I'm Not a Minimalist, But...

There comes a time when people begin to find out what they like. I've decided that I like simplicity. Doesn't the word just make you want to smile and sigh contentedly? It causes me to envision clean lines and clear surfaces and neutral starting points.

Earlier this year (or perhaps it was even sometime last year) I got some flack for posting an article on Facebook that was written from a minimalist perspective. It wasn't so much that I wanted to jump on board the bandwagon of living with X number of items, as much as it was the idea of simplifying that appealed to me.

I feel like I'm fighting a constant battle of piles and paperwork and stuff coming into the house without finding a home. I'm tired of my tables being covered, of my house looking like a paperwork bomb exploded, of my closets being full and my dressers overflowing.

While I appreciate finding clothes that make me feel like me, I don't want to have so many that I'm still in a quandary about what I should wear. And since I found myself surrounded by clothing that I didn't love, I began to purge ruthlessly and now have a giant box of clothing to donate at my earliest convenience.


The same holds true for my decorating style. My goal is to have a home that is beautiful without being cluttered, that feels comfortable without looking sloppy. As you know, I have a fall fetish - but this year, September 1st came and went and I had yet to put out any fall accoutrements. {gasp} I just couldn't get into the cutsie wooden blocks, the overtly fall-themed pillows, or the plethora of pumpkin baskets and candle holders that I have acquired over the years.


Instead of scarecrows and wicker pumpkins, I went with displays of natural elements - acorns and pine cones, real pumpkins and gourds - and used orange and brown accents instead of in-your-face autumn fabrics. I wanted it to look warm and inviting and cozy, all the aspects of fall that I love, without stepping over the tacky line. I've done tacky for years - it's time for a change.


Over the long weekend, we made a day trip to the closest Ikea mega store. We came home toting a new couch and bed frame, but one of my favorite parts of the day was going through the mock ups of real-life homes scattered throughout the showroom floor. Most of them were around 350 sq. feet and all of them were delightful examples of what can be done in a small space with a little ingenuity (and a whole lot of Ikea products), creative storage solutions, and minimal stuff.


I'm not prepared to throw out all my stuff and go minimalist, but there were aspects of these small living spaces that seriously appealed to me. It caused me to come home and rethink my use of furniture and space. The purging bug bit me as I realized how much unused stuff was sitting around our home that required cleaning. I believe I have made clear in the past, I hate dusting and cleaning bathrooms and vacuuming, so the less I have to take care of, the better. That's a minimalist idea that I can totally get behind.


Tomorrow I'll show you what I did to decorate this year in a less-is-more kind of way. Of course, the new neutral couch helps that, but it also feels good to only put out things that make me really happy. Are you a minimalist in your decorating style? Do you dream of making do with less or do you enjoy having a house stuffed to the gills with things that make you smile? Are you attached to things or are the memories of them enough? I'd love to get your input on this, so leave me a note in the comments.


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