Minimalism and Home Décor
More thoughts from my lovely daughter in law.
I have found myself at a very transitional phase of life. Nearing mid-thirties and about to have my fourth child, I have opted to pursue a minimalist lifestyle. However, I have also adopted several other interests that I am currently trying to reconcile with my new minimalist mindset. I enjoy woodworking and refinishing furniture, I am also (slowly) decorating my house in a modern farmhouse style that I love. With all the different interests I often find myself torn between wanting to update the décor in my house and not wanting to accumulate anymore things.
My décor style before I adopted modern farmhouse was nonexistent. I was a bargain shopper and would often end up purchasing items simply because the price was right. I paid no mind to how it would fit into a cohesive design nor whether it was needed or even really wanted. Since discovering the beauty of the farmhouse look I have set my mind on how I can really create a unified space. Since then, I have gotten rid of a lot of items that I was holding onto either for utilitarian purposes or simply because I couldn’t bring myself to throw them away. One of the pieces I recently parted with was a rather large ottoman. I really did like this piece of furniture and had moved it to several different places in our home trying to make it work. In the end, I conceded that it just wasn’t useful to us. It ended up being a source of discontentment for me because it always seemed to be in the way. Since getting rid of it, I haven’t missed it. In fact, our living space is much more appealing to me without it and I enjoy being in the space more. As with many descriptions from beginning minimalists, when I finally bring myself to throw things away, it is as if a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I feel lighter … despite being 38 weeks along with baby #4!
The balance I have found is between letting things go and consciously deciding what I want to complete my modern farmhouse vision. I now don’t look for bargains, necessarily, but I look for things that I truly love. If something I am interested in costs more than about $30, I wait. I don’t buy things impulsively, but wait until I am in a good spot financially and emotionally to make the purchase. While I wait to purchase an item, I can determine if I really want/need it and often end up not buying it. Without the purchase, I am contributing to my minimalist pursuit. If I do make the purchase, I do so without regret.
The other part that I love is making my own things to fit into the space. I appreciate the beauty of the object and it is more meaningful because it was crafted by my own hands. With 3 kids, I don’t always get everything built that I plan. Nor does it happen as fast as I would like. This again, adds to the minimalism in my home. In my living room, I made the farmhouse clock over the couch using a cable spool I got for free and I made the side tables from some “junk” wood I found in the back of a friend’s truck (that was set to be thrown away). There are stories behind these pieces that make them special to me. They look beautiful, are useful, but also remind me of people that I love.
I am not sure if “minimalist modern farmhouse” is a recognized design style, but I think that is how I would most accurately describe my style. As with the concept of minimalism in general, I have adapted design ideas to suit my own personal desires. I want to create a home that needs little maintenance in the short-term and the long-term. For instance, when looking at a strictly farmhouse style, though I love the look, often the spaces are filled up in every corner. Although they are filled with beautiful pieces, when I see this, all I can think about is having to dust all those items. Another thing I see, is how often a space is redecorated by people. Rather than continually changing the space to keep my interest; I would rather spend time creating a space that my family can enjoy for a long time without putting forth any more effort to change it.
For me, balance is a necessity in my minimalist journey. Balance between bringing in new and getting rid of the old. Balance between wanting to live in a beautiful space with my family and not spending all my time cleaning that space nor all my money decorating that space. I am working to find my balance but am very happy with the results so far.