Decor & Styling

This Design Trend Is the Secret to Curating a Home You Truly Love

written by LAUREN BLUE
slow decorating"
slow decorating
Source: Studio McGee
Source: Studio McGee

Living in the era of TV home makeovers, we’ve grown accustomed to the idea that at the end of a move or project, there is a grand reveal where every little detail is perfectly in place. The decorating process has a clear beginning and end, and only once you reach that end can you sigh a breath of relief that your home is “finished.” While this may work if you have the budget of a major network, a team of professionals working on your home, and only an hour of airtime to leave the audience with a satisfying reveal, it’s not very practical in real life. Slow decorating, a trend that focuses on taking your time when outfitting your space, aims to provide a more realistic and sustainable alternative. Keep reading to learn more about slow decorating and how to take a more intentional approach to your own home.

What Is Slow Decorating?

Slow decorating, as you might have guessed by the name, is done slowly. It rejects the idea of impulse shopping and one-off room transformations and instead prioritizes deliberate, well-thought-out purchases, accepting that they may take longer to find. It also encourages shopping secondhand or upcycling items you already have rather than buying new ones. If you’re like me, and once you start a project, you want to see it through quickly, slow decorating might require an extra dose of patience. But if you’re thinking slow decorating sounds a lot like procrastination, the difference comes down to intention. With slow decorating, you are actively gathering inspiration, shopping around, and searching for the best fit for your space and style, not just settling for whatever you could buy quickly and cheaply at the last minute.

slow decorating
Source: @ispydiy

The Benefits of Slow Decorating

While this approach takes more time, the benefits of slow decorating make it worth the wait.

It prevents impulse purchases

If your #1 priority is to just get it done, you may end up buying things you otherwise wouldn’t if you’d let yourself sit on it before pressing “add to cart.” When you remove that self-imposed deadline, you can take time to ensure you feel confident in your purchase instead of falling victim to an Instagram ad. This saves you money in the long run as you won’t need to constantly replace items you impulse-bought but don’t really love. Plus, you’ll have plenty of time to track prices, scour secondhand websites for a more affordable option, or wait for sales.

It’s more sustainable

Slow decorating inherently makes your shopping habits more sustainable, especially if you’re shopping secondhand or upcycling items. And since you’re only purchasing items you love and feel confident will work in your space, you remove the waste that comes with buying items you’ll only keep for a few months before they break or go out of style. Slow decorating also grants you more time to take on DIY projects you might not otherwise consider if you’re rushing to make a room feel “finished.” Sometimes, a coat of paint or some new fabric is all you need to give a second life to pieces that might otherwise have ended up in the trash.

It allows you to hone your personal decorating style

Drawing out the decorating process gives you time to figure out precisely what you like and don’t like and what works in your space. If you look at my Pinterest account, for example, you’ll see tons of competing aesthetics on my “Future Home” board. Some look straight out of an NYC penthouse, and others play up the cottage-like charm of a restored farmhouse. The list goes on and on of wildly different styles that wouldn’t go together or with every space. It goes to show that just because you like how something looks in another home or on the internet doesn’t mean it will work in yours. Slow decorating allows you to take all of this into consideration.

With a slower approach, you also are far less likely to fall into fleeting trends that eventually fizzle out. If you rushed to finish a room six months ago, for instance, you may have plastered bows all over the place just to realize they don’t align with your style (personally, I believe bows are a lifestyle, not a trend, but to each their own). Slow decorating allows you to find pieces that feel authentic to you, creating a unique personal style that will stand the test of time.

slow decorating
Source: @homemadebycarmona

How to Apply Slow Decorating to Your Home

Don’t rush the process

The entire concept of slow decorating revolves around slowing down. In a world where time is money and hustling is constantly romanticized, this might sound difficult. However, allowing yourself to relax and deliberately take an unrushed approach to design is key to curating a space you’ll love for years to come.

Embrace the unfinished

Things might feel unfinished for a while, but that’s OK. Get comfortable thinking about your home as an ever-evolving work in progress. Instead of focusing solely on the finished product, enjoy the process of tailoring your home to your specific wants and needs and filling it with pieces you love. When your home eventually reflects your unique tastes and personality, the feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment will be worth all the time in the world.

Plan ahead

Slow decorating is not all about being passive. You can make plans regarding your budget, the items you need, your style inspiration, etc., without purchasing before you’re ready. By planning ahead, you can shop confidently and make informed purchases. At the same time, however, it’s important to remember that plans can change, and allowing yourself to be flexible is also key to curating your ideal space.