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Slow Living: The New Minimalism
As the lighter mornings return, spring can’t help but offer us an all-too-brief glimpse of the natural world awakening. With dew-covered buds peeking out of frosty grass and a fresh, fragrant breeze, this is the time of year when we start to yearn for life's simple pleasures.
The ‘slow living’ movement advocates a more meaningful lifestyle influenced by nature. It also offers a comfier, cosier refuge from traditional minimalism styles that favour futuristic, sterile environments.
From finding the joy in a scent to back garden gatherings with friends, here’s how you can seek more simplicity in your life:
Embrace Natural Nesting Rituals
Humans have an in-built primal instinct to hunker down in safe, calm spaces. This urge usually reveals itself in parents-to-be, but is a ritual that can be adopted at any time of life.
A key part of this process is freeing your home of the unnecessary. In order to truly embrace slow living, whittle down your possessions to just the essentials. Streamline your decluttering process by adopting the philosophy of William Morris: “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
For a real life example, we turn to Dominique from allthatisshe.com. She began her journey by downsizing to a capsule wardrobe, which made it easier to apply minimalism to other areas of her life. Just remember, it’s all about making thoughtful purchases instead of impulse buys.
Prioritise ambience over belongings
Instead of trying to fill your home, strive to create serenity. Lighting a candle or filling a vase with hand cut flowers are easy shortcuts to create a tranquil ambience.
These cosy rituals have become synonymous with last year’s buzzword of choice, hygge. After saturating the market, the Scandi term has perhaps lost a little of its authenticity. As an alternative we’re embracing lagom which means ‘just the right amount’. Nicknamed the Swedish secret to contentment, lagom is not too dissimilar from a favourite British saying: ‘everything in moderation’.
Lagom is about letting go of the impulse to always look for the next best thing. Shift your focus away from possessions and start to relish experiences. To start embracing lagom, take inspiration from Instagram influencers such as Lou Archell. Cook a hearty dish for friends (with just enough for everyone to feel satisfied) or slim your bookcase to just a few choice novels that you’d love to share.
Never Say No To Quality
Minimalism doesn’t have to mean depriving yourself of things you enjoy, from clothing and homeware to something for your sweet tooth. Instead remember the old adage: buy less, buy better.
Try swapping frivolous purchases with quality investments. What would bring you more happiness in the long term? A pair of shoes from a fast-fashion shop (destined to be worn twice) or a handmade photo album to house precious memories.
If you’re looking for purchases with added feel-good factor, ditch the chain stores and champion independent makers. By curating a selection of small businesses, brands like Not On The High Street have made it easier than ever to support local-made goods.
The Joy of Making It Yourself
Roman philosopher Seneca said: “If you would make a man happy, do not add to his possessions but subtract from the sum of his desires”.
In its simplest form, slow living is exactly that, changing our attitude to possessions in order to find clarity in our lives. It’s been shown that we can achieve this and form a higher level of attachment to items by crafting them ourselves – also known as the Ikea effect.
Discover the rewards of perserverance and patience and hone your skills in calligraphy, poetry, pottery or painting. Should you be fortunate enough, you may end up with something that you can display in your home with pride.
If you're craving the outdoors this time of year embrace the opportunity to bring nature indoors and fill your home with hand-tied arrangements from the seasonal flora that’s local to you.
Are You Embracing Slow Living?
Tell us about the things that remind you of home and how you’re making your day-to-day more meaningful. We’ll share your stories and recommend the perfect scent for your slow living transformation.