These days, more than ever, the daily bustle sweeps us up all too easily, with the full schedules, the rushed meals, the hurried “hellos” between family and friends. Then the holidays arrive, and our most joyful time of year comes, with a storm of advertising telling us exactly how busy and stressed we all should be. Exhausting, isn’t it?
What if there were another way? What if we could design our living spaces to inspire slow, memorable gatherings and that peaceful, meaningful life we crave? It can be done. . . and boy, is it worth it. The following tips are simple, but they’ll go a long way toward helping you slow down and make the most of your time with loved ones, not just this season but all year long.
Create An Intentional Flow
First, start with the big picture: the flow of your space. Slow, relaxed gatherings don’t have to be stationary. Imagine a friendly dinner that starts at the bar top in your kitchen, moves to the bar table in the living room, and settles effortlessly into the dining room. Or, if the weather permits, a long Sunday brunch that flows from food prep together in the kitchen to intimate conversation around the table to after-meal drinks in the sunshine outdoors.
Make Something Together
As a host, it can be tempting to buy or prepare all the food and drink in advance and spoil your guests silly with hospitality. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with this scenario, it gives stress the most room to enter. We feel that we have to do everything and be everything when there’s just as much (and maybe more) enjoyment to be found in getting ready for the day’s leisure together.
Share the enjoyment of roasting veggies. Laugh together over baking the morning’s fresh, warm bread or inventing new cocktails for happy hour. When it’s time to finally enjoy your group’s creations, they’ll taste all the sweeter!
Accentuate The Meal With Simple Wares
Part of slow, thoughtful living is taking the time to fully savour and appreciate the little things, such as the food you have just prepared with your friends or family. Remember, too, we eat with our eyes first. The best way to make your food the spotlight of the table (and worthy of those slow, satisfying bites) is to keep your furnishings and tableware simple.
A table decorated with simplicity lets the meal take centre stage. Neutral tones and clean lines make reds richer, oranges more vibrant, and greens burst with life, which will inspire you to slow down and savour the meal even more.
Keep Your Space Natural And Organized
In addition to keeping your wares simple and natural, the same can be said for your furnishings. Another way to inspire peace in your space is to keep the area clear and organized. Remove clutter and make guests feel totally relaxed and at home.
Include Meaningful Pieces
When designing for gatherings (or even just for yourself), it’s always a good idea to have a few meaningful pieces around. Not only do they add a layer of personal warmth, but they also give you the advantage of an easy conversation piece.
Take a look at your space and decide which items could help you tell a story in your space, whether it’s one from your past or the present you’re creating right now.
Opt For Simple Yet Functional Lighting
A gathering that takes place over several hours is naturally subject to fluctuations in lighting. Whether it’s the changing angle of the sun or the transition from day to night, you should consider how light (or lack of light) will play in your spaces.
That’s why it’s always an advantage to have lighting on dimmers for an easy change in ambience. As the night carries on, for example, you can dim the lights from a fun dinner to relaxed after-dinner conversation.
Well, there you have it—six tips for bringing slow, joyful, meaningful gatherings to help you create an intentional space and inspire conversation and community. Now all you have to do is gather your nearest and dearest and enjoy them.
And why not get inspired by our latest lookbook!
Our current campaign lookbook is Celebrate with Style: Making Memories This Festive Season. In it we have fabulous ideas for the most stylish celebrations and some simple ways to create a beautiful party-ready atmosphere, so you can relax with family & friends.
Check our Lookbook for interior design ideas