s explore an example of Slow Design that consists of a clean neutral palette, crafted raw natural materials and recycled furniture.

A hideaway in Passadena

Momo Suzuki and Alexander Yamaguchi founder of a fashion brand Black Cran, cultivates Slow Design in life as much as their home. This 1948 home has been renovated into a relaxed haven, with elements of Danish and Japanese’s design that has been instilled into the space. With a blend of Mid Century furniture and a Zen style that reflect objects from various eras. They have aimed to achieve simplicity and functionality in there serene space.

Momo Suzuki and Alexander Yamaguchi

Recreate an extension of Slow Design in your space by adding a neutral colour palette that consists of whites, warms greys and creams. Adapt natural materials such as linen, cottons and timber – locally produced if possible. Source recycled furniture made from solid timber and collected hand painted art or craft objects by local designers. Below is a guideline to get you started.

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