The minimalist trend has taken mainstream culture by storm in the past few years, thanks to advocates like Marie Kondo and the Minimalists, who’ve successfully shown the benefits of having more by owning less.
This attractive paradox has launched an avalanche of Pinterest ideas and countless blog posts about how to effectively declutter. But just like every aspect of human life, minimalism has its own comforts and drawbacks.
If you’re thinking of following the minimalist philosophy and applying it to your home design, this article helps you evaluate whether the decision is one that is practical for you.
On Letting Go
The very core of the minimalist principle is having a change of perspective that allows you to rethink the level of meaning that you assign to your material possessions. Do you really need four dresses of different colors? Does your living room setup need redecorating every four months? Do you think having more decals on your walls look better than a plain white backdrop?
The minimalist principle tells you to declutter and let go of the material to make way for the meaningful.
Getting rid of your stuff takes mental and physical energy. It can be draining to go over the stuff you’ve accumulated for years and to instantly decide to give or sell them all out. This is because you are dealing not only with the things themselves but also with the memories and emotional attachments you’ve placed on these material possessions.
You may also be thinking about the value of the items and what you can still do with them. Holiday-themed decals, for example, can be really hard to let got for a design-savvy mom or when the holiday season is just around the corner. Selling old clothes, letting go of some of your furniture, and changing the color of your walls can all be equally taxing and overwhelming at first.
When applied to home design, the disadvantages of taking on minimalism can manifest itself in any of the following instances:
- You may have to invest in multifunctional furniture items. While this effectively makes for a larger and breathier personal space, these items are often sold on a made-to-order basis and can be expensive.
- Minimalism can be a natural enemy against people who like to buy things or bring in knickknacks from their trips.
- It takes time to let go of things, although it’s not an advisably instant process.
Once you learn the process of letting go, you will see things in a clearer light. You will notice in yourself your sharper ability to make a decision and evaluate the value of an item in an instant. What to place in your kitchen with what little stuff you have left can be a great interior-design exercise. The temptation to buy things just because they look nice becomes an easier demon to deal with.
Specially, a minimalist home design gives you these:
- Plenty of air and space
- You can take comfort in the knowledge that, although you’ve only invested in a few items, they are of good quality and you don’t have to worry about frequent replacements.
- Structural elements are mostly easier to repair.
- Cleaning becomes breezier.
- As much as it is painful, you will eventually benefit from the psychological discharge of letting go of so much clutter.
If you’re thinking of taking the trend soon, here are some design tips you can follow to effectively create a viable minimalist space you can instantly love:
- Invest in premium-quality furniture. As has been mentioned, multifunctional storage spaces are a minimalist’s friend. You don’t need to raid your bank to get the furniture you want. Take the DIY route, and discover so many possibilities you can make with a little stretch of creativity.
- Invest in statement pieces. A minimalist home design can easily turn bland and boring without the usual design ensemble, but avoiding this can be as simple as putting accents and statement pieces that easily stand out. A vase of flowers on the tabletop or a brass edge for your sitting-room mirror makes for quite a spectacular change.
- Figure out multiple ways to use one material. There are many decorative elements in the house that you can use for multiple purposes. A decorative curtain tieback, for example, which comes in different styles and designs, does not only create a classic look for your simple drapes. It can also be used as a towel hook, refashioned into a fabric rose, or roped around a box for a chic box organizer and storage. Because who says you can’t be stylish and minimalist?
Parting ways with things you’ve held dear for some time can be a painful process. The best thing you can do is to have control over where you pass them on. Here are some smart and effective ideas of getting rid of your personal possessions:
- Give them to charity. It’s good to know they will be of use to people in need.
- Sell them in a yard sale. If you’re less sentimental about letting go of some of your clothes, books, or home furniture, a yard sale is a smart move that lets you get whatever money you can out of your old stuff.
- Sell them online. If you don’t have the time to hold a yard sale, selling your clothes online is a practical option. You can even put items on auction, especially if you’re selling something of value (such as jewelry).
Minimalism is a great trend to explore, not only for its design potential but also for its practical purposes. However, making the move requires you to evaluate yourself and your personal conditions.
If you’re married with kids, the shift can entail including the whole family. This takes practice, effort, and time.
See to it that everybody is on the same page and is invested in making the change. Otherwise, it’s still possible to incorporate subtle changes that make use of the principles of minimalism. After all, it’s a process and should not be rushed. Take the leap in your own time.