How Slow is your Home?

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You might be thinking… “What the heck is a Slow Home”?

A Slow Home is a home that is energy efficient, uses fewer resources to maintain and reduces our environmental impact. How good is it for the environment if we build a 4000 square foot home that is “green”? Using up the extra land and resources needed to build and live in is not energy efficient. According to John Brown, the founder of the Slow Home Movement, http://slowhomestudio.com/“a Slow Home is a house that has been designed to be more personally satisfying, environmentally responsible, and economically reasonable”. A slow home refers to a house that uses less, but in an efficient and thought out manner.

According to Sarah Rich of the WORLD CHANGING website, “a slow home is a way to take residential architecture back from the grip of the cookie cutter houses and instant neighborhoods to revive the presence of good design and empower individuals to create homes that will support and fulfill them for a long time.”  Slow homes are designed to be uncomplicated, comfortable and benefit the environment.

The difference between a Slow Home and a fast home is the quality of design and not necessarily the size, age or style. It is really about how the home is organized and how efficient it is. A Slow Home examines how each individual room works.  It utilizes the rooms effectively and does not waste any space in the home.  It comes down to the basic organization of the home and how efficiently the home is laid out.

In a fast house, the design is flawed. Rooms become a wasted use of space.  This in turn wastes natural resources to heat and cool the unused areas.  From a FENG SHUI perspective, a fast home does not have the proper flow of energy.  In FENG SHUI, we look for an ideal flow of energy.  We study how the energy flows throughout a particular space.  We want people to be able to walk through a home and feel comfortable. A fast home would have blockages of energy and dead spaces, making us feel anxious and nervous.

You can see for yourself how slow your home is by taking this quick and simple quiz. http://slowhomestudio.com/the-slow-home-test/The quiz is not designed to make you feel guilty for living in a fast home. The quiz is really intended for you to become aware of how you are living and how you are using natural resources.  The more you know and the more you become aware of your living habits, the more you can learn how to adjust and improve your living space. 

I took the quiz and discovered that I live in a moderately slow home. My home is around 1100 square feet and from the outside, it looks small. Yet, often people comment when they walk through my home, how much bigger it feels than it looks. I think one reason for this is how I use the space. Each room has a specific purpose and I try to keep that purpose in mind, when I am making any changes to the areas. I definitely try to keep clutter to a minimum and that helps make the space feel more expansive.  I like to have some empty areas so that the energy can flow smoothly around my home. I want my home to feel expansive even if it is small.  

Picture your home and think about how efficiently it is designed. Do the rooms have a specific purpose or could they be better utilized? Maybe there is another way to arrange your furnishings to make the space more effective. Once you are aware of the simple adjustments you can do to make your home a little slower, then you can start to slow down and enjoy your home. A Slow Home is designed to be comfortable and efficient. It does not have to be elaborate ~ just Livable!

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