NATALIE WALTON ON CREATING A SLOW AND SUSTAINABLE HOME
We sit down with Interior Stylist, Designer and Author, Natalie Walton to discover her journey to creating a slow and sustainable home. While learning how a holiday to an organic farm in Italy is what ignited her inspiration for a tree change that gave her a whole new appreciation for nature and the world that we live in.
Can you tell us a little bit about your work and career journey?
I started out as a news reporter and journalist and then moved across to magazines where I was deputy editor atReal Living magazine for 5 years. Afterwards I worked mainly as a freelance writer and stylist for magazines and in 2018 launched my first bookThis is Home: The Art of Simple Living Since then I’ve been focused on teaching styling through my courseThe Styling Masterclass and most recently launched my second bookStill: The Slow Home and my podcastImprint. I also style and design for clients and have a shopImprint House in Byron Bay. While I wear many hats, they all revolve around the idea of creating a beautiful home.
How would you describe your design philosophy?
I believe our home is one of our most important creations. It’s where we wake and set the tone for the rest of the day, where we make lifelong memories and it’s our most intimate space to be our true selves. I think it’s so important that we create authentic and wholehearted homes.
What inspired you to write your most recent book Still: The Slow Home?
The seed of an idea was planted when my husband and I went on holiday to Italy with our three young children and stayed on an organic farm and we saw them run free through fields. At the time we were living in inner-city Sydney and realised we didn’t need to be based there anymore as I had become a freelancer and my husband had sold his business. So we packed our bags and embarked on a tree change journey which gave me a whole new appreciation for nature and the world that we live in. At the same time consumerism felt like it was getting out of control and I really believe that, as with so many of the decisions in our lives, sometimes the easiest and best place to start to make change is within our own homes.
Can you share your top 3 ways we can create a slow home?
The first, and most important, is to simply consume less - and not just of stuff - but of media and marketing messages. We need to create time and space just to be - that’s when we often realise what’s most important in our lives. Secondly, if we need to purchase something then consider local. The economist Helena Norberg Hodge says localisation is the antidote to globalisation. I encourage anyone to watch herTED talk. Also, I think it’s important to build a pause in our decision making, and ask if something is a need or a want, or if we can buy a more sustainable option. In essence, we just need to slow down and be more conscious with how we live ourlives.
How can we create a home that treads lightly on the environment?
I think consideration of the materials we choose is so important. Check if the timbers are FSC or recycled. And can the object be passed on? Is it timeless? All these factors help.
What are you most excited about in the near future? Are there any projects you are currently working on?
I am currently designing a studio where I hope to be able to host workshops on my property in the Byron Bay region. Stay tuned! I’m also looking at developing some more courses too. And would love to do another book.
Which Totem Road pieces are you loving at the moment?
The Totemstools. I love stools - they’re such a great multipurpose piece to have within your home - great to use as side tables, bedside tables or just somewhere to store plants or books.
Discover more about Natalie Walton, her latest book and The Styling Masterclass online here.