Minimalism. A word so common yet under-used by many property owners. I have come across many people who crave a minimalist style home, yet don’t know how to go about it. Contrary to what many people think, minimalism is a lot more than the “less is more” mantra.
Yes, it does cover the reduction of clutter and unsightly knickknacks around the home. But the scope of minimalism extends towards more intricate aspects such as design, décor and even the type of paint to use. Some people may argue that science says, people who live in disorganised homes tend to be smarter. However, more recent studies have also shown that they cause high levels of stress hormones to build up in the body. So, it is better to stay healthy and build your genius the traditional way. In this piece, I’ll be highlighting some ways you can create a minimalist home. It is the best way to live; minimalist spaces are not only healthy and comfortable, they add sophistication to your living environment. These tips can be used at work, as well as home environs.
- Clear all kinds of clutter
Since I discussed this previously, it is only right to start with it. A minimalist home seeks to create as much space as possible, while providing a clean, attractive environment for the occupants. Take a look around you. You are most likely to see a lot of things that shouldn’t be there; a stack of shoes in the corner, boxes under the bed, piles of paper, old furniture, books and so on. To truly practice the minimalist lifestyle, you must start by riding your surrounding of these ‘extra’ items. Ask yourself, what needs to go? Most times it is probably everything. To be honest, people tend to ‘hoard’ things because of sentimental value. That boom box you used to woo your wife (as Cussack’s character did in, In Your Eyes)? You have to let it go, memories are a lot better keep.
- Create a neutral foundation
When building a home, you start from the concrete foundation and go up. As minimalists, we look to the tones. Something neutral is always perfect. Naturally, we love white. The importance of white tones can never be discussed too much. It provides a clean, crisp look, evoking an inspiring sense of calm. If your home paint is too dark or shouting, you’ll have to liven it up or dumb down the tones. Consider switching to more subdued hues. Try some biscuit here, and greige there. Even adding ecru-inspired tones in between can make a lot of difference. If you must use colour, go for solid pigments that are easy on the eyes and blend in nicely with the neutrals. Examples include greens, tans, earthy browns and blues.
- Light up your home
Your colours may be fresh and neutral, but without great lighting it will fall flat. There are two ways to achieve this;
- Natural lighting
- Standard LED lights
Imagine being stuck in a home blocked out from sufficient lighting, it would contradict the very essence of a minimalist culture. A typical minimalist home is characterised by open space, aeration and natural light. Lots of it. It is for this reason many luxury homes and offices use a glass decor. They convey transparency and thus, sophisticated lighting. For an office environment or workspace such as a warehouse, high mast LED lighting from My LED Lighting Guide can create the sort of effect you want. A well-lit room complements your minimalist colours. Don’t ignore the power of lighting.
- Adopt the “One in, one out” philosophy
Have you ever wondered how quickly items pile up? Think about the first time you moved into your office or home, how attractively bare it was. Then as the days went on, you added a plant here, and a bean bag there. In came the mails and you probably dumped them in a corner. Ornamental vases for Peru, cushions, coffee tables…and before long your room became a haven of clutter. If there’s anything that piles up faster than bunny-dug sand, it’s clutter. To prevent this, try living by Colleen Madsen’s “one in one out” rule. It says for every new item you introduce into your living or work-space, one item must go out. This way you balance the contents of the room and keep a check on clutter. If you decide to live by “one in, two out”, better. You can never remove too many things. Minimalism is a way of life many people love to live but fail to. It may not be easy at first, but the more you practice, the better you become.