Interaction And Sustainability Promote Slow Home Living
Much like the the European-based slow cooking trend that preceded it, the Slow Home Movement encourages homeowners to slow down the tempo in their homes just as they would savor a home-cooked meal.
According to the Akron Beacon Journal, the houses that architect John Brown builds fit the concepts behind Slow Homes - they serve families for the long term, with a reasonable amount of space to grow in and sustainable features that meet their lifestyle and needs.
''It doesn't have to be fancy. It doesn't have to be expensive. It just has to be easy to live in,'' Brown told the newspaper.
In Brown's design business, the Slow Home Studio in Calgary, Canada, he follows a 10-step list to achieving a slow home, with most points emphasizing how to organize space in a meaningful and functional way. For instance, having an easy traffic flow throughout a home is high on his list.
Incorporating energy-efficient radiant floor heating is another process that's in keeping with the Slow Home Movement. It simplifies the apparatus in the home because heated flooring doesn't require air ducts, relying instead on electric switches to generate heat.
Akron architect Hallie Bowie agreed with Brown, but doesn't necessarily attach a name to her ideas about making homes more interactive and sustainable. She believes a well-run home that embodies Slow Home activities combine green building principles and make better use of the space in smaller homes while addressing the multiple tasks of modern families and emphasizing the quality of time spent with family members.
''It seems to me the slow home has a real values kind of focus,'' Bowie told the newspaper.
Shannon Honeybloom, author of "Making a Family Home", said slow home living bolsters interaction and imagination, not just entertainment and instant information. She advised placing computers in places other than children's play areas and closing off the TV in an armoire to slow the pace of a home. In her own home, Honeybloom tries to teach her children to appreciate the differences in the seasons.
"We try to incorporate what is happening with the seasons, with the natural world in our home in large and small ways," she told RhythmOfTheHome.com. "I have found that my children are very 'in tune' with what is happening seasonally and really yearn to have that recognized through activities and celebrations."