It is likely you've heard about friends, family or colleagues making a 'tree change' or 'sea change' in recent years, or perhaps you’ve even made one yourself. During the pandemic, Australia – and indeed the world – has seen a great shift from urban to rural living, with many people deserting city centres in favour of smaller country and coastal villages. This regional relocation is not only satisfying a desire for a simpler life, but it has also inspired a renewed approach to style and design centred around an appreciation for small everyday pleasures.
A collective craving for a slower pace has brought about both a geographical and cultural shift, with those moving away from cities seeing themselves and their homes from a fresh perspective. Travelling from cosmopolitan capitals to the countryside or coast, these tree- and sea-changers are bringing with them their contemporary sensibilities and leaving behind the hurriedness of modern life, creating space to discover what feels meaningful and authentic.
Heightened regard for all things slow is seeing us increasingly wanting to surround ourselves with handmade, high-quality pieces – from interiors to fashion – that tell a story, are classic in their design and are made to last. Spending more time at home than ever before, it has become paramount that we create a space that satisfies an innate need for connection to each other, and to the natural world. Artisan skills are seeing a resurgence, with ceramics and basket weaving popular examples of how traditional handicrafts can bring both beauty and functionality to our living spaces.
While a rural reset in itself can be beneficial to our wellbeing, there is also a strong tendency toward nature-inspired design, where colours, shapes and materials are chosen – either intentionally or subconsciously – for their ability to evoke the same soothing and restorative effects of being in the outdoors. Our signature range of pure lining bedding in muted, earthy tones is the perfect way to bring nature’s palette into your home, from the mushroom-hued Cep and forest-green Silva to our grounding pinks and tranquil blues. Accents of oceanic Mare, chocolate-hued Bere, and our muted mulberry tone Moro are ideal for imbuing warmth to our core neutral palette and reflecting rich outdoor tones.
Classical influenced modern kitchen by deVOL Kitchens @devolkitchens | Earthy textural hues from Earthy Dreamscape Shop our Style.
This connection to the landscape extends beyond interior design into the field of architecture, with new builds and renovations exploring innovative, creative solutions to ensure eco-conscious construction is just as important as aesthetics when it comes to creating our rural sanctuaries. Marrying a high quality of living with a responsibility to the land, homes are seen as an extension of the owner’s values, and both inside and out, speed and convenience are being replaced with slow, sustainable principles.
Twin Bridges by Workstead | Photography: Matthew Williams | published in est. Living.
This highly informed aesthetic takes inspiration from both traditional and contemporary design, with everything from sympathetically restored Victorian townhouses to rustic chic farmhouses embracing simplicity and connection, with timeless style and a sense of craftsmanship the key focus. Raw, reclaimed wood is juxtaposed with sleek, minimal furnishings, while brick and terracotta imbue warmth to clean-lined, open-plan spaces. Homes are modernised but remain classic in their use of traditional materials, finished with a look of effortless elegance that would fit seamlessly into any geographic setting.
Modern Farmhouse - Upstate New York by Architect Niels Schoenfelder | Photography: Björn Wallander | Published in Architectural Digest
Soft furnishings, such as our new Crush Linen Blanket, are the perfect complement to natural materials like clay and timber, imbuing a further layer of textural interest. Our sumptuous linen blanket brings nature inside with three new hues inspired by the outside world – Alba is a light stone hue likened to a washed river pebble; Silva is a deep emerald green reminiscent of a faraway forest; Quill offers an intense yet muted and earthy pink currant. This versatile piece suits contemporary or classic interiors, working beautifully in the bedroom or as a deliciously soft throw blanket in your living space.
Crush Linen Blanket in Quill, Flocca Linen Duvet in Bere, Flocca Flat Sheet in Brun, Crush Linen Throw in Brun, Flocca Body Cushion in Brun, Flocca European Pillowcase in Bere and Flocca Linen Pillowcases in Moro.
The adaptability of a nature-inspired palette, coupled with the growing demand for ethical production, is also being utilised in the world of fashion, where classic, relaxed silhouettes and high-quality fabrics in muted, versatile hues are the antidote to fast fashion. Taking inspiration from both masculine and feminine forms, traditional yet modern garments are featured in soothing, understated tones informed by the natural landscape, exuding timeless style, functionality and a sense of ease.
Local Victorian knitwear brand Francie, made in Melbourne from Australian/NZ wool. @___francie___
European slow fashion house H+Hannoh Wessel made in Italy. @hannohwessel
At its heart, this considered approach to style is about surrounding ourselves only with the things we truly love, and investing in classic, well-made pieces that will elevate our bedroom, wardrobe, and living spaces as well as bring beauty and purpose to our everyday routines for many years to come.