We are always delighted and intrigued by the beautiful spaces that our pure linen collection goes to feature in. So much so that we have decided to bring you style and inspiration from those that we consider to be our Style Sirens.We are located this week in the arresting hinterland of the Mornington Peninsula. A mecca for an array of award winning wineries and restaurants, however our feature this week, Log Box in Red Hill, implores you to take a back seat to the hive of activity.
In true sense of seeing the beauty in all things, Chloe Burgess and her husband identified dilapidated dairy sheds on their Red Hill acreage as an opportunity for a conversion to boutique, unique accommodation.
With rolling views extending out to Western Port Bay, the two converted cabins offer an intimate, minimalist retreat where guests are encouraged to reconnect with each other and the landscape around them.
Remaining true to its authenticity and environment, the original timber truss roof and raw ply lining are prominent features that project warmth and an intimate, cosy atmosphere. The cabin has been minimally furnished in keeping with the theme of the property. The open - plan bedroom has been simplistically styled with Flocca linen bedding in cool Fog. The loveseat featuring our Flocca Macaron cushions and draping linen curtains provides an inviting a nook to witness the dramatic sunrises of the morning.
The wood fire heater in the living area calls you to nestle into the bespoke sofa and settle into the easy luxury of our Flocca cushions. The intimate space is simply inviting you to pop the cork on a local bottle of wine and open the deck of playing cards.
The Log Box cabins show you that there is no place you need to go and no where you’d rather be.
For accommodation information: The Log Box Dairy Shed
Indulging in colour when styling or renovating need not be intimidating. Layering complementary or contrasting hues can completely transform the atmosphere of a room and by selecting the right tones, it can do more than create a beautiful aesthetic, it can also influence your emotion and character.
We are delighted to be featured in the new Smooth Impasto campaign by Porter’s Paints, which focuses on the transformative qualities of colour in interior styling. The brand has recently released an exquisite selection of rich colours in their range, which ‘drive to create spaces that reflect our individuality and personal expression,' says Porter’s Paints. With sumptuous colours ranging from ‘a rich Grenache tone to a verdant green, terracotta, burnished red’, we love the natural and textural finish that is only achieved with a quality paint such as Porter’s Paints.
Sharing like views of texture and sophistication and a nonpareil palette, our pure linen bedding features timelessly, incorporating the lush greens of Armee throughout our pure linen bedding with the romantic touch of Rosa. Styled to perfection by the talented Heather Nette King and shot flawlessly by Mike Baker.
Porter’s Paints and Hale Mercantile Co., a partnership like no other!
For more tips on how to combine the perfect colour ways by Hale Mercantile Co., view our ‘Shop our Style’ page for endless inspiration.
A quaint historic post office, transformed into a beautiful and modern abode without losing any of the original period charm. Located in the quiet seaside town of Port Fairy and originally constructed in 1881, this stunning Bluestone building is the perfect example of how beautiful historical architecture can be recontextualised to work within a modern society. Stepping inside this impeccably styled space, it’s no surprise to find it’s home to Hale Mercantile Co.’s very own Sharon Patsiotis.
The unique period architectural details such as detailed doorframe panels and tall archways are complimented by the eclectic mix of antique decorative pieces, art, taxidermy, and of course Hale Mercantile linen bedding, accessories and furniture.
This beautiful home was recently featured in the June/July issue of Elle magazine, where Sharon provides a personal insight into her inspiration for the space, and the significance the coastal area has for her and her family.
Her own unique style and penchant for antiques works seamlessly throughout the space, as she explains ‘Today’s families are drawn to open-plan living, but I’ve always loved the charm of a small space for showcasing decorative pieces that don’t work in large living areas’
Photography by Shannon Mcgrath
At Hale Mercantile Co, we are passionate about the quality and integrity of the products we create and recommend. Our hard work, care, and passion for what we do is rewarded when we see Hale Mercantile products styled in a beautiful space. Suffice to say we get a buzz when we see how our products are loved and cherished by others. This is why we are excited about this particular blog feature we are about to share with you.
