Slow Home Essentials: What Exactly IS a Slow Home?

Slow Home Essentials - What is a Slow Home, Exactly?

You’ve no doubt heard the old adage, “home is where the heart is”. I don’t know if I’ve ever explicitly explained it, but that thought is central to this blog and my wider philosophy on life.

To me, Home is not just a house. Home is an ever-changing combination of:

  • family
  • relationships
  • the apartment, house, barn or tent you currently live in
  • memories being made
  • outdoor spaces
  • creativity
  • your kitchen and the food prepared in it
  • religion or spirituality

Home is at once all-encompassing and constantly changing. It is everything that is important. It is everything that makes up the essence of you.

The official Slow Home Movement was founded by Calgary-based architects, John Brown, Carina van Olm and Matthew North. And while that movement provided me with my first look at the idea of creating a slow house, I have since redefined it to something that covers my own expanded version of Home. The one that you can take with you, regardless of where you’re currently living.

Home is not just four walls and a roof. But what typifies a Slow Home?

To me, it’s a fluid combination of being:

If you look at each of these elements separately (and I plan to, over the coming months) they are all really positive traits to have in your home. Combine them – even some of them – and your life and home will benefit more than you can imagine.

OK. But what does a slow home look like?

Does a slow home have a vegetable garden and a chicken coop? Sure!

Is it a tiny home on wheels, able to shift around when the mood for change strikes? Why not!

What about an old cottage soulfully renovated and filled with happiness and memories? Of course!

The point is, a slow home looks and feels different for everyone. It’s less about features of the home and more about your approach to life. It is true that a slow home is less centred on stuff, and it is harder to create a slow home if your house is a 5-storey sprawling mansion (because cleaning), but anyone, anywhere can create a home that works – I mean truly works – for them.

It’s just a matter of priorities.

Tell me, what does a slow home look and feel like to you?

Slow Home Essentials - not all about backyard chickens and vegetable gardens

Slow Home Essentials - What is a slow home?

This is the first post in a new ongoing series called Slow Home Essentials, where I will look at different elements of creating and maintaining a slow home. If there’s anything you’d like to know specifically, feel free to leave a comment! 

11 Responses to Slow Home Essentials: What Exactly IS a Slow Home?

  1. I like this definition you have for what it means to have a “slow home.” It really does look differently for everyone, but the idea that our approach to life is what truly encompasses this is absolutely perfect. I’m a college student, so my “home” is kind of all over the place right now. It’s primarily focused on my relationships with the people in my life and my family when I visit them. My home is in my heart and in my writing, my alone time, and the people I love- not really a physical place right now. Thank you for sharing this. I loved it.

  2. I like this idea. It’s always interesting to see how other people live, especially those who live simply. To me a slow home has a lot of light, good food and just enough plants so it doesn’t look like a forest.

  3. To me a slow home is cozy, somewhat uncluttered, a kitchen with the essentials to cook good foods mainly at home and a bit of space to grow whatever it is you feel like growing or at least a nice window to grow some herbs at the very least.

  4. This is such a lovely definition of the beautiful slow home concept. To me, a slow home is a combination of tidy, uncluttered space, time to spend building treasured memories with your children and loved ones, simple, comfortable finances and the mental and emotional room to grow and develop as a person while contributing to your community. Chickens, veggie gardens and leisurely cups of tea on the verandah also make a great contribution!!

    • Verity, your definition of a slow home resonates with me perfectly. Building memories with children and loved ones, and moving between inside and out seamlessly. Natalie

  5. I have often said that I want my house and garden to be a place of healing for myself and others. The idea of a slow home really resonates with that.
    After reading this blog I checked out the slow home website and even got their book (e-book via Amazon in the US). I’m getting ready to redo my kitchen and thought this would be a good time to make sure I have as “slow” a home as possible. Since I was trained as an architect and still work on the computer end of the profession I was able to easily grasp what they showed in the graphics – primarily floor plans. It was an eye opening experience and I recommend reading it. Thankfully, my house meets many of their criteria. Most of the houses out there do not!
    The book is all about the physical space of your home and I think Brooke’s take on the family, relationships, memories and more builds on this to make a more inclusive understanding of what a slow home needs to be. You can have all the physical space in place but if you don’t have love what have you got?

  6. Great article! its very relaxing to live in a slow home – with tranquil atmosphere, everything has its own designation, and most especially environmentally conscious.

  7. The description and definition of ” slow home ” is very vivid and simple but I guess the word slow has a negative meaning . It might mean unprogressive and traditional . Could anyone have a substitute for the word slow ?