Neale Whitaker

Creating a sense of home, and why it won’t happen overnight..


The Slow Decor Movement

Neale Whitaker 

Wattyl Brand Ambassador and Interior Design Expert

My previous article was a whistle-stop tour through some of the more unusual current interior design trends. The conclusion I drew was that, collectively, they are urging us to celebrate individuality and create homes that are unique and personal. But in amongst the more eccentric trends are a few that really resonate with me personally – like slow decor. To be honest, I think I’ve been following this trend for years. Who knows? Maybe I started it.

The concept of slow food and slow travel has been with us for decades. The slow food movement started in the 1980s to encourage sustainable, locally-produced food in the face of the proliferation of fast-food chains around the globe. By the same token, slow travel celebrates unhurried, meaningful travel experiences with as little environmental impact as possible.

So, what about slow decor? In renovation-obsessed Australia, the idea of slow decorating has special significance. In simple terms, slow decor acknowledges that creating a home takes time; that the fast-tracked, whirlwind approach seen on social media and home renovation TV shows creates houses, but not homes. To my mind, the beauty of a home, whatever its size, style or location, is its ability to tell the story of its owners. The NSW south coast home I share with my partner is filled with pieces we have collected together across two decades. I guess that’s pretty slow, but our home is all the better for it. Few of our possessions would be deemed ‘on trend’, but those that might are more by accident than design. We choose colours and styles we love, and those that respect the heritage and location of the house. And we accept that our home is always evolving, that it will never be ‘finished’ in the traditional sense of the word.

I urge first-time buyers and new owners to live in their homes for a while, to observe how the light changes throughout the day, how the various spaces feel at different times and how each room is used. And then, once the relationship with the home has deepened, certain colours and decorating styles will start to feel just right. There’s irony in the fact that a rejection of trends lies at the heart of slow decor. Choosing a colour palette, furniture, artworks and accessories, bedlinen and textiles, over a period of time – months or even years – is at odds with our modern culture. It’s a brave homeowner that flies in the face of current convention, but I believe that choosing slowly and wisely (even checking how and where things are made, and from what) will result in a home that feels more layered, more authentic and more individual. Trust me.

If you’re looking to bring a seasonal change to your interiors this Autumn/Winter you can sample the paint colours from Neale’s new collection in 500ml colour sample pots , which are available for purchase at your local Wattyl Paint Centre or Wattyl Paint Stockist.

Locate your nearest store here 


For more information on the Neale Whitaker colour collection click here

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