For many of us, the notion of “slowing down” is a foreign one. Caught up in the rat race, we often struggle to find the time to be mindful and still, as well as reap the rewards of our day-to-day lives. One of the first steps to usher the idea of slow-living into our homes is to create an environment of authentic serenity. An effective way of doing so is by introducing sustainable, designer furniture into your space in order to promote a balanced domain. In just a few minutes of reading, find out more about the art of slow living as well as how designer furniture such as that created by Louw Roets can help you practice a slow lifestyle in your home.
GETTING ACQUAINTED WITH THE BASICS OF SLOW LIVING
When one thinks of the benefits of slow living, many of our current lifestyles simply do not seem like a challenging rival. “Living slow” is considered by many to be the antidote to feeling overworked as well as overstimulated. If you ever find yourself wishing for more “simpler times” or wishing to escape to another world, it is quite possible that you are longing for a slower lifestyle perhaps without immediately realising it for yourself.
Fortunately, however, achieving a slower lifestyle does not mean you need to travel back to the 1800s or jump on a rocket ship to another planet. In fact, it has more to do with creating and maintaining connections of different kinds as well as honouring several principles of slow living. But why do so many of us find it difficult to slow down?
There are many reasons, but one could be the attraction to the notion of speed. Speed can be fun, and exciting. The possibilities of a day are endless and unpredictable if you go into it with the wind rushing behind you and a persistently ticking watch on your wrist. It may be the adrenaline rush that this type of living inspires that makes it so tough to give up.
Bestselling author and voice of the Slow Movement, Carl Honoré, argues that living life at high speeds allows us to wall ourselves off from asking the big and rather uncomfortable questions. This is a compelling argument, seeing as it certainly may be easier to fill our minds with ever-increasing distraction than confront deep topics of thought that encourage critical thinking. In doing so, we forgo asking ourselves questions like “Am I happy?” or “Is my family in a good place?” or “Am I enjoying the fruits of my labour?”
Honoré also argues that there is another powerful reason why so many of us are comfortable with rejecting the slow life. There is a cultural taboo that we have fabricated against slowing down. “Slow”, Honoré says, is a dirty word in our society. It is synonymous with “lazy” and “complacent”. Taboos and norms have a huge effect on the way in which we live our lives. Without even realising it, many of us construct our lives to fit in with the norms of society and avoid all that which is taboo – to avoid one of our most feared retributions – social punishment.
But like many taboos throughout history, the one that discourages slowness in favour of “important” busyness, is gradually beginning to weaken. This can be largely attributed to the dedicated efforts of the Slow Movement, which aims to address the notion of “time poverty” and instil the idea of making connections instead.
As many voices of the Movement argue, the desire for connectedness is not a new phenomenon. Traditionally, in ages past, our lives were arguably more connected than they are now – connected to other people, to places and to their own lives. The Movement wishes to help people to recapture their state of connectedness by helping them to recognise their feelings of discomfort that are sometimes attributed to “stress” or feeling “overworked”.
WHAT DOES DESIGNER FURNITURE HAVE TO DO WITH SLOW LIVING?
Now that you are more familiar with the ideas behind slow living, you may be surprised to find out how closely designer furniture is interlinked with the former. For those of us fortunate enough to find refuge in our own homes, there is more weight placed on how it is furnished than we may originally have thought. This is the apt opportunity to talk about “slow design,” which emerged in response to the fast-paced lifestyle and instant gratification found in immediate online purchasing and home decoration.
Today, an inexpensive new chair can be bought in mere seconds with the click of a button on an online platform. Oftentimes, designer furniture is overlooked for more immediate options in the race to fill our home’s with “stuff” we will swap out as trends change in a few years’ time. We humans tend to hoard the unnecessary, and in the end, much of what we own does not serve so much of a purpose besides filling up a room and occupying spaces that could serve better functions.
In learning to let go of our immediate and ever-changing desires that drive us to want more, more and more, we can instead focus on creating a space that promotes serenity. This is one of the first steps to cultivating a slow-living home, and is often done so through the use of designer furniture that endures changing fads and the test of time. Slow living has a lot to do with finding beauty in the ordinary, and turning the ordinary, whether it be a piece of wood or leather, into something extraordinary and beautiful.
