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Minimalism décor can help a home be a haven

Often times when I am advising a client that is getting ready to list his or her home, I advise them to take a minimalist decorating approach. When a potential buyer walks through a home, they want to see how the space is used, but also be able to see themselves in the home. The less clutter—i.e., stuff—in a home, the easier it is for them to do that. Minimalism is often talked about as a lifestyle, but my focus in writing this is to talk about the décor aspect. The minimalist lifestyle and decorating style are intertwined, but the lifestyle aspect takes it to a much deeper level. To me, minimalism as a design style is about simplicity, intentionality and understated elegance. Minimalism takes the “less is more” approach pretty seriously.

Last year, in the midst of a pandemic, millions of Americans binge-watched Sparking Joy with Marie Kondo. It is a reality show on Netflix about tidying up to spark joy through balance. I haven’t watched it… yet, but I distinctly remember everyone talking about this show and the changes they made after watching it. In a world that is so chaotic and often feels beyond your control, I think people really crave being able to control their home environment.

Home should be your safe haven. It should be somewhere you look forward to going after a long day, that eases your worries and anxieties, and just feels good. I think after being quarantined at home for months in 2020, people really started to re-evaluate their space.

My favorite aspect of minimalism is intentionality - being deliberate or purposeful. In the simplest terms, it means that everything we possess has value and is put “there” for a reason. I fully subscribe to the notion of “a place for everything and everything in its place.” Undoubtedly, you must “possess less” in order to have a clutter-free home. But I love my modern-day conveniences as much as the next person. If a robot vacuum doesn’t spark joy, I don’t know what will. So, I’m not saying that you need to throw everything away for minimalist décor, but you may want to reconsider all those extra taco bell sauce packets lying around your kitchen.

Here are some tips for incorporating minimalism in your home:

  • Throw. It. Away. Do you have piles of old towels that have seen better days? Take them to the Humane Society. Do you have a drawer full of pens and pencils that rarely get used? Call a local tutoring/mentoring facility or school to see if they could use them.

  • Clear your walls, shelves and countertops. The key is clean lines, flat surfaces, and less distraction.

  • Make sure everything has its place in your home. Items should be kept in a designated spot, so they don’t get lost in the shuffle or sit out on counters and cause clutter. If it doesn’t fit, either find a new spot for it or toss it.

  • Plan ahead. Really think about your space and how you want it to look. Impulse buying leads to clutter. Before you buy anything, envision where it will fit in your space. Don’t just buy something thinking you’ll find a place for it later. This is where it’s good to be intentional.

  • Choose smaller furniture. If you’re in the market for new furniture, keep it simple with sleek designs, clean lines and solid colors. Bulky furniture or something with a busy print distracts and makes a space feel smaller.

  • Use texture. Minimalist décor doesn’t have to be boring. Use different textures for contrast. For example, add a leather chair or upholstered ottoman in a living room with wood floors.

  • Use accent décor. You can still have interesting pieces and pops of color, but keep it to a minimum. Again, the key is to not distract.

  • Let there be light. Natural lighting is so important to a space. Everything feels brighter and more open. Personally, I try to avoid artificial lighting as much as possible, especially bright, overhead lights.

Minimalist décor may not be for you, and that’s okay. It’s your space, and you should do what makes you happy in your home. However, I do think there are certainly aspects of minimalist décor everyone can incorporate in some way, so I hope this has inspired you in some tiny way. Happy tidying, friends!

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