Slow Style Philosophy OTLYC


This week is an episode of On The Little Yellow Couch (OTLYC) where it's just you and me.  I'm going to share my Slow Style philosophy, which I've developed as a framework for you to create a beautiful, meaningful home.  I'll explain what Slow Style means to me, and introduce 3 Pillars of Slow Style.  They are:

1. Style Evolves

2. Creativity Leads to Confidence

3. Life Informs Style 

If you want to know the best way to get started with Slow Style based on your particular situation, take my free quiz called

What's the #1 Mistake You're Making in Your Home?

This episode is sponsored by GlobeIn: handcrafted, fair trade goods, delivered monthly  

Use code STYLEMATTERS at checkout for $20 OFF your first box with any 3 month subscription! 


The following is a transcript of the episode:

Hellow again! So, like I was mentioning earlier. It's been about five weeks since I've been with you in real time because I was on a bit of a podcast break. And coincidentally, it's also been around five weeks that we have all been dealing with this new cove in 19 new normal that we are experiencing. And I am wondering, How are you doing? Are you getting a little tired of staying at home all the time. Are you getting ah, little stir crazy or is your family driving you crazy? Um, maybe you're sick of hearing about Corona virus. I kind of I'm getting tired of it. But I've also been hearing a lot of positivity out there, and I'm I'm wondering if you've noticed that as well. I feel like people are really looking for the silver lining, which means for many of us, it's spending some quality time with our kids not rushing around so much, it means, um, trying out new bread recipes. You know, you can't find yeast in the grocery store right now because we were all trying to learn how to make bread from scratch. Um, what else has been really positive, Um, appreciating what we do have. And I think expressing gratitude in general has just been uplifting for all of us. It certainly has been for me, and with all of this extra time on our hands, while we're stuck at home, there's been a lot of focus on the home. A lot of it's on productivity and getting organized. Some of it is about self care and taking care of ourselves, which is wonderful. And we're also talking about something that I've been focused on since the beginning of this podcast, which is creating a home that gives something back to you. And it's funny the timing of all of this, because right when the virus was, it was becoming pretty obvious that this was a serious thing. I was just going on break and had already planned to spend five weeks thinking more deeply about a framework that I wanted to create that helped you create this beautiful, meaningful home that we reference all the time on the show. And now we're all, like I said, focused on our homes and kind of stuck here. So it's kind of nice timing here that this has been a topic of conversation culturally as well. So anyway, um, I want to share it all with you, and I'm going to start by outlining what I'm calling the slow style philosophy and the three pillars that I've come up with that you can use to create a home that is your dream home. But just as a side note, this dream home that I'm talking about doesn't necessarily mean a forever home, These air, two different things or sometimes they are because not everyone actually wants a forever home. Some people really thrive on change. Other people do want to dig in with some roots and settle down in one place. Both of those are great, and neither of those means that you can't have a dream home right now. In fact, a dream home to me is a home that works for you right now in your current life, with all of its challenges and messiness, because putting off your dream home until sometime in the future, I think, is a waste of the present. So anyway, okay, what is this slow style philosophy all about? To me, slow style means that the creation of your home unfolds along with your life rather than being in a rush to get it all decorated and furnished so you can start living and not think about it again. It's sort of the opposite of that. It's about taking into consideration who you are and your lifestyle and incorporating those things into your aesthetic and as who we are. And as our lifestyles change, I think our homes need to be responsive to that. A theoretically everyone style is unique and that every person has their own combination of passions and values and preferences that are reflected by what's in their homes. But in practice, what I have seen over the past five years, five years is that we've really gotten away from thoughtful choices and arrangements of objects, because there's this huge engine of the design industry out there that really has pushed us to replicate fads on a continual basis, which then has created this market for disposable decor and along with the product side of things. Within this design industry is the design side where we are told and shown what the new IT house plant is and which color palettes air in were shown spaces that adhere to one specific, one specific style, like mid century modern or boho. Pulling us into this trap of thinking that we only get to choose one style to represent the reality of who we are, which are multifaceted, human being, so that is just not working. It's not working for me, and I don't think it's working for you either. The slow style philosophy is an antidote to disposable decor it's focused more on small changes rather than big overhauls. It's about finding beauty and function that's attainable. And, yeah, I'll admit, I am kind of taking, um, a bit of license here with the slow food movement by using that same terminology. But I really think it it applies. It's about feeling connected to where things come from and who made them and savoring that beauty. The motivation also for slow style. It comes from being generous, and I mean that both to yourself and to others rather than being motivated by factors that are outside your control, such as how much money you have and where you