Nestled in the quiet river-sde town of Jugiong, beside sweeping paddocks in the countryside of NSW, sits an unassuming old fashioned country pub by the name of The Sir George. This hidden gem brings old-world nostalgia and contemporary comfort together. Originally built in 1852, the historic venue has been restored to create an eclectic space filled with character and charm, and now includes a restaurant, boutique bar, accommodation and artisan bakery.
Just off the hume highway between Sydney and Melbourne, The Sir George makes for the perfect watering hole or overnight stop for the weary traveler. Grounded in a philosophy of simplicity and authenticity, you’ll be treated to a menu of locally sourced Hilltops produce, a quaint beer garden, and fresh-baked goods.
Should you decided to stay the night, you’ll be welcomed into warm and homely rooms adorned with stunning linen by Hale Mercantile Co. With everything The Sir George has to offer, you’ll find it hard to leave!
The Sir George showcases Hale Mercantile Co Crush Linen Throw, Flocca Linen European Pillowcase, Basix European Pillowcase, and Linen Cushions
Years ago I was lucky enough to travel to Tasmania for the very first time. I was amazed by the raw beauty of it and I inevitably fell in love with it right from the start.
One of the many great things about Tasmania is its history and rugged coastal beaches that still seem untouched to this day, many of these places are small islands off the main land where you can visit. One of Australia’s best kept travel secrets is Satellite Island, about a 40-minute drive from the Bruny Island ferry terminal and a five minute boat trip across the D'Entrecasteaux Channel. If you have ever dreamed of owning your own island here is your chance to experience that feeling for your very self.
Satellite Island is owned by Melbourne based couple, Kate and Will Alstergren and is one place that everyone should have on their bucket list. The island, which some say is at the ‘end of the world’ is part of the Partridge Island Group, lying close to the south-eastern coast of Tasmania surrounded by an ancient fossil clad rock shelf, home to an array of local shellfish, including crayfish, native scallops, abalone and oysters.
The isolation of Satellite Island does not mean all of life’s comforts are left behind. In fact, just the opposite. Satellite Island is the definition of modern luxury when it comes to styling and design. Interior Stylist Tess Newman-Morris, along with owner Kate create the ultimate getaway by using calm beachy neutral tones, deep greys and blues and soft luxurious throws and linens by us here at Hale Mercantile Co. We spoke with Kate about the island and what draws visitors here from all over the world.
What is it about Satellite Island that draws visitors here from all over?
It is hard to say but our guest book is filled with comments about the peace, the perfect isolation, the beauty of the rock shelf, the secret coves, open fields, the night sky, the sense of having the whole world to yourself. Guests love the understated luxury of the Summer House and the Boathouse and the beauty of the surrounding Tasmanian wilderness. There are no time frames on the island, no breakfast cut off, you set your own clock. There is no one to grab that sun lounge next to the water first. All these things combine to connect you to what is real in life and silence what is not. The experience is one of complete relaxation. These things draw visitors to the island.
Who are the typical travellers that are attracted to Satellite Island?
We have many couples visiting for holidays, anniversaries and getaways. We have had many very special wedding proposals during stays, which are always wonderful. There are also families visiting for special occasion birthdays, groups of friends and solo travellers. We have many international guests and many from interstate.
Is there a part of the island that you love the most?
I adore the Boathouse. I love sleeping there with the doors wide open, the sea gently lapping underneath and the stars twinkling above. The top of the island is also a favourite spot. I always take a deep breath here, as this spot fills your soul. From here you have a 360 degree views of Bruny Island, the Hartz Mountains and the beautiful D'Entrecasteaux Channel. In winter the snowcapped mountains are heaven and in summer the sunsets are breathtaking. And then there is Last Glimpse Point on the southern most tip of the island. Here as you look towards Antarctica, the island's sheer cliffs fall away to the rock shelf and the Southern Ocean below. There is a silence here and, immersed in nature, you marvel at the beauty of the world.
