by Joyce Reyes-Aguila
Extreme sparseness and simplicity. This is how Merriam Webster’s online dictionary defines the way of living, style, or thinking referred to as “minimalism.” Around the world, people have applied the concept to their wardrobe by living only with a few clothing essentials, and to art forms and architecture where only necessary elements are bared. Some have also transformed their houses and way of living to become minimalists.
Having a minimalist home is not about style, according to home and design website apartmenttherapy.com contributor Eleanor Büsing. In her article “A Minimalist Manifesto: How to Simplify Your Style at Home,” she defined minimalist home living as having “a place that provides you with everything you need, without weighing you down.” The interior designer suggests that when conceptualizing your minimalist home, create a home mood board where you can focus on five to seven ideas to help you build your space.
Here are more tips to help you embrace minimalism:
- Identify what you can let go of.
Büsing suggests entering a room and identifying things and furniture that it can do without. Can it use less chairs – or even function without a chair? Can a wall be without art work? Tackle both small and big items in your home and part with what you no longer need or want. There are podcasts and online challenges that help guide people who are on their way to becoming minimalists to further provide inspiration. If you are stuck with an item, learn about and ask yourself the most famous question best-selling author Marie Kondo, posited in her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: Does it spark joy?
- Reassess just how many you need.
How many sets of linen do you need? How many dinnerware sets have you used and have just kept in a box (or boxes)? Does your home have an extra sofa set? Minimalism is keeping only what functions for you the most. Review your wardrobe, beauty products, books, and magazines. Sell or donate your extra items as another step to having a lighter home.
- Keep items out of sight.
Home improvement site modernize.com describes minimalists’ homes as ones where surfaces are clutter-free. This means a kitchen counter free of décor or a bathroom where no beauty products are in sight. As minimalist homes usually adopt a simple color – usually white – the pattern can be broken up by using colors. In your bathroom, the site suggests going for hand towels that come in colors that pop out or patterned shower curtains.
- Introduce a rugged feel.
Go for industrial materials to complement your minimalist color scheme, says modernize.com. Introduce thick slabs of smooth concrete, expose copper piping, or expose a wall of bare brick. See-through furniture pieces are also elements of minimalist homes as their “barely-there silhouettes are visually calming” and help make a room feel larger and “totally uninterrupted.”
- Be mindful of your storage.
As you are not totally letting go of all your belongings, you will need to plan where and how to store your other items. The modernize.com experts suggest having cupboards and shelves that stretch from the floor to the ceiling. Minimalists homes have bare floors – this means that except, for furniture, no other items can get in the way. A minimalist home should have a strategic place for everything so set or store things near the area of your house where you use an item most often.