Letting your home grow with you is another way of practicing slow living with designer furniture. There are those who move into a new space and furnish it completely within a few short weeks – and are happy to be done with it. However, those with slow living at the helm of their priorities may choose to see their homes as ongoing projects with no deadline in mind. By taking your time furnishing your home, you can create a space that reflects who you are which is arguably more sustainable than following passing trends.
A large part of embracing slower living is accepting that some things are unfinished and can remain that way for some time, especially when it comes to your home. Who knows what adventures will draw you in and what you will find on your journey? A home is not commonly a static place, but rather a space that grows with us.
BEGIN YOUR SLOW LIFE JOURNEY WITH LOUW ROETS DESIGNER FURNITURE
As a company who promote the virtue simplicity and balance in our designs, there is arguably few better to help you achieve balance and a mindful environment within your home. Should you wish to be more connected to your space, you may wish to furnish it with high-quality and authentic pieces you can use as tools to practice slowness in whatever capacity you can.
On the matter of slowness, the weaving of just one chair at Louw Roets takes between 4 and 5 hours. That excludes the process of wood selection, grading, shaping, joint making and much, much more. Take a look at our Ori dining chair, whose name, in Japanese, translates to “woven”. Whenever one takes a seat on the intricately woven seating piece, the knowledge of the effort and concentration required to make it a possibility may bridge the divide of time.
When it comes to connecting with your loved ones, there are few greater joys than taking a seat around a table and enjoying a slow meal together. In doing so, both a beautiful design and level of comfort would be a meaningful contribution. Consider our Jardine chair, for instance, which in its own design promotes a clear simplicity and organic form to adorn your dining space.
Picture yourself taking a seat hugged by the curved backrest in this chair and enjoying the act of eating and conversing with no concern for what tasks are waiting ahead of you the following day. In the spirit of human connection, the Jardine chair was designed with the comfort of the one seated at the forefront. Like most of our seating pieces, you have the option to choose your preferred leather – meaning that you have a direct hand in how you and your loved ones experience the comfort of seating during your moments of connection.
Connection is a recurring theme in the matter of slow living – connection with yourself, to others and to the universe around you. Designed with reference to the mysterious and awe-inspiring universe around us, the Stellar table embodies the notion of connection. Firmly rooted and supported by organically-shaped legs, there is little doubt that you will find yourself gravitated towards its core to enjoy a slow and pensive meal, tethered to your surroundings.
Each Stellar table, like all our designer furniture pieces, is crafted steadily in no great hurry. This is because we at Louw Roets take a slow living approach to our design and craftmanship in order to create unique pieces that embody the values of slow living and design. The age-old saying of “anything worthwhile takes time to build,” comes to mind.
When it comes to the benefits of versatile designer furniture pieces, one of the principles of slow design, our Pareto table shines in its ability. Will it play the role of your dining table around which you connect with those special to you? Or alternatively, will it be your base of creation and study? Perhaps it can be both. Whatever its decided purpose, the Pareto table, gorgeously versatile in appearance, is a worthy candidate.
In another light, what better way to cultivate serenity in your space than to breathe new life into your living room with the Paplepel floor lamp? Alongside its ability to shine light onto a spot and its surroundings, this lamp does so while at the same time appearing akin to a sculpture or work of art. It is manoeuvrable to help you fulfil your own lighting needs. Picture yourself opening up a journal in which to file your thoughts and observation during your time of mindfulness under the glow of this illuminating piece.
With the practice of journaling in mind, as a great way to practice mindfulness and contribute to a slower lifestyle, the Classique writer’s desk may prove an invaluable asset to your home should you find the practice helpful. Its elegantly turned legs will refine any space, and fortunate is the person who can lay a journal or book across its uniquely detailed surface and gather their thoughts.
These are but a few examples of our designer furniture that is imbedded with both innovative design and authentic simplicity. Investing in our pieces is also an investment in the nature of our design and manufacturing processes, which comprises multiple handmade and machine processes that take a significant amount of time in order to produce the authentic pieces in which we take pride. Replacing immediacy with authenticity in the form of designer furniture in your home is a bold step in the right direction to practice the art of slow living.