What goes into the process to the select the brands that you choose to represent you on the Island?
We have carefully chosen the brands we use on the island. We have chosen natural products that all complement the understated luxury of the island aesthetic. They are brands that reflect care, simplicity, luxury, truth, beauty, quality, passion and have a connection to nature. That is why we use and love Hale Mercantile. Pure European linen is a beautiful natural product using the finest flax and produced with care and passion. We adore the colours of Hale Mercantile's linen bedding as they reflect the beautiful natural colours of the island and the surrounding wilderness.
How would you describe Satellite Island in five words?
Haven. Pure. Wilderness. Wild. Untouched.
Kate sweetly ended our chat with; “I agonised over the 5 words... and realised that magic was definitely one of them I forgot to put down. There is definitely a magic there!”
Accommodation can accommodate up to 12 guests. The Summer House sleeps 6 guests across three bedrooms with a king-sized main bedroom. The boat house has two bedrooms and is located right on the jetty’s edge. If you are feeling more adventurous, you can try glamping under the stars in a queen sized bell tent.
Virgin, Tiger, Qantas and Jetstar all fly to Hobart and Satellite Island is a five-minute boat ride from Bruny Island’s hamlet of Alonnah which is a 40-minute drive from the Bruny Island ferry terminal. Guest are then met by the Island Manager who transports them to the Island by boat.
Keeping your luxury linen towels in perfect condition is important to ensure your towels stay fresh for years to come. Here we provide some tips to ensure maximum softness, absorbency and longevity.
It’s important to wash and rotate your towels regularly to ensure build-up of oils and bacteria is minimised. For best results, we recommend washing your towels at 40 degrees on a regular machine wash. If you are regularly changing your towels, it is unlikely they will become very dirty and it’s important not to wash them at high temperatures. This can damage and shrink the fibres and also dull the colours over time.
We recommend washing your towels together and avoid over filling the machine so they can move freely during the wash. Separating your towels from other items will also prevent them from catching on zips and other fasteners.
Towels can become all bunched up in the washing machine, so it’s a good idea to shake them out before placing them in the dryer. This will help them stay fluffy over time.
Our linen towels have been pre-washed to prevent further shrinkage and can be safely tumble dried on a low heat which will plump and soften your towel after washing.
It is best not to use bleach or detergents with optical brighteners and a mild liquid detergent such as Wool Mix is perfect for your towels.
It is best to hang your towels on a towel bar, but if you have hooks in your bathroom, it’s important never to hang more than one towel per hook. Moisture and debris can become trapped within the layers which promotes the growth of mould and bacteria.
It’s ideal to have more than one towel per person and have several sets on rotation. This way, each set is only used approximately every other week. Less use and less washing means towels will last longer.
Watch out for products like toothpaste and makeup! Some toothpastes contain bleach and this may leave those unexplained small white marks on your towels. Makeup can stain permanently and it’s best to use a separate face cloth instead.
Finally, remember to fold and store your towels for ease and convenience. This is a small detail and can make a difference whether it be for welcoming guests, restocking the linen cupboard or simply giving your bathroom that luxurious, hotel feel.
Shop HMCo luxury linen towels
On a recent visit to New York, the Hale Mercantile Co. team managed to combine hard work with some serious eats in the city that never sleeps. With a part-time vegan, a gluten free preference and everything in between, each palette was catered for and we managed to combine delicious, tasty food with healthy options that satisfied every price, location and cuisine. Here is our round-up of favourites.
Pietro NoLita is a unique pink jewel box in the heart of Nolita. The cafe serves delicious, healthy, seasonal Italian cuisine with a decor evoking a 50's style diner. The food is "healthy Italian," with a menu that will change seasonally. "The space is fun and kitschy and beautiful, but the food is very important to us" says co-owner Mina Soliman.
Industrial-chic spot for Indian combo plates & unique dishes inspired by the streets of Mumbai. Pondicheri is an innovative & nourishing Indian food restaurant with locations in Houston & New York. Traditional Indian flavours infused with local & organic ingredients, a full-scale bakery and inventive cocktails.