live. So why should you care about cultivating a slow style? Well, I think we've become both addicted to and shut out of the act of decorating our homes on our own. Yeah, we buy tons of stuff, but then we end up not liking it or realizing it doesn't work in our actual real life homes. But we also feel like we don't know how to buy stuff or make decisions. We feel like we're not creative enough or talented enough to create a home that could be just a beautiful is what we see on the cover of a magazine or on Instagram or Pinterest. Now I know I think, that we are all self aware enough that those of us those of you guys were listening to show to know that being on the cover of a magazine probably isn't your goal. But I also think that those picture perfect homes that we're seeing over and over again have silently become this standard by which we do judge our efforts. Which is why I think we need to adjust our perspective and adopt a new framework for making design decisions and choosing what to buy and what to bring into our homes. That counter acts this hamster wheel we've been on, where we drool over other people's homes and therefore their lives. And we spend unwisely on merchandise that still doesn't fulfill our dreams, not even close. So in my mind, it's not about the throw pillows, at least not initially. I mean, I do love a good throw pillow, but what I am saying is it's about playing around, learning how to think creatively, using what you already have, taking your time and understanding that style evolves now, of course, every once in a while it is still so much fun to do a complete makeover or a big time renovation. I love doing that, too, but for the most part, I don't want to forget about the everyday moments, the joy that you want to feel on the experience of true delight that comes from slow style. Okay, let's move on. I want to talk about the three pillars of the slow style philosophy. These are the three areas that I'm pretty sure cover the entire process off, creating a home that's beautiful and meaningful. They are pillar one style evolves, which I was just talking about. Pillar two. Creativity leads to confidence and pillar three Life informs style. Now these are not meant to be a series of exercises or things on a list that you should do in a particular order. There just principles to use when you need them. Sometimes you'll use them when you need to make a big decision involving money and time, and sometimes you'll use them for smaller daily decisions like how to change a pure mantle because you're bored with it. Over the course of this season, on the podcast. We will keep talking about each of these pillars with examples of when they come into play as you live your life inside your home. Okay, so pillar one style evolves. I think we can all agree that the choices we make in our lives end up telling the story of who we are. Our choices are based on lots of different things our moods, our fears, our values, what we care about our energy levels, how connected or disconnected were feeling toe others. And we're not the same exact person making the same exact choices every day. We have life experiences. We have ups and downs, and over time we change. We evolve, which is why your style can and should evolve as well. You can see this, I think pretty easily with clothing because we get rid of things that are out of date or no longer fit and buy new things, and we tend to see our clothing as a representation of how we see ourselves, both for the good and the bad. But our style at home are personal aesthetic that can sometimes get stuck in the time warp. If you invest heavily in one particular style category, it will only reflect one side of you, and it's not gonna grow with you. Eventually, it's going to make you feel boxed in, and you'll either decide to just live with it because it costs so much in the first place as it slowly drains your energy away or you'll scrap everything. Start over at replace everything with another one style category, which ultimately won't feel satisfying either Slow style and thinking about style evolving does the opposite. Slow style means you're collecting things here and there over time, making choices that, yes, reflect a particular moment in it for your life. But then all of these objects and pieces of furniture. When you combine them all, they start to tell the story of your life and a much more organic way. Now it doesn't stop there because just mashing things together also doesn't tell the whole picture of who you are. I think we can all relate to walking into one of our rooms and looking around and feeling like something's off. Something wasn't jelling. In fact, I get a lot of questions about whether different items with different styles or from different eras really work together. Usually there is a way to make everything go together. That's what I tell people. But there are ways to make it work and ways that don't work so well. And that's something we need to learn. What really tells your story is how you curate your possessions, which ones you choose to keep and how you arrange your furniture and how you compose your beloved objects. Plus not to mention the choices that you make for the background and how that might change. Sometimes you might be painting or using wallpaper underfoot. You're making choices about tile or wood or a rug. All of these things, how they relate to one another, what they have in common, how they visually pull you in different directions. That is a representation of how your style is evolving. And it's this practice of playing with the combination of things in your home that leads us right into the second pillar, which is Pillar two. Creativity leads to confidence. I'm giving a lot of thought around issues of confidence lately because that's what I hear so often from people who right into me that they don't know what to choose they don't trust their guts where they feel that they have no eye for design. So ultimately, I really believe there's this misconception out there about creativity, as in some of us got it and some of us don't. But