How to Decorate the Home While Still Maintaining a Minimalist Lifestyle
Homeowners stand at the crossroads of two trends.
Decoration is a trend that has stood the test of time. It is something that any given homeowner has done for decades to make their homes more presentable.
Minimalism is a newer trend created by a younger generation who see the act of collecting and in some aspects, decorating as an exercise in futility of sorts. Minimalists argue that things like decorating does nothing but give in to a culture that pressures people to be consumers.
When it comes to people who decorate homes, they are mistakenly taken for people who live to impress others in a very shallow way. While this statement is somewhat accurate, it is also subject to disagreement.
Minimalists represent a lifestyle that revolves around simplicity and in some cases, travel. Many minimalists brag about being able to travel very easily and very frequently because of their ability to detect exactly what they need in their homes.
This is the crux of the tension of opposites that most who wish to decorate their homes face in the current day. The question is not simply how to decorate a home, it is how to decorate a home while optimizing space in the home and maintaining a minimalist lifestyle.
There is a way to do this, and it begins with understanding the mentality of decorator and minimalist on a deeper level.
How decorators really think
Decorators are guilty of being judged as shallow individuals who live to impress others with the things in their homes. Contrary to popular belief, this is rarely the case. An age-old observation about the home as a structure as well as a state of mind is that ideally, a home is supposed to be a person’s sanctuary; it is a place that represents the person who owns it.
Ask any person what the “purpose” of any given decoration in their home is, and you’ll usually get a response related to the significance of the decoration, whether it is furniture, a painting, or even items that have no real function other than to be decorative. To them, these decorations do not exist to please other people, but rather to remind them that they are home – they are in their sanctuary, where they are free to be themselves.
Some decorators are mindful of others, however. Homes that do not have decorations can look boring at best, and suspicious at worst. Decorators are cognizant of this, and often use this as a reason as to why they decorate.
How minimalists actually think
Because it is a relatively new lifestyle that is much different than what the current narratives of home ownership have preached. Knowing this, minimalists have listed four reasons why people are apprehensive to choosing a minimalist lifestyle.
Being a minimalist is a lot more than just having the bare minimum in possessions, especially in the house. Despite what many believe, minimalism is concerned more with organizing belongings and making sure their clutter is kept to a minimum.
Combining these two philosophies and lifestyles is how somebody can decorate a home while still maintaining a minimalist lifestyle.
What rooms should you decorate?
Homes, especially smaller houses and apartments, typically possess four main rooms: The kitchen, the living room, bathrooms, and bedrooms. One major mistake that people make when they decorate is that they believe that each and every room must be decorated. This is often not necessary and can lead to cluttering.
Take bathrooms, for instance. Having decorations in a bathroom, in most cases, is an exercise in futility. When somebody walks into a bathroom, the chances of them being impressed by anything decorative in there is very small. Decorating your bathroom wouldn’t accomplish much in terms of feeling at home, either.
The kitchen is another example. While decorating a kitchen is fun, it is likely not necessary, as it is the second most utilized room in the house other than the bathroom. Additionally, kitchens can get hot, which can affect your decorations.
This leaves the living room and bedrooms. These are rooms that should be decorated for two reasons: First, in the case of the living room, it is likely the first thing a person will see when entering a home. Placing the majority of your decorations in your living room will show visitors that you care about the image of your home
Decorating the bedroom is the one thing that can provide that “at home” feeling in spades. The intimate nature of a bedroom automatically lends itself to decoration; it only makes sense to decorate a bedroom as it is the one room in the house that you likely spend the most time in,
Make sure to pick the right bed sheet for your bed because it will serve as focal point of the entire room.
One last precaution
Seeing that the only rooms in the house that even need to be decorated are the living room and bedroom, there is one thing to consider.
This one thing is cluttering. Because you are generally only decorating two rooms, the chances of cluttering are high. Take the time to determine exactly what decoration should go in which room and decorate accordingly.
Sebastian Morales is Founder and CEO of Good & Bed. Prior to Starting Good & Bed, Sebastian was an investment banker based in New York City.