PS Kitchen is a social business and artisanal, gourmet, plant-based restaurant who are committed to creating jobs for those marginalized in New York, donating 100% of profits to sustainable charitable work locally and overseas and providing New Yorkers with delicious food options that are kind to the body and the earth. Amazing raw desserts!
Healthy delicious plant-based organic food & natural wine bar. An elegant atmosphere with a vintage apothecary feel complete with staff wearing white lab coats and elixir bottles adorning the walls. Le Botaniste is a responsible food concept that cares about health and the planet. A positive way to appreciate food. 100% Botanical and 99% Organic.
Ippudo opened in 1985 with a counter seating capacity of 10. The interior with a heavy emphasis on wood is like a wood sculptor's studio yet kept sparkling clean with modern jazz playing in the background. Ippudo scrutinizes ingredients and seasonings from around the world to successively create new ramen varieties using some of the various cooking techniques found worldwide. Twenty years since its establishment, Ippudo continues to impact the ramen industry.
La Mercerie Cafe at The Guild
Serving thoughtful reinterpretations of classic French dishes including breakfast, La Mercerie has an all-day menu, coffee, tea, cookies and cocktails. All served in a stunning setting where an immersive shopping experience allows diners to order homewares to go. The food is plated on intentionally mismatched ceramics sourced from Japan, Sweden Australia and Denmark.
Located just steps away from Times Square, Green Symphony provides a variety of food choices for everyone. This place is a little gem located amongst the fast-food tourist traps of the area. An extensive smoothie and juice menu is the perfect start to a day in NYC with healthy lunch options also available.
Good Dish at Bergdorf Goodman
Bergdorf Goodman is the ultimate ladies-who-lunch shopping destination! Tucked away in the basement of Bergdorf Goodman, Good Dish is more casual than their other eateries. Fresh salads and sandwiches make the perfect stop for lunch in between browsing the store's luxury goods.
Located in the heart of the theatre district, the Brooklyn Diner is an elegant, more upscale diner for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their famous chicken soup, Chinese chicken salad and cheeseburger deluxe were all voted the Best of New York by New York Magazine. The pastrami is made on the premises and hand carved to order. Whatever you do, don't forget about the desserts!
Simple pub food, beer & cocktails are served at Fanelli's; a classic old SoHo pub, dating back to 1847. Classic red and white check tablecloths, an intricately tiled mosaic floor, aged mirrors and a black wooden bar all create a well-worn patina with the intimate, friendly atmosphere of your local haunt.
When in doubt, don't forget Wholefoods Market - the health food gourmand's mecca!
With roughly one third of our lives spent sleeping, creating a healthy (and beautiful) sleeping environment should be a high priority. There are many factors that can impact sleep quality and one of the biggest is the fibres you are sleeping in. As bed linen comes in direct contact with your skin, natural fibres should be the first choice when selecting your pure linen bedding.
Pure linen is a truly beautiful, natural product with an inherent timeless quality derived from flax. Flax is 100% biodegradable and recyclable. It is a great ambassador for environmental sustainability as it grows naturally, requires little or no fertilizers and does not require irrigation. It is kind on our earth and the natural strength of yarn produced from flax reduces the need for starching during the weaving process. This results in fewer chemicals being used. Often, cotton and synthetic crops are sprayed with pesticides and herbicides and these chemicals can remain the finished products and be absorbed by the skin.
Natural fibres are the first choice in linen bedding allowing for breathability; keeping you cool and dry in summer and warm in winter. Pure linen is the first choice as it is highly absorbent and a good conductor of heat. Linen can absorb as much as 20% of its dry weight before feeling damp or wet. This means it will absorb more perspiration from the skin and the sheets will not take on a ‘clammy’ feel. Your linen bedding will feel cool to the touch and this high moisture absorbency rate will prevent the fibres from breaking down as quickly as other textiles. It is claimed, that heat conductivity of linen is five times higher than wool and eighteen times higher than silk.