since we all want to live in a beautiful space, and I think that creativity is an essential aspect of beauty, I think that we all can be creative and in fact we need to be creative. Now it goes without saying that beauty is subjective and you get to decide what's beautiful to you. But to create a beautiful home, you do need to know something about composition and scale and colors, patterns, all that design stuff. But listen to what I'm saying here cause this is really important. While you could go to Interior Design school for this stuff or you could hire someone, you could also just learn the basics, pulling around with these concepts yourself, lots of times for fun until you start knowing what you like when you see it. It's that practice of playing around and trying things that is in and of itself a creative act, and I think therefore anyone could do it. Simply take the time to try things out. Pull different pieces together. Rearrange the furniture, compose a little vignette of meaningful objects on the shelf. This is how you start to believe in yourself and trust your gut and feel confident. Confidence doesn't come from knowing the rules or being born with an artistic eye. It comes from knowing who you are and what you love. OK, moving on to pillar three Life and forms style. This one is about how you want to feel in your home and what you want to do there and then, ultimately, how your home should be giving something back to you now. What do I mean by that? Cause Icona glossed over it In the beginning, when I say your home should give something back to you, I am talking about a home that works for your lifestyle. Ah, home that helps you feel calm and loved but also energized and inspired. And a home that is, of course, sometimes messy. But it's always the best place on earth for you to be. I think of home in the active sense, as in home is an incubator for who you want to become. It's where you're going to develop this visual autobiography of your life. Home is where you will express generosity and find creativity and practice self care. Which means, of course, then your home needs to be set up to help you achieve these goals. But for a lot of us are homes are actually set up toe work against us, whether it's against us in terms of our goals for our diet or our love lives or our relationship with our kids or even our career aspirations. All of these things are affected by our surroundings. So Pillar three addresses that connection by acknowledging that life your life should inform your style. Okay, so I have been talking about a lot of big picture thinking here, and I hope I haven't, um, lost you in this way of not giving a whole lot of concrete examples. Um, so I haven't really been talking too much yet about how to apply all of these ideas, but that really is what this whole podcast is about and what I aim to do every week. So I hope you'll keep tuning in. And I'm so grateful, by the way, for all of the emails I've been getting. I mean, I've been getting them for years, but I think especially over this whole Covad thing, I really appreciate these emails telling me how a particular episode has resonated with you or helped you with a problem. It really means the world to me, and it helps me keep going. So thank you from the bottom of my heart. Oh, and with all of this new, slow style thing that I'm formulating believe me, um, I think that you're going to be on this journey with me. Okay, We're going to be figuring this out together. So be on the lookout for online classes and even retreats if we can ever travel again where we can really dig into this further. Okay. In the meantime, let's wrap up with a question. I have a question for you. What do you think is the number one mistake that you that you've making or have been making in your home? I could imagine there are several ideas floating around your head right now about what you think the hardest thing is for you were the biggest mistake that you've made things like maybe you think your house is too big or it's too small or it's not organized optimally. Or maybe you think your mistake is how you've arranged your furniture. Or maybe it's, ah, problem that you've had with your color palette, and it's not working right for the late the particular light that comes into your room. Or maybe you think the mistake is somewhere in how you're mixing together furniture and objects. Well, listen, any of these dilemmas might be true for you, but they are all easily fixable, and they're not really at the core of what's keeping you from your dream home. So over the past five weeks, I have developed a quiz to zero in on what that number one mistake is for you, and I'll give you a hint. It'll have to do with mindset, not with any particular design rule. So just go to a little yellow couch dot com and click on the yellow quiz button at the top of the home page to take it. Based on your answers, I will give you the first step you can take to address this mistake. You will have to share your email address with me, but you can opt out at any time. If you feel like this whole slow style thing isn't for you, so just do the quiz. Put in your email address, get your results and then let me know. And one little, um, housekeeping note, because I know some of you are going to ask if you are already subscribed to a little yellow couch. Yes, you're still gonna have to pull again your email address because the system needs to make sure that you get the right step to take based on your quiz results. But don't worry, you will not be entered into the system twice because thes fancy tech people who create all kinds of algorithms for us, they're way too smart to let that happen. So don't worry. You're not gonna be getting duplicated e mails from me. All right, so I don't know about you, but I am pretty excited to jump into this season of the style matters podcast and a focus on slow style. I hope you are too. I will be back in your earbuds next week. And in the meantime, stay safe and sane. I will talk with you next week!


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