is ‘slow decorating’ a thing..?

decorating with intention with Geoffrey & Grace image found on Pinterest
Image – Sally and Mark Bailey’s home Whitecross Farm on Remodelista

We have been in our house for one year now. More and more I am thinking about how slow living impacts our home, especially with regards to renovating and decorating it. We are definitely taking a slow approach to doing up our victorian home, but is that down to our circumstances, more than a defined intention? Is there such a thing as ‘slow decorating’ and if so… what on Earth does that mean?

decorating with intention with Geoffrey & Grace image found on Pinterest

Image – Sally and Mark Bailey’s home Whitecross Farm on Remodelista

We live in a house that was built in the 1890’s and it needs quite a lot doing to it. We are lucky because we found a home that hadn’t previously been lived in by many families, and therefore it has a lot of it’s original features that we want to keep and restore. In the last 12 months we have fixed the roof and done some other important, but not very noticeable jobs. I am now really keen to start putting our mark on this place and start changing our environment to reflect us as a family and how we want to live.

decorating with intention with Geoffrey & Grace image found on PinterestImage – Beth Kirby on Instagram 

So how about that term ‘slow decorating’, I only came across it very recently and wondered whether is was really a phrase that people use? Well thanks to Google, I can tell you that it is. There seems to be several sites and books that are using it to describe a different way of approaching decorating their homes.

My initial reaction to the term ‘slow decorating’ was an ironic one, as for us it will be nothing but slow. Like most families we are limited by time, energy and budget so cannot do a house (or even a room) makeover in a day like some TV shows manage to do. A perfect example of a very slow task happened during half term. I spent two and half days (with the help of my dad) lifting up the old carpet tape that was stuck to our living room floor. It was very slow-going, but the black sticky tape has to come up in order for us to be able to sand the original floors.

decorating with intention with Geoffrey & Grace image found on PinterestImage – Photography Sharyn Cairns on homelife

Of course like in any aspect of slow living, really what the term ‘slow decorating’ is talking about isn’t the speed at which something gets done, but the intention and purpose behind your choices and decisions.

It’s about prioritising the long term rather than the short term. Buying pieces of furniture that will last, instead of following a fashion led impulse buy, that you might go off in 6 months. Picking quality over quantity, and knowing confidently that the choices you are making will work for your family in the foreseeable future.

decorating with intention with Geoffrey & Grace image found on Pinterest

decorating with intention with Geoffrey & Grace image found on Pinterest
decorating with intention with Geoffrey & Grace image found on Pinterest

Images  – top – Jesse James and Kostas Anagnopoulos on Remodelista, middle – originally in Beautiful home via Vintage House blog, bottom – originally in Elle Interior styling Tina Hellberg / photography Petra Bindel via La Maison d’Anna G

In our home, yes, there are certain jobs that will take a long time, however we are also consciously deciding to restore this home in a ‘slow’ way with thought and intent. Most importantly we are happy to live in an evolving growing home that is not ‘finished’.

To me it feels more organic to gather bits and pieces over time and there is something wonderful about discovering a great piece of furniture when you weren’t really looking for it. If you are going to take this approach though you have to have the patience to let the pieces come to you.

decorating with intention with Geoffrey & Grace image found on Pinterest
Image – Sally and Mark Bailey’s home Whitecross Farm on Remodelista

This is one of the reasons I don’t think ‘slow decorating’ is for everyone. If you’re going to take your time to find the perfect bit of furniture for the right spot, you have to be happy to live in a ‘work in progress’ to allow yourself that time to get it right. For some, a need to organise their space can be so strong that they have to shape their surroundings immediately. To wait for that perfect find is not worth the sacrifice of living in a space that might feel half finished.

Where ever you sit on the ‘slow decorating’ spectrum, there is no arguing that inspiration is a great tool at helping us create the look, and feel we want.

Currently I am soaking up a lot of inspiration, and pinning to my Pinterest boards to help me organise my ideas. I have several boards for interiors and home design which you can find and follow here. This way when I finally make some choices about wall colour, or various design aspects I know I will feel confident in my decisions.

What do you think about ‘slow decorating’? Is it for you? Maybe like me it’s something you find yourself naturally doing. Or is the need to organise the space around you more important to your well being? I would love to know.

 

  • Abi | These Four Walls blog

    I love your concept of slow decorating and creating a home full of meaning. We refurbished our last home very quickly and as a result it never really felt like ‘ours’ – more like a show home than a personal space. We’re taking the opposite approach with our currnet home (also Victorian), and slowly doing up rooms as we decide what feel we want them to have. It’s a lot more fun, a lot less stressful, and I’m sure it will create a better home in the long run! I think you need to live in a home for a while and get to know the feel and light at different times of day before comitting to anything x

    • geoffreyandgrace

      Enjoy the process Abi, and I think you are right it will result in a home that fits you both better. Good point about the light too 🙂 x

  • Beautiful inspiration – we are on the slow refurb trail too – can we home twins?! xxx

    • geoffreyandgrace

      Thanks Jeska 🙂 Happy to be home twins X

  • nancypo

    Great ideas. I have been doing this for a few years now. Waiting for the inspired items to show up, or making them. And being flexible! Putting a link back on my blog. Nancy@LittlehomesteadinBoise

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