Linen, because of its natural fibres and production process is inherently hypoallergenic. Sleeping in pure linen sheets will help you avoid common allergic reactions found with other fabrics such as synthetics. Pure linen’s natural antibacterial properties have the ability to suppress bacteria and also means sweat I less likely to break down the linen fibres as it would in cotton. The natural qualities of flax make linen the perfect non-allergenic choice.
4. SLEEP QUALITY
Linen is anti-static – which explains why it remains cleaner for longer periods of time and doesn’t cling to the body. It is said that linen will soften and preserve your skin due to its PH neutral balance. Linen bedding also has a light massaging effect on your skin due to the tiny breaks throughout the fabric. These breaks stimulate our skin, which stimulates blood flow and promotes relaxation. Linen has been shown to promote deep and relaxing sleep. A recent study found that you fall asleep faster, sleep deeper, and wake up in a better mood after resting on linen sheets!
Linen is a natural insulator and the fibres are hollow, moving air and moisture naturally making it thermo-regulating; insulating in the cold, and cool and breathable when it’s warm. During the colder months, layer linen blankets or linen throws to retain the heat and warmth from your body. Linen reacts to the season to give you the best quality sleep and is valued for its ability to keep you cool in the summer months. This is all achieved through the natural properties of the fibre itself.
Investing in quality pure linen is paramount and HMCo's 100% pure European linen bedding is designed to make this a pleasurable and luxurious experience. Linen’s characteristics make it the perfect choice for luxury linen sheets, pillowcases and duvet covers.
Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year and amidst the bustle of preparations, it’s easy to forget about dressing the Christmas table. With the emphasis on the food, often a well-dressed table will make the simplest of fare look appealing. Here are some tips to help you get started with the festive preparations.
Choose a theme
Organising the perfect Christmas day often begins with the table and you need to focus on your vision for the event. Having a theme in mind, gives you the opportunity to be creative and unify the table setting.
Pinterest is a great source for theme ideas and inspiration. You may also like to select your menu for the day first and whether you’re eating indoors or outdoors as this can often set the tone of the table.
Once you have chosen a theme or colour palette, you can gather your linen or purchase linen napkins in an accent colour. Real linen napkins & tablecloths add texture and a sense of occasion, while at the same time giving it a laid-back feel. If you’d prefer not to have a theme, beautiful table linen allows you to do away with all the ornamentation in favour of a simple, stylish table setting.
Mixing and matching glassware and crockery can create a distinct look. Layering the table with glasses, stacked plates and lots of linen generates interest and makes a unique setting. Don’t be afraid to play with colour, patterns and texture – these details will bring the table together and create an amazing table for your guests.
Classic, white china is a good base and can be mixed with vintage plates or glasses for an eclectic feel while dinnerware with an earthier palette can be worked for a softer festive table.
Flowers & other adornments
Fresh flowers make a beautiful centrepiece and grouped with candles, create a soft and elegant feel.
If you wish to create a more dramatic effect, you can place fresh blooms or an evergreen runner down the centre of the table or using a smaller sprig at each place setting. An abundance of evergreen will ensure a fresh and festive feel for the table.
Candles add instant atmosphere and a luxury feel to the table and using candlesticks of varying heights can add interest. If space is at a premium, smaller glass votives with tealights are a simple but beautiful addition.
A good tip is to set the table Christmas eve so you don’t need to think about it on the day.
To shop the table linen featured in our images, please click the links below:
Basix Linen Napkin Brun
Basix Linen Runner Brun
Flocca Linen Tablecloth Ayrton
Linen is a natural fibre many times stronger than cotton. Its durability ensures products are made to last. Linen is an investment but unlike cotton, linen when cared for correctly has the potential to last much longer before needing to be replaced. This is often why linen sheets become heirloom pieces and is one of the few fibres that becomes better with age, becoming softer and more lustrous. Here we have created your definitive Bedding Care Guide to assist with your linen care and get the best from your luxury linen bedding.
