Slow design trend – the new movement that focuses on the creative process behind your furniture

Experts are in love with slow design – a trend that celebrates furniture long before it enters your home

Designers favorite green paint colors in a dining room
(Image credit: Little Greene)

While it may seem that aspect of life is getting faster, things are quite the opposite in the design industry. 

The most sustainable interior design trend of 2022 (so far) has revealed itself in the form of 'slow design.' However, in this case, it may seem unfair to label the movement as a 'trend'. 

Instead, it celebrates time: the lengthy amount of time it takes to create artisan furnishings – and the long time they will spend in our homes. So, while slow design is trending, these pieces are far from fleeting. 

Matthew Williamson chairs

(Image credit: Matthew Williamson)

Artisan designers worldwide are already embracing the movement – while its aesthetic is making waves on social media. But what does slow design involve? And how can you show support? Here, those at the peak of the artisan world share their interior design tips to get you started.

What is slow design?

monochrome bold colour trend

(Image credit: Matthew Williamson)

Slow design is a celebration of taking your time. It is the interiors equivalent to the anti-fast fashion movement that is taking a stance against mass-produced garments – only these pieces stretch beyond your closet. The movement recognizes the creative process behind a piece – and not only how the finished product looks in your home. 

'Slow design is a counter-response to the ever fast-paced lives we all lead,' explains London-based designer Emma Stevenson

'Time has become the highest value commodity these days and is everything from self-care to sustainable living. Timelessness is attempting a comeback, and we couldn't be happier.'

grey dining room with floral wallpaper by Little Greene

(Image credit: Little Greene)

As timelessness attempts its comeback, the designer suggests investing in pieces that 'resonate' with you (and will not fall to pieces).

'Championing longevity and quality over speed and quantity, slow design is created to last, adapt, and ultimately change,' adds interior designer Manea Kella. But how do you know when something is slow-designed? These decorating ideas will help you out.  

What qualifies as slow-designed furniture?

Blue, geometric rug

(Image credit: Deirdre Dyson)

According to Manea Kella, slow-designed pieces are a 'conscientious choice in itself'. They stand 'for cultural awareness' and 'value craft in all its forms.' Therefore, the movement involves multifunctional and long-lasting pieces that will have a place in your home for the future. 

For example, fine artist and rug designer Deirdre Dyson is a pioneer in slow design. Lady Deirdre explains that while designers always have to meet deadlines, some furnishings act simultaneously as artworks. These designs take the longest. 

Deirdre Dyson carpet art secrets

(Image credit: Deirdre Dyson)

Before Deirdre's pieces make it to your home, they have gone through a slow process that values artisan design. 

'For each carpet design, I do a detailed and accurate colored drawing… which is digitized precisely by our Design Technician to create an accurate map for our weavers. This takes a while, as it involves matching colors perfectly and serious attention to detail,' Deirdre explains. 

After the design process is complete, it takes her Nepalese craftspeople three months to hand-knot a rug. However, the result is 'a piece of art of quality and durability that can last a lifetime.' And that is exactly what slow design is all about. 

This movement isn't going to go anywhere fast, so prepare to enjoy this slow trend for seasons to come. 

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.