How To Use The Slow Style Framework

Today I'm doing another episode of On The Little Yellow Couch, where I don't have a guest, it's just you and me.  And I want to revisit the Slow Style philosophy I first started talking about back in May.  

Back then I realized it would be really helpful if everyone listening to the podcast and everyone who interacted with Little Yellow Couch in any way, had big picture framework that you could refer to when trying to figure out what to focus on when it comes to the design of your home and the development of your style.  So we're going to take a look at the Slow Style framework and figure out which aspect of it would be most helpful to you right now, given what's going on in your life and home.  

 

ZANDRA'S HOME

 

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Today, I am doing another episode of On The Little Yellow Couch where I don't have a guest. It's just you and me. And what I want to do is revisit the Slow Style philosophy that I first started talking about back in may, I've made some revisions, I've tightened it up a little bit,

and it's actually sort of the backbone of the Slow Style Society the membership that I was mentioning earlier. However, the Slow Style philosophy is something that I think anyone can use and you can apply it at any time. You certainly don't have to belong to the membership to get some value out of it. So back in may, what I was realizing is that we,

we get so much great inspiration and motivation from the guests on this show. I think I love my guests. And I hear from you guys that there are certain episodes that really resonate with you and kind of motivate you to do something new or challenge yourself, or try out something. And I think that's awesome and that will continue to happen. But I also know there's a lot of overwhelm out there.

I, I think we get stuck in just the daily life details, the distractions, big things like, you know, family shoes or money or whatever, but even the little things like the debris that we bring in from the outside world, you know, the mud shoes or the pet hair, or the piles of paperwork or whatever, all of that,

those things can distract us from some of our goals that revolve around creating harmony and peace and creativity and life and joy inside our homes. Because I think we get stuck thinking that we have to make everything has to be perfect in order to feel that kind of happiness and that kind of relaxation, or we're waiting for the perfect time, because it's not perfect now.

So we think, well, I won't get to that joy, that happiness until later until my life calms down or, or I have more money or a bigger space or whatever, and I really want to get away from that mindset. I really want us to love the homes that we are currently in, along with the lives that we currently have, as much as we can,

and to really get joy out of the small pleasures, the small details of daily life. Because I think, I think finding beauty that way is just much more sustainable and ultimately is felt more deeply than these big highs that we might get when we have a family holiday together or a vacation or those other things that we typically associate with. Oh, that was the best weekend of my life.

Right. All right. So anyway, so back to this idea of the Slow Style philosophy and how we can apply that, what I was realizing was that it would be helpful for the Podcast. If we had a framework of reference that we could use to help us stay focused on small actions that we could be taking on a more regular basis to continue to evolve our dream homes.

And so that framework has developed into this low Style philosophy. And in a nutshell, Slow Style is an approach to figuring out how your home can support you and how your home can be a visual autobiography that reflects where you've been, who you are. And most importantly, probably who you want to become. So it is the opposite of fast Style, which is driven by trends and focused primarily on products and turning things out and over and ultimately disposable decor.

So how do we do this? How do we practice Slow Style there are three basic principles that I believe form the underpinning of this framework that, that I think any one of these principles will help you make pretty much any decision you need to make about your home and what you want to focus on. And here they are. So the first one is that life informs Style.

Now these principles aren't necessarily, they don't necessarily have to be kind of learned or practiced in order, although it sorta makes sense to start with life informed. Style because what that's just saying is that you can't fight against where you are currently in your life. You can't fight against the home that you have the limitations that you may have be they budget restrictions or space or number of kids or job that you don't love,

or whatever might be going on. You have to work within the realities of your day to day life, because you don't want to be fighting against yourself. If you're trying to create a perfect home, that is perfectly organized, that never has anything out of place. You're going to drive yourself crazy. So life, your life needs to inform your style.

Now, if it was flipped on its head and Style was directing your life, then you'd probably been baking bad purchases that couldn't last because you weren't able to maintain whatever the thing was that you bought. You weren't even, you weren't able to maintain the furniture arrangement that you thought looked the best, but didn't actually work for having intimate conversations. You wouldn't be able to maintain your organizational systems and things would kind of fall apart.

So flipping it back the way I'm suggesting where life informed Style is a way to make sure that every aspect of your home, from how you arrange that furniture, to which rooms in your home get used for what that it's all comes back to making sense for how your life is right now. The second principle is that Style is active. And what I mean by that is that figuring out what you love aesthetically and how to display and share your passions,

visually is an active process. And this principle is so important because so many people think that they are not creative. They don't know how to walk into a room and sort of imagine completely different shelves and colors and furniture arrangement, and lighting and pattern mixing. And th they can't, they don't, they don't know how to do that, sort of just in a snap and the blink of an eye.