Whilst we understand linen sheets can be a financial investment, it is important not to relate price to care. To get the most of your linen it must be cared for properly. Always follow the care instructions on the product label. Linen sheets should always be rotated and it is advisable to have at least two complete sheet sets for any one bed for change-over. Using the same set of linen sheets every day is not recommended and keeping multiple sets on hand will also ensure a fresh set is always ready to go on the bed.
Over washing can be damaging to luxury linen and will break down even the highest-quality linen and should be avoided. A gentle warm machine wash is recommended with like colours. Wash your linen bedding separately from towels or clothing and avoid over-filling the machine so the product can move freely during the wash and circulate in the water; this also prevents damage caused by zippers and other fasteners. To maintain the colour of your linen, we advise not to use bleach or detergents with optical brighteners and avoid exposure to continual sunlight. We suggest using a mild liquid detergent such as Wool Mix on all of our linen products. Products such as linen fitted sheets are subject to more friction than any other item in our collection and as a result, they can deteriorate if over used and not cared for correctly.
We strongly recommend tumble drying our linen, at least partially. Linen will dry more quickly than other fabrics, so the sheets won't need a hot or long dryer setting. It can be tumble dried safely on low to medium heat to keep your linen soft and to maintain its textural appeal. As linen is a very loose weave, if it is subject to constant use and never tumble dried, it is not given the opportunity to return to its original woven state and the constant stretch caused over time will inevitably wear the item out. Our linen has been pre-washed at very high temperatures to ensure that with proper care no further shrinkage should occur. Please note our linen blankets should not be dried in a tumble dryer, but instead line dried out of direct sunlight.
Natural Fibres need to breathe and it is optimal to keep your linen bedding folded flat in a dry, well ventilated environment away from direct sunlight. It is best not to store your linens in a plastic container as this can cause them to yellow over time and can trap moisture, encouraging the growth of mildew. Lining drawers and shelves with high-quality tissue paper and scented sachets helps to counteract moisture and keeps your linen smelling fresh.
With each wash and proper laundering, our linen becomes softer and more desirable, offering a unique sleeping experience and wonderfully tactile products for around the home. HMCo linens are pre-shrunk and pre-washed to ensure our products retain their original quality from the first wash. Our linen sheets and linen duvet covers are the perfect pieces for layering, ruching and draping on your bed, creating a sumptuous haven you won’t want to leave!
Making your bed into a comfortable and calm retreat to rest, relax or rejuvenate requires time, luxurious textiles and careful craftsmanship. Your bed is the focal point of your room and we show you how to go beyond the plumping, straightening and rearranging to create a soothing sanctuary. Nothing beats climbing into a beautifully made bed at the end of the day (or a sneaky daytime nap!).
1. THE BASICS
A bedhead instantly pulls the entire look together and becomes the focal point when layering pillows and cushions. A linen bed skirt will also complete your bed and along with a fitted sheet, are the basics with which to begin your collection. With the addition of a good quality feather pillow and duvet inserts, these essentials are the perfect pieces to begin building your perfect bed sanctuary. Keep the colour palette neutral with these pieces and you can begin to add colour and interest with sheets, pillowcases and other accessories.
Many people love the simplicity of an all-white bed but linen bedding is a good way to introduce pattern and colour into a room. It’s easy to change from one season to the next and can give your room a different look and feel each time. If you plan to inject some colour into your bedroom, it’s a good idea to add a pop of colour using items that are easily interchangeable such as stripe pillowcases, colourful cushions or throws. Our linen bedhead is a versatile option with a removable pure linen slipcover; allowing for a seasonal change at a whim. Sometimes just adding one colourful piece can make a bold statement.
