Lifestyle: Slow Decorating


The Whit Harvey Group is in the business of selling houses. So we know what it’s like when a buyer immediately imagines filling all the empty spaces in their new home. Have an office or perhaps a den that wasn’t part of your old home? Your first impulse might be to get a couple of pieces from Ikea, or browse Home Goods to fill up those built-ins with impulsive buys. Think about pausing before you do. I often give myself the same advice I gave my children when they were young – leave it for now and if you still want it tomorrow, revisit it.


Better Homes & Gardens has a great article on Slow Decorating. Here is what they say in a nutshell. Click her for the full article.


Slow decorating is built on mindfully choosing items to bring into your home and counteracting the push for a quick finish in favor of pieces you'll be able to live with forever.


Slow decorating is similar to the slow fashion movement: it's about quality over quantity, focused on purchasing better-quality products instead of mass-produced materials that are easily damaged, worn down, and generally thought of as disposable.


It's also an eco-conscious endeavor. Buying high-quality products results in less being thrown out or replaced.


3 Benefits of Slow Decorating


1. Less Pressure

Slow decorating eliminates the pressure to get things completed quickly, while also removing the push to determine a single decorating style.


2. Time for Budgeting

Slow decorating allows you to build up cash flow between purchases, so you can invest in quality pieces rather than trying to stretch your budget to purchase everything at once.


3. Trend-Proof Style

Thoughtfully collecting items results in a more timeless aesthetic.


Top 10 Tips for Slow Decorating


1. Start with the big pieces.


2. Look for assembled furniture.

If you must build it yourself, it's likely not going to hold up to everyday use.


3. Save and splurge.

Ask yourself if the item you want to purchase is a "forever buy" or a "huge improvement for now" to help determine how to spend money.


4. Embrace mixing styles.

Your space doesn’t need to reflect a catalog page from your favorite store.



5. Investigate materials.


6. Really know your space.


7. Buy local and handmade.

For accessories, such as vases, plates, or cups, seek out local artisans that are creating handcrafted, small-batch items instead of buying from the larger stores


Planter by Baltimore Artist Whitney Simkins


8. Shop with sustainability in mind.


9. Consider care and maintenance.


10. Know that it's about balance.

Not everything has to be expensive or meet these design tips. The goal of slow decorating is a livable space that fits your lifestyle and avoids treating furniture and decor like disposable items. It's okay to incorporate some budget pieces from fast-market retailers; sometimes it's just easier and fits your style. The key is to care for those items, as well as higher-quality pieces, so you can continue to use them for a long time.

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