And so you've told yourself you're not creative, and that's just simply not the case, because creativity is an, is an action. I believe Style is an action. It's something that we do in practice. And by practicing, we get better at it, but we're not even just trying to get better at some sort of standard, some sort of standard of excellence that the decorating gurus out there have a defined for us.

We're trying to get better at cultivating our own eye to what we personally love. What is pleasing to us. And yes, there are rules that we can learn and rules we can follow, but these are meant to be tried out to see if they work for you. And if not, then those rules are meant to be broken, but you will never feel like you have this ability,

this ability to be creative, think outside the box, if you're not practicing it. So Style is active. The second principle is all about the practice. And finally, the last of the three principles is that Style evolves. And this one is pretty simple. It's just a reminder that a beautiful, meaningful home isn't fixed in one point in time, just as you change and grow and develop your sense of who you are.

You will be happiest in a home that reflects those changes and gives you visual cues that push you out of your comfort zone when you need to make a change. So whether it's setting up a meditation alter that rotates objects, depending on whatever it is you're trying to manifest, or if it's taking on a renovation project to reflect the fact that you're now living in an empty nest and your home should be a living,

breathing a reflection of your new hobbies and the new things that you have, that you are now cultivating in your life, because you're not running after kids anymore, where whatever, however, you are changing and evolving your home can and should reflect that. And, and I think that the burden then around decision-making is lifted a little bit. When you realize that you don't have to love something forever in order to try it out.

Now, I'm not suggesting that you should get a new couch every year, because every year your, your mood changes, that would be more like fast Style. W w the kind of evolution that I'm talking about is the kind where you really embrace who you are right now, knowing that five years from now, 10 years from now, you may get completely tired of the wallpaper that you chose this dramatic wallpaper,

but for five or 10 years, you absolutely loved it. And it made a huge impact on your level of happiness. Every time you walked into a particular room. So I hear a lot of people saying, Oh, I'm afraid. I'm going to get tired of that rug. I'm afraid I'm going to get tired of that wallpaper, or I'm a tired of that painting,

right? I hear that a lot about art, but if you always are waiting until something, you jump into you, you bump into something that you truly think is going to last for a hundred years, in terms of your taste, you're going to be living in beige your entire life. You're never going to get out of that, that trap of feeling like,

well, what if I don't love it for forever? Nothing is forever my friends and that's. Okay. All right. So what I think would be helpful right now, and, and the real kind of purpose behind this whole episode was to reintroduce these principles and this whole idea of the Slow Style philosophy, but to also leave you with something to do,

which is to think about which one of these principles is most apt for you right now in your, in your life. Are you needing to lean on the principle of life informed Style? Are there things that are going on that are chaotic or that make you feel disjointed? I think a lot of us, because of the virus and what it has done to change our daily patterns and the fact that so many people are working from home or it's homeschooling,

or just having to, you know, be separated from our friends, not traveling, all that stuff. It's kind of put us in a state of, of temporary anxiety, or maybe I should say anxiety over around this idea that things are temporary right now. We don't know how long it's going to last. We don't know how long we're going to have to hold up here.

And so at first we were just sort of making do, and we didn't have to make sure that things looked beautiful or that things were super organized in our homes, because it was temporary. We're going to go back to a normal life really soon. Well, it's been practically an entire year and we still haven't found our new normal. And so right now,

how is your current life informing your Style around the changes that have happened because of the virus? That'd be one question I'd be asking myself, or I have been asking myself. And so therefore I kind of lean on that, that principle of, of my life needing to inform my Style. Maybe you're just in a creative rut. Maybe you're feeling like you've never been creative in your life,

but you have been sitting in your home now for eight months, staring at these blank walls, not knowing what to do with them and getting kind of sick of your home, because it's not, it's not giving anything back to you. Now that you're spending all this time in it, maybe you need to stretch your creative muscles and play and try things out.

Try new vignette, take everything off the shelves, move things around, put new things up new momentos that you've been hiding in a closet. Maybe you need to repaint a room and just try a completely different color. Maybe you need to take everything off your mantle and play around with, with dried flower arrangements. Maybe you need to re think how you're using your space and turn a dining room into a home office,

turn a playroom into a craft space. I think that some of us are going to be needing to lean on that second principle, which is get active in your creativity. And then finally, maybe some of you are really needing to pay attention to the third principle and realize that your life is evolving. You personally are evolving. You've learned new things about yourself.

