D o s e  o f  D o l c e

Minimum Effort, Maximum Effect

THIS JUST IN: undertaking a minimalist design concept can de-clutter your home (and life) -- and still look good.

We know what you're thinking: a minimalist design isn't for everyone. Some will say "I just love color too much," or "Where are the prints? The textures? The personality?" We're here to tell you what minimalism is all about and to show you that less is (and sometimes isn't) always more.

The Minimalist Movement

Minimalism isn't a present movement, although it has become more popular in recent years. In fact, the minimalist movement began in the 1960's following World War II. What began as an artistic period spilled into other areas, such as architecture and design. Soon, buildings and art alike were representing contemporary life through only what was essential.

Light, form, material, space, and placement are among the basics of creating a minimalist design. A pop of color, a unique shape, and mixed textures are all strategies to bring a "less is more" concept to life. Minimalism doesn't always mean bare, boring, or bland - it means achieving the same end result with fewer components.

Minimalism in Design

When considering whether or not a minimalist design concept is right for your home, consider this: you'll have to strip the space bare, do some serious "de-cluttering" and re-organizing, and then re-arrange what's left according to your new simplistic layout in the space. Let's break this down:

  1. Box up everything. One (or several) boxes labeled for storage and/or donation, and one (or several) boxes for the things that you plan on redistributing. Remember: if you haven't seen, used, or thought about it in the past year, chances are it isn't an "essential" item. Now, this doesn't mean you should start throwing out family heirlooms or keepsakes that you've acquired over the years - it just means you need to decide what to display, what to store, what to let surrender, and what to toss. This process of de-cluttering will be the most time consuming portion of this process, so take your time deciding where your items will go, and worry about where to redistribute them later.

  2. Assess the space. Now that you've boxed up all of your movable items, take the opportunity to look around: Does that large piece of furniture fit anywhere else in the room, or will it have to stay where it is? Should you repaint? Does the room need a rug? Could you use another light fixture? There will be a lot of questions that you'll have to ask yourself in the re-design process, but the good news is they're all "yes or no" questions. Go with your gut: did you want to re-paint before this process? If not, chances are you're happy with that color. Have you ever complained that you needed a rug before? If not, skip it, and once you've redistributed everything, reassess. You don't have to have everything figured out from the start.

  3. Arrange your furniture. As mentioned, minimalism is the idea of creating an open, organized space using what is essential. Now that you've removed all of the smaller items in your home, consider the bigger picture: how should you arrange your furniture to create an open and inviting space? You may even find that you have space for one or two new pieces that you've been wanting - or you'll find that you've entirely outgrown your current furniture, and now it's time to invest in a new arrangement. Whichever your case, this is your opportunity to start "from scratch" on how your room will look and feel. (NOTE: Something as small as re-painting your walls can have a major effect on the overall look and feel of a room - without breaking the bank!)

  4. Replace your statement pieces. Maybe you have some small keep-sake items from your trip abroad, a few of your favorite coffee table books, or some family photos that you would still like to display in your newly gutted space. You can still display these items without compromising simplicity: choose your favorites to use as a center piece, side table decor, or however else you choose to display them. Just remember: the fewer the better, so if there are other places in your home that these items can be displayed, consider those locations to keep things spread out. Use a blanket or a pillow for a pop of color, or mix textures to create flow throughout the space. Otherwise, keep it relatively simple.

  5. Donate your discards. If you have trinkets, furniture, or any other items that just don't work in your space anymore and you don't intend to keep them: donate them! While you may store some items with sentimental value or sell others that have a high resale value, donating ensures that someone else is able to enjoy your gently loved items and is a great way to support your community.

See, simple is easy...once you get the hands-on work out of the way. Just remind yourself: is it essential?


Have any other tips and tricks on creating a minimalist style? Comment below!

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