What is slow home design? Basically, it is the principle of slowing down to design homes and spaces that are sustainable, practical and functional.The slow home movement began in 2006 when John Brown, Matthew North, and Carina van Olm wanted to create a “critical response to the poor design practices that pervade the mass housing industry. Our intent is to advocate for a more thoughtful approach to residential design that improves the quality of our daily lives and reduces our impact on the environment”. Slow home design strives for a more “considered, calm and intuitive” approach to residential design. The concept is to use well-considered design principles to create smaller homes that will be both environmentally sustainable and literally so, in the sense of being built to endure. The practice also includes remodels of existing, appropriately sized older homes that need updating.Brown says in an interview with The Chicago Tribune that a slow home is “reasonably sized and carefully designed to support its occupants. It might have an entry where family members can easily take off their boots, stash their keys and store their backpacks, for example. It might have a living space that encourages people to talk or read, not just watch television or surf the Internet. It’s energy efficient, filled with natural light and designed for easy flow among rooms and access to the outside.”North, in this interview with The Calgary Herald says, “I think the boom of the big-house era is coming to an end. So those houses will be less desirable and valuable as time goes on. Expect a shift to smaller, more energy-efficient homes, North says, and a move away from homes on the fringes of cities. A decade ago, a 5,000-sq.-ft. home sounded like a dream to some. These days, that much square footage sounds like a noose around your neck. There’s uncertainty about the energy cost to heat your house.”Slowing down to design a space that is functional, long-lasting, meets the needs of the family now and later, and is, of course, stylish and comfortable – that’s the aim of the slow home movement.But even if you are not starting from scratch, you can still join in living a slow home lifestyle. Re-work your rooms to make sure that they are functional for your family’s everyday living. Instead of purchasing a new piece of furniture, look for family hand-me-downs or thrift store finds to re-purpose. Organize your kitchen, bathroom, closets and office using bins, jars, boxes and dishes that you already own but rarely use. Make the stuff in your home work for you and create a stylish and comfortable space that you will be happy with every day and for years to come.Slow home is a philosophy that has grown in the design and construction trades, and one that is only going to continue growing into the mainstream home owner market.
Whether you have just bought your first starter home or have upgraded to your dream house, the overall design of the home as well as the decor can be the single greatest way to showcase your personal sense of style and taste. Designing a home and choosing decor can be an expensive and time consuming proposition; however, for those on a shoe-string budget, it is still possible to create the look you want without breaking the bank. Making a few wise decisions early on and sticking with your plan will help ensure your complete your home makeover on budget whether that budget is $100 per room or $5,000.00 per room.Creating an overall plan is the first step towards a unified home design. Utilizing your own tastes, decorating magazines and books and some of the excellent home decor television shows, think about what you would like to showcase. Determine what your overall decor theme will be. Are you contemporary or traditional? Do your taste lean towards fussy or minimalism? These answers can serve as a jumping off point as you begin to design your home.One of the easiest ways to begin working on your overall home design or even a simple redecorating project is to develop a plan and there is no better way to do so than by using simple software designed to help you move from layout and color palette to accents and furniture pieces seamlessly. The HGTV Home Design and Remodeling Suite is fully loaded with features that make remodeling even the fussiest of rooms easy. The software can help you utilize the tricks of the professionals to create floor plans complete with style notes, color choices and even furniture.The software eliminates paint chips with its library of brand name paints and tints. Browse through the library, select your ideal color and ‘paint’ the walls of your three dimensional room. No more picking a paint color based on a 1 inch square chip. The software also includes a full library of three dimensional furniture pieces, allowing you to design spaces that fit your existing pieces or help you determine what size and shape furniture you should be looking to purchase.For those looking to redo their bathrooms or kitchen, the software even has an extensive library of cabinets, appliances and floor selections. This allows you to complete ‘see’ your new room without spending a dime on the expensive appliances and cabinets. It is easy to create the perfect room and even easier to stick to a budget when you are utilizing a well developed floor plan and style guide.Professional designers are talented. They will often offer you a computerized presentation of your ‘new’ home or décor. With budgets as tight as they are, why spend the money on a professional designer when you have the ability to do it all yourself. Take a quick tour through the library of colors, furnishings, doors and windows and design the room of your dreams.