Who automatically thought of the image above when thinking of a minimalist interior? I certainly did, and yes this is an extremely minimal design. The thing is, minimalism is not necessarily such a black and white matter. You can incorporate some minimalist ideas and practices into your life without turning your home into a sterile white box.
I first learned of minimalism when I started packing up my life in preparation for our move to Paris. We didn't wish to rent a storage locker for the year, so we attempted to store the majority of our belongings in the storage locker that came with the apartment. We subleased the apartment furnished, so while we weren't having to store large items, all of our personal items had to fit. As I began to sort, I was absolutely overwhelmed by the amount of stuff we had collected over the years. Stuff whose presence in my closet had caused me stress and stuff that added no value to my life. I started reading online about packing and organizing techniques and I stumbled across minimalism. It was one of those ah-ha moments that spring you into a tizzy and have you devouring article after article allowing you to focus on nothing else. It was like suddenly finding all the answers to problems and frustrations you had been experiencing your whole life. Needless to say, I have been hooked ever since and want to share with you how it's principles can improve your life and your home.
Design to me is not just about creating an image, but a lifestyle. How you live is just as important to me as your favourite look or colour scheme. The fabric on your couch should be comfortable to sit on in shorts and your kitchen should be so organized that you know exactly where the lids are to your tupperware. I am committed to focusing my practice on making your life better. Aesthetically, functionally, and emotionally. So how can minimalism help?
Minimalism at its core is about letting go of excess to create more time, money, and contentment in your life. By clearing the clutter from your life you are able to make room for what's most important; your health, your relationships, your passions, your personal growth, and your contributions to society. You see, there is a maintenance cost to everything you own. It could be in the form of dollars and cents (insurance, taxes, interest) or it could be in the form of time (cleaning, updating, protecting). Another maintenance cost you might not think about is the emotional cost. We as humans tend to transfer feelings and memories on to objects at the risk of losing that feeling or memory. It's hard to move forward and grow when the past is crowding the present. Taking pictures of sentimental objects and filing them in your computer(don't forget to back them up) can be just as powerful as holding the objects in your hand every 15 years when you move and discover them in your attic. If the object adds no value to your life and is packed away in a box the best thing you can do is sell, donate, or trash it. Getting rid of stuff you don't need is all well and good but not buying it in the first place is even better! This is where the real savings can occur. Asking yourself do I love this?, will I use this every day?, will this bring enjoyment and beauty to my life?, is a good place to start when analyzing purchases. Are you starting to catch on?
Now that you have an idea of what minimalism is, you can understand that it's a vast topic with endless amounts of discussions to be had. As a designer, I will mostly be focusing my minimalism posts on ways to organize and reduce clutter within your home, how to live well with less space and the old adage of choosing quality products for your home over quantity. I hope I can add something to your life by helping you subtract!
Here are some great sources for further reading on minimalism if I've peaked your interest. I would also like to credit them for the information that helped me write this post.
Wishing you an organized life,