Slow living homes – the therapeutic trend that prioritizes flexibility and wellbeing

This movement celebrates the ordinary and gives our days definition – here's how designers are slowing the pace in their spaces

A white living room with a green sofa and natural wood chairs
(Image credit: Brent Darby)

'Slow living homes' is the 'trend' we're unsurprised to see – but we're still more than happy it's here. And it would appear that top designers are equally pleased to observe its rise in the interiors industry. 

Following the events of recent years, our homes have undertaken several meanings. They remain a place of shelter – but they are a sanctuary for our well-being – and a place where many of us learned the art of gardening (indoor gardens included), too. 

The slow living interior design trend encapsulates everything we have enjoyed in our homes over recent seasons – from our favorite artworks to our best indoor plants and the use of natural, considered materials around the home.  And while this movement comes with a 'trend' label, designers agree that these features will continue to shape how we use our spaces for a long time to come. 

What is the 'slow living homes' trend?

Beige reception room with olive green velvet sofa

(Image credit: Project by Albion Nord / photograph by Patrick Williamson)

The term 'slow living homes' has continued to rise on Google trends this month (increasing by 111% since June 2022, according to Green Lili), but it's easy to understand its widespread appeal. This movement encourages you to fill your home with organic goodness (whether through nature-inspired shapes or light-filled window treatment ideas) one room at a time. 

'Whether you live on your own in an apartment or share a house with a family, the different zones of our homes play significant parts in defining our routines and give our days definition,' says  Jo Littlefair, co-founder and director of Goddard Littlefair.  

Bright bedroom with an outdoor terrace

(Image credit: Goddard Littlefair x Chelsea Barracks)

To embrace the trend, the designer primarily urges you to emphasize natural light in every room, as she has done in the space above. She adds that reflective living room wall ideas are a great way to 'bring a layer of depth, texture' while emphasizing the sense of brightness and space.

How to style the 'slow living homes' trend in a fast-paced home

As Jo suggests, accentuating natural light is the perfect place to begin when bringing the trend into your decorating ideas. Here's how experts introduce its style in their homes. 

1. Combine eras to embrace a varied style

Neutral living room with blue velvet sofa

(Image credit: Albion Nord)

Decorating with antiques is one of the most playful ways to embrace individuality in your home – but it's also how Camilla Clarke, the Creative Director at Albion Nord, recommends embracing the slow living trend.  

'Antiques can work well with contemporary pieces of furniture, but the key is to ensure there is a contrast between the old and the new,' she says when sharing her styling tips. 'When they aren’t clearly offset from one another, it’s harder to find cohesion.’  

Investing in an antique piece allows you to feel as though you own something special – and it's also sustainable – which makes it even more fitting regarding the trend. 

2.  Use considered materials 

White living room ideas with Scandi interior

(Image credit: Future / Jon Day)

'The use of natural materials in the home promotes wellbeing, sustainability, and a refined style,' says Owen Pacey, the founder of Renaissance London. The expert urges you to embrace 'the natural imperfections and inconsistencies' in organic materials – whether that is through a marble fireplace or a small wooden coffee table. 

According to Owen, the best way to introduce natural stone into the home authentically is to consider it a supplement or enhance, the ‘bones’ of your space. 'But that’s not to say it should take a back seat in the design scheme,' he says. 'The very fact that each jamb, mantel, or corbel made from natural stone is so individual elevates each fireplace to the status of a work of art.'

3. Consider colors in the bedroom 

Bedroom color ideas with muted color palette

(Image credit: Gunter & Co)

The slow living trend runs simultaneously with the ever-growing focus on color psychology, and bedroom color ideas are central to this discussion. So, it's no surprise that Jo focuses on her bedroom's palette when styling the trend in her home. 

'We tend to steer away from intense, strong colors with conflicting accents; however, we have used color in bedrooms to great effects, and the right selection of a dusky tone can sometimes work brilliantly at producing a nighttime cocoon,' she says. 

And to celebrate the style further, she recommends using natural fabrics, such as linens and wools at windows and cashmere velvets on headboards. 'The design doesn’t need to be complicated if the materials are of the best quality,' she says. 

4. Choose meaningful artwork 

Corner of a kitchen with portrait artwork, high shelf with jugs, light wood wall, black stone countertops, kitchenware, ornaments in natural, neutral color palette on counter

(Image credit: Future)

This trend focuses primarily on wellbeing, and nothing showcases the intricacies of a person quite like their favorite art pieces. Few things make homeowners as happy, too. This is why Jo recommends choosing your artworks carefully. 

'Artwork selection is a highly personal and individual decision that is not only crucial as a final layer of decoration to any home but also makes a statement about the values and experiences of the owner.'

5. Opt for smart-casual kitchen design

classic dark wooden table and chairs with low hanging light

(Image credit: deVOL)

'The kitchen has increasingly become the heart of the home, and our designs for these areas aim to make them feel very much front of the house and integrated into the living area rather than annexing off the different activities,' Jo says. 

To bring the trend into the busiest room of your home, she urges you to find the right balance of smart-casual design – so you can give guests an elevated experience – but feel relaxed enough to unwind. This is the slow living trend, after all. 

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.