Recently. You've become passionate about certain things, or you feel really stuck and you need to get out of a rut and you need to find a way to be motivated to do that and have the courage to do that. And there are ways that you can set your home up to help you gather that strength rituals that you can do taking time for yourself,

meditating, journaling, making sure that you, you have a four o'clock tea every afternoon, where you just sit with something that allows you to think about where am I going to gather my strength from to make some changes in my life, or maybe you have a big dreams and plans for huge amounts of travel. As soon as the travel bans are lifted,

and you need to keep yourself uplifted with those thoughts of the future. And so you want to start outfitting your kitchen with spices from a different part of the world that you've never cooked with before, but you're gonna, you're gonna make it happen. And your kitchen can help reflect that in terms of how you lay it out. So I want you to think about which of these three principles is most compelling to you right now.

And I would love for you to tell me what you think and where you think you're going to focus on. Let's just say for the next three months, until the end of 2020, where do you want to be? Where do you want your mindset to be? What do you want to be focused on and not get distracted by shiny object syndrome? Especially as we head into the holidays where,

you know, it's all about buying stuff, right? This is the time of year where we spend out a lot of money and who knows what that's going to look like this year? Who knows if we're going to be spending a lot of money or not, because who knows if we're going to have guests in our home or not, but anyway, there's still gonna be a lot of pressure to,

to spend a lot of money. So I think it would be helped. I think it would be helpful to get really focused and, and kind of keep ourselves centered on what really matters to us. What you really think is going to move the needle in your home in terms of making you happier. And it doesn't have to be giant leaps forward of happiness.

It can be very small, small moments of delight, just make you genuinely smile. When you look at something, you look at an object in your living room or on your bedside table or wherever. So let me know, where are you at my email again, as you guys probably already know [email protected], I would love to hear from me or just DM wa contact me on Instagram,

whatever you want. I honestly, I'm not really on Facebook. So if you message me there, I might not get it, but I do respond to everything else and let me, Oh, and along these lines, if you have not taken the quiz, the little yellow couch quiz, what is the number one mistake you are making your home, hint,

hint, it's all connected to these three principles. So that's another way for you to kind of figure out, well, where am I at right now? Which, which principle do I kind of need to pay attention to and to get your Results, you will be signing up for the mailing list. You can always unsubscribe if you like after you get your results.

But I do send out a series of emails after you take the quiz, kind of help you along with first steps. If you are already on the mailing list and haven't taken the quiz, you can still take it. Yes. It's going to ask you for your email address again, but don't worry. It's not going to duplicate anything. So yeah,

let's stay in touch. Oh, and one last thing that I, I would like to leave on, which is that I I'm currently in, in involved in a virtual Podcast conference. And I love these things because they're very motivational for me. And they really helped me understand sort of the state of affairs in this podcasting space business-wise but also culturally, socially,

emotionally. And one of the things that I, I loved about one of the sessions was this guy was talking about how the power of podcasting has always been in it's intimacy, because I know no, I feel this myself, when I'm listening to my favorite podcasts, I feel like the person is right in my earbuds talking directly to me. And that kind of,

that kind of connection that feels so one-on-one is, is the brilliance of podcasting, I think. And I hope that you feel that way with me. I hope that when you were listening, you feel like I'm talking directly to you because that is my intention. I think of you guys, each as individual people with very specific individual lives, whom I have the honor of talking to every week,

but what this guy was saying was that because of the pandemic and because of what's happened to us, all this isolation that we've been going through, we are also craving community right now, and connection. And he's sorta challenging us to figure out how to, how to make puck, you know, keep the intimacy of podcasting, but to take it another step further and really connect with people outside of the half hour that week we spend together once a week on this podcast and to double down on those connections.

So along those lines, I am sincerely inviting you to be in touch with me. And if it's not about this episode, it's not about these three principles. That's fine too. You want to just ask me a question about, I don't know, paint color, go right ahead. I read every single one and I do respond. And I do that.

Not only because it means a lot to me that you have taken the time to reach out. I really respect your time time, but I love it. I love connecting with other people like me. We have real lives and real homes, and we both want those homes to be beautiful and meaningful, and it just feels good to touch base with another human being an actual human about something that we're both passionate about.

So don't be shy, right? We will be getting back to our regularly scheduled programming. I will have my first awesome guest of this season and I look forward to sharing her with you. All right. Have a great week. I'll be back in your earbuds next Monday.

 

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