ON THE VIRTUES OF SLOW, CONSIDERED HOMEMAKING
There are many merits to a slow, considered home. Slow, considered choices are choices we are much more likely to be satisfied with. Amid growing environmental concerns, the benefits of staying satisfied with our choices for longer are obvious. But beyond the obvious, very real and very important environmental considerations, there are also emotional benefits to cultivating a slower, more considered approach to homemaking.
When we allow ourselves the time to develop a more considered approach, one informed by what best serves our own needs, we develop more confidence in our decision making. At a time completely oversaturated with messages about what we ought to be doing, confidence in our own ability to make decisions is the best inoculation against discontent.
Whenever we seek others’ approval or admiration, what we are truly seeking is our own. When others validate choices we are uncertain about, it gives us more confidence in those choices. But when we have confidence in our decisions, it matters far less what others think. Safe in the knowledge that people come with different tastes, preferences and desires and that what is right for us might not be right for others, we are free to appreciate the joy in diversity of opinion without feeling threatened by them.
Consciously taking a slow more considered approach in life allows us to develop confidence in our own decision-making. When we understand the reasons behind why we make the choices we do and have the preferences we do, and why these choices and preferences are right for us, it is easier to feel assured in the paths we choose. Valid for almost any area of our life, this approach can be just as readily applied to the way we create our homes.
- Reducing the pressure to follow fast-paced changes in trends. Many trends disappear as quickly as they come around. Trying to keep up with them can be like trying to feed an insatiable hunger. Feeding it does not make it go away, it simply adds fuel to the fire. This phenomenon is the result of the fact that anything we attend to becomes more salient. The more we pay attention to trends the more we are aware of every small change and shift. One of the simplest ways to not feel under pressure to keep up with trends is simply to make an effort to become less aware of them. By actively avoiding those sources that propagate fast-changing trends and simply paying less attention to them, we stop feeling the need to keep up, and the pressure subsides.
- Accepting imperfection – we are always evolving and our homes should be allowed to as well. The idea of moving into a home and having everything complete and looking perfect within a few weeks seems to sit within a style of thinking we are all collectively outgrowing. The idea that we should have a perfectly polished, matching home that is created anew to accommodate every new seasonal trend was imposed on us by the whims of fast fashion. But as we all begin to appreciate the consequences of a disposable society that caters to the relentless pace of changing fashion trends, we need to embrace a slower, more open stance toward homemaking. If we embrace the possibility of unfinished homes to serve as a canvas for the rhythms of our daily life to be painted onto, we can begin to accept unfished spaces as a natural and essential part of the process of home-making. From collecting individual pieces of furniture and décor one piece at a time to insisting on waiting for the right item, not just an item that will fill a space, we need to allow ourselves to feel comfortable in the knowledge that we are working towards a more satisfying more authentic long-term project.
- Avoiding impulse buys – a slow, considered home demands our willingness to invest time and energy into our purchases. The more we are willing to learn about the story of process, material, maker and craft, the more we will be able to make decisions we are satisfied with. By reducing the frequency and quantity of our purchases, we free up more time to focus on a few considered choices. We should collect as much information on an item as possible before we commit to bringing it into our home, considering a purchase over weeks, months and even years rather than minutes. The issue with impulse buys is that they are much more likely to not be right and leave us dissatisfied. The wonderful thing about a more considered approach to consumption is that when we take the time to learn about the items we acquire, we can take much more pleasure in them, appreciating why these items are right for our life and what their value is.
- Saving up for pieces we love – the price of goods is so multifaceted that it would require a blog post (or several) in its own right to do justice to this complex subject. However, leaving all other arguments aside, cheap items are far less likely to hold value in our minds than objects that are more expensive. The drastic reduction in price in consumer goods we have witnessed throughout our life is precisely what has led to a disposable society. If for no other reasons than for value, reducing the quantity and frequency with which we shop and investing our money instead into the best quality item of its kind we can afford is one of the easiest ways to ensure that we make more considered purchases that we will be satisfied with them for longer.
- Taking the time to fill our homes with objects we truly love – our homes are best when they are filled with items we love rather than items that have been bought to fill a corner. Buying items or pieces of furniture we are unsure about simply to ‘complete’ a room are purchases most likely to lead to the desire to replace them. Waiting until we find something we love will keep us content and happy with our purchase for years to come.
In a world where we are continually flooded with messaging around what we should think, feel and crave, the ability to have confidence in our own decision-making offers a lifeline towards more peace and contentment. A slow, considered home is one that is allowed to evolve at its own pace with care and confidence in an approach that is centred around what feels right for us and the life we wish to unfold within it.
Images above show our Textured Merino Wool Blanket, Extra Large Handwoven Cotton Cushion Covers in Plain Stripes, Stone Washed baguette Flatware Set, Copper Tea and Coffee Canisters, Copper Kettle, Belgian Linen Napkin in Raw Umber, Classic French Table Glasses, Firesand Snowflake Crackle Glaze Dish, Firesand Snowflake Crackle Glaze Plate, Helene Plant Pot and Cloth Bowl Covers