THE ART OF MINIMALIST LIVING

After the festive season rounds up, we often feel overindulged and overwhelmed by all the new stuff we find filling up our houses or apartments. By mid-Jan we’re already trying to work out exactly where we’re going to put everything, which is often in the loft or under the house.

But all this might be about to change with a recent resurgence in the interest of minimalist living. Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, or The Minimalists as they are known to their 4 million readers, recently shared their popular documentary on Netflix – Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things. The widely-watched show got many of us dreaming about living a life for less.

But what exactly is minimalist living, and how can we apply it to our homes?

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Living with less

We’re all familiar with the term ‘Less is More’, but have you ever given much thought to what that phrase really means? Minimalist living, or ‘Simple Living’, encompasses a number of different practises to simply your life. This might include reducing possessions that don’t add value to your life, or becoming more self-sufficient.

Now, we’re not getting all New Age on you here and saying you should throw everything you own away and live a life of Zen. But we definitely think there’s something in scaling back the things you don’t need to create a home that celebrates the beauty of simplicity. Your mind will thank you for it and your guests will start thinking of your home as a sanctuary. Just watch, they’ll all be doing the same thing before you know it!

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Recycle, donate, and sell

When it comes to paring back your possessions, make sure you never throw anything away (unless it really has had its day and can’t be recycled). The general rule is to make three piles; things to recycle, donate and sell. If you can make any money back for stuff that doesn’t add any value to your life and is just taking up space, bonus! Just be careful not to replace it with more junk; save your money to buy less items of higher quality.

Take a look around your home. Do you really need 10 scented candles in one area or four mattress protectors for the one bed? Perhaps if you scaled it back a little, it would put more focus and emphasis on the decorations you really do love. How about in the kitchen? Do you really need 30 plates and 30 sets of cutlery? How often do you host a dinner party with that many people? If the answer is often, then totally ignore everything we just said. We salute you.

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Creating a minimalist interior

Once you’ve cleared out the clutter, the next step will be creating a minimalist aesthetic in your home to provide a calm and peaceful sanctuary. Scandinavian design is ideal for taking a minimalist approach to your interior, but we’d suggest bypassing all trends and creating a timeless look for your home.

Start with looking at how your home is designed, as it’s all about creating open spaces and appealing design features. And if you’re someone who finds it a little harder to let go of possessions, you’ll want some sleek storage to hide the clutter.

You don’t have to be restricted to a monochrome palette to create a minimalist aesthetic in your home, but pare it back to two or three colours (we’d still suggest opting for cooler, neutral hues). Choose the pieces of furniture you love and use these as the centrepieces of each room. Once you’ve got everything in, go outside and get some fresh air, return, and take a few more things out!

Keep in mind the motto, ‘Less is More’, and you’ll be well on your way to achieving the minimalist home of your dreams.


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