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Design features like classic flooring boost more relaxed living spaces

September 19, 2013

Hardwood FloorsWith an avalanche of electronic devices in their daily lives, more homeowners are looking for refuge in their homes. Instead of 24/7 entertainment and instant information, family interaction and imagination have become the human equivalent of sustainable living. Creating home design that bolsters this concept with classic features like oak flooring in Anderson's Bryson Strip collection helps achieve such balance.

Shannon Honeybloom, author of Making a Family Home, advised homeowners to do as she does - place computers in places other than childrens' play areas and close off the TV in an armoire to slow the pace of their homes. With her own children, Honeybloom teaches this concept by helping them appreciate the differences in the seasons.

"We try to incorporate what is happening with the seasons, with the natural world in our home in large and small ways," she told RhythmOfTheHome.com. "I have found that my children are very 'in tune' with what is happening seasonally and really yearn to have that recognized through activities and celebrations."

Slowing down the home
According to the Akron Beacon Journal, the houses that architect John Brown wants to build are those that will serve families for the long term, with a reasonable amount of space to grow in and sustainable features that meet their lifestyle and needs.

''It doesn't have to be fancy. It doesn't have to be expensive. It just has to be easy to live in,'' Brown told the newspaper.

In Brown's design business, the Slow Home Studio in Calgary, Canada, he promotes slow home living by emphasizing how to organize space in a meaningful and functional way. For instance, having a smooth traffic flow and room design that's easy to furnish are priorities.

The movement is fashioned after the same premise as the European-based slow cooking trend, which encourages people to savor traditional home cooking by slowing down to appreciate it.

Akron architect Hallie Bowie agreed with Brown's philosophy but she doesn't necessarily attach a name to the process. She believes it's a combination of green building principles, making better use of smaller homes and relying on good design to solve storage needs, address the multiple tasks of a modern family and emphasize the quality of time spent in the home.

''It seems to me the slow home has a real values kind of focus,'' Bowie told the Beacon Journal.