You don’t want to overcrowd your bed with lots of pillows and decorative cushions but rather make it look relaxed and welcoming. European pillowcases are a good visual anchor to the bedhead and serve as support when propping yourself up to read. Keeping within your colour scheme, it’s good to work with different shapes and textures and it’s always a good idea to scale up a size with the duvet to create a more lavish look. If a relaxed, textural look is preferred layering your linen will add a sumptuous feel to your bedscape. Overlap pillows, set them at an angle or stack them to complement this look. Finish the arrangement with decorative pillows such as linen bolster cushions, smaller rectangular cushion in a print or stripe, longer body cushion or the ruffled edge of a Kristine European pillowcase. An artfully draped throw cascading to the floor, linen blanket or a ruched sheet will make for a dramatic bed dress while incorporating various design elements for a truly luxurious bed look.
If you prefer a neutral or monochrome look, it’s important to add texture to create a more interesting accent. Completing the look with a linen throw or blanket and mixing up textures will add another dimension. Finishes such as our Flocca edging embellish and add interest and texture and will add contrast to the simple hemmed finish of our Basix pillowcases.
Always buy the best linens you can afford. Linen is the perfect choice being a truly beautiful, natural product with an inherent timeless quality derived from flax. Its characteristics make it the perfect choice for luxury linen sheets and household linen. Flax is a wonderfully lustrous fibre many times stronger than cotton and its durability ensures our products are made to last. Natural fibres are the first choice in linen bedding allowing for breathability; keeping you cool and dry in summer and warm in winter. A true luxury linen is best made from individually dyed fine linen yarns and this process ensures colour fastness and a palette beyond compare. Superior quality linen is designed to be relaxed in nature and truly easy care; it should always look beautiful with a minimum of fuss. Perfect for easy living.
Nothing beats getting into a luxurious bed after a long day...
In a time when we are bombarded with superficiality, through social media, technology and materialism, our desire for a natural aesthetic is increasing. With many choosing to grow their own food, buy organic products and purchase fewer possessions, leaving a small ecological footprint is very much in vogue.
The slow movement, which spreads across food, fashion, art and much more, encourages us to slow down to appreciate the joy in making things from scratch. Through enjoying home-cooked meals, bespoke fashion and handmade objects for example, many consumers are turning away from cheap, mass-produced products.
There is great satisfaction in purchasing something that has been made with care, natural materials and ethical principles. Despite such products often costing more, they last longer, wear better, and in fact, usually improve with age. As consumers, it is important to make ethical decisions based on the environment and the working conditions of those who make them.
An article in Trend Bible states that consumers are “looking for longevity and provenance in the products they invest in for the home” and that they have a desire to slow down their lives. The article talks about consumers taking control of their environments by purchasing quality pieces for their homes and supporting local enterprises.
Design Sponge founder Grace Bonney also writes about the pleasure of taking a slow approach to the home. “I find that slowness is something that both defines and refines my aesthetic over time and allows me to make decisions that are based more on long-term happiness than short-term gratification,” Bonney says. Her article goes on to describe the challenge of finding a balance between our desire for beautifully made products while seeking low price points.
Materials such as pure linen, that are natural and of a higher quality will always be more expensive. Similarly, if products are produced by small companies and independent designers, the price of this workmanship must be taken into account.
Perhaps the answer lies in buying fewer items and savouring the process. Like a slow movement in consuming. This way, we can decorate our lives with products that are carefully considered, which eliminates the chance of us growing tired of them. By gradually acquiring possessions, we can avoid waste, which will benefit the environment together with our purse strings. It is also rewarding to collect things that have a positive background story.
Possessions with a story attached are something Megan Trousdale writes about for Slow Living Magazine. Trousdale has written about houses and interiors for over 20 years, and describes the idea of “slow interiors” and the beauty in acquiring pieces over time, making your own and purchasing antiques. “It is the interiors layered over decades, not days, that have the most soul and meaning,” Trousdale says.
Another aspect of pursuing a natural, simple and slow aesthetic is accepting imperfections. This might be in the form of coveting a well-loved piece of furniture, an eccentric family heirloom or repairing a damaged item instead of throwing it away. It is true that many natural products are imperfect, but through altering our perceptions of these blemishes, we can come to see them as uniquely beautiful, and indeed more desirable than those without flaws.